Did anyone hear the gunshots that night?

General Discussion About the 1974 DeFeo Murders and related topics
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Secrets
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Did anyone hear the gunshots that night?

Post by Secrets » Sun Aug 07, 2005 2:01 pm

Diane Ireland was the next door neighbour to the DeFeos, and claims that she heard gunshots the night Ronnie killed his family (i should add that the guys that made the Histories Mysteries documentary in 1999 really didnt believe her). Well i dont know if i do either... Back then, i believe she said she was in the bed, next to her husband, when she heard the gunshots. Well, now, it seems that she was on the backporch with her lover in the middle of the night (her husband sleeping upstairs). This has come up on Traceys site.

I want to add what Laura Didio has told about the Irelands; when they all were about to leave after the Warrens investigation (about 4.30 in the morning), the Irelands came home, and instantly began to act hostile (especially Diane). They yelled at the soundguy to remove his equipment from their driveway (it stood about 2 feet into), and apparently called the cops. Diane then came out, started walking up and down the driveway yelling; juhu - Ronnie! Wanna come out and play gun?

Oh my! :shock:

Now why didnt any of the other neighbours hear anything? Both Joel Martin and the Histories Mysteries guys interviewed many in the neighbourhood, and no one heard anything but the dog crying around 3.15. Even kids that Joel Martin interviewed confirmed this, and im shure that they didnt have any reason to lie...
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Re: Diane Ireland

Post by TIA » Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:05 pm

Secrets wrote:
Now why didnt any of the other neighbours hear anything?
The police thought that the acoustics of the house may have deadened the sound of the gunshots. In addition, it's likely that most neighbours were fast asleep, and as it was November, their doors and windows are likely to have been shut. So even given the sound of a loud rifle, it's perhaps not that surprising no one heard anything.

Others have suggested there may be a paranormal explanation, that whatever was happening stopped the sounds of the gunshots being heard. I hope someone else can explain that better than I can. :D
Last edited by TIA on Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Secrets » Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:31 pm

Yeah, its possible that the acoustics in the house muffled the sound a bit, but Ronnie said the shots were thunderous, and that his ears were ringing afterwards. I cant really understand how the house could dampen the sound that much? It was deadly quiet (in the middle of the night), and it is a fact that the dog was heard sobbing, so we know that at least some of the neighbours were awake at the time...

George has in fact told about a "deadening of sound" in the house. When they first moved in, they would hear traffic and outside sounds, but after a while, this stopped. He could go into the livingroom or sunroom, and nothing was heard from the outside - cars would drive past without a sound. If the house stopped outside sounds from coming in, maybe the opposite could happen too?
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Post by TIA » Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:43 pm

Secrets wrote:Yeah, its possible that the acoustics in the house muffled the sound a bit, but Ronnie said the shots were thunderous, and that his ears were ringing afterwards. I cant really understand how the house could dampen the sound that much? It was deadly quiet (in the middle of the night), and it is a fact that the dog was heard sobbing, so we know that at least some of the neighbours were awake at the time...

I believe the witness who heard the dog was a young boy. The sounds the dog was making could have muffled the shots further. The gunshots would be loud to the person doing the shooting, but not necessarily to someone in another building.

Secrets wrote:George has in fact told about a "deadening of sound" in the house. When they first moved in, they would hear traffic and outside sounds, but after a while, this stopped. He could go into the livingroom or sunroom, and nothing was heard from the outside - cars would drive past without a sound. If the house stopped outside sounds from coming in, maybe the opposite could happen too?
Yes, this could be to do with acoustics within the house, and it could also relate to a paranormal explanation (I really wish I could either find or remember some of the stuff I read on that.:roll:)
Last edited by TIA on Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by tragicimp » Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:21 pm

Former Deputy Head of New Scotland Yard's Forensic Firearms Laboratory, Brian J. Heard, who has over 35 years experience in ballistics said, "the rifle used was designed for deer or black bear hunting, it had a six round tubular magazine which meant he had to reload at least once. It fires a projectile of 200 grains with a velocity of about 2100 feet per second with a kinetic energy of about 1970 ft lbs. This is an extremely noisy combination and if fired in a house would result in probable hearing loss for anyone in close proximity. An effective silencer could have been fitted considerably reducing the noise of the discharge but as the bullet is still traveling well above the speed of sound the noise of the bullet breaking the sound barrier would still be extremely noisy, well above that caused by a car back firing as a benchmark".

Investigators were also amazed neighbors in houses 40 odd feet away from 'High Hopes' heard nothing, however when they were assured by police that the murders weren't Mafia related they told them that they had heard gunshots that fateful night but never reported them knowing the family had underworld connections and were frightened of mob reprisals. They also reported the family dog 'Shaggy' barked and howled mournfully, tied up outside the animal grasped the fate which was befalling its family inside.
Apparently the neighbors came forth after they were assured that the murders weren't mafia related....what i want to know is why were the neighbors told that the murders weren't mob related? don't the authorities try to keep that sort of information underwraps until the case is solved?

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Post by Secrets » Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:22 pm

Yes, the guys behind the documentaries interviewed the boy (now an adult) - he was a friend of the DeFeo boys back then, and actually named his own son John Matthew! Unfortunately, i dont think they could use the footage or something (the same with Diane Ireland). Anyway, he told the same story as then - no shots, and the dog was just sobbing a little around 3.15 (not barking). Now, i am not sure about this (its been a long time since i heard the interviews), but i think that there were reports of others hearing the dog too.

I remember Hans Holzer talking about a "psychic field" dampening the sound, and that this was reported from other cases too. He may be off on many things :lol: , but that sounds very interesting. If the sound really changed as George described it, i guess it must have been something paranormal going on...
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Post by TIA » Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:26 pm

tragicimp wrote:
....what i want to know is why were the neighbors told that the murders weren't mob related? don't the authorities try to keep that sort of information underwraps until the case is solved?
By the next day Butch Defeo had confessed and been charged. I think it must have been pretty apparent by then this wasn't a mob killing.
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Post by tragicimp » Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:31 pm

TIA wrote:
tragicimp wrote:
....what i want to know is why were the neighbors told that the murders weren't mob related? don't the authorities try to keep that sort of information underwraps until the case is solved?
By the next day Butch Defeo had confessed and been charged. I think it must have been pretty apparent by then this wasn't a mob killing.
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Post by Secrets » Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:38 pm

I believe Joel Martin actually said that the story about neighbours coming forth was untrue (just another rumour), but i have to check the interview to be sure... The guys that made the documentaries found no proof of this either - they said that the only one to this day that reported hearing any shots was Diane Ireland. But who knows...
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Post by tragicimp » Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:48 pm

who's Joel Martin? :?:
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Post by TIA » Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:58 pm

Coincidently enough, I'm watching a documentary at the moment which Joel Martin is featured in. They describe him as an author and paranormal expert. As this is an Amityville documentary, it's probably the same person.

Unfortunately he says that none of the family woke up during the murders. That's incorrect. Allison Defeo was awake and looking at her killer as she was shot. The mother was slightly raised and turning when she was shot. I think it's likely that the other children were awake when their brother murdered them.

Edit: Joel Martin also appears to have written the introduction to Kaplan's book 'The Amityville Horror Conspiracy.' http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/09 ... ZZZZZZ.jpg
I don't have the book, so I have no idea what he says in the introduction.
Last edited by TIA on Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by TIA » Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:24 pm

tragicimp wrote: heh, whoops....forgot about that...blonde moment!! :oops: gotta love 'em....
Yep. I spelled 'acoustic' wrong every time in this thread. I know my spelling sucks, but this is getting ridiculous.

*wanders off to edit posts and dye her hair*
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Post by Littlelukey » Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:27 am

TIA wrote:Coincidently enough, I'm watching a documentary at the moment which Joel Martin is featured in. They describe him as an author and paranormal expert. As this is an Amityville documentary, it's probably the same person.

Unfortunately he says that none of the family woke up during the murders. That's incorrect. Allison Defeo was awake and looking at her killer as she was shot. The mother was slightly raised and turning when she was shot. I think it's likely that the other children were awake when their brother murdered them.

Edit: Joel Martin also appears to have written the introduction to Kaplan's book 'The Amityville Horror Conspiracy.' http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/09 ... ZZZZZZ.jpg
I don't have the book, so I have no idea what he says in the introduction
.
Are you refering to DAWN DEFEO there was no allison !

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Post by KevinW » Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:54 am

Are you refering to DAWN DEFEO there was no allison !
What? Where did you hear that?

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Post by BillyCigars » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:30 am

there was no allison !
There most certainly WAS an Allison DeFeo....

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Post by TIA » Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:13 am

The information about Allison Defeo and her mother comes from the book 'High Hopes' by Gerard Sullivan, who was the prosecuting attorney in the murder trial. Allison was Dawn's younger sister.
I think the character of Jodie Defeo, who never existed but is in the new remake, is confusing things.
:(
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Post by Littlelukey » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:59 pm

TIA wrote:The information about Allison Defeo and her mother comes from the book 'High Hopes' by Gerard Sullivan, who was the prosecuting attorney in the murder trial. Allison was Dawn's younger sister.
I think the character of Jodie Defeo, who never existed but is in the new remake, is confusing things.
:(
Sorry my bad I keep getting confused with people saying that JODIE was the ghost of Alison Defeo and that's what I meant to say. That is just fiction for the remake and refering to a dead little girl as a ghost PIG is a little off!

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Post by TIA » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:39 am

Joel Martin was also apparently the first repoter on the scene at the Defeo murders, and was interviewed by Lou Gentile when he was doing Amityville specials.
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Gunshots

Post by 123xoxo » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:46 pm

Hi.This is my 1st post.Anyway,I was just wondering why noone heard the gunshots.I know this was propably answered a million times before,but I figured I would ask.
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Re: Gunshots

Post by Dan the Damned » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:49 pm

Not answered, but maybe asked a million times. ;)

In short, we don't know for sure if anybody heard the gunshots or not.

Louise (the mother) and Allison (the youngest daughter) were both awake when shot. Louise's body positioning shows that she was in the act of lifting herself from a resting position, as if someone just starting to get up from bed. Allison's head was slightly lifted (I believe) and turned to directly face the muzzle of the gun.

The two boys (Marc and John) shared a room. Marc had an injured hip which made it difficult to move around in bed. This is said to have caused Marc to sleep on his back, but when found by police, both he and his brother (like the rest) were found laying on their stomachs.

Ronnie may have ordered the boys to turn over in bed (possibly to avoid looking at their faces when shooting them). I seem to remember hearing one or both of the boys were found clutching their bedsheets, but I can't remember the source (I think it was mentioned in "High Hopes"). So they were probably awake as well.

That leaves Dawn and the father. The father was likely the first victim. Ronnie has given many different versions of the murders over the years, but one of the few consistencies is that his father was shot first. If that is true, then he was probably asleep when killed.

Dawn was the furthest from the action. Everyone was sleeping (and killed) on the 2nd floor, but Dawn was up on the 3rd floor. Her body was found in what looks like a very natural sleeping position. This has fueled much speculation, and there are a few threads about that as well. Here's a link to one I found at random (not sure if it's the best or not):

http://www.amityvillefaq.com/truthboard ... f=9&t=5775

People have speculated that the family was killed while asleep. That is why they think no one heard the gunshots. But 2 of the victims were awake, 2 more were most likely awake, and 2 others we're not sure about.

If your question is why didn't the neighbors hear the shots, well that's up for speculation as well. I think the neighbor next door at first claimed she didn't hear the bullets but later said she did (but had forgotten). I know, sounds weird to me, too. Maybe she just didn't want to get involved? I don't know.

It was November. If it was a cold night, then I would think the DeFeo's and the neighbors both had their windows closed. That wouldn't prevent the gunshot sounds, but it would muffle them to a certain degree at least. There's a photo of a cop chatting outside the DeFeo house with a couple of girls -- and they're all bundled-up, so I guess it was cold. (Then again, a neighbor boy a couple of houses down claimed he heard the DeFeo dog barking up a storm at 3am, so you'd think he should have been able to hear gunshots as well...)

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Re: Gunshots

Post by Blue » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:36 am

Dan the Damned wrote:
Louise (the mother) and Allison (the youngest daughter) were both awake when shot. Louise's body positioning shows that she was in the act of lifting herself from a resting position, as if someone just starting to get up from bed. Allison's head was slightly lifted (I believe) and turned to directly face the muzzle of the gun.
I think this should be modified to, "Louise and Allison might have been awake". Their positions do indicate that they were at least somewhat awake (my theory is awakened by the gunshots) but both of their movements/positions could have been a reflexive action, so while technically awake, they may not have been aware. (I like to comfort myself by thinking that Allison in particular was not fully awake yet, simply because I hate to think about her staring into the barrel of a gun. :( )
Ronnie may have ordered the boys to turn over in bed (possibly to avoid looking at their faces when shooting them). I seem to remember hearing one or both of the boys were found clutching their bedsheets, but I can't remember the source (I think it was mentioned in "High Hopes"). So they were probably awake as well.
Could the clutching of sheets have been a reflexive action too, once shot? Depending on where the bullet hits etc. of course, clenching is not unheard of (even when the victim is or should be unaware that they were shot) and making fists would be a natural movement of the body, so if their hands were on the sheets, then clenched, the sheets would have been "clutched". (Much like Louise's necklace...I think that the placement of the body just made it look like "clutching".) Not that it changes much of anything, but again, it's a bit comforting to think they were dead before they were able to register any fear or pain.

If your question is why didn't the neighbors hear the shots, well that's up for speculation as well. I think the neighbor next door at first claimed she didn't hear the bullets but later said she did (but had forgotten). I know, sounds weird to me, too. Maybe she just didn't want to get involved? I don't know.

It was November. If it was a cold night, then I would think the DeFeo's and the neighbors both had their windows closed. That wouldn't prevent the gunshot sounds, but it would muffle them to a certain degree at least. There's a photo of a cop chatting outside the DeFeo house with a couple of girls -- and they're all bundled-up, so I guess it was cold. (Then again, a neighbor boy a couple of houses down claimed he heard the DeFeo dog barking up a storm at 3am, so you'd think he should have been able to hear gunshots as well...)
I still think too much is made of "no one heard the shots". I firmly believe that very many people might have heard *something* of the shots but did not consciously interpret it as "gunshots" and thus had no reason to remember or even fully acknowledge it, which in practical application is the same as not hearing it. But I don't understand the "conspiracy" aspect behind whether or not anyone (outside the house) heard the shots- they were certainly fired whether or not they were heard.

In addition to all the reasons you give above, one more point to "it was cold"...the windows would have been closed (both at the DeFeo home and the neighbors- so two sets of windows and insulation to muffle sounds) but also it is likely that furnaces were running (or radiators or other heating devices). In my modern, post 1974 house, I am listening to the furnace run right now, it is not loud, but you can hear it and it covers the normal street noises well enough. I imagine that a less modern furnace, in a nice area and nicer houses than mine put out some noise (even "white noise") which could mask and/or muffle some outdoor sounds. And you didn't even mention that even if the victims were (maybe, slightly) awake or woken up, the neighbors (with the exception of Diana Ireland) were asleep- probably soundly, deeply, asleep especially if the accepted murder time line is correct and the murders happened somewhere between 1 and 3:00 AM. So really we are talking about 8 muffled shots in quick succession (I do believe the murders happened quickly- likely in just a couple of minutes or even less) from two or three (or more) houses down the street while everyone was asleep. It doesn't strike me as odd in anyway that no one heard (or remembered hearing) them.

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