Amityville: Gun Found-New Evidence?
By Thomas Spychalski
The Amityville Horror is a one of the most famous haunting cases ever to be recorded, mostly due to the fact that the haunting itself was the subject of a bestselling book, The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, which was followed by the 1979 film of the same name. The house itself, as it looked at the start of all the hype, with it’s ‘eye’ windows on the third floor and it’s ominous exterior, was the perfect prop for a ghost story.
Fame first came calling to the property when the formers residents of the house, the Defeo family, were all murdered in their beds by the oldest son, Ronald DeFeo Jr, as he shot his four siblings and both of his parents while they slept.
After the murders, the house stood empty a little over a year until the house was bought by George and Kathy Lutz.. Later, they would claim that the twenty-eight days they spent inside the house were the worst days of their lives. They fled the house at the end of that period, never to step foot inside again.
But the story itself is not as simple as the book or film would make it appear. Not only are there some who believe the story of the haunted house on Ocean Ave was a money making hoax between the lutz’s and a number of possible parties, but the DeFeo murders themselves have become a topic for debate, with various theory’s surfacing about what really happened that night in November 1974.
One of the biggest issues people have with the DeFeo killings is that Ronald DeFeo killed all six members of his family without one of them waking up from the sounds of the rifle Ronald DeFeo used to commit the crimes, none of the neighbors heard a gunshot or noticed anything strange, and all the victims were found in bed, laying on their stomachs.
While some have explained these mysterious circumstances by claiming a paranormal origin such as a demonic or ghostly force covering up the reports of the rifle, others feel that Ronald Defeo did not act alone that night, insisting that it would be impossible for any one man to kill his family in that manner without at least one member of the household hearing the shots or reacting in some way.
Now amateur documentary maker Ryan Katzenbach claims that a dive team he sent into the canal behind Ocean Ave has found proof that more went on that night them was officially reported, in the form of a handgun the dive team dredged from the bottom of the canal.
Katzenbach feels that this is evidence that more then one person killed the Defeo family in November 1974:
“We firmly believe that there was indeed a second gun involved in the commission of the crime.
How could a person walk through a three-story Dutch colonial and shoot six different victims, on two separate levels and no one got out of bed, no one put up a struggle?”
Katzenbach recently released the first part of a trilogy of documentary films about the DeFeo murders called Shattered Hopes, which contains his view that there was more then one shooter that night, including the possibility that the second shooter could have been Ronald DeFeo’s sister Dawn, who was also shot along with the rest of the family.
However, the Suffolk County Police Department are not at all convinced that this gun is evidence that they were wrong back in 1974, when DeFeo confessed to the murders. They are also skeptical of there having been any second shooter involved, according to Detective Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky:
“People are very creative and the Internet allows them to pull up items that they think are facts, when in fact, they’re not facts.”
However Katzenbach claims that the departments lack of imagination may have more to do with saving face then solving crimes:
“It’s a very famous case for Suffolk County. DeFeo has been sitting in prison for 37 years now. To open this up and to chance DeFeo getting a new trial, I just don’t think that’s the route they want to go.”
So it would seem that like a good ghost story, the debate over what really happened that night in November 1974 to the members of the DeFeo family goes on.
Meanwhile, Ronald DeFeo remains in jail as the lone murderer of his family members, as the gun gets examined by authorities, but due to how long the gun most likely spent at the bottom of the canal makes it hard to gauge what new information might really come from this discovery.
Is the gun found in the canal new evidence brought to light, or unrelated to the infamous events that took place on Ocean Ave? Let us know your take in the comments below.
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