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On a crisp autumn night in 1974, Ronald "Butch" DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family with a high powered rifle as they slept. Or did he? This second installment of the Shattered Hopes documentary trilogy picks up where Part I left off. From the opening minute, the DeFeo family has been slaughtered and everyone scrambles to respond to the scene....the details are sketchy at best, and the only thing that is known is that the surviving eldest son, Butch, is the sole survivor of the massacre. Butch is taken into "protective custody" and from here the story takes on a life of its own. Butch is ultimately arrested and charged with the crime, and Shattered's Part II, "Mob, Mayhem...Murder" takes a very close look at went down on the night of the murders while exploring, in intricate detail, the police investigation and subsequent prosecution through the Suffolk County, New York court system. Written by
Amityville Holdings, Inc.
Ryan Katzenbach announced that he found hand notations made by Police ballistic expert DellaPenna indicating that the jacketed bullet marked into evidence by police as item 33 weighed 169 grains, had 8 lands and grooves remaining and was .363 in diameter and the paper with these notations is shown on screen. Katzenbach then announces that these characteristics are associated with a .38 special and that DellaPenna misidentified the bullet at a .35 rifle round. It is factually incorrect that these characteristics are associated with a .38 special. A jacketed .38 special round weighs 148 grains and is .357 in diameter. The fragment weighed more than a complete jacketed .38 special round and was larger than the diameter of a .38 special round. All .38 special revolvers in existence at the time the murders were committed had 5 or 6 lands and grooves depending on the manufacturer. The gun that fired item 33 had at least 8 lands and grooves but most likely more. This evidence proves the complete opposite of what Katzenbach contends. It proves item 33 was not a .38 special but could very well have been a .35 rifle round as the expert determined. See more »
Long, boring, amateurish and inaccurate - that sums it up in a nutshell
Though billed as being told by the participants in fact the majority of information comes from the producers and Geraldine Gates, none of whom have any personal knowledge at all.
The producers chose to film dramatizations of events that never actually happened. In one case they actually admitted the scene never happened. Fake trial testimony features Bobby Kelske saying police told him that either he or Ronnie was going to confess and suggesting they were beaten to get one of them to confess. On camera Ryan Katzenbach admits this testimony was made up but insists this is what Kelske would have stated had he remained on the witness stand longer. How does he know this is what Kelske would have stated? Did they interview Kelske? No. Did Kelske ever publicly state such? No. What is Katzenbach's source then? Geraldine as always. Yes Geraldine the woman who never met Ronnie until 1985. The same Geraldine who made up tons of stories about knowing the murder victims and all of Ronie's friends including Kelske intimately, even though incontrovertible evidence proves she never met any of them until the late 1980s and even then only had very limited contact with them.
Kelske denied being beaten or threatened. Ronnie claimed he was beaten in a failed attempt to get his confession tossed. The producers want to try to convince viewers that police misconduct occurred so put in this fake exchange that is sourced to a woman who is a known liar and has no basis of knowledge at all.
That is just one example of fake things put in to advance their agenda. Much of the narrating simply levels unsupported allegations aimed at convincing the audience to support the revisionist account presented. For instance the revisionist nonsense claim that Kelske was involved in the murders. We never get any hard evidence instead just repeated suggestions aimed at getting the audience to ignore the lack of evidence. The narrator announced, "If you talk to residents who knew Bobby Kelske and Butch DeFeo, residents of Amityville, they always had a suspicion that Bobby was involved with the murders." First of all suspicions of residents doesn't amount to evidence in the least. Suspicions are often wrong and often not based on anything solid. At any rate, these supposed residents never speak for themselves. There are no interviews with friends shown where they say anything about suspecting Kelske. For all we know the producers made this claim up.
For sure the supposed legal documents implicating Kelse that Osuna presented were made up. It is never announced on screen where Osuna obtained these documents from but most likely Geraldine. Osuna's book heavily cited these documents and gave some background about their alleged creation, all of this background was attributed to Geraldine.
The first thing to note is that these documents are not affidavits they were purportedly written by Ronnie's first lawyer, Jacob Sigfried. Jacob Sigfried supposedly tracked down various people and recorded what they told him. Thus they are allegedly his attorney notes but they are not in the form of typical attorney notes they appear to be more formal. In his book Osuna claims Sigfried planned to depose himself to get these statements and his attorney notes admitted into evidence in court. The book asserts that in January 1975 Sigfried filed a disclosure motion to get the statements admitted into evidence but such motion was denied. The problems with these claims are two-fold. First there is no such thing as a lawyer deposing himself to get notes or statements allegedly made to him entered into evidence. Nor is there a motion that can be filed to try to get such statements admitted- especially not a disclosure motion. The way to get testimony admitted at trial is to have a witness appear and testify at trial. If a motion had been filed to get the statements admitted as claimed then the motion would be in the court file as would the "affirmations" because they would have been filed along with the other motion documents. The court record doesn't contain these documents or have any record of such a motion being filed. This is not surprising since no motion of this type even exists. So the explanation of why these documents were created is completely bogus as is the claim they were filed in court. Someone simply made them up to support the story Geraldine made up. Had any of these witnesses actually come forward stating what was claimed you can rest assured they would have been called to testify and grilled by Ronnie's defense counsel. But these interviews never happened and these documents were created well after his conviction.
How did Sigfried even learn about these witnesses? Sigfried allegedly sent a discovery request to police asking who they questioned. The police responded with a list of people who they claimed they didn't question but in fact had questioned and intimidated into not talking to the defense. Sigfried did not believe them and contacted these individuals and found out police did in fact question them and he then took down their statements.
Discovery requests are sent to the DA not the police so the whole story is absurd. But it is even more ridiculous to suggest police would provide the defense with a list of people they wanted to keep quiet and wanted to pretend they never interviewed.
The producers obtained the entire police file including officer notes. Did it contain any records of police interviewing any of these individuals? No. So the producers found absolutely no evidence whatsoever to corroborate the claims made in these forged lawyer notes. Nothing to authenticate them either, no evidence these notes were in the Defense's legal file or court files. They just magically appeared out of no where after Sigfried was dead so he couldn't deny writing them. If you want the truth look elsewhere.
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