Mary Jo Buttafuoco's shooting sparks media frenzy that spans decades: Part 1

Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot by 17-year-old Amy Fisher, who was having an affair with her husband. He continued to deny it for years while Mary Jo stood by him.
8:38 | 11/09/19

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Transcript for Mary Jo Buttafuoco's shooting sparks media frenzy that spans decades: Part 1
buttafuoco. We begin with a mysterious shooting in Long Island. After 27 years, you would think there's nothing left new to learn about this story. Oh, but there is. Reporter: It's the story of a married man with the unforgettable last name, buttafuoco. Joey knew of my intentions towards his wife and encouraged me. Amy fisher is a liar. Reporter: His wife, Mary Jo, unsuspecting of her husband's behavior. She is a fabulous liar. I didn't realize then how much. Reporter: The drama played out across every tabloid for decades. The teenaged girl named Amy fisher. I was not just a 16-year-old teenager. I was a 16-year-old teenager showing the world many You may think is an open and shut case. Amy came to my house, shot my mother in the face, guilty as charged, boom, but not so much. Reporter: Mary Jo's daughter Jessie sitting down for a rare interview. Growing up, my family life was eye dial. I met Joey in summer school of 9th grade. And he was just the funniest guy in the room. He was the class clown. She was gentle and came from a great family, great values. Reporter: Mary Jo and Joey marry in 1977. They have a son Paul and daughter Jessie. Joey works at the family's auto body shop, he at a bank. The young couple buys a house in the idyllic suburb in long Island, New York. It was a great, great life. I loved it there. What a beautiful family. Growing up, my father was always the king, you know. I had him on the highest pedestal. He was always the fun dad. Reporter: The buttafuocos seemed to have it all, but not everything was picture perfect. The buttafuocos' lives would come crashing down in the spring of 1992. A teenaged girl rings the doorbell at the buttafuocos' home. She says her name is Ann Marie and her younger sister is having an affair with Joey. I said your little sister, how old are you? She got a little indignant, she said I'm 19. How old is your little sister? She's 16. Look, Ann Marie, I don't know what you want me to do about this, and I believe I said thanks for coming by. With that I turned my head, went for the door and that was end of my life as I knew it. That bullet had gone in, broke the jaw, severed the carotid artery. For whatever reason, that bullet wound up at the base of her brain above her spinal column. They told us, she's going to die. She'll be blind. Mary Jo was in surgery for seven hours. They were never able to remove the bullet. It was just too precarious. Reporter: The shooting instantly makes headlines. This kind of thing doesn't happen to people like her. She's the all-American mother and woman and wife. The detectives didn't know what it was. The neighbors didn't know what it was. Reporters had no idea what it was about. I don't know how long it was. Next day, day after that. I asked her, who did this to you? And she couldn't speak, she was trying to write. And I just wrote down what I remembered. I wrote 19-year-old girl, Ann Marie, and the biggest clue of all was I wrote down the complete auto body tee shirt. That was the very, very first tee shirt. And I said I only gave one tee shirt to fisher. That's how it became such an important piece of evidence. Cops learn that Elliot fisher has a daughter named Amy. Reporter: Police take Joey home, ask him to call Amy fisher and have her meet him. ? After they got off the phone she got in her car, and a few minutes, police sirens pulled her over. That was it. She was arrested. Reporter: 17-year-old aim see is questioned for hours. This little kid is walked in handcuffs to a police car. With long hair almost down to her waist and cut-off jeans and a tee shirt. Reporter: They dub her the Long Island Lolita. Joey and Amy met when she was 16 years old, he was 36. Amy's father had unwittingly introduced his daughter to Joey. Elliot would say if Amy ever has an accident, take care of it and I'll take care of the bill. She started hitting curbs. With Amy coming in all the time, that relationship went where it went and was over real fast, but with a bad result. According to Amy, the first time she a sexual relationship with Joey was about a month before she turned 17. They went back to her house. He drove her home and had sex with her in her childhood bedroom. My relationship with Amy was inappropriate. That's as far as I'm going to go with it. She was crazy about him. You're talking about a 16-year-old girl who was infatuated by a guy who was flashy. The story was an attempted murder case for two or three days. After that, the motive for the shooting took over that story. She's charged with shooting her lover's wife. It wasn't about the shooting anymore. It was about Amy and Joe. Amy's version of events was that we struggled and fought over the gun and the gun accidently went off. There were only two people on that step that day. Me and her. She was there to kill me. Reporter: It turns out Amy had tried to recruit others to help her. Two men have come forward tonight, saying Amy fisher approached them months ago, begging them to help her kill Mary Jo buttafuoco. Reporter: Steven, 21 at the time, says Amy fisher had enlisted his help in killing Mary Jo because he owned a rifle. She want immediate to shoot Mary Jo. I said yeah, Amy would pay me to sit and watch the house. Reporter: He says he and Amy make their first attempt the day after Halloween, 1991. Amy goes to the buttafuocos' home, telling Mary Jo she's selling candy for charity. Amy says, when she comes out, you shoot her. Amy is gesturing to Steve, take the shot. I couldn't even get a clear shot. I said this is crazy. I'm not going to go through this. She went rattling off she doesn't need him. Get me a gun, I'll do it myself if I have to. Reporter: After she goes back to shoot Mary Jo almost seven months later, Steve's attorneys cut a deal. Then his friend Chris who knew Amy from high school comes forward saying he had refused Amy's request for help but introduced her to Steve. When those two guys came forward, that was the lynch pin, that's what led the D.A. To put forth conspiracy charges against Amy fisher. Because now they could say it was a cold, calculated decision to go there with a gun and shoot Mary Jo buttafuoco. I was sick. I couldn't believe it, like somebody actually stalked me, hired other people to kill me, and then when that didn't work she did it herself. Reporter: A third man who provided the gun and was the get away driver the day Mary Jo was shot ultimately is arrested. Pleads guilty to criminal sale of a weapon and serves four months in jail. Steve says Amy always had cash. But where was she getting the money? When we come back -- Investigators look into a possible link between fisher and a Baldwin escort service, says she constantly wore a beeper, even in school. She goes, I'm an escort. I said what's that? Woman 1 oc: This is my body of proof.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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