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Saints Win, Murders Down — Why Dat? 

  The good feelings generated by the New Orleans Saints' surprising Super Bowl run have not gone unnoticed at the local coroner's office. In fact, the city's notorious homicide rate has slowed dramatically since the Saints resumed their winning ways in the NFL playoffs. As of noon, Jan. 27, there were 12 homicides so far this year, says John Gagliano, chief coroner's investigator. The last killing occurred the morning of Jan. 17 — one day after the Saints beat the Arizona Cardinals in the first playoff game. The city remained free of deadly violence as the Saints defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 in overtime on Jan. 24 to advance to the Super Bowl. Despite massive celebrations on Bourbon Street and elsewhere, the city remained murder free for at least three days, when Gambit contacted the coroner's office. "I do know nothing happens when the game is on — but I can't say that it affects the murder rate one way or another," Gagliano says. Tulane University criminologist Peter Scharf adds, "In times of intense common purpose — such as World War II — crime rates tend to subside. However, murder in this town is cyclical. My suspicion is that [the downturn in homicides] has nothing to do with the Saints going to the Super Bowl." Officials at NOPD did not return calls for comment. — Johnson

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