October 14 1975 Trial begins in Amityville murders

I remember reading The Amytiville Horror (1977) as a teen-ager. It had me freaked out. After that the house on the cover of the novel was part of my nightmares for a long time.

While not as paranormal as the novel, the real-life story of the Amytiville family is just as frightening/strange. What motivates a young man to kill his parents and siblings? Craig Hill gives us a look at the story behind the story.

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On October 14th 1975, Ronald DeFeo Jr. went on trial for the killings of his parents and four siblings in their Amityville, New York, home.

The family’s house was later said to be haunted and served as the inspiration for the Amityville Horror book and movies.

On the evening of November 13, 1974, Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr. entered an Amityville bar and told people his parents had been shot inside their home.

Several bar patrons accompanied DeFeo back to his family’s home, at 112 Ocean Avenue, where a man named Joe Yeswit called Suffolk County police to report the crime.

When officers arrived, they found the bodies of Ronald DeFeo Sr., age 43, his wife Louise, 42, and their children Dawn, 18, Allison, 13, Marc, 11, and John, 9.

The victims had been shot dead in their beds.

Ronald DeFeo Jr., 22, initially tried to say the murders were…

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