Police and crime scene investigators and the Amityville murders crime scene, searching for evidence in the swimming pool. Ronald DeFeo Jr. was deemed responsible for the mass murder of his family, who he shot and killed while they slept in their beds.
In 1976, during the Amityville horror house investigations lead by demonoligists Ed & Lorraine Warren, this photo - out of hundreds of photos from rolls and rolls of film was taken inside the house that is to this day, infamous for its demonic chain of occurrences.
Discovered 3 years after it was taken, it continues to be analysed and ‘debunked’, but the story of how this 'boy’ was captured is as follows :
Gene Campbell, a professional photographer working with the Warrens, set up his camera stored with black and white film on the second floor of the house in order to capture infrared shots. Discovered 3 years later by George Lutz, who experienced the horrors of the house, when he was looking for photos to include in his book.
George lutz states that when he asked his children if they recognised the boy his daughter, Missy stated it was the little boy she used to play with in the house.
The figure in this photograph has been theorised to be a 'demon who shapeshifts into whatever it wants’, one of the youngest DeFeo children who was murdered by Ronald DeFeo or simply one of the investigators on the case Paul Bartz, who was kneeling and happened to be caught on film.
We will never 100% know, making it one of America’s ever lasting mysteries.
Satanism has been subjected to intense criticism ever since it was popularized by figures such as Anton LaVey, but statistics show that homicides motivated by occult beliefs have always been extremely rare in modern times. The case of seventeen-year-old Ricky Kasso of Long Island is therefore an anomaly, yet continues to be one of the most horrific examples of ritual murder in living memory.
Ricky Kasso was born and raised in New York, and his childhood was an unexceptional one. Its only when Kasso discovered a book on Satanism at his local library that his personality became unstable, and he drew the attention of his peers and authority. He became a heavy recreational drug user and skipped school to listen to heavy metal music whilst reading books on witchcraft. Neighbors were shocked at the way Kasso would scream “Hail Satan!” at passing pedestrians, and he earned a reputation as a bully. Kasso even formed a cult that dedicated itself to Satan and bragged to friends about conducting blood rituals at the infamous house in Amityville where Ronald DeFeo murdered six members of his own family.
In June 1985, when Kasso was seventeen, he confided to a friend that he wanted to sacrifice a victim to Satan in order to increase his power. Kasso decided his target would be fellow drug enthusiast Gary Lauwers, who Kasso believed had stolen bags of PCP and mescaline from him. Alongside two other friends from the cult, Kasso lured Lauwers into a lonely patch of woods with an offer to get high. The four teenagers took hits of LSD and gathered around a small campfire, until Lauwers annoyed Kasso by trying to leave because his mother would be worried about him. Kasso took out a knife and stabbed Lauwers in the chest, while the two other boys held him down. Kasso demanded Lauwers’ say “I love Satan”, but when the unfortunate boy said “I love my mother” instead, Kasso gouged his eyes out with the knife. When Lauwer’s was dead Kasso covered his body with leaves and fled the scene.
Ricky Kasso could not resist bragging about his crime, and two weeks later he was arrested for murdering Gary Lauwers. An autopsy of the body revealed the victim had been stabbed between seventeen to thirty-six times in the chest, with five of the wounds peircing his lungs and heart. Kasso claimed he had heard Satan telling him to kill Lauwers in the form of a crow, and laughed when he heard Lauwer’s funeral would be closed-casket due to the state of the body.
Unfortunately justice wasnt served for Gary Lauwers; Kasso hung himself in his prison cell while awaiting trial. The two other cult members involved in the brutal murder recieved lesser sentences.
Madame Delphine LaLaurie was known for her torture and starvation of her slaves. The house where the horrific abuse took place still stands today and is considered one of Americas haunted houses.
# 4. South Wallace Street, Chicago, 1894.
H.H. Holmes, one of America’s first serial murderers, constructed a 3 storey house of horrors where some say he killed up to 200 people. The house was demolished in 1938.
# 3. Plainfield Farmhouse, Wisconsin, 1957.
Ed Gein, notorious killer and grave robber inspired movie characters such Norman Bates and Jame Gumb. Gein experimented with human taxidermy and created furniture out of his victims skin and bone. The farmhouse has since been destroyed.
# 2. 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York, 1974.
The infamous Ronald DeFeo Jr murdered his parents and 4 siblings during the night. The house has become a popular tourist attraction and the focus of many books and movies. Subsequent inhabitants of the property have made reports of hauntings.
# 1. 10050 Cielo Drive, California, 1969.
Pregnant actress Sharon Tate and her 4 guests were brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family. Following the murder, the word ‘pig’ could be seen written across the door in Sharon’s blood until it was torn down
The Amityville Ghost - In the early morning hours of 13 November, 1974, 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo Jr systematically shot and killed his father, mother, and his four siblings, as they slept in their beds of their Amityville, Long Island, New York home. During his trial, he claimed that he had killed his family in self-defence because he had heard their voices plotting to kill him. But the story doesn’t end there: In December 1975, the Lutz family purchased the house and over the course of 28 days, they claimed they were plagued and terrorised by paranormal phenomena while living there, before fleeing the property. Some such claims included green slime running from the walls, hidden rooms, images of half headed demons, a demonic pig, as well as mysterious welts and wounds appearing out of nowhere. After the family fled the macabre home, they called in investigators which was when the photograph above was snapped, apparently showing a ghost of a little boy peering out from behind the door; many believe it to be the ghost of 9-year-old John Matthew DeFeo. Whether the truth in this haunting case was stretched or even a hoax all together, it still remains one of the most sensationalised ghost stories worldwide, even inspiring multiple books and movies.
The DeFeo family moved to Amityville, Long Island, New York in 1965. Ronald and Louise DeFeo were second generation Italian Americans looking to make a life for themselves. Altogether they had five children: Ronald Jr. (Butch), Dawn, Allison, Marc, and John Matthew (oldest to youngest).
At about 3:00am November 13, 1974 the DeFeo family was brutally murdered. The exact details of the murders remain a mystery today since all family members were found shot dead lying face down in their beds. The parents were shot twice each, while the children were shot only once. Basically people are unsure how a whole family could be murdered by rifle without any sign of struggle. Some theories involve multiple murderers or some sort of conspiracy between family members, but again it remains a mystery.
Initially Ronald “Butch” Jr. was taken into custody for his own safety, but soon after he confessed to murdering his whole family. His motives also remain unclear to this day, particularly because he continues to change his story. The peaceful town of Amityville was shaken to the core and a once quiet town became a name infamously known across the United States.
A year after the DeFeo murder the Lutz family, George and Kathy and their three children, moved into that same home in Amityville. The house having been the scene of a tragic crime was being sold for a bargain price. The Lutz family shortly began experiencing strange things in the home that led to them literally fleeing in the middle of the night only 28 days after they moved in.
There are a lot of theories behind what went down during those 28 days. The Lutz’ continued to their deaths insisting that the home in Amityville was haunted. The famous paranormal investigator couple (we saw them in The Conjuring) Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated the Amityville home and sensed a great evil presence. Another medium believed the home had been built on a Native American burial ground, although nearly everyone finds that theory total bunk.
Other theories are that the Lutz’ made the whole thing up for money, although problems with that theory are that a) they really didn’t get that much out of the whole deal, and b) they left literally all of their belongings in that home when they fled. It’s a totally reasonable theory, but it does have flaws.
Personally, I like to believe the “homes aren’t haunted, people are haunted” theory. The Lutz’ were Catholic. This isn’t to bash on their religion, but Catholics have a strong belief in demons and possessions and exorcisms. It’s a lot easier to see/feel something when you believe in it. I think a handful of weird things probably did happen, which led the Lutz family to believe that their home really was haunted in some way.
Even the Lutz’ admitted that both the books and the movies way over-exaggerated their story, even including facts and details that were completely new to the Lutz’. But George and Kathy took to their graves that that home in Amityville was haunted.
Ronald DeFeo shot and killed the six family members at 3:15 a.m. on the morning of November 13, 1974 with a .35 caliber rifle.
In court he testified to being possessed by Satan whom he blamed for the murders. The house itself, located in Amityville, New York, was believed to be under demonic attack. When the new owners of the house started seeing signs of demonic possession, they fled the house in complete terror and fear, never to return to it again. Later, it all turned out to be a publicity seeking hoax.
The house was rumored to have been torn down, but it was just a remodelling project. The most recent owners, a family of five, are very happy in the house and have not experienced any paranormal activity. On a lighter note, the DeFeo murders and its subsequent haunting became part of pop culture with the brilliant “Amityville Horror” film series.
On November 21, 1975, DeFeo was found guilty on six counts of second-degree murder. On December 4, 1975, Judge Thomas Stark sentenced Ronald DeFeo, Jr. to six consecutive sentences of 25 years to life.
DeFeo is currently held in Green Haven Correctional Facility, Beekman, New York, and all of his appeals to the parole board to date have been turned down.
The crimes that happened in 112 Ocean Avenue, Long Island, gave us a best selling book, a box office hit movie and many other sequels.
At around 3am on the 13th of November 1974, 23 year Ronald Defeo Jr murdered the 6 members of his family, his mother, father, two sisters and two brothers. He was instantly taken into police custody for his safety after making up many stories, but the following day he confessed to his crimes. In 1975 Ronald faced trial, he claimed he heard voices which told him to kill. His defence team pointed out that he was diagnosed with anti social personality disorder and abused heroin and lsd. Defeo had a volatile relationship with his father, and first he claimed his sister killed his father, then the mother killed the rest and Ronald killed his mum. The jury didn’t care and found him guilty, he was sentenced to life in prison. All parole requests have been denied.
The Lutz Family
In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz moved into the home with their three children. Its reported they endured horrific paranormal experiences, one being George kept waking up just after 3am, the same time of the murders. After 28 days they moved out, it’s the Lutz events that made Jay Anson have a best selling book and a trail of movies.
November 13, 1974: 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo Jr. murders his parents, two younger sisters, and two younger brothers with a .35 Martin Rifle in Amityville, Long Island. The case is notable for being the real life inspiration behind the book and film versions of The Amityville Horror.
Photo: Mugshot of Ronald DeFeo Jr. / Crime scene photos at the family home in Amityville, Long Island, New York (Bettman/Corbis/Getty)
The Amityville Ghost Boy-
When Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his parents and siblings in 1974, the family home was left empty and haunted with bad memories. However, many believe that bad memories aren’t the only thing that haunt the house, as a group of paranormal investigators discovered. They snapped the photograph on the left at the top of a staircase, of what they believe to be the ghost of the youngest victim, John Matthew. The photograph is considered to be one of the best pieces of paranormal evidence by experts, as the suspected ghost bears a striking resemblance to the young victim.
FAMOUS HAUNTS: The House at 112 Ocean Avenue - Amityville, NY
The site of six gruesome murders in November of 1974, the house at 112 Ocean Avenue was later thrust into the public’s eye again when it became the subject of Jay Anson’s runaway bestseller, The Amityville Horror. This chronicle of one family’s nightmare within this house of horrors has become the quintessential haunted house story. It is still hotly debated today.
Despite this reputation, no other occupant has ever reported any paranormal activity within the house.