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Ronald Defeo murders his family in Amityville

A photograph showing Amityville on a map


On 13 November 1974 in Amityville, 35 miles east of New York City six members of the Defeo family - parents and four out of five children - were found shot dead in their beds. Eldest son Ronald Defeo was the only survivor.

After a few hours of questioning Ronald finally broke down and confessed to all six murders. He had shot his whole family from close range. He claimed that once he had started killing he could not stop.

His motive? Greed - he hoped to inherit his father's fortune.