Was Kitty Genovese’s Killing Really Ignored By 38?


One of the most infamous crimes in modern U.S. history took place nearly 40 years ago when Catherine (Kitty) Genovese, 28, was killed in a section of New York City’s Queens borough known as Kew Gardens. Supposedly, as Ms. Genovese screamed – “Please help me! Please help me!” on March 13, 1964, 38 witnesses did nothing to intervene, one of them saying, “I didn’t want to get involved.”

The New York Times quotes Joseph De May, a local lawyer who has studied the case. His argument, made www.oldkewgardens.com, makes several claims. One is that most of the 38 so-called witnesses did not see any part of the actual killing; and that what most of them did see, or hear, was fleeting and vague.

Another is that were two attacks on Kitty Genovese, not three, as The Times initially reported. Since the extra attack was supposed to have occurred in full view of surrounding windows, it added to an impression of callous disregard by neighbors.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/08/nyregion/thecity/08feat.html

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