November 18, 2015

New York's longest-serving inmate — 50 years in prison on a 20-to-life term — denied parole for the 18th time.

It's the man who killed Kitty Genovese, the symbol of the callousness of bystanders.

Winston Moseley said: "I know that I did some terrible things, and I've tried very hard to atone for those things in prison... I think almost 50 years of paying for those crimes is enough." Moseley is 80.

The parole board said: "You still minimize the gravity of your behavior and did not exhibit much insight."

The murder was in 1964. Here's an op-ed by Winston Moseley — dateline Attica, NY — published in 1977, "Today I'm a Man Who Wants to Be an Asset":



"I've been imprisoned many years now..." Many years, but now he's been there 5 times as long.
My perpetual torment will not resurrect her.... Prison as it presently stands is an inherently evil place that insidiously and systematically works to destroy imprisoned persons.... The '71 Attica rebellion profoundly affected me... Now I have earned a B.A. degree in sociology.... I've made reasonable suggestions to state officials about prison reform.... I tried and succeeded in doing something good.... The man who killed Kitty Genovese is no more.... Another vastly different individual has emerged, a Winston Moseley intent and determined to do constructive, not destructive things....
UPDATE: Moseley died in prison on March 28, 2016.

55 comments:

mccullough said...

Would have been cheaper to execute him

Rick said...

Prison as it presently stands is an inherently evil place that insidiously and systematically works to destroy imprisoned persons

Prison is evil primarily because it is populated with evil men like Winston. It would be nice if it could be different, just like it would be nice if everyone's material desires could be provided by robots in exchange for satisfaction emojis.

gerry said...

Now I have earned a B.A. degree in sociology

Isn't that the same as a B.A. in SJW?

Tank said...

Who wants to be the guy who let out Willie Horton II?

He says he has perpetual torment. I'm ok with that. Does that make me a feminist?

Lyssa said...

I'm intrigued by the idea of an 80 year old person leaving prison after 50 years. Leaving to go where and do what? Go home and die, was my first thought, but where is "home" to a person after 50 years in prison?

Nonapod said...

Apparently this guy stabbed his victim twice in the back, was scared off only to come back a few minutes later while she was bleeding on the ground, stab her a few more times and the raped her.

Rob said...

Even at eighty, it's a benefit to society to keep a sociologist off the streets.

Gahrie said...

I would have voted in favor of execution at his trial.

However:

I think he should be released. At this point, an 80 year old man poses a very small threat to society, and he has been punished much more thoroughly than most others.

Wonder of wonders, it appears he has also been rehabilitated.

EDH said...

The parole board should ask him: Are you a feminist?

"I know what you think it means, sonny. To me, it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Prison as it presently stands...and systematically works to destroy imprisoned persons

Yeah, for people we don't intend to let out that might be more of a feature than a bug, guy. It's punitive. It's punitive and rehabilitative for some, but if we don't want you out then being purely punitive is ok, too. Plus since it's destroying the "old you," the one who was bad, isn't that ok?

You say you're a different person now, and good for you, but we're all different people every day we wake up (never step in the same river twice and all that) and that fact doesn't mean you're not still responsible for the old you's actions. If you object to still being in prison take it up with him.

Terry said...


These psychos always put themselves front and center in their narratives, don't they?

Sebastian said...

A useful reminder as SJWs go crazy about white-on-black violence.

clint said...

"Gahrie said...
I would have voted in favor of execution at his trial.

However:

I think he should be released. At this point, an 80 year old man poses a very small threat to society, and he has been punished much more thoroughly than most others.

Wonder of wonders, it appears he has also been rehabilitated."

And yet, the parole board -- which developed an opinion by talking to him rather than by reading a few select quotes in the paper, came to precisely the opposite opinion.

How confident are you that he has been rehabilitated? Would you be willing to let him live in a retirement home where your mother or grandmother also resides?


Ann Althouse said...

Too bad the NYT didn't have a comments section in 1977. I'd have liked to read that. You can tell it's presented as if it's understood the Times readers will think: good, rehabilitation, let this man out so he can benefit us with his unique insights from 10 years in prison and an education in sociology; he learned from the Attica riots, and he has much to teach us.

damikesc said...

The man who killed Kitty Genovese is no more.... Another vastly different individual has emerged, a Winston Moseley intent and determined to do constructive, not destructive things....

Know who didn't get a chance to do more constructive things?

Kitty Genovese.

Progressives decry the death penalty and pretend to support life imprisonment.

Then, when the death penalty isn't an option --- they oppose life imprisonment.

Original Mike said...

"My perpetual torment will not resurrect her."

No, but it's the best we can do.

Fernandinande said...

the symbol of the callousness of bystanders.

More like a symbol of the NYT's dishonesty, which isn't recent.

The truth behind the story of Kitty Genovese and the bystander effect

Gahrie said...

How confident are you that he has been rehabilitated? Would you be willing to let him live in a retirement home where your mother or grandmother also resides

Yes. I think the chances of an 80 year old man killing and raping my 70 year old mother are extremely small, and in this case a justifiable risk. My mother is in greater danger each time she rides in a car.

The Godfather said...

I don't think there's any prison term that would be too long for what he did.

But I'll keep an open mind. Let him apply for release again in 20 years.

SMGalbraith said...

Give him another 10 years for practicing sociology.

According to the accounts, Moseley murdered two other women (which he admitted to during his trial) and raped a number of other women. And when he escaped in 1968, he raped another woman.

This isn't just the murder of Genovese.

Skeptical Voter said...

He's got the record. Keep on stacking time and never look back. Somebody might be gaining on you Winston.

cubanbob said...

The man who killed Kitty Genovese is no more.... Another vastly different individual has emerged, a Winston Moseley intent and determined to do constructive, not destructive things...."

We only have his word for this. However he can prove it by doing a useful act; hanging himself as proof of his recognizing his evil. As for his torment, he must have me confused with someone who gives a crap.

mikee said...

Poor Winston still suffers from his failure in victim selection. Had he chosen to move to Chicago, and killed other African-American gang bangers in drug turf wars, he'd never have risen to such public notoriety, and he'd have been a free man long ago. In fact, Democrats would have worked long and hard to minimize public knowledge of his acts, the press would at most print a short article on B-7 in the local paper, and the President might just have said Winston could have been his son.

Better luck next time, Winston.

Dude1394 said...

Should have executed him already. It is amazing that our legal system has made executing someone actually cheaper than incarcerating them for now 50 years. Some serious efficiency analysis need to be generated on that front.

Jason said...

The man who killed Kitty Genovese is no more. Unfortunately, so is Kitty Genovese.

Virgil Hilts said...

On a related note the Genovese psychology/sociology story (38 people ignored the screams, etc.) that many of us were taught in school turned out to be BS and largely made up (by the NY Times acting ala RS/Jackie - make the story fit the narrative).

There was a great summation article about this in the New Yorker last year -- http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/03/10/a-call-for-help.

William said...

Not a lot of love here for poor ole Winston. Which is cheaper: prison or hospice care? If hospice care is cheaper, I would be willing to release him to a hospice for ge last two weeks or so of his life.

Thorley Winston said...

Even though parole was a possibility (and I defer to the parole board in denying it), if we’re not going to execute people for murder and instead sentence them to Life without Parole, we’re going to have to come to grips with the possibility that we’re going to have some very old people in prison who have been them for most of their lives long after they’ve committed their original crime. If LWOP is really going to be the alternative to the death penalty, then that means having the intestinal fortitude to tell a very old man “you’re going to die in prison, no matter how long it takes.”

Rick said...

Dude1394 said...
It is amazing that our legal system has made executing someone actually cheaper than incarcerating them for now 50 years.


It's not more expensive to execute people on a differential analysis basis.

j said...

Two cases of geezers paroled in California who went on to commit serious crimes:

1. Larry Singleton who picked up a 15 year old hitchhiker, raped her, and chopped off both her arms and left her for dead. She survived. Served max sentence at that time of 15 years and was paroled. Moved to FL. At age 70, he stabbed a woman to death, was sentenced to death but kicked the bucket before it could be carried out.

2. Ken Parnell, who loved to kidnap and rape little boys and hold them prisoner for years. Again, under the laws of that time,he served the max of 5 of a 7 year sentence. At age 71 and in bad health, he tried to buy a 5 year old boy with a "clean butt" He was convicted and died at age 76.

Both of these cases resulted in huge changes in sentencing laws, thank heaven. They also prove that you can be old and sick and still a danger.

j said...

Prisons have hospice care within the prison. No need to be released.

States also have compassionate release. That is, if the prisoner has less than a specific time to live, they can be released. This does not apply to capital offenses. Unfortunately, I see compassionate release being abused. For example: Lynn Stewart. Max Soffar was another one who had only days to live but 19 months later, he is still alive and kicking. Not that it wd have been granted, anyway. He's on death row for multiple murders and there is no early release for medical reasons for first degree murder convictions. But it didnt stop his groupies from lobbying long and hard for it.

Ann Althouse said...

"There was a great summation article about this in the New Yorker last year -- http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/03/10/a-call-for-help."

I linked to that New Yorker article in 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the murder.

Ann Althouse said...

I wonder how someone that old, with no experience living on his own in the last 50 years, would go about living outside of prison.

Mac McConnell said...

Someone should ask this guy if prison students earning B.A. degrees get raped like on college campuses?

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...
I wonder how someone that old, with no experience living on his own in the last 50 years, would go about living outside of prison.

11/18/15, 11:34 AM"

Medicare. Social Security. Welfare supplementation. Government provided housing. parole offices and legal Aid. So many government functionaries to maintain............

Carter Wood said...

I'm sure this wouldn't interest anybody outside a small circle of friends.

SteveR said...

Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means.

clint said...

"Gahrie said...
How confident are you that he has been rehabilitated? Would you be willing to let him live in a retirement home where your mother or grandmother also resides

Yes. I think the chances of an 80 year old man killing and raping my 70 year old mother are extremely small, and in this case a justifiable risk. My mother is in greater danger each time she rides in a car.

11/18/15, 10:29 AM"

Seriously? "... each time she rides in a car." is about a 1-in-1.6 million chance of death. You're actually claiming to be 99.999938% certain she's safe in a room with this guy? I realize you were exaggerating for effect, but really, that's a huge number.

And again -- the parole board disagreed with you.

The parole board that routinely lets out prisoners they believe are rehabilitated. (hundreds of convicted violent murderers every year in New York State alone)

The parole board that hears many, many more prisoners claim rehabilitation than you or I do.

The parole board that met with Moseley, heard his plea face-to-face, listened to testimony from the people who interact with him on a daily basis and from experts who evaluated him. (I've done none of that -- how about you?)

But you feel one-in-a-million confident that they are wrong, based on what exactly?

Moseley is *still* having disciplinary problems in prison as an octogenarian. He has a long history of violence and disciplinary problems in prison. The only time he was ever out of prison he raped again before he was caught. And his statements, even in nuanceless black-and-white are all me-me-me. He doesn't say that he's horrified by what he did -- he says he's paid enough. That's not showing contrition -- it's entitlement and minimizing his crimes.

His apology: "I'm sincerely sorry for this. I know that was a terrible thing to do, and I've had a lot of time to think about it and whatnot." -- Seriously. "and whatnot." Stabbed a woman to death and raped her. Heck, he could have googled "expression of contrition" and memorized something better than this. There's an e-How page on talking to a parole board.

Asked "The crime you committed was pretty heinous, would you agree?" (referring to the rape and kidnapping during his escape from prison) -- he answered, "Well, I guess that depends on your view. ... At that time, I didn't see it that way. And no one was killed."

He can't even effectively fake contrition when he's had fifty years to rehearse and his freedom depends on it!


Perhaps you're right that he's not physically capable of the sex act anymore -- though I wouldn't count on it. Erectile Disfunction afflicts 47% of men over 75. That's a coin flip. And even with severe ED I'd still hate to see the man alone in a room with an elderly woman and a steak knife.

James Pawlak said...

He may remove himself from OUR world at any time.

Tim Cain said...

"The symbol of the callousness of bystanders."
Long proven a fallacy.Reporter made it up.

traditionalguy said...

But what if Kitty called him a racist name as he stabbed her. Then he was justified killing her by the terrible white privilege thingee.

Black Privilege is a little late coming for this guy.

Dr Weevil said...

This reminds me of Evelyn Waugh's best short story, "Mr. Loveday's Little Outing" - only 3.5 pages in PDF (here). Not that fiction proves anything, but really, go read it if you don't already know it.

Van Wallach said...

Meanwhile, the Manson Family boys and girls aren't going anywhere. As of 2013, Tex Watson had been denied parole 14 times, Leslie Van Houton 19 times. Susan Atkins was denied parole 18 times and denied compassionate release when she got cancer, and she died in jail. So, yeah, sometimes life without parole means life without parole, although I have to wonder if they'd be good candidates for a presidential pardon.

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_23391950/manson-family-where-are-they-now?source=infinite-up

eddie willers said...

But what if Kitty called him a racist name as he stabbed her.

I always thought her murderer was white. How is it possible that I am just now finding out he was black?

Freeman Hunt said...

"According to the accounts, Moseley murdered two other women (which he admitted to during his trial) and raped a number of other women. And when he escaped in 1968, he raped another woman."

Given these facts alone, I would never parole him.

RichardJohnson said...

Rob
Even at eighty, it's a benefit to society to keep a sociologist off the streets.

Wins my vote for best thread comment.

richard mcenroe said...

I'll call for Moseley's parole when Kitty Genovese climbs out of her grave and asks me to.

FullMoon said...

Onion field killer Jimmy Smith:

“Jimmy,” he asks gently, “have you ever felt bad when you did something wrong” “Like how?” Jimmy retorts, nervously puffing a cigarette. “Has your conscience ever bothered you, like feeling guilty?” Jimmy’s tone suddenly turns serious, tempered, but with complete conviction. “Mr. Brooks, I believe, I think, that is something that rich white guys dreamed up to keep guys like me down. I honest don’t believe there is such a thing, such a feeling. ‘Guilty?’ That’s just somethin’ a man says in court when his luck runs out.”

Terry said...

Blogger Sebastian said...
A useful reminder as SJWs go crazy about white-on-black violence.


Black on white violence is the fault of white people.
Everything bad is the fault of white people.
This is what teachers teach, this is what students learn.

Douglas said...

Every day you're alive, Mr. Kitty Genovese-killer, is a gift, and you should thank G-d and the People of New York for sparing your life. There is literally nothing you can do to make up for taking her life, so you should just be grateful that you have been shown mercy.

Eric said...

I think he should be released. At this point, an 80 year old man poses a very small threat to society...

I thought the same about a 70 year old Lawrence Singleton. From the state's perspective there's no downside to keeping him in and a huge potential downside to letting him out.

Alex said...

Rot in hell.

Lavonne said...

What does Kitty think?

Carnifex said...

The Kennedy's could adopt him, and he could run for Teddy's old seat.

Brando said...

I recall for a while the conventional wisdom on that case was that so many neighbors heard what was going on over a long period of time (over an hour) and none of them tried to help or even called the police. But later the less well-known story came out that most neighbors couldn't hear what was going on (it was cold that night, so windows were shut) and in fact some neighbors had called the police but for some reason the police took too long responding.

Still, it is frightening that in a nice neighborhood (which Kew Gardens was) such a grisly murder could take place right on the street and no one could stop it. The killer does not deserve freedom even after 50 years. He should find a way to atone from prison.