A made-for-TV movie based on the high-profile murder of a Delmar man by his son will premiere at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23, on the Lifetime cable network.
“Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story” stars Matt Barr as Porco, a college student who was convicted of murdering his father and disfiguring his mother in a vicious ax attack in the family home in November 2004. The movie also stars Eric McCormick, of “Will & Grace” fame, as Joe Sullivan, the lead detective in the case, and Lolita Davidovich as Porco’s mother, Joan.
Lifetime offered this synopsis of the film in a news release announcing the premiere:
“The quiet town of Delmar, New York, was considered anything but dangerous … until 21-year-old Chris Porco was accused of brutally murdering his father Peter and disfiguring his mother Joan in a savage axe attack, a claim made all the more shocking when the case’s lead detective Joe Sullivan believed Joan had identified Chris as her attacker. Weeks after the crime, however, Joan would refute Detective Sullivan’s story, while the town of Delmar and many of Chris’ former friends and girlfriends would also rally to his defense, despite Sullivan’s fierce mission to prove his guilt. Prosecutors believed that beneath Chris’ picture-perfect facade was a devious and cunning sociopath who would stop at nothing to keep his lies hidden. In the end, he was convicted of second-degree murder of his father, but many in the town of Delmar firmly believe the jury wrongfully convicted an innocent young man.”
The Porco case has already caught the attention of national television.
The CBS Network’s 48 Hours Mystery aired “Memory of Murder,” an hourlong documentary about the case, in November 2006.
Three years later, the TruTV series Forensic Files aired “Families Ties,” another hourlong look at the case. And during the same year, the CBS fictional series CSI aired an episode called “Bloodsport,” which featured a scene that closely resembled the death of Peter Porco.
On the morning of the murder, Joan Porco was left for dead in the couple’s bedroom. Peter Porco was found in the blood-covered portico of the home, dead of massive head injuries.
Bethlehem police Detective Chris Bowdish first asked the mother if her older son, Jonathan, had caused her injuries, and she gave a nod he interpreted as a negative. Bowdish then asked if younger son Christopher was responsible, and the woman nodded in the affirmative, the detective testified at trial.
The nod was a crucial piece of evidence against Porco, especially after his mother, somewhat recovered, defended her son and said she had no recollection of the attack.