Episode 316:

Circle of Malice

The Attempted Murder of Mary Jo Buttafuoco


The Box Lady of Benton County


Episode 316: Circle of Malice

This week, Karen and Georgia cover the attempted murder of Mary Jo Buttafuoco and the Box Lady of Benton County.

Listen on Apple Podcasts. Listen on Spotify

The Attempted Murder of Mary Jo Buttafuoco

The Attempted Murder of Mary Jo Buttafuoco Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Victor Lazarov on Unsplash

Other Images:

Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco at the 67th Annual Academy Awards in March 1995 (Photo by Barry King via Alamy Stock)

Amy Fisher's mugshot (via The Smoking Gun)


"Mary Jo Buttafuoco (née Connery; born May 15, 1955) is an American author and motivational speaker. In 1992, she was shot in the face by a teenager against whom her husband had committed statutory rape, Amy Fisher.

On May 19, 1992, Buttafuoco was shot in the face by Amy Fisher, who at the time was having an affair with Buttafuoco's then husband Joey. Fisher had come to the Buttafuocos' house to confront Buttafuoco about Joey, with whom she had been having an affair since July 1991 after Fisher brought her vehicle to Buttafuoco's auto body shop in Baldwin, Nassau County, New York. When Buttafuoco answered the door, Fisher—posing as her own (fictitious) sister Ann Marie—offered, as proof of the affair, a T-shirt that Joey had given her with the logo of his auto body shop on it. This confrontation escalated when Buttafuoco demanded that Fisher leave. She turned to go into the house and call Joey when Fisher shot her in the face with a .25 caliber semiautomatic pistol. Once Buttafuoco regained consciousness, she identified Fisher as her assailant from the t-shirt Fisher had shown her before the shooting. Buttafuoco was left deafened in one ear and her face partially paralyzed.

Fisher was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison. She served seven years and was granted parole in May 1999. Joey Buttafuoco pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape and served four months in jail. Buttafuoco and her husband later moved to Southern California. She stayed defensively loyal to her husband for several years. She even defended him when he was arrested in 1995 for sexual solicitation in Los Angeles. During this time, Buttafuoco consistently blamed others, such as Fisher, instead of her husband. She eventually filed divorce papers in Ventura County Superior Court on February 3, 2003.
In 2006, Buttafuoco underwent a facial reanimation procedure with facial plastic surgeon Babak Azizzadeh, involving static facial suspension, face lift, and eye lift procedures. These surgeries restored balance and gave her back her ability to smile. Next was surgery to widen the ear canal, which improved her hearing and prevented future infections. She also underwent physical therapy to strengthen her facial muscles, which she explained in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Buttafuoco is still paralyzed on one side of her face and deaf in one ear..."

— Source: Mary Jo Buttafuoco Wikipedia

The Box Lady of Benton County

The Box Lady of Benton County Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash

Other Images:

Box body was found in (via The Dead History)

Benton County Deputy searching field where body was found. Benton County Coroner's Office, 1976 (via JC Online)

Exhuming the body. Matt Rosenbarger / Benton County Coroner's Office (via JC Online)


"October 8th, 1976, had started like any other normal day for the Skoog family who lives near the small town of Otterbein, Indiana. The Skoogs were a farming family, and Norman Skoog had acres of corn ready to be harvested. While his 16-year-old son, Curtis, was busy mowing the grass, Norman had his combine out in the cornfields. Around 5:30 pm, he saw a cardboard box lying squarely in the rows of corn, about nine rows deep into the field. At first, he figured one of his kids had left it there and paid little attention to it. But as it was now in his way, his interest was piqued when he realized the box was too heavy for him to lift. He returned to his house and asked his father-in-law for some help in lifting the box onto the bed of his truck.

When they got it back to the house, they noticed a strange odor wafting from the box, the sickly sweet scent of cheap woman's perfume. It was as if the box had been drenched in the perfume. Police described the box as one that was typically used by moving or storage companies. It was approximately 3'x2'x1' with "wardrobe bottom" stamped at one end and written on another part of the box was "hall closet." The box was sealed shut with what was described as gray furnace tape and tied with a clothesline. Curious as to what was inside, Norman cut a piece of the tape and opened up a small corner of the box. All he could see was an almost empty perfume bottle and something wrapped in heavy plastic. He told Curtis to put the bottle back in the box, and realizing that something was not right, Norman Skoog alerted the sheriff's office.

When the authorities arrived and opened the box, they were confronted with an object wrapped in layers of heavy plastic—the type of plastic used to preserve carpeting in heavily-trafficked areas. The plastic was kept in place by what appeared to be masking tape. Upon unwrapping the plastic, it quickly became clear that the killer had used perfume to try and mask the unmistakable smell of decomposition. As they unwrapped the gruesome package, they found a woman's body, placed in the fetal position and bound by more rope. The woman wore light green pants with a matching light green and tan knit shirt. The clothing was in relatively good condition with no rips or worn areas and surprisingly few stains, considering the pathologist would later determine the woman had been dead for approximately 7 to 10 days. She was not wearing shoes and had no jewelry on her body.

The killer wrapped the woman's head in paper towels, a "smaller than average white cloth towel," and two small light-colored trashcan liners. She wore no makeup, her nails were trimmed and neatly kept, and it was noted she had callouses on her hands. She appeared to be in her late 50s or early 60s with light brown or brownish-gray hair and brown eyes. Although there was very little for the police to go off of in the hopes of making an identification, the woman's body did offer a couple of specific clues. She had recently undergone a mastectomy on her right side. She had dental work done but needed a considerable amount of more work, and she had a vertical scar on her torso that extended from her sternum to her stomach. She was fingerprinted, and the prints were sent to the FBI lab but produced no matches. Whoever this woman was, she had never been arrested, served in the military, held a position in the civil service, or immigrated to the U.S. The cause of death was determined to be a single gunshot wound to the back of the head..."

— Source: The Dead History Blog “The Box Lady of Benton County”