joey buttafuoco

Amy + Joey 4eva

The_Amy_Fisher_Story_DVDSo I’m not the only person in my generation who is starting to feel a little older because quite a number of the things that I enjoyed when I was in high school are turning 20.  We’ve already passed the 20th anniversaries of Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten and are about a year or so away from the 20th anniversary of the release of Green Day’s Dookie, an album that I have always considered to be very significant in my personal music-listening history.

What we haven’t really noted is a moment that while it is really not much more than a blip in our culture’s history.  On December 28, 1992 and January 3, 1993, three movies about Amy Fisher aired on television.

Yeah, I know that sounded way more epic than it actually was, but you have to understand that I grew up on Long Island and for the last half of 1992 through at least the first half of 1993, and while there were plenty of other probably more important things going on in both the world and in the world of entertainment, this was the most important thing that was going on.  From the moment Amy did her perp walk to when she went to jail, you could not escape her story.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, in 1991, Amy Fisher began an affair with Joey Buttafuoco, the owner of the body shop where she had taken her car after wrecking it (and had supposedly enticed him into the affair so that her parents wouldn’t find out).  Fisher was sixteen years old at the time and would plead guilty to statutory rape in October 1992, eventually serving jail time.

But while the affair’s lurid details would capture Long Island’s (and eventually the nation’s) attention, nobody would have cared one bit about Amy Fisher if not for what had happened on May 19, 1992, when she knocked on the Buttafuocos’ door and confronted Joey’s wife, Mary Jo, about an affair her husband was having with one of Amy’s “friends.”  When Mary Jo blew her off, Fisher shot her in the head.  Fisher was arrested and charged three days later on May 22, and her perp walk was covered on the evening news:

Usually with stories like this, I don’t know much about what is going on until it makes such major headlines that it’s hard to ignore.  But believe it or not, I happened to be up late on May 22, 1992 (it was a Friday and being that I had no life I was probably home all night watching movies in my parents’ basement), and for whatever reason watched the 11:00 news and saw her being led away in handcuffs while the on-air reporter gave details about what she had been charged with. (more…)