Saturday, November 8, 2014

Satan in the Suburbs

Hour long documentary about the 1984 killing in Northport Long Island of Gary Lauwers The case sent shockwaves through the community since the killings were done by three teens, one of which claimed to have been doing Satan's bidding. It was a claim many chose to believe since it was better than accepting that the kids were just bored teens who spent time getting high on LSD and Angel Dust and who killed one of their own because he supposedly stole some drugs.

The basic telling of events is that Ricky Kasso, Jimmy Troiano, Albert Quinones and the victim went into the woods to party. Kasso suspecting that Lauwers stole some bags of Angel Dust started to beat him and then kill him. How much the other two were involved changed with the telling (Thanks to the drugs clouding the minds of all involved). The friends left the body and headed off. Strangely no one missed Lauwers and it wasn't until two weeks later that some one called the police saying they knew where the body was that anyone realized he was missing.(Actually the police thought it was a joke-until they found the body). More complications and twists were still to come.

To be honest this film probably shouldn't be here at Unseen, not because it's bad, rather because it plays like what it is, a better than average episode of something from Discovery. My primary reason for including it is that Northport is one of my most favorite places in the world it's a place where I feel grounded. At the same time this is a really good documentary on how these sort of things can happen.

Primarily the film tells the story of what happened and the aftermath of the events. The telling of events takes up about half of the films 50 minutes. What sets the film apart is that the film takes the time to look at why things happened. What was life in Northport and by extension suburbia like? Using interviews of the residents of the town the film shows very clearly how many parents essentially left their kids to their own devices and how a lack of things to do opened the bored kids up to drugs.

This is a short sweet film that nicely lays everything out. While not the best true crime documentary you're going to see (The use of footage from the feature film Ricky 6 is perhaps a bit too much) the film lays out the sad unpleasant events thats transpired some 30 years ago.

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