Rebecca Schaeffer

13 Crimes That Shocked the World and Changed Our Culture Forever

Crimes That Changed the Law

Amber Alerts, Three Strikes, 911…We didn’t have any of those until devastated family members, angry communities. Finally, law enforcement and government officials made them happen.
The story of how, in 1964, Kitty Genovese was raped and stabbed to death on a New York street in front of 38 witnesses. None of whom tried to intervene or call police. He has remained a powerfully haunting and rather sickening tale about people. Who might have cared but for whatever reason didn’t want to be the ones to get involved. And while the new documentary The Witness, which chronicles her brother’s efforts to figure out what really happened that night. Helps absolve society a bit of being a pathetic disgrace, Genovese’s murder helped expedite the creation of 911.

Back in the day, people would have had to dial the operator and go through a few people to get the police—or call a precinct number directly. In 1967, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended a one-step process for contacting emergency responders. And in 1968 the first 911 call was made.

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