Interview: "No One Helped:" Marcia Gallo on the murder of Kitty Genovese

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title



Marcia M. Gallo’s book “No One Helped”: Kitty Genovese, New York City and the Myth of Urban Apathy (Cornell University Press, 2015), the winner of a Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction (Publishing Triangle) and a Lambda Literary Award (LGBT Nonfiction category), examines the infamous murder of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese, a young lesbian bar manager, in Kew Gardens, Queens, in 1964. “No One Helped” restores Genovese’s humanity, and critiques the “myth of urban apathy” that newspaper coverage of Genovese’s murder created in the midst of widespread struggles for racial and social justice. Gallo’s book also reveals that the Genovese story contains not one, but multiple tragedies including Genovese’s rape and murder itself; the erasure of her subjectivity in the news; the isolation and police treatment of her lesbian lover; the criminal justice system’s failure to serve the black female victims of Genovese’s murderer Winston Moseley; and the demonization of Genovese’s neighbors in Kew Gardens who supposedly heard her screams, but failed to help her as she lay dying in the vestibule of her apartment building. At a moment when “inner cities” are once again being deployed in the media as symbols of unchecked violent crime and social disintegration, the history Gallo traces is vital.