November 13, 1974. Patrons of Amityville sat around drinking at Henry’s Bar, just blocks from 112 Ocean Avenue, better known to locals as “High Hopes”.
At 6:30 p.m., Ronald “Butch” DeFeo, Jr. swung open the door of the bar and shouted: “Please! You’ve got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!” The young man falls to his knees and begins weeping, surrounded by his startled friends.
Butch’s best friend, Robert “Bobby” Kelske, along with Joey Yeswit, John Altieri, Al Saxton and William Scordmaglia raced back to 112 Ocean Avenue driving Butch’s 1970 Buick Electra 225.
Upon arriving, the men found the front door unlocked. Inside, the house was dark and still. Shaggy, the DeFeo family’s sheepdog, began barking as the men entered. The dog was tied up to the inside of the kitchen’s back door.
Bobby Kelske led the group of men up the staircase and to the master bedroom on the left. Switching on the light, the men were met with a horrifying scene. The lifeless bodies of Ronald DeFeo Sr., 43, and his wife Louise DeFeo, 42, lay sprawled out on their bed. A bullet hole and a dried stream of blood were visible on Ronald’s back. Louise’s body was buried beneath a blanket.
Soon after, the men discovered the bodies of the DeFeo children, Dawn, Allison, Marc and John-Matthew, all seemingly shot in their beds while slumbering.