After Peter spent multiple years covering the case of Rudy Kurniawan and his fake wines, the last chapter may have unfolded in August as U.S. District Judge Richard Berman sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Once dubbed ‘Dr. Conti,” Rudy faces a decade in jail and will be forced to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution. Read the story on winespectator.com.
Peter’s newest article on the Bill Koch counterfeiting lawsuit was published on winespectator.com. The award was reduced drastically, but Koch can still claim victory. Read the Wine Spectator article for free.
Yes, strange to wake up this morning and have it flash in my mind that this is my birthday as well as the 50th anniversary of the murder of Catherine Kitty Genovese. I’m 71 and she would have been a lively 78 if not for the passivity of her neighbors. Would I have done any more for her if I’d heard her screams that cold night in Kew Gardens?
Meanwhile, a little batch of media interviews today (WINS newsradio, 24/7 News Network, AP) on my little ebook about the case. Tragedy meets commerce.
Most murder victims are long mourned by their families and quickly forgotten by the public. Not so Catherine “Kitty” Genovese. In the early morning of March 13, 1964, in Kew Gardens, New York, Kitty’s screams went unheeded by neighbors as she was stalked, raped, and stabbed to death. Had any of those neighbors promptly called the police, she could have been saved. Her death gave rise in psychology to the “Bystander Effect,” which posits that the more witnesses there are to a person in trouble, the less likely it is that any one of them will go to her aid. Kitty’s murder also led to a new emphasis in academia on “pro-social” psychology.
The only account from within the NYPD Detective Bureau of the investigation of Genovese’s murder was written by Chief of Detectives Albert Seedman and Peter Hellman in “Chief! Classic Cases from the Files of the Chief of Detectives (1974). In this new ebook, the case is revisited, with a new Introduction and Epilogue. Published by The Experiment ($3.99) and available wherever ebooks are sold.
On November 2, Peter reported a story featured in the The Jewish Daily Forward about a young Israeli man. In 2009, Aharon Karov was fresh off of celebrating his wedding when he returned to the army and suffered a horrific injury during an operation in Gaza. Though initially not expected to live, Karov was saved by a surgeon Nurosurgeon Steve Jackson. Seeing that Karov needed to rebuild his health, Jackon’s wife, Yitzhaka Jackson, coached Karov to be a runner. Just four years after 500 pieces of shrapnel entered his body, Karov and Jackson set out to run the New York Marathon. Read Peter’s article in The Forward to read Karov’s inspiring story and learn weather he made it to the finish line.
Aharon Karov before running the New York Marathon. Photo by Peter Hellman.