Evil Lives Here is investigating the disturbing murder of teenager Theresa Feury, who lost her life after years of abuse at the hands of her godmother, Marie Moore.
Marie Moore presided over a real-life house of horrors in Paterson, New Jersey, from September 1981 until December 1983, when the remains of 13-year-old Feury were discovered in the crawl space behind a bedroom wall.
In September 1982, Moore lived with her 12-year-old daughter Tammy and a family friend, 50-year-old Mary Gardullo.
Also staying at the house on a semi-permanent basis and sometimes permanently were several other children, Tammy’s 14-year-old boyfriend, Ricky Flores, Harriet Bayne, Luis Mantalvo, and Theresa Feury.
It seems that initially, the household was a happy fun environment full of life and joy. However, one day, quite suddenly, Moore announced to the children she was married to Billy Joel and that Billy was demanding some changes in the house.
Over time, Moore’s personality appeared to be taken over by the fictional Billy, who was a ruthless, sadistic, and violent individual. By all accounts, the children and even the older Gardullo all believed Billy existed. Moore would later claim she was suffering from multiple personality disorder.
Teenager Ricky Flores helped Marie Moore abuse the children
Moore used the 14-year-old Flores as her enforcer. Under the supposed instructions of Billy, Flores would regularly beat and punish the other children. Soon Flores also began to beat Gardullo when she tried to stop him from hurting the children.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
The abuse got more and more gruesome as the year went on. Moore and Flores would restrain the children by hanging them from hooks and leaving them in painful positions for hours using thumb cuffs. They were beaten with bats, books, and other objects.
Eventually, Moore began having a sexual relationship with Flores and sexually abusing the others. Toward the end of her life, Feury was forced to perform oral sex on an elderly neighbor who gave money to Moore.
The children began making their escape over the following months, and the situation at the house was even brought to the attention of local authorities. However, the police failed to prove abuse was happening.
By 1983, only Feury and Flores remained, with Flores and Moore continuing to abuse Feury. She was no longer allowed to use the bathroom or wear clothes, and she spent most of her time shackled into stress positions.
On one occasion, Feury’s health had deteriorated so much that she began having a seizure. Flores and Moore removed her restraints but weakened from months of abuse, the girl bashed her head off a bathtub and died from the impact.
Marie Moore and Ricky Flores finally arrested for Theresa Feury murder
Months later, Flores’s family tracked him down, and he ended up in police custody. The cops finally searched Moore’s home and found Feury’s body.
In November 1984, Moore was convicted of first-degree murder and became the state’s only woman on death row.
However, in 1988, New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled that Moore was not directly responsible for Feury’s death, and the death penalty was thrown out. A judge later resentenced her to 135 years for eight counts of kidnapping and assault.
Ricky Flores pleaded guilty to his role in the death of Feury and spent two years in a juvenile facility.
Evil Lives Here airs Sundays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.