Beneath the portrait-perfect facades of white picket fences and ice-cream social Sundays, the underbelly of America’s small towns can hide some fascinating tales of danger and intrigue.
Grab your virtual explorers’ hat, and let’s embark on a journey to discover the somewhat less charming side of 19 of the most dangerous small towns in America.
East St. Louis, Illinois
Ah! East St. Louis – a town that’s synonymous with danger. With a crime rate 18.5 times higher than the national average, we might as well call it the Wild (Mid)West.
Darby’s violent crime rates are no small potatoes. This sleepy town’s crime statistics are steep enough to make even the bravest night owls think twice about a midnight stroll.
Don’t let its name fool you. Globe is no world of safety. Its property crime rates are so high you’re more likely to find a golden ticket in a chocolate bar than go a week here without a burglary incident.
If there were a contest for ‘notoriety,’ Blytheville would be a hot contender. This town’s violent crime rate would give Hollywood thrillers a run for their money.
Opa Locka, Florida
Whoever said sunshine and safety go hand-in-hand clearly hasn’t been to Opa Locka. With one of the highest violent crime rates in the country, it truly is the Sunshine State’s shadowy underbelly. Be sure to pack your SPF 30 and your self-defense skills before visiting!
Desert Hot Springs, California
Far from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Desert Hot Springs is a town that dances with danger on a daily basis.
With a violent crime rate that would unsettle even the most grizzled of detectives, this town is more ‘wild west’ than ‘sun-kissed coast.’
If you’re looking for peace and tranquility, you might want to steer clear of Bessemer. With violent crime rates that make a rollercoaster look flat, it’s safe to say that life in Bessemer is anything but boring.
Don’t be fooled by Monroe’s Southern charm. Its crime statistics are as hot and spicy as a bowl of gumbo. Be prepared to trade in sweet tea for a side of safety concerns here.
If danger was an industry, Detroit could be its corporate headquarters. With a violent crime rate that overshadows its auto industry, Detroit stands as a stark reminder that not all urban jungles are created equal.
Camden, New Jersey
On the other side of the Delaware River from the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ lies Camden, a place where brotherly love takes a backseat to crime and chaos. Its crime rate makes it a heavyweight contender in the ring of danger.
West Memphis, Arkansas
West Memphis might be known for its blues, but the crime blues here are certainly off-key. This town’s violent crime rate is like a bad tune that keeps playing on repeat.
Wilmington, with its high crime rates, is more “Fight Club” than “First State.” Don’t be deceived by its small size and charming downtown area; there’s more than meets the eye here.
Pine Lawn, Missouri
Pine Lawn might sound like an idyllic suburban neighborhood, but the only things growing here are the crime stats. It’s almost like this town has traded in its lawnmower for a police siren.
Here’s a town that redefines ‘grit.’ Grit, in Flint’s case, however, is less about resilience and more about a crime rate that makes you want to bolt your doors and check them twice.
St. Louis, Missouri
If danger had a middle name, it could be St. Louis. With a crime rate that’s through the Gateway Arch, you might want to think twice before exploring this city’s streets after sundown
Once the flourishing shipbuilding city, Chester now boasts of a different kind of reputation – one where the only things being built are the crime stats.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach might be a popular tourist destination, but it also hosts a large number of crimes per capita. So, remember to pack your sunscreen and your caution when you visit.
Lake City, Florida
Don’t let the serene name fool you. Lake City’s crime rate is anything but placid. Its violent crime rate could make even the most serene lakeshore seem daunting.
Last but not least, Albany, Georgia, wraps up our list. Despite its peachy name, it’s far from sweet when it comes to crime. An unseen bitter side in the land of Southern hospitality, it’s a sour note in Georgia’s symphony.
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