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View Full Version : The Kitty Genovese Case: An Intersection of Crime, Psychology, and Misinformation



bijou
03-26-2012, 01:04 PM
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I want to thank Bob Somerby for inspiring me to do more research into this crime that I remember so vividly from my teenage years. Somerby included the following comment in a recent post about “Ceci Connollyism.” (http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh072509.shtml)

It was all completely different back then: In the Wikipedia account, note how the high-profile Genovese case was driven along by “factually inaccurate,” “melodramatic” New York Times reporting.
Apologies in advance for the length of this post. I simply couldn’t help myself, and I hope some of you will enjoy it.
A Murder in Kew Gardens
On March 13, 1964, at around 3:30AM, there was a murder in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York. The murder probably wouldn’t have gotten much publicity at all if it hadn’t been for a sensational article that appeared on the front page of The New York Times, a couple of weeks later. The Times story led to groundbreaking research in social psychology and the discovery of new and counter-intuitive information about human behavior.
It was very late, very cold, and very dark when 28-year-old Catherine “Kitty” Genovese parked her car at the Kew Gardens train station after driving from Ev’s Eleventh Hour Bar in Hollis, where she worked nights as manager. When she got out of her car, she saw a stranger walking toward her. The man, Winston Mosley, 29, stabbed Genovese two times as she hurried past a bookstore on Austin Street, pehaps headed a local bar named Bailey’s to seek assistance. She called out, “Oh my God. He stabbed me. Please help me,” and fell to the ground. Winston was leaning over her to stab her again, when he heard a man’s voice calling from a window in an apartment building across the street, “Leave that girl alone!” ...

http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/a-fascinating-intersection-of-true-crime-psychology-and-media-misinformation/

It's an interesting read. I'd only ever heard the media version.

Starbuck
03-26-2012, 01:39 PM
..............It's an interesting read. I'd only ever heard the media version.

And today most people will only hear the media version of how a little black boy was followed and murdered by a white man. I have read in the newspapers how preachers have taken to the pulpit en masse to protest this murder, and a great many people have taken to wearing hoodies in support of this child.

I certainly would not want to do without our American freedom of the press, but sometimes it is a pain in the ass.

Elspeth
03-26-2012, 02:23 PM
And today most people will only hear the media version of how a little black boy was followed and murdered by a white man. I have read in the newspapers how preachers have taken to the pulpit en masse to protest this murder, and a great many people have taken to wearing hoodies in support of this child.

I certainly would not want to do without our American freedom of the press, but sometimes it is a pain in the ass.

It reminds me of what my friend's 8-year-old just learned about Rosa Parks. She was just a poor cleaning lady who was tired after a long day and wanted a seat on the bus. What my friend didn't know is that Rosa was an officer in the local NAACP and an activist.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks
At the time of her action, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for workers' rights and racial equality.

noonwitch
03-26-2012, 03:50 PM
Whatever the reality of the Kitty Genovese situation was, I vowed a long time ago not to turn my head to those types of situations. So, I'm the cranky lady who smokes on her porch and yells at the neighborhood kids when they are fighting, I pull over when I see someone lying by the side of the road and help them and I even tried to help a "ho" after I witnessed a man beating her in a gas station parking lot.

So, even if the story as told isn't the whole truth, it did inspire me from the time I was young not to look the other way when someone is suffering. That's a major challenge in a big city.


As far as Rosa Parks goes, she was both an officer in her local NAACP and a domestic worker. She still paid the same amount of bus fare as the white men who expected her to give up her seat for them. She was right to not take any more of that crap.

Odysseus
03-26-2012, 04:10 PM
It reminds me of what my friend's 8-year-old just learned about Rosa Parks. She was just a poor cleaning lady who was tired after a long day and wanted a seat on the bus. What my friend didn't know is that Rosa was an officer in the local NAACP and an activist.

Or ever heard of Claudette Colvin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudette_Colvin)?