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Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequencesby Catherine Pelonero
Synopses & Reviews
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 aidand#151;or even call police until after the killer had fled.
This book 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 Peloneroand#8217;s book 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 book 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.
"Pelonero's background as a playwright bleeds into her attempt at true crime account of the 1964 Genovese murder, losing credibility from the outset with scenes that have clearly been dramatized. Given that Genovese died shortly after the assault without revealing what had happened, how can Pelonero purport to represent her thoughts and feelings right before the attack, and not lose readers hoping for the 'true account' the subtitle promises? This lapse is even less justifiable considering the tragedy already includes many dramatic components — a quiet neighborhood becoming the unlikely locale for a savage crime and the widely held notion that the victim could have been saved with minimal effort by her neighbors. The prose is bloated with hyperbole: for example when Pelonero writes, 'To call his parents' marriage stormy would be an understatement, unless said storm were a series of massive tornados touching down frequently and without warning, twisting violently along a frenzied though familiar course that uprooted all in their path, leaving a wake of bruised feelings, the occasional black eye, and old wounds so constantly reopened that they never had the opportunity to begin healing much less fade.' Readers looking for a definitive account of this tragic slaughter may want to look elsewhere. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Written in a flowing narrative style, Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and its Private Consequences presents the true story of what happened the night of March 13, 1964 in Kew Gardens (Queens, NY), where Winston Moseley attacks and kills 28-year-old Catherine Kitty” Genovese. Though 38 witnesses were privy to the three separate attacks, not one tried to call the police, until the victim was already dead.
Pelonero cuts through myth and misinformation to present all the facts, based on substantial research and several first-hand interviews with witnesses, former Kew Gardens residents, people who knew Genovese, and Moseley himself. In doing so she uncovers details regarding the investigation of the murder, Moseleys confession, the media response, the aftermath of the trial, the implications for Genoveses family, and much more.
Beyond just a true crime story, the book embodies much larger themes: violence against women, the phenomenon of bystander inaction, and the stark prejudices of an era, many of which linger to this day, fifty years after the murder.
About the Author
Catherine Pelonero is an author and playwright whose work has been produced in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. She has won the Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival as well as the Yale University Screenwriting Competition for her work. Pelonero is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Actors Studio Playwrights and Directors Unit, and she currently serves as a vice-chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP).
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