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Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and its Private Consequences | [Catherine Pelonero]

Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and its Private Consequences

Written in a flowing narrative style, Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and its Private Consequences presents the story of the horrific and infamous murder of Kitty Genovese, a young woman stalked and stabbed on the street where she lived in Queens, New York in 1964. The case sparked national outrage when the New York Times revealed that dozens of witnesses had seen or heard the attacks on Kitty Genovese and her struggle to reach safety but had failed to come to her aid or even call police until after the killer had fled.
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Publisher's Summary

Written in a flowing narrative style, Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and its Private Consequences presents the story of the horrific and infamous murder of Kitty Genovese, a young woman stalked and stabbed on the street where she lived in Queens, New York in 1964. The case sparked national outrage when the New York Times revealed that dozens of witnesses had seen or heard the attacks on Kitty Genovese and her struggle to reach safety but had failed to come to her aid or even call police until after the killer had fled.

This audiobook cuts through misinformation and conjecture to present a definitive portrait of the crime, the aftermath, and the people. Based on six years of research, Catherine Pelonero’s audiobook presents the facts from the police reports, archival material, court documents, and first-hand interviews. Pelonero offers a personal look at Kitty Genovese, an ambitious young woman viciously struck down in the prime of her life; Winston Moseley, the killer who led a double life as a responsible family man by day and a deadly predator by night; the consequences for a community condemned; and others touched by the tragedy.

Beyond just a true crime story, the audiobook embodies much larger themes: the phenomenon of bystander inaction, the evolution of a serial killer, and the fears and injustices spawned by the stark prejudices of an era, many of which linger to this day.

©2014 Catherine Pelonero (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 04-08-14
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 04-08-14 Member Since 2012

    Wandah Panda

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    "Wow, read this only if details does not annoy you."

    Kitty Genovese: A True ..By Catherine Pelon narrated by Dina Pearlman.

    A research, crime narration of the true story of the murder of Kitty Genovese this book was fascinating even though a lot of repetition was present due to the nature of the story line. The book chronicles the Kitty Genovese case from start to finish. Detailing her life and personality to a degree. Focusing on her murder and the complete disdain people in the neighborhood showed when she was murdered in front of their eyes.

    I loved the fact that 911 was a result of this murder and how it was dealt with. The psychological research that went into to disinterested bystander etc kept me riveted. Like I said, this is not a novel. It is a chronological look at as many facets as the author could regarding Kitty's life.

    With this type of journalism repetition to prove a point etc or to go from hearsay to semi-proven fact is a given and it does get to be a bit much but I understood the reasoning behind it and if true life stories is your cup of tea then I am sure you will really enjoy this book and the look into the reasoning behind events.

    WaAr

    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 09-06-14
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 09-06-14 Member Since 2014

    Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton.  In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!! 

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    "EXCEPTIONAL TRUE CRIME BOOK"

    As a "woman of a certain age", I remember when this crime was committed. All the media talked about was the apathy of Kitty Genovese's neighbors during the 1/2 hour it took for her to be savagely murdered. Author Catherine Pelonero gives a complete and unbiased account of this heinous crime. Instead of focusing on the more sensational headliner-grabbing fact of a white woman being killed by a black man, Pelonero tells the good and bad about everyone, including the 30+ witnesses who didn't help Kitty that night.

    For the first time, I learned that Kitty was a lesbian - considered "deviate" for that era - and had a criminal record and worked in a bar. Not that her lifestyle made her at risk for this savage crime. However, the media of the time made no mention of any of this. Her killer, Winston Moseley, heretofore shown only in a booking photo, was a middle-class professional husband and father with no criminal record. He owned his own home and two cars. His wife was a registered nurse. Again, I don't remember these facts being told by the press. That said, Pelonero gives each of these two very disparate persons equal weight, choosing to focus on FACTS of the crime.

    What no one knew was Moseley was a serial killer and rapist. He'd previously terrorized women of his own race so not much investigation was put into those crimes. In fact, Anna Mae Johnson, a black woman, had been murdered on her porch then dragged into her living room where Moseley raped her post-mortem, with her husband asleep upstairs. The medical examiner stated that the woman had been stabbed. It wasn't until Moseley confessed to that murder and saying he'd SHOT the victim, did an exhumation reveal bullets in the dead body. (While much has been written about Kitty Genovese, I've yet to find any books written about the life and death of Mrs. Johnson.)

    Moseley, a prolific but undetected criminal has gotten less attention in history than Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahlmer, John Wayne Gacy and other white serial killers. It is this very racial oversight which led FBI profilers into mistakenly predicting that the DC Sniper had to be a white male. They should had done the research that this author put into her book.

    This is one of the best true crime books that I've read in years. Pelonero does get a bit weighty in some places, giving a blow-by-blow account of some court testimony. But her attention to detail in other areas is well done. This story is not just about 3 dozen people who failed to act by merely not calling the police - although not much has changed in many decades since then, as evidenced by the recent murder in a yoga wear store while 2 Apple Store employees next door listened with their ears to the common wall. This is a story about a horrific crime, an innocent victim, a mentally ill killer and the question of the public's MORAL duty to assist a fellow human being fighting for his or her life.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Danvers, MA, United States 05-23-14
    Michelle Danvers, MA, United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Good book, not so great narrator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I thought the book was very interesting. It was well researched and thoughtful. The only downside was the narrator. She did not have a good cadence to her reading.


    18 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 09-21-14
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 09-21-14 Member Since 2012

    Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!

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    "When Indifference becomes Evil"

    Novelist Stephen King (1947 - present) makes places evil and sometimes sentient characters in his novels. "'Salem's Lot" (1975) was the first chilling fictional King town I read. Later, he created the adjacent, inimical town of Derry, Maine, in "It" (1986). Derry's utter indifference is its most deadly trait.

    In 1964, the chilling indifference of real-life Kew Gardens, NY, met the psychopathic Winston Mosley. The combination was deadly. Mosley slaughtered a screaming, bloody Kitty Genovese in front of at least 37 neighbors who admitted seeing or hearing him over 45 minutes. There were hundreds more neighbors who didn't admit to seeing or hearing Mosley attack her twice outside large apartment buildings.

    I don't remember when I first heard about this murder, but I do know even 50 years later, it's often cited as the ultimate anecdote of apathy, fear, and - as I remember it, contempt for the victim.

    Growing up in the Midwest long before the internet age, I heard stories that Genovese shouldn't have been out as late as she was; that she'd dressed proactively; or that she'd been killed in a domestic dispute with an angry boyfriend and the neighbors thought it was just one of the couple's regular spats. Catherine Pelonero's "Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequences" (2014) dispelled the myths I'd too readily accepted. Kitty Genovese managed a bar, and was on her way home from work. She wasn't wearing a miniskirt and high heels. She was a lesbian in a loving, committed relationship, and she did not know her murderer, Mosley, a serial killer.

    The 1964 Kew Gardens was complicit in Kitty Genovese' murder, an 'unindicted co-conspirator'. Mosley knew his hunting grounds so well that he counted on the neighbors 'willful blindness' At trial, his attorney unsuccessfully argued that his flagrant attack was proof that he was 'schizophrenic' and should be found "Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Defect". Mosley even managed to terrorize a New York neighborhood 4 years after he was convicted and sentenced to death, escaping from a hospital visit and terrorizing a small town for a week.

    [Reviewer's note: The term "schizophrenic' was used in 1964 to refer to people who have what is now differentiated as the mental diseases bipolar disorder and separately, schizophrenia; and mentally disordered sociopaths and psychopaths. See, for example, Robert Hare, PhD, who developed guidelines for diagnosing psychopathy (someone without conscience) in the late 1980's, publishing the PCL-2 checklist in 1991. Schizophrenia is commonly defined today as a disease, sometimes treatable, where the affected person cannot tell the difference between what's real and what's not real. Mosley does not fit the modern definition of schizophrenia.]

    Kitty Genovese' killing did spur an important change in public safety: it lead to the creation of what is now the 9-1-1 system. In 1964, calling the police meant calling an Operator, and hopefully being transferred to the right police department; or trying to figure out the right department yourself. It took some work, and at least some Kew Garden residents thought it would be a pain, and that anyway, someone else was probably already calling anyway. Surely they were.

    There have been follow up reporting and other books. According to Pelonero and other writers, Kew Gardens in the 21st Century remains defensive, insular, and maintains no interest in 'getting involved'. It's as if the place itself is bad, like the fictional Derry.

    Dina Pearlman's narration was almost robotic in the second section, which distracted me.

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris A Riddle 01-05-15 Member Since 2012
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    "A sad story of a sweetness taken to soon. "

    I remember the story from when I was very young. Hearing the details of of both Kitties life and the evilness of Winston was something new. I can't help but wonder about the strange and incredible series of events that brought these two paths together. I wonder what the world would be like if even one of them had changed. Most of all I wonder why our society has let this monster live after almost everyone else involved is gone. My only thought is that it must be so we don't forget.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen D. King 09-24-14
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    "It was OK"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the book if the friend liked this type of story.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Catherine Pelonero? Why or why not?

    I don't think so.


    What aspect of Dina Pearlman’s performance would you have changed?

    I liked the performance


    Was Kitty Genovese worth the listening time?

    almost


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shopgal103 Franklin Park, IL United States 09-21-14
    Shopgal103 Franklin Park, IL United States 09-21-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Well Researched but poorly narrated."
    Would you try another book from Catherine Pelonero and/or Dina Pearlman?

    The author provided a thorough account of this crime and events surrounding it. The narrator was mediocre and took away from the overall enjoyment of this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray West Deptford, NJ, United States 09-19-14
    Ray West Deptford, NJ, United States 09-19-14 Member Since 2013

    Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.

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    "SAD SAGA"

    i remember this incident when it happened. It certainly gave a "black-eye" to Queens. The book is well researched but poorly organized. There is too much repetition of facts. Better organization and presentation of those facts would have been appreciated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Futuredave 09-19-14
    Futuredave 09-19-14

    FutureDave

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    "First Rate Treatment of a True Tragedy"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Kitty Genovese to be better than the print version?

    How would I know, i haven't read the print.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Incredibly thoughtful, heart breaking. The author has truly done her research and this book is a testament to the memory of Kitty and a strong condemnation of those who were not there for her in 1964, as well as the revisionists who try to pretend none of this really happened.


    Which character – as performed by Dina Pearlman – was your favorite?

    It's non-fiction. She didn't play characters, but was a great narrator


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, too long for that. But definitely enjoyed it.


    Any additional comments?

    A clear eyed presentation, not only of the victim and the witnesses, but of the true human piece of dirty that Winston Mosley was and is. A true psychopath in every sense of the word. And thankfully the author does not let him off the hook for a second.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie Baldwin 09-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Best True Crime novel I had ever listened to!"
    Would you listen to Kitty Genovese again? Why?

    No. Only because I don't listen to any books twice.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The details of the interviews and the crime itself.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes I did! It made me very sad but slapped a little reality into me. You can't rely on others when you are in trouble.


    Any additional comments?

    The Narrator was AWESOME!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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