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[OMFG] ‘Shattered Hopes’ Doc Puts Serious Dent In ‘The Amityville Horror’ Story

In reading this month’s Maxim Magazine I stumbled upon an article focused solely on Ryan Katzenbach’s docudrama Shattered Hopes: The True Story Behind The Amityville Murders, which we last reported on back in October. A lot has changed since then… and even more has been revealed.

Over 10 years in the making, and now a trilogy, Shattered Hopes takes a look at the DeFeo murders that inspired “The Amityville Horror.” While the first part, “From Horror To Homicide,” is now available on DVD at the film’s official website,
the Maxim article focuses on the newly discovered evidence that makes this docudrama a must-see. Read inside for the breaking news!

The “Amityville” lore begins back on November 13, 1974 when six members of the DeFeo family were murdered. A day later, sole-surviving member, a 23-year-old Ronald “Butch” DeFeo confessed to the murders. The story of the haunting began 13 months later when the Lutz family (George, Kathy, and her three children from a previous marriage) scored their dream house, only to move out four weeks later. What they don’t tell you is that George Lutz “owned 94 percent of Amityville Horror Entertainment, LLC, which had its hand in almost every “Amityville” book and movie made,” said Katzenbach. Hardcore horror fans are all skeptical of what really went down in that house.

Digressing a bit, Lutz’ stories stem from Butch DeFeo’s confessions that he wasn’t in control of his actions, and that he may have been possessed. Truth is, evidence suggests that the DeFeo murders were premeditated and that there were multiple guns used on the victims. This would imply there were two (or more) shooters.

Before Shattered Hopes, the sole evidence was a shotgun and a pillowcase filled with discarded items (including a pistol holster). A pistol holder, but no gun.

As part of the Maxim article, Katzenbach explains that he hired an expensive team of divers to comb the canal floor for the missing evidence, a .38-caliber handgun that would be the missing link that more than proves there were multiple shooters. This would not only kill DeFeo’s story, but Lutz’ as well.

Katzenbach found the gun and now the doc is part of history.

There’s so much more to the case that it would take me hours to dive into. If anything, I highly recommend checking out Katzenbach’s documentary by clicking over to his official website.



  • Eddie-Weinbauer

    The case has been solved for years and there was nothing paranormal happening in the house. It was a mentally deranged son living out a fantasy of killing his abusive father and he jsut didn’t stop there. Nevertheless, the documentary does seem interesting.

  • Nothing333

    CommentYeah I’m pretty sure it was debunked in the 70s. Olllllld news.

  • TSchiefer

    Ronnie DeFeo is in Attica prison, has stated several times the film version of his crimes were very inaccurate, and it’s been bloated up from what he said happened to serve a cinematic purpose.

  • cvrgrl35

    to maybe finally put mr ralphs mouth, to rest any one who has followed the case as closely as i have you need not be a brain surgeon to tell more than one person committed these murders as all bodies were in there beds and no blood or any bodies through out the house or didnt they have luminol back then mr ralph and really who cares about dna and who kids are whos sounds to me your like your looking for your 5 min of fame or someblood money and by the way the gun had no silencer so you need to put up or shut up $$$$$$$$$$$

    • creaturefromtheblacklagoon

      Not only are you not a brain surgeon but you don’t know squat abou forensics. The Luminol blood test was discovered in the 1930s and was in routine use by all police departments since at least the 1960s. At trial the detectives in this case testified to using luminol. On an A&E program about Amityville detectives including Della Penna stated they liberally sprayed Luminol all over to search for signs of drag marks. The medical examiners said that the trajectory of the bullets and all avaialable evidence established the victims were murdered exactly where their bodies were found. You either don’t know squat about the case or are intentionally lying, which is it? In the meantime Katzenbach’s theory still doesn’t touch the basic facts about how things went down. His theory is that a second weapon was used to shoot Louise thus 2 shots were fired into Louise from 2 different weapons. His theory doesn’t touch the conventional account of someone subsequently going room to room to kill the children one by one with the rifle. There is no allegation that someone with a different gun simultaneously shot the kids while the parents were being shot. The allegation is that Louise didn’t die and was screaming so she was then shot a second time with a handgun.

  • cvrgrl35

    mr ralph have you seen the cia or fbi or secret service lately or threatned any political officials lately? as you so often boast about? or robbed any cab drivers or family members?

  • Nope…..but I know that Ryan’s Data is flawed. Personal attacks prove my point. Geraldine wasn’t there. Period.

  • I didnt make a movie or write a book you see. Ryan and Ric did. Flawed data is flawed data. Period.

  • I dont give a shit about the case. Katco lies. Period. keep studying the Deaths of innocents….but I know where my Family lived. So does the penal system Of NY,The Endicott P.D., and so many others. Keep attacking. It lends mr credence. If I was lying no attacks would come.

  • If you bothered to look at my link, the first thing you would see is the Registrar of NJ Vital Statistics saying My Mom Was not Married to Defeo. Thats how I start. But keep going so I can make you look foolish too. Check out how Maxims going for Kaplan.

  • eyekarma

    This Guy is the son of Gerildine .His REAL name is Peter Pisani . After finding out about Ryan’s Project ,he came to money grub .Has even commented that he was left out of the story and deserves compensation. He has NOTHING to do with Movie . Ryan’s Movie is NOT a story it is a DOCUMENTARY he spent 10 long years on .Of course. Gerildine NEVER hid her son with Peter’s Father,who was born in 1975.Peter has spouted outrageous claims all over the Internet,especially on his MANY facebook pages. He is a spoiled brat who is looking for a hand out .

    • creaturefromtheblacklagoon

      Peter is the only honest sibling she has. Her daughters all were more than willing to support her lies about living with DeFeo in New Jersey which are blatant lies determined by a court of law to be totally false and moreover even Geraldine admitted under oath was a lie.

      How many times has Geraldine recanted and then renwed recanted claims? I find it hilarious that Gerladine is willing to spout these lies but not under oath anymore. She knows that as long as she doesn’t lie underoath she can’t be punished. That right there tells you what the truth is, her last version under oath to the authorities is the actual truth and she admitted she only married DeFeo in 1989 and met him in 1985.

      Why does Gerladine keep lying about where Stephani Marie Pisani was born? Because her birth in Binghamton proves that she was living in upstate New York not New Jersey like she claims. Originally it was claimed tha tboth Stephani and Peter were Defeo’s kids but after Peter revealed that to be false he was disowned and has since come under heavy attach for refusing to join the family lies.

      Peter Pisani told the authorities he was married to Geraldine Gates from the early 70s until they got an annulment because she never divorced Fed Corey, that they were living together in upstate NY and had two children together in upstate NY. Marriage records, land records and birth records all substantiate this. Likewise school records establish Geraldine’s kids went to school at the time in upstate New York. Her claims of them living in NJ and being born in NJ are all lies and all except Peter went along with these lies.

      Attach Peter all you want it won’t change the facts- the facts are uncontrovertible Geraldine lied. Ronald DeFeo, all of ROn’s friends and family, Lynnea Nonnewitz, Sullivan and Weber all say the same thing that Geraldine came into the picture in the late 1980s. The only people willing to support Geraldine’s claims are her daughters. Stephanie tried to use the lies to inehrit the DeFeo estates- you want to talk about moentary motive to lie. If Stephanie really were DeFeo’s daughter she would inteed be a bonafide heir. Not only for Louise and Ron Sr’s estates but also other relatives and she would have to be explicitly written out to not be an heir. Since it is all BS though she had no claim to raise. Their efforts to raise such in the 80s went up in smoke and they know that there is no point at this stage because it would just provide a vehicle to prove in court they are full of crap. They still hope that they can be famous and make some money that way from this lying sack of garbage being produced by Katzenbach

  • Eye Karma…you are a liar. I never asked for compensation. Your right…I have nothing to do with the movie except for one little fact. My sister and mother are portrayed in it. And if thats the case I wouldnt exist since my sister and I were born in upstate NY. Can you find one place where I asked for compensation? I sure do have multiple facebook accounts. So does Ryan and My Sister. My Mother has a facebook too. Under the name Clarice Hobson.The reason I point out I am left out is because by my very existence I prove my mother a liar. I find it mildly funny that the people profiting from these deaths are accusing me of trying to profit.

  • creaturefromtheblacklagoon

    High Hopes, which was written by the man who successfully prosecuted DeFeo, revealed the hauntings as nonsense. It also details the facts unlike this revisionist account from Katzenbach which is as made up as the hauntings. Katzenbach’s account is not even made up by Ronald DeFeo the only person alive who knows what actually happened. It is coming from a woman who did not meet DeFeo until 1985 when she went to visit him in prison and married him in 1989 though already married to another man at the time. She lied about visiting him in prison soon after the murders, she was not on any of the prison logs nor did she exchange any mail with him. Prosecutor Sullivan culled those records and then interviewed every person who visited except DeFeo’s attorneys and even subpoenaed all mail, in fact High Hopes contains several letters written by Ronald DeFeo to his grandparents including a letter where Ronald stated he had nothing to live for because his whole family was dead and he had no one and wishes he were dead too. Saying he had no one left are certainly not the words of a man with a wife and child. Mindy Weiss told Sullivan that during a visit Ronald DeFeo admitted to her that he killed his family. Sullivan left no stone unturned and found out everything that DeFeo told other inmates and prison guards as well. Had Geraldine actually visited DeFeo in prison prior to the trial or even exchanged mail with him then Sullivan would have interviewed her. In 1990 Ronald DeFeo filed a motion to vacate his conviction and used Geraldine to try to help him. In a 1992 evidentiary hearing with respect to the motion to vacate, Sullivan testified that he never heard of any claim that Ronald was married and never heard of Geraldine until the 1986 Newsday article where she was interviewed. He said that he developed zero evidence about her while preparing for the trial. Similarly DeFeo’s former attorney Weber testified that while he represented DeFeo he had never heard that DeFeo was married and had never met Geraldine. Geraldine’s claims that Weber not only knew about her but he enlisted her aid to convince Ronald DeFeo to act crazy on the witness stand. Weber denied this completely. Guess who the court believed. The judge ruled that the claim he was married to Geraldine at the time of the murders is not worthy of belief and totally incredible.

    Everytime Geraldine speaks she gives a different date of when she supposedly met DeFeo and when they supposedly married. The first date she provided was October 19, 1974. She took her 1964 marriage certificate to Fred Corey, had the 6 in 1964 changed to a 7 and erased the groom and replaced him with DeFeo. If she actually married DeFeo as claimed then she would not need to forge a marriage certificate and would be able to provide genuine evidence. After this marriage certificate was exposed as a forgery she has provided different months and years of when they supposedly married but no exact date just month and year. The fact her claims are never consistent is evidence she is just making it all up. After initially insisting they met in 1973 she later changed to 1970 and later still 1969. Similarly she changed from claiming they married in 1974 to 1970 in Ric Osuna’s book yet in 2003 told Katzenbach they married in 1969. Contemporaneous objective evidence puts her in upstate New York though from 1973-75 married to Peter Pisani.

    Broome Couty land records prove Geraldine and Joseph Pisani lived at 32 Arthur Ave Endicott, NY in early 1973 and moved to 104 Hayes Ave on 11/9/73 and lived there until December 1975. Here is the Broom County Clerk’s website:

    Go to “document search”, Next go to “Book Type-Number Page” Make sure to click Book of Deeds in type and enter 1208 as the book number and 308 as the page then hit search. The first result in the list will be D012080308 click this number and then click parties and you will see that Joseph and Geraldine Pisani are the deed grantees meaning they purchased the property. If you click on view image you can actually see the document including the former address of 32 Arthur Ave. Stephanie Pisani’s birth certificate proves she was born in Binghamton not New Jersey as claimed by Geraldine. Geraldine is proven a complete and total liar by these records. These records including the birth certificate were uncovered by the Suffolk County DA during the course of opposing DeFeo’s motion to vacate his conviction. The DA’s office even interviewed Joseph Pisani and Geraldine’s other former husbands and even her current husband since 1978 Gerald Gates. They confirmed to the authorities that Gerladine was married to them not Ronald DeFeo. She didn’t marry DeFeo until 1989 and he divorced her in 1993 so he could then marry someone else. Under oath Geraldine admitted to authorities that she lied about being married to him prior to 1989.

    Katzenbach is publishing accounts from a known liar. She is making up everything and that shows to anyone who actually knows any facts of the case. For instance at trial it was established that Ronald DeFeo stayed home from work on December 12, 1974. He said he was sick and spent the day with his mother giving him medicine. There was even an issue about that because he said his mother gave him drugs and they wanted to know what kind of drugs so he replied medicine. His co-workers confirmed his account that he was out because he supposedly was sick. Moreover, all agreed that he was supposed to drive his father’s car to work the next day so it could be worked on. The only way he could drive it to work is if he went to work from his home not from Geraldine’s in NJ. Geraldine’s account to Osuna and Katzenbach though was that DeFeo worked on the 12th and then drove to her house in NJ. Supposedly Louise called before he arrived home and wanted him to call when he got home. He got home, called, then got dressed, grabbed a chicken cutlet and ran back out to go to his parents. Supposedly he was needed home because Dawn and Ronald Sr. were fighting. It would take Ronald Sr. almost as much time to get home as Ronald to reach Geraldine’s house, 6:30 at the earliest. If they started fighting at 6:30 why would Louise call at 7 already to say she needed Ron to come home to break up a fight? It would take at least 2 hours for Ronald to get from Geraldine’s house to home. How would Louise be able to know that they would still be fighting 2 hours later? Moreover, Ronald is the last person in that house that would be seen at the voice of reason. The hole thing is ridiculous but when looking at the erroneous facts about Ron supposedly coming from work when he didn’t work that day it is even more clear Geraldine is making it all up. Just like Geraldine made up the claim that in 1973 William Davidge’s job was transferred to Florida. She first conveyed this lie to people online and later told it in interview to Katzenbach and one of the scene reenactments in Part I consists of Billy Davidge telling Dawn he had bad news- his father was transferred to Florida and his family was moving there. In fact William Davidge died in February 1972 long before he allegedly was transferred. Billy Davidge didn’t move to Florida in 1973 he was in Amityville until at least late 1975 and in fact he graduated from Amityville Memorial high School in June 1975. How could he have graduated from high school in Amityville if he supposedly moved in 1973? Katzenbach didn’t do an ounce of research he just accepted lies from Geraldine as true because they suit him.

    Katzenbach has no proof that a handgun was used in the murders period. He alleges that one of the 2 bullets that killed Louise was a 38 special but has no evidence at all to back up his allegation. He never inspected the bullet nor did he have any experts examine the bullet. The only examination done to the bullet was by Alfred Della Penna and his expert opinion was that the bullet was a Western Co. 35 caliber rifle bullet. Exactly 8 bullets were fired from Ron’s rifle (there were 8 expended shell casings that were tied to the exact rifle), exactly 8 bullets were recovered at the scene, and exactly 8 bullets had killed the victims. You do the math that leaves no room for any bullets from other guns. In order for one of the bullets that killed Louise to have been fired from another gun that would require one of the 8 rifle rounds to have missed and thus for there to have been 9 bullets found on the scene. But only 8 bullets were found and all 8 were determined to be the same brand and caliber.

    A perfect example of how Katzenbach doesn’t care about facts at all is with respect to his own theory. Police asked about all guns known to have been owned by the DeFeos. There were some reports of people having seen Defeo handle a snubnose 38 special and matte black 4 inch barrel 38 special. One of these, the 4” barrel version he supposedly kept in the dresser in a girlfriend’s bedroom apartment. In early 1974 he proposed to that girl by the way. His parents flipped out over the fact he wanted to marry her and she ended up driving away at a high rate of speed with DeFeo in chase and ended up in a bad car accident because of it. If he were already married to Geraldine as she claims then how could he have proposed to her? Oops more evidence Geraldine lied. But I digress. Katzenbach decides that because Geraldine says one of the wounds to Louise was from a handgun and a holster was disposed of in the sewer and this means one of these 38 specials must have been used on Louise. As a practical matter even if true that Louise didn’t did from the first shot and someone later returned to shoot her a second time because she was screaming that doesn’t establish a second shooter. The same person can fire 2 shots from different guns minutes apart. But even worse the gun the divers found is not one of the 38 specials that could be linked to DeFeo it is neither a snubnose 38 special nor a 4 inch barrel 38 special, in fact it is not a 38 special at all. The gun found is an Iver Johnson Safety Hammer which came in 22 rimfire, 32 S&W and 38 S&W. 38 S&W is a much different round than .38 special. The gun the divers found was never available in 38 special. There is zero evidence anyone in the DeFeo family or even any of Ron’s friends ever owned an Iver Johnson. So Katzenbach can’t link this gun to the crime (his theory is the bullet was a 38 special which this gun can’t fire) or to the DeFeo’s or any of their friends. Moreover, the disposal of the gun is not consistent with disposal of the rifle. The rifle was not even wiped down to remove the fingerprints, it was tossed in the water still loaded without any damage at all to it. Why would someone break down a handgun even removing the grps and dispose of the parts in different locations yet the same person toss the rifle in the water fully intact? Any honest person can see the handgun remnant has no relation at all to the crime and certainly would not be claiming the evidence points to it being involved when the evidence all says otherwise.

  • Hi this is Renee posting.. Pete and I share this page, I will let you know when it is me posting before I do from here on out.
    Cvrgrl35 and eyekarma are both Stephanie Pisani. She gave some great tells. Periods just hanging out in space, She referred to the fbi and cia which is a direct shot because her and Pete are both very involved with politics (i have lots of her and Petes convos on that subject) She spells Gerildine same as “Whisper” does. So I count three different personas that she is using. Yes Pete changes his name on FB, mostly to funny, silly ones BUT NEVER has he claimed to be anyone but himself. (all his friends KNEW and Still know it is him) Stephanie set up a complete fake life for “whisper” on FB. Stephanie knows he uses “fake names” she was “friends” with him in all of them! Here is a status STEPHANIE had on FB. Randolf Cleofis is Pete who she is referring to. Comments from STEPHANIE, PETE (Blammy Smackernackers) and two other ppl (removed their last name for privacy)

    Stephanie Pisani
    I ♥ Randolph Cleofis
    March 24 at 10:12am · Like ·

    Blammy Smackernackers and Cynthia ***** like this.
    Jenny ***** He sure is a cutie
    March 24 at 10:27am · Like · 1 person
    Stephanie Pisani O i know it girl … cant get much more sexy then Mr Cleofis
    March 24 at 10:38am · Like
    Richard ***** that is one UGLY baby …lmmfao!!!
    March 24 at 11:00am · Like
    Blammy Smackernackers My cat loves me,so Nyah!
    March 24 at 11:18am · Like
    Jenny ***** lmao
    March 24 at 11:23am · Like
    Richard ***** lmao!!!
    March 24 at 11:24am · Like

    So as you can see STEPHANIE knows why and what names Pete used on FB, she was FRIENDS with him and loved him. Now she uses it against him.. as if anyone cares that he used names.. HE NEVER claimed to not be PETER PISANI. Stehanie uses names and claims to BE THE PERSON behind the name! sick-o
    “Blammy” is also the name Pete had when he first commented on Shat Hopes FB.. After he asked his first question, and was replyed to by Ryan, he then told Ryan who he was.. Then Ryan went bonkers.
    See Stephanie, I have LOTS of you saved!
    😉 luv, Renee

  • eyekarma

    I just think it is funny That Peter is Posting under several aliases in this forum . He is Ralph Salvatore as well. And The Creature from the bald lagoon is his girlfriend . As you all can see They both have some serious issues . They will post her about 5 or 6 more times ,going off on insane tangents . I am really glad they are doing it though . It is VERY entertaining to say the least . I hope they do it for weeks and weeks . I wonder why they have not sold their incredible story to the Enquirer or gone on the Jerry Springer show yet . I am SURE they will be a Hit .

  • eyekarma

    Um Renee , how can you prove any of this is true ?

    “”So as you can see STEPHANIE knows why and what names Pete used on FB, she was FRIENDS with him and loved him. Now she uses it against him.. as if anyone cares that he used names.. HE NEVER claimed to not be PETER PISANI. Stehanie uses names and claims to BE THE PERSON behind the name! sick-o””” Or the posts you copied and pasted .You and Peter have very lofty opinions of yourselves. Why is it that when ever somebody disaggrees with you or Peter it is either Stephanie or his mother or other sisters?. Do you both really think that you are that smart ? You both are so blinded by rage and money lust . If you only KNEW the Laughing stock you both really are . So many of us at the FAQ just encourage the both of you because we think it is SO darn funny when Peter goes off on tangents. Then here comes Renee bahahahah do you know what a sorry excuse of a woman you are ? It is SO obvious that you are in a domestic violence situation. EVERYONE is calling you baldy and Peter little boy now.

  • Yer kidding…right? You and your multiple personalities are insane, and I got to let it go. By making the statements you make…you admit to being Stephanie.

  • John Basilone

    There were 8 bullets fired, fragments from 8 bullets recovered and 8 spent shell casings recovered. All 8 shell casings were .35 caliber rifle shell casings. All 8 had firing pin impressions and extraction marks which prove they were fired by DeFeo’s 336c Marlin Rifle. The bullet fragments were all from .35 caliber rounds and had marks indicating they were fired by a Marlin 336c. Thus the ballistics evidence prove there was only 1 gun used to murder the victims- DeFeo’s .35 caliber Marlin rifle.

    Thus the gun that Katzenbach found can’t have been used to shoot any of the victims. Nor does the gun he found match the shape of the gun that would fit in the holster. Nor does it match the gun he was searching for. The gun pulled from the canal was an Iver Johnson Safety Hammer Automatic top break revolver manufactured between 1908 and 1941.

    Police obtained a record of all guns DeFeo was known to have owned.
    Friends claimed he had at one point owned a blued snubnose .38 special
    but they had no idea what became of it. This is the gun Katzenbach said he suspected was used and tossed in the canal. But Katzenbach did not locate
    such snubnose .38 special, he located a model that there is no record that any
    of the DeFeos owning.

    Katzenbach had no valid basis to suggest the gun was even owned by the DeFeos or any of their friends let alone that it was used in connection with the crimes. The Iver Johnson found in the canal was missing the grips, barrel and chamber, it was only the handle skeleton that was found. This gun was not available in .38 special it
    came in 2 varieties: .32 S&W and .38 S&W both of which are substantially smaller than the .38 special.

    The manner of disposal of the gun is totally inconsistent with the disposal of the rifle. The rifle was tossed in the Canal fully intact. Not only was it not
    disassembled, it was still even loaded. The extra ammunition for the rifle was tossed in the sewer in Brooklyn with the rest of the evidence. Was there any handgun ammunition in the sewer? No. Any spent shell casings form a
    handgun? No. Why would he take the handgun apart, toss the grips, barrel, cylinder and extra ammunition elsewhere but leave the rifle used to commit the murders fully intact? It makes no sense.

    The bottom line is that there is no evidence at all to suggest the gun found was connected to the murders in any way. There is no evidence that make of gun was ever owned by the DeFeos or any of their friends. It was too small for the holster so not the gun that went to the holster found in the sewer. It definitely was not used in the commission of the murders.

    Katzenbach alleges one of the bullets was a .38 special but was
    misidentified as a .35 rifle round. He ignores the spent shell casing and other
    evidence that proves him wrong. At any rate this gun could not fire a .38 special round so even if his allegations were correct it could not be the gun anyway.

    The bullet in question had impressions from 8 lands and grooves, and a
    portion of the jacket was missing which would have had more land and groove markings. So this means the gun that fired the bullet had more than 8 lands and grooves. By measuring the lands and grooves and repeating the pattern over the missing area it was determined the gun had 12. DeFeo’s Marlin 336c had
    12 lands and grooves and they were the same size as those on the bullet. The Iver Johnson has only 5 lands and grooves so can’t have left the 8 lands and grooves found on the bullet. All .38 caliber revovlers in existence at the time of the murders had 5 or 6 lands and grooves depending on the manufacturer. So the bullet in question could not have been fired by a revovler chambered in .38 special either. Katzenbach’s allegations in total are baseless.

    Porges got fired and never had a chance to do the follow-up that was supposed
    to evaluate the claims.

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