ronald defeo jr

Police officer standing outside the DeFeo home where 23 year old Ronald DeFeo jr. shot and killed 6 of his family members. The case became known as ‘the Real Amityville Horror’ due to the later alleged hauntings that took place in the home, and the fact that Ronald had, on occasion, claimed that he had been possessed by satan when he committed the crimes.

The Amityville Horror: A Tale of Murder and the Paranormal

The history behind the famous house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island, N.Y. is much more horrific than the classic 1970′s horror film which depicts paranormal events supposedly experienced by the Lutz family. The film was based on a book about the supernatural activity, written by Jay Anson and published in 1977.

George and Kathy Lutz moved into the house in December of 1975, with Kathy’s three children, Daniel, 9, Christopher, 7, and Melissa (Missy), 5. The house had been vacant for 13 months before the Lutzes purchased the Dutch Colonial, dubbed “High Hopes” by the previous owner, Ronald DeFeo, Sr.

What had occurred at “High Hopes” 13 months prior to the Lutz family moving in is more like a slasher movie than a ghost story.

Twenty-three-year old Ronald Defeo Jr., a.k.a. “Butch” burst into Henry’s Bar, on a Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m., November 13, 1974 with a shocking announcement: “You got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!” A group of people from the bar went with Butch DeFeo to investigate the family’s home at the now-infamous 112 Ocean Avenue. What they found was a gruesome scene. All six members of his family were shot dead in their beds: his parents, Ronald DeFeo Sr, age 44 and Louise DeFeo, 42, sisters Dawn, 18 and Allison, 13, and brothers Marc, 12 and John Matthew, 9.

It would later be determined that the family was killed 3 a.m. that morning by a .35 caliber Marlin 336C rifle. Each member of the family was found lying on their stomachs in their beds. The parents suffered two shots each and each one of his brothers and sisters was shot one time each.

Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr. first claimed that the murders were the work of a mob hitman. As investigators interviewed Butch DeFeo, they found that there were many inconsistencies in his story.  Butch DeFeo confessed to the murders the next day. Besides having the confession, the hitman named by DeFeo as the killer had a solid alibi. DeFeo even told police where he got rid of his bloody clothes and the murder weapon. DeFeo had casually gotten up and gone to work that morning, getting rid of the evidence on the way to his job.

The DeFeos were far from the perfect family. Father Ronald DeFeo Sr. was physically abusive towards his wife and children.

DeFeo Sr. worked for his father’s car dealership and allegedly had been stealing money from the business.

Juror Peggy Giambra recalls Butch DeFeo’s words on the stand: “I remember the chilling words of him saying that once he started, he just couldn’t stop.”

DeFeo Jr. was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder on November 21, 1975. He was given six life sentences and is incarcerated at Sullivan Correctional Facility, Beekman, N.Y.

When George and Kathy Lutz moved in and learned about their new home’s gruesome past, they decided to have a Catholic priest come and bless the house. As he attempted the blessing, the priest claimed that many flies appeared and that he heard a voice commanding him to leave.

The Lutzes also claimed that the front door suddenly blew off its hinges in the middle of the night, a pig with glowing red eyes appeared to them, Kathy claimed she was levitated two feet off her bed and that she received mysterious welts, George claimed Kathy’s appearance would change into that of an elderly woman with wrinkles and white hair and Kathy said she saw a demonic entity appear in the fireplace. The Lutzes described many other bizarre experiences while living at 112 Ocean Avenue.

According to Butch DeFeo, the Lutzes’ story was a fabrication, created to help the Lutzes out of debt. DeFeo’s lawyer William Weber admitted to help fabricate the story in the hopes that the tale would lead to a lesser sentence for DeFeo.

For example, the story of the demonic pig was supposedly based on the neighbors’ cat who DeFeo Jr. hated and called “a fat pig.” Another detail was that George Lutz used to wake every morning at 3:15 a.m., which is the time the murders occurred.

“Weber and the Lutzes started this whole thing,” DeFeo says. The strange tale of the supernatural was meant to be a financial arrangement between DeFeo, the Lutzes and William Weber.

“Amityville itself is just a story – the whole thing is a hoax,” DeFeo says. “The agreement was $850,000.”

However, DeFeo and Weber never got their share of the money. Instead the Lutzes took their story to writer Jay Anson.

“I knew them Lutzes weren’t stable. They double-crossed everybody, then took off and went to California,” DeFeo says.

Reporter Marvin Scott attended a seance at the infamous house, conducted by demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Scott says: “ Lorraine Warren and I walked upstairs to the sewing room. Now, the sewing room was the location where there was reported the strongest presence. She started talking, and at one point, became a bit hysterical, saying, ‘Marvin, I hope this is as close to hell as I’ll ever get.’ I didn’t see anything oozing from the walls. I didn’t hear any strange voices.”

One year after the séance, Jay Anson’s book about the Lutzes’ experiences was published.

The Lutzes lived at 112 Ocean Avenue for 28 days before leaving, supposedly driven from the house by demonic forces. They left all of their belongings behind.

Sources: Wikipedia: The Amiltyville Horror and Ronald DeFeo Jr.

Documentary: “High Hopes: The Amityville Horror Murders” (2014)

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 murders that took place at 112 Ocean Avenue in 1974 have become the basis for many best selling books and movies and are clouded in false claims and legends. The bodies of Ronald Defeo Sr., Louise Defeo, and their four children: Dawn, Allison, Marc, and John Matthew were all discovered by Suffolk County Police officers after a call was placed by Joe Yeswit after a frantic Ronald Defeo Jr. burst in Henry’s Bar and said "You got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!“ All of the victims were said to have been shot by a .35 caliber lever action Marlin 336C rifle around three o'clock on the morning of November 13th. After discovering the bodies, Ronald Defeo Jr. was taken into protective custody by police official after having suggested the murders were carried out as a mob hit by Tony Mazzeo. However, after questioning Defeo Jr., inconsistencies in his version of how the events took place eventually led to him confessing to the murders of his family. Defeo Jr.’s trial began on October 14th, 1975. He and his defense lawyer William Weber mounted an affirmative defense of insanity, with DeFeo claiming that he killed his family in self-defense because he heard their voices plotting against him. The insanity plea was supported by the psychiatrist for the defense, Dr. Daniel Schwartz. The psychiatrist for the prosecution, Dr. Harold Zolan, maintained that although DeFeo was an abuser of heroin and LSD, he had antisocial personality disorder and was aware of his actions at the time of the crime. However, the jury found Ronald Defeo Jr. guilty on six counts of second-degree murder. On December 4, 1975, Judge Thomas Stark sentenced DeFeo Jr. to six concurrent sentences of 25 years to life. The reasons for the murders remain unclear to this day and their are many controversies surrounding the case. Police officials and medical examiners were initially puzzled by the rapidity and scale of the killings and considered that more than one person was responsible for the murders. During his time in jail, Defeo Jr. has given many varying accounts as to how the murders to place such as saying his sister initially killed their father and their distraught mother killed the remaining children before Defeo Jr. finally murdered her. Although no motive has ever come clear, in November of 2003 Defeo Jr. stated that he and sister along with two friends murdered the family "out of desperation” because his parents were plotting to murder him, however after the murders Defeo Jr. asked police what he had to do to collect his father’s life insurance policy leading police officials to believe that the motive for the murders was purely for financial gain. 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 denied.


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.

Notorious American Murder Homes

# 5. LaLaurie Mansion, Louisiana, 1834.

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 infamous Amityville Horror House that was the basis of 11 scary movies in which families are terrorized by paranormal entities is once again for sale! You can buy the house in which Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed six members of his family for just a measly $950,000.



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 Of Amityville Horror

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.



On November 13th 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. entered a bar in Amityville, Long Island, New York, and exclaimed to the bartender “You gotta help me! I think my mother and father are shot!” Accompanied by a small group of concerned onlookers, DeFeo returned to his family home where, not only where his mother and father dead, but his siblings had also been shot while they slept.

Baffled, the police took DeFeo to the local police station for his own protection. He had suggested to the officers that a mob hitman had been hired to kill the wealthy family. However, police found blatant inconsistencies in his story and in his version of events. The following day, DeFeo confessed to killing his entire family telling detectives: “Once I started, I just couldn't stop. It went so fast.”

DeFeo had a volatile relationship with his father, but the motive for the killings still remains unclear. He was given 6 concurrent sentences of 25 years to life and remains imprisoned to this day.

The Amityville Boy - 

This photo was taken in 1976 at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York, two years after Ronald DeFeo Jr murdered six members of his family in the same house. When he was arrested Ronald claimed that he heard voices in the house telling him to kill his family. Many believe that the little boy captured in the photograph is a striking resemblance to nine year old, John Matthew DeFeo, the youngest member of the DeFeo family who was murdered that night. 

This house will be no stranger to people who love horror movies. It is the house on which the film The Amityville Horror is based. The house is a six-bedroom Dutch Colonial style house built in 1924. The best known feature of the house was, at one time, its pair of quarter circle shaped windows on the third floor attic level, which gave it an eerie, eye-like appearance. These windows have since been removed and the house renumbered to keep tourists away. On November 13, 1974, 23-year old Ronald DeFeo, Jr. fatally shot six members of his family at the house. During his murder trial in 1975, he claimed that voices in his head had urged him to carry out the killings. He was found guilty and is still in jail in New York. In December 1975, George Lutz and his wife, Kathy, purchased the house and moved in with their three children. After 28 days they left the house, claiming to have been tormented by paranormal phenomena while living there. The family experienced foul smells, faces at the windows, screams, moving objects, and all manner of bizarre phenomena. The image above is the house as it appears today

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)

Sullivan Correctional Facility, Fallsburg, New York, USA.

Sullivan is a maximum security prison for male inmates, 86% percent of which are being incarcerated for committing violent felonies, and 60% are serving life sentences. Among notable inmates are serial killer David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam”, and Ronald DeFeo, Jr., who killed his entire family and sparked The Amityville Horror movie.