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Mary Ann Zielonko, Partner of Kitty Genovese, Dies at 85

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For 60 years, Kitty Genovese has endured as a symbol of big-city apathy, the victim not only of a knife-wielding killer but also of her neighbors’ reluctance to get involved.

Two weeks after a man named Winston Moseley stalked, raped and murdered her in Queens late at night in March 1964, a New York Times article reported that 38 of her neighbors had heard her cries for help, yet did nothing.

That account turned out to be significantly flawed. Most of those 38 people were unaware of what was actually happening; they thought they were merely hearing a fight, perhaps a lovers’ quarrel.

Investigations later determined that few of them had caught even a glimpse of the attacks. Nonetheless, the death of 28-year-old Catherine Susan Genovese has long remained a paradigm of urban anonymity and indifference.

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