50 years ago today Kitty Genovese was killed

And everything we thought we knew about the case and what it said about human nature turns out to be wrong.

This case became the archetypal example of the bystander effect.  Of course, human beings are exposed to all sorts of potentially troubling (and potentially dangerous) incidents involving strangers, and there are lots of variables that might make people more or less likely to intervene.

But the truth of the Genovese case isn’t quite as dramatic as we’ve always thought it to be.  NPR interviews Kevin Cook, author of a new book that tries to find out what really happened.

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