The East Village “Groovy Murders”

This unremarkable tenement building at 169 Avenue B hides a gruesome secret. In October 1967, rich-girl-turned-runaway Linda Fitzpatrick was found bludgeoned to death in a sleeping bag in the basement with her drug-dealing boyfriend, James “Groovy” Hutchinson. 

The murders triggered much hand-wringing by parents and authorities on why “good” kids like Linda were turning to drugs and the East Village hippie lifestyle. Read her story in the terrific Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times article by J. Anthony Lukas. (Unfortunately, you have to pay for it in the NYT archive.)

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15 Responses to “The East Village “Groovy Murders””

  1. J Says:

    This picture is actually taken on Ave. A, not B…

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Thank you, I’ve been meaning to fix that for months. Coming soon….

  3. Al Delon Says:

    I remember this crime as if it occurred yesterday … and I spent more than 40 years in the prisons of New York State reading about, and sometimes meeting some of the criminals that entered its gates. One of the “Groovy Murders” perps, Dennis, lived a very fearful existence in prison during the years spent there; and I thought I would never hear or read about him ever again after having met this rather small, uneducated killer in Attica Prison shortly before the Attica Uprising of 1971. At any rate, I’ve discovered rather belatedly that Dennis died in prison during his third criminal stint in 1984.

  4. James Boyle Says:

    Thomas Dennis was a drifter and a wino, he was called the President of Tompkins Square Park in N.Y. He was from Monticello N.Y. I would be interested if you have any pictures or information on Don Ramsey.

  5. rob Says:

    i used that atm often……thats on A between 10th and 11th

  6. Jay Says:

    i lived on 10th & 13th in the mid ’80s early ’90s off ave a. Where exactly did this happen? 169 ave b or 164 ave a???

    J

  7. Daniel Claverie Says:

    Thomas Dennis was only the “Mayor” of the Park when his speechifying saved me from the three locals who were demanding the last of my Marlboro’s one summer evening in 1967.

    Go figure.

    • Alain Says:

      He was a fuckin’ coward throughout his entire life … in prison he was so squeaky quiet and unassuming, you wouldn’t figure him for the murderous skell he was ….

      • Terrence Ross Says:

        Thankls for this info. Sorry you had trouble reaching me (tross@murderedtheweb.com). I would have particularly welcomed talking to you while I was making Murdered. Thomas was the one player in the crime that got no press at all so it was difficult to piece together who he might have been.

  8. Shay Says:

    I knew Thomas Dennis and was with him a week before Groovy and Linda were killed,,,in the same boiler room on Ave B

    • murderedtheweb Says:

      I posted earlier and now have completed the web site I mentioned that covers famous murderers who passed through the 9th Precinct. The first profile is on “The Hippie Murders.” Some of you here seem to have a lot of info on Thomas Dennis. I’d welcome hearing whatever you remember about him (there was no news information on him). You can see my rumination on the murders at http://www.,murderedtheweb.com. And you can leave posts on either Thomas Dennis or his partner, Donald Ramsey at http://www.murderedtheweb.com/sympathy.html

      • Alain Says:

        Just trolled through this website to find that you managed to complete your website for 9th precinct ‘famous murderers’. I tried contacting you a few years ago re Thomas Dennis, but my emails never got through to you. Dennis was a scumbag even in the joints, and he was so lowkey that you never thought to think of him as the murderous skell he was …

  9. sam Says:

    You can find the Times article for free here: http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/10/26/home/luckas-fitzpatrick.html

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