My initial reason for putting up this website was as a reaction to others on the web, primarily the anti-truth sites of Ric Osuma and Kevin L. Wagner. I had after all, followed the case from the start 30 years ago and could easily present some elementary truths, showing their version to be false. Both Wagner and Osuma have a large "fan-following" supporting their every move and moaning in awe by their every word. I discovered that these people dominated the Amityville information on the Web. So I put up my first, introductory comments.
What actually happened with the family in the house, I've started compiling on the page Tapestry of Reality. Possible explanations and speculations of what is behind it all is also found on the site. What follows is my own, modest contributions and experiences in the matter, throwing light on the more unofficial story of what happened after the escape from the house. My own, personal effort in and influence on this case will probably forever remain minor, peripheral. I haven't met any of the major players, only heard their story second-hand. I have some information, though I've never shared it with anyone in public before. This is all mostly from unwritten memory.
I visited New York and Long Island for the first time in 1981. Very young and very enthusiastic and interested in the case. At that time it didn't even occur to me that somebody would be interested in hiding evidence and obscuring the truth. So I went straight out to Amityville to see the place, the sights for myself. Yes, very much like a tourist I'm forced to admit.
After having asked for directions a few times, I walked straight to Ocean Avenue 112 (now 108), armed with a camera, feeling a mix of elation and fear. I saw a perfectly normal neighborhood, a perfectly normal house. There was nothing out of the ordinary as I started to take my pictures…
There was a sort of commotion in the street around me. Nothing overt, mind you, but I noticed the stares…
The second before a police car stopped close to me with screaming tires.
I would be tempted to claim that the car was haunted. And in a way, I guess it was.
The two police-officers didn't act physically brutal. They were in fact extremely polite, to the point of it being weird (and, of course, it was)…
- Would you please come with us, sir.
It wasn't a request. They grabbed me by the arms and dragged me into the waiting car.
- Where are we going? I asked carefully.
- To the police-station, sir. It won't take long.
- Why? I managed to ask. - Listen, this must be some sort of misunderstanding…
- Everything will be made clear, sir, the officer not driving the car assured me.
- You shouldn't worry, sir, the officer that was driving the car assured me. - This is just a routine matter.
I didn't feel assured, I assure you.
Something was up. Even me, being young and terribly naïve realized this. I guess I had my suspicions, but the thought didn't surface. During the relatively short drive, seemingly very long I made an attempt on distracting my running wild, worried thoughts. A very unsuccessful one, I tell you.
People were… watching the car, watching me. Suddenly I knew how a witch felt on her or his way to the pyre. They stared at me. It was not my imagination.
The station was dusty and gray. Or at least it felt that way. My mouth was paper dry and I started coughing. I sat on a couch by the entrance and coughed constantly. I didn't have a cold. My mouth felt paper dry, that was all.
- Can I have some water, please? I managed to whisper.
A fairly short amount of time later they put a huge mug and a glass in front of me. It was all downright weird, but I didn't complain. Certainly not.
I drank greedily, with the result that I almost sat there and peed on myself half an hour later.
- The restroom? I managed to put forth.
An officer passing by pointed me in the right direction.
The room with the toilets and trays felt very small. I felt very small.
A man entered the room and my attempt at peeing turned even more difficult. When it finally happened I couldn't really feel good about it, only relieved, that fate didn't have more in store in me that day.
But it had.
- I was the one, the man said, out of the blue.
I looked at him, as I closed my zipper. He was clearly different from the others. Whether this is something I thought in hindsight or when it actually happened I can't say. He was nervous in a different way than the others. And he was angry. And his anger was also different.
- I was the one Anson's crew interviewed and was featured in his story. You know, the one they claim doesn't exist?
I nodded. I felt very much in a candid camera mode. I had hardly ever been overwhelmed by such a sense of unreality before.
- I didn't ask him to conceal my name. Perhaps others did, I don't know. I strongly suspect someone did.
I nodded again. I truly didn't trust my voice. I had thought that was just happening in make-believe stories.
- He called me Al Gionfriddo, said the nervous, angry man.- Everything he wrote is basically true, as I told it to his investigators, and now they want to make it that I never existed, that I don't exist. It's SCARY, man.
He pulled back, walking sideways to the door.
- I've been advised to retire early, he says, seemingly to the empty air.
Then he's gone.
I never saw him again.
After waiting on the couch close to two hours I was shown to the commissioner, the chief's office. He greeted me and told me his name. I can't remember it.
- Sorry you had to wait so long, he said. - It has been a busy day.
I didn't comment on that, though I very much wanted to.
- You're a foreigner, aren't you, visiting our beautiful country, our beautiful city?
- Yes, I said.
He knew that. They had taken and kept my passport. The sense of being on both Candid Camera and visiting a third world banana republic didn't leave me.
- People have been a bit… upset here lately, he continued. He was very pleasant, even speaking, even looking.- They don't take well to… tourists. Outsiders have been doing their breaking and entering thing in the house since it… happened. Your camera was a dead giveaway…
- A what? I asked, completely baffled (I wasn't familiar with the expression).   Fortunately he didn't think I was yanking his chain.
- It did give you away, showing everybody why you had come to our beautiful city, he explained patiently, - and they called us promptly.
Something finally dawned on me then. I have always had a very visual memory and creativity. I saw before me what had indeed been said the last few hours, even what hadn't been said…
There was some more conversation, but nothing really substantial. I explained something about me just being interested in taking pictures, that I had no intention of breaking in anywhere. He nodded and listened politely, but I realized very fast that he wasn't about to budge from his original position. Both because he had decided not to and because it wasn't just his position.
- That should be it, then? He offered his hand and I took it, and he handed me my passport. - Could we offer you a lift to the closest bus-stop?
- Oh, that's not necessary, I assured him, and whoever was listening in. - It's a nice day for a walk.
At this point he did eye me with a pointed look and I decided not to press my luck.
I took the bus and returned to New York, to Manhattan, where life was solid as a brick wall and easily understandable. I have experienced a lot of strange and weird stuff in my life, but this was definitely a Price.
"Welcome to Amityville. Please do not come back". I continued to shake my head for days, both in bemusement and anger and interest.
In the years to come I heard similar stories from others, both first and second-hand. And others I will publish here at a later time.
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