Crimes change the criminal and the victim, the police officer and the witnesses, the lawyer and the jailer, the family and the neighborhood. Rates of crime affect where we live, the taxes we pay, and the way our community is viewed by others and by ourselves.

Crime enthralls and terrifies. It spurs with equal vigor the pursuit of justice and the perpetual effort to rip its causes out at the root. Yet despite all our good intentions, the unpunished and the wrongly punished, the innocent and the guilty, will always live among us.

This special edition of Ideas explores crimes from different angles — the slaying of two boys in Dorchester, the theft of an engagement ring, the ransom of a child. We consider crime through the eyes of first responders, criminals, and victims living with the legacy of trauma.

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Produced by Elaina Natario, Laura Colarusso, Heather Hopp-Bruce, Alex Kingsbury, Jeremy D. Goodwin, and Mary Creane

Lead image by Alejo Porras