Thomas M. Stark served as a judge in Suffolk County and New York State beginning in the early 1960s.
During his career he presided over a number of important cases but the one that loomed largest was the murder of the DeFeo family at their home in Amityville by their son Ronald in 1974. Stark’s daughter Ellen remembers hearing about the case over dinner while the rest of the world remembers it as the Amityville Horror case.
On this episode, Ellen talks to us about her father’s book, Horrific Homicides (Archway Pub, 2021), in which he describes the DeFeo case along with a number of other notable trials from his career. A noted jurist and student of the law, Stark kept careful notes on his trials and details not only the crimes themselves but the legal issues involved.
The result is a glimpse at the darker side of Long Island history from behind the judge’s bench.
You can listen to the episode here.
The Long Island History Project is an independent podcast featuring stories and interviews with people passionate about Long Island history. It is hosted by academic librarian Chris Kretz.
For a full list of this week’s New York Almanack podcasts announcements click HERE.
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