Ronald Defeo Jr, also known as “Butch,” was convicted of killing his parents, two brothers, and two sisters at the family’s home at 112 Ocean Avenue (Now 108 Ocean Avenue) in Amityville, N.Y., in 1974. This unthinkable crime inspired a neverending series of books and films over the decades, including the 1979 film starring Margo Kidder and James Brolin, The Amityville Horror. Defeo died on Friday, March 12th, at a hospital in Albany; he was 69.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision confirmed the death on Monday and said that the cause would be determined by the Albany County coroner.
Mr. DeFeo, who was serving 25 years to life in prison, had been held at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, N.Y., since 1975. He was transferred to the Albany Medical Center for medical care on Feb. 2.
Mr. DeFeo was convicted in 1975 on six counts of second-degree murder after he confessed to using a rifle to fatally shoot his father, Ronald DeFeo Sr.; his mother, Louise; his sisters, Dawn and Allison; and his brothers, Mark and John Matthew. The victims were found in their beds with gunshot wounds on Nov. 13, 1974. Mr. DeFeo, the oldest of the siblings, was 23 at the time.