Washington, DC

Wikipedia defines the syndrome as :”Kitty Genovese, was a New York City woman who was stabbed to death near her home in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York. The circumstances of her murder and the apparent reaction (or lack thereof) of her neighbors were reported by a newspaper article published two weeks later and prompted investigation into the psychological phenomenon that became known as the bystander effect or “Genovese syndrome.” The story of Genovese’s murder became an almost-instant parable about the supposed callousness, or at least apathy to others’ plight, of either New York City, urban America, or humanity in general.”

Fortunately, the disturbing email I received from a PW/CH resident didn’t mention any victims. The reader writes “we had a shooting on the block last night (police found a Lexus SUV in the middle of the street Sunday morning with a number of bullet holes in it. Apparently there were 8-10 shots around 4:30 and no one called the police) and no one knows what happened.” He also said that the police were pretty pissed off at the neighbors for not calling in the incident.

So how do we explain the fact that 8-10 shots were fired and not one person called the police? A case of really heavy sleepers or apathy?


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