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  • Writer's pictureMatt


The Trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, also known as the Devil Made Me Do It case, is the first known court case in the United States in which the defense sought to prove innocence based upon the defendant's claim of demonic possession and denial of personal responsibility for the crime. On November 24, 1981, in Brookfield, Connecticut, Arne Cheyenne Johnson was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for the killing of his landlord, Alan Bono.

According to testimony by the Glatzel family, 11-year-old David Glatzel allegedly had played host to a demon. After witnessing a number of increasingly ominous occurrences involving David, the family, exhausted and terrified, decided to enlist the aid of Ed and Lorraine Warren in a last-ditch effort to cure David. The Glatzel family, along with the Warrens, then proceeded to have multiple priests petition the Church to have a formal exorcism performed on David. The process continued for several days, concluding when, according to those present, a demon fled the child's body and took up residence within Arne after he coerced one of the demons within David to possess him while participating in the exorcism. These events were documented in the book The Devil In Connecticut by Gerald Brittle.

Whilst at Paracon 2021, we had the chance to see on display the dinosaur toy which was assembled by David Glatzel. Witnesses saw this toy moving across the family's Brookfield, CT home's floor where a voice was also heard saying "You are all going to die!" This toy has been kept within the confines of the Warrens Occult Museum ever since.

Several months later, Arne killed his landlord during a party. Johnson, growling like an animal, drew a 5-inch pocket knife and stabbed Bono repeatedly. Bono died several hours later. According to Johnson's lawyer, Bono had suffered "four or five tremendous wounds", mostly to his chest, and one that stretched from his stomach to the base of his heart. The day after the killing, Lorraine Warren informed the Brookfield Police that Johnson was possessed when the crime was committed. His defense lawyer argued in court that he was possessed, but the judge ruled that such a defense could never be proven and was therefore infeasible in a court of law. Arne was subsequently convicted, though he served only five years of a 10- to 20-year sentence.

The trial obviously attracted media attention from around the world and it has obtained a level of notoriety due to numerous depictions of the events in literature and television. The story was later made into a film adaptation titled The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021).

Mulder and Scully, aka Team H, also had a chance meeting with Arne Johnson at Paracon. 2021.


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