Authors: Jackie Barrett
PRAISE FOR JACKIE BARRETT AND
THE DEVIL I KNOW
“If this is the final word on the matter straight from the killer's mouth, it has ended the only way it could have. Barrett has given us one last look at the case that engulfed New York, and does not disappoint.”
“Jaw-dropping, utterly fascinating.”
“Barrett is a wonderful writer and the detailsÂ .Â .Â . about the Amityville case that come to light through her interactions with DeFeo are fascinatingÂ .Â .Â . Barrett does give readers an intimate look into the mind of a notorious killer and an in-depth description of what she has experienced as someone with extraordinary gifts.”
Library of the Dead
“Fans of horror and of true crime are certain to enjoy this bookÂ .Â .Â . [
The Devil I Kn
ow] is a book you must add to yourÂ .Â .Â . reading list. Highly recommended.”
Berkley titles by Jackie Barrett
THE DEVIL I KNOW
THE HAUNTING OF THE GEMINI
A True Story of New York's Zodiac Murders
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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THE HAUNTING OF THE GEMINI
A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author
Copyright Â© 2014 by Jackie Barrett.
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eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-62097-7
Berkley premium edition / March 2014
Skyline of downtown New York
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Cover design by Jane Hammer.
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For William, Joanne, Jude, and Jane.
In loving memory of Patricia Fonti, 1953â1992.
You will never be forgotten.
Out of this world and into the next.
Lost, but found.
I would like to thank Claire Booth, an award-winning journalist who was able to dive deep into my world of the notorious and sinister minds and souls on this side and in the afterlife. Some bonds will never be broken, as some paths are meant to cross. Your exceptional dedication and wittiness shines through. My gratitude you have.
I would also like to thank Shannon Jamieson Vazquez, my brilliant editor at Berkley Books, who takes pride in detail and has a truly extraordinary perception of true crime, life and death, heaven and hell. My deepest respect you shall always have.
Jim McCarthy, my agent and vice president of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management, is an incredible man of leadership and knowledge. I'm proud to call you my friend. Never lose your humor!
To my husband, William, words cannot express my love for you. Into my many shades of darkness, you shined light. Your patience and strength are remarkable. You have been my hero, never being too far behind me. Loving you now and ever after.
My talented and amazing daughter, Joanne Agnelli, is also my partner and executive assistant. There isn't a person alive who could fill your shoes. Your magical energy has healed and touched countless souls, including my own. I'm blessed to have such a relationship. Loving you.
I also want to express my appreciation to retired police captain Sean Crowley, who has never left my side, even when I disappeared into the seedier side of life and death. You are my forever partner and kin. You're incredible.
And I could never forget to thank Jude Weng, who holds so many titlesâexecutive producer, director, writer, negotiator. You always put my best interests first and are one of the few who knows the many sides of Jackie. You are a true believer who has traveled many journeys and encouraged me to challenge the two tigers that reside within me. One is fear, and the other is courage. You touched my life, and I am forever grateful!
And last, to my two Maltese puppies, Teddy and Miss Violet, who showed me that I could love again. The proof and power of love comes in many forms. Meeting up with two old souls isn't so unusual for me, whether they have two legs or four. Love never dies.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder who you are
In the dark, you stalked the night
With your mask, holding a knife
There had been many doors, many different choices he could have made. But he had seen only one. He knew what was behind it, and he opened it anyway. And so the devil came to stay.
When he was a child, he would kill animals with little homemade bombs, or torture them with fire. He was very interested in their screams. In school, he would daydream. The walls would change color to a murky dark green, and blood would drip down the walls. Everyone else would be dead in their seats. Pools of blood from slashed throats covered the desks. The room would be still and silent.
He was in high school when he first began to plan. He brought a homemade gun to school and got caught and thrown out. He was rejected by the army after failing its tests, and his frustration grew. He went to peep shows to see all those dirty, rotten whores shaking their asses for a dollar in quarters. He liked to look, not touch. It felt good to be an intruder. He could violate every inch without being seen. He could have easily approached any one of those women, said a few nice things, gone back to her place, and had sex. But that wasn't what he wanted. He didn't need what was between his legs. Just what flowed in their veins. The feeling of shooting or slicing someone was what made his body shake.
He would lock himself in his room at home, making his own bullets and assembling his own guns. He couldn't even write properly, yet he began to understand certain codes and hieroglyphics, symbols and signs, other components of the occult. He had not studied to earn this knowledge, but it was suddenly there, helping him get closer to fulfilling his needs.
He didn't need food or water. He didn't get hungry. He was just empty, except for the hate, the anger, and the lust. When he looked in the mirror, he saw that his pupils had vanished. All that remained were two all-black eyes. The day he first signed his mark, he felt like he was two people in one body. One hand did not belong to him. It was as if he had a twin. That other hand was not his conscience, though. He didn't have one.
As he roamed the dark streets night after night, he started to notice the stench. He had always been clean, always hated dirt and dirty people. But now, no matter how often he showered, he stank of rotting meat. His breath smelled like shit, and the odor of a slaughterhouse seemed to ooze from every pore. He knewâthe more he became the beast, the more he smelled like one.
Before he would go out, before he would kill, he needed to get ready. So he would stand in his tiny childhood room and put on the mask. This was his own private one, not the bandanna he wore out to hunt. It was a ski hat with holes cut into it for his eyes and nose. He would pull it over his face when he conducted his rituals, when he wrote the symbols and spoke the words that summoned the dark gods. He pulled on his second skin and became the devil.
He always wrote the letters first. He knew what their signs were before he shot them. So he wrote the notes that included the signs of his victims and left them near the scenes of his shootings. The devil always knows a person's sign. And so he did, too.
The devil helped in other ways as well. The one victim who'd been able to give the cops a description had gotten it all wrong. The pigs were searching for someone who looked nothing like himâa man who was even of a different race. That proved very helpful as he continued to do his work. Even the prostitutes he would see at the park could never remember his face. It was as if he were invisible, which was of great benefit when you had so much work to do. He still had not found that special someoneâhis perfect victim. He had to keep looking.
He would stand before the mirror with his face covered and slowly glide a knife over his body, touching his nipples with its tip. He would lean forward, closer to his reflection. “You want me to fuck you? Come closer, let me smell you. WhoreÂ .Â .Â .” The knife would go between his legs until he came in his own tight black pants, turning them sticky until they dried to his flesh. He did this for himself because no one else was worthy of touching him.
He would pull on his heavy black boots and arm himself. He placed a gun in the back of his waistband and one down his boot. He saved a special makeshift gun for the front, shoving it down in his pants so that it touched his penis. The cold metal and the thought of using it made him hard.
He would twist and turn as candles illuminated his moving reflection. Sweat formed on his brow, and his eyes darkened. He reached for a small bowl of water soaked with oils and herbs that sat next to his ritual book, which contained information about the Seal of Solomon, an ancient talisman of great power. He had no intention of using that knowledge for good but instead wanted it to help increase his own power and to blind others to his presence and the unholy acts he longed to commit. His hands dipped into the liquid and brought it to the mask, where he anointed himself by trickling drops into his eyes and mouth. The mask absorbed the rest and, with it, the last remnants of his humanity. One last stare deep into the mirror, and the Zodiac was ready.