Horrific Homicides

A Judge Looks Back at the Amityville Horror Murders and Other Infamous Long Island Crimes

by Thomas M. Stark



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 10/28/2021

Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 182
ISBN : 9781665711050
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 182
ISBN : 9781665711043

About the Book

A scorned woman, an incensed deli owner, a drunken cop, and an antisocial son. These were the most memorable murder defendants to appear before Long Island judge Thomas M. Stark during his thirty-seven years on the bench.

None was more notorious than Ronald DeFeo Jr., who in 1975 was convicted of shooting six members of his family, a crime that sparked tales of hauntings later recounted in the best-selling book The Amityville Horror: A True Story. Drawing from his personal files, Stark gives readers an inside look at the brutal murders, the frenzy over the alleged psychic events that followed, and DeFeo’s decades of shifting stories about what really happened that fateful night.

The book’s other tales of true crime include long-forgotten cases that mesmerized Long Islanders from the 1960s to the 1980s: the murder-for-hire of an unfaithful paramour, a fire that took the lives of a mother and three children, a Southampton society melee, and more. A noted expert on criminal law, Stark delves into the legal issues raised by each murder and shares the thinking behind his rulings. These real-life cases are sure to fascinate fans of both true crime and courtroom drama as Stark brings to life tragic stories of love and betrayal, a feud turned deadly, partying gone awry, and a family killed in cold blood.

About the Author

Thomas M. Stark (1925–2014) was born in Riverhead, New York, and graduated from Holy Cross College and Harvard Law School. Over his long career on the bench, including twenty-nine years as a New York State Supreme Court justice, Stark developed a reputation as a tough but fair-minded jurist with a deep knowledge of criminal law. “We needed a judge who absolutely could not be pushed around,” wrote the prosecutor in the trial of Ronald DeFeo Jr. “The only judge in Suffolk County who possessed that kind of total control was Thomas M. Stark.”