More than four decades ago, Ernie Cheyenne Johnson was tried for the murder of his landlord, Alan Bono, and his lawyer took the view that Johnson was not guilty because he was possessed at the time. This is why “The Devil Made Me Do It” case is so famous that it has been adapted several times in Hollywood, most recently The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It In 2021.
new documentary, devil on trial, has quickly become one of the most popular movies on Netflix as it not only retells Johnson’s trial, but also the events surrounding it, including the apparent possession of a young boy, David Glatzel. It presents both a first-hand account of the events in a way that cuts through Hollywood theatrics and provides audiences with conflicting perspectives on what really happened and why. If you want a complete accounting, here are three reasons you should consider devil on trial On Netflix.
Survivors share their stories in their own words
This story has been adapted so many times in Hollywood that it’s easy to forget that most of the people involved are still alive. Although paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren died in 2006 and 2019 respectively, all three of Glatzel’s brothers, David, Alan, and Carl, participate in the documentary. Glatzel’s sister, Debbie Glatzel, died in 2021, but her husband, Arne Cheyenne Johnson, also appears in the film to share his perspective.
It also features interviews with Johnson’s attorney, Martin Minnella, and others who had direct experience with the events described in the film. Whether supernatural forces or forces of Heaven and Hell were involved is a matter of perspective. These events happened to these people, and Johnson and the Glatzel brothers clearly carry that burden to this day.
This shines a harsh light on Ed and Lorraine Warren
Magical The movies have turned Ed and Lorraine Warren into real-life heroic ghost hunters, whose exploits have inspired billion-dollar horror franchises. The reality of who and what Warren was appears to be much less straightforward, and not always morally upright.
David and Alan Glatzel find Warren to be very helpful in helping David in the exorcism process. However, the Glatzels also remember how Warren took advantage of the incident with a book deal that enriched them and shared what little money they had with the family that had gone through the ordeal. At best, it makes Warren appear greedy, and at worst it portrays him as a ruthless fraudster.
an alternative explanation
At the end of the film, Carl Glatzel, the eldest brother of the Glatzel family, opens up about his memories both during David’s capture and the night Johnson killed Bono. And Carl doesn’t back down from his opinion that it has nothing to do with the devil or evil spirits. Instead, Carl explicitly accused Warren of not subtly telling David how to act when he was supposedly cornered.
These are all things that Carl has gone on record about before. The big accusation made by Carl in the last few minutes of this documentary completely changes the story of David’s capture and Johnson’s guilt. Carl does not deny that both events occurred, but he suggests that there was a possible alternative explanation for why both David and Johnson believed they were possessed. Despite this, neither David nor Johnson significantly changed their stories over the following decades, and they have retained their version of the truth in this film. Now it is up to you to decide who is telling the truth.
Watch devil on trial On Netflix.