Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Kitty Genovese murder and the bystander effect

On June 11, 1964, the defense and prosecution summed up the case of William Moseley in the murder of Kitty Genovese, trying to get the 11-man, one-woman jury to accept Moseley’s plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Moseley had repeatedly attacked Genovese, even as she cried out for help to her neighbors, as if he knew they would never respond.

Today in Crime History: Trial Wraps Up in Kitty Genovese Murder

After three days of testimony, the prosecution and defense gave their closing statements in the trial of Winston Moseley, accused of killing Kitty Genovese outside her Queens apartment building. Dozens of neighbors heard Kitty’s screams as she was being stabbed to death, but nobody took action, assuming someone else had already alerted authorities.

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