More than 30 years ago, a 16-year-old boy killed a retired editor of Reader's Digest and beat her helpless, disabled husband nearly to death in their suburban Westchester home.
With the killer, Terry Losicco, now coming up for parole, a Manhattan corporate lawyer has taken on a campaign to ensure the inmate at Fishkill Correctional Facility remains in prison.
Scott Saks of Paul Hastings not only lives in the still-angry community where 67-year-old Eleanor Prouty was strangled and where her husband, Norman, also 67, was bludgeoned in 1980, he and his wife, attorney Victoria Rosman Saks who has a practice in Katonah, and their young children live in the house where the crime occurred.
Scott Saks, left, and Brooks Prouty, grandson of Eleanor Prouty Photo: Victoria Rosman Saks
"In New York State, if you ask [whether a crime occurred in a house for sale], they have to tell you," said Saks, who bought the home in Somers from a subsequent owner, not the Prouty family.
Oddly, his previous home in Chappaqua also had been the site of a murder, apparently an early 1900s mob hit, he said.
"The question we asked was: 'Is this house haunted?' And the answer was 'no.' We didn't think to ask the next question, whether there was any reason for the house to be haunted," Saks said.
Saks, who concentrates on securities, capital markets, and corporate transactional law in Manhattan, said that even if he had known in advance of the gruesome crime that occurred in the northeastern Westchester house he would have bought it anyway.
But he said his daily exposure to the crime scene sparked his curiosity about the victims, and the more he learned about them the more he was repulsed by what Losicco did and the more he became convinced the killer should never return to society.
"If someone has been in prison since they were 16 and are now 50 the chances of him being rehabilitated are zero," Saks said. "He has spent two-thirds of his life doing hard time."