I think I've located the dumbest and/or sickest person in the world

In 1964, Kitty Genovese was stabbed do death in New York. Her murderer, one Winston Moseley, was arrested and confessed to the Genovese murder and two others. All three murders involved rape. When asked of his motives, he replied “to kill a woman”. Unsurprisingly, he was jailed.

He’s still in there. In 1968, he managed to escape briefly and used his temporary freedom to rape a woman in front of her husband. He was recaptured (apologizing to the couple for the “inconvenience” he had caused them), and after almost 42 years in prison, he had his twelfth parole hearing this February.

His defense?

Wait for it.

“For a victim outside, it’s a one-time or one-hour or one-minute affair, but for the person who’s caught, it’s forever.”

Words fail.

He obviously just doesn’t get it. He should, therefore, remain in jail.

“Doesn’t get it” doesn’t cover it. He doesn’t even get that there is something to get.

What disgusts me about the murder almost as much as his behavior is the behavior of the three dozen witnesses who listened to her scream and beg for help for a half hour without ever lifting a hand to dial 911. More recently, there was a case (sorry, can’t remember her name) about a black girl who caused a fender bender on a bridge and was chased down by the driver for it, only to be beaten savagely in full view of about fifty cars. She even escaped from his clutches twice and banged on car doors for help, but no one helped her, and he eventually beat her so hard that she fell off the edge and into the water. It was only THEN that anybody called 911, despite the fact that the attack was nearly twenty minutes in length.

And the saddest thing of all IMHO? The people who stood by and watched weren’t evil people. They were average people.

*The girl on the bridge died. (I wish there was an edit button!)

That’s not entirely true. That aspect of the murder has been blown out of all proportion. Read the Wikipedia article I linked to.

Not that the actual behaviour of the witnesses wasn’t chilling; it just wasn’t anywhere near the public perception of it.

It’s not chilling. In fact that’s the expected behavior of any group like that.

That doesn’t make it any less chilling.

If anything, it makes it more chilling. I’d rather think there were evil people who would leave a girl to die than that everyone would leave a girl to die.

<<That’s not entirely true. That aspect of the murder has been blown out of all proportion. Read the Wikipedia article I linked to.

Not that the actual behaviour of the witnesses wasn’t chilling; it just wasn’t anywhere near the public perception of it.>>

It’s debated, and it depends on which researcher you ask. In upper-echelon psychology classes, the evidence presented favors the thirty-eight people’s ambivalence. The video they showed us has the testimony of a few different witnesses who said they heard the screams but were afraid to act and that the vast number of open, but unaiding windows in the area influenced them to not act because they were taking cues from the behavior of others. The idea that thirty-eight people fully recognized that a woman was being murdered may be exaggerated, but dozens of people did open their windows upon hearing the cries, and several admitted to their and others’ ignorance (ignoring?) of them.

Another element is that it was a man and a woman. The gender of the participants has a HUGE effect on whether people intervene. Many, many studies repeatedly show that if a man and woman are depicted in a violent physical fight, bystanders are FAR less likely to intervene than if it was two women or two men, because they are assumed to be “quarrelling lovers.”

To be fair, they didn’t have 911 back then. They would have had to look up the number of the police department and dial all seven numbers.

The statement quoted in the OP is appalling beyond words.

On the other hand, this is the first I knew that Kitty Genovese was a lesbian. (I suppose because it was really irrelevant to the case and not something they’re going to bring up in your early 1980s high school sociology course.)

<<To be fair, they didn’t have 911 back then. They would have had to look up the number of the police department and dial all seven numbers.>>

Or they could have dialed 0 and asked the operator for the police, I believe? I wasn’t alive then, but I’ve seen it done in TV shows in that era. “Operator! Give me the police!”

Here’s a fairly thorough account I read a few years ago about the case.

http://www.oldkewgardens.com/kitty_genovese-001.html

Let’s hope so.

I can see you haven’t posted much, but there’s a quote function that’s quite preferred here. There’s a button for it in the editor, or in the body of the message you can type


[ quote=Priceguy ]That's not entirely true. That aspect of the murder has been blown out of all proportion. Read the Wikipedia article I linked to.

Not that the actual behaviour of the witnesses wasn't chilling; it just wasn't anywhere near the public perception of it.[ /quote ]

without the spaces inside the brackets.

I suppose in 1964 not everyone would actually have a phone in the house.

fluffyemu
I believe bluethree’s posting about having to dial all 7 numbers was said in an extremely sarcastic manner.
And since you are relatively new here, that is something we would call a “woosh”. (There are many definitions of that SDMB term but in this case it means taking a sarcastic remark seriously).
I’ve been “wooshed” myself - we all have. As time passes, you will learn all the intricacies of the SDMB - 1920’s style death rays, Hi Opal and so on.
Such is the Straight Dope Message Board.
Sorry for hijacking the topic but it was a story that had to be told.
Okay everyone, as you were.
And welcome to the SDMB fluffyemu. :slight_smile:

And it looks like you have been wooshed again, because 9-1-1 wasn’t used as an emergency number until 1968.

Absolutely no remorse. There aren’t even words to describe how angry that makes me. It is MUCH more than a minute or an hour for any victim and that doesn’t even begin to describe the horror and pain it brings to others around her.

Wow… criminals like that shouldn’t get the chance to be free from prison.