Ronald DeFeo Jr. Convicted Killer DieBy RodneyHatfieldJr for Into The Mind
If you don’t know who that is, I bet you know his story. He is the man convicted of slaughtering his parents and four siblings in a home on November 13, 1974, that later inspired the “The Amityville Horror” book and dozens of movies(and to a lesser extent the Conquering universe). He died on Monday the 12th, prison officials said. Ronald DeFeo, 69, died Friday at Albany Medical Center, where he was taken Feb. 2 from a prison in New York’s Catskill Mountains, the state Department of Corrections and Community Services said. The cause of his death wasn’t immediately known.
The home became the basis of a horror-movie classic after another family briefly lived there about a year after the killings and claimed the house was haunted. A book and truly only two movies(but there has been over a dozen with the Amityville name) the 1979 original, starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder, and Rod Steiger, and a 2005 remake. They both portrayed a home with strange voices, walls that oozed slime, furniture that moved on its own, and other supernatural features.
DeFeo's trial began on October 14, 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, Daniel Schwartz. The psychiatrist for the prosecution, Dr. Harold Zolan, maintained that, although DeFeo was a user of heroin and LSD, he had an antisocial personality disorder and was aware of his actions at the time of the crime. On November 21, 1975, DeFeo was found guilty on six counts of second-degree murder. On December 4, 1975, Judge Thomas Stark sentenced DeFeo to six sentences of 25 years to life. Suffolk County home.
The corrections department said it couldn't disclose why DeFeo was hospitalized, citing health privacy laws(HIPPA). The Albany County Coroner's Office, tasked with determining what caused his death, said it doesn't release such information, except to relatives of the dead.
One of the most interesting parts of the Amityville murders is how we got such a long string of movies from the Defeo story. He would over the 45 years in prison, change his story about what happened that night. He has stated it was from personal defense, demon possession, Native American burial grounds, and even a hit by the Genovese crime family. With every appeal, DeFeo would change his story. And with each new story, a new movie would be made. And if you have not heard of them, there is a good reason. They are about as entertaining as a dumpster fire. But if you want to torture yourself, Pluto and Tubi have half a dozen of the less than stellar titles. Who wants to bet there is a screenwriter somewhere writing a story about DeFeo’s ghost coming back and killing people in Amityville. Mark my words lol.
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