Ronald Joseph DeFeo Jr., who was charged and convicted for the 1974 murders of his father, mother, two brothers, and two sisters in Amityville, Long Island, New York, has died. The American mass murderer died on March 12, 2021, at the age of 69, at Albany Medical Center, while serving a sentence of 25 years to life in prison for murdering his family members.
Due to health concerns, he was transferred to the medical center on February 2nd from the prison in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Interestingly, DeFeo, also known as ‘The Butch,’ was involved with a woman prior to the heinous murders. Even after he was imprisoned, he married three more times.
|Full Name||Ronald Joseph DeFeo Jr.|
|Date of Birth||26 September 1951|
|Net Worth||$1 Million – $5 Million|
Wife of DeFeo Prior to Conviction
DeFeo was married to Geraldine Gates before the infamous murders occurred. In an interview with Newsday in 1986, the couple confirmed their marriage and revealed they had a daughter together. However, the specifics of the relationship that resulted in a child and marriage are hazy. DeFeo’s relationship with his alleged spouse Gates began in 1973 when they met in a bar. According to Gates, DeFeo offered her a drink, which led to them falling in love.
DeFeo was described by her as a tender, loving, and giving young man. She claimed that his macho persona was merely a ruse. “Ronnie DeFeo is a very sweet, tender, loving, and giving young man,” Gates told Newsday. “I saw that all of his big macho images was a facade.”
DeFeo’s attorney, on the other hand, was unaware of his alleged wife and daughter. DeFeo’s relationship with his alleged spouse Gates began in 1973 when they met in a bar.
According to Gates, DeFeo offered her a drink, which led to them falling in love. DeFeo was described by her as a tender, loving, and giving young man. She claimed that his macho persona was merely a ruse. DeFeo’s attorney, on the other hand, was unaware of his alleged wife and daughter. Their daughter was born on August 21, 1974, in New Jersey, but she was not registered with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics on that day or any other day in 1974.
According to DeFeo, his father forced him to marry Gates after his daughter was born. Gates presented a photocopy of the marriage certificate to prove that the marriage took place on October 17, 1974, at the Garfield Grant Hotel in Long Branch. However, neither the City of Long Branch nor the State of New Jersey has any records of such a certificate. Another thing to note is that Thomas J. Baldino Jr., who appears in the photocopy as the city magistrate, stated that he retired in 1964 and did not perform any marriages.
DeFeo and Gates have been uncommunicative since the murders. She claimed that DeFeo had sent her away and told her not to return. However, these personal narratives contradict official and legal records. It’s difficult to tell whether Gates was married to DeFeo or not.
The Wives of DeFeo Following the Conviction
While incarcerated, DeFeo was involved with three women. From 1994 to 1999, he was married to Barbara Puco, according to IMDB. Following his conviction, he married Tracey Defeo in 2004. He divorced Tracey, but the exact date is unknown.
Nissa Burkhalter, with whom he was married from June 2012 to July 2015, was his most recent wife.
DeFeo was serving six life sentences for the murders of his parents Ronald DeFeo, Sr. (43), and Louise (42) as well as his siblings John (9), Marc (12), Allison (13), and Dawn (42). (18). The murders occurred on November 13, 1974, while the victims were sleeping at their home at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville.
According to police, DeFeo shot each member of his family with a 35-caliber Marlin lever-action rifle. He’d shot each of his siblings once and both of his parents twice.