Thirty-Eight Witnesses The book Thirty-Eight Witnesses was about a murder in Queens, New York.
The book is narrated by a journalist for the New York Times Newspaper.What made this murder set apart from others was that it could have been avoided very easily.The journalist sat down with the city councilman for coffee as he usually did every week.However the councilman had something different to tell him this week.He told him of this murder in which their were thirty-eight witnesses to it and nobody would come forward to what happened.
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The most disturbing thing of all was that not one of the people who witnessed the murder in progress even called the police.If the would have the girl may have stayed alive.Neighbors were awakened by the screams of the woman but they did nothing. This is what happened to twenty-eight year old Catherine Genovese according to the New York City Police.She was returning home from her job at a bar in Hollis.She parked her vehicle in the adjacent lot to her apartment as she always did.She turned off the lights to her car and began to walk the 100ft. Distance to the entrance of her apartment.
The entrance to her apartment in in the rear of the building.Catherine then noticed a man at the end of the lot, near a seven story apartment next to hers.She stopped and then headed up the street toward the corner where there was a call box to the police.She made it to the street light in front of a bookstore before the man grabbed her.She screamed.Lights turned on in the apartment which faces the bookstore, windows opened and voices of onlookers could be heard.
Miss Genovese screamed:“Oh my God, he stabbed me!Please help me!”From the apartment across the street a man yelled down:“Let that girl alone!”The suspect then looked at him, shrugged and walked toward a car parked a short distance away.Miss Genovese struggled trying to stand.The lights from the apartments went out.Then the killer returned to Miss Genovese, now making her way around the corner trying to make her way to her apartment.The murderer stabbed her again.“I’m dying!” she yelled.“I’m dieing!”Windows opened again, and lights turned on in many apartments.
The perpetratorgot into his car and drove away.Miss Genovesegot to her feet as a bus drove by.Once again then the assailent returned.By this time Miss Genovese had crawled to the back of the building where hoped she was safe.The killer checked all three doors on the apartment before finding her behind the third.He saw her slumped on the floor at the foot of the stairway.
He then fatally stabbed her a third and final time.The incident started at 3:20 A.M. and finally at 3:50 A.M.
a man called the police after much deliberation.Before calling he phoned a friend in Nassau County for instructions on what to do.He then went to a neighbors to make the call. After the story of the thirty-eight witnesses keeping quiet got to the streets many people were shocked at the witnesses failure to call the police.Their were many different point of views as to what should be done so that this lack of communication will never happen again.People were writing to the editor in outrage stating that the names of all thirty-eight witnesses should be published so that the public can scrutinize them theirselves or possibly punish them on their own.This some believed would discourage other people from such behavior in the future. Of course not all believed that it was the witnesses fault.
Some people blamed the police, they say that even if they would have been called nothing would have changed.One writer stated:“Call the police!Are you kidding?…If you see how they operate you would die laughing, funnier than a clown in the circus?”People sent in letters like these that said when you call the police they act like it is a bother to them.They believed that calling the police would have made absolutely no difference in the murder of Miss Genovese. Many follow-up stories were written in reaction to the thirty-eight witnesses story.These follow-ups were written by professional people however many believed in the total opposite things.For example a proffessor at the Downstate Medical Center of.