Previously I have mentioned that I feel that Ed and Lorraine Warren are the world’s biggest paranormal Con artists. If you haven’t read it, see my post from April on the topic. https://amateurconnoisseur.com/2021/04/23/paranormal-con-artists/
However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a horror that took place at 112 Ocean Avenue, in Amityville, NY. What it means is that the horror that took place was in November 1974 and not in December 1975 as stated by the Lutz Family in the book by Jay Anson, which was released in 1977. The real horror was with the DeFeo family.
The DeFeo family consisted of Ronald Sr. and Louise, the parents. They had five children, Ronald Jr (called Butch), Dawn, Allison, Marc, and John. Tragedy struck on November 13, 1974, when Butch, who was 23 at the time, entered Henry’s Bar in Amityville, NY, and announced, “You got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot.” This was at 6:30pm.
A small group went back to the house and discovered that yes, his parents were shot. One of them called emergency services. Police investigated the scene and found that all six of the family members were dead, in their beds. They were all face down.
It was believed that they were murdered at around 3am that day. Butch was taken to the police station for protective custody. He said that his family had all been murdered by a hitman for the mob named Louis Falini. Soon, inconsistencies began to emerge.
November 14, Butch confessed to the crimes, stating that he had committed them all. The hitman that Butch had accused provided an alibi that he was out of state when the crimes were committed. Butch said, “Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. It went so fast”. He admitted that he had taken a bath and redressed, and detailed where he had discarded crucial evidence such as blood־stained clothes, the Marlin rifle, and cartridges before going to work as usual.
His trial began in October 1975. His lawyers presented a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity. He claimed he heard their voices plotting against him. This plea was supported by the defense psychiatrist. The psychiatrist for the prosecution claimed that Butch knew what he was doing, even though he had a history of using LSD and heroin, and he also had an antisocial personality disorder.
A month later Butch was found guilty of six counts of second-degree murder. In December of 1975, he was sentenced to six, 25 years to life terms. Any attempts for parole were denied.
It’s unknown why Ronald Jr, had murdered his entire family. One theory is that he did it for his parent’s life insurance policies. After the murders, when talking to police, he asked how he could collect on his father’s life insurance.
Ronald’s stories about that night and how, who, and why the murders were committed changed regularly. Ronald DeFeo Jr. died in 2021, his cause of death is not known.
Stay Curious my Friends!