Horrific real story behind Netflix's newest true crime documentary is incredibly chilling
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Netflix has once again delivered with a shocking true crime documentary, but the story behind this one might be more chilling than ever.
Spooky season is upon us, and there's nothing creepier than a scary story that actually happened.
Netflix has brought the goods in the form of The Devil On Trial; a documentary film which tells the story of the brutal crime that led to the one and only example of demonic possession being used as a defense in a murder trial.
The terrifying incident took place in the early 1980s, when an 11-year-old boy began acting erratically.
Convinced it was something other than your average case of puberty, the family of David Glatzel were convinced he had been possessed by a demon.
Chris Holt, the director of the new Netflix documentary, explained: “He started having these outbursts, and [the family] didn’t know what to do.
"When [paranormal investigators] the Warrens came along, they were told to start documenting it. They needed to provide proof and evidence to the diocese [to get approved for] an exorcism.
"[The documentary] is the first time that audio and those Polaroids have ever been shown — these have been laying in a drawer for 20 to 30 odd years.”
While witnessing David's exorcism, Arne Cheyenne Johnson, the 19-year-old boyfriend of David's sister, challenged the devil to leave David's body and enter his instead.
Johnson's challenge came in spite of warnings made by famed paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren, who insisted that asking the devil to enter his body could have dire consequences.
It was only a few months before these consequences appeared to show themselves.
Johnson was found to have killed his 40-year-old landlord, Alan Bono, but claimed he was under the influence of demonic forces when he carried out the crime.
Johnson attempted to deny any responsibility for the death of Bono as the trial took place in Brookfield, Connecticut in 1981, but the judge ultimately decided that possession was not an acceptable defense.
After the judge's ruling, Johnson pleaded self-defense in the hope he would be charged with manslaughter instead of murder in the first degree.
The jury decided to rule in his favor with the manslaughter charge, and Johnson was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in a maximum security prison.
However, David's older brother, Carl, has argued there was 'nothing demonic' about Bono's death.
He claimed: "Arne was very possessive of [David's sister] Debbie. There was speculations and rumors that Debbie was having an affair with Arne Bono.”
Debbie and Johnson married in 1985, while Johnson was still in prison. He was released a year later on good behavior, and the pair stayed together until Debbie’s death in 2021.
Statements given by Johnson's sisters said they'd seen him stab Bono, but to this day, Johnson maintains his innocence.
“I’ve never hurt anybody," he said. "Never. And I said, ‘There’s no way I did this. You got the wrong person.’”