Ronald DeFeo, convicted murderer who inspired ‘Amityville Horror,’ dead at 69, officials say


Ronald DeFeo Jr., center, leaves Suffolk County district court after a hearing on Nov. 15, 1974. DeFeo was later found guilty of killing his parents, two brothers and two sisters in their home in Amityville, New York, on Nov. 13, 1974 (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK — Ronald DeFeo Jr., who was convicted of murdering six members of his family and was the inspiration behind the film “The Amityville Horror,” died on Friday, according to the state Department of Corrections.

DeFeo, 69, shocked the nation in 1974 when he went on a rampage and killed his father, mother, two brothers, and two sisters while they slept in their home in Amityville on the south shore of Long Island. He was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder.

The case made national headlines and was the basis behind a book and movie, “The Amityville Horror.”

Home of Amityville Murders on Long Island
Police and members of the Suffolk County coroner’s office investigate the murder of six family members found shot in their home in Amityville, New York on Nov. 14, 1974. The family’s eldest son, Ronald DeFeo Jr., was later convicted in the murders of his parents, two sisters and two brothers. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

He was serving a sentence of 25 years to life at the Sullivan Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York.

DeFeo was pronounced dead at Albany Medical Center, according to the DOC. The medical examiner will determine his cause of death.

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