Subway Incident

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It was in the early a.m., after a meeting of the New York Fanoclasts, just a few days after a young woman named Kitty Genovese had been knifed repeatedly outside her apartment in Long Island (in March, 1964). To her screams of terror and pleas for help, her neighbors had locked their doors and closed their windows, doing nothing because they Didn't Want To Get Involved – so her attacker, initially run off by her screams, had been able to keep coming back until he killed her.

Dave Van Arnam had been particularly vehement in his condemnation of "those scumbags who pass for human beings" at that Fanoclast meeting. On their way home, Dave, Earl Evers, Mike McInerney, Steve Stiles, rich brown and perhaps others were all in a subway station as a train pulled in, and a knife-wielding man inside one of the cars was seen chasing a terrified woman. Dave stepped in, simultaneously shielding the woman with his body and holding the man at bay by threatening him with his balled up fist. Van Arnam kept the door of the car open with his shoulder until the motorman – who simply wanted to leave – called the police. Earl Evers kept the man with the knife wondering by going into a low karate crouch and sidling around behind him, while the rest tried to look like they would back Dave up. After the police came and took the man away, everyone urged Dave to write up the incident. He started doing so the following week but always digressed before telling the full story – this is probably the only place it's been told in this detail – in his fanzine First Draft, which over time inspired the formation of APA-F, which in turn inspired APA-L. (See also FIStFA.)

Fanhistory 1964
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