Man Who Murdered Kitty Genovese in 1964 Dies in Prison
Winston Moseley, the man who murdered Kitty Genovese on the night of March 13, 1964, has died in prison at the age of 81. Moseley, a necrophiliac and serial killer, passed away in Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, on Monday. He was originally supposed to die via electric chair, the New York Times reports, but when New York state abolished the death penalty in 1965, he was sentenced to an indefinite life term.
If you’ve ever taken a psychology class, or were alive in 1964, you’ll undoubtedly know who Kitty Genovese is. But just as a reminder, we’ll bring you up to speed. Genovese’s murder was one of the most talked about crimes in the 20th century and helped coined the term the “bystander effect.” Late one evening, Genovese was walking to her home in Kew Gardens, Queens, when a man by the name of Winston Moseley attacked her. According to a New York Times article published two weeks after the incident, several of Genovese’s neighbors who heard or saw the crime taking place did not call the police or attempt to help her. Moseley stabbed Genovese 14 times, leaving and returning to the scene whenever a neighbor’s lights would turn on and off. When Moseley returned the final time, he raped and then killed her. This left researchers and psychologists wondering, “Why?” According to the report, one witness said they “didn’t want to get involved.” Physiologists then discovered that when in a group setting, people will often “diffuse responsibility,” which basically means that someone will think someone else will call for help or do something. This is known as the bystander effect. Moseley admitted to killing Genovese and many other women over the years. He even escaped prison in 1968 while on a hospital visit. His parole hearings were denied 18 times, the last of which being in 2015.
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