38 Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police Summary Chris Teeters



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38 Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police Summary

Chris Teeters


College Writing

Professor O’ Hearn

May 19, 2009

Millions of murders are committed in the United States every year. We see these stories on the news, in newspapers, and sometimes in our own neighborhoods. Sadly there are people who go into the world and kill their fellow man and sometimes without remorse. The only way that we can prevent these events from happening again or at all is to bring these criminals to justice. In most cases there are witnesses who see the crime or have some leads that help solve the crimes. Usually witnesses call the police and try to help the person in trouble, but this case is different. In the murder of Catherine Genovese, there were thirty-eight witnesses who did nothing to save her.

Many people see someone in need of help and sadly do nothing about it; this is called the bystander effect. The bystander effect is most common when people are in groups. When there is a group of people, they usually do not act out, since the rest of the group is not doing anything. While on the other hand those who are alone tend to help the person in need, because he or she feels it is his or her responsibility.

Another reason people do not help others is because they are afraid. There is much crime in our world today and we are very careful when it involves helping people we do not know. Many people are afraid it could be a predator who is feeding off of the good nature of their possible victims to bait or to do them harm. People are also afraid that if they get involved they to will be harmed for trying to help out, just like the people who witnessed the murder. Those thirty-eight people may be afraid of what could have happened to them and told themselves it was not their place to do something.



Catherine Genovese’s sad story tells us one thing: that we should be willing the help others in need. It does not mean that you have to fight to protect the victim, there are many other alternatives. You could simply call the police if you are afraid of getting involved. That way you can help the person with out having to put yourself in danger.

Sadly murder happens in our world. The only way that we can prevent these events from happening is to look out for each other. If someone is being attacked we as citizens must call the police or do something else to help the person being attacked. Even though there are people who can go kill, there are still many people who will be willing to help others in one way or another.

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