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10 Most Dangerous Cities In Wyoming 2024: The Dark Side

wyoming cities

Wyoming, renowned for its sprawling landscapes, is recognized for its vast open spaces.

In terms of sheer size, this state is among the top ten in the United States.

This is where the majesty of the Rocky Mountains converges with the expansive Great Plains.

The state’s highest point is Gannett Peak, standing tall at 13,809 feet above sea level, while the Grand Teton in the National Park claims the title of the second-highest peak.

Which joined the Union as the 44th state, is fondly referred to as the Equality State. It pioneered women’s suffrage in 1869, even before it achieved statehood.

When it comes to population, Wyoming is at the bottom of the list, with the 2020 census recording a population of 576,850.

The state’s most significant airport is located in Jackson Hole, nestled in Teton County.

This airport is unique in that it’s the only commercial airport located within a national park’s boundaries – in this instance, the Grand Teton National Park.

10 Riskiest Places 2024

City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
Riverton 10,772 547 4,233
Evansville 3,005 299 2,595
Evanston 11,563 415 1,885
Casper 58,244 212 2,848
Powell 6,165 243 2,076
Torrington 6,623 483 1,162
Wheatland 3,445 174 2,322
Cheyenne 64,751 376 3,376
Newcastle 3,383 266 1,241
Rock Springs 22,615 256 1,357

1. Riverton

Riverton Wyoming

Riverton holds the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous city in Wyoming, maintaining its position from the previous year. This is due to a rise in both violent and property crimes.

While Riverton wasn’t the most violent city in Wyoming in 2020, it did have the second-highest rate of sexual assault and murder in the state. So, if you’re planning a visit to the Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site, it’s advisable to return before nightfall.

In addition to the violence, residents of Riverton had a 1 in 23 chance of falling victim to a property crime in 2020, the highest rate in Wyoming.

This was the setting for one of the state’s most infamous capital murder trials. Andrew John Yellowbear Jr., a resident of Riverton, was convicted in 2006 for the premeditated first-degree murder of his 22-month-old daughter, Marcela Hope Yellowbear.

The crime was particularly gruesome, with the toddler being tortured to death over several weeks. Yellowbear used a variety of objects to inflict harm, including a claw hammer handle, a sports sandal, a two-by-four, and a plastic stabilizer bar from a child’s swing set.

Despite the horrific nature of the crime, Yellowbear continues to deny his involvement, blaming the abuse on the child’s mother, Macalia Blackburn. This case remains a dark chapter in Riverton’s history.

Key Stats:

  • Population: 10,772
  • Crimes Per 100k: 547
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,233

2. Evansville

Evansville WY

Part of the Casper Metro Area, Evansville tops our list of the worst places to live in Wyoming, with crime being a significant factor.

While violent crime saw a significant decrease from the previous year, property crime saw a similar increase. Residents visiting Edness K. Wilkins State Park can breathe a sigh of relief, but the 20th-highest burglary rate in Wyoming is a cause for concern.

Key Stats:

  • Population: 3,005
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 299
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,595

3. Evanston

Evanston WY

In Evanston, crime statistics suggest that residents have more to fear from criminals than wildlife at Bear River State Park.

Evanston had the highest rate of sexual assault cases in Wyoming, a fact that residents would rather not associate with their hometown. Property crime in Evanston ranks as the ninth highest in Wyoming.

Key Stats:

  • Population: 11,563
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 415
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,885

4. Casper

Casper, known for its cowboy culture and oil-rich land, is Wyoming’s second-largest city and the fifth most dangerous.

Casper had the fourth-highest murder rate in Wyoming in 2020, as well as the fifth-highest rate of sexual assault cases. Property crime is much more prevalent, with about five property crimes occurring each day in Casper.

Key Stats:

  • Population: 58,244
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 212
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,848

5. Powell

Powell, Wyoming

Our journey takes us to northwestern Wyoming, to the sixth most dangerous city, Powell. Powell saw an increase in violent crime and a slight decrease in property crime this year.

Residents had a 1 in 411 chance of being a victim of a violent attack in 2020. Powell had the ninth-highest violent crime rate in Wyoming.

Key Stats: 

  • Population: 6,165
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 243
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,076

6. Torrington

Torrington WY

Nestled in southeast Wyoming, grapples with the second highest rate of violent crime in the state, despite its modest population of 6,623. However, it’s not all grim; the town is home to Eastern Wyoming College and offers a variety of amenities.

Key Stats:

  • Population: 6,623
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 483
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,162

7. Wheatland

A small town of 3,445 residents located an hour north of Cheyenne, has seen a significant drop in its ranking from the previous year. However, it had the highest burglary rate in Wyoming in 2020, making it a place where residents can’t afford to leave their doors unlocked.

Key Stats:

  • Population: 3,445
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 174
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,322

8. Cheyenne

Cheyenne WY

 

Cheyenne, the capital and largest city of Wyoming is the second most dangerous place to live in the state. The overall crime rate here is more than double the state average.

With the second-highest property crime rate in the state, we can only hope that the Wyoming State Museum remains safe. The city also had the fifth-highest murder rate, so it’s understandable if residents are on high alert.

One of the most notorious crimes in the city’s history is the murder of 30-year-old Virginia Uden and her two sons, Reagan and Richard, by her ex-husband Gerald Uden in 1980.

The case remained unsolved for over three decades, with Gerald and his wife Alice living a seemingly normal life in Missouri. However, in 2013, the couple was arrested and extradited to Wyoming, where they confessed to the murders of Virginia and her sons, as well as Alice’s ex-husband and his two children.

The Uden family murders are a grim chapter in Cheyenne’s history, a stark reminder of the darkness that can lurk beneath the surface of everyday life.

Key Stats:

  • Population: 64,751
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 376
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,376

9. Newcastle

Newcastle WY

Newcastle, situated in northeastern Wyoming, ranks as the ninth least safe place to live in the state for 2024. With the sixth highest violent crime rate in Wyoming for 2020, residents are advised to be cautious while enjoying the town’s many walking trails.

Key Stats:

  • Population: 3,383
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 266
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,241

10. Rock Springs

Rock Springs WY

Rock Springs, a town in southwest Wyoming, rounds out the list as the tenth most dangerous location in the state. The city, which was the site of the violent Rock Springs Massacre in 1885, continues to struggle with high rates of robberies and arsons.

Key Stats:

  • Population: 22,615
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 256
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,357

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Wyoming 

1. Confirm your travel arrangements before leaving home.

It pays to play it safe and verify your hotel, car, or plane reservations ahead of time.  

2. Don’t be a target.

Thieves look for easy marks, so don’t make it easy for them to spot you.

3. Keep yourself hydrated if hiking or enjoying outdoor activities.

When enjoying the many outdoor activities offered in Wyoming in the high summer months, carry water supplies with you and stay hydrated.

4. Traveling by car? Have a mechanic perform a safety check before leaving.

Wyoming offers wide open spaces and, often, many miles between towns/cities, so it is important to make sure your vehicle is in ideal working condition.

5. Avoid flashing large amounts of money or expensive jewelry.

While it will attract attention, it will likely be the wrong kind of attention.

Most Horrific Crime in Wyoming

One of the most chilling crimes in Wyoming’s history is the case of Lisa Marie Kimmell, a crime that remained unsolved for over a decade. In 1988, Lisa Marie Kimmell was on a road trip from Denver to Montana when she vanished.

A week later, her body was found in the North Platte River near Casper, Wyoming. She had been brutally beaten and sexually assaulted.

The case went cold until 2002 when DNA evidence linked Dale Wayne Eaton to the crime. Eaton, a drifter with a long criminal history, was convicted and sentenced to death in 2004.

The case, known as the “Lil Miss” case because of the personalized license plate on Kimmell’s car, shocked the state and remains one of the most horrific crimes in Wyoming’s history.

FAQ

Are there any specific areas in Wyoming that are considered safer than others?

While crime can occur anywhere, some areas in Wyoming have lower crime rates than others. Areas with lower population densities, such as rural or suburban areas, tend to have lower crime rates than urban areas

If you’re a victim of a crime?

You should immediately report it to the local police department. If it’s an emergency, dial 911. For non-emergencies, you can contact the local police or sheriff’s department directly.

What resources are available for crime victims in Wyoming?

The Wyoming Division of Victim Services provides a variety of resources for crime victims, including compensation programs, counseling services, and assistance with navigating the criminal justice system.

What steps has Wyoming taken to reduce crime rates?

Wyoming has implemented a variety of measures to reduce crime, including community policing initiatives, crime prevention programs, and efforts to address underlying issues such as substance abuse and mental health.

Are there any programs to help former offenders reintegrate into society?

Yes, Wyoming has several programs aimed at helping former offenders reintegrate into society, including job training programs, housing assistance, and substance abuse treatment programs.

Epilogue

In conclusion, while Wyoming is known for its breathtaking landscapes and vast open spaces, it is not without its share of crime. The state has several cities with high crime rates, with Riverton topping the list as the most dangerous city.

However, it’s important to remember that crime rates can vary greatly from one area to another, and many parts of Wyoming are very safe.

The state has made significant efforts to reduce crime and provide support for victims, including community policing initiatives, crime prevention programs, and victim services.

Despite the challenges, Wyoming’s commitment to improving safety and justice is evident. The state’s rich history, natural beauty, and resilient spirit continue to make it a place worth visiting and calling home.

As with any location, it’s important for residents and visitors alike to stay informed, take precautions, and always report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.

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