May 21

This Day in History

Crime

May 21, 1992:

Long Island Lolita is arrested

Amy Fisher, the so-called "Long Island Lolita," is arrested for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco on the front porch of her Massapequa, New York, home. Fisher, only 17 at the time of the shooting, was having an affair with 38-year-old Joey Buttafuoco, Mary Jo's husband. The tawdry story soon became a tabloid and talk-show fixture, the source of three television movies, and countless jokes.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco survived the attack but was left with a bullet lodged in her head and a partially paralyzed face. Fisher, who pled guilty to the shooting, was convicted of assault and received a sentence of 5 to 15 years the following year. Mary Jo called her a "prostitute," yet seemed to think her husband was blameless in the affair. The courts, however, were less forgiving; Joey was convicted of statutory rape and received a six-month jail sentence in 1993.

While in prison, Fisher claimed that she had been raped by guards and filed a $220 million lawsuit. But the judge who received the complaint said that it read like a "cheap dime-store novel." Fisher also claimed that her defense attorney, with whom she was having an affair at the time, coerced her into pleading guilty. This line of appeal was not very successful but Mary Jo Buttafuoco, apparently having a change of heart, eventually helped Fisher get out of prison.

After taking anger-management courses in jail, Fisher wrote to apologize to Mary Jo, who later appeared at her parole hearing and forgave her. Fisher was released on parole in May 1999, after serving nearly seven years. The Buttafuocos moved to California, where Joey attempted to become a movie star and talk-show host.

Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!

What Happened on Your Birthday?

Pick a Date

Shop HISTORY