The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It: Details and Comparison of the True Incident

The Conjuring franchise returns to theaters with a new true story to tell in the form of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Over the last decade, The Conjuring Franchise is one of the most successful ones making its place in the new era of cinema. Which builds on the world of film and TV. While many have failed to emulate Marvel’s success, The Conjuring continues to create its own little bubble. Especially for horror movie fans. It thus features a real-life story that takes clues from the files of popular demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. They try to keep the story to the point and often take creative liberties to watch which is entertaining at the same time.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do Takes us to 1981, Brookefield Connecticut. Tells the story of a little boy who is possessed by a Devil who then finds a home in an older individual from the family which results in him committing murder. The case became sensational when demonic possession was used to prove his innocence in court for the first time in history. So here we take a look at the true story behind The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Then we’ll move on to see how much of a difference the film makes from the true story to tell its own repetition. From the timeline differences to the omissions of the scarier characters and elements left behind.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – True Story

David’s Ownership From The Conjuring 3

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is based on The Trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. Better known as the “The Devil Made Me Do It” case. The story begins with eleven-year-old David Glatzel who has helped his older sister Debbie and fiancé Arne Cheyenne Johnson clean up a rental property in Connecticut. While working, David said he met an old man who scared and threatened him. When she approached her older sister about it, she thought David was making it up. Things take a turn for the worse as the old man’s vision continues for David even after he returns to his mother’s house.

From the Official Trailer of The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It Featuring Julian Hilliard as David Glatzel

David’s vision saw the old man turning into a beast, speaking Latin and threatening him. He has night terrors but the situation escalates with David having scratch marks and bruises. This called for the family to take immediate action and brought in a priest to bless the house but it didn’t help. When there was no stopping, the couple turned to famed Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. When meeting with David, Lorraine claims to see a black mist nearby which indicates the presence of the demon. He also saw him beaten and strangled which then explained the red marks on his neck. What followed were growls, otherworldly voices, and David recited verses from The Bible and Paradise Lost.

Arnie’s Ownership From The Conjuring 3

The Story Behind Arnie's Possession in The Conjuring 3

From The Conjuring 3: The Official Trailer: The Devil Made Me Do It Features Ruairi O’Connor as Arne Cheyenne Johnson

So the Warrens were present during the three exorcisms that David endured. During them, Lorraine claims David floats, stops breathing and even predicts future murders. During one of the exorcisms, Arne Johnson screamed at the devil to possess him. After the exorcism, David’s condition began to improve. But the same demon attacked Arne as he drove the car into a tree. He survives but he then visits an old well from a rented property that is a home for demons. He admitted to making eye contact with the demon in the well.

When Arnie’s condition worsened, the couple moved away. Debbie finds a job at the Kennel owned by a man named Alan Bono. They rented a house near where Debbie worked. But the move didn’t work out as Arnie started behaving like David did under possession. So it’s evident that the same demon keeps possessing Arnie. Debbie often finds her lost, growling and hallucinating, and waking up to forget everything.

Arnie Cheyenne Johnson Trials From The Conjuring 3

The True Story of Arnie's Court From The Conjuring 3

From The Conjuring 3: The Official Trailer: The Devil Made Me Do It Features Ruairi O’Connor as Arne Cheyenne Johnson

On February 16, 1981, Arnie was sick from work and joined Arnie at his job along with his two sisters Wanda and Mary. Alan Bono took everyone to lunch, but it was too late when they got back, Bono was already very drunk. He grabbed Debbie’s 9 year old sister Mary’s hand and refused to let go. This causes Arnie to intervene which causes an argument as Mary gets into the car. Debbie tries to stop them both until Arnie starts showing demonic behavior again. He growled and stabbed Alan Bono repeatedly with a pocket knife.

Lorraine Warren confirmed with Brookefield Police about the murder that occurred during possession. This causes media chaos. This case is the first murder in the city and also the first known court case in the United States in which the defense tried to prove his innocence on the basis of demonic possession. The case was called the “The Devil Made Me Do It” case in the media. The court on the other hand rejected a defense that called demonic possession “irrelevant and unscientific” because the testimony turned to self-defense. The court then charged Arnie with first degree murder which jailed him for 10-15 years but he served only five years.

Difference Between Real Story And Movie

Let’s start with where The Conjuring 3 begins which is July 1981 where Ed and Lorraine Warren kicked out David. But if we look at the original timeline, in 1980 there were several priests who expelled David. The same of them saw Arne mocking the Devil. Coming to a murder trial, takes place in February 1981. For some reason, the film is set a year ahead. So there have been some accelerated timeline and date changes for the film adaptation of the story. Also note, the film sees Lorraine claim that a demon possessed David. But if we talk about real life situations, Lorraine claims 42-43 different demons possessed David.

The Differences In Story Of The Conjuring 3

From the Official Trailer of The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It

Let’s also talk about lawyers. The film sees him disbelieving the case the Warrens presented for Arnie. Everything changed with his one visit to Warren’s Home where he met Annabelle in person. But if we talk about real life lawyer Arnie Johnson as in Martin Minella. He immediately believed the case because he already knew of several similar cases. Coming to court, the film places great emphasis on the Devil Made Me Do It Case. But in reality, as noted above, the court outright dismissed Demon Possession on the defense side as irrelevant and unscientific. What followed was three days to examine the case before charging Arnie Johnson with first degree murder.

Now coming to the brother of the Glatzel family who was never mentioned in the film. While the whole family believes in demonic possession, Carl Glatzel who is the middle child in the Glatzel family denies it. The film leaves the character for some reason claiming the entire ownership is a hoax and Lorraine Warren seizes the opportunity. Speaking of character omissions, let’s talk about Alan Bono’s absence from the film. The film decided to keep it but under a different name by Bruno Sauls. Another case is the repetition of a murder incident. As noted above, when Arnie killed Bono, Debbie was there with her sisters Wanda and Mary. But in the movie, we see him being killed in the dark when he sees a demon apparition.

Also Read: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Ending Explained

Leave a Comment