Kitty Genovese who was murdered outside her apartment in New York on March 13, 1964, is being remembered on the 50th anniversary of her untimely death.
The stabbing, which was carried out randomly by Winston Moseley, became a sensation story in its time and signified a changing vibe on the streets of The Big Apple.
Thomas Reppetto, a police historian, said about the murder of Kitty Genovese that the case: “caught the spirit of the time. It seemed to symbolize that society no longer cared about other people.”
The story was sensationalized further by The New York Times report that: “38 respectable, law-abiding citizens” in Queens witnessed the gruesome murder and did nothing.
According to most, the murder paved the way for the 911 system a few years later and also ushered in the “Good Samaritan” laws that offer legal protection to people who assist others in trouble.
As well as that, the Kitty Genovese murder also caused research to be published in psychology textbooks that discussed the “bystander effect,” whereby people witnessing a violent attack fail to assist the person in distress.
Peter Hellman, the author of the e-book Fifty Years After Kitty Genovese, Inside the Case That Rocked Our Faith in Each Other, said: “Many people were murdered that year, over 600, but she haunts us because she could have been helped and nobody did.”
Kitty Genovese, who was just 28, worked as a bar manager in the well-kept Kew Gardens neighborhood, and was stabbed by Moseley as she walked home from work at 3 a.m.
Moseley told police following his arrest that he had been driving around that night looking for a woman to rape and kill. When he spotted Genovese he chased her, stabbed her in the back, and then retreated to his car after people shouted from windows.
He returned a little later and found his victim in a hallway where he stabbed her again and raped her as she was dying. Moseley was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, but ended up serving a life sentence.