Kevin Cook Explores the Real Story Behind The Infamous 1964 Murder of Kitty Genovese

For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2014
Contact: Courtney Lewis
Kevin Cook Explores the Real Story Behind The Infamous 1964 Murder of Kitty Genovese

The 1964 murder of Catherine "Kitty" Genovese at her Queens, New York, apartment building rocked America.

Genovese became an urban martyr, butchered in plain sight of 38 witnesses who "didn't want to get involved." Her killing crystallized a new psychological concept: the "bystander effect."

At least that's how reporting at the time described the murder. But much of the story was wrong.

Author Kevin Cook explores the untold truth behind that sensational crime in a discussion of his book Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed Americaon Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

For starters, Cook notes, the tale of 38 witnesses is a myth. The truth is more compelling,
and so is the crime's young victim. Drawn from newly discovered documents and revelatory interviews with Genovese's lover and other key figures, Kitty Genovese redefines a story America thought it already knew.

"This is not a good book. This is a great book," raves author Harlan Ellison. "I don't think I've read its compelling equal in 20 years. Every page reveals astonishing new facts about one of the most paralyzing events in the flawed soul of the American character. This is modern history at its storytelling best, ignored at the reader's peril."

Kevin Cook is the award-winning author of Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything and Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son. He writes for Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Men's Health, and other magazines and has appeared on ESPN, Fox Television, and CNN.

Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th & Baltimore.  RSVP at or call 816.701.3407.

Kansas City Public Library Beta