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Yes. In an effort to establish an insanity plea, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. testified to hearing voices that told him to kill his family. However, in researching the Amityville true story, we discovered that during a 2002 Primetime Live interview from prison, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. recanted his testimony and explained that he committed the murders because his parents were abusive and he had been drunk and high on heroin at the time.
Six. On the night of November 13, 1974, eldest son Ronald "Butch" DeFeo, Jr., 23, murdered his parents, two brothers and two sisters using a .35 caliber Marlin rifle. He shot them while they slept and then showered and left the home. He wrapped his rifle and bloody clothing in a pillow case and disposed of it in a storm drain in the Brooklyn suburbs. The six victims of the Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murders are pictured below.
Ronald DeFeo, Jr. was convicted of six counts of second degree murder on November 25, 1975 and was sentenced to twenty-five years to life on all six counts. He is serving his sentence at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Beekman, New York.
Yes. The real life Amityville Horror house that was the site of the DeFeo murders was located on Long Island at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York. In an attempt to discourage tourists from visiting the location, one of the home's subsequent owners changed the address to 108 Ocean Avenue. The home's iconic eye windows were also replaced. The new address is reflected in the Google Maps Street View of the home below. It was listed for sale in 2010. View the Amityville house interior photos that were used to showcase the home. Unlike what is stated in the movie, the house was built in 1927, not 1692.
No. The Amityville true story reveals that unlike what is stated early in the movie, Kathy's former husband, Sebastian, was not dead. The pair had divorced, but according to son Christopher Lutz, the kids still saw their birth father regularly on Sundays. George did insist on their adoption though, at which point their last names changed from Quaratino to Lutz.
Following the release of the original 1979 movie, the investigative television show In Search of aired an episode on October 4, 1979 that featured an interview with a man who they claim is the real Amityville Horror priest (Watch the Priest Interview Here). He says that the Lutzes informed him that the DeFeo murders took place in the home and asked him to come by to bless the house. However, his visit supposedly took place on the day the family was moving in (similar to the original 1979 movie), not after they had been in the house for some time.
No. The Lutz family has acknowledged on numerous occasions that although hundreds of flies did allegedly appear in the home, they did not swarm the priest. "They [the filmmakers] could have just as easily had done the flies the way they really happened," says the real George Lutz, who found the movie's take amusing. -The Real Amityville Horror
No. Chris Quaratino Lutz has said, "I saw no children running around that were you know, no dead children. Like what you see in that last 2005 movie, I thought was a disgusting display of Hollywood." The movie prominently displays the ghost of a young girl who the characters refer to as Jodie, stating that she was one of the slain children from the DeFeo murders. -30 Odd Minutes Interview
No. There was no sister or other relative named Jodie DeFeo killed on the night of the DeFeo family murders. However, according to the real George Lutz, Missy did have an imaginary friend named Jodie, but it was not a ghost of one of the children slain during the DeFeo murders. It was an entity that presented itself to Missy in different forms, including as an angel and a pig. Below on the left is a drawing that Missy Lutz supposedly drew of Jodie when Missy was a child. Jay Anson's novel The Amityville Horror describes it as a pig running through the snow.
No. The Amityville Horror babysitter, Lisa (Rachel Nichols), is not based on a real-life individual, nor does she appear in the book. The idea for the babysitter character came from the mind of screenwriter Sandor Stern, who wrote the screenplay for the original 1979 Amityville Horror. Scott Kosar, the screenwriter for the 2005 remake, reinterpreted the character and gave her much more sex appeal.
No. During our exploration into the Amityville true story, we discovered that George Lutz did not kill their dog, Harry. In the documentary My Amityville Horror, son Daniel Lutz claims that their dog, which was kept in a pen behind the house, went ballistic once and tried to jump the fence. The dog's chain wasn't long enough and it was left hanging over the fence by its neck, its paws unable to reach the ground. Daniel made his way over and rescued the dog from nearly hanging itself. He believes that the dog had been alarmed by a poltergeist of some sort that haunted their boathouse. Even the controversial book, The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, did not claim that George ever harmed or tried to kill their half breed Malamute.
Yes, but it was actually a small storage space under the stairs which the DeFeo family had used to store toys. The 2005 Amityville Horror remake greatly exaggerates this hidden room, showing it as a large torture area/dungeon where native Americans were mutilated and held captive. In the picture below on the left, Patty Commarato, who was a former friend of Allison DeFeo, reveals the small red room during a segment for a 1980 episode of the TV show That's Incredible (Watch the Red Room Video).
No. As the real George Lutz stated in The Real Amityville Horror documentary from 2005, blood never ran down the walls of the home.
No. The real George Lutz never tried to kill his family like the Ryan Reynolds character does during the climax of the film. This includes trying to kill his wife Kathy with the outboard motor of their boat and chasing the family with a shotgun. George also never built coffins for his family and they never had to tie him up with rope like they do in the movie. -Long Island Newsday
No. As George Lutz stated in a Long Island Newsday interview from 2005, he never fell off the roof of the house, nor did any events take place on the roof of the house. This includes the fictional movie scene where the daughter (Chloë Grace Moretz) is lured onto the roof by the ghost of Jodie DeFeo (also fictional), who promises her that she will be reunited with her deceased birth father (her birth father was still alive in real life).
No. Although they did have a boat, they left in their van which correlates more with what is shown in the original 1979 movie. After leaving the house, they went and stayed with Kathy's mother, Joan Conners, before finally relocating to San Diego, California.
No. As of the posting of this page in October of 2013, no subsequent owners of the Amityville home have reported experiencing anything paranormal.
|George and Kathy Lutz Interview|
George Lutz and his wife Kathy are interviewed on Good Morning America in 1979. They discuss the hordes of flies that invaded their home, the movie's green slime, and various other paranormal events that occurred which they claim to be true. They are joined by actor James Brolin who portrays George Lutz in the original film. Brolin says that he does not believe the book in its entirety. However, in the presence of George and Kathy, he says that he does believe them. Years later, he contradicted this by saying that George was a good "salesman", calling the Lutz's story a "gizmo".
|Christopher Lutz Interview|
Christopher Lutz, the son of George and Kathy, tells Inside Edition in 2005 that he was "absolutely disgusted" with regard to what he saw as he watched Hollywood's take on his family's story. He discusses the accuracy of various scenes in the original and the remake, as he revisits the real Amityville house that he lived in with his family for 28 days.
|Real Amityville Red Room in Basement|
Patty Commarato, who had been friends with Allison DeFeo (murdered), revisits the Amityville House where she used to play as a child. In this video footage from a 1980 episode of That's Incredible, Patty takes viewers into the secret red room in the Amityville house's basement. Located under the stairs, Patty offers her thoughts as to whether the real secret room is anything like the one in the 1979 Amityville Horror movie.
|Amityville Priest Interview|
The priest involved in the Amityville haunting is interviewed in 1979 for an episode of the In Search of TV show that investigated mysterious events. The alleged, real Amityville priest describes his experience when he went to bless the Lutz's Ocean Avenue house in December of 1975. Later revealed to be Father Ralph Pecoraro, his story eventually fell under scrutiny as he often contradicted himself, leading some to believe that he was part of a hoax.
|The Amityville Horror Trailer (2005)|
The Amityville Horror movie trailer for the 2005 remake starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George as husband and wife George and Kathy Lutz. Chloë Grace Moretz portrays their daughter Missy Lutz. The movie is a fictionalized account of a family's paranormal experiences in a haunted house from the time they moved in until when they left, 28 days later.