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Nissa Burkhalter – A Life Beyond The Ex-Wife Of Ronald DeFeo

Nissa Burkhalter is a well-known name in the American media, but often for all the wrong reasons. During the Amityville Horror killings in 1974, she married Ronald DeFeo. However, Burkhalter Nissa is much more than just the ex-wife of a convicted murderer. She has lived a fascinating life often overlooked in the shadow of her infamous former husband. This blog post will explore Burkhalter Nissa’s life beyond being the ex-wife of Ronald DeFeo and celebrate the woman behind the name.

Who Is Nissa Burkhalter?

Nissa Burkhalter is the ex-wife of Amityville Horror killer Ronald DeFeo. In 1961, she married Ronald DeFeo of Long Island, New York. In 1963, her husband shot four family members to death with a rifle. Since then, Burkhalter Nissa has become an author and advocate for domestic violence victims. She currently resides in California and works with local charities to spread awareness about domestic violence. Her experience with Ronald DeFeo has led her to advocate for victims of domestic violence.

Ronald Defeo, Nissa Burkhalter’s husband:

On November 13, 1974, DeFeo and Burkhalter were married. Burkhalter was only 16 at the time, while DeFeo was 23. After getting married, they moved into the Amityville house owned by the DeFeo family. DeFeo had an affair with one of his clients shortly after marriage. A couple of arguments eventually led to a separation between them.

DeFeo’s troubled behavior continued to worsen, and on November 13, 1974, he murdered his entire family. He was arrested shortly afterward and was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences for his crimes. Since then, he has been in and out of prison and is serving a life sentence at Green Haven Correctional Facility.

Background of Burkhalter Nissa & Ronald Defeo:

Burkhalter Nissa was born in Brooklyn, New York, USA, on September 26, 1951. She has a career as a beautician and makeup artist. She married Ronald DeFeo in 1975, and the couple has two children.

In 1951, the author was born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He was known for committing the gruesome and deadly Amityville Horror murders in 1974. His life sentence without the possibility of parole was imposed after he was found guilty of the murders.

The relationship between Nissa Burkhalter and Ronald DeFeo was complex. Burkhalter Nissa never married Ronald DeFeo despite being married to a former mass murderer. Until his death, she remained loyal to him. She divorced him in 2013, and the divorce was finalized. After that, she and her two children kept their distance from the DeFeo family and the Amityville Horror case.

Career of Nissa Burkhalter

Burkhalter Nissa is known to be a talented actress, producer, and director. She has appeared in numerous films, including ‘Strawberry Shortcake’, ‘The Park Is Mine’, ‘The Adventures of Pluto Nash’, and ‘Dancing at the Blue Iguana’.

She has also produced various TV movies and series like ‘Beautiful Blonde’, ‘Runaway Bride’, ‘Murder & Obsession’, and ‘Forever Love’. Nissa also ventured into directing television series such as ‘NYPD Blue’ and ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’. She currently runs her own production company’ Nissa Productions’.

The first movie directed by Nissa was ‘The Park Is Mine’, which was released. Since then, she has led numerous other projects, including ‘The Dilemma’, ‘The Adventure of Pluto Nash’, ‘Strawberry Shortcake’, and ‘Dancing at the Blue Iguana’.

Family of Nissa Burkhalter

Burkhalter Nissa was married to Ronald DeFeo during the horrific event in 1974. The couple had a daughter, Dawn Marie DeFeo, who was only three years old when her father committed the terrible crime.

At the time of her husband’s sentencing, Nissa was pregnant with their second child. When her daughter was six, Nissa and her children moved away from Long Island to start a new life in Florida.

Nissa never divorced Ronald DeFeo but focused on raising her children and getting back on her feet. She was determined to give her children a happy and healthy life. Nissa worked various jobs, including as a hairdresser, and also returned to school to pursue a degree in nursing.


1. What is the name of their daughter?

Ans: Known as Dawn Marie DeFeo, the couple had one daughter.

2. How did Nissa Burkhalter’s life change after marrying Ronald DeFeo?

Ans: After marrying Ronald DeFeo, Nissa’s life changed dramatically. She moved from her home in New Jersey to Long Island and lived in a very restrictive environment. Her husband was very controlling and demanding, and she was isolated from her family and friends.

3. What happened to Nissa and Ronald DeFeo’s marriage?

Ans: The marriage between Nissa and Ronald DeFeo eventually ended in divorce in 1976. The couple had been separated for several years before the divorce was finalized.

4. What did Burkhalter Nissa do after the divorce?

Ans: After the divorce, Burkhalter moved back to New Jersey and began a career in the music industry, working as a talent manager and booking agent for various musical acts. She was also involved in writing her autobiography, My Life With Ronald DeFeo Jr.

5. Where is Burkhalter Nissa today?

Ans: Nissa lives in New Jersey with her son, Robert, and granddaughter, Elizabeth. As a local community member and music industry employee, she remains active.

Final Thoughts

Nissa Burkhalter is a mysterious and often overlooked figure in the Amityville Horror story. She was married to Ronald DeFeo, a man convicted of murdering his entire family in 1974, and yet her life has been much more than this single fact. Nissa went on to have a successful career and a loving family. Despite the tragic circumstances of her marriage, she ultimately found peace and happiness.

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