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

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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