HomeNews‘Amityville Horror’ Murderer Ronald DeFeo Dies in Prison at 69

‘Amityville Horror’ Murderer Ronald DeFeo Dies in Prison at 69

(Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Getty Images)

The haunting murder of six family members in 1974 on New York’s Long Island, resulted in many scary movie spin-offs based on the story of The Amityville Horror. However, no movie is as terrifying as the true story of Ronald DeFeo’s atrocious murder of his family.

DeFoe has now died in prison at the age of 69. The killer passed away on Friday while serving his sentence handed down to him for the murders. Officials said DeFoe was serving a sentence at Sullivan Correctional facility in Fallsburg, New York until his death.

The Story Behind “The Amityville Horror”

The story behind the gruesome scene inspired a long public interest in the killings. Books and movies based on The Amityville Horror have found success among fear fans.

The death of the man responsible for the killings is a bitter-sweet victory. However, DeFoe’s wife, children, and family will never be brought back to life regardless of the killer’s death. The Amityville Horror story propelled the murders into the spotlight, where many, many entertainment industries would scoop up every dirty detail.

The prisoner was transferred to Albany Medical Center in New York. Once arriving at the hospital, DeFoe was pronounced dead on arrival on Friday at 6:35 p.m.

Since this is such a high-profile case, especially thanks to Hollywood studios’ love of gore, the Albany County Medical Examiner’s Office will be performing an autopsy in order to determine the man’s official cause of death. This information will not be released except to his family and the family members of the lives he allegedly took.

The state Department of Corrections can’t disclose the details of DeFoe’s hospitalization. They cite health privacy laws. 

23-year-old DeFeo used a .35-caliber Marlin lever-action rifle to massacre his beloved wife and children. The mother and her children were discovered face-down in their beds. The day the brutal murder took place was on November 13, 1974. This occurrence would be the premise of the movie franchise The Amityville Horror.

Ronald DeFeo Sr., 43, and Louise DeFeo, 43, were both shot twice. They were the mother and father of DeFoe, and grandparents of  Dawn, 18, Allison, 13, Marc, 12, and John, 9, who each received one fatal gunshot wound.

In 1975, DeFoe was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder and was given six sentences of serving 25 years to life for his crimes.

Paranormal Activity At Amityville Horror House?

Following the killings, George and Kathy Lutz attempted to purchase the home. However, the couple was gone within 28 days after they reported paranormal activity.

“There were sounds. The front door would slam shut in the middle of the night,” Lutz said. “I couldn’t get warm in the house for many days.”

Lutz also claims that he watched his wife age extremely fast while they were still in The Amityville Horror home.

While being the current owner, Lutz woke in a panic as he heard the beds of his children “slamming up and down on the floor” above where he and his wife slept. He claims that he couldn’t act and check on his kids due to the fact he had become unable to move from his bed due to an “unseen force.” Lutz takes it one step further as he describes his wife levitating across the bed.

Later on, psychic researchers spent a night in The Amityville Horror house in upstate New York. The ghost hunters say they felt an “overwhelming feeling” of “horrible depression” while on the property. The team also claimed that one photo taken during the hunt appeared to have a little boy peering out of bedrooms.

The Death of Ronald DeFoe

Ronald DeFoe went by the nickname Butch. The man was scheduled to appear in front of a parole hearing in July.

Although Ronald DeFoe may be hanging out in jail before his untimely death, he appeared in good spirits while filming an interview in the prison. Before his death, DeFoe admits to killing his father, mother, and eldest sister, Dawn. According to DeFoe, he was told that the remaining siblings had previously been killed by Dawn.

The interview took place in 2006, and it’s just as creepy then as it is now. I guess we will never know what exactly happened in The Amityville Horror story.