Lisa Novak Peretz
32 Years Old

December 4, 1957 to March 17, 1990

Lisa Novak Peretz, of Oceanside, New York, was gifted in many ways. She was talented and bright, and gifted with devotion to her friends and family and the grace to accept people as they are. People trusted her implicitly. She was gifted with perseverance so that there was very little unfinished business in her life, and above all, Lisa was gifted with humor. Lisa's friends will never forget her humor and quick wit. She came up with great terms and phrases, many of them invented on the spot. She called taxies "taxi crabs." Lisa had a great sense of adventure. What she enjoyed, she enjoyed to the fullest. She was an avid fan of the Grateful Dead, an avid follower of hockey, and an avid skier. She found funny little out-of-the-way restaurants all over New York City, and was an intrepred explorer. And yet, there was a vulnerability about her.

Lisa was a hard worker, a gifted editor of books for young people, and perhaps, one day, might have become a writer. She earned her master's degree in business, going to school by night and to her job by day and still found time for her many friends, her family, and her husband. Lisa had just earned her graduate degree and was two days away from beginning a new job in juvenile publishing. She was also two days away from celebrating her first anniversary with Gregg.

There is anger at the person who took Lisa from her friends and family, at the person who made Lisa's life seem unfinished and who left them feeling unfinished, too. Lisa, however, would object to the labeling of her life as unfinished. She would want to go on. And she will of course, in memories, in photos, and letters written, but also in the use of her name on a scholarship. A desperate search for something good in the face of horror has yielded a way to allow Lisa and Gregg to continue to give others hope and promise that Lisa found and to use it as she would have, with vitality and perseverance and an eye to the future.


On March 17, 1990, 32-year-old Lisa Novak Peretz of Oceanside, New York, and her husband Gregg, were brutally murdered as they celebrated their first wedding anniversary in their Winhall, Vermont vacation home. Sean Allain broke into their house and shot Gregg in the face at close range with a .12-gauge shotgun. He then proceeded to beat and rape Lisa while stabbing her repeatedly in the chest and hips. When Allain saw that Lisa was still alive, he slit her throat and she bled to death.

Allain, who led police on a wild chase in a stolen car before being subdued and getting shot in the face, is currently serving a 65 year-to-life sentence for what were, arguably, the most brutal, savage and sadistic murders ever committed in southern Vermont.

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Lisa Peretz