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Kitty Genovese's Killer Dies in State Prison, Officials Say

By Katie Honan | April 5, 2016 10:29am
 Winston Moseley died in prison, where he was serving a 20-years-to-life sentence.
Winston Moseley died in prison, where he was serving a 20-years-to-life sentence.
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KEW GARDENS — The man who brutally killed Kitty Genovese on Austin Street in 1964 has died in an upstate prison while serving a life sentence, officials said. He was 81.

Winston Moseley, the state's longest-serving inmate, was pronounced dead on March 28 at Clinton Correctional Facility, according to a spokesman with the state's Department of Correction and Community Supervision. 

He had been in state prison since 1964 when he confessed to killing Genovese, a 28-year-old bartender, in the hallway of her apartment building in Kew Gardens.

Her death — and her neighbors' reaction — led to an analysis known as the "Genovese syndrome," or the bystander effect. Newspaper reports at the time claimed many of her neighbors heard her cries for help, but didn't help.

These accounts, though, were later questioned.

Genovese's murder has been the subject of books and films including an upcoming documentary, "The Witness," that focuses on her brother Bill's search to find out what really happened to his sister.

Moseley was denied parole for the 18th time last November. The parole board cited his "dangerous predatory conduct" that goes beyond the infamous Kew Gardens murder.

After he was arrested for killing Genovese, he later confessed to killing three other women, including 15-year-old Barbara Kralik, who he raped and stabbed to death in the bedroom of her Springfield Gardens home, according to reports at the time.

Moseley also escaped from prison in 1968 and while he was out he committed a robbery and tried to kidnap a mother and small child before he was captured, according to the parole board.

The state coroner is determining his cause of death, the DOCCS said.