"For more than half an hour 38 respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens."
- Martin Gansburg, New York Times, March 27, 1964
"(The case) caught the spirit of the time.... It seemed to symbolize that society no longer cared about other people."
Early on today's date, March 13, in 1964, a bright and friendly young 28 year old woman named Kitty Genovese (above) was murdered outside her apartment building in New York City. The case garnered national attention when it was reported in the New York Times some days later that a total of 38 people had heard her screams and witnessed the crime and did nothing, saying that they didn't want to get involved. The outrage that this public display of apathy caused opened a whole new area of social science, but it may have been based on faulty reporting in the Times.
Kitty Genovese is Stalked and Killed
At about 3:15 a.m. on this date, Ms. Genovese arrived home from her job as Manager of at "Ev's Eleventh Hour Sports Bar" on Jamaica Avenue and 193rd Street in Hollis, Queens. She lived at the Kew Apartments in Queens (below) where she shared # 80-20
The Story is Printed in the New York Times
This was certainly brutal crime, but it did not make major headlines until the Metro Editor of the Times, A.M Rosenthal had lunch a few days later with Police Commissioner Michael Murphy. The reporting from officers at the scene had emphasized that there had been many witnesses to the crime, 38 in fact and that the police had not been called until it was too late. When Commissioner Murphy told this to
Did 38 People Really See It Happen?
But a study of the crime completed in 2007 found many of the reported "facts" of the crime to be unfounded. The report in fact concluded that there was "...no evidence for the presence of 38 witnesses, or that witnesses observed the murder, or that witnesses remained inactive". There were in fact a total of two separate attacks, the first one of which was ended by a witness yelling to leave the girl alone. It was cold that night, so most of the windows were closed, and were several floors up (Another part of the scene is pictured below). Thus what may have
Whatever the case with the witnesses, Winston Moseley (below) was caught a short time after on another crime and confessed to