(April 7, 2005)
In the early hours of the morning on November 13 1974, Ronald
DeFeo Jr., then aged only 23, took a high powered rifle and shot
to death his father Ronald, mother Louise, sisters Dawn and Allison,
along with his two younger brothers, Mark and John. A little while
later, the family abode was back on the market.
Just a few short days before the release of The Amityville
Horror, Clint Morris catches up with George Lutz, the real-life
chap whose life was forever changed when he invested in that same
property. There's not a soul that's not familiar with what happened
after the murders thanks to a legion of films using the designate
Amityville Horror, including the new remake but no one knows
what really went down in that apparently haunted house of horrors
better than Lutz. In this one-on-one chat, Lutz speaks about those
infamous 28 days and reveals his feelings about the new film starring
Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George.
CLINT MORRIS: Okay, what happened in the house?
There is a reliving of some of these events that comes with the
retelling. I have not tried to write out all that happened the
last night we were there for just this reason. We felt that if
the book was done, we would not have to put ourselves through
this. I have made attempts to discuss this at various times and
always it is an experience that is less than pleasant....and even
energy draining. When the last night was going on, there was a
progression of events that seemed to build without end. Even after
leaving there was more to come for some time.
CLINT MORRIS: Were you a skeptic before entering
Skeptical is certainly the correct way to describe all of us as
a family. We talked over the idea of buying the house with each
of the children, individually and as a family, and each of us
fell in love with the house and we all really wanted to live there.
Not a one of us expressed a concern about the house having a memory
of some kind, let alone a presence of evil or energy.
CLINT MORRIS: When were you told about the murders
that had taken place at the house?
We were told about the murders there just before walking through
it for the first time. The realtor was someone that we never felt
anything but respect for because she had the integrity to do this.
She said to us that she was not sure if she should tell us what
house it was before or after we had walked through it. She told
us before and reminded us of the events a year before. We were
forearmed or fore warned in this way and felt nothing it was
a beautiful house.
CLINT MORRIS: You had the house blessed, right?
Father Ray was interviewed on camera and in court later and confirmed
his being slapped and told to get out and the cold he suddenly
experienced there, he had been asked by us to come and bless the
house on the day we moved in. A friend of mine that I am grateful
to every day, made me promise to have this done when I explained
to him what house we had bought. I was a Methodist at the time
and did not understand that people did this. Kathy was Catholic
and she helped with the decision to ask for the blessing.
CLINT MORRIS: What kind of evidence do you have?
There were four investigations done in the house, all with results
that verified a presence or a force that made it uninhabitable.
Father Malachi Martin spoke of it on the Art Bell Show
and confirmed it contained evil known to the church for some time,
polygraph or lie detector tests were conducted of Kathy and I
by the number two man in the profession, Chris Gugas, two additional
non-fiction books were researched and published by us about the
events that took place to various people that helped us or were
involved back then, and the research and documentation that we
did back then still exists and is held by one news researcher
to this day, Father Ray was interviewed on the In Search Of
program, as well as numerous interviews by Ed and Lorraine Warren
and Mary Downey. There are also the pictures taken during the
investigation of March 6, 1976 several separate photographs have
images that can only be said to highly unusual and startling.
We are currently working on a book of these that contains commentary
of two of the psychics that reviewed these photos with me and
shared their own reactions to various places within the house.
CLINT MORRIS: What's your take on the new "Amityville
I was excluded from any participation that might have allowed
for accurate depictions in this film. My family was not consulted
and when I asked my attorney to inquire about the intent the producers
had about this remake, MGM sued me in federal Court in Las Vegas.
Anyone familiar with the statements the cast has made about the
accuracy of this film will find this question quite entertaining.
There is a craft to acting. An art. Some actors are more serious
about their art. They take time to research a part. In the case
of retelling an actual event, they look into the history. Research
the people involved. That just didn't happen here. Based on what
I've read from his interviews, this kid thinks his script is the
true story because that's what he's been told. He's quite happy
to look no further than that. I do not mean to belittle this because
it has serious repercussions that will continue far past the time
anyone remembers the names of these people. A tremendous disservice
has been orchestrated here. The filmmakers have fabricated many
incredibly inaccurate statements made during promotion interviews
and press packs. These serve to misinform with a drivel that is
pure sophistry. I am appalled at the lack of personal integrity
in the name of hype and promotion. What I mean by this is this
is supposed to be about my family and the 28 days we lived in
the house, instead it is something formed in the minds of others
not concerned with anything more than box office numbers and self
import. When you make a movie about real events and living people,
there should be a concern for the effects of what you do. There
should be a relationship with these people that includes dialogue
and responsible portrayals. There should be a moral desire to
reach the public with an accurate historical presentation.
CLINT MORRIS: So you haven't been shown the film
I can only imagine that when you have done something shameful,
you would wish to hide it from those that would expose it as such.
I am aware of much of the content in the film. It seems to bear
little resemblance to any of the actual events we experienced.
The more I learn about what has been done by the filmmakers, it
seems they have made a concerted effort to trivialize, demean,
defame and shed false light upon one of the most documented true
stories ever published. This movie trades on the name after
it is seen we will understand if it informs or does something
CLINT MORRIS: How's life treating you these days?
Life only gets better when you allow it to and find some faith
that it will. This is not a Pollyanna approach or philosophy,
it is instead an observation built on retrospection. For each
seemingly terrible event that one goes through, each problem,
there is a wealth of learned lessons that accompany the time to
follow. Hopefully we get better from this. We learn to understand
more if we choose to and we get smarter if we allow ourselves
to. There is nothing profound in this it is just the way of
life, what really matters are the choices we make. Some readers
of this may think this is about money and that my answers somehow
include a reference to this. We have probably had a net spendable
income after tax and lawyers from all this in the area of
$300,000, this works out to about $10,000 a year. We were forced
to file bankruptcy in the 80s and early 90s. We have had numerous
lawsuits about all this and always the underlying issue has dealt
with our right to tell even one day of our story...The Amityville
Horror. We lived through this and we know it to be a true
story and I appreciate the opportunity to try to explain some
of what has happened.
CLINT MORRIS: Ever encounter anything as scary
Nothing even close to the time back then, but I have also had
to remind myself that it is only by the Grace of God that we escaped,
survived, and have been allowed the time to heal.
The Amityville Horror commences this week