When you hear the name, Ronald DeFeo Jr. what first comes to mind is a horrific mystery of a 23 year old who murdered his family in the Amityville Horror house that later became of the most haunted places in America that Ed & Lorraine Warren investigated.
All of the victims had been shot with a .35 caliber lever action Marlin 336C rifle around 3 o’clock in the morning of that day.
Ronald Joseph DeFeo Jr., (also known as Butch) was born on September 26, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York. He’s an American mass murderer who was tried and convicted for killing his entire family on Wednesday, November 13, 1974.
DeFeo was the oldest of five children born to Ronald, a successful car salesman, and Louise DeFeo. His father provided the family with a comfortable, upper-middle-class lifestyle, yet Ronald DeFeo grew up emotionally troubled. That was probably because of the volatile atmosphere within his family.
Neighbors have described the family as loud and quarrelsome; and that Ronald, Sr., was abusive to his wife and kids. Unsurprisingly, in such an environment, DeFeo Jr. began acting out from an early age.
This, no doubt affected him psychologically. Already troubled, he spiraled out of control. At 13, he attacked his grandfather and was taken to a child psychologist. Classmates described him as arrogant, bad-tempered, and menacing, a “spoiled brat.”
Later on, he dropped out of high school at 17 and lived an immoral and debauched life. He was a user of heroin, and always had plenty of money to spend on alcohol, drugs, and prostitutes.
On the day his family was murdered, he initially alleged that they were killed by a mob hit man, Louis Falini, claiming that his father had been in business with organized crime, but had done a clumsy job for him, and this was his retaliation.
However, an interview at the police station soon exposed serious inconsistencies in his version of events. Under questioning, DeFeo Jr. changed his story each time, but every version included the mafia hitman. But nothing in any of his stories fit the facts of the case.
The following day, he confessed to carrying out the killings himself; he broke down and confessed to the murders, saying, “Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. It went so fast.”
He admitted that he had murdered his family and while trying to discard the crucial evidence, he showered, changed out of his blood-stained clothes, and wrapped the rifle and bloody clothes in a pillowcase. Then he dropped the rifle and clothing off a dock at the end of his street and drove off to work as though nothing had happened.
DeFeo Jnr. was given six life sentences and is serving his time in a New York prison. Here is where things get paranormal; with DeFeo in jail, the house was empty for over a year until it was purchased by George Lutz and his family.
After 28 days, the Lutzes left the house, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living there. They claimed to have seen shadowy figures wandering inside when no one was home. The case inspired the book and film versions of The Amityville Horror.