It was Wednesday November 13, 1974 that a home on Ocean Ave would literally become the final resting place for six members of the De Feo family. One by one they were all shot dead as they laid in their beds sleeping. The man responsible for their deaths, Ronald “Butch” De Feo Jr. son and brother to the victims that were killed that November night.
Ronald DeFeo Jr also known as Ronnie, was raised in a middle class family and was the oldest of four children. Despite being raised in a financially stable family, Ronnies relationship with his parents, most notably with his father, would eventually lead him to live a life full of hate and rebellion. The older Defeo was a very controlling and temperamental man, who would verbally and physically abuse Ronnie and his siblings.
During the trial for the murder of his family, Ronnie would be diagnosed by Dr. Harold Zolan as a person who suffered from antisocial personality disorder. Antisocial personality disorder is characterized as being a mental health condition in which a person has a long pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others. In chapter 3 of “Serial Murders and Their Victims” we learn that people with ASPD experience fighting during childhood, theft, excessive drug and alcohol abuse and reckless regard for the safety of self or others just to name a few. In the course of the interview Ronnie admits to being an alcoholic, stating that he began drinking scotch at the age of 15. We also learn that about 5 to 6 months prior to the murders he was drinking up to a fifth os scotch a day. While at the same time being using drugs such as heroin and LSD. All these being symptoms commonly found in people with personality disorder...
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...d and two; that his mother was shot only after she reached for a gun. This leads me to believe that there is a possibility Ronnie may have had suffered a brief moment of psychosis. In chapter 3 of “Serial killers and their Victims” psychosis is defined as; a severe form of mental disease in which the individual suffers from a severe break with reality and may experience dangerous behavior (p73). Many may believe that Ronnie is just a pathological liar and that nothing he says is credible. I on the other hand believe to an extent that not only did Ronnie suffer from a severe break in reality but that he also may have been delusional and at one point even hallucinated. I speculate that Ronnie was delusional in the sense he felt he needed to kill his father before his father got a chance to killing him.
serial killers and their victims. Eric W. Hickey
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