Murder of Kitty Genovese

While there was no question that the attack occurred and that some neighbors ignored cries for help, the portrayal of 38 witnesses as fully aware and unresponsive was erroneous. The article grossly exaggerated the number of witnesses and what they had perceived. None saw the attack in its entirety. Only a few had glimpsed parts of it or recognized the cries for help. Many thought they had heard lovers or drunks quarreling. There were two attacks, not three. And afterward, two people did call the police. A 70-year-old woman ventured out and cradled the dying victim in her arms until they arrived. Ms. Genovese died on the way to a hospital.


The New York Times

One of my relatives shared a story of how nobody on the road helped him when he met with an accident where he was severely injured. Coincidently I was reading about “Murder of Kitty Genovese”, an American woman who was stabbed to death outside her apartment in the New York City, on March 13, 1964. There were 38 witnesses who saw or heard her cry but none of them called 911(the emergency number in the US).
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There is a reason why 38 people behaved in that way, there is a reason why nobody helped my relative when he met with an accident. It is not that we all have forgotten humanity. Not at all. Tough it may seem like it and many believe that overall humanity level has been decreasing and I can’t argue with that.

When we are in a group, we think differently, we think it’s not our responsibility, we think someone else would take care of it. On the other hand when we are alone or when we are in a group of a few, the responsibility is divided equally and we end up doing the right thing instead of procrastinating it for the others.

Richard Wiseman suggests that if you collapse on a busy road ask for help directly to any friendly face. By doing that you are much more likely to get a help than by just waiting for someone to help you.

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