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On the night of March 13, 1964, the moon in Queens was a waning crescent. The day’s average temperature was 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but at 3 AM, it was probably closer to 30. It was around this time that 28-year-old Kitty Genovese left the Hollis, Queens bar she managed, Ev’s 11th Hour, and headed home. Maybe, as she parked her red Fiat at the rail station by her apartment, Kitty looked up. Maybe she saw the sliver of a moon hanging above her. Maybe she took in a chilly breath, pulled her coat closer to her body.
The neighborhood of Kew Gardens was heavy with sleep at this hour, and street lamps shed small pools of light on Austin Street. 100 yards. That’s how far Kitty had to walk, how far she was from home. Home, the second-floor apartment where her Mary Ann slept, waiting. It was the couple’s first anniversary. Kitty’s heels probably clicked in a staccato rhythm as she walked quickly down the sidewalk. They were likely the only sound in the quiet neighborhood, slicing through the nighttime silence.