No Watchmen for Kitty Genovese

On the evening of march 13th 1984, Kitty Genovese was just 29 y.o barmaid getting back to her apartment in Kew Gardens, Queens. Thanks to a certain Winston Moseley and 38 fellow new-yorkers, she'll soon turn into a famous sociology case, as well as a dead person.

« Only in New York » can a woman get raped and stabbed in the middle of her housing block, without anyone trying to help. According to police report, over 30 people saw or heard the murder, and yet, no one dialed 911. This is what sociologists call the « bystander effect » : the more people witness a crime, the less the'll feel individualy responsible to help in any way.

It was 4:25 A.M. when the ambulance arrived to take the body of miss Genovese. It drove off. "Then," a police detective remembered, "the people came out."

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The « Genovese case » deeply impacted new-yorkers' moral, to a point it even got its way into the city's fictional life. In the january 86 Watchmen comic book, Rorschach becomes a vigilante because of this particular story. Employed in a dress shop, he even cuts his infamous mask in the tissue of a dress ordered 2 years prior by miss Genovese, a client of his.


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