Murder of Kitty Genovese

Murder of Kitty Genovese
Date March 13, 1964 (1964-03-13)
Location Kew Gardens, Queens, New York City, New York, US
Type Homicide
Burial March 16, 1964 (1964-03-16)
Lakeview Cemetery
New Canaan, Connecticut, US [1]
Convicted Winston Moseley
Trial June 8–11, 1964 (1964-06-08 – 1964-06-11)
Verdict Guilty
Convictions Murder
Sentence Death (reduced to life imprisonment)

In the early hours of March 13, 1964, 28-year-old American bar manager Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death outside her apartment building in Kew Gardens, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. [2]

Winston Moseley, [3] a 28-year-old Manhattan native, was arrested during a house burglary six days later and, while in custody, confessed to killing her. At his trial, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death; this sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment. Moseley died in prison on March 28, 2016, at the age of 81, having served 52 years.

Two weeks after printing a short article on the attack, The New York Times published a longer report that conveyed a scene of indifference from neighbors who failed to come to Genovese's aid, claiming that 38 witnesses saw or heard the attack, but none of them called the police. The incident prompted inquiries into what became known as the bystander effect or "Genovese syndrome". [4]

However, researchers have questioned this version of events. In 2015, Genovese's younger brother, Bill, said that the police were, indeed, summoned twice, but did not respond, because they believed it was a domestic dispute and blamed The New York Times for faulty reporting. [5] After Moseley's death in 2016, The New York Times called its own reporting "flawed", stating the original story "grossly exaggerated the number of witnesses and what they had perceived". [3]

Kitty Genovese

Kitty Genovese
Born Catherine Susan Genovese
(1935-07-07)July 7, 1935
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, US [6]
Died March 13, 1964(1964-03-13) (aged 28)
Kew Gardens, Queens, New York City, New York, US [7]
Cause of death Asphyxiation from stab to lung [8]
Resting place Lakeview Cemetery
New Canaan, Connecticut, US
Occupation Bar manager

Catherine Susan "Kitty" Genovese (July 7, 1935 [6] – March 13, 1964) was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the eldest of five children of Italian American parents Rachel ( née Giordano) and Vincent Andronelle Genovese. [9] [10] She was raised Catholic, living in a brownstone home at 29 St. Johns Place in Park Slope, a western Brooklyn neighborhood populated mainly by families of Italian heritage. In her teenage years, she attended the all-girl Prospect Heights High School, where she was recalled as being "self-assured beyond her years" and having a "sunny disposition". [11] After her mother witnessed a murder, her family moved to New Canaan, Connecticut in 1954, while Genovese, who had recently graduated from high school, remained in Brooklyn with her grandparents to prepare for her upcoming marriage. Later that year, the couple wed, but the marriage was annulled near the end of 1954. [11]

After moving into an apartment in Brooklyn, Genovese worked in clerical jobs, which she found unappealing. By the late 1950s, she had accepted a job as a bartender; at the time of her murder, she was working as a bar manager at Ev's Eleventh Hour Bar on Jamaica Avenue and 193rd Street in Hollis, Queens. She shared her Kew Gardens apartment at 82–70 Austin Street with her girlfriend Mary Ann Zielonko whom she met in 1963. [12] [13]