Kitty Genovese

Kitty Genovese

A True Account of A Public Murder and Its Private Consequences

Book - 2014
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A New York Times bestseller!

Written in a flowing narrative style, Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequences presents the story of the horrific and infamous murder of Kitty Genovese, a young woman stalked and stabbed on the street where she lived in Queens, New York in 1964. The case sparked national outrage when the New York Times revealed that dozens of witnesses had seen or heard the attacks on Kitty Genovese and her struggle to reach safety but had failed to come to her aid--or even call police until after the killer had fled.

This book cuts through misinformation and conjecture to present a definitive portrait of the crime, the aftermath, and the people. Based on six years of research, Catherine Pelonero's book presents the facts from the police reports, archival material, court documents, and first-hand interviews. Pelonero offers a personal look at Kitty Genovese, an ambitious young woman viciously struck down in the prime of her life; Winston Moseley, the killer who led a double life as a responsible family man by day and a deadly predator by night; the consequences for a community condemned; and others touched by the tragedy.

Beyond just a true crime story, the book embodies much larger themes: the phenomenon of bystander inaction, the evolution of a serial killer, and the fears and injustices spawned by the stark prejudices of an era, many of which linger to this day.
Publisher: New York : Skyhorse Pub., c2014
ISBN: 9781628737066
Branch Call Number: HV6534.N5 P454 2014x
Characteristics: ix, 352 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm


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Oct 25, 2014

This is a riveting, lacerating account of a terrible crime, the March 13, 1964 murder of Catherine "Kitty" Genovese, and the witnesses--as many, investigating detectives and reporters of the day determined, as 38 but possibly more--who heard and/or saw some part of the prolonged and vicious attack but did nothing--even simply picking up the phone to call the police--to help the victim.

The revelation of the collective inaction of the residents of Kew Garden--a phenomenon now known as the Bystander Syndrome--appalled and outraged people around the world. The story of a lone young woman murdered on her own street, steps away from home and safety, and the neighbors who heard her screams and pleas for help and might have saved her but "did not want to get involved," just would not go away, becoming a social shorthand for urban violence and public apathy.

The narrative style author Catherine Pelonero employs as she recreates the horrific crime and its lingering aftermath, makes for a compelling "you are there" read. I could not put this book down, it was that gripping.

Included here are the accounts of the law enforcement officials (increasingly disturbed and ultimately disgusted by the defensive and uncooperative behavior of the people of Kew Gardens); the recollections of Sidney Sparrow, defense attorney for the rapist-killer, Winston Moseley (convinced of Moseley's guilt but determined to keep him from the electric chair); and the remarks also of Moseley's troubled parents and bewildered wife whose recollections--almost--almost make us feel for the sad, strange enigma that was the depraved Winston Moseley.

Most importantly, we hear from surviving coworkers and friends who spoke on record to Pelonero, bringing back to life the young and vibrant Kitty they knew, and Kitty's partner, the shy and self-effacing Mary Ann Zielonko, who for years carried in silence her grief at the sudden violent loss of the woman who was, as Pelonero movingly describes it, the great love of her youth.
Fifty years on there are many, many articles, books and other materials about the murder of Kitty Genovese and the whys and wherefores of the 38 witnesses who failed her.

This is the definitive account.


This book is far far superior to the Cook one, both having come out around the same time. This book is heavy on detail, but can be rather repetitve. Lots of background on the killer ( job, childhood, other crimes, marriages ) and victims, The Cook book is a light overview leaving out much. This is the book to read if you want to know all.


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Oct 25, 2014

mswrite thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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