this day in crime history: march 13, 1964


On this date in 1964, 28 year old Catherine “Kitty” Genovese was murdered outside her apartment building in Queens, NY. Her killer, 29 year old Winston Moseley, stabbed her twice, but fled the scene when he thought he had been seen by one of Genovese’s neighbors. He returned a short while later to find Genovese on the ground at the back of her building. He then raped her, stabbed her several more times, and robbed her of $49.

Two weeks later, an article in the New York Times told the story of how as many as thirty-eight of Genovese’s neighbors had heard her scream, but had made no effort to assist her or call the police. The story ignited a national controversy about the apparent callousness of people living in large cities. The details of the Times report are still disputed to this day. Many of the people living in the neighborhood at the time stated that they could not hear the attack, and those that did hear something weren’t certain what was actually happening.

Winston Moseley was arrested six days after the murder. He was tried and convicted of the crime. He was originally sentenced to death, but the NY Court of Appeals overturned the sentence and reduced it to 20 years to life. Moseley, who is now 81 years old, is currently incarcerated at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY. He is scheduled for a parole hearing in November 2017.

Further reading:

“Thirty-Eight Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police” (Original New York Times Article)

Wikipedia – Murder of Kitty Genovese

New York Times – “Reviving Kitty Genovese Case, and Its Passions”


10 thoughts on “this day in crime history: march 13, 1964

  1. I remember several television shows such as Perry Mason and The Defenders doing episodes about people witnessing or hearing crimes and not getting involved. Today, there seems to be a growing chorus in some places about “don’t be a snitch”. This is a problem what probably won’t go away soon. And like the previous post, I hope this creep stays behind bars.


    • There was also a TV movie called Death Scream that starred Raul Julia as a detective investigating a similar case. The cast was filled with a whole slew of well known TV actors.


  2. John D.:
    I agree that he should stay in the hoosegow.
    (death by old age is STILL a “death sentence”.)

    This is one of the most despicable acts upon a person who (apparently) was just minding her own business and bothering no one.
    Moseley us one of those savage beasts that need to be kept away from the public.
    Good story.

    Stay safe.


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