Jun 5, 2023
Episode 465: The Devil Made Me Do It
Play • 1 hr 18 min

On the evening of February 16, 1981, nineteen-year-old Arne Johnson stabbed his friend and landlord Alan Bono to death during an argument, after which Johnson fled the scene and was arrested several miles away later that night. Under normal circumstances, the murder of one man by another in a small town would hardly register on the scale of national, or even regional news, but if Arne Johnson was to be believed, these weren’t ordinary circumstances. According to Arne, the devil made him do it.

Thank you to Dave White for research assistance.


Associated Press. 1986. "Man released early in 'demon murder case'." Hartford Courant, January 23: 47.

Brozek, Diane. 1981. "Teen-ager charged in 'possession' case." Hartford Courant, March 20: 11.

Carl Glatzel Jr. et al v. Gerald Brittle et al. 2010. DBCV-08-4008461-S (Connecticut Superior Court Judicial District of Danbury, October 25).

Christoffersen, John. 2007. "Suit vs. psychic says demon murder was a hoax." Record-Journal, October 10: M3.

Clendinen, Dudley. 1981. "Defendant in murder puts the devil on trial." New York Times, March 23: B1.

Galup. n.d. Religion. Accessed May 10, 2023.

Harris, John. 1981. "Bizarre happenings surround killing in Brookfield." Hartford Courant, February 27: 2.

—. 1981. "Critics bedevil demonolgist, attorney in slaying case ." Hartford Courant, June 22: B1.

—. 1981. "'Demon' murder case sent to Danbury jury." Hartford Courant, November 21: 8.

—. 1981. "Exorcism, demons' role argued." Hartford Courant, March 15: 1.

—. 1981. "Johnson guilty in demons case." Hartford Courant, November 25: 1.

—. 1981. "Judge bars demonic possession defense." Hartford Courant, October 29: 1.

Healion, James. 1981. "A barmaid testified Thursday that murder suspect Arne Cheyenne..." United Press International, November 5.

—. 1981. "A judge Wednesday threw out the 'demon defense'." United Press International, October 28.

—. 1981. "Judge Robert J. Callahan Thursday refused to reconsider his decision." United Press International, October 29.

—. 1981. "The murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson in Danbury." United Press International, November 13.

Pionzio, Melissa. 2007. "'Factual' exorcism book evokes past pain." Hartford Courant, October 14: B1.

Putcamp, Luise. 1981. "Supernatural episodes form prelude to killing." Buffalo Evening News, July 30: 1.

—. 1981. "Suspect's alibi: He was possessed." Buffalo Evening News, August 5: 2.

Stagis, Julie. 2014. "Killer's defense: He was possessed." Hartford Courant, April 22: B1.

2006. A Haunting. Directed by Stuart Taylor. Produced by Tom Naughton.

United Press International. 1981. "'Demon slayer' gets 10-to-20 year sentence." United Press International, December 18.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. n.d. Exorcism. Accessed May 8, 2023.

Walzer, E.B. 1982. "Appeal dropped in 'demon' case." The Reporter Dispatch, March 19: 2.

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