New York City, NY

The Amityville Horror Killer Passes Away in New York Prison at 69

Eugene Adams

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Photo Credit: Seulatr, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Amityville New York sits just thirty miles outside of New York City, but it could not be any different. New York City is one of the biggest cities in the world. Amityville is a small town with a population of just 9,523.

Amityville is the setting of the book The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. The book was later turned into a series of films between 1979 and 2018.

A real-life murder inspired the book. On November 13, 1974, Ronald J. DeFeo Jr. used a .35 Marlin rifle to murder his whole family.

The Murderer

Ronald DeFeo has been in prison ever since the murders. But, on February 2nd Ronald DeFeo was taken to the Albany Medical Center. He never recovered. Prison officials confirmed his death on Monday. However, due to privacy laws, his cause of death was not revealed.

DeFeo was serving a sentence of 25 to life for the murders of his family. In his first trial, he unsuccessfully used an insanity defense. He claimed to hear voices that drove him to kill his family.

In 1992 he used a different defense to try and force a retrial. He claimed his sister killed his family. Then he shot her in self-defense.

Obviously, neither of those stories held up in court, and he spent the rest of his life in prison.

Is The House Really Haunted?

The legend of the house grew after the murders. The Lutz family purchased the house thirteen months after the murders. They got it for a cheap $80,000, mostly because it was a murder house.

The Lutz family only lasted 28 days in the house. Their paranormal activity stories are a huge part of what spawned the books and films around the house.

Here are some things the Lutz family claimed happened:

  • George Lutz claimed to wake up at exactly 3:15 AM every morning. That was the same time which Ron carried out the murders.
  • The Lutz family claimed to smell strange odors all around the house. They also said they saw green slime oozing out of keyholes and walls.
  • A priest allegedly hear a voice scream “Get out!” when he came to bless the house.
  • There was allegedly a pig-like creature staring at George and his son from a window.
  • George Lutz also claimed that he witnessed his wife and two sons levitating off their beds.
  • One of the sons, Daniel, claims to still have nightmares about the house to this day.

These claims inspired the book and many films. But not everyone believes the Lutz family's story.

People Doubt it

George and his wife Kathy took a lie detector test to prove they did not lie about their experiences. They passed the test, but there are still plenty of people who doubt their stories.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • The Lutz family had many legal and financial issues. Naturally, that led to some suspicion that they invented everything for financial gain.
  • The Lutz’s former lawyer admitted that the entire story was made up “over many bottles of wine.”
  • Ron DeFeo claimed to hear voices in the house which urged him to kill his family. However, DeFeo has changed his story many times. Therefore, his testimony is not trustworthy.

The House Still Stands

Amityville is still the home of that very house. It stands in the very same spot it did in 1974, although the address has changed.

It was last sold in February 2017 to an unnamed buyer. The final selling price was $605,000. That buyer is the fifth to live in the house since the murders.

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Southern California raised Henderson transplant. I write about sports and other events in the area.

Henderson, NV
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