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Winston MOSELEY

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: 1963 - 1964
Date of arrest: April 1, 1964
Date of birth: March 2, 1935
Victims profile: Barbara Kralik, 15 / Annie May Johnson, 24 / Catherine "Kitty" Genovese, 28
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife / Shooting
Location: Queens, New York, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on June 15, 1964. Reduced to an indeterminate sentence/lifetime imprisonment on June 1, 1967
 
 

 
 
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The stabbing death of barmaid Catherine "Kitty" Genovese, outside her Queens apartment house on March 13, 1964, was neither startling nor unusual for New York.

What made the case a cause celebre were the reactions of an estimated thirty-seven witnesses who watched the victim grapple with her killer, over half an hour in three separate attacks, before they called police.

When questioned by authorities and newsmen, neighbors voiced the sentiment that has become a grim refrain from major cities everywhere: "I didn't want to get involved."

On April 2, Winston Moseley, a 29-year-old business machine operator, confessed to the murders of Catherine Genovese and two other female victims in Queens. 

The first, Barbara Kralik, 15, was stabbed in her home on July 20, 1963. Moseley's second victim, housewife Ann Johnson, was shot and then burned to death on February 29, two weeks before the Genovese attack made headlines in New York.

Moseley's defense attorney announced plans to plead his client "guilty by reason of insanity," but there were problems with the prosecution's case.

Another suspect, 10-year-old Alvin Mitchell, was already charged with the Kralik slaying, and prosecutors refused to cancel his trial on the basis of Moseley's confession. True, they also had a "confession" from Mitchell, but it was less than persuasive; their suspect "didn't remember" stabbing Kralik, but he thought he might have punched her several times.

On June 11, 1964, Moseley was convicted of first-degree murder in the Genovese case; four days later, announcement of his death sentence was greeted by applause from courtroom spectators.

Alvin Mitchell went to trial later that month, with Moseley repeating his confessions from the witness stand on June 23, and jurors were unable to reach a verdict in the case.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans


Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police

Martin Gansberg - The New York Times

March 27, 1964

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.

Twice their chatter and the sudden glow of their bedroom lights interrupted him and frightened him off. Each time he returned, sought her out, and stabbed her again. Not one person telephoned the police during the assault; one witness called after the woman was dead.

That was two weeks ago today.

Still shocked is Assistant Chief Inspector Frederick M. Lussen, in charge of the borough's detectives and a veteran of 25 years of homicide investigations. He can give a matter-of-fact recitation on many murders. But the Kew Gardens slaying baffles him--not because it is a murder, but because the "good people" failed to call the police.

"As we have reconstructed the crime," he said, "the assailant had three chances to kill this woman during a 35-minute period. He returned twice to complete the job. If we had been called when he first attacked, the woman might not be dead now."

This is what the police say happened at 3:20 A.M. in the staid, middle-class, tree-lined Austin Street area:

Twenty-eight-year-old Catherine Genovese, who was called Kitty by almost everyone in the neighborhood, was returning home from her job as manager of a bar in Hollis. She parked her red Fiat in a lot adjacent to the Kew Gardens Long Island Railroad Station, facing Mowbray Place. Like many residents of the neighborhood, she had parked there day after day  since her arrival from Connecticut a year ago, although the railroad frowns on the practice.

She turned off the lights of her car, locked the door, and started to walk the 100 feet to the entrance of her apartment  at 82-70 Austin Street, which is in a Tudor building, with  stores in the first floor and apartments on the second.

The entrance to the apartment is in the rear of the building  because the front is rented to retail stores. At night the quiet neigborhood is shrouded in the slumbering darkness that  marks most residential areas.

Miss Genovese noticed a man at the far end of the lot, near a  seven-story apartment house at 82-40 Austin Street. She  halted. Then, nervously, she headed up Austin Street toward  Lefferts Boulevard, where there is a call box to the 102nd Police Precinct in nearby Richmond Hill.

She got as far as a street light in front of a bookstore before the man grabbed her. She screamed. Lights went on in the 10-story apartment house at 82-67 Austin Street, which faces the bookstore. Windows slid open and voices punctuated the early-morning stillness.

Miss Genovese screamed: "Oh, my God, he stabbed me! Please help me! Please help me!"

From one of the upper windows in the apartment house, a man called down: "Let that girl alone!"

The assailant looked up at him, shrugged, and walked down Austin Street toward a white sedan parked a short distance   away. Miss Genovese struggled to her feet.

Lights went out. The killer returned to Miss Genovese, now trying to make her way around the side of the building by the   parking lot to get to her apartment. The assailant stabbed her again.

"I'm dying!" she shrieked. "I'm dying!"

Windows were opened again, and lights went on in many apartments. The assailant got into his car and drove away. Miss Genovese staggered to her feet. A city bus, 0-10, the Lefferts Boulevard line to Kennedy International Airport, passed. It was 3:35 A.M.

The assailant returned. By then, Miss Genovese had crawled to the back of the building, where the freshly painted brown   doors to the apartment house held out hope for safety. The killer tried the first door; she wasn't there. At the second door, 82-62 Austin Street, he saw her slumped on the floor at  the foot of the stairs. He stabbed her a third time--fatally.

It was 3:50 by the time the police received their first call, from a man who was a neighbor of Miss Genovese. In two minutes they were at the scene. The neighbor, a 70-year-old woman, and another woman were the only persons on the street. Nobody else came forward.

The man explained that he had called the police after much deliberation. He had phoned a friend in Nassau County for  advice and then he had crossed the roof of the building to the  apartment of the elderly woman to get her to make the call.

"I didn't want to get involved," he sheepishly told police.

Six days later, the police arrested Winston Moseley, a 29-year-old business machine operator, and charged him with homicide. Moseley had no previous record. He is married, has two children and owns a home at 133-19 Sutter Avenue, South Ozone Park, Queens. On Wednesday, a court committed him to Kings County Hospital for psychiatric observation.

When questioned by the police, Moseley also said he had slain Mrs. Annie May Johnson, 24, of 146-12 133d Avenue, Jamaica, on Feb. 29 and Barbara Kralik, 15, of 174-17 140th Avenue, Springfield Gardens, last July. In  the Kralik case, the police are holding Alvin L. Mitchell, who is said to have confessed to that slaying.

The police stressed how simple it would have been to have gotten in touch with them. "A phone call," said one  of the detectives, "would have done it." The police may  be reached by dialing "0" for operator or SPring 7-3100.

Today witnesses  from the   neighborhood, which is  made up of one-family  homes in the $35,000 to $60,000  range with the exception of the two  apartment houses near  the railroad  station, find it difficult to explain why  they didn't call the police.

A housewife, knowingly if quite casually, said, "We thought it was a lovers' quarrel." A husband and wife both said, "Frankly, we were afraid." They seemed aware of the fact that events might have been different. A distraught woman, wiping her hands in her apron, said, "I didn't want my husband to get involved."

One couple, now willing to talk about that night, said they heard the first screams. The husband looked thoughtfully at the bookstore where the killer first grabbed Miss Genovese.

"We went to the window to see what was happening," he  said, "but the light from our bedroom made it difficult to see the street." The wife, still apprehensive, added: "I put out the light and we were able to see better."

Asked why they hadn't called the police, she shrugged and replied: "I don't know."

A man peeked out from a slight opening in the doorway to his  apartment and rattled off an  account of the killer's second attack. Why hadn't he called the police at the time? "I was tired," he said without emotion. "I went back to bed."

It was 4:25 A.M. when the ambulance arrived to take the  body of Miss Genovese. It drove off. "Then," a solemn police detective said, "the people came out."

The above reported events are true and took place on March 14, 1964.

The brutal murder of Kitty Genovese and the disturbing lack of action by her neighbors became emblematic in what many perceived as an evolving culture of violence and apathy in the United States. In fact, social scientists still debate the causes of what is now known as "the Genovese Syndrome."


Nightmare On Austin Street

It was a story so disturbing that we all still remember it. But what if it wasn’t true?

By Jim Rasenberger - AmericanHeritage.com

October 2006

In the paper’s morning edition for March 27, 1964, The New York Times ran one of the most indelible leads in its 155-year history. “For more than half an hour,” began a front-page article by the reporter Martin Gansberg, “thirty-eight respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens.”

The story went on to recount the killing of 28-year-old Catherine Genovese, known as Kitty, by a psychopath named Winston Moseley. The murder had occurred two weeks earlier, in the cold dark hours of March 13 shortly after Ms. Genovese drove into her neighborhood of faux-Tudor buildings in Queens, New York. Moseley followed, tailing her in a white Corvair. When she parked near her apartment building, he continued his pursuit on foot. Ms. Genovese made it only a few hundred feet up Austin Street, one of Kew Garden’s thoroughfares, before Moseley caught up to her and shoved a knife into her back. Later, after attempting to rape her in a foyer at the back of her building, he left her to bleed to death.

The murder was ghastly, but it wasn’t the details of Moseley’s attack that made the story so chilling. It was the response of the neighbors. According to the Times, as Ms. Genovese screamed out, “Please help me! Please help me!” lights came on in nearby apartment buildings, faces appeared in windows, a man shouted, but nothing more. “Not one person telephoned the police during the assault,” reported the Times; “one witness called after the woman was dead.” For 35 minutes 38 people simply watched—the word is right there in the lead—as Moseley slaughtered their pretty young neighbor. One witness explained himself with a phrase that became infamous: “I didn’t want to get involved.”

The Times article detonated on breakfast tables, then mushroomed into an expanding cloud of gloom. Newspapers disseminated the story across the country. The 38 witnesses were roundly and personally vilified, but to those in the business of worrying about such things, their actions—or rather, inactions—reflected a broad crisis in American society. As clergymen decried the incident from their Sunday pulpits, politicians spoke gravely of the country’s moral lethargy. Mike Wallace broadcast a CBS radio special called “The Apathetic American.” Loudon Wainwright concluded in Life magazine that Americans were “becoming a callous, chickenhearted and immoral people.”

Gradually the self-flagellation mellowed into something more like navel-gazing. Academic symposiums were organized, research grants awarded, studies undertaken. A number of these studies yielded groundbreaking insights into the pathology of Bad Samaritanism—“bystander apathy,” as it came to be called, or simply Genovese syndrome. In the years to come, more than a thousand books and articles, as well as countless plays, movie scripts, and songs, were inspired by the story of the 38 witnesses who watched their neighbor die.

All of which brings us, 42 years later, to what may be the most peculiar aspect of the case. The Times article that incited all this industry about an urban horror was almost certainly a misleading account of what happened.

Almost from the start there were murmurs that the Times had exaggerated details of the case. The reporter John Melia aired some of these doubts in the New York Daily News in 1984. Joe Sexton alluded to them in a 1995 article for the Times. The most recent debunking is the work not of a journalist but of a lawyer and Kew Gardens resident named Joseph De May, Jr., whose analysis of the original Times article, posted at oldkewgardens.com, is exhaustive and eviscerating.

No one has ever questioned that a horrible murder was committed or that some Kew Gardens residents could—should—have done more to help Ms. Genovese. But that description of 38 people watching the murder for more than half an hour struck many as implausible. Indeed, as a matter of geography, it seems impossible.

Ms. Genovese was first stabbed on Austin Street. But after the initial attack, which lasted no more than a minute or two, she staggered to a narrow foyer at the back of her building, opposite Austin Street and facing only the tracks of the Long Island Railroad. It was inside this foyer that Moseley discovered her after temporarily fleeing the scene. And it was here, out of view and earshot of nearly everyone in Kew Gardens, that the greater part of the assault occurred.

The Times initially described three attacks, based on a faulty police report. In fact there were only two attacks, the one on Austin Street, the other in the foyer. The Times later noted the discrepancy, but to this day three is the number generally cited in histories, adding to the impression that scores of people had the opportunity to watch Ms. Genovese’s murder for a sustained period of time.

The true number of eyewitnesses was not 38 but 6 or 7. To be sure, far more residents heard something, but the perceptions of eyewitnesses and earwitnesses alike were mostly fleeting and inchoate. Many of the witnesses claimed that they did not grasp what was happening; they thought it was a lovers’ quarrel or an argument spilling out of the Old Bailey bar on Austin Street. The Times insinuated that such excuses were disingenuous, but all those psychology studies spawned by the case suggest otherwise. It’s generally not stone-cold indifference that prevents people from pitching in during emergencies, psychologists now agree. It’s states of mind more familiar to most of us: confusion, fear, misapprehension, uncertainty.

A. M. Rosenthal, the young newly appointed metropolitan editor at the Times in 1964 who got the tip about the 38 witnesses and went on to edit the article, stood by it to the end. “In a story that gets a lot of attention, there’s always somebody who’s saying, ‘Well, that’s not really what it’s supposed to be,’” he told this writer in a 2004 interview. Rosenthal, who went on to publish a book about the case (Thirty-eight Witnesses) and later became the Times’s executive editor (and who died last May), dismissed criticisms as quibbles. “There may have been 38, there may have been 39, but the whole picture, as I saw it, was very affecting.”

Well, yes. And no doubt that picture gave shape to the free-floating end-of-innocence anxiety many Americans already felt in those strange days of the early 1960s, just months after President Kennedy’s assassination, as social mores shifted rapidly and New York’s murder rate suddenly shot off on a three-decade upward trajectory. Real good came of the story too. The 911 emergency phone system was launched in its aftermath. The understanding of human psychology was expanded. Consciences were pricked.

As to how affecting a more tempered, more accurate account would have been, we can only wonder. Certainly the much-maligned residents of Kew Gardens, most of whom quickly moved away after the murder, would have been treated more sympathetically. The caricature of New Yorkers as callous, self-centered creatures might have been milder as the city entered its dark days of the 1970s, and perhaps, in turn, New Yorkers would have behaved less callously. One of the key insights of post-Kitty psychology is that people tend to gauge their actions, moral or otherwise, on the actions of those around them. In Good Samaritan, “prosocial” environments—New York City in its heroic mode after the September 2001 attacks, for example—people are more likely to behave altruistically. The corollary of this is that Bad Samaritan environments tend to breed Bad Samaritans.

It’s a stretch to suggest that the Times article made people Bad Samaritans. At the very least, though, it’s a good bet many Americans glanced at their neighbors more suspiciously after March 27, 1964. That bespectacled man in 6F? The petite brunette in 3A? Would he, would she, stand idly by and watch me die?

Lost in the uproar was Kitty herself. She was never the story. What mattered was not how she lived but how she died. So it comes as a surprise to learn that she was a spirited young woman, funny and warm, hardly the victim-in-waiting that gazed from photographs. Right after her murder there were hints in the press that she traveled with a “fast crowd.” In fact, at the time of her death, she was living a quiet life in a committed romance with her Kew Gardens roommate, Mary Ann Zielonko. No newspaper would have mentioned Ms. Genovese’s sexuality at the time, on the grounds that it was taboo and immaterial. But her character, her likes and loves, speak to the complexity of flesh and blood behind those who have the good or bad fortune to become symbols.

Of course, complexity is not really the province of daily journalism. Even the best of it, the sort The New York Times has produced for many decades, is provisional and imperfect. It’s the job of history to add layers and nuance. One final irony, though: None of us would still be writing, or reading, about Kitty Genovese 42 years later if the Times had gotten the story right in the first place.


Kitty Genovese

Catherine Susan Genovese (July 7, 1935 – March 13, 1964), commonly known as Kitty Genovese, was a New York City woman who was stabbed to death near her home in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York on March 13, 1964. Genovese was buried in a family grave at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The circumstances of her murder and the supposed lack of reaction of numerous neighbors were reported by a newspaper article published two weeks later; the common portrayal of neighbors being fully aware, but completely nonresponsive has later been criticized as inaccurate. Nonetheless, it prompted investigation into the social psychological phenomenon that has become known as the bystander effect (seldom: "Genovese syndrome") and especially diffusion of responsibility.

Life

Born in New York City; the daughter of Rachel (née Petrolli) and Vincent Andronelle Genovese, she was the oldest of five children in a middle-class Italian American family and was raised in Brooklyn. After her mother witnessed a murder in the city, the family chose to move to Connecticut in 1954. Genovese, nineteen at the time and a recent graduate of Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn, chose to remain in the city, where she had lived for nine years. At the time of her death, she was working as a bar manager at Ev's 11th Hour Sports Bar on Jamaica Avenue in Hollis, Queens. It was revealed on the fortieth anniversary of her death in 2004 that Genovese was a lesbian who shared a Queens apartment with her girlfriend Mary Ann Zielonko.

Attack

Genovese had driven home in the late night of March 13, 1964. Arriving home at about 3:15 a.m. and parking about 100 feet (30 m) from her apartment's door, she was approached by Winston Moseley, an African-American business machine operator.

Moseley ran after her and quickly overtook her, stabbing her twice in the back. Genovese screamed, "Oh my God, he stabbed me! Help me!" It was heard by several neighbors, but on a cold night with the windows closed, only a few of them recognized the sound as a cry for help. When one of the neighbors shouted at the attacker, "Let that girl alone!", Moseley ran away and Genovese slowly made her way toward her own apartment around the end of the building. She was seriously injured, but now out of view of those few who may have had reason to believe she was in need of help.

Records of the earliest calls to police are unclear and were certainly not given a high priority by the police. One witness said his father called police after the initial attack and reported that a woman was "beat up, but got up and was staggering around."

Other witnesses observed Moseley enter his car and drive away, only to return ten minutes later. In his car, he changed his hat to a wide-rimmed one to shadow his face. He systematically searched the parking lot, train station, and small apartment complex, ultimately finding Genovese, who was lying, barely conscious, in a hallway at the back of the building, where a locked doorway had prevented her from entering the building.

Out of view of the street and of those who may have heard or seen any sign of the original attack, he proceeded to further attack her, stabbing her several more times. Knife wounds in her hands suggested that she attempted to defend herself from him. While she lay dying, he raped her. He stole about $49 from her and left her dying in the hallway. The attacks spanned approximately half an hour.

A few minutes after the final attack a witness, Karl Ross, called the police. Police and medical personnel arrived within minutes of Ross' call. Genovese was taken away by ambulance and died en route to the hospital. Later investigation by police and prosecutors revealed that approximately a dozen (but almost certainly not the 38 cited in the Times article) individuals nearby had heard or observed portions of the attack, though none could have seen or been aware of the entire incident.

Only one witness, Joseph Fink, was aware she was stabbed in the first attack, and only Karl Ross was aware of it in the second attack. Many were entirely unaware that an assault or homicide was in progress; some thought that what they saw or heard was a lovers' quarrel or a drunken brawl or a group of friends leaving the bar outside when Moseley first approached Genovese.

Perpetrator

Winston Moseley, an African-American business machine operator, was later apprehended in connection with burglary charges. He confessed not only to the murder of Kitty Genovese, but to two other murders, both involving sexual assaults. Subsequent psychiatric examinations suggested that Moseley was a necrophile. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

Moseley gave a confession to the police in which he detailed the attack, corroborating the physical evidence at the scene. His motive for the attack was simply "to kill a woman." Moseley stated that he got up that night around 2:00 a.m., leaving his wife asleep at home, and drove around to find a victim. He spied Genovese and followed her to the parking lot.

Moseley also testified at his own trial where he further described the attack, leaving no question that he was the killer.

The initial death sentence was reduced to an indeterminate sentence/lifetime imprisonment on June 1, 1967. The New York Court of Appeals found that Moseley should have been able to argue that he was "medically insane" at the sentencing hearing when the trial court found that he had been legally sane.

In 1968, during a trip to a Buffalo, New York hospital for surgery (precipitated by a soup can he placed in his own rectum as a pretext to leave prison), Moseley overpowered a guard and beat him up to the point that his eyes were bloody. He then took a bat and swung it at the closest person to him and took five hostages, raping one of them before he was recaptured after a two-day manhunt. He also participated in the later Attica Prison riots.

Moseley remains in prison after being denied parole a thirteenth time on March 11, 2008. A previous parole hearing included his defense that "For a victim outside, it's a one-time or one-hour or one-minute affair, but for the person who's caught, it's forever."

Public reaction

Many saw the story of Genovese's murder as an example of the callousness or apathy supposedly prevalent in New York City, urban United States, or humanity in general. Much of this framing of the event came in reaction to an investigative article in The New York Times written by Martin Gansberg and published on March 27, two weeks after the murder. The article bore the headline "Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police." The public view of the story crystallized around a quote from the article, from an unidentified neighbor who saw part of the attack but deliberated, before finally getting another neighbor to call the police, saying "I didn't want to get involved."

Harlan Ellison, in his book Harlan Ellison's Watching, referred to reports he claimed to have read that one man turned up his radio so that he would not hear Genovese's screams. Ellison says that a report he read attributed the "get involved" quote to nearly all of the thirty-eight who supposedly witnessed the attack. He later repeated the figure of "thirty-eight motherfuckers" when mentioning the case in his book The Other Glass Teat.

While Genovese's neighbors were vilified by the article, "Thirty-Eight onlookers who did nothing" is a misconception. The article begins:

"For more than half an hour thirty-eight respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens."

The lead is dramatic but factually inaccurate. None of the witnesses observed the attacks in their entirety. Because of the layout of the complex and the fact that the attacks took place in different locations, no witness saw the entire sequence of events. Most only heard portions of the incident without realizing its seriousness, a few saw only small portions of the initial assault, and no witnesses directly saw the final attack and attempted rape in an exterior hallway which resulted in Genovese's death. Additionally, after the initial attack punctured her lungs (leading to her eventual death from asphyxiation), it is unlikely that she was able to scream at any volume.

Nevertheless, media attention to the Genovese murder led to reform of the NYPD's telephone reporting system; the system in place at the time of the assault was often inefficient and directed individuals to the incorrect department. The melodramatic press coverage also led to serious investigation of the bystander effect by academic psychologists. In addition, some communities organized Neighborhood Watch programs and the equivalent for apartment buildings to aid people in distress.

Psychological research prompted by the murder

The lack of reaction of numerous neighbors watching the scene prompted research into diffusion of responsibility and the bystander effect. Social psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latané started this line of research, showing that contrary to common expectations, larger numbers of bystanders decrease the likelihood that someone will step forward and help a victim. The reasons include the fact that onlookers see that others are not helping either, that onlookers believe others will know better how to help, and that onlookers feel uncertain about helping while others are watching. The Kitty Genovese case thus became a classic feature of social psychology textbooks.

In September 2007, the American Psychologist published an examination of the factual basis of coverage of the Kitty Genovese murder in psychology textbooks. The three authors concluded that the story is more parable than fact, largely because of inaccurate newspaper coverage at the time of the incident.

According to the authors, "despite this absence of evidence, the story continues to inhabit our introductory social psychology textbooks (and thus the minds of future social psychologists)." One interpretation of the parable is that the drama and ease of teaching the exaggerated story makes it easier for professors to capture student attention and interest.

Aftermath

According to The New York Times, in an article dated December 28, 1974, ten years after the murder, 25-year-old Sandra Zahler was beaten to death early Christmas morning in an apartment of the building which overlooked the site of the Genovese attack. Neighbors again said they heard screams and "fierce struggles" but did nothing.

Moseley returned for another parole hearing Thursday, March 13, 2008, the 44th anniversary of Ms. Genovese's murder. It was denied. He will be eligible to go up for parole again in 2010. The previous week, Moseley had turned 72 years old, and has still shown little remorse for murdering Genovese.

Genovese's brother, Vincent, was unaware of the March 13 hearing until he was contacted by Daily News reporters. Vincent Genovese has reportedly never "recovered from the horror" of his sister's murder. "This brings back what happened to her", Vincent had said; "the whole family remembers".

In popular culture

  • In 1975, ABC broadcast the TV movie Death Scream based on the Kitty Genovese case.

  • In the 1986-1987 graphic novel Watchmen, Kitty Genovese is portrayed as having ordered a dress of a high tech fabric that contains black and white shifting, symmetrical shapes. Walter Kovacs, an unskilled garment worker who eventually becomes the vigilante known as Rorschach takes the dress home after she rejects the final product, finding it to be ugly. After reading the newspaper story of her death, Rorschach uses the fabric to make a mask as part of his costume and commences to fight crime, effectively making Genovese the catalyst that started his career as a vigilante. This subplot was not included in the "episode" focusing on Rorschach/Walter Kovacs in the 2009 film adaptation.

  • In the 1987 book Twilight Eyes by Dean R. Koontz, the Kitty Genovese murder is referenced as being the work of Goblins, the antagonists of the story.

  • Will Todd's The Screams of Kitty Genovese - 12 actor-singers and pit ensemble (1999)

  • In the opening of the film The Boondock Saints, the case is used as a thesis for the movie in the Catholic priest's sermon, in which he states, "And I am reminded on this Holy Day of the sad story of Kitty Genovese. As you all may remember, A long time ago, almost 30 years ago, this poor soul cried out for help, time and time a gain, but no person answered her calls. Though many saw, no one so much as called the police. They all just watched as Kitty was being stabbed to death in broad daylight. They watched as her assailant walked away. Now we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men."

  • Harlan Ellison has stated that his short story "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" was inspired by the Genovese murder.

  • The murder is referenced with irony in a Phil Ochs song about apathy, "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends".

  • Genovese is the inspiration for the album "Death Of Annie Malone" by British band Beneath The King.

  • Genovese's story is cited in the Latter-day Saint book The Miracle of Forgiveness as an example of committing a sin by failing to do something right, rather than actively doing something wrong. The bystanders who did nothing are compared to the Levite and priest who passed the injured Jew in Jesus' Parable of the Good Samaritan.

  • "The Scream on Fifty-seventh Street," a short story by Hortense Calisher, is an eerie, psychological study based on this tragic event.

  • The 1996 episode of Law & Order entitled "Remand" is based on the case.

  • In the Spike Lee movie Summer of Sam, the main characters briefly mention the Kitty Genovese murder after talking about the S.O.S. murders sweeping the city.

  • In the first part of the BBC radio series, Case Studies, broadcast 7 May, 2008, psychologist Claudia Hammond re-investigated the case with regard to studies into the bystander effect.

  • In Nip/Tuck Season 2 episode 7 titled "Naomi Gaines" a fake appointment is made under the name Kitty Genovese referencing the fact she was a victim.

  • Dorothy Uhnak's 1985 novel Victims was based on the Genovese murder.

  • The November 1965 episode of Perry Mason, entitled "The Case of the Silent Six", starts with an assault that is ignored by six neighbors.

Wikipedia.org


Moseley, Winston

(1935- )

SEX: M RACE: B TYPE: T MOTIVE: PC-nonspecific

DATE(S): 1963-64

VENUE: Queens, N.Y.

VICTIMS: Three confessed

MO: Thrill-killer of females age 15-29.

DISPOSITION: Condemned on one count, 1964 (commuted to life, 1972).

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans

 

 

 
 
 
 
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