The Kitty Genovese case revisited

GalloStatement from Marcia Gallo on April 5, 2016 – “The death of Kitty Genovese killer Winston Moseley this past weekend provides another opportunity to rethink the many myths of thestory.

Winston Moseley’s recent death means that the story of Kitty Genovese is in the news again. But which version?  While the New York Times story of ’38 Witnesses’ has been widely discounted, too many other versions still eliminate Genovese’s vibrant life, including her lesbian relationships, and repeat the myth of uncaring neighbors. Rarely is it mentioned that Moseley was quickly captured because neighbors in another Queens neighborhood saw him robbing a house and contacted police.”

In No One Helped, Marcia M. Gallo explores the intricacies of Genovese’s life and death and the media frenzy that surrounded the latter, revealing that the case was much more complicated than can be understood through simple allusion to “the bystander effect.” No One Helped is a finalist for the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Non-fiction given by the Publishing Triangle and for the Lambda Literary Award (LGBT Nonfiction category).

In No One Helped, Gallo writes: “In all of the accounts that have followed in the story’s wake, what has rarely been noted is that there is only one actual eyewitness to Genovese’s death. That person is her killer, Winston Moseley. It was his confession
to Queens police that provided the singular account of the case. His crime
brought him notoriety and a life spent in prison; it also placed him, and Kitty Genovese, in a triangulated relationship with one of the most powerful men in New York City and arguably the world, A. M. Rosenthal, who would go on to become executive editor of the Times. It was Rosenthal who made ‘the manner of her dying’ into a morality tale despite the complex circumstances surrounding it.”

The Kitty Genovese case revisited