Kitty Genovese

  • by Catherine Pelonero
  • Narrated by Dina Pearlman
  • 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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- Wanda "Wandah Panda"


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.
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- Linda Lou "OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-04-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios