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The Night the Defeos Died: Reinvestigating the Amityville Murders

3.3 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1401046460
ISBN-10: 1401046460
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...As compelling as Truman Capote's IN COLD BLOOD..." -- Jordan Rich, WBZ Radio, Boston, MA. Spring 2002

"Ric Osuna's book is as compelling as Truman Capote's IN COLD BLOOD..." -- Jordan Rich, WBZ Radio Boston; March 2002; used with permission --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

The new Katco Edition of THE NIGHT THE DEFEOS DIED includes:

•Nearly 100 pictures, graphics, and key case documents that author Ric Osuna spent nearly three years searching for. We've included the key court documents to offer undeniable proof that the story took place as presented by Mr. Osuna.

• Full color laminated cover.

• Large 8.5" x 11" oversized edition.

• Photos of the Amityville house, past and present

• New revelations about the Amityville case: was there a seventh victim in the house? Or, did Amityville and Suffolk County authorities move a DeFeo body to another location in the house?

• 202 Pages

• Foreword by Geraldine DeFeo. After 28 years, Mrs. DeFeo breaks the silence, discussing her marriage to Butch DeFeo at the time of the Amityville murders. While the "Amityville skeptics" say DeFeo is a fraud, this new edition offers hard evidence that Geraldine DeFeo's marriage to Butch WAS REAL! Included are key documents, as well as handwritten letters from Ronald Joseph "Butch" DeFeo, Jr. to Geraldine from prison. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 389 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corp (March 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401046460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401046460
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,744,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you've looked through the customer reviews to help you decide on buying this book like I did, then you've noticed how there's no middle ground there. People either loved it, or hated it. So, I decided to wait until I knew more about it. I then learned a friend of mine owned a copy, and I asked of her thoughts. She offered to send it to me, which she did.
About 1/3 of the way through it, I had to start flipping back through the pages I'd already read to make sure I didn't misunderstand some things. Further into it, I realized I was getting lost, but not the way one typically loses one's self in a book. The author has a tendency to drift off course, which he does several times in the middle of telling his story, or making a point. Speaking of which, the story itself plays out more like a bizarre dream, rather than a series of non-fictional events. The author describes several events, and even quotes dialog, that would have been impossible for anyone to have known since the persons involved were killed before describing any of it to anyone else. He claims to have documents which verify the detailed events he describes, but neglects to show them anywhere in the book (with the exception of the endnotes list in the back). In addition, there were particular events described which just wouldn't have been possible to document at all, at least not as far as I could imagine.
Furthermore, there was a familiarity about this book, but it wasn't in the story itself. The DeFeo murders was a very well publicized case, and there really wasn't too much left to be discovered since it happened some 28-years ago. Yet this book tells a radically different version that keeps falling apart, as it is being pieced together.
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Format: Paperback
Well, I will say one thing for Ric Osuna's book, at least it is giving a different perspective on the murders that happened in Amityville, NY in 1974. This is not a ghost story, it is a horror story, but not a ghost story. This book presents theories that veer from the paranormal and focus more on the dynamics of the very dysfunctional Defeo family.

I think the author did do significant research to support the claims in the book that the possibility that other people other than Ronald Defeo, Jr. were involved in the murders, however, I'm not sure if anyone, other than Ronald Defeo, Jr. the murderer and sole survivor of the tragic family, will ever really know what went on in the famous house of horrors that night. And Defeo has lied and changed his story so often, it is hard to keep track of what maybe real or imagined or just plain fabricated. One moment Defeo is telling the authorities he had nothing to do with it. The next minute he admits he was there but the Mob did it. The next thing we know there is a crazed, angry spirit of a long dead Indian chief possessing him and causing him to run amok, killing his family, then he says his sister Dawn (one of the victims) did it....blah, blah, blah....you get my drift, Ronnie Defeo is simply not credible. Ric Osuna, while not embracing Defeo or what he did, does portray him in a sympathetic light in the sense he leads the reader to ponder the fact that other people, along with Defeo, may have committed this heinous crime. He gives no support to the Lutz's claim of flies, oozing black goo, disembodied voices, levitation or marching bands playing in the living room in the middle of the night. This is the sad, sad story of a family in crisis, the end result mass murder.

This book is a must read if you are at all interested in the murders that happened so long ago in Amityville.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was extremely disappointed in this book. It seemed that the author just wanted to make a name for himself by presenting a far-fetched scenario. The book was not unbiased at all. I find it reprensible that it accused a family member as an accomplice, as this family member was shot that night. This person is not here to defend herself against allegations, considering she was murdered! The fact that Ronald DeFeo said that this family member was involved is very far from proof, as he has changed his story many times. Save your money for a better book!
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Format: Paperback
This is the worst book ever written on the topic of the murders. It is totally inaccurate and at the same time a poorly written disorganized mess. In 1985 Ron DeFeo met a woman naed Geraldine Gates when she visited him in prison. Together they concocted a ridiculous revisionist account that they provided to Newsday in 1986. The account featured the claim that Geraldine was married to DeFeo at the time of the murders, that they had a child together and had been living together in New Jersey at the time of the murders. Furthermore they claimed on the night of the murders Ron's mother phoned his NJ home and asked him to come home because Dawn was fighting with their father so Ron rushed home with his brother in law named Richard Romondoe and they were in the basement together at the time of the murders so Romondoe could confirm DeFeo was innocent. He claimed Dawn killed the father then Louise killed the children and shot herself in an effort to commit suicide but she didn't die so Ron picked up the rifle and shot her again because he was angry at her actions of killing his siblings. In support of their story a forged marriage certificate was provided to Newsday. A genuine marriage certificate between Geraldine and Fred Corey from 1964 was doctored. The year was doctored to 1974 and the husband was changed to DeFeo. Naturally when Newsday looked into it there was no record of any marriage on file in NJ between the parties and the marriage certificate number, location of the marriage and justice of the peace all matched the 1964 marriage to Corey. Ron's defense attorney, the prosecutor and all involved in the case dismissed the revisionist claims as nonsense.Read more ›
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