March 13, 1964 – Kitty Genovese

Kitty Genovese drove home from work at 2:30 a.m. on March 13, 1964. She stopped at a traffic signal at Hoover Avenue and waited for the light to turn green. Winston Moseley, 29, sat in his parked car near the intersection. When the light turned, he followed Genovese to her apartment and parked his white Corvair around the corner.

Genovese parked approximately 100 feet from the entrance to her apartment and began to walk toward the building. Moseley followed her. He was carrying a long hunting knife. Genovese saw him and ran toward the building’s entrance. Moseley caught her as she ran and stabbed her twice in the back. Genovese screamed for help. Building residents heard the screams, but most did not react. Neighbor Joseph Fink witnessed the attack but did not call the police. Building resident Karl Ross saw Moseley stabbing Genovese outside his apartment. Instead of alerting police, Ross called a friend who advised him not to get involved.

Following the attack, Moseley fled the scene but returned 10 minutes later. Genovese had staggered to her feet and managed to enter the building but had not reached her apartment. Moseley found her barely conscious in the hallway. He stabbed her several more times, raped her, and stole $49 from her purse. Genovese’s neighbor and friend Sophia Farrar, 70, discovered Genovese moments after Moseley fled the scene of the second attack. Farrar held Genovese and screamed for help. Genovese died in her arms.

Arrested later for burglary, Moseley confessed to the killing and spent the rest of his life in prison. Genovese’s murder ultimately led to the creation of the first 911 system in New York City.

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