On the night of March 13, 1964, Kitty Genovese died at the hands of an assailant as 38 “respectable, law abiding citizens” of Kew Gardens in Queens, NY that heard her cries did nothing. The story became one of the horror of “egocentrism in the urban jungle.” However, there was one neighbor, a friend of Miss Genovese, who, upon hearing from a frantic neighbor that her friend was slumped inside the rear building door, went to her side. The then-30-year-old mother of a new baby held Kitty as they waited for help. Miss Genovese died in the ambulance en route to the hospital.
It was Miss Genovese’s brother who restored some semblance of hope in society as he featured that neighbor, Sophia Farrar, in his documentary about the night his sister was murdered. Mrs. Farrar explained what she did with one hope: That Kitty knew she was there with her and for her. Mrs. Farrar took a risk that 37 others would not. A young mother there for her friend.
Mrs. Farrar recently died at age 92. RIP. May we remember her example of courage and friendship.