Murder Timeline

General Discussion About the 1974 DeFeo Murders and related topics

Murder Timeline

Postby Dan the Damned » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:44 pm

.............................timeline according to "High Hopes"

..............................Wednesday, November 13, 1974


2am -- Ronnie falls asleep watching "Castle Keep" on TV

3:00am -- Shaggy, the dog, is howling like mad, according to neighbors

3:40am -- Barmaid drives past DeFeo home, notices all lights on

4:40am -- Ronnie leaves home for work

6:05am -- Ronnie arrives at work, goes to nearby luncheonette

7:15am -- Dawn's clock radio goes off, keeps ringing all day long

10am -- Kelske drives past DeFeo house, notices 2 cars still in driveway

11am -- Ronnie phones girlfriend

12 noon -- Ronnie leaves work

1:30pm -- Ronnie shows up at his girlfriend's house (Mindy Weiss)

2:00pm -- Ronnie and Mindy go shopping at the mall

3:00pm -- Ronnie visits Bobby Kelske's house

3:30pm -- Ronnie visits Henry's bar, stays 90 minutes

5:00pm -- Ronnie visits Geiger's house to buy herion

6:00pm -- Ronnie returns to Henry's bar

6:20pm -- Ronnie leaves for home, telling friends he'll have to break in

6:30pm -- Ronnie returns to bar, shouting his family has been killed; a group of people race down the street with Ronnie to the house and "discover" the bodies

6:35pm -- 911 phone call by Joey Yeswit from the DeFeo house

6:40pm -- officer Kenneth Greguski is first cop on the scene

7pm -- Suffolk county detective Gaspar Randazzo interviews Ronnie in kitchen

7:20pm -- house cleared of all but homicide personnel

8pm -- Ronnie taken to be interviewed at "first squad" (told reasoning was that if this was a mob hit, he'd be in danger)

8:10pm -- Detective Sergeant Alfred Della Penna (of the Suffolk County firearms section) arrives at the DeFeo house

8:20pm -- Deputy Chief ME, Dr Howard Adelman, arrives at the DeFeo house; over at the First Squad, Homicide detective Gerard Gozaloff takes Ronnie's written statement; Ronnie blames murders on 70-year old Louis Falini

9:15pm -- Ronnie's grandpa (Michael Brigante Sr) arrives at the DeFeo house, from Brooklyn; attempts to crash the police line; Michael Sr and Michael Jr answer questions for a while (as do Rocco DeFeo and Ronnie's uncle Vincent Procita) until Rocco stops the interviews

10:25pm -- Ronnie signs his 8-page statement, blaming Falini

10:45pm -- Ronnie leaves First Squad, driven to the Fourth Precinct; Gozaloff returns to the crime scene and interviews family members

11:15pm -- Ronnie arrives at Fourth Precinct; is interviewed by homicide detectives George Harrison, Joe Napolitano and others

11:45pm -- Gozaloff phones Harrison and tells him to keep Ronnie away from Rocco DeFeo, out of fear that Ronnie would stop cooperating


.............................Thursday, November 14, 1974


12:30am -- the DeFeo bodies are removed from the house

2:30am -- The questioning session ends with Ronnie still blaming Falini; they take Ronnie over to the Homicide building next door; back at the DeFeo house, Det John Shirvell finds boxes for a Marlin .22 rifle and a Marlin .35 rifle; he takes them back to Homicide

3am -- Ronnie falls asleep in a cot in a small back room used for file storage in the Homicide building

4am -- Della Penna releases a report saying that a .35 Marlin rifle was the likely murder weapon

5am -- Gozaloff interviews Kelske while Shirvell and Della Penna investigate the bullet hole in the floor of Steve Hicks' house

8:45am -- Detectives awaken Ronnie, the new prime suspect, and begin questioning again (lasting until 5pm); detectives return to DeFeo house and find the metal box hidden in the floor of the master bedroom closet

12:15pm -- Bullet from a .35 Marlin rifle is recovered from under Steve Hick's house; sometime in the afternoon the evidence is found in the Brooklyn sewer, but there is no rifle

4pm -- Ronnie confesses he was the sole killer, clearing Falini's name

5pm -- Ronnie's questioning ends

7:30pm -- Ronnie is asked about the murder weapon and says he threw it into the canal behind the neighbor's vacant house

8pm -- Ronnie phones his uncle


.............................Friday, November 15, 1974


-- police scuba divers dive into canal behind the vacant house next door to the DeFeo's; they find broken bottles, cans and a toy machine gun; after an hour the divers move their search to the mouth of the canal and find the rifle

--Ronnie is arraigned for killing Marc DeFeo in First District Court in Hauppauge; Ronnie said he had spoken to a lawyer
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Postby astonio » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:26 am

Beautifully put together, Big D.
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Postby dert » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:43 pm

well said!
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Postby FizzGigg » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:19 pm

Dan, so the DeFeo's were in their beds for almost 24 hours before they were removed?

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Postby Link the Labrador » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:26 pm

FizzGigg wrote:Dan, so the DeFeo's were in their beds for almost 24 hours before they were removed?

Fizz


Yep, pretty much.
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Postby zzvampy » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:24 pm

Superb, Dan.
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Postby Chichibcc » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:47 am

FizzGigg wrote:Dan, so the DeFeo's were in their beds for almost 24 hours before they were removed?


That's almost a whole day...why so long???
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Postby Dan the Damned » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:54 am

Depends how you look at it. The majority of the police arrived around 7pm. At 7:20 they get all unessential police out of the house so they can start doing the serious detective work, including photographing everything. So really they spent around 4 or 5 hours examining everything before they corrupted the crime scene by removing the bodies.
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Postby Jetstar3D » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:14 pm

I've been looking for this, thanks Dan! :wink:
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Postby Dan the Damned » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:23 pm

No problem. Basically just notes as I was reading "High Hopes." I'd post my notes from when I read "The Night the DeFeos Died," but I'm afraid the automatic word censor would render it unreadable. :wink:
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Postby Chichibcc » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:00 pm

Dan the Damned wrote:I'd post my notes from when I read "The Night the DeFeos Died," but I'm afraid the automatic word censor would render it unreadable. :wink:


:lol:
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Postby Chichibcc » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:02 pm

Dan the Damned wrote: So really they spent around 4 or 5 hours examining everything before they corrupted the crime scene by removing the bodies.


How did removing the bodies corrupt the crime scene? They had to be removed eventually.
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Postby Dan the Damned » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:13 pm

I just mean that the bodies are part of the evidence, and the removal of the bodies (just like the removal of any evidence from a crime scene) alters the crime scene to a certain degree.

I worded that a bit weird. It wasn't a criticism. In other words, the bodies were left where found as long as possible for them to investigate the crime scene while it was still intact -- before they started "cleaning up" the crime scene. It sounds callous, but the first part of cleaning up the crime scene is the removal of the bodies.
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Postby Chichibcc » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:17 pm

Dan the Damned wrote:I just mean that the bodies are part of the evidence, and the removal of the bodies (just like the removal of any evidence from a crime scene) alters the crime scene to a certain degree.

I worded that a bit weird. It wasn't a criticism. In other words, the bodies were left where found as long as possible for them to investigate the crime scene while it was still intact -- before they started "cleaning up" the crime scene. It sounds callous, but the first part of cleaning up the crime scene is the removal of the bodies.


Oh, I see what you mean now....
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Postby t00nCiNaToR » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:15 am

Plus they had to "air' out the place for an hour or so, must have been pretty ripe by 7:00pm with the heat on and the house sealed up. You can see the crimescene shots with the attic windows open.
"It happened so quick. I mean, it was boom, boom, boom. From the first killing to the last, it never took any longer than seven seconds,
it would be alot, that would have been alot. Seven seconds." - Ronald J. DeFeo Jr.
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Postby FizzGigg » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:05 pm

So sad and awful to think about that family being in their beds dead for almost twenty four hours.
Awful to think about the possible phone calls made to the house during this time from maybe relatives calling to say hi, reminders of appointments, and maybe one of the children's friends calling to ask why they didn't come to school that day....to have no one answer.
Just think how the mailman felt when he learned that when he dropped off the DeFeo mail, he had no idea they were inside dead.

I think of the time they were in that house dead, and their relatives and friends going on about their day assuming everything is fine at the DeFeo home.

And Ronnie going shopping with his girlfriend Mindi at the mall...this gets to me.

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Re: Murder Timeline

Postby bella2005 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:45 pm

This is a great timeline Dan!
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Re: Murder Timeline

Postby dalnkel » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:11 am

so can you tell me what time the murders was supposed to have taken place because on the grave the date of death was 13th nov so it would have happerned between 12 and 1 am. was there a official time of death .
thanks
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Re: Murder Timeline

Postby Blue » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:31 pm

dalnkel wrote:so can you tell me what time the murders was supposed to have taken place because on the grave the date of death was 13th nov so it would have happerned between 12 and 1 am. was there a official time of death .
thanks


The exact time of death would be nearly impossible to pin-point in most cases that the body is not found for a while. The best that we can usually hope for is a time frame (usually within several hours) and I believe that the post-mortem established the most likely time of the murders to be in the wee hours of the morning of November 13.

That would jive with the timeline given in High Hopes which is based on Ronnie's statements (of watching the movie, falling asleep etc.) and the circumstantial witnesses (driving by the house, hearing the dog barking etc.) in that the murders were likely to have happened sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 AM, with around 3:00 AM being a fair guesstimate. I think the general thought was the gunshots were what set the dog to barking and that was noted to be close to 3:00 AM.
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Re: Murder Timeline

Postby kathyM » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:17 pm

In the timeline the police wanted to keep Ronnie away from Rocco. I wonder if things would have turned out different if Rocco had gotten to Ronnie first before Ronnie confessed. I wonder if Ronnie would have somehow gotten off.
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