Murder is routine in the city of Chicago, which experienced over 500 homicides last year (the number ranges from 506 to 516, depending on your source). It's so routine that the city became a sort of far-off black cloud lingering in the background of the year's massacres in Aurora and Newtown, a reminder — if you remembered — that gun violence takes lives in grotesque numbers every single day.

Well, things aren't looking any better at the start of 2013.

In the first six days of this year, 12 people were murdered in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Chicago. That's two ahead of last year's six-day total. And at two a day, it puts us on a pace for 730 this year, which would be our highest total since 1997.

That number is actually now up to 13 — an unidentified man was killed last night on the city's West side.

There's still over 11 months left in the year, of course, but murder rates tend to increase as the weather warms up, so this start is far from an encouraging sign that fatal violence in Chicago is decreasing. Here, via Red Eye, are the names and stories of the 12 murder victims in the first eight days of this year.

Octavius Lamb, 20
Kevin Jemison, 29
Devonta Grisson, 19
Myron Brown, 30
Ulysses Gissendanner, 19
Michael Kozel, 57
Taison Moore, 33
Angela Welch, 55
Unknown victim
David Kartzmark, 25
Marcus Turner, 19
Lavonshay Cooper, 22

[via NBC Chicago, image via Getty]