Ronald DeFeo, the ‘Amityville Horror’ murderer who killed his six family members in 1974 on New York’s Long Island, has died in prison.
Ronald DeFeo Jr., the convicted killer whose 1974 murders spawned the “Amityville Horror” franchise, died last week while serving a 25 to life prison term, officials said Monday.
DeFeo, 69, was pronounced dead at 6:35 p.m. Friday at the Albany Medical Center, state corrections officials said in a statement.
It wasn’t clear why DeFeo, who was serving his sentence at Sullivan Correctional Facility, was hospitalized and a cause of death was still being determined by the medical examiner’s office in Albany County, officials said.
DeFeo was 23 when he shot his parents, two sisters and two brothers at their home in Amityville, on Long Island’s south shore, on Nov. 13, 1974.
During his trial, DeFeo claimed that he heard voices telling him to kill his family.
He was convicted in 1975 of six counts of second-degree murder. A family that bought the home roughly a year later fled within weeks amid an alleged series of strange events.
A film based on the killings and its aftermath, “The Amityville Horror,” was released in 1979 and became a multi-decade franchise.
The home was listed as recently as 2016 for $850,000.