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Lengthy city vigil recalls homicides, by the hour

CAMDEN — A vigil for people killed in 2012 in Camden, N.J., has reached its fourth day.

In the annual vigil, an hour is dedicated to remembering each homicide victim. In 2012, there were a record 67 of them in a city of about 77,000 people.

Activists, friends and sometimes relatives of the slain gather at a church to recall those killed. The victims in 2012 ranged in age from 2 to 66.

Each year since 1995, Sister Helen Cole has organized the year-end vigil. She says she finds the violence confounding. She says that if she knew the answer, she would be “on the mountaintop proclaiming it.”

The previous record was set in 1995, the vigil’s first year. It has never been shorter than 24 hours.

From wire dispatches and staff reports