Winston Moseley died last week. He was 81 and had spent the last 51 years in prison for killing Kitty Genovese the night of March 13, 1964 in Queens, N.Y. It was a murder that seared America. Dozens of people heard Kitty’s screams but “didn’t want to get involved,” a response now known as the “Genovese syndrome,” which led to the adoption of 911. The original reports are in dispute, but not the horrific rape and murder (and not necessarily in that order) nor the hours-long agony of the 28-year-old woman. Kitty’s brother Bill was 16, and the murder of the sister he adored affected every aspect of his life. Not wanting to be an 'apathetic bystander,' he enlisted in the Marines out of high school and lost his legs in Vietnam. He spent the rest of his life trying to understand what happened that night in Queens, always seeking closure.
Yesterday his search came to an extraordinary end, which I lift verbatim from The New York Times.
To the Editor:
With Winston Moseley’s death comes, maybe, the final chapter in the tragic story of the events of the early morning of Friday, March 13, 1964.
As my mother would have wished, my family’s “better angels” do now express our condolences to the Moseley family, most especially to the Rev. Steven Moseley, one of Winston’s sons, a man of faith, love and courage, who struggled in his formative years with a stain and dilemma undeservedly forced onto his being.
May the spirit, in whom I believe that Kitty, and now Winston, reside, help resolve the eternal question: What do we owe to all our fellow beings? This is a question that each human being must strive to answer, one moment at a time. Let us join with the hope of shared egalitarian equanimity.
William J. Genovese