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Ronald DeFeo Jr, who murdered his entire family in the Amityville Horror House, died at age 69. Learn all the details about how he met his end.

Ronald DeFeo dead at 69: Revisit the horrific ‘Amityville Horror’ killer

Well the Amityville case has lost its only verifiable, all-too-human monster. Ronald DeFeo Jr. died in prison at the age of sixty-nine. While we all know the story of the haunting of Amityville, before the Lutz family even lived there, a real life horror story occurred within the walls. One that left a family dead and the only surviving member of the family and the killer behind bars for the rest of his life.

Who was Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr.? Why did he kill his family? Well, we’ll never know the real answers to those questions. DeFeo changed his answers often from hearing “voices” in the house to blaming it on his eighteen-year-old sister. All we know is that he shot all of his family members in the head before trying to lie his way out of the situation. Obviously, it didn’t work.

The basics of the case

 In the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 13th, 1974, the DeFeo family were all asleep in their beds. Well, except for Ronald DeFeo Jr. He crept in and shot them as they slept. In total, DeFeo killed all six members of his family. The deceased members of the DeFeo family were found laying on the stomachs and shot in the head. It’s believed that it took Ronald about 15 minutes to complete the act.

The weird part of the case is no one heard anything: inside or outside the house. His family was sound asleep when Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot them all in the head. Stranger still, all his neighbors heard was the family dog endlessly barking around the time of the killings. Eventually, Ronald DeFeo Jr. pretended to discover the bodies of his family and police were summoned.

His original story, however, didn’t last long. It also changed a lot. We never really got a straight answer about why he killed his siblings & parents. The truth of the matter is that Ronald DeFeo Jr. was just a real-life monster, who murdered his family in cold blood for money more than likely. 

How did Ronald DeFeo Jr. die?

Ronald DeFeo Jr. died on Friday, March 12 at a hospital in Albany, New York. DeFeo’s cause of death was not announced, but he was in the hospital since February 2nd. The cause of Ronald DeFeo’s death will be determined by the Albany coroner. So we’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything on that front. DeFeo was a serving a twenty-five-to-life sentence on six counts for the murder of his family.

During his trial, DeFeo claimed in 1992 that his court appointed lawyer William Weber presented an insanity defense against his wishes. “He told me I had to do this. He told me there would be a lot of money from book rights and a movie. He would have me out in a couple of years and I would come into all that money. The whole thing was a con, except for the crime.” DeFeo never believed the Lutz family claims of a haunting.

What next for Ronald DeFeo Jr.?

After the cause of death for Ronald DeFeo Jr. has been determined, his body will be released to whoever has a claim to it for burial. If not, then he will probably be buried or cremated in a Potter’s Field. It also depends on if there was a Last Will and Testament in play for the murderer as well. Either way, his horrific actions kickstarted a horror franchise.

Rest in distress, Ronald DeFeo Jr. 

What do you think about Ronald DeFeo Jr.’s death? Let us know in the comments below! 

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  • I wonder if the plan was to bury him with the rest of the family. There’s a blank spot on the tombstone under his grandparents’ names.

    April 5, 2021

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