Unbelievable true story behind Netflix’s demonic documentary The Devil on Trial
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Netflix’s latest crime documentary chronicles the only time demonic possession was used as a defence in a murder trial, and the true story is pretty unbelievable.
When it comes to true crime offerings, Netflix truly reigns supreme. With the likes of Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story, Worst Roommate Ever and Girl in the Picture all sitting on the platform, fans are often spoilt for choice.
Earlier this month, a new documentary premiered on the streaming service and it's a chilling true story of demonic possession.
The film in question is called The Devil on Trial and if your interest has already been piqued, then you can watch an official clip below:
Using reenactments and home videos, the feature-length documentary focuses on a trial more commonly known as the 'Devil Made Me Do It' case.
The dark Netflix flick focuses on Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a man who claimed to have killed his landlord, Alan Bono, because he was possessed by the devil.
The story begins back in 1980 when a young boy named David Glatzel (played by Foster Hamilton) started shouting profanities and acting in a frenzied manner in front of his family.
Distraught and believing that their 11-year-old son was possessed by the devil, his family sought the aid of the infamous Ed and Lorraine Warren.
The pair were American paranormal investigators, who have both featured in the horror franchise The Conjuring, with Ed claiming to be a self-taught demonologist while his wife was a clairvoyant and light trance medium.
Speaking about David’s outbursts and the Warrens, The Devil on Trial director Chris Holt said: “He started having these outbursts, and [the family] didn’t know what to do.”
Appearing on the You Can’t Make This Up podcast, Holt continued: “When 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.”
It’s said that the Warrens helped to set up an exorcism for David, which saw his brothers Alan and Carl, and sister Debbie in attendance.
The latter also brought her boyfriend, Arne, along for the spectacle.
During the event, Arne said that he challenged the devil to leave David’s body and occupy his own instead.
The Warrens reportedly advised the 19-year-old against this method, but those present said that the demon did eventually leave David’s body and inhabit Arne’s instead.
Months later, Arne murdered his 40-year-old landlord, Alan Bono during a party and later claimed he was possessed by a demonic force.
In court, his defence lawyer, Martin Minnella, attempted to argue that his client was possessed. However, Judge Robert Callahan rejected the plea.
It’s claimed that the judge said the virtue of possession couldn’t exist in a court of law and could not be proved - thus he threw the claim out.
After 15 hours of deliberation, Robert later convicted the 19-year-old of first-degree manslaughter charges and sentenced him to twenty years in custody.
However, Arne was released from jail in 1986 for good behaviour after serving just five years. At the time, chief of parole Hans Fjelman called the man 'an exemplary inmate' with 'no negative factors' in his mental state.
While behind bars, he achieved his high school diploma and married David’s sister, Debbie.
Little is now known about the previously-possessed man however, his life is now the subject of the new Netflix series, The Devil on Trial.