The name Kitty Genovese became synonymous with bystander apathy after The New York Times reported that 38 witnesses watched her being murdered in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York – and did nothing to help. This version of events went largely unchallenged for half a century.
The horrifying implications of the Times story reached across the city and the country, and would eventually impact lawmakers and lecture halls across the globe. At home, determined to prove he wasn’t like the witnesses who watched and did nothing, Kitty’s younger brother Bill Genovese volunteered to serve in Vietnam, where he lost both his legs.
More than 50 years later, “The Witness” follows Bill’s search for the truth as he attempts to find out what really happened on the night of March 13, 1964. This film premiered on CPTV this January and is now available to stream online here.
Bill unravels a myth that transformed his life, condemned a city, and defined an era. In his decade-long investigation, Bill confronts those closest to the crime, including the surviving witnesses to Kitty’s death, the prosecutor in the murder trial, and journalists Mike Wallace, Gabe Pressman, and A.M. Rosenthal, The New York Times editor who wrote the initial coverage of the murder that launched the legend.
A gripping mystery, “The Witness” debunks one of America’s most chilling crime stories as a brother reclaims his sister’s forgotten life from her infamous death.
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