Critical Essay on Martin Gansberg's "Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police"

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  571 Words
Date:  2022-10-03


The essay by Gansberg tells the story of a murder case where a woman is stabbed to death with thirty-eight witnesses watching. In the essay, he explains the intentions of the victim and also the actions of the criminal. It is a story that is done through light narration in developing an idea of people's reaction to danger. Being one among the thirty-eight, I witnessed who was going home being stabbed by a mysterious man. The woman cried and shouted for help but no one bothered to provide for that help despite witnessing that it was true the woman had been stabbed. The situation and the environment around made even the man comfortable to walk away for some few minutes and still come back to continue with his act to stab the woman. When the man came back to stab her again, she made shrieking sounds like "I'm dying" but still no one came in help. Most of the people were just watching from the vicinity of their house windows and showed no interest or concern to provide any help or call the police. I being one of the thirty-eight who experienced the whole incidence also could not call the police for the fear of getting involved with the dangerous situation. Being the only one that could have taken the step to call the police gave me fear of endangering my life too.

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The man stabbed for three times with no help from anyone until the third time of stabbing when she died and this is when the neighbours seemed to be concerned about calling the police. Another reason that I can say I decided not to call is the fact the whole neighbourhood watched the woman stabbed to death but showed no interest in whatever was going. This gave me a shock of how the whole neighbourhood could collaborate in ignoring the happening of such an incidence. Being a witness to the incidence, I can testify that just one call could have saved the woman, especially on the time intervals between the stabbing sowing that there was a multiple of time helping the innocent woman. Not one person telephones the police during the assault until when the woman was dead.


The way Gansberg uses sentences in the essay is very easy for anyone who was not at the scene to connect easily with my explanation of what happened. He uses short sentences which are very straightforward with the reader. In such a story where short sentences are used, they try to dd some intensity to the story. One can also try to relate why in the same situation they would also not take the chance of being the only one to call the police especially having no idea why the whole neighbourhood had decided not to respond. Besides not calling for help from the police, the chipping away of the other thirty-seven highly contributed to my inhuman actions and decisions which I asked myself many questions why I did not call but ended up giving myself the same answer in thought that I didn't why I did not call despite not wanting to be involved in a dangerous situation. It is a situation that makes the lack of compassion really evident to me as I later felt that saving the woman's life was just a phone call away something that I was in a position of doing myself.

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Critical Essay on Martin Gansberg's "Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police". (2022, Oct 03). Retrieved from

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