Amityville Horror: What Really Happened? A Mob Hit, A Demon Boy, And A Blockbuster

By | October 24, 2019

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The "demonic boy" photo may be the most puzzling part of the Amityville Horror saga. Source: Reddit

The Amityville Horror was the second-highest-grossing film in 1979, a terrifying tale based, we were told, on actual events. Part one of the story is a fact: a man named Ronald DeFeo did kill his parents and siblings in the house at 112 Ocean Avenue, in Amityville, New York. The second part of the story concerns the strange happenings that drove the Lutz family, the next owners of the home, to flee. These events, even for paranormal phenomena, are essentially fabricated -- a hoax.

The Mass Murder That Started It All

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source: American International Pictures

At about 3:15 AM on November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed six family members at his home on 112 Ocean Rd. in Amityville, New York. After his family members died, DeFeo went to a bar and announced that his family had been murdered. He claimed that they had been victims of a mob hit carried out by Louis Falini

DeFeo's initial story didn’t stick. The details he provided were inconsistent, changing as police uncovered new evidence. (Furthermore, Falini was later able to prove that he was out of the state at the time of the murders.) The next day, DeFeo confessed and mounted an insanity defense, claiming that he heard the voices of his family members plotting against him. The prosecution asserted that DeFeo had an antisocial personality disorder and despite his use of LSD and heroin, he was aware of his actions at the time.  He was found guilty and sentenced to six consecutive sentences of 12 years to life for the murders of his parents and four siblings.