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1960s / Kitty Genovese murder 1964
It was one of the most infamous murders in American history--not for the murder itself, but for the apparent apathy of people who presumably could have intervened to stop it. Twenty-eight year-old Kitty Genovese was returning home from her job as manager of a Hollis, New York sports bar in the early hours of March 13, 1964. She parked her red Fiat about 100 yards from her Queens, New York apartment building. Winston Moseley, a black man with no criminal record who later stated he just wanted to kill a woman, chased Genovese for a short distance, caught her, and began stabbing her repeatedly with a knife. Genovese screamed for help. One neighbor shouted, 'Leave that girl alone!' Moseley initially left the crime scene. Genovese, seriously wounded, crawled to her apartment building, but Moseley returned ten minutes later, stabbed her several more times, and sexually assaulted her. The brutal ordeal lasted for about 30 minutes. Only after Moseley left did anyone summon the police. Genovese was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Two weeks after she died, a scathing New York Times story (from which this photo was taken) claimed that 38 people saw or heard the assault but did nothing. Subsequent investigations into the crime claim that number was greatly exaggerated, but no fewer than 12 people probably had the opportunity to call police. One neighborhood resident preferred to drown out Genovese's screams by turning up the volume on his radio. Another, a recent immigrant from France, said she was reluctant to call the police because her English was not very good. The phrase, 'I don't want to get involved,' became synonymous with the case. Moseley was eventually caught and confessed to Genovese's murder and two others. He was originally sentenced to death, but his sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment. He once told a parole board that he had written the Genovese family a letter to apologize for the 'inconvenience' of having killed Kitty. In one interview with a parole board, Moseley tried to portray himself as the 'real victim' because he was being punished for decades while Kitty's ordeal was relatively short! Moseley's 13th attempt at obtaining parole was denied in March 2008.