Excerpts from Heart
of Darkness by
Angela Mosconi, Adam Miller and Andy Geller
New York Post, November 28, 1999
He was a child of wealth and privilege -- but he went wrong.
On the surface, Adam Roberts had everything the American Dream promises.
He grew up in a ritzy Long Island suburb. His house had a swimming pool. He had a blue Miata and a red Jeep Cherokee.
His parents, Seth and Ronna Roberts, were prominent Nassau County Democrats whose friends included Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.
They owned a $400,000 country retreat on a Catskills mountaintop amid 40 wooded acres.
Adam was handsome and seemed romantically mysterious. In his senior year at high school, he had to fight off the girls.
But beneath the shining surface was darkness. Adam's home life was empty.
His parents, both immigration lawyers, constantly pressured him to follow the family tradition and study law, people who know the family said. But Adam liked to draw.
In high school, he ran with the crowd that did drugs.
As the years passed, drugs played an ever-increasing role in his life.
They forced him to drop out of Syracuse University 19 months ago, just weeks shy of graduation.
Since then, he became increasingly unstable.
Living at home and working for a shipping company, he did more and more drugs and quarreled constantly with his parents.
Finally, he became a full-blown heroin addict, says his lawyer, Howard Weiswasser.
Apparently in the grip of the demon drug, he stabbed his parents to death with a bread knife in the Woodstock retreat, cops said.
Then to cover up the slayings, he allegedly torched the place.
Now, the 23-year-old Adam is under a suicide watch at the Ulster County Jail, where he is being held without bail on two counts of second-degree murder.
"He's in a very fragile state," Weiswasser says. ...
"His parents gave him everything he wanted. There were so good to him," a family friend says.
Adam attended Great Neck North HS, where girls were crazy about him.
"There was a time when every girl liked him. He's a very good-looking guy and he's mysterious. He'd go from one girl to the next," an ex-classmate says.
"We went over to his house once and he sat there and drew for me," the ex-classmate says. "He drew an eight-pointed star and I've remembered it my whole life. He was a great artist."
When Adam graduated from Great Neck North in 1994, his parents took out a half-page ad in the school's year book.
The ad had a baby picture of Adam in the bath tub and the words, "We applaud you as you take your first steps into adulthood and anticipate your future triumphs."
But beneath the glowing message, there were clear signs of trouble.
When he entered Clark University in Worcester, Mass., as a business major, he did more drugs, friends say.
"Drugs bring people together and they make them happy," he told a friend.
In the spring of 1996, he transferred to Syracuse University, telling a friend he feared for his life because his car had been hijacked at gunpoint and the gunmen had threatened to kill him if he ratted.
In April 1998, when Adam was a few weeks from graduating, he and two other students were arrested for trying to rip off a campus drug dealer, police sources said.
Adam, who was in the school of management at the time, left the university, moved back in with his parents in Great Neck and got a job at a Manhattan shipping company.
But family friends say he was miserable living at home and quarreled constantly with his parents about his drug use.
On Nov. 11, Adam and his parents left Long Island for Woodstock. Two days later, they were dead.
Table of Contents