Kitty Genovese

Topics: Bystander effect, Kitty Genovese, Diffusion of responsibility Pages: 4 (1549 words) Published: January 21, 2011
Jihyun Yun
ENG 101. 0795
Professor Kevin Lerner
May 29, 2007
Research paper
Selfish City’s Life
Kitty Genovese was an ordinary woman. One day, she was going home in the early morning. When she arrived in her neighborhood at about 3:15 a.m. and parked her car about 100 feet from her apartment's door, she was attacked by someone. She screamed out. Even though her screams were heard by several neighbors, nobody helped her. She was seriously injured, but the witnesses did not believe she was in need of help. There were several people that heard her screams but nobody went out to help her. Kitty Genovese's murder is a dilemma. If human beings are basically benevolent, why did thirty eight ordinary people do nothing when they heard Genovese's cries for help? Her murder case involved deeply rooted psychological and sociological issues This incident shows that human behavior can get affected by the rough environment in big cities. Kitty Genovese was born in New York City. Her real name was Catherine Susan Genovese. She was 28 years old. Kitty Genovese was the oldest of five children in a middle class Italian American family and was raised in Brooklyn. In the 1940’s Catherine’s father, Vincent A. Genovese, started his own business of supplying coats and aprons to local businesses. It was called the Bay Ridge Coat and Apron Supply Company. It looks like she had a good family. As her father described, Catherine was an attractive, outgoing woman who liked Latin American music and loved to dance. She was also interested in history and politics and in debating on many issues. He remembered that she loved to talk politics and knew a great deal about what was going on (Gado Chapter 2). In 1963, she had moved to Queens. She rented an apartment located on the second floor of a commercial building on Austin Street in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, a peaceful, mostly residential area. She had a roommate that shared her space with a girlfriend, Mary Ann...
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