Sophia Farrar Dies at 92; Belied Indifference to Kitty Genovese Attack


And there was Mrs. Farrar.

According to police accounts, trial testimony and interviews for “The Witness,” a 2016 documentary about the case, Mrs. Farrar, her husband and her son were awakened by, in Michael Farrar’s words, “a loud, bloodcurdling scream.”

“The whole neighborhood had to hear it,” he said. The Farrars looked out the window, saw nothing, and went back to sleep.

Mrs. Farrar said a frantic neighbor called her after 3 a.m. and reported that Ms. Genovese was in distress in a vestibule in the back of the two-story building where she and her partner, Mary Ann Zielonko, lived on the second floor, across the hall from the Farrars.

Without hesitating, Mrs. Farrar dressed, raced through a circuitous alleyway and reached the vestibule just moments after the killer had left.

The door was jammed; Ms. Genovese’s body was wedged against it from the inside. Mrs. Farrar finally opened the door and found Ms. Genovese in a pool of blood, moaning and gurgling and barely conscious, Mr. Farrar says in the film. Mrs. Farrar cradled her, offered words of comfort, promised that help was on the way and yelled for another neighbor to call the police.

It was too late. Ms. Genovese died in the ambulance before reaching the hospital.

“I only hope that she knew it was me, that she wasn’t alone,” Mrs. Farrar says in “The Witness.”

That film, produced and directed by James Solomon, traces an investigation by Ms. Genovese’s younger brother, Bill, into the murder and the mind of Winston Moseley, the psychopathic killer who stalked his victim and died in prison in 2016 while serving a life term.



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