Fans of The Conjuring can’t wait to check out the next installment of the franchise. Coming on September 11, 2020, The Conjuring 3 brings everyone’s favorite paranormal investigators back for another case. The real-life story that inspired the movie was a historic moment in U.S. history.
A Haunting Discovery
Living in Brookfield, Connecticut, Arne Cheyenne Johnson earned a living working as a tree surgeon. Along with his fiance Debbie Glatzel, Johnson lived a comfortable life. Things took an eerie turn when Glatzel’s younger brother David claimed they were visited by a demon. They didn’t think anything about it until they noticed shocking changes. David would wake up with random scratches all over his body. If that wasn’t enough, Johnson and Glatzel would hear strange noises in the house.
They turned to Ed and Lorraine Warren for help. At the time, the paranormal investigators had finished work on the Enfield poltergeist. During their time with David, they performed three exorcisms to rid him of his issues. Glatzel and Johnson joined them in these events. In the end, the Warrens discovered he was possessed by 43 demons.
Johnson was saddened by David’s battle with demons, and he wanted to do something. Enraged by everything, he constantly yelled, “Come into me – leave the little lad alone.” Days after these demands, everyone around Johnson saw a complete change. He came off moodier than usual and would often growl at people. At certain times, Johnson would claim he saw the devil that inhabited David’s body.
One Violent Night
Johnson and Glaztel found themselves moving into a new spot after the aforementioned exorcisms. For them, it was a fresh start from the chaos. Fortunately, their landlord Bono understood the situation and welcomed them with open arms.
One fateful night, however, changed Johnson’s life forever. On February 16, 1981, Johnson, Glatzel, and Bono had lunch at a local bar with family members. The entire meal was a treat from Bono for their kindness. During their meal, Bono began to have one too many drinks. His kind demeanor quickly changed after every drink. In a fit of alcoholic rage, Bono grabbed Debbie’s 9-year-old cousin Mary.
When Johnson heard about it, he made a beeline to Bono to stop his actions. While Mary managed to escape, the tension between Johnson and Bono was through the roof. Johnson proceeded to howl like an animal before pulling out a pocket knife. He stabbed Bono repeatedly until he had his fill. Bono would die at the hospital from his injuries. Johnson tried running from the scene, but he was caught by the cops. This became the first murder in the town of Brookfield, and residents were completely stunned.
The Devil Made Me Do It
On October 28, 1981, Johnson’s trial began, and all eyes were glued to the courtroom. When it came to the case, Johnson’s attorney Martin Minella had a peculiar plan. He defended Johnson by saying he was under demonic possession during the incident. As expected, the courtroom was baffled by the scenario. For the first time ever, demonic possession was used as a defense during a case in the United States.
Unfortunately, Judge Robert Callahan didn’t buy into the whole possession deal. On November 24, 1981, he was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter. Originally, Johnson was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in jail. He only managed to serve five years behind bars because of good behavior.
Photo Courtesy: [Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube]
One For The Books
The story hit the small screen with NBC’s The Demon Murder Case. The relationship between Johnson and David went sour with the re-release of The Devil in Connecticut. Originally printed in 1983, the book gives an in-depth look at the case. David sued the publishers for libel, but Johnson and Glatzel supported everything written in the book. With The Conjuring 3, they’ll have to watch Hollywood’s take on their own tragedy.
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