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Bystander Effect


57 Comments

  1. Sarah Erritouni says:

    It’s absolutely horrifying that something like this actually took place. What shocked me the most though was that people were willing to yell from their windows while the attack was happening but not to go out and check to see if Genovese was alright after her attacker had ran away. Also, another thing that puzzled me at first was the actions of those who lived in the apartment where Genovese was attacked the second time. Initially I was quick to resent the people who kept opening and closing the door while the attack was happening. I could only wonder why someone would hear something so horrifying, go to help, and then retreat without actually doing anything. However after thinking it over a bit I began to realize that maybe it was just self-preservation and the fear of being attacked themselves. People, and basically every other creature, have a basic instinct for survival; we want to stay alive for a little bit longer and jumping in to a violent, murderous attack with absolutely no guarantee of support can be terrifying to some people, myself included. Not everyone has the mental or physical strength to be so completely self sacrificing.

    Also, there was something about this whole incident that kind of still confuses me. Is it really possible for someone to just get up one day, feel dissatisfied with their life, and then just decide to kill another human being? This seems to me too spontaneous and extreme to be real.

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    • Elizabeth Gutierrez says:

      I agree with you on why people didn’t want to help Genovese. They had fear in them that the stabber will turn to them and kill them and Genovese. They had an instinct of survival that included not getting involve. I don’t understand why they did not call the police though? Maybe they didn’t want to physically get involved but not making a simple call? I find it inhumane of people who did not have decency to reach out to professionals to help. After witnessing a stabbing I would believe someone could have attest called an ambulance to care for the two first stabs she received.

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  2. Sierra Hitchcock says:

    What happened to Kitty Genovese is absolutely heartbreaking. She seemed like such a vivacious and determined woman. Trying to imagine the terror and pain she went through that night as she was attacked makes me sick. And not only the pain and the terror but the utter helplessness she must have felt as well having no one come to her rescue. I find it almost unreal that such an event as this could happen in a country that has an emergency response system set up for such horrific incidents. It would literally have been as easy as picking up a phone to report the attack.
    Diffusion of responsibility worries me maybe more than it should. I’ve always been concerned with whether or not I’d take action in a situation where it is needed. As far back as elementary school where they taught us to stand up to bullies I remember worry about whether or not I’d actually intervene if I saw someone being bullied. If I ever witness someone in need of help I hope that I will assist them as best I can without hesitation.
    On a little side note: As I was reading the chapter and it started talking about what happened to Kitty, the incident began sounding really familiar. I then remembered that I had just recently seen a movie trailer for a new (2015) documentary about Kitty Genovese, what happened that night, and why no one came to her rescue. The documentary is called “The Witness.” I have not see it but I will provide a link to the trailer so you can check it out for yourself if you wish.
    http://www.thewitness-film.com/

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  3. Qian Ren says:

    I can’t believe this happened. I am sure that the witnesses had many excuses. They could say that they were afraid that if they act, they would get hurt too. That shouldn’t be able to justified them for not helping Kitty, it was a simple task for them to call the police. They would also say that they weren’t sure if Kitty was in dangers, again that shouldn’t be an excuse, call or find help even if you have the smallest doubt that someone is in trouble. In middle school there would often be fights and the teachers would also punish those who are watching the fight, but of course not as bad as those fighting. My teachers would tell us that whoever watching the fight is just as bad as the bully or the fighters.

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    • Beshoy abdelmalak says:

      I agree with you but if they all helped, they would have been able to help her with minor or superficial injuries but since all of them didn’t help, anyone who would help, they would have been hurt badly but at least her life could have been saved. Some people grew up and never got the support they needed when they were in trouble and they just do the same thing to others. Those people feel like they are responsible for their own survival only which they should really think about the survival of others as well because no one can survive on their own.

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  4. How any one can assume that some one else has done something to help her is astonishing. It is so heartbreaking to think that she had been through all that and even screamed out for help yet no one came to help her. I guess that is the premise of the Bystander Effect. People don’t think that they should take it upon themselves to react or help some one because they assume some one else has taken care of it and that is not okay.

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    • Heather Monks says:

      I think the other part of the Bystander Effect, is thinking someone else is going to deal with it. Or that someone else had already called the police. It’s the premise that since there were so many people around, they thought someone else would actually help her. It’s still baffling to me that her screaming had been going own for so long, and no one had done anything. No one had even called the police, but they thought the rest of the neighbors would call as well.

      It’s the same thing as when a car accident happens, and the first people to see it, often drive away. Many people think a) someone else will help the victims and b) that they aren’t qualified enough to give help in that situation. And often times there aren’t that many people around the accident, until the police show up, because no one want’s to see what happened to the people.

      I think the other part of it is that people want to remain innocent, or ignorant. People would rather not know, and say confront a murderer. They could say I don’t know what happened, instead of walking into a girl being stabbed, which could give them psychological damage. Still it’s just frustrating and sad what happened to this girl.

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  5. pridethomas says:

    And now the public records everything that is happening and then calls the police after they post it on Facebook….is human man kind getting better or worse? It’s hard to stay positive and have hope when you see more stories like this today, of bullies, and people just watching very brutal, and animalistic behavior happen. Isn’t there the good Samaritan law protecting us?

    And I could said “they should’ve helped her! Why didn’t they?” But If you open your door and see a man stabbing a woman wouldn’t you shut your door and wait for the monster to leave too? People must think a million things when faced with witnessing a murder. Maybe people just “mind their business” and I’m not saying it’s a good thing, I’m saying it takes a lot of the person on the opposite end to gain some courage to DO SOMETHING. No it’s not you… But that woman was someone friend, niece, daughter, etc.

    That even goes for this police brutality no it’s not you that it’s happening too but we should all take action and do something.
    The person on the street laid out clearly sick.
    The bullies.
    Let’s be a community you know.

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    • Michael Lauletta says:

      It is a matter of “see something, say something.” People need to speak up for one another instead of stand by and watch.

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  6. Beshoy abdelmalak says:

    The fact that nobody helped her reflects the psychology of a community. Usually, in big cities, people tend to think that they are not responsible for the well being of others and that everybody is on their own. Unlike villages or country sides where people know each other by name and sometimes they even interfere in each other’s business, people in cities miss that warmth and deep relationships. It also reflects the culture of the society because in some cultures this is not the case and in some cultures it is even more extreme. I like a Japanese proverb that says: “if anybody can do it, then I can do it. If nobody does it, then I must do it” and this goes for every good and necessary action that will contribute positively on the well-being of the whole society.

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    • Elizabeth Gutierrez says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Genovese lived in a big city. People are less likely to even smile or say hi to you. Barely anyone who lives in the same apartment building says hello or comes over for a visit. Big cities are so up beat and everyone is always in a rush. Too busy to ever stop by and get to know the people around them. Unfortunatley Genovese didn’t live in a tight and close community. I think thats where the bystander effect came into place. Everyone who saw or heard the stabbing was just waiting on someone who actually knew her personally to call for help. Living in a such big city she didn’t know many people around her personally.

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  7. I am shocked at the lack of responsibility the bystanders of Kitty Genovese murder had the night she was killed. The diffusion of responsibility among the bystanders was nonexistent during the murder. The individuals in the neighborhood did not help Kitty Genovese in a drastic time of need. The number of bystanders in the murder reflected the lack of responsibility each member felt toward the emergency situation, with more bystanders present each individual felt there was less of a need to help someone who needed help. This is a disgusting display of what can happen when people don’t have a sense of responsibility and accountability.

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  8. Maria Teresa Castano Salazar says:

    Obviously the situation is horrifying, and how the bystanders did nothing is more incredible, however it is necessary to know more details about the people and their neighborhood, I mean, if this was a neighborhood with a high crime rate probably people who noticed this new attack simply not given the task of denouncing anything, because they were most likely used to similar situations. and they became very cold feet, and fearful. On the other hand, and in such situation, only until a person strong enough rises, the other ones will remain immersed in a feeling of fear, someone armed immediately generates a feeling of intimidation, although I’m not justifying how such terrible crime happens and the killer go away clean, however it would not be the first time many people observe an injustice pass in front of their eyes without doing anything about it. It is sad to see how in big cities people tend to lose their human sense and they get
    immersed in their own problems, considering they should act just as simple observers in order for them to not get involved any external troubles.

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    • Nubia says:

      Aside from the story what is more interesting to me is the change in the comments over the course of only a few months. The people who posted earlier around July were more focused on how horrific it was where as the comments from September are thinking more on why the people ignored it. I agree with this comment and the ones below it. Although horrific we have to understand why or what would have made the neighbors not say anything or come to the rescue. It all goes back to the year in which it happened and the fact that she was a woman. Back then they weren’t quick to respond like we are. Everybody didn’t aspire to be a hero or fight for peoples rights like we do today. They were more keep your heads low and keep it pushing. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Like someone mentioned we would have to look into the neighborhood, the types of people who lived in that neighborhood and what Kitty’s general habits were that made the neighbors ignore her. Also things like that may have been normal for this time because as the report sated nobody made a big deal about it until someone posted it two weeks later in the New York times and that is the only reason why we know about it .

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  9. Sam Bessey says:

    After watching this video, a lot of questions went through my head. I was curious as to if Kitty was known in the neighborhood to make a lot of noise when wandering home late from the bars. If so, then maybe that’s why neighbors turned their lights on to see what was going on but then ignored her. I also wondered if this neighborhood was a dangerous, high crime neighborhood. Were the neighbors used to hearing screaming at night and learned to become immune to the noise? I think it is absolutely horrifying that so many people around the crime scene had either peaked out their window to see the crime or heard the screams and ignored it. I am repulsed by the number of individuals who didn’t come out to help Kitty and didn’t take action, such as calling the police. This is a key example of the bystander effect and what can happen in a group people when one person needs help and all group members just ignore the situation. They may think that the situation is not extreme and that if they disregard the screams it will go away soon. This is completely unacceptable, and it’s even more scary to think that a situation like this one probably has happened many times since then.

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    • Heather Monks says:

      You bring up a good point of what is Kitty had come home drunk often. perhaps her neighbors had become desensitized to her actions or even desensitized to any noise in that neighborhood. I wonder what the demographics or what the population of the neighborhood was. However, I don’t think that excuse enough because someone screaming for 20+ minutes is entirely usual, even living in a noisy neighborhood. I just wonder if this happened often there, and people simply didn’t care.

      I also wonder if any of the neighbors had seen her being stabbed, and if they had and still didn’t do anything, then I am just disappointed. They whole premise of the Bystander Effect, makes us all want to say of course I would help or do something in a situation like this, but how many of us would actually do something?

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      • Ekrama Mohame says:

        What confuses me the most about what you mentioned about the neighbors being immune to the noise and it just being another normal thing in their neighborhood, is that they said that the she lived in a suburban area so I would essentially assume in a suburban area that short of thing does not happen that often. Also, about her coming home drunk and it being a regular thing I don’t believe she would be coming home drunk from the bars since she was managing them and in fact was working, so its hard to think that she would be getting drunk on the job or after it.

        With that mentioned I also wanted to shed some light on how they mentioned in the video that the neighbors looking out the windows yelled stop it to the man who was stabbing her, so that leads me to believe they at least knew something was up or else they wouldn’t have been yelling at the man to stop. So what really disgusts me is that they saw what was going on yelled at the man to stop, he then ran away and they didn’t think it was a good idea to see how she doing or call the police to find the man? they just thought hey he left so everything’s all good or that someone else will go to her I got work in the morning I cant be bothered by that right now. It is almost unbelievable that there are people out in the world like this it’s crazy!

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  10. Thalia Urena says:

    This video was so shocking to me how some people can be so heartless, but honestly, some parts of me aren’t surprised at all by these bystanders reactions. I found the bystander effect to be when someone see’s someone else is struggling, but doesn’t know if they should step in and help them or not. To some extent, i believe in general some people should have common courtesy, for everyday mishaps, like if i dropped all my school books on the floor, it would be nice if someone who was walking near me stopped and helped me pick them up. To be quite honest, i don’t expect the help, because its not technically NECESSARY, but it would kind of make me be like “wow, that was kinda rude” if someone who saw me drop my books just stepped over me and made no effort to help or acknowledge me. This video is obviously a much more traumatic event than just casually dropping your school books in the hallway, its a cold blooded murder. While most people would stop and help me pick up my books, i believe for something this traumatizing, some people don’t know what to do or how to react. Personally, i think they knew exactly what was happening, but did nothing to help Kitty. At the very least call the police right? Its the LEAST they could do for her. The by standers in my opinion did not seem over terrified because they kept opening their door and staring out the window yelling. To watch her get stabbed and not even do the obvious thing (call the police) is astounding to me. Imagine if all of the neighbors came together and tackled that guy, how fast she could of been saved, or maybe she would still be alive today. I believe that some people think “Well maybe someone else will do something about it”, but i believe that we all need to become a leader and take action. With something this serious, you cannot just brush it off, its like playing with her life. Help is not a requirement, but it is a gift, and we all need somebody’s help at some point in our lives. I wish more people would step forward and take action on some things instead of just watching and seeing whats going to happen next and hope for the best. We have lost a life due to nobody taking action, which is so very disappointing to me. Let this be a life lesson to act when needed, and help even if you won’t get anything in return.

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  11. shelli brunet says:

    I was and I wasn’t surprised by the actions of the neighbors. We are talking a different time period then. An incident as rare as this often leaves people in disbelief, it is easier to think that because Kitty had come home drunk before that her behavior was a direct result of her being drunk again rather than her actually being raped and killed. these people watching this happen before their eyes would now have to come to the realization that things like this really did happen in their backyard. It makes them feel vulnerable and scared. I was surprised of the scale that it happened on. I also think their reaction may have been a result of past experiences? We are talking 1964 Queens New York, home of some of the biggest gangsters known. The older generations would have remembered Malone and others and knew to keep their eyes closed and there mouth shut. It is a shame that this happened but I think a lot of factors went into the actual reason it happened and their is not one answer.

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    • Thalia Urena says:

      Your opinion was very persuasive, and i also agree with your opinion on why they didn’t react. Maybe they were just in shock and just didn’t know what to do. I still am just utterly surprised that not one person called the cops to come help kitty, but now reading your opinion stating; “keep their eyes closed and their mouth shut” it made me see your point of view so i totally agree that, that could be a possibility as to why they didnt help out. On the other side, i also remember them saying that the bystanders were yelling out the window to get him to leave her alone, so if they really were that terrified, wouldn’t they have never said anything period? Just something to question but i like your persuasive argument shelli!

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  12. Chris Gutowski says:

    Wow. I wasn’t completely surprised that nobody came to her rescue, but i am surprised that nobody called the authorities. I think the first reaction that comes to mind is how afraid the bystanders must have been. I understand why nobody rushed to her aid, in fear of losing their own lives, but there were numerous other alternatives they could of used to save her life. A simple phone call to the police might have saved Kitty’s life. It’s mind boggling to think that so many people had the opportunity to save Kitty’s life but not a single one of them took initiative. That being said, i feel like everyone can kind of relate to how the bystanders might have been thinking and feeling at the time. I’m sure most people have been in a similar situation and can relate to the bystanders. Maybe not to the degree of murder, but some other kind of wrong doing. How many people have left the scene of an accident, even though they witnessed it? Or what about kids witnessing other kids being bullied? We see it constantly today, living in the age of social media. One child is being picked on by another, and everyone can see it, but how many offer their help? They are all victims of the bystander effect. If nobody wants to be the first one to help, then how many people does that leave? I think that all of those people who witnessed Kitty’s murder were also victims of the bystander effect, and if only one of them offered help, others would have joined.

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    • Thalia Urena says:

      I agree 100% with your opinion, it shocked me that not one phone call was made during her attack. That was a confidential and safe/fast way to help kitty out without endangering themselves is they were really that worried about being hurt. It’s like a ripple effect, imagine if just ONE person jumped in to help, others would have jumped in. it only takes on person to get something good going, all you need is one strong and brave person to step up.

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  13. Travis Davis says:

    This to me is a horror to see that someone just for the sake of killing would want to hurt someone they know by acquaintance, it is wrong. I feel as if those people should be ashamed to the fact that this women, who obviously showed signs of pain and suffering, didn’t get the help she needed. This, to me, just goes to show you can’t count on someone to be their.

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  14. Josilyn Gaudet says:

    While watching this video I was in complete shock the entire time. I could not believe that even one person would witness a scene like this and not react and call the authorities right away, yet multiple people did. This video actually left me feeling sick in the stomach that so many people did absolutely nothing, some people even heard her saying she was stabbed, not one person reacted. I understand that people are afraid but in my point of view you need to put your fears behind you when it comes to someones life at risk. These people coulee anonymously called the police, the killer would not know who it was and the law enofrcement would do everything to protect the people of the neighborhood. I understand they were shocked but when something like this is happening to me it is absoluetly absurd that so many people took zero action. If one person stood up and called the cops Kitty could have been rescued and still be alive today.

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  15. silvana kanani says:

    Watching this video makes me think how someone elses actions can influence somebody else’s life. If only a single person had called the police Kitty wouldn’t be dead. I understand the bystander reaction, the neighbor might not have thought that it was a very serious situation. Maybe they thought that they were related and having an argument and didn’t want to get involved. Or maybe they just thought that someone else was doing something. It is shocking how Kitty lost her life and negligent the neighbors were. Human society has grown and im glad that people are now more aware of these stories. The federal programs such as “see something say something” are a result of these type of events. As Shelli Brunet said that the time period was to keep your eyes closed and your mouth shot. The social rules of that location and time allowed this to happen. I think that this type of event would be rarer today because we all have cell phones and have been made aware that we will not get in trouble if we report a crime. In conclusion, this event was a reflection of the time and setting of the 1960’s culture in Queens.

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    • Thalia Urena says:

      It is crazy to think that all of her neighbors not doing anything cost kitty her life. Technically, her murderer killed her and was the cause of her death, but with none of her neighbors helping her, she had no chance of survival. it was a sad and an eye opening story.

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      • silvana kanani says:

        yes it is so sad to know that you are in danger and asking for help when you are fighting for your life and nobady is there. if someone had helped her or called the police she would be safe.

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  16. courtney doucette says:

    This is such a very sad sad heartbreaking story… even though it seems we all think we would have done something, you never know how you are going to react to a situation until you are actually in the situation… even though I think yes someone should have called for help or even helped themselves, but we don’t know what they were thinking or feeling just seeing that would be terrifying I would think… even hearing the story it seems many people that saw were unsure of what was even going on, or maybe many of them thought they should mind their business or if they said something they might be next… we also have to take into consideration that time period things were very different… I just don’t see how the people that saw should be to blame… there is only one person to blame for this tragedy and that is the one who commited this sad crime… this is a reality I hope to never have to face

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  17. Juan Ochoa says:

    One of the main things I repeatedly thought about while watching this video was how easily this could have been stopped at some point in the early stages of the attack. If someone would have called the police as soon as they saw the struggle take place, she wouldn’t have lost her life that day. This situation really goes to show how times have changed, I really doubt something like that would have happened in todays modern day. I think today, we are better prepared to see things like this or know how to react when they happen, just from experience.

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  18. Dominic Stringer says:

    As i watched this video. It brought me back to a time when i was in a neighborhood visiting two female friends. I noticed one person pacing back and forth staring at me, i figured it was only a matter of time before i was accosted. Moments later he yells “who u looking at”? I said ” i’m not here for any trouble, i’ll leave. He walked off and came back with another friend who then asked me where i’m from. I told him and then he said “Oh yeah? he looks at his friend and says “get the tool!” *tool meaning gun* I walked away with the two girls down to the nearest corner store. I knew i needed energy and water if i was going to have to fight my way home. I asked the store owner to please call police as there was a posse being formed outside his door at that very moment. He looked at me, walked to the door and peeked out and said “they ain’t gonna do anything, i’m not calling the police. You bought your stuff, now get out cause i don’t want them tearing up my store if they do”. I ask myself to this day, if he knew me personally would he have called them for me then?

    So i watch this feeling the pain, feeling the neglect, feeling the deserting sense of no one is going to save me. Did anyone who witnessed this REALLY know kitty? Was she considered part of the fabric in that society? We are all bystanders in some way. When our friend beats the crap out of someone you don’t know, we generally stand around and watch before it becomes to much for our liking depending on the person and scene. Now if it’s FAMILY or considered family. We rush to aid. Did kitty have family in the area? Did at least one of the people who heard this not consider her family? Or was she like me. Just some person in a bad neighborhood whose community chose to take the silent oath?

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    • silvana kanani says:

      That is the worse asking for help and nobody offers you. You can see how your end is coming, it must be horrible. I am glad nothing happened to you but people do not want to get involved or having trouble with the police. I do not think they should neglected because they can prevent something big for happening.

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  19. Kaylen Jeffrey says:

    I found it abhorrent that so many people (assuming that there were a lot by the location) just stood there and heard the gruesome screams of someone obviously getting hurt, and the fact that some people even saw her physically get stabbed, or seen the blood gushing from her torso. Not that it’s the right thing to do, but it is understandable why people just stood by and decided to not get involve in what they thought was not their business, as in, they must of assumed that because it sounds of someone else getting hurt they also wanted to stay away from the danger, which is just a human instinct (stay away from danger) or they were in shock and didn’t know what to do, they froze. Nevertheless I conjecture that it is our responsibility as people to help others.

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  20. Alexander Karabelas says:

    This is honestly quite spine-chilling. How could no one come to Kitty’s cry for help? Yes, it could have been dangerous for the witnesses if the murderer was there, but he ran away; that would be the time to come to someone’s aid. It makes me sad that no one wanted to help Kitty. Now I can’t stop thinking about how many other cases in the world that are the same. It’s sad how no one at least called the police, until it was too late. This is an atrocity, however, I could understand how no one wanted to get involved (not saying it’s right, but that it is understandable). No one wants to get pulled into danger. Everyone wants to remain unharmed and safe. Still, how could no one call the local authorities when she was first screaming? If it were me in those apartments, honestly I would have run out there when the killer was absent. If not that, then I would have called the police or 911.

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  21. Fajr Harris says:

    This story was quite interesting. I was not completely shocked that no one intervened and tried to help, but to not all for authorities is shocking. I also can’t seem to grasp the fact that the attacker left and no one came to Kitty’s rescue. It’s in some way disappointing to think that if in a neighborhood I called home and something like this was to occur and none of neighbors react instantly. I definitely believe that the bystander effect is real. I know in my own cases that I sometimes tune out sounds and conversations that are occurring around me if I myself am not directly affected. The worse part about this is it could have easily been stopped. Whether it was just two or three neighbors running outside and scaring him off. I think that was issues like this occur its due to fear for your own life. It is also the hope that someone else will care enough to do something about what is happening. Individuals also take into consideration, who and what. If it was a recognizable scream and was a family member or close friend, I’m certainly positive someone would have ran out. It’s quite difficult to think that people could possibly rate the importance of something occurring to one person over another.In reality it is human nature. In my case had I seen it happening I would have definitely ran out to check on what was happening during that ten minute period or at least contacted the police during the duration of the attack.

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  22. Michaela Brunet says:

    This is completely wrong in so many ways, for someone like Kitty to be a victim of a murder and have NO ONE help is a cruel and horrific death. The man had a gut feeling to kill someone and unfortunately it happened to be Kitty. No one helped probably for the reason of, why should I intervene when my neighbor next door could. Everyone put the job off until it was too late. At that moment, you shouldn’t wonder “oh my neighbor will help her” instead they should wonder “what would I want if I were in her spot” that would’ve sparked them to call the police or go stop him. But again, I can’t blame them, a man is trying to murder a girl, no one has the guts to confront a murderer unless your a cop or have a weapon or knowing what your doing. Its all a matter of, does it pertain to me, how does this effect me, and what am I suppose to do if I were there? And while there are those that would have helped Kitty, people have to consider other options. Yet calling the cops is an option no one did. And that ended a girls life in a place she adored.

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    • silvana kanani says:

      i think you are right. people always tend to stay away and chose not to get involved when someone else is fighting or arguing. i think they are afraid and the same think happen to everyone they are afraid for their life and cant think that if the whole neighborhood help they will win and no one will get endured.

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  23. Michael Lauletta says:

    This is actually really saddening to hear about. If people heard Kitty scream and specifically heard her say that she got stabbed then why weren’t any of those people that saw her or screamed “leave her alone” go out to see if she was okay instead of just close their apartment windows? And also when the door kept opening and no one would come out to help her. That is just disappointing. Has any one ever heard of “See something, say something.” When you see something bad happening, and even if you don’t think you should intervene then just tell someone or call the police. People wouldn’t want this happening to them or see that people aren’t helping them escape from this. People would want others to help them, so that should motivate them to help other people in need.

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  24. Cesar J. Espinal says:

    It really is hard to imagine people not helping someone in need of help, but it does happen. We don’t want to think that “Let someone else handle it”. It’s unfortunate that we humans don’t want to stick our nose into someone else’s problems. However we should at least check up on the person in distress to see if everything is okay. It might be nothing most of the time, but it is better then not doing nothing, and letting victims like Kitty suffer for our mistake of not stepping in at that time.

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  25. Jansel C. says:

    This video reminds me of the phrase “See no evil, hear no evil, do no evil.” Nobody did anything, they ignored what was happening, and carried in with their lives. They were simply passing through. Is this a thing that solely belongs to a generation? Personally, I don’t believe something like this would happen nowadays, but if you put yourself in the position of those bystanders, it’s scary. Is it your place to intervene? What if you get hurt trying to help? Who’s watching you while you try to help? If you realize what is happening in the situation, are you being watched? It’s scary. It really is. If everyone who passes by thinks “maybe someone else will do something”, I think it makes everyone a murderer/attacker in some way. If you had any chance to stop something, and decided that you weren’t going to, you cannot have a clean conscience, period.

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  26. seeker1307 says:

    Well, this is so not shocking to me because I live in one of the known most dangerous city in Boston, Dorchester. and trust me when I say that people don’t get involved in a crime scene, it doesn’t matter what’s going on, everyone just minds their business. I had a friend who was being robbed during the day in a crowded place and in the open, but nobody tried to interfere until after the incident. I witness this most of the time, and the sad part is no not everyone chooses to get involve, what a world we live in.

    Like

  27. Fredline Gilles says:

    I found it really hard to believe that apparently 38 people stood from their doors and windows and was able to witness a murder without doing anything about it. My automatic response was confusion and shock, but looking more into the video, it made me realize that ten out of ten, those people were in fear for their own safety, and did not want to put themselves at risk to any harm. The way Kitty’s murder is described is brutal, and I too would want to protect myself, though that wouldn’t stop me from trying to help the person in trouble. No one said anything during the attack. A scream at the attacker or yelling something about the police on their way would make a big difference, and could have made it highly possible for the brutal attack and murder to have been avoided. Even after the attack, only one person had come out to comfort Kitty, and call 911. The 911 called was made after the attack, and it was the very first one. This event emphasizes a lot on how humans act when it comes to a shocking or terrifying moment. The body and mind will freeze, and fill up with shock, and try to protect itself. The bystander affect is displayed strongly here. No one dove in to stop murder so no one will at any point. “Why risk my life when others aren’t risking theirs?”

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  28. Shantal Petrie says:

    This was a sad ending to Kitty Genovese’s life. I couldn’t understand how they knew how many people witnessed a portion of her murder, but i’m going to interpret that they either talked to them or from the murderer. In any event, people were probably afraid thinking that if they helped the man or associates would come after them. Its really unfortunate though they no one at least called the police. Kitty had an opportunity to live with some scars and possibly even some nightmares, but because no one reacted, the crazy man stuck around and when he felt certain no one was going to help her, he finished what he had started. If even one person called 911 earlier, he could have gotten spooked and left the scene. It really sickening someone just decides another person’s life is useless and therefore they should kill them. What gives anyone the right?

    Like

    • Isaac Ribeiro-Rosas says:

      I agree with you and its inhumane. One call to the authorities or at least help kitty to safety when the killer ran, could’ve saved her life. I guess its some of our instincts, to back away from danger and not do anything and just standby. Its sad but its the truth for some of us, we just watch a tragedy and do nothing. I think its an act of cowardice and like you said they probably thought her life was useless. But what if you were kitty and shouted for help knowing there were people watching you and did nothing. Its horrible and sick how we still live in a world like that.

      Like

  29. Moises Angulo Caraballo says:

    This was a really tough video to watch. Specially at the end when we’re shown the reaction of the people who witnessed her murder. However, I do think that it shows a huge of example of how dissociative humans can be towards the pain of a fellow person. We see this every day on a massive scale when there are wars, famine, or a lot of death in other countries but we just ignore it or even though we’re aware of it nothing is done about it. Another example is when we see someone being bullied but don’t do anything or even join in on the bullying. Overall I think it was an extremely sad ending to a life that just started to flourish and it speaks volumes of how social environment affects the decisions we make. I’m sure that if one of those people who first saw her had called the police or even gone down to check on her others would have followed.

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  30. Blanca says:

    This is a really eye-opening video to the bystander effect and how humans as a society fear to put themselves in vulnerable and potentially dangerous situations even if it’s at the cost of another individual’s life. Though there are times when brave people take the daring initiative to help those in the time of a life or death circumstance, it seems that it is much more common for most to be bystanders. It’s really an awful situation in this case as there were over 30 people who could’ve helped save one life. Instead, everyone hearing Genovese’s screams for help and pain just asked each other what was going on and one person said “leave her alone” from a distance. I believe people do this because they can convince themselves that they’re actually helping so that they don’t feel bad about themselves during the time of someone else’s crisis. Usually in these cases, if one person takes a stand, others will follow. I think it’s just a matter of that one person being brave enough to be the leader so that other follow their actions. This happens every single day in our world whether it be something to the extreme of someone getting stabbed or an event where someone is being called bad names. Regardless, I believe that as human beings we can all do a better job at looking out for each other and empathizing with one another in order to reduce this pattern.

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  31. arpana says:

    I was totally shocked the most of people watched and yell from the window didn’t took any action.I am sure the witness don’t want get troubled themselves.Kitty Genoves is such a poor and helpless girl because nobody stood up for her.Overall it was a very sad ending of kitty Genoves’s life .Still I feel sad I wish someone had helped her ,so she may be alive.

    Like

  32. Michelle Oliveira says:

    As humans we can be helpful, but we can also be very selfish and indifferent. It is outrageous that no one had the courage or even compassion, petty, guilt, what have you, to call the police. I understand not wanting to intervene out of fear, but is it too much to just pick up the phone and just make a phone call? As shocking as this video was, it’s the honest truth of how people are. It’s like the witnesses were scared to be charged as an accomplice or something. Though it is thought that the reporter exaggerated when stating there was 38 witnesses I believe that there very well could have been 38 witnesses, perhaps even more.
    What I found admirable was Kitty’s ambition. In the time she was a live she did what so many women were afraid to do and probably were not even expected to do. She had so much going for her. What people had the audacity not to do and failed to do is to put themselves in her shoes. What if they were the ones that were being innocently persecuted? What if their cries for help were being ignored? This video and the example of Kitty demonstrates the strong effects of the bystander effect and the drastic need to break this effect. As well as how just a call to the police can save a life. Kitty’s neighbors get ample opportunities to call the police. Even if she was just drunk the fact that she was alone on the street, going through some apparent struggle, should have been reason enough to worry. I personally what have called the police if I was in the situation her neighbors were in, they had the chance to save her, the man even waited 10 minutes expecting police to show up. Another thing that was horrific is that after being initially stabbed twice she was just left on the street, in pain, and struggling.

    Like

  33. hongyu ma says:

    This is a real event happened in New York. After I watched this video, I was so shocked that crime of thirty minutes there were 38 neighbors heard the victim’s cry for help, many people also go to the window to see for a long time, but no one to rescue, even no one to call the police timely. I understand people maybe think that there will be someone to help her, so they don’t have to assist her. But this kind of mentality lowers the sense of human responsibility for society so that Kitty was rescued possibility is very small. I felt sorry for this young woman if someone willing to help her in the first time, the result will be optimistic.

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  34. mendo S says:

    kitty Genovese’s murder would be one of the many crime in the New York city if NOT for the article in the New York times two weeks later. the article actually set in motion the psychological studies and a lot more soul searching for everyone afterwards. when the heading read “38 law abiding and respectable citizens watched the murder of a woman.” it gives anyone a much different picture than the real event. however it still remains a fact that a woman was stalked, stabbed raped and murdered in the presence and knowledge of numerous onlookers. she wasn’t given help though she did shout for help and bloody murder! if I place myself in the place of an individual bystander then, there would be different reasons and assumptions as to why I didn’t offer to help. now if I place myself in kitty’s fate that night, i come home, like on any ordinary day to face an assault and death on my doorstep while my neighbors watched indifferently. it would tell me chilling facts on the value of my life and the society I live in. finally reading and studying it as a psychology student is better and altogether a different experience. it shed light in the deep recess of our collective mind, its limitation and also its power to influence others. hopefully through this lesson, I can become a better and more active bystander anywhere henceforth.

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  35. Laura Betancourt says:

    I am so angry after watching this video. The idea that someone would scream at night and see someone struggling but wouldn’t call the police after hearing it for a while? It looks obvious that this person definitely needed some help. The people who opened the door then closed it? I get it, its scary but what the heck? She’s in front of you dying and you do nothing?! And the killer? He left her and came back as a consequence of no one calling the police on time. She could’ve lived.

    Like

  36. yongting chen says:

    I think it’s really unfortunate that girl became the target, and I was shock by her desire of survive. She was creaming after she got stabbed twice, and she still able to move and search for help. One thing that I’m surprise is that there are actually 38 people witness the crime and no one stand up to help immediately. I understand it’s not easy to come out when someone was committing the crime. Especially the help that you offer can put yourself in danger. So it’s reasonably to assume and understand if there’s one person witness the crime and didn’t help. However there are total 38 people, that number shock me. And this number let me realize how serious consequence can be result from bystander effect. Furthermore, I also realize it’s not rare that people experiencing the diffusion of reasonability, which people expect other to help instead themselves. Then I put myself in to their shoes, slowly I can understand why no one stand up. Because we share common sense of responsibility, we all waiting for someone (of course not me) to help. And this behavior continue grow from one person to rest of the group. So even if someone really wanted to help, that person couldn’t do it, because rest of the group didn’t.

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  37. Steven Trothen says:

    After watching the video re. Kitty Genovese’s murder, I am, like most commenters, shocked at the indifference of those bystanders who looked but did offer aid. I am, however, reminded of the particular geography of the murder in Queens, NYC. It is a densely populated area–consistently loud with the sounds of traffic, trains, and people–even in 1964. While this does not excuse onlookers from being compelled to act, I think it does speak to the conditions of desensitization that residents of a city go through. Being from a more rural area than NYC or Boston, it is difficult for me to imagine rural folks ignoring the cries for help of a young woman; this assertion of the ‘helpful’ country folks may be attributed to their desentization to evening quiet, whereas urban dwellers contend with greater and more routine disturbances. I am curious how this particular type of desensitization to stimulus may affect, if any, the Bystander Effect

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  38. Jenny Builes says:

    Ive seen videos like this before and i just want to jump into my screen, and wish i was there to help out. I know i cant physically/legally stop this from happening but i would of at least said something or call the police. A lot of people now a days do not like confrontation especially with a stranger but, in this case a little girl was at risk. Just think, this little girl is someone’s daughter, niece or grandchild that could possibly go missing because no one wanted to prevent this from happening. I also loved the 3D picture system. I think it is better to be safe than sorry.

    Like

  39. KaLok Kwok says:

    This is the most frightening event. Kitty Genovese was going back to her apartment as usual, but the horrifying event happened. Winston Moseley was coming up an idea, he just wanted to find a girl to kill. He had no criminal record, he looks like a normal person who was working in his company. However, he comes up an idea to kill a girl. His environment affects him to have this killing idea. He probably sick of being a normal person who spends the whole life to work for nothing. He probably wants to have an excited feeling, and prove to the others that he can do something different. On the other hands, those 38 witnesses who saw the whole event, but doing nothing for Kitty Genovese. This is called bystander effect indeed. they think why they should do something for the others? Why not the others help her? They probably thought that they were doing a correct decision. However, we should focus on what is the elements affect them to have this thought. Back in 1964, people only do what they desire or doing for benefits. They spend their whole lives to work and keep doing the same thing. The environment taught them only doing for themselves or their own family. Moreover, when some people look out from the windows. Their first thought is Kitty got drunk, it probably means this whole action was very common in the New York. So they thought this is the same thing which is some people got drunk and screaming for nothing. This probably people in 1964 had so much stress and pressure from their work or relationship or own family. So they wanted to get drunk to decompression. They didn’t have the patience to keep their eyes open. They didn’t want to confirm what was going on. They just wanted them to shut up and not making any noise. That’s why the murderer come back and finished her up.

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  40. Rejane Carvalho says:

    I feel very sad and disapointed that people still not taking action on crazy situations like this… Yes, it could be people trying to protect themselves, but also there is a lot of selfishness. The Bystander Effect can have very heavy consequences specialy in situatons like Kitty’s. Another big example that we have on the Bystander Effect is on Domestic Violence… I grow up with my father beating my mother up my whole childhood, I used to scream and run for help knocking on the neighbors doors, most of them ignore me, and the others listen to my whole story to after say that they rather not get involved. I believe that we should stand up to help each other, we are stronger when we unite to fight against life’s atrocities.

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  41. At the beging of the situation I understand that the bystander did not take action, but he should have take action when things got serious. I do not think he was able to live in peace after Genovese death, while he could have saved her life by making a phone call.

    Like

  42. Jonette says:

    I’m struggling to form my thoughts in response to this madness. We are taught to dial 911 at an early age. Those 3 easy numbers were ingrained in our minds and we were to use those numbers to call for help in the event of an emergency. This was an emergency. I don’t understand how this could have happened. Kitty could have potentially lived beyond her 20s if someone did just that, called for help. Without the need to identify yourself someone could have called for help to report suspicious activities and screams for help. My heart aches for Kitty, she suffered and those that could have been her superman or superwoman were not. As a society, and human race, Kitty was failed. Not only by her attacker but also her community.

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