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Ronald DeFeo, the Amityville killer, dies at the age of 69

 

The man who murdered his parents and four siblings in 1974 in Amityville, a suburb of New York.

Inspiring several horror movies, died on Friday, the New York State Correctional Service said.

During his trial, police said DeFeo shot each parent with a .35 caliber rifle. His parents were shot twice and his brothers were shot once each.

He was considered one of the cruelest murderers in the history of the United States and, since last February.

Ronald DeFeo the Amityville killer

He was admitted to the Albany Medical Center. From there he was transferred from a prison in the Catskill Mountains.

In 1992, he asked for another trial because, according to his new version. His 18-year-old sister had been the perpetrator of the crimes and he then killed her.

The courts denied the request.

Ronald DeFeo Jr. 69, who was incarcerated in Sullivan Penitentiary, north of New York.

It was pronounced dead on March 12 at about 6:30 p.m. in a hospital in the capital city of Albany.

It located 100 miles from the prison, according to a statement from the department Monday.

 

1. Cause of death not specified


The cause of his death was not immediately specified, pending the evaluation of the medical examiner.

The prison administration did not specify whether he had been ill or injured before his death. DeFeo was sentenced in 1975 to life in prison with a 25-year sentence.

A hearing to decide whether to release him was scheduled for July, according to the prison service.


2. Back to the time of the crime: 23 years


During his trial, his lawyer had pleaded in vain the madness for this sextuple murder, perpetrated on November 13, 1974., in the family house of this small coastal city, 70 km east of New York.

Ronald DeFeo Jr. was only 23 years old at the time of the crime. All were found dead in their beds, his parents shot twice each, his four brothers and sisters shot once each.

The judge imposed six sentences of 25 years minimum each.

His lawyer had pleaded insanity in vain

DeFeo had been sentenced in 1975 to life imprisonment with a 25-year security period.

A hearing to decide whether to release him was scheduled for July, according to the prison service.


3. Amityville: The Devil's House


This family massacre inspired first a novel, in 1977, and then a horror movie that became a classic "Amityville: The Devil's House" (1979).

A remake followed in 2005, and a new version in 2017. 

These adaptations presented the family home as haunted by the drama.

The "cursed" house on Ocean Avenue, as it was named, sat empty for 14 months after the massacre., Until it was purchased in December 1975 by George Lutz and his wife Kathleen for $80,000.


With their three children and a dog, the couple spent only 28 days there, without bringing anything with them. 

They'll never set foot in it again.

After which they left and claimed to have been terrified by strange phenomena.

Hundreds of flies swarm around the windows even though it is December.

Doors open and close by themselves, and furniture seems to have a life of its own; glowing eyes appear behind the third floor windows.

George wakes up every night at 3:15 a.m., the time of the former tenants' death, and feels cold patches throughout the house.

His behavior becomes increasingly violent, and he develops an uncanny physical resemblance to Ronald DeFeo Jr. as the weeks go by.


4. Why did Ronald DeFeo Jr. shoot his entire family


Wednesday, November 13, 1974, Amityville (on Long Island, USA), 6:30 pm.

Ronald DeFeo Jr, alias "Butch", 23 years old, bursts into a bar in the city, looking haggard: "My parents were killed! My whole family..."

Horror scene in the Amityville house

In the house at 112 Ocean Avenue, police discovered a horror scene: Ronald DeFeo Sr., 43, and his wife Louise, 42. 


Their two daughters, Dawn, 18, and Allison, 13; and their sons Mark, 12, and John, 7, were shot in their bed with a shotgun at about 3 a.m.

The parents survived long enough to try to drag themselves out of their bedroom.

The murder weapon is missing, but empty ammunition boxes are found in Butch's room.

As for Butch, his speech becomes incoherent as the hours pass. 

He first accuses a mafia hitman of having done the job, which is not far-fetched:

his father's uncle, Pete DeFeo, is indeed a henchman of the New York mafia... But the next day, he confesses to be the author of the killing: "Once I started, I couldn't stop! It went really fast. "


  • Possessed by Satan

The case is unclear. Investigators doubt that Butch acted alone, as the victims were executed in record time.

In another version, Butch claims that his sister Dawn shot the children, and that he accidentally killed her while arguing with her.

Both were in conflict with their parents, Ronald Sr. was allegedly a domestic tyrant. Moreover, Butch is known for his addiction to heroin and LSD...


In prison, his behavior becomes even more erratic.

He tries to commit suicide, to light a fire, screams that it is the devil that possessed him. Satan replaces his probable accomplices, who will never be unmasked.

Ronald DeFeo Jr. is serving a minimum sentence of 150 years in the maximum security prison in Green Haven, New York.

 The house of Amityville became cursed, a novel in 1977 then a film in 1979 immortalize its infernal aura.


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