The murder of Kitty Genovese, 50 years later — is 38 witnesses story a myth?

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Kitty Genovese

NEW YORK (PIX11) — Is it urban myth or horrific fact?  For decades we have been riveted by the story of a young woman’s murder in Kew Gardens, Queens.

It was 50 years ago next Thursday that Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death and raped by a psychopath named Winston Mosely. It was a murder that shocked the entire city. That turned to outrage when the New York Times ran a story days later that as many as 38 people witnessed murder or heard the woman’s bone-chilling screams for help—and did nothing. Today, the case of Kitty Genovense is taught in sociology and psychology classes through the world.

There are two books that delve into the murder and purported apathy of neighbors.  One by Kevin Cook: — ‘Kitty Genovese—The murder, the bystanders, the crime that changed America’ contends the story of apathetic onlookers has been exaggerated.  The other book:  ‘Kitty Genovese–a true account of a public murder and its crivate consequences” follows seven years of research by Catherine Pelonero.