Amy Fisher, The High School Student Who Shot Her Lover’s Wife And Became Known As The ‘Long Island Lolita’

Published April 27, 2024
Updated April 29, 2024

In May 1992, 17-year-old Amy Fisher showed up at the front door of her lover Joey Buttafuoco and confronted his wife Mary Jo about their affair — then shot her in the head.

On a spring day in 1992, Amy Fisher went to a home in Massapequa, New York, with a plan: to kill the woman who answered the door.

Fisher, 17, had been having an affair with the woman’s husband, a man named Joey Buttafuoco. On that day, she decided to kill his wife, Mary Jo.

Amy Fisher

Kypros/Getty ImagesAmy Fisher ultimately spent seven years in prison.

But why? Had Fisher acted on her own accord to remove Mary Jo from the picture? Or had Joey told her to kill his wife? That question would consume the nation as Fisher — and Joey — went to trial in the 1990s.

Here’s everything you need to know about the “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher, from the shooting of Mary Jo Buttafuoco to where she is today.

Amy Fisher Meets Joey Buttafuoco

By the time Amy Fisher met Joey Buttafuoco in 1990, she’d purportedly had a difficult and traumatic life. Born on Aug. 21, 1974, she wrote in her autobiography Amy Fisher: My Story that she’d been sexually abused as a child and raped as a preteen. (Her mother denied many of these claims.)

“So here I was, on the brink of sweet 16: a class-cutting, report-card forging, ashamed secret rape victim who’d been sexually abused as a little kid,” Fisher stated in her memoir.

Then, she met Joey Buttafuoco.

Joey Buttafuoco

ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock PhotoJoey Buttafuoco was 20 years older than Amy Fisher when they met.

Fisher was 16 when her father took his car to Joey’s auto shop; Joey Buttafuoco was 36 and married. Soon, Fisher started taking her own car in for repairs, and they were having a sexual affair by the summer of 1991.

Almost a year later, Amy Fisher decided to pay a visit to the Buttafuoco house in Massapequa, New York. She brought two things: a t-shirt from Joey’s auto repair shop and a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

The Shooting Of Mary Jo Buttafuoco

On May 19, 1992, Amy Fisher drove up to the Buttafuoco home and rang the doorbell. Joey’s wife, Mary Jo, answered the door.

She listened as Fisher told her that Joey was being unfaithful — at the time, Fisher introduced herself as Anne Marie and claimed Joey was having an affair with her (fictional) little sister — and offered the auto shop t-shirt as proof. But Mary Jo didn’t believe her. Dismissing Fisher, she turned to go back inside.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco

Marianne Barcellona/Getty ImagesJoey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco in an undated photo.

Then, Fisher attacked. She took the pistol and struck Mary Jo in the head, then shot her in the right temple. The bullet smashed through Mary Jo’s jaw, severed her carotid artery, and lodged at the base of her brain. Fisher fled; Mary Jo was rushed to the hospital, where doctors were able to save her life.

Though Mary Jo was partially paralyzed on one side of her face and deaf in one ear after the attack, she was quickly able to describe her assailant. Joey Buttafuoco reportedly recognized the t-shirt that Fisher had brought to the house. He told police he’d given it to Fisher’s father and admitted that she might be the shooter.

Soon afterward, Amy Fisher was arrested. But she and Joey Buttafuoco would tell very different stories.

The Arrest And Imprisonment Of The ‘Long Island Lolita’

Why had Amy Fisher shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco? In the aftermath, two competing narratives emerged. Fisher, for her part, claimed that she and Joey had been sleeping together and that he’d encouraged her to kill his wife.

“When [Mary Jo] answers [the door],” she claimed he’d instructed her, “don’t even wait for her to open the screen door. Just shoot and keep shooting.”

But Joey Buttafuoco insisted that he and Fisher hadn’t slept together at all.

“Joe was adamant. He screamed from the rooftops [that] he had nothing to do with her sexually — nothing,” Mary Jo told ABC News in 2019. “I know I did go home and ask Joe a million times, ‘Did you have sex with her?’ And a million times he denied it. And a million times he swore to me on our children’s lives, so I thought he’s got to be telling me the truth.”

The Buttafuocos At The Long Island Lolita Trial

Rick Maiman/Sygma via Getty Images
Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco arriving at court in 1993.

During her September 1992 trial, Amy Fisher was described as a “Long Island Lolita” in the media and portrayed in court as a call-girl. Attorney Fred Klein remarked that describing Fisher as simply a high school girl was “as accurate as calling John Gotti a businessman in New York.”

In the end, Fisher was sentenced to 15 years in prison. But both her story and Joey’s story changed over time.

About a year later, in October 1993, Joey Buttafuoco admitted to the affair when he pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape. (Fisher was 16 when they slept together, younger than the age of consent in New York.)

But he denied ever telling Fisher to kill Mary Jo, and Fisher later took sole responsibility for the attack.

“I’d like to say something to Mary Jo,” Fisher said in 1999, according to a New York Times article on her parole hearing that year. “What happened to you was not your husband’s fault, not your fault… It was my fault, and I have spent the last seven years trying to figure it out.”

Long Island Lolita Amy Fisher In Handcuffs

ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock PhotoThough Amy Fisher initially claimed that Joey had instructed her to kill his wife, she later took full responsibility for the attack.

She was released from prison in 1999 after serving seven years. But the “Long Island Lolita” never stopped making headlines.

Where Is Amy Fisher Today?

After leaving prison, Amy Fisher initially led a normal life. She married in 2003, wrote another memoir, If I Knew Then, in 2004, and had three children.

But in 2007, a sex tape she’d made with her husband came out, which launched Fisher’s career in adult entertainment. She starred in the film Amy Fisher: Totally Nude & Exposed as well as a number of other X-rated movies, including Deep Inside Amy Fisher.

She later left the adult film industry, but the New York Post reported in 2017 that she’d started hosting peep shows at her Long Island home.

Fisher is also, despite the time that has passed, still linked with Joey and Mary Jo. (They divorced in 2003. Mary Jo has since suggested that her ex-husband is a sociopath.) The three of them have appeared in televised reunion specials, and Fisher and Joey even briefly reconciled.

Amy Fisher The Long Island Lolita In 2010

Amy Fisher Entertainment, LLC/Wikimedia CommonsAmy Fisher in 2010. She’s worked in adult entertainment, most recently as a “cam” girl.

But Fisher has also maligned Mary Jo in the press, especially after Mary Jo expressed disappointment that Fisher had used her infamy to start a career in adult entertainment.

“Mary Jo is a nonentity,” Fisher told Steppin’ Out magazine in 2008, as reported by Fox News. “People are angry at me because I’m a millionaire. But guess what? So is Mary Jo! She made more millions off of what I did than what I made.”

She continued: “I feel no sympathy for Mary Jo the multimillionaire! The fact that Mary Jo has a bullet in her head means nothing! I still have silicone in my boobs, and you don’t hear me complaining. She can’t feel her bullet, and I can’t feel my silicone.”

Though the three have gone their separate ways, Amy Fisher, Mary Jo Buttafuoco, and Joey Buttafuoco are still irrevocably linked. Their dubious bond was forged in blood that day in 1992 when Fisher brought a gun to the Buttafuoco home.

After reading about Amy Fisher, the “Long Island Lolita” who shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco, discover the story behind the scandal of Lorena Bobbit, the woman who cut off her husband’s penis. Or, learn about the Menendez brothers, who shockingly murdered their own parents in 1989.

Kaleena Fraga
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Kaleena Fraga has also had her work featured in The Washington Post and Gastro Obscura, and she published a book on the Seattle food scene for the Eat Like A Local series. She graduated from Oberlin College, where she earned a dual degree in American History and French.
Cara Johnson
A writer and editor based in Charleston, South Carolina and an assistant editor at All That's Interesting, Cara Johnson holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Washington & Lee University and an M.A. in English from College of Charleston and has written for various publications in her six-year career.
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Fraga, Kaleena. "Amy Fisher, The High School Student Who Shot Her Lover’s Wife And Became Known As The ‘Long Island Lolita’.", April 27, 2024, Accessed May 23, 2024.