Kitty Genovese killer dies in prison at age 81

NEW YORK, The man convicted of the infamous 1964 rape and murder of New York bartender Kitty Genovese died in prison, officials said Monday.


Winston Moseley, 81, died at a New York state prison March 28, officials said. An autopsy is pending.

The murder became famous for creating the psychological term “bystander effect” because dozens of Genovese’s neighbors heard her screaming as Moseley stabbed her, but did nothing, though the number of people who heard Genovese was later disputed.

Moseley determined to be a psychopath and necrophiliac, died after 52 years behind bars, following New York’s abolishment of the death penalty in 1967.

He escaped while on a hospital trip to Buffalo in 1968, raping a woman and holding hostages before he was recaptured. He was part of the 1971 Attica riot, but later earned a college degree. He was also rejected for parole 18 times.

The 1964 attack stood out partly because of the horrifying details, — how Moseley chose Genovese at random and stabbed her 14 times or more, eventually raping and killing her — but also that some of Genovese’s neighbors failed to stop the attack. Two did call the police and a 70-year-old woman came out of her apartment and held Genovese in her arms until paramedics arrived. She died on the way to the hospital.