The Real Amityville Horror Story
November 13, 1974: At 112 Ocean Avenue, in Amityville Long Island, 23 year-old Ronald DeFeo, Jr., murders his father, mother, two brothers (18 & 9 years-old) and two sisters (13 & 12 years-old) with a .35 caliber lever action rifle. In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the Amityville house but soon left after 28 days claiming to have been terrorized by demonic forces. In September 1977, the book “The Amityville Horror” by Jay Anson was published and immediately became a best seller and the basis for 6 additional books and 14 movies.
On November 21, 1975 Ronald DeFeo was found guilty of six counts of second degree murder. At the trial, his defense attorney William Weber, Esq., asserted insanity as an affirmative defense. Claiming that prior to the killings, DeFeo heard voices in his head telling him that his family was plotting to kill him. Weber supported this defense with expert testimony by psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Schwartz. The Prosecution countered with their own psychiatrist expert Dr. Harold Zolan, who testified that although DeFeo was an abuser of heroin and LSD he was aware of his actions at the time of the crime.
On December 4, 1975, Judge Thomas Stark sentenced DeFeo to six concurrent sentences of 25 years to life. Because DeFeo received concurrent sentences, all six 25-life sentences are served at the same time making him eligible for Parole in 1999. However, all his appeals and parole applications have been denied and he currently remains imprisoned in Green Haven Correctional Facility in Beekman NY.