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The Booo! Blog: Paranormal New England

The Horsefly Chronicles or The Horsefly Hoax?

The Horsefly Chronicles-Book Review-Philip Siracusa-Karissa Fleck-Anthony Duda-Hoax-Fake-Fraud-Haunting-Psychic-Medium-Demon

 
Please Note: Due to format changes,
English/Spanish audio is not available
for this addition of the The Booo! Blog.









The Horsefly Chronicles Haunting: A Book Review

Author Philip Siracusa appears to have ripped a page from the well-worn Ed and Lorraine Warren playbook with his first "true" paranormal literary effort, The Horsefly Chronicles: A Demonic Haunting. As you may know, Ed (now deceased) and Lorraine (still kicking) were paranormal investigators, or so-called "demonologists", that had the incredible fortune and dumb luck of finding demonic entities in virtually every location they investigated. Even more incredible was their talent for turning their incredibly fortunate and dumb luck into best-selling books, along with their almost alchemist-like ability to turn those books into gold. However, by far their most lucrative bit of magic was selling the book rights of their incredibly fortunate and dumb luck to Hollywood. The Warrens were involved with such infamous hoaxes as Jay Anson's devilishly discredited book-turned-movie, The Amityville Horror, where horseflies famously made their first satanic appearance (Hey, if it worked once...) as well as the more recent money-making films Annabelle and The Conjuring. The awkward title of this book originates from Mr. Siracusa's claim of the image of a horsefly appearing to him whenever he is about to experience a paranormal event. Well, I guess it does sound a bit more convincing than an aardvark...

The Warren Playbook: Now New and Improved!

In an edition of The Booo! Blog a few years ago, I wrote what had always been the Ed and Lorraine Warren formula for success: Demonologists + Imaginary Demon + Rogue Catholic Priest = Books and Movies. A Catholic priest was always thrown into the mix to give the air of legitimacy. However, while obviously still successful, I admit that it now seems somewhat dated. While active in the '60s, the Warrens really hit their stride of national notoriety in the 1970s; a decade when such demonically-themed spookfests as The Exorcist and The Omen (as well as The Amityville Horror) were packing the public into bookstores and theaters. Just as all products continually go through an evolutionary 'improvement' process to reflect the culture and to appeal (read "sell") to consumers, I now present what appears to be Mr. Siracusa's updated take on the Warrens' leisure suit-era equation: Amateur Ghost Hunters + Imaginary Demon + "World-Renown" Psychic = Books and Movies. Deserved or not, after more than a decade of scandal, Catholic priests just don't hold the moral weight and authority they once did with the public. We now look to "reality" TV ghost hunters and media-savvy mediums to feed us the tweets and give us the lowdown to satisfy our fascination with the other side. And make no mistake, reading The Horsefly Chronicles, it was obvious to me that the book was conceived and written with hopes that Hollywood would come-a-callin'. While scores of 'demonic haunting'-genre books have been written over the subsequent decades since The Amityville Horror, there seems to be a concerted public relations effort to anoint The Horsefly Chronicles as the natural successor to that 1970s landmark, a rather dubious distinction indeed.

That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It Like Flies On...

The Horsefly Chronicles is a plodding and incomplete telling of Mr. Siracusa's life, and his personal journey with his 'gift' of connecting with the other side. Following this yellow brick road, we visit his visions of Heaven and Hell, which I found the only interesting part of the book, as he does describe what he claims to have witnessed in colorful detail. We find him working as a bouncer and for the Mafia, the latter of which would sensibly only be revealed posthumously by an author, a big, red flag due to my law enforcement training, and one of the credibility issues, aside from the subject matter, that I have with the book. Spelling and grammatical errors abound in The Horsefly Chronicles, made even more tedious by the book's length. Maybe I'm just anal about such things, but how can we take Mr. Siracusa's account seriously if even the grammatical basics are overlooked? Tight budgets are no excuse, even with self-published titles. A good spellcheck application, free with all computer operating systems, can do much of the work of a human editor if diligently applied.

Oh yes, I mentioned that even at a snooze-inducing 334 pages, Mr. Siracusa's tome is "incomplete". Incomplete as in 'Screw you, you thought you bought a complete story, but you'll just have to wait for the next book' incomplete. The author plays his audience as suckers; not until you buy the book and dive into the text of The Horsefly Chronicles is the reader told that not all answers will be forthcoming until future volumes. The telling of the story was apparently conceived as a trilogy, which makes perfect sense if we are to assume that Mr. Siracusa had dreams of the New York Times Best Seller list and Bradley Cooper portraying him on a 3D Imax screen. Think the Harry Potter series or The Lord of the Rings trilogy, both infinitely better-written, and which may be based in more reality than The Horsefly Chronicles. After all, why not extend the life of a potential cash cow? The problem with that bit of marketing wisdom is, unlike Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, I have serious doubts the reader of the first volume of The Horsefly Chronicles will be sufficiently interested to stick around for the second. 

The Horsefly Chronicles Family: Summon the Psychic! Gather the Ghost Hunters!

It is said that, "It takes a village to raise a child", but apparently it takes a "family" to promote a book, especially if you don't have a publisher behind it. What the public needs to understand about this business is there are individuals and groups that will hitch their wagons to just about anything if they think it will bring them even an ounce of notoriety. Remember the updated Ed and Lorraine Warren formula mentioned earlier? Here is where it comes into play. The magic is in the marketing! Gather a few amateur ghost hunting groups willing to attest online for the authenticity of The Horsefly Chronicles. Summon Karissa Fleck, lead paranormal investigator and described by some as a "world-renown" psychic medium, to spend four months in Mr. Siracusa's haunted horsefly hacienda, a modern home in Easton, Pennsylvania that just happens to have the incredible fortune and dumb luck of having four bedrooms, two baths and a portal to Hell and...BINGO! You've hit all the right Paramount...uhhh, I mean Poltergeist...uhhh, I mean paranormal, notes. To be fair and to my knowledge, the author has never referred to Ms. Fleck as "world-renown", but the title is already out there, floating in the ether of the Internet, apparently placed by those promoting the book. In reality, while possibly a gifted sensitive, Ms. Fleck is a twenty-something woman and just a member of Eastern Pennsylvania Paranormal Society, a local ghost hunting group that Mr. Siracusa contacted when things in his home purportedly became demonically dicey. It is curious to ponder why the author felt it necessary to contact a small town ghost hunting group and its resident psychic to corroborate and validate events in his home when he had already enthralled us with his road trip to Heaven and Hell, not to mention his stint acting as a middleman between the Mafia and the great beyond. Call me naive, but it seems to me that Mr. Siracusa would be the person better-equipped to handle demons in his home. After all, he claims to have already been to theirs. 

Mr. Siracusa and Ms. Fleck, together and individually, have been on The Horsefly Chronicles promotional circuit since 2014, talking to anyone and everyone who will have them. They naturally hope people will buy the book, as does any author. However, as the book is self-published and has little marketing muscle, one gets the impression when listening to their interviews that the true goal is to make so much noise that The Horsefly Chronicles gets optioned.

Faults and Final Thoughts

Did I enjoy reading The Horsefly Chronicles? No, I didn't. Do I believe it to be nothing more than an elaborate hoax, likely conceived and written as the vehicle to drive to a movie deal? Yes, I do. 

For all its many faults, my issue is not only with the story, but with what I believe was Mr. Siracusa's motivation for writing the book and his insistence on presenting himself as the protagonist in what he claims to be true. In essence, his claim is that The Horsefly Chronicles is his autobiography. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, especially when charging the public to read such claims. The question I found myself asking over-and-over while persevering through the pages? Why would Mr. Siracusa go to the trouble to write such a lengthy, implausible tale, then go to the expense to self-publish such a lengthy, implausible tale, without a much larger motivation and goal in mind than simply selling a few books and making a few bucks? Couple that question with the relentless self-promotion surrounding The Horsefly Chronicles, and the red flags begin to fly. By all accounts, the author is leading an otherwise normal life: gainfully employed, raising a family of four, a truly 'move along, there's nothing to see here' -type of existence. All of which makes his role as some sort of lifelong closet paranormal superhero even more difficult to swallow. While the basic structure and mundane facts of Mr. Siracusa's strange saga may, indeed, be autobiographical, it is my opinion as a paranormal investigator with years of experience under my belt that his yarn, if not completely fabricated, is at the very most a work of semi-fiction. There have been many instances of such literary hocus-pocus, one recent example being James Frey with his 2005 bestseller, A Million Little Pieces. You may remember him as the author Oprah Winfrey first praised and recommended for her book club, and later verbally eviscerated in a televised interview when it was discovered that a large part of his memoir was fabricated. There is a common thread of misplaced ego in the creation of such works, but Mr. Siracusa is probably well-aware that, unlike Mr. Frey, but just as with Ed and Lorraine Warren, Jay Anson and countless other predecessors, he will largely be protected under the paranormal umbrella. It is hard to be pinned-down to black and white in a world that consists of more than fifty shades of grey. The singular reason authors dealing in paranormal storylines sometimes go the 'true story' route is the belief that it will make their work more commercially viable. That said, I believe Clive Barker, Dean Koontz and that unsuccessful, starving author from Maine...jeesh, I can't remember his name...Stephen something...would tend to disagree.

And that's a wrap for this edition of The Booo! Blog. Let's fade to black, and would someone please get those damn flies off the set...








Legal Disclaimer: All information, opinion and theories on this website and blog are published in good faith and for general information purposes only. I do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information on my website and blog is strictly at your own risk, and I will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with its use. All opinion and theories are strictly my own, and should not be construed as fact.

Update, August 27, 2015: In response to my book review of The Horsefly Chronicles, the following is the transcript of a 'conversation' lead paranormal investigator Karissa Fleck initiated with me on Facebook on Thursday, August 27, 2015. It should be noted that I never once used in my book review, nor did I ever refer to Ms. Fleck or anyone in my review as "fake". On the contrary, I stated that "she may perhaps be a gifted sensitive". As for the title she states I used, I believe she is referring to "World-Renown", which has been used by her promotional people online to describe her. I also note in my review that Mr. Siracusa, to my knowledge, has never used that term to describe Ms. Fleck, nor do I state that, again, to my knowledge, she has ever used the term "World-Renown" to describe herself. However, she does believe herself to be "famous", as you will read below. I believe this short exchange speaks for itself, and also speaks volumes. I apologize to my readers for Ms. Fleck's poor grammar and use of profanity:

  • Karissa Fleck: Hello Anthony I read your little article and I feel the need clear somethings up. First off I'm not in eastern pa paranormal I am a freelancer and I work with some bigger names in the paranormal, second the title as you so kindly referred me too I've never called myself that. Third who are you again? I've never heard about you once in my life. Fourth so I guess your calling myself, Dave Spinks. Jeff Leeper, Sean Austin, Scott Gerhart, Erik knapp bob baines and about 60 others fakes? You should invest in a life because clearly you don't have one if you feel the need to bash strangers you don't even know
  • Karissa Fleck: Fucking loser
  • Karissa Fleck: You bring up the first team I ever worked with and act like I still work with them journalism skills
  • Anthony Duda: Can't take the constructive criticism of a book review? And your language. Wow. I read the book. I gave my opinion. I suggest you grow a thicker skin and get over it.
  • Anthony Duda: As for still working with EPPS, I also suggest you visit their website. You will see your photo and bio on their team members page. So your argument is not with me, it should be with them.
  • Karissa Fleck: Your right you know when your famous you get critics and crazy jealous people attacking you all the time I should be use to it by now have a good day
  • Anthony Duda: You're famous? Wow...news to me. Jealous? Hardly. I was in this field years before you were even born. You know what they say, "If you can't take the heat..." Have a good day, Ms. Fleck.

Update, September 16, 2015: Well...surprise, surprise! Alerted by reader "GinainTX" (see post below), it seems there was already a possible movie deal in the works for The Horsefly Chronicles, according to Movieplot.com, dating all the way back to January 2015. I cannot sum it up better than another reader, "Tanner", so astutely did below: "Mission accomplished, Mr. Siracusa".

Update, September 18, 2015: Please note that I have decided to close comments for this edition of The Booo! Blog, as I have found it necessary to reject many profanity-laden posts.This blog is simply a review of the book, The Horsefly Chronicles, and the author, nor anyone connected with the book, should be subjected to such language. Quite frankly, I have no desire to read such comments. Therefore, while I do not have the ability to stop submissions, any future comments will not be posted, and will be rejected and deleted unread. Thank you for your understanding and expected cooperation. 

Update, October 13, 2015: The harassment and intimidation campaign by The Horsefly Chronicles lead paranormal investigator Karissa Fleck after my review of the book continues unabated. On September 30, 2015 and continuing on October 1, 2015, Ms. Fleck initiated the following conversation with me. This was completely unprovoked. Actually, I was on the road doing research for an unrelated future blog, when my cell phone alerted me that someone was posting about me on Facebook. As you will read, she has stooped to a new low on public social media, accusing me of being a sex offender, stalking her online, giving out her home address, as well as having a criminal record, all totally false accusations without an ounce of truth. I am not a mental health professional, therefore I do not make or pass judgement on Ms. Fleck in that professional capacity. However, based on her off-the-wall rants, wild accusations and seemingly paranoid delusions, I will withhold my personal opinion and allow you, the reader, to form your own. Keep in mind that Ms. Fleck has been widely credited as the lead paranormal investigator in The Horsefly Chronicles saga and has done and continues to do scores of promotional media interviews in that role. Thus, she figures prominently in the paranormal investigation aspect of the story, as was detailed in a companion book that Mr. Siracusa has authored, The Curse of the Horsefly Chronicles. In truth, as lead paranormal investigator, the responsibility would have ultimately fallen to Ms. Fleck to objectively verify the paranormal claims of the story, which is the entire crux and premise of this "true" paranormal trilogy, and she claims to have spent four months living in Mr. Siracusa's home doing just that. Okay, now think about that for a moment and let it sink in, because not only did that claim, which Ms. Fleck and Mr. Siracusa repeat in nearly every media interview, raise the red flags in my mind, it caused them to wave wildly. Four months. 120 days, give or take a day or two. Now that you, an intelligent and practical human, have allowed that to saturate your brain cells, extrapolate that scenario to your life, or even the lives of people you know. Under what circumstances could you, an adult, pack up and move into someone's home for that length of time? Would you break the lease at the apartment where you currently reside? If married, would you tell your husband or wife, "See ya, honey! I'll be back in four months. Gotta hunt for demons!", as he/she stands in the doorway, holding your Pug, and waving goodbye? And what about income? Would you, as an adult, be able to survive without income for four months, or 120 days, give or take a day or two? No? Then, how? Were you employed at the same time? If not, were you collecting unemployment benefits? Disability? Money has to come from somewhere for the occasional Mickey D's run, or even the basic necessities. Are you independently wealthy? If not, then who would support you to undertake such a protracted paranormal investigation and, more importantly, why? I do not question whether Ms. Fleck did move into the Siracusa home, only the somewhat murky circumstances which brought that about. "Just the facts, Ma'am", as Sgt. Joe Friday is often misquoted as saying in the über-old Dragnet TV series. Ms. Fleck has been described as a "family friend" of the Siracusa family. Was she already a family friend before moving in, or did she become a family friend after? Was she a "famous" psychic medium who just happened to need a place to crash and who just happened to be friends with an author who just happened to have a gateway to Hell in his home? Incredible fortune and dumb luck? I certainly do not imply knowledge, or even suspicion, of nefarious motivation or collusion, but am simply trying to understand the facts. As lead paranormal investigator of The Horsefly Chronicles case, the facts surrounding not only Ms. Fleck showing up on the Siracusa family doorstep like Mary Poppins (or, more accurately, Nanny McPhee), but then moving into their home for four months, or 120 days, give or take a day or two, to conduct a marathon paranormal investigation, is central to the very premise of this "true" paranormal account. While taking the lead, Ms. Fleck was not the only paranormal investigator involved in The Horsefly Chronicles case. How did the others come on board? Did they meet or know each other beforehand? Or were they collectively drawn to this mysterious location in Easton, Pennsylvania by some unknown metaphysical force, like in Close Encounters of the Third Kind?

It is often the case that the backstory is more interesting than the story itself, and the backstory of The Horsefly Chronicles is certainly no exception. As you will read below, Ms. Fleck seems very interested that you see my public record so please, by all means, feel free to go to any of a number of online sites that facilitate public record searches and enter my name. These records are in the public domain and it is perfectly legal. What will you find? Nothing. No criminal record, no arrests, just a traffic ticket from 1977 which probably dropped off the report years ago, if it was even on it to begin with. I'm such a nerd that I've never smoked weed. I've never even smoked a cigarette. I don't drink. Plain vanilla. Nuns think I'm boring. Now, while you're at it and since Ms. Fleck 'went there' and broached the subject, enter the name of Karissa Fleck, lead paranormal investigator of The Horsefly Chronicles case and central to the very premise of this "true" paranormal account. Yes, indeed...often the backstory is more interesting than the story itself.

What is the point of all of this and what does it boil down to? The point is that I believe the public has a right to dig beyond the claims and media hype, especially if they are being asked to shell out their hard-earned money. Once individuals willfully place themselves in the media spotlight, whether it be via books, movies, claims of psychic abilities or anything else, they are then open to public scrutiny. What this boils down to is the fact that I have been a paranormal investigator for well-over two decades. In that time, I have never taken a penny from a client for my services, nor do I ever intend to do so. I read The Horsefly Chronicles. I had many doubts about the paranormal claims in the book. I read a lot of books. Most are not about the paranormal, as I sometimes just need a break from the spooky stuff to clear my head. I write a paranormal blog. I wrote my review of the book on that blog. It was simply my honest opinion as someone in the paranormal field. I had already written my next blog on a completely unrelated subject. That was the end of it...or so I thought. Until, of course, Karissa Fleck, lead paranormal investigator of The Horsefly Chronicles case, began making wild, unfounded and untrue accusations about me on social media in retaliation for my review. I could have just blown it off considering the source and would have preferred to do so, but Ms. Fleck's accusations became too vile to ignore. So, here we are...

What follows is yet another unedited public Facebook 'conversation' initiated by Karissa Fleck, self-proclaimed "famous" psychic medium and, yes, as lead paranormal investigator of The Horsefly Chronicles case, central to the very premise of this "true" paranormal account:

  • Karissa Fleck: Your a sex offender posting my address on facebook. I would watch yourself if I was you.       
  • Karissa Fleck: All your doing is digging your own grave with your obsession my lawyers have and are looking into you and so are the police.
  • Karissa Fleck: Karissa, what are you talking about? I have never posted anything about you on Facebook. The only thing that I wrote was my book review on my site. Feel free to have the police and lawyers contact me all they want. What you don't seem to understand is this person on Facebook isn't me. He tried to get over on me, too.
  • Anthony Duda: Why on earth would I have an obsession with you? I even stopped all comments on my book review because they were too negative towards you guys. Feel free to call me to discuss if you want. My # is very easily found on my website.
  • Karissa Fleck: Tried calling you and you didn't answer.
  • Anthony Duda: Was away from my cell. Saw # when I got back but didn't know it was yours.
  • Karissa Fleck: You didn't call me back or answer the second time I called you. What you state is a book review (which my name isn't even in the first book) is resulting in threats towards me from people who follow you if not you yourself. For someone who has never met me you are the lowest of the lows to do something like this to someone else. You block me from my other account and you act lik... (Anthony Duda: Ms. Fleck's paragraph ended mid-sentence. I have no idea what "other account" she is talking about. I have blocked her from nothing).
  • Karissa Fleck: Infact you know the article isn't true because you put a disclaimer up. Why would you do that other then the fact that you know you lied and you know you have lawyers watching you. (Anthony Duda: My website and all of my blogs have had the same legal disclaimer since 2011. The primary reason is liability. If someone visits a haunted location that I may mention, they do so at their own risk. It is quite astounding that most paranormal websites actually do not have such a disclaimer, which is why I consulted my attorneys before creating my site).
  • Anthony Duda: I'm in bed. Long day tomorrow. If you look at all of my blogs going back to the very first in 2011, you will see the same legal disclaimer. It is also on my website written by my attorneys. It was a book review. An opinion. It is what I thought of the book. There was no malicious intent.
  • Anthony Duda: As for lawyers watching, accusing someone baselessly of being something as vile as a sex offender on social media will not be tolerated again by my lawyers. Although you may have deleted it, I have the screen grab.
  • Karissa Fleck: Yea I have the screen shot of you posting my address and other things that will also not be tolerated by my lawyers so keep it up and I'll see you in court if you want to keep playing these childish games I also have the iP addresses from all the fake accounts you use to harass me.
  • Karissa Fleck: Fine, then take it to your lawyers and the police. It's not me. I'd be happy to answer any questions they may have. I have no idea who this person is, but I do know that when he tried to dupe me and others on a paranormal page on Facebook, he was going by the name of "Joe Para".
  • Anthony Duda: Furthermore, I have no idea what your address is, or even what state you now live. I suppose if someone was determined or cared, it could easily be located on the Internet.
  • Karissa Fleck: Yea just like I found your records online things can be easily traced.
  • Anthony Duda: Fine. I'd be happy to tell you where I live. Is that some type of veiled threat?
  • Karissa Fleck: Nope not a threat whatsoever you leave me alone I leave you alone but charges stay on record for a long time and it seems yours isn't clean.
  • Anthony Duda: Fine, Ms. Fleck, and please feel free to trace all of the IP addresses you may have. You will find none connected to me or, as far as I know, anyone I have any connection with. It's very strange that you have created all of this about me when I literally have not given you a second thought. You were simply part of the story of The Horsefly Chronicles, which I reviewed. Before that, I had never heard of you. I hope you catch this elusive person you say is harassing you. Actually, I honestly do. No one should be harassed. Have a good night, Ms. Fleck.
  • Karissa Fleck: Yea it also seems strange to me that you have done nothing but attack me since reading a book I'm not even mentioned in lol. But it's ok like I said you leave me alone I'll leave you alone. You google me and you leave your shit little blog on other things about me you are the one following me not the other way around bye anthony if I hear from you again your charges will be out for all to see (Anthony Duda: Apparently, Ms. Fleck had somehow forgotten that she was the one who initiated our 'conversation' on this day, not the other way around. While true that Ms. Fleck is not mentioned in the first volume of The Horsefly Chronicles, she has been doing extensive media interviews since 2014, aggressively promoting the book and her role in the story. As mentioned previously, Mr. Siracusa has also authored a companion book to The Horsefly Chronicles, The Curse of The Horsefly Chronicles, which details Ms. Fleck's lead role, as well as the roles of others).
  • Anthony Duda: Please post my "charges", Ms. Fleck. I'd love to see them. Other than a traffic ticket in 1977, there are no "charges". Really, please post these "charges" that you have. I really would love everyone to see what you supposedly have, Ms. Fleck.

Charming, isn't she? At that point, Ms. Fleck ended her attack. I'm still waiting to see the "charges" that I supposedly have, which will be news to everyone as I was a law enforcement officer on a state level for many years, licensed to carry weapons and have passed numerous criminal background checks. Apparently, they didn't care about my 1977 traffic ticket. Lucky for me, as sliding on an icy road and hitting a mailbox in my '66 Volkswagen Beetle was such a heinous crime. 

Update, November 11, 2015: Unfortunately, she continues. Yes, Karissa Fleck, lead paranormal investigator of The Horsefly Chronicles case, appears to have reached an all-time low. What she has now publicly accused me of in her October 21, 2015 interview with Paranormal Herald Magazine in apparent retaliation for my review of The Horsefly Chronicles goes beyond disgusting. It goes beyond vile. There are simply no words.

I am currently out of the Boston area on an investigation in another region of the country. While in my hotel room doing research for an upcoming case, I happened upon Evan Jensen's online interview with Ms. Fleck. Mr. Jensen is the owner of the Paranormal Herald Magazine website and the person responsible for its content. Apparently, none of Ms. Fleck's interview statements or accusations were fact-checked by Mr. Jensen, nor did he or anyone associated with his website contact me. Had he bothered to do so prior to publication, he would have discovered that none of Ms. Fleck's accusations against me have any factual basis. Her tale is a complete fabrication. He and Ms. Fleck apparently believe that using the word "allegedly" absolves them from the responsibility of the truth, as if I have been accused of such disgusting charges in the legal nomenclature. That is not the case, as the only person making these wild, untrue accusations is Karissa Fleck.

Am I angry? Not at all. Am I upset? Not in the least. However, I am determined, and I will end this. I did not pick this fight, I simply reviewed The Horsefly Chronicles and Ms. Fleck's role in the case, a role that has been discussed extensively by both Ms. Fleck and Mr. Siracusa in their numerous media interviews, as well as documented in Mr. Siracusa's published companion book, The Curse of the Horsefly Chronicles.

What follows is an email sent to Evan Jensen, owner of the Paranormal Herald Magazine website and the person responsible for its content. I have been very patient throughout Ms. Fleck's libelous rampage, choosing to refrain from legal action considering the source. However, today that patience ended. I now hope both Ms. Fleck and Mr. Jensen retain excellent counsel. I will keep you, the reader, updated as advised by my attorneys.

Hello, Mr. Jensen,

My name is Anthony Duda. I just finished reading with interest the interview with Karissa Fleck that you posted on your website.

Please be aware that none of Ms. Fleck's allegations are true. According to Ms. Fleck, there is someone stalking her online, and perhaps that is the case. However, that person is not me, nor is it anyone I am familiar with to the best of my knowledge. I have never been contacted by the police, nor have I ever seen or posted any photos of Ms. Fleck, indecent or otherwise. The only thing that I have posted is my review of The Horsefly Chronicles, the updates to that review, and the email response to the review. I have never seen and am not familiar with the screen captures that you have attributed to me in your article/interview.

Ms. Fleck's accusations apparently stem from my August 25, 2015 review of the book, The Horsefly Chronicles, on my blog. As you probably know, both Ms. Fleck and the book's author, Philip Siracusa, have been heavily promoting the book and Ms. Fleck's role in the case in media interviews since 2014. In fact, Mr. Siracusa has published a companion book, The Curse of The Horsefly Chronicles, documenting her role as lead paranormal investigator in the case, as well as the roles of others. I have read both books, but only reviewed The Horsefly Chronicles on my blog, and had many doubts of the paranormal claims detailed in the book. Since posting my review of The Horsefly Chronicles on my blog, it seems that I have become the subject of an intimidation campaign by Karissa Fleck, of which I am only aware when I happen to come across websites and articles/interviews such as yours, as well as being mentioned in social media and contacted via random texts by Ms. Fleck, of which I have full documentation. You have apparently deemed it appropriate to allow Ms. Fleck to libel me with truly vile and untrue accusations on your website without bothering to perform due diligence in confirming the facts, or even extending the courtesy of contacting me to obtain those facts. In doing so, you are complicit in that libel and defamation of my character. If you had bothered to read my review of The Horsefly Chronicles, as well as the updates posted to the same review, you would have noticed that there are no accusations directed towards Ms. Fleck or Mr. Siracusa, only my opinion of the book and questions about the validity of the paranormal claims and Ms. Fleck's role in the investigation, which both have discussed extensively in media interviews while promoting the book. Ms. Fleck was only mentioned briefly in my review of The Horsefly Chronicles. Only after her 'conversations' with me did I post my opinion of said conversations and have further questions.

Today is Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 2:56 AM and, as stated, I have just read your posted article/interview. In fact, I am away from New England, in another region of the country, on an investigation and happened upon it online while doing research for a case I am working on. I will be contacting my attorneys in Boston as soon as their offices open later this morning.

Regards,
Anthony Duda
Boston, Massachusetts
857-247-7503
www.AnthonyDuda.com

Oh, and here, again, is that notorious legal disclaimer that you'll see on each of my blogs...

Legal Disclaimer: All information, opinion and theories on this website and blog are published in good faith and for general information purposes only. I do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information on my website and blog is strictly at your own risk, and I will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with its use. All opinion and theories are strictly my own, and should not be construed as fact.

20 Comments to The Horsefly Chronicles or The Horsefly Hoax?:

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Kyle on Saturday, August 29, 2015 8:28 PM
Interesting read, Anthony. I admire how you cut through the bull. People are gullible creatures. I've had my brushes with the paranormal but I don't believe everything that comes down the pike. Well written and well done. I just wanted to let you know.
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Jenn on Sunday, August 30, 2015 5:24 PM
Hello! I really love your site. Frequent visitor but the first time I've commented.I've listened to Phil and Karissa online talking about the book, and it struck me as an outlandish story even as far as the paranormal genre goes. Not that I don't belive in ghosts and places being haunted. I've had experiences and so have friends, so there's something "out there" ;) Maybe it's unfair for me to pass judgement (I didn't read the book) but after listening to them I lost interest.I guess I'm not the only one.
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Charles Donahue on Tuesday, September 01, 2015 2:14 PM
Bravo, Mr. Duda. The issue I have with books such as The Horsefly Chronicles is the dishonesty for monetary gain, and you hit the nail on the head at the end of your review. Label it as fiction, and I don't have a problem with it. When you market a book as non-fiction to boost sales and attract Hollywood, that's wrong. You're correct-the authors of these books feel the paranormal label gives them cover to claim just about anything-their feet can't be held to the fire because it's all such a nebulous subject to begin with. An insightful review. Thank you.
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Daniel on Sunday, September 06, 2015 1:08 PM
Great book review! You keep it real.
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bkwrm oh on Monday, September 07, 2015 2:32 AM
Greetings,Mr. Duda: Your review of The Horsefly Chronicles is a masterpiece of critical thinking coming from someone in the paranormal field.Authors have an obligation to be truthful if labeling their work as non-fiction.If a work of fiction and labeled as such,they have free license to write whatever they like.I'm an avid reader and have read a number of books that were claimed to be autobiographical.If the author is a private citizen and not well-known or a celebrity,it's really hard to know what's what.All bets are off with claims of the paranormal;that makes it even more difficult.With some of these I've read,I've wondered if the the author incorporated just enough facts to make their story believable,but not enough to make it truthful.Like you said in your review,extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.I have not read this book,but the title intrigued me and I found your review on search.It certainly sounds like extraordinary claims,none of which can be proved.There's the rub with the paranormal genre.I suspect if someone reads it as fiction,all's well.-bk
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Sheila on Monday, September 07, 2015 10:37 PM
I think you hit it on the head. I found the story and the whole mafia connection to just be too absurd. Maybe it had to do with the extremely poor writing. In any event whether this story is non fiction or fiction, it certainly didn't pull me in to want to read the second part of this nonsense. More strange than the book, are all the people who reviewed it on Amazon and loved it!
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KeithS on Friday, September 11, 2015 6:59 AM
Hi, Anthony- Regular reader of your site. If these two want to sell more books, they should stay away from interviews- they're not doing themselves any favors. Neither of them sound too bright, and Fleck in particular sounds like she's straight out of the trailer park- her potty mouth and ego trip on you isn't surprising. I've listened to a few podcasts and caught her on the radio. I didn't know she was going to be on but I sometimes check it out at work if I'm bored. Definite money grab--no doubt in my mind. As the other poster wrote- I think you nailed it. This stinks like a hoax, and if it smells like a hoax and sounds like a hoax- the whole mob connection. Yea, right- custom made movie sub-plot. I'll stick to Stephen King if I want spooky fiction- Thanks.
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Gary Shapiro on Friday, September 11, 2015 1:22 PM
Hello Anthony: What's the deal with the psychic? Do movie critics personally know the director? Do music critics personally know the recording artist? The book reviewer doesn't personally need to know the author. She's po'd because you called her out. Too bad. If she wants to be "famous" and throw herself on the media, it goes with the territory. I agree with the other posts 100%. Suck it up lady.
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Tanner on Saturday, September 12, 2015 2:21 AM
Karissa Fleck. Who? Why would I waste time on this book? Just time from life that I could never get back. You're right about the movie stuff. I'm sure it's already in the works. Mission accomplished, Mr. Siracusa.
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Vince A. on Sunday, September 13, 2015 6:18 PM
I agree. Great review. Crappy book. It wouldn't help the story even if the author could spell. I couldn't get through it. Just a ridiculous, meandering story. Hope they find a miracle worker to write the screenplay if they put this crap on the screen.
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Barb on Monday, September 14, 2015 12:45 AM
Hi Anthony. I haven't read The Horse Fly Chronicles yet, but I did catch Phil and Karissa on an interview. I thought they were ok. I guess I had a better impression than your other readers. Who knows if any of these kinds of stories are true? I don't see what the big deal is about that. Like I said, I haven't read it yet but plan to when I get the time. It's hard for me to tackle a book like that at the moment. Thanks for your time, and I liked your review anyways. I'll let you know what I think. Barb
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P. Singh on Monday, September 14, 2015 10:18 AM
Mr. D your James Frey analogy hit the bullseye. I remember that in the news a few years back. I read A Million Little Pieces. Intense story of Frey's life, then it hit the fan about it being his fabrication. I thought the guy could have easily replaced himself with a fictional character and it wouldn't have changed the story, he could have sold it as a novel instead. If not for Oprah I don't think the truth would have been uncovered. Back to HFC, deep review from an insider's perspective. The subject matter gives authors of these types of books cover. Basically they can make any claim, say it's true and get a few cronies to swear to it. What do they have to lose? If it's successful they'll claim they were a part of the investigation and put it at the top of their resumes. If not, nobody remembers it. Their 15 minutes of fame they can milk for all it's worth. Enjoyed your review, the rest of your site too.
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GinainTX on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 2:07 AM
Hey Anthony! Guess what? You called it! You must be more psychic than the "psychic"! lol From movieplot.com: "Horror fans rejoice there's talk of a possible movie deal in the works for the horsefly chronicles. A tale of a true life demonic haunting of Phil Siracusa". Here's the link: http://moviepilot.com/posts/2015/01/15/the-horsefly-chronicles-2588702?lt_source=external,manual PS: Why does a "psychic" need head shots that make her look like a porn star?
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KeithS on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 6:02 PM
GinainTX- I don't think this has ever been about the book, which is probably one of the reasons why it's so poorly written. The movieplot site says it's being sold on Amazon for $0.99 (Kindle?)-so not much money there. This was a movie grab from the beginning. The book was a lost leader and a movie deal was the goal. I read online that Siracusa-the author-owned gyms or health clubs but doesn't any longer. Someone should put on their Sherlock hat and see if he went belly up and this is all about the $$. I saw Fleck's odd head shots too-thought the same.


Harry Was Right on Thursday, September 17, 2015 10:56 PM
Agree with everything said here. People like P.Siracusa and K.Fleck give everyone a bad name. Media wh*res. Bargain basement Kardashians. If the part in his book IS true about being involved with organized crime, then why should we believe anything he says? That speaks to his character and at least makes him a snitch. I can picture both of them huddled around a table at some neighborhood dive hatching this get rich quick scheme. As the other poster noted, she seemed to have had her glamour pics ready to go. Seems to me she planned for her closeup and time in the spotlight. Halloween is coming so I suspect we haven't heard the last of them. After that, their 15 will be up and they'll fade away. Good riddance.
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Kramer on Thursday, October 01, 2015 4:16 PM
So you never called the girl back? Why are you so focused on trying to destroy someone you've never met before? Are you that pathetic? She had enough courage to call you and tell you to stop lying about her and you don't even answer her? You just keep trolling her online hahah oh man you are a bigger loser then I could ever think. No wonder the girl thinks your obbessed with her you are riding off of her hard work and trying to tag your name to the horsefly chronicles in hopes that it will get you well known. I respect Karissa because she'll tell a low life like yourself what she really thinks about you. You also posted her address online? What kind of a sick man does that to a young female ISSUES you have a lot of them. Keep talking about people you don't know and wishing you could be them. You say your gay so maybe you just want to be like Karissa? It sure appears that way. I'm glad karissa told you off after you posted her address anthony here's a question have you ever been on coast to coast am? Or done anything in this field that matters? Clearly not if your so focused on a poor little girl focus on yourself. You have some major issues im sure this comment won't be posted because you take everything down that's postive about her. LOSER
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Anthony Duda on Thursday, October 01, 2015 4:52 PM
Certainly, "Kramer". While I have already closed comments on this blog because I felt they were becoming too negative towards Mr. Siracusa and Ms. Fleck, I would be happy to make an exception and post your comment, unedited and in its entirety. Thank you for your submission.


LeeAnn on Thursday, July 07, 2016 10:08 AM
Want to talk about stalking? I truly believe "Kramer" is probably Karissa Fleck! lol She really does NOT know how to speak to people either professionally or personally. As of right now, I think she has more haters than she does supporters. And a big reason for that is her sloppy behavior and scummy demeanor. If she wants to be "famous" and have more "fans", then that's something she should definitely work on!


Jeff Johnson on Wednesday, April 06, 2016 3:24 PM
This Karissa Fleck has some serious mental issues. She is constantly accusing everyone of being jealous of her. And as her claims to fame...wow she clearly needs to get on meds ASAP!
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wendy on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 7:13 PM
I found your page looking for some information on this Philip Siracusa. I watched a program on Youtube and wanted to get a general idea of what people say about his work. I was considering reading the book but changed my mind after your review and his interviews, I have lost interest and just following my feelings. Channel Paranormal Zone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkXzNb3dkOc I think this man is a load of rubbish. That woman sounds crazy, I would watch yourself.
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