In reading this month’s Maxim Magazine I stumbled upon an article focused solely on Ryan Katzenbach’s docudrama Shattered Hopes: The True Story Behind The Amityville Murders, which we last reported on back in October. A lot has changed since then… and even more has been revealed.
Over 10 years in the making, and now a trilogy, Shattered Hopes takes a look at the DeFeo murders that inspired “The Amityville Horror.” While the first part, “From Horror To Homicide,” is now available on DVD at the film’s official website,
the Maxim article focuses on the newly discovered evidence that makes this docudrama a must-see. Read inside for the breaking news!
The “Amityville” lore begins back on November 13, 1974 when six members of the DeFeo family were murdered. A day later, sole-surviving member, a 23-year-old Ronald “Butch” DeFeo confessed to the murders. The story of the haunting began 13 months later when the Lutz family (George, Kathy, and her three children from a previous marriage) scored their dream house, only to move out four weeks later. What they don’t tell you is that George Lutz “owned 94 percent of Amityville Horror Entertainment, LLC, which had its hand in almost every “Amityville” book and movie made,” said Katzenbach. Hardcore horror fans are all skeptical of what really went down in that house.
Digressing a bit, Lutz’ stories stem from Butch DeFeo’s confessions that he wasn’t in control of his actions, and that he may have been possessed. Truth is, evidence suggests that the DeFeo murders were premeditated and that there were multiple guns used on the victims. This would imply there were two (or more) shooters.
Before Shattered Hopes, the sole evidence was a shotgun and a pillowcase filled with discarded items (including a pistol holster). A pistol holder, but no gun.
As part of the Maxim article, Katzenbach explains that he hired an expensive team of divers to comb the canal floor for the missing evidence, a .38-caliber handgun that would be the missing link that more than proves there were multiple shooters. This would not only kill DeFeo’s story, but Lutz’ as well.
Katzenbach found the gun and now the doc is part of history.
There’s so much more to the case that it would take me hours to dive into. If anything, I highly recommend checking out Katzenbach’s documentary by clicking over to his official website.