Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

General Discussion About the 1974 DeFeo Murders and related topics
User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Post by Dan the Damned » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:46 pm

I agree with that 100%.

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: AmityvilleFiles.com - Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:31 pm

Eric's "Amityville Files" website has been partially disabled, so I'm posting my old articles here on the board, starting with this one -- my 2009 article about Rick Moran and his bullsh*t.

This article deals with both the Lutz haunting and the DeFeo murders. I moved it over to the DeFeo section since it seems to have more evidence and documentation dealing with the murders.


Image
.
Part 1: Beating a Dead Source
. .
"...the 'true story' of the Amityville saga has been embellished with half-truths and self-serving twists and turns."—Rick Moran, "Amityville Revisited," Fortean Times, 2004

Rick Moran knows what he's talking about when he talks about this case being embellished. Not only was he one of the first to research The Amityville Horror case, but he has shown himself to be a master at embellishing stories with half-truths and self-serving twists and turns. Moran proudly labels himself a journalist with the integrity to seek out corroboration in an effort to get an unbiased story -- and yet when it comes to the Amityville case, he spits in the face of accepted evidence, his sources seem dubious at best, and some of his claims seem downright laughable.

Earlier this year, Rick Moran gave an interview to White Noise Paranormal Radio, an Internet-based radio program. I've read his previous articles on The Amityville Horror case, so I thought I knew what to expect; but as it turned out, the statements I heard Moran give were way more outlandish that what appeared in print. One ridiculous statement after another. I felt compelled to phone-in.

Though the radio hosts let me argue my points with Rick for a fair amount of time, we never really got anywhere. Rick has been playing this game for quite some time, and he knows how to stall, ignore and switch topics on people. Still, I transcribed the interview for my website and included my arguments against Moran as endnotes (click here to read).

So who is Rick Moran, and why are his claims so outlandish?

In 1977, Rick Moran and his colleagues at the Association for the Study of Unexplained Phenomena (ASUP) were given a draft of Jay Anson's then-unreleased book The Amityville Horror, the story of the Lutz family who claimed their lovely Long Island home (the scene of a recent grisly mass-murder) was haunted. Moran was given this book by Peter Jordan, a field reporter for the Psychical Research Foundation (PRF) loosely connected with Duke University. Jordan and his PRF colleagues were very upset that Anson's book seemed to be using their organization to falsely give credence to the Lutzes' claims of a haunting, when in reality the investigation the PRF did on the house was inconclusive.

From the summary Moran gives us, it seems evident that Anson's book was looked upon as being a wild pack of lies before any member of the ASUP bothered to crack it open. Here they were being presented with a book that lied about their friends and colleagues at the PRF. Surely such a book – which felt it necessary to use false information to support its case – would be suspect. Given this, I believe Moran and his team dove into Anson's book not in the spirit of fairly investigating its claims, but rather with the intention of finding as much fault with it as humanly possible.

Moran and his fellow investigators wasted no time in listing all the various incidents of paranormal activity contained in The Amityville Horror. Out of 103 paranormal incidents, the ASUP claimed to have found 83 that were proven false. In a book with 207 pages, that works out to one false claim for every 2.5 pages! Could there really be that much lying going on?

We might never know. As luck would have it, Moran's only copy of this master list was lost in a fire. That's unfortunate – it would have been interesting to examine. Moran claims this list had been published, but out of the 200+ related articles my colleagues and I have collected, we haven't seen any proof of that – and honestly, its unlikely anyone would print such a long list in full. A few articles make reference to this list, but provide little, if any, details.

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: AmityvilleFiles.com - Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:32 pm

Image
.
Part 2: FATE Steps In (or "In It")
.
In 1978, Moran and his partner Peter Jordan gathered their evidence together and wrote an expose on the case for FATE magazine. This article, they claimed, debunked the book The Amityville Horror – not a hard thing to do, considering the book was already "debunked" by its author, Jay Anson (who admitted to switching events around and using artistic license to create a better story) and the Lutzes, themselves (who immediately went on record, pointing out various incorrect facts and fiction contained in the book).

Despite a humorous inaccuracy concerning Jay Anson supposedly being a screenwriter for The Exorcist (which doesn't say much for their investigative skills), the article is fairly unremarkable – at least until it starts talking about Father Ray. Known as Father Mancuso in the book, Father Ray (Ralph Pecoraro) was the priest who blessed the Lutzes' new Amityville home.
"Father Mancuso, who is in fact associated with the Rockville Center Diocese (at least Anson has that much right), flatly denies ever having entered the Lutz home. He further denies that he heard a phantom voice command him to vacate the premises, which in any case he was never on."—Rick Moran & Peter Jordan, FATE, 1978
For some reason, Moran, a professional journalist and former magazine editor, fails to give us any further information. When did Father Ray deny ever having entered the Lutz home? Is this direct information or did it come from a 3rd party? We simply aren't told – and this secrecy becomes a sort of trademark for Rick Moran, who seems to be saying, "Just believe me – I'm telling the truth."

I recently called Moran and asked him about this. He said that Father Ray was interviewed on numerous occasions by himself and Peter Jordan:
"The good father was a regular fixture at the time of the investigation. Peter interviewed him in person several times at his parish and I spoke to him several more by phone and once in person in Rockville Centre. He was cooperative only because I had friends at the Diocese, who told him to cooperate. There was a question of professional limits on what he would say because he was a practicing therapist, as well as a priest, so we had to "rephrase" questions in some cases to get him to tell us what we wanted to know. Eventually, the Diocese issued a written statement on the case and his involvement that said he was never physically in the Amityville house."—Rick Moran, 2009
Note how Moran says it is the Diocese which issued a statement saying Father Ray was never in the house. Does that mean Father Ray made no such statement, himself? My followup email asking for clarification on this point was ignored.

A year after this FATE article was published, Father Ray appeared on the television show In Search Of, stating that he had, in fact, been at the house; and that not only did he hear a phantom voice command him to "Get Out," but he was also physically slapped across the face by an unseen force as he stood alone in an empty room.
.

.
Moran's response?
"Yes, I know all about the [In Search Of] clip but no one can give you a signed statement that the man in the shadows was the good father, it was a dramatization as far as I know."—Rick Moran, 2009
Yes, the shots of a priest walking around a house and giving a blessing were obviously a dramatization, but the man in silhouette, speaking, is presented as the real deal. Is Moran suggesting there was some sort of conspiracy going on with the makers of In Search Of? True, we have no proof that this man is actually Father Ray (though he does seem to match our photo of Pecoraro), but we also have no proof of Rick's claims that Father Ray denied ever being at the Lutzes' Amityville home. Moran claims Father Ray was interviewed multiple times by Peter Jordan and himself, but they have yet to give us one quote from any of those interviews. Meanwhile, on this In Search Of clip, the narrator informs us that this is the first time Father Ray has spoken to the media about the case. Further evidence that Moran and Jordan never spoke to the man? Who is telling the truth here?

Overall, the article seemed uneven. At times Moran and Jordan seemed to accept that the Lutzes may have experienced some paranormal activity in the house, and at other times they present arguments directed against both the book and the Lutzes' claims. That begs the question: if Anson's book has errors, does that mean the haunting never really happened? To this day, many people seem to think so – viewing Anson's work as if it were actually written by the Lutzes (and then using this imperfect book as the basis for pronouncing the haunting as being one giant hoax).

Admittedly, the Lutzes' involvement with Anson's book may, on the surface, give one pause to question the haunting's validity; but Rick Moran is a long-time journalist who prides himself on seeking corroboration of every fact. In that case – given the noted discrepancies between Anson's book and earlier statements made by the Lutz family – wouldn't Moran's next step be to seek clarification from George Lutz?

George has claimed that he did submit corrections to Anson's galleys, but noted that what eventually got edited in the book was the final determination of Jay Anson and Prentice-Hall. If Moran or Jordan would have asked Lutz about this, perhaps that would have resulted in a more balanced article for FATE magazine.

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: AmityvilleFiles.com - Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:32 pm

Image
.
Part 3: You're Digging in the Wrong Graveyard, My Friend
.
While the 1978 FATE article had some serious issues, it was mild when compared to Moran's later Fortean Times piece, which he wrote in 2004.
"When Lutz bought the house he did not have sufficient income to meet the mortgage payments; in fact I was amazed any bank would give him a mortgage at all given the employment prospects in Amityville at the time. The house was a liability."—Rick Moran, "Amityville Revisited," Fortean Times, 2004
Again, we are given no details on Moran's source or how he came to this conclusion. George Lutz was the owner of a very successful and long-standing New York land surveying firm, so the employment prospects in Amityville wouldn't factor-in to him getting a mortgage. The Lutzes got married in July of 1975, and sold their 2 homes – the proceeds from which were reportedly more than the cost of their new Amityville home (according to Lutz). After fleeing Amityville in January of 1976, Lutz claimed they continued to make their mortgage payments on the Amityville house until June or July of that year. Moving across the country, the Lutzes were also able to buy a new house in pricey Southern California. So where was the evidence of financial problems?
"To start off with, I stand behind every comment in the article and can prove them."—Rick Moran, 2004
But he doesn't prove them. I still don't know what evidence Moran is basing this allegation on. Rick has consistently failed to prove his comments, and when asked to do so, he becomes indignant and starts carrying on about how "if you weren't alive in 1976, then you just don't understand."
.

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: AmityvilleFiles.com - Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:33 pm

Image
.
Part 4: Rick's Truth is Truthier Than Yours
.
Perhaps the nuttiest claims Rick Moran has made concerns the DeFeo murder spree in November of 1974. These are the murders that occurred in the Amityville home a year before the Lutz family moved in and saw ghosts. Though Ronnie DeFeo has repeatedly confessed to killing his entire family (one of those confessions being made in court before a judge), he still seems to enjoy finding other people to blame. To date DeFeo has blamed the murders on a reputed ex-mobster, various friends of his, an unknown assailant, a man named Mr DeGennaro, his sister Dawn, and at one point, Ronnie actually claimed his own mother killed her children. In his 2007 parole hearing, Ronnie says he just doesn't remember what happened that night – a curious statement, as it was made just after Ronnie gave the parole board a detailed blow-by-blow account of the murders.

At the time Rick Moran was putting together his Fortean Times article, Ronnie's then-current story was that he killed his parents, left the house and returned later to find that his sister Dawn had killed their 3 younger siblings. Ronnie says he confronted Dawn, wrestled the rifle away from her and immediately shot her dead (with that same rifle).

Moran's version differs greatly from Ronnie's. Rick claims that Dawn killed the entire family – except for Ronnie (who sat, stoned, watching television). Dawn then took the murder weapon, hopped into her car, drove to the dock at the end of Ocean Avenue and threw the rifle into the bay, returning home shortly thereafter only to be shot by Ronnie's handgun.

To date, Ronnie DeFeo has never used this version of events (though there's still time). Amusingly, it was reported on the ASUP site that DeFeo has claimed Moran was "the only person who got the murder story right."

The trouble with Moran's theory (which he claimed was as easy to read as the morning paper) is that it goes against virtually all available evidence. Let's examine a few of his claims as made in his 2004 Fortean Times article.
"First, is the fact that everyone in the house, except for Dawn DeFeo, was shot with a rifle."—Rick Moran, Fortean Times, 2004
This is simply not true. Everyone in the house was shot with a .35 Marlin rifle, as confirmed by police ballistics tests:
.
Image
.
Image
.
Image
.
"Dawn, by contrast, was the only one who had gunpowder residue on the shoulder of her nightgown. That, forensic experts will tell you, would suggest she fired the rifle."—Rick Moran, Fortean Times, 2004
The SCPD lab reports stat that what was found on Dawn's nightgown were "gunpowder particles":
.
Image
.
Image
.
And I'm sure Rick would welcolme an expert to tell us exactly what that means:
.


So why does Moran continue to think Dawn was killed by a different weapon? He is most likely confusing the fact that on one of the bullets (Item #33 below, which struck Louise, the mother) there was not enough evidence to conclude it came from the same rifle as the others.
.
Image
.
This bullet was, however, confirmed to have come from a .35 Marlin. They just couldn't tell for certain if it matched the same .35 Marlin which was used against everyone else.
.
Image
.
In other words, there could have been another gun used on Louise, but only if it was a second .35 Marlin rifle – and this is only possible with Louise, not Dawn.
"More important is DeFeo's first statement to the police. He told officers he had not killed anyone, except Dawn; she was killed with his handgun, which was never retrieved."—Rick Moran, Fortean Times, 2004
Well that's easy to disprove. Let's just take a look for ourselves at Ronnie's statement to the police:
.
Image
.
Image
.
Image
.
Image
.
Image
.
Image
.
Image
.
Image
.
Nowhere does Ronnie claim to have killed Dawn in this statement. Far from it. He blamed the murders on a supposed mafioso. It would be almost an entire year later before Ronnie would give a version of the story which ended with him killing Dawn (after she killed the kids). And even then – when it was told during this September 29th examination by a psychiatrist – DeFeo never mentioned killing Dawn with a handgun. He has never claimed to have killed Dawn with a handgun – not in any version he's given to date! In every scenario he's given (where he kills Dawn) its always done with the same Marlin rifle that was used against the rest of the family.

And of course the police lab results confirm that Dawn was killed by the same .35 Marlin rifle that was used against everyone else.
.
Image
.
"While he was in custody Butch's grandfather came to see him, alone. Shouts were heard and Butch sported some facial wounds. Grandpa DeFeo was heard screaming that he did not want the family disgraced publicly and that Butch was to confess to the crimes … all of them. This was good news for both the police and District Attorney, and neither pursued original admissions. Why tie a dead girl to the crimes when you have a confession to the contrary?"—Rick Moran, Fortean Times, 2004
Trouble with this statement is that Ronnie had already confessed long before anyone visited him in custody. Here's the timeline according to High Hopes:
.
  • 6:35pm -- 911 call made from the house
  • 6:40pm -- Police arrive; Ronnie implicates alleged mafioso
  • 8:00pm -- Ronnie taken to "First Squad" for questioning (for his own safety)
  • 8:20pm -- Police begin to take Ronnie's first statement
  • 10:25pm -- Ronnie signs his first statement
  • 10:45pm -- Ronnie is taken to the Fourth Precinct
  • 11:15pm -- Ronnie is interviewed by police detectives
  • 2:30am -- Interview ends; Ronnie is taken to the Homicide building next door
  • 3:00am -- Ronnie falls asleep on a cot in a file storage room
  • 8:45am -- Ronnie is awakened by detectives; he is now the main suspect
  • 8:50am -- Ronnie is questioned by detectives in a marathon session
  • 4:00pm -- Ronnie confesses to the crimes
  • 8:00pm -- Ronnie phones his uncle
.
The DeFeo family did not know where Ronnie was until Thursday evening, after the confession – so once again, Moran's version of the story just doesn't match the official records. And besides the official police timeline, we must ask why Ronnie's grandfather would bother to hire a private investigator if he already knew Ronnie was guilty and told him to confess? How would Ronnie's confession keep the family name from being disgraced? How would the case against Ronnie be any easier if Dawn was not involved? Would the SCPD risk losing their case by initiating a grand conspiracy to hide all evidence of Dawn's involvement, including Ronnie's "missing" statements?

Furthermore, if such a conspiracy was in effect, then their lab results (showing everyone was killed by the rifle) were faked. These lab reports indicate that one of the bullets that hit Louise (the mother) couldn't be determined to have come from the same rifle as the others. If they were faking the reports to incriminate Ronnie, they why didn't they fix this point and say the 2nd bullet that hit Louise definitely came from the same rifle?

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: AmityvilleFiles.com - Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:37 pm

Phew! This article is pretty long (at least for a web forum). Let's take a break and play a game.

It's time for the RICK MORAN 'SPOT THE DISCREPANCY' GAME!

In these two interview clips (only 2 years apart), Rick is caught changing his story. Sure, the subject matter isn't anything of real importance, but still, it seems to show how he loves to play fast and loose with the truth.

So listen to these two audio clips and see if YOU can...
.
SPOT THE DISCREPANCY!!!

.

.

.
Did you catch it? Now for the million-dollar question: was this a case of Rick having a faulty memory (even though the interviews were only 2 years apart), or is it (as I believe) a case of Rick Moran just making stuff up as he goes along? Yes, the subject matter is not that important, but if he's making up stuff here, isn't it reasonable to think he's also making it up with other aspects of the Amityville case as well?

Alright. Fun and games are over. Now back to the article...

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: AmityvilleFiles.com - Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:37 pm

Image
.
Part 4 cont'd: I Was a Spy for the DEA
.
Frankly, Moran's claims are placing an uncommon demand on our credulity.
"It was well-known that Butch had a preoccupation with guns. He was not only proficient with them, he was fastidious about safe handling. DeFeo friends agree that he handled weapons like a range officer in a police academy so it is unlikely that he would carry or throw a loaded and cocked weapon into the water. Dawn on the other hand, knew little about guns and, if acting alone, could have thrown the rifle into the water at the end of Ocean Avenue, unaware of the danger of it inadvertently firing."—Rick Moran, Fortean Times, 2004
Here Moran seems to blatantly ignore court testimony. During the trial, Ronnie's friend Frank Davidge testified that Ronnie was very unsafe with his gun handling – at one point, pointing a loaded gun directly at his head! Davidge also recalled that during a hunting trip Ronnie fired a gun in his direction, and during a double date Ronnie pointed a loaded gun at the head of his date!

Air Force veteran John Carswell testified how Ronnie fired a gun outside his bar (where his girlfriend had lost her job), and Bobby Kelske testified how a drunken Ronnie DeFeo approached him outside a bar with a rifle and threatened to shoot him late one night. Ronnie, himself, testified that on one occasion he had to be forcibly stopped when he grabbed a gun and attempted to visit the house of an angry man who had threatened him earlier. Still on another occasion Ronnie described how had pointed a loaded weapon at his father's head and pulled the trigger (only for the weapon to misfire).

Well. All looks bleak for our plucky hero Rick Moran, as the evidence seems solidly against his claims. Fortunately, though, he has an eyewitness! It seems one of his friends, Mike Shaner (deceased), was an SCPD officer involved with the DeFeo investigation. Shaner told Moran that a suspicious car had been spotted as being constantly in the area prior to the murders. This car always had one sole occupant, was always within view of the house, and it displayed a "US Department of Health" parking permit. Interesting. Moran then finds out from another source that the Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) often uses vehicles with this parking permit in their surveillance operations.

Luckily, Moran has friends at the DEA! What luck! He visits and asks if anyone knew about the DeFeo house being under surveillance by them at the time of the murders. He isn't told then and there, but assured he'd get an eventual answer. A week later, Moran receives an anonymous call telling him the following information:
  • Yes, the DeFeo house was under surveillance at the time of the murders (for suspicion of drug smuggling)
  • The DEA officer watching the house saw the murders going down, represented as flashes in the 2nd floor windows accompanied by muffled roars coming from within the house
  • Next he observed Dawn (carrying what appeared to be a rifle) leaving the house, getting into her car and driving south, toward the dock (where the Amityville creek meets the bay)
  • A few minutes later Dawn returns without the rifle
  • Ronnie leaves for work later in the morning
  • 24 hours later, a man comes to the house
  • Within minutes of that, the area was swarming with police
Moran treats this as eyewitness evidence proving that Dawn threw the murder weapon into the bay, ignoring the fact that police ballistics experts confirmed Dawn was killed by that very same rifle (see above documents). So the DEA agent's story conflicts with the police ballistics tests – Dawn could not be shot by a rifle which was, at that same time, sitting at the bottom of the bay. Unless, again, maybe there was a conspiracy between the the district attorney's office, the homicide detectives, the medical examiners, the head of the firearms laboratory and other police officers to keep this story of a handgun hidden. Creating and maintaining such a grand conspiracy would require much more work than just admitting Dawn was involved in the murders.

Missing rifles aside, there seems to be other major problems with this DEA story. Strike two comes when the DEA agent describes how the area was swarming with police just minutes after "a man came to the house." But as explained in High Hopes (the book about the DeFeo case written by the prosecuting attorney, Gerard Sullivan), it wasn't just one man approaching the house at that time – it was Ronnie with a group of at least 5 people from the bar down the road. This is confirmed by eyewitness testimony as well as the 911 call, made from the house by a friend of Ronnie's (where Ronnie and others are referred to and heard in the background).

Other questions persist as well. Why didn't police spot and question this lone stranger sitting alone in his car silently watching the murder house as they arrived? Why didn't this DEA agent inform the police of what he saw? To the latter question, Moran explains that he did not want to compromise an ongoing investigation, but he also states that the DEA later sent a memo to the Suffolk County police detailing what was witnessed (Dawn's actions). This information was put into the DeFeo record by officer Mike Shaner, himself.

But wait – if Shaner put the DEA memo into the DeFeo case file, himself, then that means he knew the DEA had been watching the house. So why did he only tell Moran about "a suspicious car" if he knew full well it was the DEA?

Unfortunately (or should I say "suspiciously") Moran tells us that this DEA memo was later removed from the DeFeo file by SCPD officials and lost forever. So I guess that means we can't verify this information with them. Mike Shaner is dead, so we can't speak to him about this; and the DEA informant was anonymous, so we can't verify this with him, either. Though if the DEA officially sent this memo to the SCPD, and the DEA case on the DeFeos was closed, it surely was no longer a secret – so I don't understand why the agent would feel the need to call Moran anonymously.

Lastly, another problem with this DEA information is the timeline.
"This same agent said that he saw Butch leave the house the next morning. Twenty-four hours later, another man came to the house and within minutes, the area was swarming with police."—Rick Moran, Fortean Times, 2004
The murders went down around 3am on November 13th. The police arrived about 15 hours later, at 6:40pm – not 24 hours after Ronnie left for work, and not in the morning. Wouldn't an agent assigned to watch a house be taking detailed notes? Rick Moran claims he was at the scene with the other reporters. Didn't Rick know what time of day it was when he was there? As a reporter, didn't Moran ask the police when the call was made or when they arrived on the scene?

I certainly don't believe this DEA story – but more importantly, why does Rick Moran?

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: AmityvilleFiles.com - Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:38 pm

Image
.
Part 5: George Lutz and Ronnie DeFeo: BFF?
.
"Despite claims to the contrary, George Lutz knew Ronnie DeFeo Jr. long before the murders. He also knew about Butch's claims to be involved in the underworld as Butch often boasted about his family ties to 'The Family' of Brooklyn crime bosses."—Rick Moran, Fortean Times, 2004
Quite a bold statement, which, if true, could cast serious doubts upon the claims made by George Lutz. But where was the supporting evidence? How does Rick Moran know for a fact that Ronnie DeFeo and George Lutz knew one another? For some odd reason, this extremely important chunk of information isn't fully explored – its given 2 sentences and then quickly forgotten. Once again, Moran seemingly didn't find it necessary to delve deeper into this matter or to reveal his sources.

So we asked him.

Shortly after this Fortean Times article was published, a colleague of mine wrote to Moran and asked him about this and other "unique" claims of his. After a long series of back and forth emails, Moran eventually explained how this information came to him from a friend – Amityville police officer Mike Shaner (the same Mike Shaner who gave Moran the scoop about the DEA surveillance). Its nice to have friends.

Moran claims that Mike Shaner saw DeFeo and Lutz speaking at a local Long Island boatyard. Shaner's story was confirmed by another man, who also had a boat at that same yard. This other man knew Ronnie DeFeo, and said he saw Ronnie speaking with "someone who looked like George back then" (hardly a confirmation).

Do you see a pattern here? Many of Moran's sources seem to be either anonymous, forgotten or dead. Such is the case with Mike Shaner (deceased) and the backup source, whose contact information was discarded by Rick long ago.

Moran's initial statement seemed to get downplayed with each successive email, starting with the statement in Fortean Times that the two men definitely knew each other and ending with this:
"It is only an observation that George might well have met Butch before when he said on the record that he had not. It is also possible that he met someone who looked like Butch. Ironically, several people have told me that I had the same facial features as both George and Butch at the time. Maybe it was me!"—Rick Moran, 2004
Moran was now describing the meeting between George Lutz and Ronnie DeFeo as a "chance encounter" – just two guys hanging out at the boatyard, talking about their boats. He likened it to how people in a small rural town might hang out at their local market or hardware store for the afternoon.

So Moran takes this information, which he admits could be a case of mistaken identity, and presents it as a fact that not only did Lutz know DeFeo, but he also knew all about Ronnie's underworld dealings (as if this could be determined from seeing the 2 men chatting in the distance). It seems Moran is basically admitting that he distorted this information – if it was even true to start with.

Why wouldn't it be true? Well, aside from Moran being caught twisting the facts, we have to ask why this important information wasn't reported in his 1978 FATE article? Why did we have to wait until 2004 to hear about it? Could it be because Mike Shaner was still alive and able to deny the story back in 1978?

Also, Moran told us that fellow ASUP member Stephen Kaplan was fully aware of this information. So why didn't Kaplan mention this in his own attempt at debunking the Lutzes and their story – the book The Amityville Horror Conspiracy? Not only did Kaplan seem desperate to find a link between the Lutzes and the DeFeos, but he wrote about every other little twist and turn that took place during his investigation. If he heard even a rumor about this, its more than likely he would have included it in his book, just based on the other similar tidbits of information his book contains.

I also find it odd how someone would remember this incident happening before either Lutz or DeFeo were public figures. George Lutz wasn't in the spotlight until 1976, and Moran said Lutz and DeFeo knew each other "long before" the 1974 murders – so that would mean they were spotted talking at this boatyard at least 2 years before the name "George Lutz" was in the public eye. If 2 men chatting at a local boatyard was such an everyday mundane thing, then why would this non-event stick in someone's mind good enough to recall 2 years later? I guess its possible, but it seems highly unlikely.

Lastly, Moran went on to explain how Shaner put this information into the official police files on DeFeo. But even that seems suspicious. DeFeo's trial was over and done with months before the Lutzes claimed their happy home was haunted. Wouldn't the DeFeo casefile be closed long before anyone knew of George Lutz? And even if it wasn't, what significance would this have to a police investigation? Such a connection would be relevant to the legitimacy of the haunting, but that is far from being a police matter.

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: AmityvilleFiles.com - Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:39 pm

Image
.
Part 6: The Lost Founders
.
The Association for the Study of Unexplained Phenomenon was formed in 1972 by several New York area journalists and paranormal researchers, including Rick Moran, Peter Jordan, Paul Hoffman and Stephen Kaplan.

At least that's how its explained on the ASUP's official website, hosted by Rick Moran. But something about that statement doesn't seem quite right. Yes, Rick Moran and Peter Jordan seemed to be a team back in the day – combining forces in 1978 to write their expose on the Amityville case for FATE magazine – but the inclusion of Paul Hoffman and Stephen Kaplan seems out of place.

Stephen Kaplan (deceased) was the author of The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, his attempt at debunking the famous haunting. Published in 1995 and formatted as a diary, "Conspiracy" covers Kaplan's life from 1974 to 1979 as he runs around investigating, giving lectures and generally getting upset with people who believed the stories of the haunting in Amityville. While Rick Moran claims that he knew Kaplan "long before Amityville," Kaplan's book seems to tell quite a different story. Rick Moran is not mentioned until page 101:
"A few nights ago, Joel Martin did a show for WBAB in which he interviewed an investigative reporter named Rick Moran and Moran's two associates."—Stephen Kaplan, Nov 17, 1977, as reprinted in The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, 1995
This diary of Kaplan's life starts in 1974, but the first mention of Moran comes in 1977 – and he is presented as a stranger. Not "my friend" Rick Moran or "my associate" Rick Moran, or "Rick Moran, whom I have known for years," but rather "an investigative reporter."

How is it possible that these two men, both with a passion for debunking the case, belong to the same organization (which they both founded) and not be working together and pooling their resources and information? Why does Kaplan pretend not to know Rick Moran until November of 1977? Why is there absolutely no mention of the ASUP in Kaplan's book?

And why does Kaplan not know Paul Hoffman, a man who was (according to Moran) a fellow co-founder of the ASUP in 1972? As shown in Kaplan's book, he first heard of Hoffman in 1976, when Paul wrote a piece on the haunting for The New York Daily News. Kaplan was so angered by this article (which made no mention of a hoax, but merely told the Lutzes' story) that he wrote an angry letter to the editor:
"The Parapsychology Institute of America has investigated the Amityville house and we found no phenomena of any kind. It is our belief that a hoax is being perpetrated on the public and we feel you are helping to spread this science fiction. I hope that in the future you will see that Mr. Hoffman thoroughly checks out his facts before submitting such an article."—Stephen Kaplan, Aug 22, 1976, as reprinted in The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, 1995
Kaplan's view of Hoffman was that he was working in collaboration with the Lutzes:
"In the News article, the "second floor bedroom" was specified, and later identified as having been Ronald DeFeo Jr.'s bedroom. As I have previously mentioned, I had been informed that Ronald's room was on the third floor. Hoffman and the Lutzes must have discovered their error and "moved" the evil to another floor!"—Stephen Kaplan, March 9, 1977, as reprinted in The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, 1995
So we are to believe Moran's word that Kaplan was a cofounder of the ASUP in 1972 despite the evidence in Kaplan's book that he did not know Moran, Jordan or Hoffman at the time? Which man is lying? If Moran is being truthful, then Kaplan's portrayal of Hoffman in The Amityville Horror Conspiracy is maliciously deceiving.

But I don't think Kaplan is the one lying here. Some more evidence comes into play when we look into Paul Hoffman's history.

Paul Hoffman (also deceased) was a journalist hired by William Weber (defense attorney for Ronnie DeFeo) to write a book. As mentioned before, Ronnie DeFeo was the young man who, in 1974, killed his family in that now-infamous Amityville home. The book Weber hired Hoffman to write would be a true-crime account of the DeFeo murder case.

In December of 1975 the Lutz family bought the DeFeo house, only to abandon it a month later, claiming it was haunted. The Lutzes try to contact people who can help them cleanse the house, and they also get in contact with Weber, feeling their story might shine some light on Ronnie's "insane" actions and get the guy some mental help.

When Weber hears their story, he thinks it would be a great addition to his book project. Weber claims that what happened next was that he and the Lutzes sat around drinking wine while making up scary (but fictional) ghostly incidents to be included in the book, such as seeing red eyes in the windows and slime oozing down the walls (a claim the Lutzes flatly deny).

Rick Moran claims Hoffman was present while the Lutzes and Weber were dreaming up the story. When asked if he'd write the book, Moran claims that Hoffman refused and walked away from the deal:
"Then they asked him all, you know, are you gonna write it, and [Hoffman] said, 'No, I'm not gonna write it,' you know, because they wanted to write it as a true story, and he says, 'Well obviously its not a true story since we're sitting here making it up as we're going along.'"—Rick Moran, White Noise Paranormal Radio, 2009
However, Moran's statement goes against the following evidence:
  • These meetings between the Lutzes, Weber and Hoffman would have taken place around February of 1976, however...
  • Five months later, Hoffman is still on board with Weber's project, as shown by the article he wrote about the haunting in the July 18, 1976, edition of the New York Sunday News. As Weber explained in a 1979 appearance on the Joel Martin radio show (transcribed in Kaplan's book The Amityville Horror Conspiracy), this was done on Weber's behalf "to keep the publicity going for our project." The Lutzes were no longer involved with the project, but Hoffman was.
  • A full year after Moran claims he quit, Hoffman is still involved with Weber and the book project, as he rewrites his previous article and sells it to Good Housekeeping magazine for their May issue. Again, the intent was to keep publicity going as they shopped their book proposal to various publishers.
So what was the real reason Hoffman never wrote the DeFeo book? Simple. He was replaced by Hans Holzer. We can see that progression in this segment of a letter sent by William Weber to his client, Ronnie DeFeo (dated Feb 1, 1977):
.
Image
.
Why were we given this false story of Hoffman quitting Weber's book project? Could it be that Moran didn't know Hoffman and was just making up a good story which helped support his claims of a hoax? Possibly. Let's dig a little deeper...

Now keep in mind that Hoffman was (according to Moran) an eyewitness to William Weber creating a fake haunted house story with the Lutzes. Hoffman would even have access to cassette recordings of these sessions – physical proof that the haunting was a hoax! Given that, and believing Moran's claim that Hoffman was a founding member of the ASUP in 1972, why would Moran or anyone else need to (or bother with) investigating Jay Anson's book? They would already have solid proof that it was all a hoax – no further investigation needed!

Even if Hoffman, for some reason, did not have copies of the audio cassettes – he still would have been an eyewitness to the hoax. His story would have been the holy grail for those seeking to debunk the haunting – an eyewitness account that the story was pure fiction. And yet the only mention of Hoffman in the Moran/Jordan FATE article is this brief bit:
"Similarly, in an article in the April 1977 issue of Good Housekeeping, journalist Paul Hoffman quotes George Lutz as saying that temperature changes in rooms did occur..."—Rick Moran & Peter Jordan, FATE, 1978
Why was Hoffman's eyewitness account not mentioned in the FATE article? "How about word count," Moran told me during a 2009 telephone conversation. "I have to deal with real editors that say '1500 words is 1500 words.'"

But would that mean you decide against presenting your strongest evidence due to the space limitations of a magazine? Surely you could cut some of the repetitive references to the boys' bedroom window, instead.

"It was already written about," Rick explained, "Why would I then repeat 3rd-party information?"

This puzzled me. Where had Paul's eyewitness account been published? "I did research into the house," Moran continued, "Paul published his material, I published mine."

Was Moran referring to the 2 articles Hoffman wrote for the New York Daily News and Good Housekeeping? I reminded Moran that those articles simply told the Lutzes' story, and made no mention of it being a hoax. Rick told me to do my research and "find the rest of it." Did he mean I missed something in those 2 articles, or that Hoffman wrote other articles about the haunting? If he hadn't hung up on me, I might have found out.

It still didn't make sense. Kaplan writes about first hearing Rick Moran on a radio show in November of 1977 and fails to use the information from Mike Shaner in his book (about George Lutz knowing DeFeo). Kaplan claims Hoffman was a complete stranger to him. Similarly, Hoffman is dealt with as a stranger by Moran & Jordan not only in the FATE article (where Kaplan is not mentioned at all) but also in a later piece Jordan wrote about the haunting.

Moran's information about Hoffman walking off Weber's book project is wrong, according to Weber (with supporting evidence from Hoffman writing his 2 articles). Hoffman was supposedly an eyewitness to the whole thing being a hoax, but his eyewitness account is not used in the FATE article or in Kaplan's book. How am I supposed to ignore all of this and just believe Moran's word?

It really does seem as if Rick Moran waited until these guys were dead and then decided to use their names in a fraudulent manner – Hoffman, to boost his claims that the Amityville haunting was a hoax; and Kaplan, to boost his organization's overall credibility. After all, the dead don't talk back. Maybe there's some logical explanation, but after endless prodding all Moran seems to give us is "I don't know why Kaplan wrote that" and "I'm telling the truth."

The spurious statements Rick Moran has given about the Amityville case simply fly in the face of logic and accepted evidence. His sources seem highly dubious, as does the supposition that he, as a seasoned investigative journalist, would even believe such stories, himself. Moran paints himself as a journalist who seeks out corroboration and proof, and yet when it comes to this case he offers little of either and gets indignant when even asked.

Rick Moran was contacted several times to respond to the statements represented in this article long before it was published on AmityvilleFiles.com. During my last phone conversation with Rick (which ended with him hanging-up on me), he stated that he would rather just ignore me and my article rather than waste his time actually responding to it. Unfortunately, without anyone being able to verify his evidence, Moran proves nothing, and his claims end up sounding like the pitiful tall tales of the local yokel spending a lazy Sunday afternoon in the rural market.

The case of The Amityville Horror is surrounded by many myths, misconceptions and outright lies. We do not need the likes of Rick Moran further muddying the waters with (what seems to be) his own fiction. And I say this as someone who was alive in 1976 and who saw the case "unfurl" (like that makes a difference)...


Dan would like to thank Kat Thomas and Blaine Duncan for their assistance with this piece.

User avatar
Amit Y Ville
Streaming on Twitch from the red room
Posts: 605

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Amit Y Ville » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:21 am

Wow, Rick is bigger than the Amityville house.
Amityville fan since 1995, believer of the case, often imitated but never replicated

User avatar
msmart112
Amityville_Member
Posts: 1870

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by msmart112 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:40 pm

Dan...any chance you could give this board the gift of posting the phone conversation that you had with Rick? :lol:
Image

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:50 pm

Sure, but I was under the impression that you and Sherb didn't think I came off all that well during it.

I mean, neither of you said as much, but that was the impression I got when you guys told me that I shouldn't post it back in 2009.

I'll have to listen to it again, just to make sure.

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:50 pm

I dunno. I just listened to it again. It's just me and him arguing back and forth. He mocks me because "he's a journalist and I'm not." He mentions that he could sue me over the article, but doesn't want to bother. He deflects a lot -- giving answers that have nothing to do with my questions.

As I mentioned in my article, Rick Moran and his buddies felt that The Amityville Horror was a hoax and they wanted to prove it (Rick even states this in the clip below). I think their best piece of evidence regarding that was Paul Hoffman allegedly being an eyewitness to the Lutzes creating the fictional haunted house story with William Weber (if it was true).

I say "if it were true" because, to my knowledge, Paul Hoffman has never made such a claim.

Rick claims he knew Paul Hoffman since at least 1972. If that's true, then why wasn't Paul's story even mentioned in Rick's 1978 article for FATE magazine?

Rick starts off by explaining how this was Paul's story to tell, it wasn't his.

Then he suggests that Paul's story wasn't included because of space limitations. :fp:

Then he claims that Paul's story had already been written about (but it hasn't -- and not even Weber's allegations were known until around 1979 or so).

Then he goes back to the "it's Paul's story to tell" crap again, suggesting that it would have been unethical for him to use Paul's story. Making it sound like he would be "stealing" Paul's story if he wrote about it.

Anyway, we just go round and round. Listening back to this, there are a lot of points I wish I had brought up, but I didn't think quick enough. The phone conversation was 15 minutes long. Here's a 3-minute clip which includes a funny quip that I get off on him at the end (probably why I chose it):


jimmysmokes
Amityville Addict
Posts: 641

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by jimmysmokes » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:49 am

https://skepticalinquirer.org/newslette ... mityville/

Would you mind taking a look at this? Zone in on the last paragraph. You still have questions?

I would suspect that your phone call with Rick is much like this clip here, a "scatter-gun" approach that doesn't go anywhere.

Your time would be better served on this whole "haunting" by going directly to the source, (the Lutzes), themselves than wasting time on these sources. If you like contradictions, you'll find many exposed by me right on this forum, made by the family over the years. Remember, with your belief system, (like many others whom claim to believe in this story), you're unsure of what you believe happened? Which in turn tells me that none of you can really convince yourselves this story is actually true, but want to further it by deceiving yourselves and others by arguing silly points, like this call, just to make arguments when all along your unsure yourselves that anything actually happened.

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:39 am

Not sure why you are talking to me like I don't know you. We've discussed your various theories many times in the past few years, you and I. You already know that I have, in fact, "gone to the Lutzes" ("gone to the source," as you say).

The clip of the conversation you listened to only appears to be "scatter-gun" because Rick Moran kept deflecting.

Some background to this phone call. Sherb and Max had previous email correspondence with Rick Moran. I wrote the article and sent it to Sherb and others for them to look it over and see if I messed-up with anything. I then sent a revised article to Rick Moran, himself, asking for answers to the various issues I brought up.

Rick Moran read this article! He read it days before this phone call! He already knew the issues I had with him prior to me saying 'hello'. So any deflection during that phone call was a blatant attempt by Rick to avoid admitting that he just made sh*t up!

Did you read my article? Do you think Rick Moran is full of sh*t? Why or why not?


jimmysmokes wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:49 am
https://skepticalinquirer.org/newslette ... mityville/

Would you mind taking a look at this? Zone in on the last paragraph. You still have questions?
Okay, let's see what it says:
A transcript of the September 1979 trial of George and Kathy Lutz vs. Paul Hoffman—Hoffman being perhaps the first writer to publish an account of the Amityville happenings—reveals the Lutzes’ admission that virtually everything in The Amityville Horror was pure fiction (Stein 1993, 63).
The Lutzes freely admit that there are fictional elements in the book. Author Jay Anson freely admits that there was fictional elements in the book. And both parties agree that these fictional elements were put in there by Jay Anson, himself -- not the Lutzes. You already know this. This has been discussed numerous times on this board.

The phrase "virtually everything" is subjective. What percentage constitutes "virtually everything"? Is this list of "virtually everything" published anywhere? Or is the only thing published the words "virtually everything"?

If it was described as "virtually everything," then surely a list was made of the real incidents and the fictional incidents and presented at trial. Where is this list? Is it published anywhere? Or is it easier just to claim it was "virtually everything" without showing the facts to your readers for them to form their own opinion?
Indeed, Newsday columnist Ed Lowe observes: “It had to have been a setup since Day 1. The day after the Lutzes fled, supposedly in terror, they returned to hold a garage sale—just lots of junk. It was obvious they hadn’t moved in there [the $80,000 house] with anything worth anything.”
Interesting how Ed characterizes it as a garage sale.

George Lutz said they had an auction of their furniture, boat, etc. It wasn't a garage sale, and no family members were there. Yet by saying "they returned to hold a garage sale," Ed Lowe is making the strong inference that the family was there.

So you have George Lutz claiming one thing and Ed Lowe claiming another. What to do?

Oh, I know! Let's crack open Kaplan's book! Seems like Kaplan claims he was there that day, and Kaplan clearly describes the event as an auction. More than that, Kaplan backs-up Lutz' claim that there were no family member present (they did not "return to hold a garage sale").

Kaplan makes no secret of disliking George Lutz, and his book is an attempt at showing the haunting as a hoax. So any agenda on Kaplan's part would be to make George look like a liar, not to back him up like this. Therefore, I find Kaplan's claim pretty damn convincing.

Seems like a discrepancy there, Jimmy. Why don't you investigate that one? Or do discrepancies only matter when they are coming from the "pro-haunting" crowd?
Lowe added, confirming the findings of other investigators, “And during the entire 28-day ‘siege’ that drove them from the house, they never once called the police” (quoted in Peterson 1982). Lowe should know: His father was the Amityville police chief at the time of the alleged demonic events.
Well, the only police call made by the Lutzes in Amityville (that I recall hearing about at the moment) was regarding the damage to their front door. Kathy Lutz said it was checked out by the police. Ed Lowe seems to claim otherwise. Ed Lowe is already quoted here as making a questionable claim, though I suspect you feel the same about Kathy as well, so you can figure that one out yourself, I imagine.

jimmysmokes
Amityville Addict
Posts: 641

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by jimmysmokes » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:16 pm

Yes I read your article and the points you had listed with the Moran call. I once wrote a huge post going over your points, but, sadly, when I submitted it, it had logged me out and I lost everything I wrote. I wasn't going to spend another hour writing it again.

I showed you what Hoffman said about this haunting. That should suffice now. The fictional elements in the book would have to do with the haunting/paranormal claims. These are the selling points of the story. As for true elements in the book, yes the Lutzes did live in the house and other unimportant details such as those, so from that perspective, there is some truth to the book. But anything to the claims of "events" happening are "virtually fiction"! Such as the door. We have three different variations on this story from George, Kathy, and Chris. No cops were called to the house to investigate as was brought out in court by Cammataro.

As to Rick being full of it, I've said before that all involved in this thing are hard to believe in some cases. This story of people or the Lutzes going back the next day to retrieve items is called in to question also. Sherb says it wasn't the next day but I have read other accounts that claim they did? Also remember that it was stated that they had never unpacked most of the boxes while they lived there. What does that suggest to you Dan? Sounds like they had no intention of staying there, unless you can produce a theory that makes more sense?

I don't believe everything Kaplan says in his book. He did some speculating I didn't agree with. Whether or not Kaplan was there or family members during the garage sale/auction has no bearing on the events being true or not. And let's not forget Danny calling Kaplan to tell him it was a hoax. That alone is from a family member who lived there and is better than Moran or Kaplan and their claims huh?

Is it easier to claim your house was haunted in a book then not being able to prove it happened? Since we've learned of many of the things listed in the book as fiction, you make a list of what you think really happened and let's see what we can come up.

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:00 pm

What motive would Kaplan have in claiming the event was an auction and that the Lutzes were not there?

You are simply dismissing Kaplan's statement because it doesn't fit the way you want it to.

And you didn't "tell me what Hoffman said." Read your own damn source material! The article YOU QUOTED says, "A transcript of the September 1979 trial of George and Kathy Lutz vs. Paul Hoffman—Hoffman being perhaps the first writer to publish an account of the Amityville happenings—reveals the Lutzes’ admission that virtually everything in The Amityville Horror was pure fiction."

Let me trim out the fat so you can understand it better:

"A transcript ... reveals the Lutzes’ admission that virtually everything in The Amityville Horror was pure fiction."

Does it say "Hoffman claimed this or that?" No.

It says an admission by the Lutzes. Not an accusation by Paul Hoffman.

Do you even know what the trial was about? I doubt it.
jimmysmokes wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:49 am
Remember, with your belief system, (like many others whom claim to believe in this story), you're unsure of what you believe happened? Which in turn tells me that none of you can really convince yourselves this story is actually true, but want to further it by deceiving yourselves and others by arguing silly points, like this call, just to make arguments when all along your unsure yourselves that anything actually happened.
You think my call was all about making silly arguments?

I was calling into question the claims Rick Moran has made.

I was starting with the base claim of him allegedly being good friends with Stephen Kaplan and Paul Hoffman back in 1972. Once that was settled, I would continue on to his other claims (such as the mysterious DEA agent who saw Dawn throw the Marlin rifle into the creek (the same rifle that she was later killed with).

There is a lot of evidence suggesting that Rick Moran did not know either Paul Hoffman or Stephen Kaplan in 1972 (as he claims). And I was attempting to pin him down on this.

Apparently, to you, it sounds like I am just randomly trying to make silly points.

Come on. Use your brain.

jimmysmokes
Amityville Addict
Posts: 641

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by jimmysmokes » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:09 pm

I'm not dismissing Kaplan's claim, I simply do not care about it as it has NOTHING to do with the haunting.

REVEALS REVEALS REVEALS or PASSES ON or STATES of the Lutzes admission of TAH of being fiction. I guess in your world since he revealed that, he might have actually thought they were lying regardless of stating their claims of it being fiction?

The same scenario of what you were doing with Rick here is the same thing you're doing now! And I just listened to that clip again and he did answer your questions! "But why didn't you bring out what Hoffman said"? "It would've been gold"! Once again, I guess he or I have to state the same points over and over to make them legit?

"Are you the Son of God"? I AM! Dan:- Well, it only says that one time in the Bible and the Pope hasn't said anything about Christ being the Son of God in any documents or statements lately, so I'm inclined to think that it isn't true. In other words I want to keep asking why the Pope just doesn't come out and remind us everyday to make it more valid?

Yeah I think your call was silly. Want proof, how's this? "I don't know why I believe in TAH, but am unsure if it really happened"? :fp:

Using that kind of logic, one could keep an argument going all day to no point! I know why you do it though.

And once again, if you want to investigate silly claims, let's get on the haunting!

User avatar
sherbetbizarre
Administrator
Posts: 9586
Contact:

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by sherbetbizarre » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:28 pm

jimmysmokes wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:16 pm
This story of people or the Lutzes going back the next day to retrieve items is called in to question also. Sherb says it wasn't the next day but I have read other accounts that claim they did?
There are no actual accounts of them going back the next day, just lazy assumptions.
Dan bought up Kaplan's version to show it was indeed a couple of months later.
Also remember that it was stated that they had never unpacked most of the boxes while they lived there.
Where's that from? Ric's book? :lol:
I showed you what Hoffman said about this haunting.
Can you remind us?

jimmysmokes
Amityville Addict
Posts: 641

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by jimmysmokes » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:48 pm

sherbetbizarre wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:28 pm
jimmysmokes wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:16 pm
This story of people or the Lutzes going back the next day to retrieve items is called in to question also. Sherb says it wasn't the next day but I have read other accounts that claim they did?
There are no actual accounts of them going back the next day, just lazy assumptions.
Dan bought up Kaplan's version to show it was indeed a couple of months later.
Also remember that it was stated that they had never unpacked most of the boxes while they lived there.
Where's that from? Ric's book? :lol:
I showed you what Hoffman said about this haunting.
Can you remind us?
Hmm, it's listed in this article I put up that they did?

Dan likes to quote Kaplan until it comes to the haunting. You know, the amityville (kaplan) cafeteria syndrome.

Of course it's lazy assumptions. When you look into this whole thing, one finds that nothing much really did happen.

User avatar
Dan the Damned
Lost Soul
Posts: 11567

Re: Rick Moran: Beating a Dead Source

Post by Dan the Damned » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:02 pm

jimmysmokes wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:09 pm
I'm not dismissing Kaplan's claim, I simply do not care about it as it has NOTHING to do with the haunting.
Then don't paste a link and tell me to pay attention to the last paragraph. That last paragraph has a lot of content. If you wanted me to ignore the majority of the content of that last paragraph and only focus on the "virtually everything was fiction" line, then say so! I'm not a mind reader...

jimmysmokes wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:09 pm
REVEALS REVEALS REVEALS or PASSES ON or STATES of the Lutzes admission of TAH of being fiction. I guess in your world since he revealed that, he might have actually thought they were lying regardless of stating their claims of it being fiction?
The Lutzes did not "admit" that TAH was fiction. They admitted that Jay Anson included some fictional elements without their consent.

When you say "it was fiction," the connotation is that everything in the book was fictionalized. And that is not the case. Have some integrity. You don't need to twist words around in order to fit your agenda. Well, maybe you do, but it just shows how weak your argument is.

jimmysmokes wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:09 pm
The same scenario of what you were doing with Rick here is the same thing you're doing now! And I just listened to that clip again and he did answer your questions! "But why didn't you bring out what Hoffman said"? "It would've been gold"! Once again, I guess he or I have to state the same points over and over to make them legit?
Wrong. Rick was not answering my question, he was avoiding my question. He did not give me one answer and then stick by it -- he kept giving me different answers -- none of which were the truth.

The first answer he gave me was "it was Paul's story to write."

This is bullsh*t. Rick and Peter were running around and doing all this research on the book TAH, compiling lists and "carefully comparing newspaper and magazine accounts" for possible discrepancies, interviewing all the local repairmen and locksmiths in Amityville to ask if they've done work at the house, interviewing neighbors and others familiar with the house, etc. All the while they had a close friend who allegedly claimed to have PROOF of the haunting being a hoax! They decided to go with the following circumstantial evidence for the article rather than mention the HARD PROOF they had (because that was "Paul's story, not theirs"):
  • Rick felt the book contained too many different kinds of psychic phenomenon to be a true story.
  • Rick found discrepancies between various newspaper and magazine articles about the Lutzes' story.
  • Rick found that the windows in the house (which supposedly opened on their own) did so due to faulty counterweights.
  • Rick states that Father Ray claims he never even stepped foot in the Amityville house (despite the priest appearing on "In Search Of" the following year and admitting it was real).
Who in their right mind ignores PROOF of a hoax in favor of weak evidence like that? Who in their right mind runs around town interviewing locksmiths and repairmen and neighbors, but decides NOT to interview their close friend WHO HAPPENS TO HAVE PROOF OF THE HOAX?!? That makes NO sense!!!



Okay that was the first excuse Rick gave me. But I kept pestering him about it because, as I just explained to you, I knew it was bullsh*t.

The second excuse Rick gives me was that he had a strict word count for the article. Fine. But that doesn't mean "oh, I can't reveal my best evidence of a hoax because I need space to write about how the windows have faulty counterweights or how the current owners are having problems with trespassers."

THAT makes absolutely no sense, either! If you have limited space, you cut out the unimportant items, not the most important ones! Duh!



The third excuse Rick gives me is that Paul's story (about him being hired to write the book and being a witness to Weber concocting the fake story with the Lutzes) was already published.

This is a flat-out lie.

The first time anyone heard of Weber's claim (that he and the Lutzes made up the story) was the following year -- in the summer of 1979 when William Weber tried to sue the Lutzes for a portion of the profits. A full year after Rick had his article published in FATE magazine!

Even afterwards, Paul Hoffman still hadn't written anything about him allegedly witnessing Weber and the Lutzes making-up fake stories for their book.



Still with me? Now let's continue to the fourth excuse Rick gave to me. He went back to it being "Paul's story to tell" and this time mentioned how it would be unethical for him to use it.

Now I didn't mention this to Rick at the time, but if you read his FATE magazine article, Rick actually DOES mention Paul Hoffman!
Similarly, in an article in the April 1977 issue of Good Housekeeping, journalist Paul Hoffman quotes George Lutz as saying that temperature changes in rooms did occur, black stains appeared on bathroom fixtures, and his wife slid across the bed one night "as if by levitation." Lutz says nothing about a horned creature, a marching band or the extensive damage supposedly done to the house.
So if it's okay to quote Paul Hoffman on this, why couldn't he quote Paul Hoffman's claims that he had actual proof (in the form of recorded audio tapes) that the Lutzes created this hoax with William Weber???

What, it's unethical to quote Paul on one thing but not the other?

The obvious answer was that Paul was not quoted about it because:
  • Rick Moran did not know Paul Hoffman at the time, or
  • The claim about Paul being a witness to the "story sessions" between Weber and the Lutzes was a lie,
  • Or both.
That is why I kept at him. I had him in a lie, and it ended with him hanging-up on me.

It wasn't a silly point. It was someone (like you) making a bullsh*t accusation regarding the haunting. And I proved him wrong. Maybe not in that phone call, but certainly in the article...

Post Reply