It was just after 3 a.m.
A red Fiat rolled slowly through the darkness into a parking space adjacent to the Long
Island Rail Road station in Kew Gardens. The young woman behind the wheel emerged from the car and locked it. She began the
100-foot walk toward her apartment house at 82-70 Austin St.
But then she spotted a man standing along her route. Apparently afraid, she changed direction
and headed toward the intersection of Austin and Lefferts Boulevard -- where there was a police call box.
Suddenly, the man overtook her and grabbed her. She screamed. Residents of nearby apartment
houses turned on their lights and threw open their windows. The woman screamed again: ``Oh, my God, he stabbed me! Please
A man in a window shouted: ``Let that girl alone.'' The attacker walked away. Apartment lights
went out and windows slammed shut. The victim toward her apartment. But the attacker returned and stabbed her again.
``I'm dying!'' she cried.
Windows opened again. The attacker entered a car and drove away. Windows closed, but the attacker
soon came back again. His victim had crawled inside the front door of an apartment house at 82-62 Austin St. He found her
sprawled on the floor and stabbed her still again. This time he killed her.
It was not until 3:50 that morning -- March 13, 1964 -- that a neighbor of the victim called
police. Officers arrived two minutes later and found the body. They identified
the victim as Catherine Genovese, 28, who had been returning from her job as manager of a bar in Hollis. Neighbors knew her
not as Catherine but as Kitty.
Kitty Genovese: It was a name that would become symbolic in the public
mind for a dark side of the national character.
It would stand for Americans
/all citizens of
who were too
or too frightened
or too alienated
or too self-absorbed
to ``get involved''
in helping a fellow human
being in dire trouble.
A term ``the Genovese syndrome''
would be coined to describe the attitude.