There's Amityville Horror the movie, and then there's the real "Amityville Horror"—and the man behind the latter is now dead. A rep for the New York Department of Corrections has confirmed that Ronald DeFeo died Monday at age 69, more than 45 years after he shot dead his parents and four siblings in their beds in their Ocean Avenue home in Amityville, NY. NBC New York reports an autopsy will be conducted to determine a cause of death. He was handed six sentences of 25 years-to-life for the Nov. 13, 1974, murders, and the New York Post reports he had a July parole hearing scheduled.
During his trial, his lawyer argued for an insanity defense, saying DeFeo heard voices telling him to kill his family. The home sold to George and Kathy Lutz 13 months after the crime, reports Biography.com, but they hightailed it out of there just 28 days later, citing green slime coming from the walls, strange smells, and cold spots, among other oddities. Those allegedly paranormal occurrences featured in the 1979 film. Though the home was listed for as much as $1.15 million in 2010, it reported sold in 2017 for just $605,000. The address, once 112 Ocean Avenue, was altered to 108 Ocean Avenue to dissuade gapers. (Read more obituary stories.)