On the fateful night of November 13, 1974, police discovered a gruesome scene at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York: six members of the De Feo family – father, mother and four of their five children – had been found shot dead. The only survivor was Ronald De Feo Jr., their eldest son.
The media was immediately intrigued by the story, speculating on Ronald’s motives for the murders and turning him into a symbol of a disturbed child who had rebelled against his oppressive father. After investigation and trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
In recent years, the tragic events of that night have been explored further in various documentaries. A particularly compelling one is “The Amityville Murders,” which dives deep into Ronald’s background and paints a more nuanced picture of his troubled childhood: from experiencing physical and mental abuse to being forced to believe he did not belong within his family or society at large.
Through archival footage, interviews with former residents, and contributions from experts in criminal psychology and legal history, this documentary sheds new light on an old story that continues to haunt viewers across generations. For those curious about the tragedy that befell the De Feo family 46 years ago – as well as its chilling reverberations – watching “The Amityville Murders” is an essential experience.