Kitty Genovese


All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”

Catherine Susan “Kitty” Genovese (July 7, 1935 – March 13, 1964) was 28 years old when she was stabbed to death near home in Queens, New York on March 13, 1964.  Her story is not directly related to domestic violence. But it is a low point in American history that reminds us why ‘Everyday Heroes’ are needed.

In the few moments it took Kitty to walk from her parked car towards towards her apartment door Winston Moseley attacked her.  He stabbed her and she cried out for help.  The he raped her as she lay dying from her stab wounds. His last offense towards her was stealing the cash out of her wallet before fleeing the scene.

Neighbors heard her cries for help but no one came to her rescue. Later some told the police they assumed the commotion was a lover’s quarrel and not their place to get involved.  Even if it had been a case of domestic violence, her life could have been saved if someone had responded sooner.  This is a good example, and by ‘good’ I mean ‘terrible’ of when people remain bystanders while innocent people are hurt. When my abuser attacked me I screamed for help and no one came to my rescue either – although I know they heard my cries through the thin condo walls.

Later, Winston Moseley was charged, found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison but not before he could hurt and rape more victims. He could have been behind bars much sooner with less victims if only someone had the courage to stand up for Kitty instead of blocking out her cries.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Evil may have triumphed that day but Kitty’s memory is still honored. In fact, it has sparked a movement of people who choose to go the extra step and proactively seek to prevent crime.  On March 13, 2012 The Rain City Superheroes will dedicate their evening crime patrol on the streets of Seattle to the memory of Kitty Genovese.

It does not matter if you are a Real Life Superhero, a business man, or a single mom – anyone can be an Everyday Hero.  Step up by speaking out, responding to, and reporting crime.

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