The Billy Milligan case that began in the late 1970s garnered immense media attention solely because of Billy’s psyche. After being arrested for rape, Billy claimed he didn’t remember anything and had other personalities who carried out the attacks. Netflix’s “Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan” is a four-part docu-series that chronicles this fascinating affair and examines Billy’s life as a whole. So let’s find out what happened to Billy, shall we?
Who was Billy Milligan?
William Stanley Milligan was born in February 1955 in Florida. He was born to Dorothy and John Morrison. John was still married to his wife at the time. However, they continued to have three children. After John’s death, Dorothy returned to Ohio with the children, and after a short-lived marriage to her ex-husband, she met Chalmer Milligan. They married in 1963 and Chalmer adopted all three children, Dorothy adopting Chalmer’s daughter.
Growing up, Billy often got into trouble. He was suspended from school because he often roamed the city of Lancaster, Ohio, in a trance state. Additionally, Billy later claimed that Chalmer subjected him to severe sexual and physical abuse which many psychiatrists later believed to be the reason Billy’s psyche split into several personalities. He was diagnosed with hysterical neurosis when he was still young. He was expelled from high school in 1972 and late from the Navy.
That same year, Billy was convicted of rape and served time in a youth camp. He claimed the woman was a prostitute who wanted him to pay for sex acts that had not taken place. He was later sent to jail for theft and spent about 2 years in prison. He was paroled in 1977, the same year the sexual assaults took place. In 4 cases between October 14 and October 26, 1977, Billy robbed and raped three women. One of the victims told police that her attacker spoke with a German accent. He was arrested after his fingerprint was found on one of the victims’ vehicles. A victim also chose it from a series of photos.
But this is where Billy’s case gained notoriety. According to the docuseries, Billy seemed distraught at the time of his arrest. A psychiatric evaluation revealed that Billy actually had several personalities in him. It was therefore “Ragen”, a Yugoslav who had taken over and committed the robberies. However, Ragen knew nothing about the rapes. They were executed by a 19 year old lesbian named “Adalana”, who committed them without Billy’s knowledge. There were others like Arthur, an Englishman, and Tommy, an escape artist. Experts concluded that there were around 10 personalities before further processing revealed 14 more.
Billy was diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder (now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder) and used it as a defense. He was found fit to stand trial after doctors reported that his 10 personalities had “merged”. His lawyers pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. After Billy waived his right to a jury trial, a judge sided with the defense and found him not guilty. He was then sent to a mental institution in Athens, Ohio, a minimum security facility.
How did Billy Milligan die?
Billy was transferred to several institutions in Ohio and, according to docuseries, his medications were altered at some point, which affected his progress. He was first put on unattended leave in Athens, and he also painted, selling his art at a high price. He escaped from one of the hospitals in July 1986, remaining on the run for a few months until his arrest in Florida in November of that year. In 1988, experts believed there was no longer any evidence that he was changing his personality. He was allowed to undergo outpatient treatment before his final release in 1991.
In the years that followed, Billy’s life was seen as an intriguing story, catching the attention of Hollywood, but it never came to fruition. The state of Ohio asked him to pay for the treatment he received over the years. He then filed for bankruptcy while living in California. He was also arrested for threatening a judge there. Eventually he returned to Ohio and in 2012 was diagnosed with cancer. Billy succumbed to the disease on December 12, 2014 at Mount Carmel East Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He was 59 at the time of his death.
Read more: Who Were Billy Milligan’s Parents? Are they alive or dead?