But, as Joseph De May Jr., a maritime lawyer who took it upon himself to dig deeper into the murder's details years after the fact, later told The New York Times
: "Yeah, people heard something. You can question how a few people behaved. But this wasn't 38 people watching a woman be slaughtered for 35 minutes and saying, 'Oh, I don't want to be involved.''' Another fact that the original Times
report got wrong: One witness actually did
intervene while it was happening — a neighbor named Robert Mozer heard Genovese's screams and yelled at Moseley to leave her alone.
None of which is to say that there were no other villains that night besides Moseley. A neighbor named Joseph Fink witnessed the murder when he cracked his door, it was later revealed. Another, Karl Ross, watched her death unfold but waited to call for law enforcement. Like Genovese herself, Ross was gay — and, as it was later suggested, wary of the police.
But even the fact of the victim's sexual orientation has become part of the mythology surrounding her death, despite the fact that her sexual identity had nothing to do with the crime. Before Sunday night's Girls
episode aired, Lena Dunham shared an Instagram homage to Genovese, using Kitty's 1961 mug shot photo, from when she was arrested on a misdemeanor charge for bookmaking.
"Tonight's episode of @girlshbo, written by the teen queen @shinyunicorn and directed by our main man Richard Shepard, involves an exploration of the Kitty Genovese murder of 1964 — one of New York City's most notorious crimes which led psychologists to coin the term 'bystander effect.' We honor Kitty, a tough gay girl making her way in the city, a woman ahead of her time #RIPKitty," the series creator wrote.