Video Shows Possible Kidnapping At Walmart In Minnesota

This video from a Walmart in Forest Lake, MN (a suburb just to the north of Minneapolis) is amazing not just because it apparently shows someone escaping from a car trunk and attempting to flee before being put back in the trunk, but also because nobody in the busy parking lot seems to even take notice (though the incident was phoned in by a witness).


FOREST LAKE, Minn. (KMSP) – Police in Forest Lake, Minn. are investigating a possible kidnapping after a woman or girl who ran from a car in a Wal-Mart parking lot was chased down and stuffed into the car’s trunk.

The incident was caught on surveillance video, but police need help identifying the suspect and victim.

It reminds me of so-called “Genovese syndrome,” named after Catherine Susan “Kitty” Genovese who was murdered in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens. Genovese was murdered in a housing complex with plenty of potential witnesses, but nobody called the police. The New York Times, infamously at the time, quoted an unnamed neighbor as saying, “I didn’t want to get involved.”

The facts of that case have since been disputed, with some questioning whether any of the neighbors were really in a position to see if anything wrong was happening, but the Genovese case isn’t the only one where something seemingly awful was happening right out in view of the public and nobody acted to stop it. Ten years later another woman was beaten to death in Kew Gardens with neighbors, who heard the cries and struggles, again deciding not to get involved.

If you saw something like what happened in that Walmart parking lot in Minnesota, would you act? What does it say about our society when nobody acts?

Update: Looks like it was a hoax, though the lack of reaction from the others in the parking remains strange.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • The Whistler

    The book superfreakonomics covered the Genovese incident. They actually talked to someone who claims they called the police (pre 911) but they never came.

  • Clairvoyant

    Typical behavior we’ve come to expect from a Democrat.

  • Clairvoyant

    Typical behavior we’ve come to expect from a Republican.

  • OldConserv2011

    Typical behavior of a society that has decayed so badly that bystanders won’t even pay attention to a situation that obviously needs attention. If anyone or any group is to blame, it’s the trial lawyers. People have learned the hard way not to step in to situations such as this for fear of being caught up in a lawsuit. I say let ‘em sue me. If I had witnessed that, I’d have stepped in to stop it.

    • borborygmi45

      People don’t want to get involved because threat of lawsuit. It is a very poor statement on society.

    • Matthew Hawkins

      For a large portion of the population the good ole days weren’t that good. The Genovese case shows you are wrong. That case happens when you would have said that society had not decayed.

      • JoeMN

        There was a time kids could be left alone to play on what is now gang turf

  • JoeMN

    If you saw something like what happened in that Walmart parking lot in Minnesota, would you act?



    But in all fairness this all went down so quickly, and it would take a little time to process what you just saw.

    (One simply does not expect to witness a kidnapping unfold)

  • whowon

    Did you see it is now being reported as a prank? I wondered why the girl would run next to the car instead of AWAY from the car.

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      Yeah, but people at SAB don’t care about facts, they rather continue to hype up conspiracies and non-reality for the sake of making Americans more hateful, angry and frustrated.

      YEAH SAB…..way to go.

  • cylde

    It seems everyone has camera phones, why did no one take a picture of the license plate?

  • Drain52

    Unless the girl screamed, it would be easy to miss the incident.

    I read Abe Rosenthal’s contemporary account of the Genovese murder; the assault took place over 20 minutes or more and consisted of the murderer making at least two separate attacks as she dragged herself along. Dozens of people heard what was going on. It’s an extremely disturbing book.