This is an excerpt of an article originally published in Daily Offbeat in Feb. 2016
By Tony Sokol
Jackie Barrett, the author of The Devil I Know: My Haunting Journey with Ronnie DeFeo and True Story of the Amityville Murders, now belonging to Thunderbird Productions, comes from spiritual royalty. Her mother, Mary Palermo, was a Sicilian voodoo high priestess and her father was a medicine man. Barrett has been performing séances since she was five years old. The jewel crown of New Orleans grew up on a plantation style home and is a fixture in the city’s occult scene. She spends half of her time in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where I happen to have been born.
When I first contacted Jackie to do an interview surrounding the upcoming film The Witch, she was in a flapper mood. The playful aristocratic magician cast her electric eyes on me as she reminisced about the feelings she got from the book The Great Gatsby. I happen to be the gangster geek at Den of Geek ((http://www.denofgeek.us/…/boardwalk-empire-season-5-the-rea…) I posted a photo of a character in the remake of Great Gatsby where Jackie might have done a slow feather dance over the assembled crowd doing the Charleston at such an elaborate soiree. I also put up an article on the man Great Gatsby was based on, George Remus, a bootlegger.
Accustomed to being treated like runic royalty, learned humility while trading moonshine spirits to hobos for music lessons.
“I wasn’t a bootlegger,” Barrett said with a sly smile. “I brought the moonshine as a bartering tool they taught me how to play music on every instrument possible they taught me compassion the true form of love from humility.”
Jackie Barrett captures the seduction of the Kat, in all its natural grace, playing with her food, never pouncing. Just a short black line draws the attention up and into the soft electricity of her hypnotic gaze. Jackie wasn’t looking for attention but those who dared dawdle over a glance found the magnetic eyes pulled them in for more. Serial killers and rock stars laid down their axes. Superstar directors and satanic mechanics threw their wrenches into machines. And in the fall, the eyes will be let loose on the world.