The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime That Changed America
At last, the true story of a crime that shocked the world. New York City, 1964. A young woman is stabbed to death on her front stoop -- a murder the New York Times called "a frozen moment of dramatic, disturbing social change." The victim, Catherine "Kitty" Genovese, became an urban martyr, butchered by a sociopathic killer in plain sight of 38 neighbors who "didn't want to get involved." Her sensational case provoked an anxious outcry and launched a sociological theory known as the "Bystander Effect." That's the narrative. But, as author Kevin Cook reveals, the story is just that, a story. The truth is far more compelling and so is the victim. Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of her murder, Cook presents the real Kitty Genovese. She was a vibrant young woman -- a lesbian, a bartender working (and dancing) her way through the colorful New York of the '60s. Downtown, Greenwich Village teemed with beatniks and so-called misfits like Kitty and her lover. The book evokes the Village's gay and lesbian underground with deep feeling and colorful detail. Cook also reconstructs the crime itself, tracing the movements of Genovese's killer, whose disturbing trial testimony made him a terrifying figure, especially after his escape from Attica State Prison. Drawing on a trove of long-lost documents, plus new interviews with her lover and other key figures, Cook explores the enduring legacy of the case.
New York :, W. W. Norton & Company,, 
242 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations ;,25 cm