Catherine Genovese – whom family and friends endearingly called Kitty – was a bright, energetic twenty-nine-year-old woman. Kitty was the oldest of five siblings.
On March 13, 1964, Winston Moseley decided he would kill a woman. Any woman. He got in his car at 1:30am to search for a lone female driving a car.
Kitty was full of energy. She enjoyed dancing, learning, debating politics, and going out with her friends.
Genovese moved to Kew Gardens (from Connecticut) in the spring of 1963 and landed a job as a barmaid at Queens’s neighborhood about five miles east of Kew Gardens (Queen, New York) Considering the hours Catherine Genovese worked. She purchased a car for the commute, a small red Fiat.
Unseen by Genovese, he got out of his car and ran into the parking lot, pulled out his knife, and hid in the shadows.
Genovese started screaming when she saw him.
He stabbed her again, in the chest, stomach and throat. He then raped her and stole her keys, makeup, a bottle of medicine, and forty-nine dollars.
The rest of the country was astonished, too, but for different reasons. The slaying was horrible, to be sure, but what particularly outraged people was the neighborhood’s seeming lack of concern as it happened.
Two weeks after the killing, The New York Times chronicled the attack in an article titled “Thirty –seven who saw murder didn’t call the police.”
Millions of readers nationwide came away with the perception that the last moments of Kitty Genovese’s life were some sort of public theater, viewed live by people who were at best horrified but too afraid to get involved; at worst, entertained.
Six days later, for breaking into a home and stealing a television, Moseley was arrested.
He admitted to murdering Kitty Genovese … in addition to two other women before that: Barbara Kralik (15) and Annie Mae Johnson (24). He also confessed to multiple rapes and robberies.
Moseley and introverted father of two, was 29 and worked a perfectly respectable job as a machine operator in Westchester County. Little did his family know he dad a secret history of robbery, rape and murder.
Academics saw a more complex problem at work, which they termed the Bystander Effect, or Genovese Syndrome.
The fewer the number of witnesses, sociologist maintained, and the better off a victim of a violent crime is. In an emergency, people have a tendency to look for answers from others; if no one takes charge, or even seems worried, the assumption is that nothing is really a miss, and the more people present during a crime, the more responsibility each individual can hand off to others.
still we have the Genovese syndrome in United States or, still worse, it has been increased?
See you later,
CARLOS, Tiger without Time