The national murder rate is expected to be about the same this year, but homicides were extremely rare in the Permian Basin in 2010. The latest stats from Midland and Odessa show that Midland had 3 homicides this year, while Odessa had only 2.
Many larger cities had much higher homicide rates, even when you factor in higher populations in those places. Austin is closing in on 40 homicides, which is up from 22 last year. On the other hand, El Paso has seen a sharp decrease from 15 murders in 2009 to just 4 this year.