Topic: 37 “Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police

Topic: 37 “Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police

Order Description

1)Essay will Include a bit of secondary source research without being a major research paper project
2) Doing secondary source research will mean making judgement about creditable source material.
3)) Adding source in addition to the essays in our anthology will mean that you will need to use resource like handbook to apply rules for MLA style documentation.
4)As always, a mojor part of the pre-writing for this assignment will be careful reading and analysis of the essay that sets up the writing prompt.

Martin Gangsberg, ” Who Saw Murder Didn’t call the Police”

In the years since the troubling event reported by Gangberg, Psychologist have studied this case and many other related case. What have they learned about the phenomenon commonly referred to as “the bystander effect”

Scoring Rubric For the Documented assay
1) has a well-developed introductory paragraph with strong hook, which gets the reader’s attention and dras the reader into essay;
2) is very tightly controlled by the thesis without being formulaic;
3)has fully-developed body paragraphs with major and minor details that are very informative and/or give strong sensory images;
4)has an effective organizational pattern and smooth transition;
5)has sentences that are varied in structure and free of errors;
6)conforms to the MLA formatting guidelines for heading, titles, margins, and spacing;
has correctly formatted parenthetical citations;
8)has a correctly formatted works cited page.
9)no plagiarism


37″Who Saw Murder Didn’t call The Police”

For more than half an hour 38 respectable, law-abiding cit­izens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens.

Twice the sound of their voices and the sudden glow of their bedroom Iights interrupted him and frightened him off. Each time he returned, sought her out and stabbed her again. Not one person telephoned – the po­lice during the assault; one wit­ness called after the woman was dead.

That was two weeks ago to day. But Assistant Chief In­spector Frederick M. Lussen, in charge of the borough’s detec­tives and a veteran of 25 years of homicide investigations, is still shocked.

He can give a matter-of-fact recitation of many murders. But the Kew Gardens slaying baffles him-not because it is a murder, but because the “good people” failed to call the police.

“As we have reconstructed the crime,” he said, “the assail­ant had three chances to kill this woman during a 35-minute period. He returned twice to complete the job. If we had been called when he first at­tacked, the woman might not be dead now.”

This is what the police say happened beginnang at 3:20 A.M. in the staid, middle-cIass, tree-lined Austin Street area:

Twenty-eight-year-o1d Cath­erine Genovese, who was called Kitty by almost everyone in the neighborhood, was returning

She turned off the lights of her car, locked the door and started to walk the 100 feet to the entrance of her apartment at 82-70 Austin Street, which is in a Tudor building, with stores on the first floor and apartments on the second.

The entrance to the apart­ment is in the rear of the build- ing because the front is rented to retail stores. At night the quiet neighborhood is shrouded in the slumbering darkness that marks most residential areas.

Miss Genovese noticed a man at the far end of the lot, near a seven-story apartment house at 82-40 Austin Street. She halted. Then, nervously, she headed up Austin Street to­ward Lefferts Boulevard, where there is a call box to the 102d police Precinct in nearby Rich­mond Hill.

‘He Stabbed Me!’

She got as far as a street light in front of a bookstore before the man grabbed her. she screamed. Lights went on in the 10-story apartment house at 82-67. Austin Street, which faces the bookstore. Windows slid open and voices punctured the early-morning stillness.

Miss Genovese screamed: oh, my God, he stabbed me! Please help me! Please help me !”

From one of the upper win­down in the apartment house, a man called down: “Let that girl alone !”

The assailant looked up at him, shrugged and walked down Austin Street toward a white sedan parked a short distance away. Miss Genovese struggled to her feet.

Lights went out. The killer returned to Miss Genovese, now trying to make her way around the side of the building by the parking lot to get to her apart­ment. The assailant stabbed her again.

“I’m dying!” she shrieked. “I’m dying!” She shrieked. “I’m dying!”

A City Bus Passed

Windows were opened again, and lights went on in many apartments. The assailant got into his car and drove away. Miss Genovese staggered to her feet. A city bus, Q-10, the Lef­ferts Boulevard line to Ken­nedy International Airport, passed. It was 3:35 A.M.

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The assailant returned. By then, Miss Genovese had crawled to the back of the building, where the freshly painted brown doors to the apartment house held out hope of safety. The killer tried the first door; she wasn’t there. At the second – door, 82-62 Austin Street, he saw her slumped on the floor at the foot of the stairs. He stabbed her a third time—fatally.

It was 3:50 by the time the police received their first call, from a man who was a neighbor of Miss Genovese. In two min­utes they were at the scene. The neighbor, a 70-year-old woman and another woman were the only persons on the street. No­bady else came forward.

The man explained that he had called the police after much celiberation. He had phoned a friend in Nassau County for advice and then he had crossed the roof of the building to the apartment of the elderly wo­man to get her to make the call.

“I didn’t want to get in­volved,” he sheepishly told the police.

Suspect Is Arrested

Six days later, the police ar­rested Winston Moseley, a 29­year-old business-machine op­erator, and charged him with the homicide. Moseley had no previous record. He is married, has two children and owns a home at 133-19 Sutter Avenue, south ozone Park, Queens. On wednesday, a court committed him to Kings County Hospital for psychiatric observation.

When questioned by the po­lice, Moseley also said that he had slain Mrs. Annie May John­son, 24, of 146-12 133d Avenue, Jamaica, on Feb. 29 and Bar­bara Kralik, 15, of 174-17 140th Avenue, Springfield Gardens, last July. In the Kralik case, the police are holding Alvin L.Mitchel1, who is said to have confessed that slaying.

The police stressed how sim-­ple it would have been to have gotten in touch with them. “A phone call,” said one of the de­tectives, “would have done it.” The police may be reached by dialing . “O” for operator or SPring 7-3100.

The question of whether the witnesses can be held legally responsible in any way for fail­ure to report the crime was put to the Police Department’s legai bureau. There, a spokesman said :

“There is no legal responsibil-ity with few exceptions, for any citizen to report a crime.”

Statutes Explained

Under the statutes of the city, he said, a witness to a suspicibus or violent death must report it to the medical examiner. Under state law, a witness cannot withhold infor­mation in a kidnapping.

Today witnesses from the neighborhood, which is made up one-family homes in the $35,000 to $60,000 range with the exception of the two apartment. houses near the railroad sta­tion, find it difficult to explain why they didn’t call the police.

Lieut Bernard Jacobs, who handled the investigation by the, detectives, said:

“It is one of the better neigh­borhoods. There are few re­ports of crimes. You only get

Path of Victim: Stabber’s Third Attack Was Fatal

The police said most persons had told them they had been afraid to call, but had given meaningless answers when asked what they had feared.

Continue reading the main story

“We can understand the reti­cence of people to become in­volved in an area of violence,” Lieutenant Jacobs said, “but where they are in their homes, near phones, why should they be afraid to call the police?”

He said his men were able to piece together what happened —and capture the suspect-be­cause the residents furnished all the information when detec­tives rang doorbells during the days following the slaying.

“But why didn’t someone call us that night ?” he asked un­believingly.

Witnesses—some of them un­able to believe what they had allowed to happen—told a re­porter why.

A housewife, knowingly if quite casual, said, “We thought it was a lover’s quarrel.” A husband and wife both said, “Frankly, we were afraid.” They seemed aware of the fact that events might have been

One couple, now willing to talk about that night, said they heard the first screams. The husband looked thoughtfully at the bookstore where the killer first grabbed Miss Genovese.

“We went to the window to see what was happening,” he said, “but the light from our bedroom made it difficult to see the street.” The wife, still ap­prehensive, added: “I put out the light and we were able to see better.”

Asked why they hadn’t called the police, she shrugged and re­plied: “I don’t know.”

A man peeked out from a slight opening in the doorway to his apartment and rattled off an account of the killer’s second attack. Why hadn’t he called the police at the time? “I was tired,” he said without emotion. “I went back to bed.”

It was 4:25 A.M. when the ambulance arrived for the body of Miss Genovese. It drove off. “Then,” a solemn police detec­tive said, “the people came out.”

My outside research

From ABC-CLIO’s Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society website

bystander effect

Researchers have investigated why witnesses to a crime or other incident do not act even when they want to help.

Kitty Genovese was a bar manager who was fatally attacked on her way home from work in the morning of March 13, 1964. Her attacker stabbed her in the back and ran away when a neighbor shouted out the window telling her attacker to leave her alone. Although multiple people heard her screams, none came out of their homes to help her. Genovese staggered a short distance where she collapsed, out of sight. Her attacker returned, wearing a hat to hide his face. He stabbed Genovese until she could no longer fight back and then, raped her. At least one dozen neighbors witnessed Genovese’s assault and failed to help her or call for the police to help her. An investigative reporter with The New York Times was horrified by the apathy of her neighbors. He reported the lack of response as extreme callousness by New York City residents. The news article was later criticized for reporting biases. However, it served to highlight a disconcerting issue that continues today, the indifference of bystanders.

Genovese syndrome is a term used to describe the failure of bystanders to act in cases where there is an ethical need. There are a variety of reasons why bystanders may not act: a) fear of harm, b) a desire to avoid interactions with police or other authorities, c) concerns that getting involved will require time and effort, or d) a lack of problem-solving ability, an inability to determine what to do. After the Genovese incident John Darley of New York University and Bibb Latané of Columbia University studied what became known as the Bystander Effect. The researchers believed that the witnesses of Genovese’s attack did not call the police because they saw other neighbors watching the attack. The neighbors assumed someone else would call or had already called for help. From this, the researchers theorized that the greater the number of bystanders present during an emergency, the less likely it would be that one person would intervene. The researchers developed a laboratory experiment to study bystander effect. Participants were instructed to discuss the pressures of college life with other participants through an intercom system. The researchers explained that the purpose of the intercom system was to provide anonymity to discussants. Instead, the researchers played the participants a tape of someone pretending to have a convulsion. The researchers found that participants who thought that they were the only bystander witnessing the seizure were two to three times more likely to contact the research assistant to help the victim than bystanders who thought other witnesses were present. There were no differences with respect to gender of participants. The researchers also discovered that the bystanders who did not report the medical emergency did not show signs of apathy. Many of those who did not act, later asked the research assistant if the participant who seemed sick was now okay. The idea that one does not have to act because others will act was named diffusion of responsibility.

With diffusion of responsibility, the liability for action or inaction is diffused across a larger group of people. Each person feels less pressure or duty to act. Potential blame is shared across the group. Diffusion of responsibility is used to protect the conscience of individual shooters in firing squads. Procedurally, one shooter is given a blank or dummy cartridge and the other shooters are given live ammunition. None of the shooters know who has the blanks and who has live ammunition. Each soldier believes that he shot the blank and responsibility is passed onto others in the group. In the same way that each member of the firing squad feels less culpable for the death of the victim, bystanders feel less liable for the well-being of victims of bullying. Bystanders feel anonymous and anonymity breeds irresponsibility. One way that victims can overcome the bystander effect is to identify specific bystanders by name and request help from that specific individual. It is harder for a person to shirk responsibility if he or she has been singled out of the crowd. According to Darley and Latané’s study, alone, the majority of bystanders (85%) will help the victim. In a group of three or more, only about a third of bystanders will help the victim. The Bystander Effect has been demonstrated in action multiple times throughout history. In Nazi Germany (1933–1945), more than 6 million people were persecuted, tortured and murdered. In Rwanda (1994), the overthrow of the Tutsi monarchy triggered the murder of over half a million people and near extermination of the Tutsi people.

Subsequent studies of the bystander effect showed that bystanders decide how to respond based on how they see others respond. If one person responds with nonchalance, the others will show nonchalance. Bullies, who are very good at reading and initiating social cues, use this behavior to their benefit. The bully will act as someone in authority and direct bystanders to serve as henchmen, lookouts, or diversionary personnel. This process supports a pluralistic ignorance, where bystanders believe that social norms condone bullying when, in reality, the majority of the bystanders do not like bullying. Bystanders are silenced through a social process. Discussing feelings toward bullying as a society and teaching bystanders how to respond to bullying are ways that adults can reduce the bystander effect.

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