Pavilion Digest: June 2006

A plethora of perplexing pavilion posts. The Pavilion Annex thread, the Pavilion Discussion thread, and monthly digests of all messages from the Pavilion.

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Anthony Ravenscroft
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Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:36 pm

Name: Tony Ravenscroft
Source: unca20060807.htm
"One witness, the building's night elevator operator, saw the stabbings and understood what was happening. Another thought she saw Moseley beating Kitty. Two others just saw Moseley standing or kneeling over her. One of these witnesses called out to Moseley to leave the girl alone."

So, they saw a girl being attacked, then ran out to help her, or at least to see if she was okay, right?

"Kitty got up and slowly made her way around to the rear of the ... building where none of the witnesses from the Mowbray Apartments could see her. She collapsed in a small hallway just inside one of the back entrances."

Well, once she was out of their sight, at least there was no further suspicious activity, or at least activity related to what may have been an assault.

"We know of 5 witnesses who were still at their windows when Moseley returned on foot about 10 minutes later. They watched from their apartment windows for about 2 minutes as Moseley appeared to search the area around a parking lot adjacent...."

"Residents later said that some people called the police right after the first attack."

Is that "some people" as in, "I'm certain someone ELSE must have called the police."?

"...the problem may not have been that no one called to report the first attack. Rather, it may well have been that whoever did call in did not want to identify themselves, and the police were slow or reluctant to act upon anonymous complaints - especially when the complaints were not of a murder in progress, but of a simple assault in which the attacker had fled and the victim was seen to walk away."

As for the "38 witnesses" problem, the author nitpicks it to shreds, & gets it down to "three eye-witnesses." However, that 38 represents a best-guess estimate from someone at the time, & only contitutes those "who had heard or seen ... enough to make them witnesses in court." Clearly, it couldn't include those who refused to speak to the police, or to admit they'd seen anything, or were in the area but never came forward. The author conveniently overlooks this & takes advantage of the margin for error.

In all, it might have been less -- or more -- than 38 people who observed the initial assault. The NYPD of 1964 might have been inefficient &/or unwilling to run down every "I don't want to get involved" anonymous report. When the suspicious guy came back (apparently witnesses made him for the same guy), he moved around unmolested. It doesn't look like anyone (police or civilians) was particularly interested in sticking out a neck.

Yep -- sure did debunk the whole case, there.

I had a creepy guy walking back & forth for more than an hour on the front walk. I called the cops. And I lied: "He's got something in his hand. I think it's a gun." He didn't, but the squad was there in five flat. Turns out he did indeed have a gun, though, & he was stalking his ex-wife. I'll do the extra penalty-time in Hell gladly.

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Postby cljohnston108 » Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:48 am

Name: Chris Johnston
Source: unca20060807.htm
Actually, I only posted that Metafilter link because it appeared the poster, Sticherbeast, was using the title without attributing it to Harlan, at least not until after 21 other replies:

"Oh, and people haven't read the Harlan Ellison story "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" really should, just for its own merits."

It sickens me when people try to "debunk" events, like the Holocaust and the Moon Landings... and now Kitty Genovese.

The Kitty Genovese tragedy carries special resonance with me, as does the Nazi's purging of the Krakw Ghetto.

I was born on March 13, 1963. One year before Kitty's murder.

The most gut-wrenching scene in "Schindler's List" was rendered all the more so for me, because it began with this subtitle:

Purge of the Krakw Ghetto
March 13, 1943

Mark Goldberg

More political articles

Postby Mark Goldberg » Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:05 am

Name: Mark Goldberg
Source: unca20060807.htm
I also read the article by Kennedy and found it very intriguing. Then I started finding articles from liberal sites that took issue with much of the data that Kennedy used. This is probably the best written article contradicting Kennedy's claims: ... ntingOhio/

While there is a debate over some of the numbers and methodologies that Kennedy used, no article has been able to provide any justification for the actions of Ken Blackwell, who probably violated the Voter's Rights Act in trying to rig the elections for the Republicans. This man is now running for governor of Ohio.

Here is an article from Vanity Fair, interviewing 9 members of the CIA, who state that the story about Iraq trying to purchase yellow cake uranium from Niger was known to be a hoax from the start and was part of a campaign to start an illegal war: ... 0606fege02

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Jim Davis
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Kitty Genovese--What Really Happened?

Postby Jim Davis » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:17 am

Name: Jim Davis
Source: unca20060807.htm
Guys, you're missing the point: the standard account of Kitty Genovese's murder, as presented by the New York Times--namely, that 38 people watched for a half-hour and did nothing as Winston Mosely stabbed Genovese with a knife at three separate locations--SIMPLY ISN'T BORNE OUT BY THE FACTS. According to the exhaustive analysis on the Kew Gardens website (

*The number of ACTUAL EYE WITNESSES to the murder was considerably less than 38. As Charles Skoller, one of the D.A.s who prosecuted Mosely, said, "I don't think 38 people witnessed it. I don't know where that came from, the 38. I didn't count 38. We only found half a dozen that saw what was going on, that we could use." Most of the people interviewed by police appeared to have only seen or heard a portion of the entire incident, without understanding that they were witnessing a murder.

*There were TWO separate attacks, not three--the one in front of the bookstore on Austin Street, and the other inside the back entrance of the Tudor Building. Investigators appear to have misunderstood witnesses' statements, and divided the first attack into two.

*The initial stabbing lasted for only a few minutes. After a resident of the Mowbray yelled at Mosely to stop, he took off in his car, and Genovese walked around to the back entrance of the Tudor Building, which took approximately 15 minutes. Mosely returned, and attacked Genovese a second time in the hallway of the Tudor, where no one from the Mowbray Apartments could possibly have seen or heard what was going on.

*Michael Hoffman, one of the witnesses to the initial stabbing, has signed an affadavit stating that, after seeing Mosely run away from Genovese, he told his father, WHO IMMEDIATELY CALLED THE POLICE. Because Hoffman didn't actually see the stabbing, and therefore had no idea that Genovese was dying, the police likely thought it was a simple assault, and not a murder.

Let me be clear: I'm not trying, in any way, to minimize the horror of Genovese's ordeal, nor am I excusing in the slightest the actions of those who knew damn well what they were witnessing. Approximately half-a-dozen people saw a young women being butchered in front of them and did nothing to help, and if that isn't a sad commentary on humanity's lack of empathy and compassion, I don't know what is. The fact remains, however, that the accepted story of Kitty Genovese's murder, and the supposed 38 people who watched it, has little evidence backing it up. We don't need any further mythologizing of this sad incident--the reality of what happened on that bitterly cold morning in Queens on March 13, 1964 is awful enough.

But don't take my word for it. Read the article--the WHOLE article--and make up your own mind.

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Four Simple Statements

Postby Rick » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:43 am

Name: Rick Wyatt
Source: unca20060807.htm
(1) "Debunking," or examining events critically with an eye towards the truth instead of accepting what we hear, is one of the thing that helps PREVENT another Holocaust from occuring.

(2) Kitty Genovese is not important as a single verifiable incident....rather as a flashpoint, a symbol, a stand-in for thousands of others, from New Yorkers to Tutsis.

(3) I do not believe Harlan Ellison would say it detracts from the essential truth and power of "Whimper" if her murder did not unfold exactly according to the established story.

(4) We should never fear the truth, nor should we condemn the search for it - even when it makes us uncomfortable.

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What Harlan's MySpace site should NOT look like

Postby Mindtraveller » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:07 am

Name: Alex Nystrom
Source: unca20060807.htm

I'm all for rock n roll, but this is hideous.

Be forewarned; this site is extra everything.

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Considering the Sources

Postby Moderator » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:03 am

Name: Steve Barber
Source: unca20060807.htm
I'd like to add a grain of salt to the websites being bandied about. and may indeed be unimpeachable news sources, and/or may be exactly accurate in their factual assessments.

On the other hand, The New York Times and Rolling Stone DO have a definite "Source Material" reputation considering their history, resources and demonstrated reliability on a comparitively vast scale (with a few exceptions, granted).

If, f'r example, 'I' reported to you all that New Orleans had sunk beneath the waves ("I was there!!!") and produced photographic evidence of its tallest towers peeking above the waters of Lake Ponchatrain, how many of you would howl "Photoshop"?) Please apply that degree of cynicism on the sites being mentioned.

Need I mention Wikipedia?

Personally, the overall full accuracy of the NY Times account doesn't detract from "Whimper" from my point of view. That incident is the source material, but the impact and commentary still echo the society we've become to many people. Accuracy in news is essential, but we're talking about a horrifying incident which occurred 40+ years ago and the only cited detractors don't, IMHO, have any credibility.

"Whimper" stands on its own, but this is a real tempest in a teapot if this is the only controversy we can find.

Susan Ellison
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Postby Susan Ellison » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:58 am

Source: unca20060807.htm
Keith--You are up-to-date.

All best--Susan

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Postby rich » Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:18 pm

Name: rich
Source: unca20060807.htm
Steve, I'm sure some other "controversy" can be brought to bear on this site within seconds...

And let me add to this particular mush about Genovese is that all this talk about whether it was 38, 6, or none, has NOTHING to do with "Whimper of Whipped Dogs".

Absolutely nothing.

"Whimper" is a work of fiction. (I know some of you out there didn't know that, but, yes, it's fiction.) The genesis of the story came from a particular account of what happened to Genovese. Once HE put down the first word in his story, anything else about Genovese doesn't matter, whether what happened to her was true or not.

His essays about the subject on the other hand...

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Postby FrankChurch » Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:05 pm

Name: Frank Church
Source: unca20060807.htm
Mark Crispin Miller and Greg Palast both have written about the stolen election of 2004, along with Kennedy, but Kennedy gets the limited press because frankly, he's a Kennedy. Sure, he might have gotten a few of the numbers wrong, but even peer reviewed studies have technical flaws and glitches.

98 peer reviewed studies on Global Warming and you still have people who contest it as being a myth, or a lefty conspiracy to ban the automobile.

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Postby DTS » Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:13 pm

Name: DTS
Source: unca20060807.htm
IN ADDITION to the obvious -- Harlan's collaborative (?) story experiment in the forthcoming F&SF magazine -- and lots of other good reads (Anne Tyler and the new Dean Koontz among them), keep an eye out for these terrific, forthcoming reads:

THE ABORTIONIST'S DAUGHTER by Elizabeth Hyde (JUNE) -- a terrific mainstream/suspense novel
THE LAST QUARRY by Max Allan Collins (late July or August 1st) -- a great old-fashioned, noir thriller.
LOST GIRLS by Alan Moore and Melissa Gebbe (TopShelf comix) -- a Mind-blowing, erotic tale involving Alice, Wendy and Dorothy (of Wonderland, Neverland and Oz). All of them meet up at a hotel near the Bodensee in 1914 --just before WWI -- and recount the various stories of their introduction into the sensual world, while experiementing with sex, etc, with each other, and a others that drop by or work in the hotel Himmelgarten. The writing by Moore is fantastic -- and the illustrations -- many of which are full page wonders -- by Gebbe are to die for.


Alan Coil
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Yo, Chuck!

Postby Alan Coil » Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:18 pm

Name: Alan Coil
Source: unca20060807.htm
This is discussion, Chuck, not an attack. Just wanted to start off with that.

Back in the 60s, many people still didn't have television. Also at that time, the shows that were on were considerably tamer than those of today. Therefore, there really wasn't too much possibility of people being afraid to call the police because of fear of reprisals.
While on the subject of television, I'd also like to note for the younger visitors here that in the early 1960s, I lived close enough to Detroit that we could receive 4 channels, and one of those was from Canada. My family didn't have a television for several years during the 60s. Times were different then. It wasn't until much later that televisions came down in price so more people could buy them.

It's similar to today where some people still don't use cell phones and others have had them their entire lives.

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Chuck Messer
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Postby Chuck Messer » Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:08 pm

Name: Chuck Messer
Source: unca20060807.htm
No prob, Alan. I do remember some of the TV from those days, including Dr. Kildare, The Defenders, etc.

Although it was pretty sanitized, there were some subjects that came up that were awfully adult for 60's TV. I was too little to remember much, but I do remember, for example, one episode of Kildare (Apropos of nothing here, by the way). I wasn't allowed to stay up, but I heard the whole thing from bed.

It was about a man named Justin Post (I recognize the voice now as character actor Jack Hawkins) whose heart stopped on the operating table, then was re-started. After this experience, he began to tell people that he'd died for that time and saw and spoke to God.

Long story short, the controversy was too much for the poor guy and he ended up dying of a heart attack.

I also remember bits of an argument between Kildare and Gilespie over whether Post actually saw what he said he saw, and whether there was a God. Heady stuff for the early 60's.

As for the Genovese thing, I just thought it would make for an intersting discussion especially wondering why people would do nothing when another human being was in trouble. The info being brought up is fascinating.

Pray do continue.


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Jim Davis
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Postby Jim Davis » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:40 am

Name: Jim Davis
Source: unca20060807.htm

I doubt Harlan thinks this, but since someone brought it up on the other board:

My stated belief that Joseph De May's website has some credibility is in no way, shape or form an attack on Harlan or his writing. If you look at my other posts on the subject here, you'll see I don't mention Harlan or "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" once, as the merits of the story, which are considerable, have nothing to do with an honest debate of the facts of Kitty Genovese's death. Or to put it another way: Questioning the standard version of events in the Genovese case in no way diminishes the power, poetry and insight of "Whimper," which is clearly fiction, clearly an extrapolation of the Genovese story into a broader examination of alienation and indifference, and clearly ONE OF THE BEST GODDAMNED THINGS HARLAN HAS EVER WRITTEN.

So, are we, um, CLEAR on the subject? Cool. (There's a Genovese Topic on the other board, by the way, so feel free to jump in, guys.)

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Postby Moderator » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:35 am

Name: Steve Barber
Source: unca20060807.htm

This probably belongs in the Forum, but I'm intrigued with the continuance of the "Genovese" theme as it relates to Harlan's story -- especially given the roughly four decades since either one occurred.

Let's assume for just one second that the entire event was a made up dream in a journalist's mind. No truth of any kind (I don't believe that, but for the sake of argument). Folks, even if a pure fabrication, the state of the event itself doesn't matter.

"Whimper" was a helluva story. Whether the event that inspired the story was true -- or a case of mass delusion -- impacts the fictitious tale not a whit.

Does anyone here remember the tragic story of Tawana Brawley? Her horrific experience of gang rape at the hands of six white men, white men who scribbled racial epithets on her skin and smeared feces on her body after they were done with it. A story that shocked those who spoke with Ms Brawley, a story which was picked up nationally when Al Sharpton and other social activists got involved.

Except it wasn't true. Ms. Brawley admitted to her boyfriend that she'd made the whole thing up.

Let's suppose, for the sake again of argument, that a writer read of this event and was as appalled as the rest of us at the brutality of the supposed crime. This writer then pens a brilliant story detailing the rape of a young woman including powerful accounts of the events which surround it. It's an award-winning piece. But now, the original incident is shown to be a fiction in and of itself.

Doesn't matter a fraction of an ounce to the writer's piece. The story stands on its own, losing none of its power and impact.

Knowledge and accuracy of a real-life event doesn't detract from a fictional story well-told. Real life can change, an ongoing "story" if you will, but a finished fiction can't. It stands alone, and it stands unchanged. If reality inspires, it inspires, but it doesn't control, affect or otherwise alter the story once the fictional world is completed.

IMHO, of course.

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