Billy Milligan – A man with 24 personalities in his head

Billy’s Childhood

Billy Milligan or William Stanley Milligan was born on February 14, 1955, in Miami. He was an American citizen. His father Jhonny Morrison was a gambler and also an alcoholic. Johnny Morrison was under huge debt and suffered from depression due to which he committed suicide. After his father’s death, Billy witnessed his mother dating different men who were abusive to him. At the age of six, he was raped by one of his stepfather, Chalmer Milligan. This was Billy’s dramatic childhood that led him to develop unusual personalities in his mind.

Billy Milligan's childhood
Billy Milligan’s childhood photo

Billy Milligan’s arrest

In 1977, Billy Milligan was arrested in a kidnap and rape case. He was accused of kidnapping three women and raping them in Ohio State University Campus. Before this, he had committed several other crimes including armed robbery. Billy was also arrested in 1975 in rape and armed robbery case. He was released at that time but registered as a sex offender.

Billy arrested
Billy Milligan arrested

After his arrest in 1977, he became the subject of a highly publicized case. At that time he was not found guilty because he was unaware of the fact that he committed any crime. However, his fingerprints were found at the crime site and one of the women also recognized him from the list of sex offenders.

Billy diagnosed with mental illness

After his arrest, Billy continuously rejected the accusation and the victim woman claimed that after kidnapping her, Billy reacted like a kind person just like a three or four years old girl.

This was indeed a unique thing for everyone. Later it was disclosed that he was suffering from severe mental illness. He was totally unaware of his crime because of his mental illness.

The crimes were committed without Billy’s intention

His lawyer pleaded the court that Billy is suffering from multiple personality disorder and some two of his alternate personalities committed the crimes without his awareness.

10 different personalities with different interests

Milligan was sent to a series of mental hospitals to know the truth. At that time doctors came to know that nearly 10 different persons or personalities are living in his mind and they all were different from each other.

Personalities in Billy's head
The different personalities in Billy’s head

Every personality had a different sex, age, nationality, interest, profession and they all had a different role in his mind. For example, a personality named David was an 8-year-old boy and was a keeper of pain. An Englishman Arthur was an expert in Science and medicines. Ragen with Yugoslavian accent was  a communist and committed the robberies in a kind of Robin Hood Spirit. Tommy was an escape artist and Allen was a manipulator. Some of his personalities used to play musical instruments like harmonica while some love to paint.

Billy and his various personalities

The doctors who treated him said that every time they conversed with different persons in one man. Every time one of his personality woke up with different intentions, accents, tone and pose. Every time they witnessed changes in Billy. Billy changed his voice, body language, accent, and everything according to a different personality. He was sent to Mental Asylum for treatment.

The core personality was sleeping

Apart from all these personalities the core personality of Billy Milligan was lost somewhere. Every time doctors described his different personalities but they could not found Billy. They said Billy is in deep sleep and we have to wake him up.

Billy Milligan's real personality
Core personality of Billy Milligan

Adalana kidnapped and raped the three women

In the meantime, Doctors found out that there is a Lesbian personality in Billy’s mind who is named Adalana. Adalana is a 19-year-old girl who cooked for all his personalities. She committed rapes in an intention to seek attention and affection from people. She loved to remain close to someone. None of his other personalities could remember what Adalana had done. Similarly, all of his personalities were unaware of the work done by other personalities.

Adalana's personality
Adalana’s personality inside Billy’s head

Each personality at that time could only control their behavior and they could only remember the things done by them. None of his personalities remembered about the other one. They also couldn’t control each others behavior while living in the same mind or body.

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Billy’s mental disorder

During his treatment, the doctor came to know that Billy is suffering from this mental illness since he was three years old. His first personality appeared when he was 3 years old. When he was 5 years old he had three personalities, a nameless boy, Shawn and Christene. Other personalities erupted when he was raped by his stepfather.

When he was presented in the court, at the very first the court was skeptical about his strange case and diagnosis. However, later when they discussed the case with one of his personalities they found that he was not guilty.

14 more personalities discovered in one man’s mind

After placing him in mental asylum and under the treatment of his Doctor, David Caul, 14 more undesirable personalities were diagnosed in Billy’s mind.

14 more personalities inside Billy's head
14 more personalities inside Billy’s head

The doctors found that some of his personalities were in deep sleep and their behavior was anti-social. One of his personalities was a Teacher. The doctors decided to catch this personality because it was the sum of all other personalities. It was also the only personality that created other personalities.

Billy declared completely cured after 10 years

After a decade of treatment, in 1988, Billy Milligan was declared fully cured. He was discharged from the mental asylum with a physical healthy mind and with his core personality Billy Milligan. He was released from the Ohio mental health system and Ohio court in the year 1991.

After his release he was about to make a short film on his life but never made it and his location remained unknown for a quite long time.

Billy’s death

On December 12, 2014, Milligan breathed his last at a nursing home in Columbus. He died of cancer at the age of 59.  Several books were written on his biography and many directors decided to make a film. Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio played the role of Billy in his 2016 project” The Crowded Room” but the movie is not released yet. No authentic source claimed any reason for delaying the release of the movie.

Besides this, David Fincher, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, Gus van Sant, Joel Schumacher also showed interest in making movies about Billy.

Kathy Preston, Billy’s sister wishes the movie on his brother’s life should be made so that the people should understand the ramification of unresolved trauma like child abuse and domestic violence.

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