Spotlight: Amityville Horror

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  • November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. shoots and kills six members of his family at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York.
  • DeFeo confessed to carrying out the killings himself and telling police “Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. It went so fast”.
  • He also admitted that he had taken a bath, redressed, and discarded of crucial evidence such as blood-stained clothes and the rifle and cartridges.
  • All victims were found lying on their stomachs, face down in bed, with no signs of a struggle.
  • The police investigation concluded that the rifle DeFeo used had not been fitted with a noise suppressor and found no evidence of sedatives in the victims, leading to speculation that someone in the house should have been awakened by the noise of the gunshots.
  • Neighbors did not report hearing any gunshots, and those who were awake at the time of the murders only heard the family’s dog barking.
  • DeFeo was convicted and sentenced to six concurrent sentences of 25 years to life.
Ronald DeFeo Jr.
Ronald Defeo Jr with his siblings
Crime scene photo
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  • The DeFeo house remains vacated for 13 months after the murders.
  • The Lutz family buys the house for $80,000, which was considered a bargain at the time
  • Much of the DeFeo’s family furniture was left as part of the deal.
  • December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the DeFeo house.
  • The Lutz’s discover the house’s macabre history and ask a local priest to bless the house.
  • The priest does a blessing on the house, but when he enters a room on the second floor and flicks holy water he hears a man’s voice tell him to “get out”. The priest leaves but doesn’t mention the voice to George of Kathy.
  • The priest later calls The Lutz’s and advises them to stay out of the room where he heard the voice, which was the former bedroom of Marc and John Matthew DeFeo.
  • 28 days later, the Lutzes moved out of the house, claiming the house is too haunted to live in.
  • The Lutz’s submit around 45 hours of tape-recorded recollections to American author Jay Anson, which were used as the basis of a book.
  • September 1977, The book The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, is published.
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Some of the experiences included:

  • Swarms of flies despite cold, winter weather.
  • Lutz children begin sleeping on their stomachs similar to the manner in which the DeFeo’s were found murdered.
  • Kathy has vivid nightmares about the murders
  • George wakes up around 3:15 every morning (the time of the murders), and would go out to check the boathouse.
  • Cold spots and odors of perfume and excrement in parts of the house where there was no explanation.
  • 5 year-old daughter, Missy, develops an imaginary friend named “Jodie,” a demonic pig-like creature with glowing red eyes.
  • George and Kathy have separate experiences with seeing “Jodie”.
  • Green gelatin-like slime oozed from walls in the hall and also from the keyhole.
  • A crucifix in the living room turned upside down and gave off a sour smell.
  • George sees Kathy transform into an old woman.
  • Sounds of doors and windows opening and slamming shut.

 

 

Photo taken during an investigation. No child was present.

 

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