Latest Posts

Is Devil on the Trial Based on a True Story

Netflix billed its new horror documentary, “The Devil on Trial, So Is Devil on the Trial Based on a True Story? The first and only instance in which a U.S. murder trial employed demonic possession as a defense. However, the judge in the 1981 Brookfield, Conn., trial, known as the “Devil Made Me Do It” case, ruled it an unacceptable defense, refusing any evidence related to possession.

The trial drew national attention when 19-year-old defendant Arne Cheyenne Johnson sought to evade responsibility for killing his landlord, Alan Bono, based on claims of possession.

Is Devil on the Trial Based on a True Story

In 1981, the homicide of 40-year-old Alan Bono, dubbed the “Devil made me do it” case unofficially, involved 19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who claimed demonic possession as the reason for killing his landlord. Arne defended himself at the trial, asserting that he was under the Devil’s influence when he committed the brutal murder. The unsettling chain of events began months earlier when David, the 11-year-old brother of Johnson’s girlfriend, exhibited symptoms of demonic possession. Demonologists and paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren were horrified as David spoke Latin, levitated, and displayed beating marks on his body.

It was alleged that after the demon left David’s body, it possessed Johnson, leading to the murder of an acquaintance guided by the demon, according to the defense lawyers. Johnson stood accused of fatally stabbing Alan using a five-inch folding knife. It was also disclosed that despite attempts by numerous Catholic priests to exorcise the demon before the Warrens, renowned for their involvement in the Amityville haunting, were summoned. The Warrens, known for tackling supernatural possessions worldwide, claimed the Connecticut demon posed one of their most formidable challenges.

Also Read Chamak: Are Kaala and Taara Singh Based on Real Singers?

Connection Between “The Devil on Trial” and “The Conjuring” Franchise

Following the trial, Ed and Lorraine Warren commissioned author Gerald Brittle to craft a frightening narrative based on David and Arne’s story. Carl reveals in the film, “Ed said, ‘Make it scary,’” to which Gerald responded, “But I checked with the people, and they said this didn’t happen.” Ed insisted, “Make it scary. People come to us. They buy scary.”

This directive resulted in the creation of the 1983 book, “The Devil in Connecticut,” serving as the inspiration for the 2021 film, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.” At that time, the Glatzel parents received $4,500 for selling their story, while the Warrens profited significantly with more than $81,000.

In the documentary, David expresses his disillusionment, stating, “Lorraine told me I was going to be a rich little boy from having this book deal,” adding, “And that was a lie. The Warrens made a lot of money off of us. If they can profit off you, they will.”

The Legal Twist: Arne Johnson’s Trial

After the judge excluded all possession-related evidence, the defense faced increasing challenges in presenting Arne Johnson’s case. Johnson’s sisters, present at the crime scene, had signed police statements affirming they witnessed him stab Bono, who suffered four stab wounds.

Despite the damning evidence, Johnson adamantly asserts his innocence, stating in the documentary, “I’ve never hurt anybody. Never. And I said, ‘There’s no way I did this. You got the wrong person.’” The detective processing Johnson after the stabbing noted his apparent inability to recall details about the killing.

In a strategic shift, Johnson later pleaded self-defense, opting for a manslaughter charge rather than first-degree murder. The jury ultimately sided with him, convicting him of manslaughter in the first degree and sentencing him to 10 to 20 years in a maximum-security prison.

Johnson’s attorney, Martin Minnella, reflected in the documentary, “I believed in the story, I believed in the defense, and I also believed there probably wasn’t another lawyer in the state that would represent him with this defense.”

Arne Johnson after the trial?

Arne Johnson received a first-degree homicide conviction for the killing of his landlord, Alan Bono, and a 10-20 year prison sentence. However, in 1986, after serving five years, he was released. During his incarceration, he married his girlfriend, Debbie Glatzel, and obtained his High School diploma. Johnson and Glatzel later had two children.

Lorraine Warren chronicled this real-life horror in her book, “The Devil in Connecticut,” co-authored with Gerald Brittle, serving as the basis for the movie “The Conjuring 3.” Confirming Johnson’s post-prison life, Lorraine mentioned that he worked as a landscaper’s assistant.

Where to watch Is Devil on the Trial Based on a True Story

The documentary, available this month on Netflix, features new audio recordings and photographs of the alleged possession, along with fictional reenactments and interviews with Johnson and his brothers-in-law: David, Alan, and Carl Glatzel. Director Chris Holt shared, “There are people who tell lies. But I sat down with David and Arne and Alan and Carl, for hours on end, and their stories never changed. I think they were telling me the truth—but it’s their interpretations of the truth rather than it being a hardened fact.

Also Read Seduce the Villain’s Father Chapter 144: Release Date

Latest Posts

Don't Miss