NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Catherine Pelonero wanted to know more about the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese and its aftermath, but there was very little written about the case.
So she conducted research and interviews and eventually penned her own book about one of the most famous slaying in New York City history.
“Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequences” explorers the murder and rape of Genovese, a 28-year-old bartender, in Kew Gardens, Queens. The case received national attention because it called into question whether neighbors and other bystanders, who might have heard the attack, could have done more to save Genovese’s life.
The 50th anniversary of the March 13, 1964, killing is this week.
Pelonero spent years corresponding with Genovese’s killer, Winston Moseley, before writing the book. Moseley was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison and was denied parole for the 16th time in November.
“I wanted to know more about him because he was intriguing character,” Pelonero told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu. “This was a man who had a family, owned a home, went to work every day, and at night he would sometimes go out and kill women. So he very much led a double life. And I thought that was just so intriguing, and it’s so difficult to understand why someone would do that.”
Pelonero said she was surprised by just how intelligent and well-read Moseley is, but she said it was evident to her that he is incapable of remorse.
When asked what she hopes those who read the book will take away from it, Pelonero said: “If you think something might be wrong or someone might need help, err on the side of caution and call 911, do what you can, call out to the person because one of the most wrenching quotes from the witnesses … one of the women told her husband, ‘Don’t call the police; 30 people must have called already.'”
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