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Ronald DeFeo Jr., Murderer Who Inspired 'Amityville Horror' Series, Dies at 69

Ronald DeFeo Jr., Murderer Who Inspired 'Amityville Horror' Series, Dies at 69

Ronald DeFeo Jr. has died.

The convicted murderer, who killed six family members, inspiring the Amityville Horror franchise, died on Friday (March 12) at the age of 69, the New York Times reported.

Ronald died amid a 25-to-life sentence in a hospital in Albany, New York, as confirmed by the NY State Department of Correction and Community Supervision.

He had been serving his sentence at Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York, and went to the hospital in early February. A cause of death has not yet been announced.

In 1974, he used a rifle to kill his father, Ronald DeFeo, Sr., his mother, Louise, his two sisters, Dawn and Allison, and his two brothers, Mark and John Matthew. All six victims were found in their beds at the family’s home in Amityville, Long Island, on November 13, 1974.

He was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder after confessing to the killings a year later.

The case inspired 1977′s The Amityville Horror book, followed by the film of the same name in 1979. The stories also drew on the story of the Lutzes, the family that moved into the old house and left after just 28 days, claiming the house was haunted.

After his confession, his six-week trial focused on why he carried out the murders, with his court-appointed lawyer, William Weber, working on an insanity defense.

However, the murderer later claimed his lawyer pursued the insanity defense against his wishes to generate interest in possible book or film deals.

William Weber gave me no choice. He told me I had to do this. He told me there would be a lot of money from book rights and a movie. He would have me out in a couple of years and I would come into all that money. The whole thing was a con, except for the crime,” he said to the Times in 1992.

Find out who else we lost in 2021.

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