What if the neighbors did hear something

General Discussion About the 1974 DeFeo Murders and related topics
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AutumnMaidenDove
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by AutumnMaidenDove » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:11 am

As I stated in another reply on another thread on this site, a lot of the time neighbors might not know about something that goes on in another house near them. If they do, sometimes they don't come forward for whatever reason.
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Victoria Principles
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Victoria Principles » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:12 pm

AutumnMaidenDove wrote:As I stated in another reply on another thread on this site, a lot of the time neighbors might not know about something that goes on in another house near them. If they do, sometimes they don't come forward for whatever reason.
Correct. Back then people didn't ask what went on in other households because it was not considered to be any of your business. There were reports the neighbors also thought the DeFeo's had mob ties and would be afraid to talk about them the wrong way in fear of reprisals.

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Dan the Damned
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Dan the Damned » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:57 pm

It might depend on the neighborhood as well. In the late 60s my family lived in an upper-middle-class area of Palos Verdes. Palos Verdes is a giant hill/peninsula just south of LA. Lots of people own horses there (not us) and ride them around, and the streets are mostly tiny with trees and hills everywhere. Our street has a dead end, so only our neighbors drove on it.

We knew mostly everyone on our street, and the neighborhood kids would be in and out of each other's houses all day long. Just like "Ozzie & Harriet" land.

In the early 70s we moved to Hermosa Beach, and I don't think we got to know any of our neighbors. Totally different vibe. A nice, small, laid-back beach town, but just not the same Ozzie & Harriet feel.

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AutumnMaidenDove
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by AutumnMaidenDove » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:08 am

Very true. All neighborhoods are different. Some can be very open and friendly and some can be very closed-off and private.
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by professor_amityville » Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:29 am

Well, lets look at the fact that it was nighttime. A lot of the neighbors could be asleep. Sometimes thunder is louder than gunshots, and I can sleep through that. What I am implying is that some of the neighbors could've been heavy sleepers or in a deep sleep at the time. It is said, however that people could hear the DeFeos' dog barking. If they started to come to, I wouldn't doubt that.

It was just a thought that came to mind.
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Dan the Damned
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Dan the Damned » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:48 am

With the house right there on the water and in an area which receives snowfall during the winter, the house would likely be nicely insulated. This seems to be backed up by a comment George made about how he would be in the sunroom, and able to see cars driving by outside, but he wouldn't be able to hear them.

The murders happened in the middle of the night in November, so very unlikely they had their windows open. This would have muffled the shots to a certain extent.

How much the shots got muffled is anyone's guess, though. And whether or not the neighbors had their windows open or shut also plays a factor.

Being outside, Shaggy's incessant barking may have been louder than the gunshots. Or at least more repetitive.

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AutumnMaidenDove
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by AutumnMaidenDove » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:28 am

This doesn't really hold much water for me. I lived in a high crime area and would often hear gun shots or cars back firing even though our windows were closed. So that doesn't really make me believe no one heard them. They may have heard them and just ignored it and thought it was something like a car back firing or something. But no one hearing those gun shots to me seems highly unlikely.
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Dan the Damned
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Dan the Damned » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:22 pm

Well, hearing a car backfiring when you window is closed is a bit different, as we might be dealing with the DeFeo's windows being closed plus the neighbors' windows being closed. So that's twice the sound buffering for the price of one! :D

Also, besides both sets of windows being closed, this is very early in the morning when people are likely asleep, which is also a factor.

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Rokiisun
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Rokiisun » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:07 pm

I was wondering :think: would a rifle being fired in a house generally make a louder sound than it would do if it were fired in a large field or forest?

If you think about it... outside there is more open space for the sound to echo and to be heard from a distance, whereas in a three storey house filled with loads of furniture it seems plausable that the sounds may have also been muffled because there were simply less places for the noise to travel.

This may be why some of the members of the family (Dawn for instance) may have slept through it all or were maybe used to the sound of Ronnie firing off rifles during the middle of the night (which would explain all those weird holes in his door which I saw in the crime scene photographs and thought nothing of until now), maybe the neighbours were used to such noises also. We don't really know what went on in that house behind closed doors.
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AutumnMaidenDove
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by AutumnMaidenDove » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:57 pm

Still, I would hear gun shots AND cars backfiring in that neighborhood. I didn't say only car's backfiring. Please read me replies more carefully. And it would be at night when others were asleep. So again, I don't really feel that holds much water. I just think that the neighbors did hear something and just didn't say maybe out of fear. Again, it's all pure speculation.
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Dan the Damned
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Dan the Damned » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:00 am

Yes, it's all speculation. Maybe the neighbors did hear something.
AutumnMaidenDove wrote:Still, I would hear gun shots AND cars backfiring in that neighborhood. I didn't say only car's backfiring. Please read me replies more carefully.
I did read your post carefully, but I don't think you read my reply carefully enough.

You see, I wasn't arguing the difference in sound between a gunshot and a car backfiring -- I was making the point that when you hear a car backfire, you are hearing the bang through 1 set of closed windows. But for the neighbors, they would be hearing the gunshots through 2 sets of closed windows (the DeFeo windows and their own windows).

They probably could have still heard it, but if they were asleep it might not have been loud enough to wake them up.

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AutumnMaidenDove
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by AutumnMaidenDove » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 am

Yeah but still I don't think that closed windows, no matter how many are involved can really muffle the sound that much. I mean unless they're super windows. LOL.
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by TigresMeow » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:06 am

The neighbors were probably in deep sleep at the time the murders occurred and, if the murders happened quickly, it might not have been enough to wake anyone out of that deep sleep.

I slept through the space shuttle explosion and, from what I was told, it shook the windows real bad in the neighborhood I was living in at the time.
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Victoria Principles » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:02 am

Rokiisun wrote:I was wondering :think: would a rifle being fired in a house generally make a louder sound than it would do if it were fired in a large field or forest?

If you think about it... outside there is more open space for the sound to echo and to be heard from a distance, whereas in a three storey house filled with loads of furniture it seems plausable that the sounds may have also been muffled because there were simply less places for the noise to travel.

This may be why some of the members of the family (Dawn for instance) may have slept through it all or were maybe used to the sound of Ronnie firing off rifles during the middle of the night (which would explain all those weird holes in his door which I saw in the crime scene photographs and thought nothing of until now), maybe the neighbours were used to such noises also. We don't really know what went on in that house behind closed doors.
The furniture is not going to muffle the sound of a Marlin rifle with no silencor.

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Rokiisun
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Rokiisun » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:56 am

Victoria Principles wrote:
Rokiisun wrote:The furniture is not going to muffle the sound of a Marlin rifle with no silencor.
True. I guess the sounds of the rifle being shot indoors and outdoors would be of the same sound frequency.
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Dan the Damned » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:32 am

The Irelands next door (to the south) would be the ones with a best shot at hearing this. To the north was an empty house, which would mean the neighbors to the north of that would not only be further away, but would have a structure in the way to dampen the sound. To the east, across the street, there were no windows facing that direction from the various kids' rooms (except Ronnie, but no one was shot in Ronnie's room). There was a window from the parents' room facing east, but that was walled-off -- covered by the mirrored wall at the head of their bed.

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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by bella2005 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:32 pm

I don't know, I can't hear the alarm clock that sits right next to my ear in the morning so I would think I wouldn't hear gunshots in a neighboring house.

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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by lostinthe50s81 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:02 am

actually, sound travels better over water so that would've amplified the shots rather than muffling them. the amityville house wasn't in the ghetto where shootings and noises are common, it was in an upper-middle class suburban waterfront neighborhood so i don't know where hunters would hunt. maybe duck hunting but in many states, it's illegal to hunt when it's dark. not sure about ny though. being used to noisy neighbors is understandable, but a gunshot isn't something you'd normally hear even with a rowdy family, much less 8 of them. with something that unusual, someone would've at least called police. that leads me to believe that nobody heard anything. something really noisy happened in my neighborhood once and nobody heard it but me. so i guess strange things do happen.

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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by quotestheraven » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:25 am

I don't know - I could walk a marching band through my bedroom late at night and it wouldn't wake up my husband. It would wake me up.

Our dog - who sleeps with us - has started barking at random sounds in the night. It wakes me up every time, but not my husband.
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Rokiisun
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Rokiisun » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:26 pm

I was woken up three weeks ago by a marching band seven streets away.
I think if one were to strike up in my house I would be awake on the first
whistle.
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Re: What if the neighbors did hear something

Post by Miz Kizzle » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:38 am

Duck hunters would seem like the most natural explanation for gunshots heard in the pre-dawn hours. It may be illegal to hunt that early on L.I., but not everybody obeys the law.
Did Dawn have her own car and does anyone know which car belonged to which member of the family? If so, the order in which the cars were parked in the driveway in the news photos would show whether Dawn was the last one home. Of course, she might have been out late and gotten a ride home with someone, but as far as I know, nobody ever came forward and said they'd been with Dawn somewhere on the night of the murder.
My theory was she either came home after the rest of the family had been killed or she was in the shower with a radio playing and didn't hear the shots. She would have gone to bed as usual and was asleep or nearly asleep when Ronnie shot her.

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