The Santos Family vs Silent Spectators


The Santos Family vs Silent Spectators

Illustration: Saachi/Arré


n 1964, a young woman named Kitty Genovese was murdered in a Queens street in New York. According to a New York Times report, 37 (or a dozen, depending on which account you choose to believe) people witnessed the crime, where Winston Moseley stabbed Genovese once and returned to sexually assault and kill her. No one attempted to interrupt the murder nor tried to inform the police until it was too late. The NYT report winds down on a chilling note: “A man peeked out from a slight opening in the doorway to his apartment and rattled off an account of the killer’s second attack. Why hadn’t he called the police at the time? ‘I was tired,’ he said without emotion. ‘I went back to bed.’”

It’s been 54 years now, but Valerian Santos hasn’t got even this inadequate answer from the people who stood and watched his son die. None of the many bystanders, who witnessed the crime, came forward to help him. Keenan and his friend Reuben Fernandez were killed outside an Andheri restaurant in suburban Mumbai on the night of October 20, 2011 after saving the girls in their group from being molested. Keenan was only doing what they he had always been taught to do by his father – to intercede, to intervene.