A day in the life of Frank Burch Housesitting

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evanguy2004
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A day in the life of Frank Burch Housesitting

Post by evanguy2004 » Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:47 pm

I guess within two years of the Cromarty's buying the home they had already fled the house due to the tourists? What month during 1979 did the movie come out? The below piece took place during August 1979 and Frankl Burch was already house sitting.....

Saturday, Aug., 25, 1979

We are seated in a semi-circle around the hearth; Frank Burch, myself, Roxanne, Joel and Chris Martin, and a young lady named Patty who works at WBAB with the Martins. Rain drips quietly outside the open windows of the living room as we listen intently to the tapes of William Weber explaining how he helped to invent the "horrors" of Amityville. I can almost picture them now, Lutz and Weber sitting here in this very room, laughing about Evinrude the "pig" cat, and planning how they can all make a few dollars by writing a good horror story.

It has been a quiet night so far; with only an occasional car slowing down outside to get a good look at the "Horror House." Frank thinks maybe the rain is keeping some of them home. "But wait until the bar crowd gets out around 3:00 a.m.," he says. "If you can stick around till then you're bound to see a little more action."

Earlier this evening Frank gave us a tour of the house from top to bottom. We examined all of the bedrooms where the DeFeo murders had occurred, including the attic room that had belonged to Ronald. Frank showed us how the moon-shaped windows there still had the original putty that was used to keep the panes of glass in place; if a single one of the odd-shaped panes had been broken and replaced, it would have been quite noticeable.

We looked around the kitchen and dining room and then went outside on the back patio and walked back past the swimming pool to the Amityville River. The night was warm and moist and peaceful. It seemed the awful memory of the murders had faded from the house and had been replaced by the glow of a happy, lived-in home. A few of Frank's young friends have also been living in the house during the Cromarty's absence, and they will all be quite sorry to leave. Even Frank's two young sons have visited their father here and enjoyed playing in the pool and the backyard.

As we walked toward the garage/boathouse to take a look in there, Frank pointed out a large, Siamese cat running past us toward the house next door.

"Hey, you're lucky tonight!" He grinned, "That's Jodie the Pig who just ran by. He loves playing in the boathouse and looking for fish." So we even got to see the famous Evinrude, aka Josie.

Now it's past midnight and the Martins and Patty have to be leaving. Roxanne and I will stay at least until three to see if the wackos come out. And come out they do! Frank was right about the bar patrons. At about 2:00 a.m. the street begins to get noisy. Carloads of rowdy teenagers and older delinquents stop and gather on Ocean Avenue outside the house. Our conversation is frequently interrupted by shouts of "Ronnie!" or "Jodie!" or "Get out!... hee, hee, hee, HA, HA, HA!"]

"I told you," says Frank. "And this is a quiet night compared to most." The rowdies are periodically chased away by patrolling Amityville Police cars, but new ones show up every few minutes. Some throw small pebbles at the house. "Show us the green slime!" they yell, or "Where's the flies?" Frank tells us how one night he found a young man hanging by his fingertips on the windowsill trying to get a good look inside the house.

I've glad we stayed to see this because it is such a contrast to the peaceful atmosphere in the house just a few hours ago. And THAT is the true horror of Amityville

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Dan the Damned
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Post by Dan the Damned » Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:22 pm

The movie came out July 27, 1979.

While the movie certainly intensified the tourists flocking to see the house, the problem had already been started by the book, which was released in late August or early September of 1977 and quickly becamse a national best-seller.

The Cromarties bought the house in April of 1977 - about 5 months before the sh*t hit the fan...

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Post by evanguy2004 » Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:49 pm

Dan the Damned wrote:The movie came out July 27, 1979.

While the movie certainly intensified the tourists flocking to see the house, the problem had already been started by the book, which was released in late August or early September of 1977 and quickly becamse a national best-seller.

The Cromarties bought the house in April of 1977 - about 5 months before the sh*t hit the fan...
Do we know approximately when the Cromarty's left the home to Frank Burch to sit? How long did Frank live there before the Cromarty's came back to reclaim their home?

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ToxiMoron
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Post by ToxiMoron » Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:51 pm

Was this taken from Kaplan's book? I read it a few years back and don't remember this part; of course that doesn't mean anything, since I only read it once. :?
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Post by evanguy2004 » Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:52 pm

ToxiMoron wrote:Was this taken from Kaplan's book? I read it a few years back and don't remember this part; of course that doesn't mean anything, since I only read it once. :?
I don't really know. I pulled this off the web from some site. I've read this piece for some time now. I'm sure Dan the Man will know.

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Post by Dan the Damned » Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:59 pm

Yes, the text Evan quoted is from Kaplan's book.

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Post by evanguy2004 » Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:09 pm

Dan the Damned wrote:Yes, the text Evan quoted is from Kaplan's book.
Dan did you read my previous qoute? I was describing Lorrain Warren's home as very rual and in the Country. Not the gated community and trimmed lawns of Dan's home in California. Am I right to say your home is manicured to the tee out in California? Monroe Connecitut is a town which I describe as where Rual meets suburban.

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Post by Dan the Damned » Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:54 pm

I'm a renter, not a home owner. Here is where I live:

Image

I live in North Orange County, just south of the LA county line (near Knott's Berry Farm). There is mild gang activity in the area, so its not that bad (where you're safe walking around at night as long as you're wary).

My neighborhood consists mainly of houses, and everyone seems to keep their lawns and property pretty well kept-up. Next door to me is an abandoned house where the occasional homeless person will squat for a while, and where neighborhood kids come to get tetanus.

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Post by msmart112 » Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:41 pm

evanguy2004 wrote:Do we know approximately when the Cromarty's left the home to Frank Burch to sit? How long did Frank live there before the Cromarty's came back to reclaim their home?
In Kaplan's book...he quotes a July 25, 1979 Newsday story that mentioned that Frank Burch had been house-sitting for the past six months.

In his entry for August 15, 1979...he mentions how the Cromartys hadn't moved back in yet.
Image

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Brendan72
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Post by Brendan72 » Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:43 pm

Which newspaper was this article published in?
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Post by evanguy2004 » Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:25 pm

Dan the Damned wrote:I'm a renter, not a home owner. Here is where I live:

Image

I live in North Orange County, just south of the LA county line (near Knott's Berry Farm). There is mild gang activity in the area, so its not that bad (where you're safe walking around at night as long as you're wary).

My neighborhood consists mainly of houses, and everyone seems to keep their lawns and property pretty well kept-up. Next door to me is an abandoned house where the occasional homeless person will squat for a while, and where neighborhood kids come to get tetanus.
Looks like great digs Dan!! My only point was how life in Connecticut tends to be very rural with extreme "New England Charm". It took me awhile to get use to living here since they fight big box retailers and progress tooth and nail. I grew up and lived most of my life in the suburbs of Chicago about 7 miles West of the city. Lorraine's home I would guess would be worth approx. $500,000. Keep in mine that she has lived in that home since the 1950's.

I've been to California many times for pleasure and on business and I'm always amazed on how neat and trimmed most of it is. The gated community lifestyle seems to thrive on the West coast. That type of lifestyle does not exist too much here in Connecticut. Monroe, Ct is in Fairfield County which is one of the rishest counties in the U.S. There are many famous people who live by me including Paul Newman and Keith Richards!!

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Post by MerchBoi » Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:52 am

On my time touring with shows I've speant a good ammount of time in the New Haven, Hartford, and New London areas of CT and found them to have quite a lot of the "gated community" housing development lifestyle. :)
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Post by Blondiegrrl » Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:35 am

"New England charm" sounds like a dream come true to me. Where I live in West Virginia, there's a Wal-Mart every 10 miles or so and people are campaigning for MORE of them.

I visited Salem, Mass., a few years ago and fell in love with that town. I'd like to live someplace similar to that -- a small/medium-sized town that's steeped in history and has lots of local vendors and artists.

I tell people that I'm a Yankee at heart, lol.
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Post by evanguy2004 » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:30 am

Blondiegrrl wrote:"New England charm" sounds like a dream come true to me. Where I live in West Virginia, there's a Wal-Mart every 10 miles or so and people are campaigning for MORE of them.

I visited Salem, Mass., a few years ago and fell in love with that town. I'd like to live someplace similar to that -- a small/medium-sized town that's steeped in history and has lots of local vendors and artists.

I tell people that I'm a Yankee at heart, lol.
You know when all is said and done, I like living in my small New England town. For instance, it took Monroe, CT approx. 5 years to approve a new McDonalds on the Rt. 111 side of town because they had issues on how the building would fit into the "Charm" of the street. At first I found it frustrating but in the end there are enough goods and services in and around Monroe, CT to satisfy a resident. It just isn't as convenient as I have seen in the other towns and states that I have lived in. The New England area is one of the last places on earth besides maybe the Northwest who really take time with their planning and development. Their belief is once it is gone, it is gone for good. There is never the "Going back to nature" opportunity once you have cleared the land and built the buildings. The town of Monroe and other towns in the area also protect the land by purchasing it. They call this "Open Space".

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Post by Khamul » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:49 am

Ok, I am in the office so you will have to forgive my "sceptical historian" tendencies. But a couple of things from that article kind of started firing off warning bells. First off, why were they there? Sounds contrived to me although for what end I would have to speculate. The issue of William Weber is a big one. This is something that has come up several times. Usually linked to the idea of making up the story to either make money or to get Ronnie a new trial (or even off the murder rap). Does anyone not find that a bit odd? If it is to get money by selling it as a true story, (and if it is all made up) that would imply he is assisting in a borderline fraud. To do it in context with the court case, that is possibly perjury! Has anyone ever examined this man's legal record? Has he had run ins before? That might speak to credibilty issues to say the least. I think there are credibility issues with this lawyer if nothing else this might prove it.

As for the window, ok. Most of us accept and understand that the book and movie were STRONGLY modified for theatrical purposes. However, I would point out that all the examination of the puddy does is show that all the puddy is contemporary. If you replace the whole thing, it would all age the same. For the record, no, I don't believe the windows were broken by the spirits/storm/other events.

Finally, scepticism can keep people from interpreting things in a variety of ways. Hence the reason to try and keep an open mind. You don't believe in ghosts so you can always find an explanation or just don't recognize the signs. Likewise, you are a strong believer, you see spiritual causes all along....even to the point where you "SEE" ghosts in images.... etc.

While an interesting window (pardon the analogy) this article on face value does not prove anything beyond providing context and som circumstantial information.

Sorry for rambling......

Saturday, Aug., 25, 1979

We are seated in a semi-circle around the hearth; Frank Burch, myself, Roxanne, Joel and Chris Martin, and a young lady named Patty who works at WBAB with the Martins. Rain drips quietly outside the open windows of the living room as we listen intently to the tapes of William Weber explaining how he helped to invent the "horrors" of Amityville. I can almost picture them now, Lutz and Weber sitting here in this very room, laughing about Evinrude the "pig" cat, and planning how they can all make a few dollars by writing a good horror story.

It has been a quiet night so far; with only an occasional car slowing down outside to get a good look at the "Horror House." Frank thinks maybe the rain is keeping some of them home. "But wait until the bar crowd gets out around 3:00 a.m.," he says. "If you can stick around till then you're bound to see a little more action."

Earlier this evening Frank gave us a tour of the house from top to bottom. We examined all of the bedrooms where the DeFeo murders had occurred, including the attic room that had belonged to Ronald. Frank showed us how the moon-shaped windows there still had the original putty that was used to keep the panes of glass in place; if a single one of the odd-shaped panes had been broken and replaced, it would have been quite noticeable.

We looked around the kitchen and dining room and then went outside on the back patio and walked back past the swimming pool to the Amityville River. The night was warm and moist and peaceful. It seemed the awful memory of the murders had faded from the house and had been replaced by the glow of a happy, lived-in home. A few of Frank's young friends have also been living in the house during the Cromarty's absence, and they will all be quite sorry to leave. Even Frank's two young sons have visited their father here and enjoyed playing in the pool and the backyard.

As we walked toward the garage/boathouse to take a look in there, Frank pointed out a large, Siamese cat running past us toward the house next door.

"Hey, you're lucky tonight!" He grinned, "That's Jodie the Pig who just ran by. He loves playing in the boathouse and looking for fish." So we even got to see the famous Evinrude, aka Josie.

Now it's past midnight and the Martins and Patty have to be leaving. Roxanne and I will stay at least until three to see if the wackos come out. And come out they do! Frank was right about the bar patrons. At about 2:00 a.m. the street begins to get noisy. Carloads of rowdy teenagers and older delinquents stop and gather on Ocean Avenue outside the house. Our conversation is frequently interrupted by shouts of "Ronnie!" or "Jodie!" or "Get out!... hee, hee, hee, HA, HA, HA!"]

"I told you," says Frank. "And this is a quiet night compared to most." The rowdies are periodically chased away by patrolling Amityville Police cars, but new ones show up every few minutes. Some throw small pebbles at the house. "Show us the green slime!" they yell, or "Where's the flies?" Frank tells us how one night he found a young man hanging by his fingertips on the windowsill trying to get a good look inside the house.

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D'OH!

Post by Khamul » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:52 am

My humble appologies for not deleting the letter after I made my comments. It was there for my memory that seems to need reminders of things of late. Apparently I needed a reminder to delete the letter.

My appologies in this regard.

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Post by Brendan72 » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:40 pm

Brendan72 wrote:Which newspaper was this article published in?
I think that it should be noted that regardless of what newspaper this article was published, it would probably serve Amityville officials great if published in a newspaper like the Amityville Record of Newsday, notably a more geographically based publication that would benefit the readers better.

Again the official Amityville stance is that it is a hoax and it was all nonsense. The Cromarty's no doubt had the support of the officials of Amityville firstly because their privacy was being invaded, and also the Cromarty's supported the town's official position on the matter.
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Re: A day in the life of Frank Burch Housesitting

Post by sherbetbizarre » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:10 am

Would have been good to read a contemporary interview with Burch, but sadly he's passed away...
Frank A. Burch Jr., a lifelong resident of Amityville and the owner and operator of Speedomical Printing, a business on Merrick Road, for 35 years, died June 14, 2014. He was 67 years old. Mr. Burch was born March 21, 1947 to Frank and Gladys Burch. His printing business was located first on Dixon Avenue and later moved to Merrick Road next to the Amityville Club.
http://www.amityvillerecord.com/news/20 ... _loca.html

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Re: A day in the life of Frank Burch Housesitting

Post by Brendan72 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:32 am

That's a shame. He was only 67.
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Re: A day in the life of Frank Burch Housesitting

Post by Baphomet666 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:23 pm

Mr. Burch should have a bigger obituary.He is one of the few people priveleged enough to actually live in that house.Most fanatics today would shell out thousands of dollars or even kill just to go in there for 15 minutes and brag about it later.
There are too many things I cant explain that happened in that house.Harry,our dog at the time,tried to hang himself. G.Lutz

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