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Killer Ronald DeFeo Jr. Who Inspired The Amityville Horror Dies Aged 69

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Killer Ronald DeFeo Jr. Who Inspired The Amityville Horror Dies Aged 69

Ronald DeFeo Jr, the man who shocked America in 1974 when he murdered six members of his family, has died in prison.

DeFeo, whose house inspired the film The Amityville Horror, died on Friday (12 March), according to the New York State Department of Correction.

His sickening crime saw him kill his mother, father, two sisters and two brothers with a gun while they slept in their house in Amityville, Long Island, near to New York City.

He was 23 years old at the time of the incident.

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His case attracted a great deal of attention from the national press, and he was eventually convicted of six counts of second degree murder.

The house that DeFeo Jr. murdered his family in. Credit: PA
The house that DeFeo Jr. murdered his family in. Credit: PA

It also inspired a book and movie series that went onto to reach a worldwide audience.

At the time of his death he was serving six sentences of 25 years to life in Sullivan Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in southern New York State.

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According to records from the Department of Correction, he had been scheduled for a parole hearing in July 2021.

During the case, his lawyer argued that DeFeo Jr. was insane and had been guided by voices in his head telling him his family was conspiring against him.

In an interview in 2006, he said he'd only killed his mother, father, and sister Dawn, claiming Dawn had already killed the other members of the family before he murdered her.

DeFeo Jr. in 1974. Credit: PA
DeFeo Jr. in 1974. Credit: PA
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The Amityville Horror was released as a book in 1977, before the film of the same name reached cinemas in 1979.

According to the New York Post, the address in the film was changed from 112 Ocean Avenue to 108 Ocean Avenue so as to stop the address becoming the subject of visits from tourists.

After the incident, the house was bought by a couple who then moved out after just 28 days, claiming they'd experienced paranormal phenomena in the property such as 'strange sounds, voices and green slime oozing from the walls', according to real estate site 6sqft.

An autopsy by Albany County Medical Examiner's Office will determine what the cause of DeFeo's death was.

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A spokesperson for the Medical Examiner's Office said it will be at their discretion whether they choose to reveal the cause of death to the public or not.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: TV and Film, Interesting, US News, US Entertainment

Tom Wood
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