In 1976, when they captured this family photo together at their home 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, they had no idea that this would become one of America’s most talked about horror stories.
Above is the DeFeo children (back row, left to right): John, Allison, Marc. (Front row): Dawn, Ronald “Butch” Jr. Their parents Ronald and Louise are not pictured – the only surviving member of the family now is Butch.
At around 6.30pm, Butch burst into a local bar screaming, “You got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!” When the police arrived at the family home, every member of the family had been shot in their sleep, execution style. After hours of police interrogation, it was discovered that Butch had shot all his loved ones in cold blood, he told the police, “Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. It went so fast.” The case since became known as “The Amityville Horror Story.”
|Ronald DeFeo Jr., center, leaves Suffolk County District Court after a hearing, Nov. 15, 1974. He was later convicted of shooting his parents, two brothers and two sisters to death in their sleep. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)|
On October 14, 1975, Butch went to trial and was charged with six counts of murder. Butch’s lawyer, William Weber, tried to get him off on an insanity defense, however, the jury and judge didn’t buy it.
On November 19, 1975, the jury returned with a guilty verdict on all six counts of second-degree murder. Two weeks later, he was sentenced to twenty-five years to life in prison.
|Mugshot taken of Ronald DeFeo Jr.|
Today, he remains in the New York State Department of Corrections.