‘Amityville: An Origin Story’ Episode 2 Recap & Ending: What Was Hans Holzer’s Theory?

The first episode of Amityville: An Origin Story focused mostly on the house the Lutz family relocated to and began experiencing frightening things in. As questions about George Lutz’s spiritual beliefs were addressed, we learned that he had an attraction to the supernatural. However, George eventually conducted some research on the property and discovered that the previous owners, the DeFeos, had been murdered in the house. The revelation that Ronald DeFeo Jr., the family’s eldest son, murdered six members of his family tainted the entire situation. Let us look into the matter of whether there was truly a ghost in the DeFeos’ home or if it was all just a criminal matter.


Spoilers Ahead

The DeFeo Murder Incident

The second episode opens with some of the inhabitants of Amityville describing their neighborhood. Old Town Amityville on Long Island contains many residents who were relocated from Brooklyn. The DeFeos, who moved to 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, were among them. Ironically, their house had a signboard with the words “High Hopes” on it, but unfortunately, whoever had tried to live there didn’t find the house to be very hopeful. The DeFeos were honorable, devout, and family-oriented individuals. Therefore, on November 13, 1974, when the DeFeos were found murdered in their house, everyone in the neighborhood was stunned. One after another, the dead bodies were being recovered from the house, while only one member of the family was found to be alive: Ronald DeFeo Jr., also known as Ronnie Butch DeFeo. After the bodies were examined, it was discovered that they had been shot in the head. They were discovered laying on their stomachs in their respective bedrooms. Six of them had been slain in the same manner, which was very unusual. Ronnie’s father, Ronald DeFeo Sr., and his wife, Louise, were generous people. Carol, Louise’s closest friend, lamented her friend’s death, saying she couldn’t believe what had happened to her best friend. However, in the aftermath, Louise’s father, Michael Brigante, was seen with a pistol in the wake of the family, implying that he was involved in some kind of illicit activity that had been kept hidden.


Were The DeFeos A Mafia Family?

The neighbors admired the DeFeos, but they were quick to point out some of their differences. Ronald had amassed a sizable fortune and even owned a Buick dealership. But he had a falling out with his son, Ronnie Jr. As Ronald repeatedly obstructed his path to freedom, the father-son duo grew further apart. Ronnie Jr. also struggled with substance addiction and alcoholism. When the authorities finally confronted Ronnie about his entire family’s death, he denied any role in it. He pretended to be a victim who had recently lost his parents and siblings, but after a few beatings, he opened his mouth and confessed to the killings. Even the murder weapon, which had been tossed into the river, had been retrieved, as well as some bloody garments that Ronnie had buried. All of the evidence pointed to Ronnie as the murderer, but numerous detectives and private investigators working on the case began to doubt the veracity of Ronnie’s confession.

At the same time, Ronald DeFeo became suspected of having ties with the Colombo crime family. However, Michael Brigante’s connections to Joe Colombo were revealed. On the recording, Michael Brigante, who had been bugged, mentioned the young person who had learned certain things he shouldn’t have known. In addition to raising suspicions about Brigante, everything pointed to the possibility that Ronnie Jr. was not home alone that night and that someone else may have assisted him in murdering the entire family. Several investigators were shocked by Ronnie’s confession. He began exhibiting symptoms of a number of mental illnesses, so medical professionals began to investigate his conduct and eventually diagnosed him with paranoid psychosis. Ronnie frequently described hearing voices during interrogations, which might be an indication of schizophrenia or psychosis in the making. However, the rumors suggested something else, such as Ronnie being under spiritual influence.


What Was Hans Holzer’s Theory About The Amityville Case?

Hans Holzer, a prominent parapsychologist and novelist from Austria who was famous as “Ghost Hunter,” also contributed to the study of the Amityville case. He was certain that Ronnie Jr. alone was not responsible for the deaths of his entire family and that he was undoubtedly influenced by a spirit of some kind. Hans went to the home with Ethel Johnson-Meyers, one of the ghost-summoning mediums, and the woman who was possessed by a spirit mentioned the existence of an indigenous entity in that house. Because 112 Ocean Avenue was built on an Indian burial ground, Hans deduced that the spirit haunting the house was none other than an Indian Chief who was buried in the land. Hans Holzer threw in other theories to spice up the story of the Indian Chief’s haunting spirit, but they were far from believable. However, questions should be raised because the nature of the mass murder was not normal in any case. The inquiry found that the murder weapon was a 0.35-caliber Marlin, which made a loud noise when firing and reloading. As a result, Ronnie going room to room and shooting people without waking anyone up was pretty unconvincing. There had to be someone else who had assisted Ronnie in killing the entire family.

Hans Holzer’s idea was refuted by Paula Uruburu, one of Dawn DeFeo’s friends, who said that it was very simple for people to blame a certain culture without even giving it some thought. Indigenous people have fought for their rights for a very long time. They have experienced torture on several occasions as well as being slain and driven from the island. Therefore, the entirety of Long Island should be designated as an Indian burial place, but this does not indicate that the entire island is haunted. The series has depicted several points of view, confounding us as to which idea we should accept, but towards the conclusion of the episode, a years-old film of Ronnie Jr. delivering his testimony regarding the Amityville terrors transformed the atmosphere of the tale. He unapologetically claimed that his defense counsel, William Weber, had discussed exploiting Lutz to earn money. And he believed that’s how the Amityville horror stories were invented.


As the tale progresses, we will learn that William Weber, the defense attorney, had a connection to Lutz. The Lutzes really left the house after 28 days, and with the horrible experiences they had in the house, they came up with the idea of writing a book about it. They took Weber’s assistance and also drew up some of their ideas on how to depict the horror of Amityville in the book; however, the link between Lutz and Weber was broken later, and Weber began to label the entire horror story a hoax, which the Lutzes had rejected multiple times.

Final Words

It seemed fairly unlikely to me that the Lutzes were unaware of the Amityville murder case when they bought the house. The DeFeo murder case had just been a year old when Lutz moved into the house. It’s conceivable that the decision to move into the house was the result of a preliminary plan. However, the Lutz family fled the house within 28 days and even left behind their clothing in the closet and food in the refrigerator, which may imply that their account of the terror they experienced in that house was actually true. From beginning to end, the Amityville case presented us with multiple possibilities, none of which we could ignore. Let’s see, towards the end of the documentary series, which idea would we choose to accept: was the Amityville Horror a real event or merely a hoax?


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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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