Homicides doubled in San Jose in 2011

Once famously described as the safest big city in America, San Jose has unofficially graduated to the same sort of big-boy problems that plague its Bay Area stablemates.

Overall, murders in San Jose jumped from 20 in 2010 to 41 in 2011, a 15-year-high. And the last one of the year was a doozy, with a 65-year-old woman allegedly macheted to pieces by her spurned-via-text-message daughter-in-law.

Data compiled by the Chron for Bay Area cities shows that homicide rates rose in historically violent Bay Area cities (sorry Oakland, Richmond, Vallejo) but held steady in San Francisco. The City had 50 homicides in 2011, up just two from 48 the year before. Oakland had 103 homicides, up from 90. Three victims were under age six.

Vallejo had its second-highest number of homicides in the last 25 years, at 18 deaths. East Palo Alto doubled its 2010 figure to eight homicides in 2011, but the city is thankfully far removed off the double-digit numbers from the 90s. (A record 42 were killed in East Palo Alto in 1992.)