Winston Moseley, the murder you know; the killer you don’t

Winston Moseley

Many people have heard about the tragic murder of Kitty Genovese, but most do not seem to know much about her killer. The public outcry was about the fact that witnesses knew she was being killed and did not step in. It seems to have erased from the public consciousness who and what her killer was.

I did follow her murderer, although I admit that I let him slip into the back of my mind. I grew up in NJ and heard about him on the news. I would listen to my parents talk about him afterwards. My mom also used him the same way she did Bundy, Berkowitz and the Zodiac, as ‘cautionary tale’ figure.

Moseley was recently brought back to my mind by a comment on this blog. It was from someone who grew up in the same building he lived in. She wrote about her fear, about how it effected her and her family.

She inspired me to make this post.

Would it surprise you to know that Winston Moseley had killed 2 times before and had raped many others?

From Crime Library at TruTV:


During the week after the murder, the 30 detectives who were assigned to the case sifted through the neighborhood of Kew Gardens and Forest Hills. They located a milkman who was able to furnish a description of a suspect. Others also had observed Catherine’s killer in the area prior to the murder and were able to add to the description. But it wasn’t until six days later, when a suspect was arrested stealing a television during a house burglary that cops had their man: Winston Moseley, 29.

Moseley had no criminal record. He was married, owned a home in Queens and had two kids. Slight of build, barely 5-foot-8, with thin features and a brooding appearance, Moseley was a machine operator who worked in Mt. Vernon in nearby Westchester County. His arrest report, dated March 19, 1964, lists his occupation as “Remington Rand tab operator.” He did not seem to be the type of person who committed street muggings or murder. But Moseley quickly confessed to the Genovese killing and two others. He told cops he had killed Barbara Kralik, 15, on July 20 in Springfield Gardens, Queens, and shot Annie Mae Johnson, 24, of South Ozone Park, Queens, on February 29. Both were savage killings and may have involved sexual assault. Trouble was, another man named Alvin “The Monster” Mitchell, 18, a local gang member, was already in custody for the Kralik killing. He had allegedly also confessed to the teenager’s murder. But Moseley was insistent. He had killed them all, he said.

In the murder of Annie Mae Johnson, Moseley insisted that he shot the victim several times. “I shot her in the stomach. I reloaded and shot her again in the stomach,” he told cops. But the autopsy on Johnson had listed the cause of death as puncture wounds from a sharp object such as a screwdriver or a file. Based on Moseley’s confession, the body was exhumed from a cemetery in Monck’s Corner, South Carolina, and a second autopsy was performed. Using X-ray equipment borrowed from a South Carolina Medical College in Charleston, the coroner found six bullets inside Johnson’s body. Four of these bullets were recovered. “The finding of these bullets adds a lot of credence to Winston Moseley’s other statements,” Queens District Attorney Frank O’Connor told the press.

In the murder of 15-year-old Barbara Kralik, there was blood evidence available, no test yet existed that could compare bodily fluids for conclusive DNA identification. Moseley, however, was able to supply details that conformed to the existing evidence. Cops were satisfied they had the right man. Even his own court-appointed attorney, Sydney G. Sparrow, believed Moseley. “I’m convinced Moseley did all three of these killings,” he told reporters after he met with his client for three hours in the Kings County Psych Ward. “There are too many things he knew that only the killer could know,” he added.

But there was more. Moseley confessed to other attacks during nighttime expeditions in which he would roam the streets searching for victims at random. He said he raped many women, frequently robbing them in the process. Moseley admitted to dozens of burglaries, including the one for which he was arrested when he was caught stealing a television. But it was the sexual assaults that had detectives interested. Particularly the failed attempts of rape which several women reported. Moseley, it seemed, preferred sex with the dead. Dr. Oscar Diamond, a psychiatrist from Manhattan State Hospital, performed a pretrial psychiatric examination of Moseley. “He told me he got no thrill with live women he raped,” he told the court later.

He was found guilty of Genovese’s murder and was sentenced to death. The judge, who did not support the death penalty, said of Moseley; “”I don’t believe in capital punishment, but when I see this monster, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the switch myself!”.  The court appeals later changed his sentence stating “Moseley should have been able to argue that he was “medically insane” at the sentencing hearing when the trial court found that he had been legally sane….” I think the appeals court should have been found insane. Life in prison at this time in NY was NOT life in prison. Moseley was and is eligible for parole!

Are you wondering about his behavior after having his sentence reduced? Did he learn a lesson? Did he feel remorse? Did he become a better person? Give up his violent ways?

Well, he beat a guard, committed another rape, came to see himself as a victim and even spouted off about his crimes actually having positive aspects to them ! I wonder if they knew then what they know now would the appeals court have done the same?

In 1968, a year after the appeals court made his death sentence a life sentence Moseley was on his way to a hospital to get (tax payer funded) surgery. He overpowered a guard and proceeded to beat him to the point where the guard’s eyes were bleeding. He then stole guard’s gun.

He then took 5 people hostage. During his 2 day crime spree he also raped a woman while her husband watched .

He surrendered after a half hour-long standoff with a FBI detective. He had held his gun on the agent who had his gun on Moseley during the standoff.

Moseley was also involved in the famous Attica Prison Riot of 1971. In that riot 10 guards and 29 prisoners were killed and many more were injured.

After the riot and at about the time he started to think about the fact that he was going to eventually go up for parole he started to write to the local papers.  He blamed his parents for some of his actions. He also said that “The man who killed Kitty Genovese in Queens in 1964 is no more,” and that “Another vastly different individual has emerged, a Winston Moseley intent and determined to do constructive, not destructive things.”

Of course he also said:

“The crime was tragic, but it did serve society, urging it as it did to come to the aid of its members in distress or danger (sic).”

He actually tried to turn the that he blood spilled into some kind of proverbial ‘lemonade’, all the while just ignoring the other murders and rapes! ‘Forgetting’ all the other lives he damaged in so many ways.

(I will say that the murder and rape of Catherine, while not his only rape or murder did point out human flaws hopefully encouraging some to improve themselves. He should not be rewarded for being such a horrible human and for committing a shocking crime, IF somehow something positive came from his brutality it is in no way a reflection onto him.)

He even said a parole hearing: “For a victim outside, it’s a one-time or one-hour or one-minute affair,” Moseley said. “But for the person who’s caught, it’s forever.”

Yes, he tries to place himself into the role of a victim! He seems to think the pain, suffering and torture of those he raped and murdered was a quick and easy experience, kind of like pulling off a band aide. I am damned sure they would not agree.

Vincent, Catherine’s brother heard the comment above and had this to say:

“That was the worst to me, when he said that,” Vincent Genovese, 69, told The News. “That still sticks in my craw.”

I guess his other victims, the family and friends of the people he raped and killed also disagree that it was easy for everyone besides Mr. Moseley.

The tax payers also paid for Mr. Moseley to go to school to earn his B.A. in Sociology, which I am sure he hoped would impress the parole board. It did not impress them enough to let him free. I still do not understand why the tax payers and the families of those he killed as well as those that he raped had to pay to educate him and to amuse him even though he is in prison for life.

Winston Moseley remains in prison after being denied parole thirteen times. His last hearing was on March 11, 2008.

Moseley’s next parole hearing is scheduled for November 2011.

Crime Library Atricle

Article from his 2008 parole hearing

A listing of stories from he NY Daily News on Moseley

  1. Excellent post. Thanks for following this up. Unfortunately, this man left such a dark spot in our lives that I never had the nerve even through the internet to follow this bastard up.

    When I left the comment on an earlier post pertaining to this mad man, I neglected to mention that Moseley had three sons, Winston, Jr., Stephen and I cannot recall the youngest child’s name. But like their dad, they terrorized the whole block. I don’t mind admitting that me, my brothers and sisters were beat up many times by this man’s sons…..that is until one day, we finally took a stand and revolted.

    Of course, once we stood our ground and revolted, Moseley’s sons ran home to their mother who knew her sons had victimized us and the other kids on the block for years. You see they were proud of the fact that their father committed the horrific acts that he did and they used it against everyone they met. However, once the tables began to turn, the mother came forward. I believe her name was Pauline and she did not like her boys losing a fight.

    My mother tired and sick of being afraid finally stood up to this woman when she came pounding on our door. Shortly thereafter, other neighbors began standing up to them as well. Finally, some months later Miss Pauline packed up her bad news sons and moved,

    I often wonder (more than I should) as to what became of these boys but like their dad, I am sure they are in jail, possibly on deathrow somewhere.

    Thanks for the post, it was cleansing.


      • RJMGREEN
      • September 26th, 2012

      Hi Denise,
      Thanks so much for coming public with your memories. I have always been interested in people like you: the people who were there, the non reporter types, the people who have no reason to lie or sensationalize, etc. Thanks again. Robert RJMGREEN@AOL.COM

      • Nothing to thank me for Robert. I would have preferred not to have had such memories but life being what it is, we endure and we try to move on. What we experienced, the people living in my block experienced at the hands of this man’s troubled family is nothing compared to that which the family of his victim’s endured.

        • RJMGREEN
        • October 6th, 2012

        You have good manners, you are polite, and you care about other people. You turned out great. Sorry you had run ins with this guy’s family, but you are doing very well today. Robert

  2. I did a quick scan but I did not see anything about his kids.

    Usually I do not bring up the families of the killers since they are usually not the criminals and are often abused by these people. Younger siblings, children and spouses can often be the first targets.
    Even if they were not abused they normally were not involved in the killings and the press and communities have a habit of turning on them even when it is unwarranted.

    It sounds as if his whole family had a sadistic side to it though.
    As an observer I do admit that I am always curious about the ripple effect these killers have on their own families and the families of the one that they kill. I just feel guilty on the occasions that I search.

    Thank you again for sharing here. You and your family should not have had to go through that and I thank you for this.


  3. Good morning Lisa, You are welcome but it is I who must thank you. Your posts brought about a much needed therapy. It took me 40 plus years to get that therapy but through your posts, it arrived.

    My brother has been out of town but I plan to share with him your posts and our discussion on this madman whose actions no doubt affected his family. Very unfortunate all around.

    Peace and blessings,


    • peggy buskey
    • March 25th, 2011

    moseley also had a daughter…..a sweet little girl named gwendolyn, who used to play with me, my sister, and our friends….i wonder what became of her…she always seemed reluctant to go home.

    • I looked online and I could not find any information on his children.
      I do hope that once he was out of the home the kids were able to be kids and that they were able to grow up to be good citizens. I have a feeling that Winston’s abusive was not restricted to happenings outside of the home.

        • peggy buskey
        • March 25th, 2011

        maybe some day, we’ll find one of them. i hope she’s alright. she’d be around 55 or so now….she was the same age as my little brother…..we lived on 134th street in south ozone park. she lived at the corner of sutter and 134th street. does anyone out there know what became of her?

    • You know I vaguely remember a little girl. I will call my brother this evening and ask him. Their cousins also lived in my building but they were like night and day and I’m thinking that the girl may have lived with the cousins downstairs.

      I’ll see if my brother knows anything and get back to this post.

  4. Finally caught up with my brother this weekend. Must tell you that although we discussed the memories of Winston Moseley Jr. and his brother Stephen Moseley, the two older sons of this mad man, my brother did not enjoy the walk down memory lane.

    He recounted tales of abuse and torture at the hands of these two boys. I did mention that there was a third brother, much younger than the two. Neither of us can recall his name but he often stayed close to his mom.

    My brother does not remember a girl living upstairs but confirmed that the family had cousins who lived downstairs and that there were rumors that the young girl living there that may or may not have been the sister.

  5. Thank you for the information.
    I am so sorry to hear of the pain caused by the family.
    I have looked a few times but can find nothing of the children. I guess if I was his was child I would hide that fact as much as I could as well.
    I hope that the kids received help by professionals, though for some reason I doubt it.
    I am guessing that your brother did have support and love from his family so that he has grown past this. The scars may still be sensitive but hopefully the wounds caused by the abuse from these kids have healed.

    Thank you again for sharing your personal experience.

    • beegirl
    • July 16th, 2011

    Interesting to learn more about this monster’s background. I’m sorry ppl who knew his family were terrorized in the’s very unsettling. This case has piqued my interest as to why there weren’t tense race relations after the murder–I mean, a black man slaughtering a white woman in 1964?? If this had been the south, he would’ve been hung. I’m sure it must have sparked a lot of myths about “evil black men” who constantly lusted after white women. Anyway, I can’t imagine the shame this man has brought to his family–his mugshot looks so defiant and angry! He was clearly insane and it’s not too shocking to hear his children were abusive as well. Very sad.

    • Document Holder
    • October 12th, 2011

    test to see what happens when I post. will post something if safe.

    • emma
    • October 21st, 2011

    how can one find out exactly when his parole hearing is?

    • He meets the parole board the week of Oct. 31.

      This is the Inmate Information Link.

      Sentence Terms and Release Dates
      Under certain circumstances, an inmate may be released prior to serving his or her minimum term and before the earliest release date shown for the inmate.
      As of 10/21/11
      Aggregate Minimum Sentence 0020 Years, 00 Months, 00 Days
      Aggregate Maximum Sentence LIFE Years, 99 Months, 99 Days
      Earliest Release Date 11/2011
      Earliest Release Type PAROLE HEARING DATE
      Parole Hearing Date 11/2011
      Parole Hearing Type REAPPEARANCE
      Parole Eligibility Date 03/14/1984
      Conditional Release Date NONE
      Maximum Expiration Date LIFE
      Maximum Expiration Date for Parole Supervision
      Post Release Supervision Maximum Expiration Date
      Parole Board Discharge Date

    • Marta
    • November 11th, 2011

    He was denied parole once again – read that just today.

    • I am thankful that this man remains behind bars as that is the only place for such evil.

      He should never walk free again after what he has done.

      Thanks for following this up.

        • Chris
        • October 21st, 2012

        I doubt he ever will be free. His self-serving statements at his parole hearings over the years have been bizarre to say the least. He has cast himself as the victim and claimed that he sent a letter to to Kitty’s family to apologize for the “inconvenience” of her killing.

    • John Walker
    • January 7th, 2012

    I just came across the sickening crime of this Moseley guy and what occurred in 1964. I would like to think that American society has changed for the better since 64 but i’m not in any position to say as i live here in the UK. Either way, it was a tragedy then and it remains so to this day. I sincerely hope that Mr Moseley will draw his last breath incarcerated in Jail as one day he will have to answer to higher power for his crimes and then his punishment will be eternal.

    • I too pray that he is never set free. That man does not deserve to walk free.

        • peggy buskey
        • October 6th, 2012

        amen, brother. and hers was not the only murder, it was the only one who made national headlines. he also murdered a teenage girl in springfield gardens, and a woman in south ozone park, after which he set her house on fire……i used to see him walking down our block. thank god, he never struck there. i often wonder what became of gwennie….she was so sweet and quiet. and alawys reluctant to go home.

        • Nancy
        • October 6th, 2012

        you know, I was just doing a little google research on Kitty Genovese, since the case interests me. I grew up in the Bronx and Westchester County in the 1970s and 80s.

        It surprised me that his wife and sons stayed around after the arrest and trial. I would think that they would have been so ostrasized and shunned. Anybody that they tried to pick on would have called them a son of a blankeduy blank. Was the father himself an annoynace to others? Possibly he as ve, Winston, ry quiet and dull.

        • Nancy
        • October 6th, 2012

        you know, I was just doing a little google research on Kitty Genovese, since the case interests me. I grew up in the Bronx and Westchester County in the 1970s and 80s.

        It surprised me that his wife and sons stayed around after the arrest and trial. I would think that they would have been so ostrasized and shunned. Anybody that they tried to pick on would have called them a son of a blankeduy blank. Was the father himself, Winston, an annoynace to others? Possibly he was very quiet and dull.

  6. Wow–I had not heard this. With all the hype surrounding the erroneous notion people “watched” KG die, very little is said about her slayer’s further history.

    • Very few people realise that Moseley killed as many as he did.
      The case has become almost ‘urban legend’ with most people only knowing that a man killed a woman with people ignoring her cries.

  7. interesting. (late night search)

    • ShadowHunter
    • August 8th, 2012

    Doing some research through the link for the daughter on Spokeo…came across the Facebook’s of what would be Winston the Monster’s grandkids. The grandson looks just like him…

    • peggy buskey
    • August 9th, 2012

    lets hope the grandson is goodnatured, lik gwennie.

    • I truly hope so. Children, grandchildren should not have to suffer for the sins of their parents or grandparents.

    • September 26th, 2012

    I actually wrote a letter to this SOB in prison. I was very, almost overly polite. I asked him to please write back. I wanted an ongoing letter relationship. I studied English and am trained in detecting tone of voice in writing. I did not get the courtesy of a reply. He knows what he did. Robert RJMGREEN@AOL.COM

    • September 26th, 2012

    Does anyone have a recent photo of Winston Moseley?

    • Robert
    • January 26th, 2013

    Does anyone know how many of the 38 witnesses are still living today?

    • Robyn Rogers
    • July 15th, 2013

    Hey Yaw’ll—I’m the cousin of Winston and Steven Mosley. The boys of this man are grown men now. Steven (that’s how he spells his name) is marrired and is a Pastor (no childres). Winston jr. is also married and has 8 children. They are as normal as “Normal” goes. I’m a grown woman now, but I have no memory of either of them being abusive to me nor my younger sister. We spent a lot of years growing up together. Sorry, they were mean to you and Ur family. Pauline(mother) is also still living and they all live in Pittsberg, Penn. now.
    At the time of all these murders I was a little, little girl. Pauline and my Mother refused to discuss Winston sr. when we would ask them to explain what was going on with Winston sr. from the news reports. Today, I was wondering if Winston Sr. was still alive so I googled his name. Today is the first time I got to know the real truth. It made me wonder how/why my aunt Pauline was ever attracted to such a evil man. I alway thought he was scary when he’d come around. I’d always fiind something to do to get me out of being in the same room with him. Wow! Now I understand why he was not to be discussed. His mother use to baby sit us alot and she was one of the sweetest ladies you ever want to meet; always soft spoken and loving. I never got to meet Winston sr. dad or I was too young to remember. Any way I guess you never know just what demons lay dorment in some of us.!
    Winston sr. sons have no contact with him since his conviction.

    • Thank you so much for this. I often wonder and worry about the families of the killers. Society has a habit of punishing them even though they are victims in many ways as well.

      Thank you again!


      • Hey Robyn, I remember you and your sister although I don’t recall her name. You lived downstairs from me, my mother, two sisters and brother until your family moved around the corner.

        No need to apologize. You cannot to be held responsible for the actions of others.

      • January 5th, 2014

      Hi Robyn,
      I am glad everything has worked out for you and your family, truly. If you would not mind, I would love to chat with you, please. Robert RJMGREEN@AOL.COM

      • Angel
      • October 23rd, 2015

      I just watched a documentary in which a brother of Kitty Genovese interviewed Steven Mosley, the son of the serial murderer. Steven behaved not only insensitively, but offensively. He told the brother that his father claimed Kitty had yelled racial epithets at him, as if that somehow even if true, would justify a brutal attempted rape and stabbing. When confronted with the fact that Winston killed African American women too, Steven stumbled for words. Steven also asked if the Genovese family was related to the Italian mafia, as he has been told by his family. Steven also advised Kitty’s brother that at some point, people have to “move on”.

      Now I understand the son not being responsible for his father’s crimes, but he not only rubbed salt on the victim’s family’s wounds, he twisted his fingers in it. Deplorable.

      The doc is called The Witness. It recently premiered at New York Film Festival and is very good. Thankfully, only a small part is devoted to this interview with this sickening Steven Mosley.

        • Angel
        • October 23rd, 2015

        P.S.: Steven asked Kitty’s brother to vouch for Winston’s parole. That whole faimly is delusional!!!

        • Robert
        • December 2nd, 2016

        That IS a little out there for Steven to ask Bill to vouch for Winston’s parole.

        • Robert
        • December 2nd, 2016

        Wow, I saw the documentary at the Angelika Theater, in Dallas, Texas. I remember some of Steven, not much. The question and answer portion of the evening was boring. I was the third question asked. I asked if Bill could please personalize Kitty for us. I drove 5 hours to see this film and see him. He was evasive and not very enthusiastic. I left in the middle of the Q&A. When I stated on facebook that the Q&A was dull, surprisingly, I got likes. Others found it dull. The documentary was outstanding.

    • freddie
    • December 11th, 2013

    A monster, a killer, a rapist – an excuse for a human being – keep this
    vile trash locked up in a stinking, noisy and violent prison for the rest of his miserable life.

      • January 5th, 2014

      I agree! Well said!

      • peggy buskey
      • January 6th, 2014

      agree…..i lived 6 houses away from him in queens. that scares the hell out of me.

  8. Winston mosely killed kittycat susan genovese but raped and sodimized me when i was 2nd grade and did it for addawfool hitler. And works as a prizon gauard and sneeks in and out of prizon and is a cereal killer for mobb and gets away with it and has walked around me and stalked me and my dog in a park in henderson tx. And fbi and local police a sheriff dep. In on his hiding him from americas next victoms for adazs bikers in uniform that taxpayers paid for them all to use to perfect and swirve not protect and serve america it sucks

    • He was a pedophile too? Where did you live? I lived close to baysley park ( not sure of spelling? )

    • terry Jackson
    • December 9th, 2014

    I had thought I was the only one who remembered Moseley!

  9. The devil will finally gets his due. Moseley died in prison at the age of 81.

    • joanna
    • April 5th, 2016

    thank God the bastard is dead!…cremate him…and spread his ashes in the sewer!!

    • Hard2Believe
    • October 17th, 2016

    You might be interested in watching the documentary “Witness” released in 2016 about the murder of Kitty Genovese, by her brother. He tried to interview Winston, who refused, but did interview his son Stephen, who is apparently a preacher. It is obvious he and his family are in denial about what his father did, which may be a self-protective tactic. He apparently believed his father’s false version that Kitty tried to run him down in her car, calling him racial epithets. (Winston also totally denied any involvement, said he was forced to by a gang/crime boss, that they were lovers, etc. The only thing he did not claim is that aliens did it.) The son seemed to think that all the publicity about the bystander apathy is the only reason his father was denied parole (a total of 18 times), but the fact that he killed and raped two other women, raped several more women, escaped from prison, beating a guard unmercifully, then raping another woman and kidnapping several hostages, just might have had a little something to do with it.

    • bisblogger
    • January 7th, 2017

    I just watched the film. Brilliant piece that took well over a decade to finalize. I was happy some truth came to light about the few “good bystanders”, but like anyone else, was sickened by the son, Steven. The man is a true case of a self-serving and self-made “man of God.” Picture your typical hate mongering man on a podium in front of a cross poisoning his congregation with rhetoric to fuel the BLM cause. Bill Genovese had a hell of a lot of class to stay so calm and peaceful.

    • Woodrow Magnus
    • January 24th, 2017

    I agree, Steven was a real asshole in the documentary. He said his family also took a loss as his father was locked up in prison and couldn’t get paroled because of all of the news coverage of the case. He tried to equate his loss to Vincent’s loss and tried to blame it on the Genovese family. What a moron, Vincent’s sister was killed, and Steven equates his father being in prison as the same thing. Steven, your father chose to be in prison by his actions called “Murder.” Nobody put him there but himself, and no man that killed 3 people should ever be paroled from prison. The man showed no remorse. He escaped from prison and raped another woman. The death penalty would have been too good for him. What part of “Your Father was a Murderer” didn’t you get Steven? And you are a man of God? I seriously doubt it. Sounds like it’s the same old “Like Father, Like Son” situation.

    • Mario Ballesta
    • May 27th, 2017

    Why did they allow that monster to live for so long after all the pain he inflicted? The judicial system in this country has been and continues to be a total disaster and I for one am shame of it!!!!!

  1. October 7th, 2011

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