A Time reporter started contacting me on Wednesday and Thursday, August 7 and 8, 2013, asking me questions about the impact of movies on copycat killings. He said there had been some murders in Brazil, and he was doing a story for Time.
It was a tragic incident, as inexplicable as it was shocking. According to local police, Marcelo Pesseghini, a 13-year-old Brazilian boy in Sao Paulo, took his father’s pistol late Sunday night [August 4, 2013] and shot his policemen parents, his grandmother, his great aunt and, the next day, himself.
The killings shocked the country and drew international coverage that pounced on indications that he was inspired by the 1974 murder of a family in Amityville, New York (the basis for the supernatural horror book and subsequent film, The Amityville Horror). Time.
The evidence of the copycat effect was clearcut, although there were other theories, including one about the boy wanting to become a "hitman." Still, the copycat behaviors demonstrated by the Pesseghini teen were unmistakable. Rayman wrote:
Investigators say they found a separate revolver in his school backpack, and they spoke to a friend of Marcelo Pesseghini’s who said the boy had said he wanted to be a hired killer and planned to kill his parents and run away in his mother’s car. He had also uploaded to social media a famous photograph that ostensibly depicts the ghost of one of the victims in the Amityville massacre, when, in 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed his parents, two brothers, and two sisters while they slept.
I journeyed to the MIPARACON gathering in Michigan, and quickly discovered, when I was introduced to him by author Jeff Belanger, that one table over from me was the son from the actual Amityville Horror home. It was fellow speaker Phoenix resident Christopher Quaratino (Lutz).
Chris Quaratino (Lutz) felt forced to come out of the closet about his childhood experiences by the fact another movie about the Amityville traumas was being made.
The story is one familiar to many. Chris's mother Kathy married George Lutz in 1974. During that marriage, they purchased the house at 112 Ocean Avenue, for around $80,000, and moved in on December 18, 1975. She was the mother of 5 children, three (including Chris) from her previous marriage and two daughters with George. Strange things supposedly began to happen in the house. They included the odor of a very sweet/cheap perfume, and the sensation of a woman coming up and embracing Kathy from behind, plus slime oozing from the walls.