The first interview by Southwest was scheduled on January 31, 1978. Dorothy Turner, a slight, motherly psychologist with a shy, almost frightened expression, looked up when Sergeant Willis brought Milligan into the interview room.
She saw a handsome six-foot-tall young man in a blue jump suit. He had a full mustache and long sideburns, but his eyes held a childlike fear. He seemed surprised to see her, but by the time he sat in the chair opposite, he was smiling, hands folded in his lap.
“Mr. Milligan,” she said, “I’m Dorothy Turner, from the Southwest Community Mental Health Center, and I’m here to ask you some questions. Where are you currently living?”
He glanced around. “Here.”
“What is your social security number?”
He frowned and thought about it for a long time, gazing at the floor, the yellow cinder-block walls, the tin butt can on the table. He nibbled on his fingernail and studied the cuticle.
“Mr. Milligan,” she said, “if I’m to help you, you’ll have to cooperate. You have to answer my questions so I’ll be able to understand what’s going on. Now, what is your social security number?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know.”
She looked down at her notes and read off a number.
He shook his head. “That’s not my number. That must be Billy’s.”
She glanced up sharply. “Well, aren’t you Billy?”
“No, ’ he said. “Not me.”
She frowned. “Wait a minute. If you’re not Billy, who are your^’
“Well, where’s Billy?”
He pointed to his chest. “In here. He’s asleep.”
Dorothy Turner sighed and braced herself, nodding patiently. “I have to talk to Billy.”
“Well, Arthur won’t let you. Billy’s asleep. Arthur won’t wake him up, ’cause if he does, Billy’ll kill himself.”
She studied the young man for a long time, not sure how to proceed. His voice, his expression as he spoke, were childlike. ‘Now, wait a minute. I want you to explain this to me.”
“I can’t. I made a mistake. I wasn’t even supposed to tell.” “Why not?”
“I’ll get into trouble with the others.” There was panic in the young voice.
“And your name is ‘David’?”
“Who are the others?”
“I can’t tell you.”
She tapped the table gently. “Well, David, you’ve got to tell me about these things so I can help you.”
“I can’t,” he said. “They’ll get real mad at me and they won’t let me on the spot anymore.”
“Well, you’ve got to tell somebody. Because you’re very scared, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” he said, tears forming in his eyes.
“It’s important for you to trust me, David. You’ve got to let me know what’s going on so I can help.”
He thought about it long and hard, and finally he shrugged. “Well, I’ll tell ya on one condition. You got to promise you won’t never tell the secret to nobody in the whole world. Nobody. Never. Never. Never.”
“Yes,” she said. “I promise.”
“In your whole life?”
“Say you promise.”
“Okay,” he said. “I’ll tell ya. I don’t know everything. Only Arthur does. Like you said, I’m scared, because a lot of times I don’t know what’s going on.”
“How old are you, David?”
“Eight, going on nine.”
“And why are you the one who came to talk to me?”
“I didn’t even know I was coming on the spot. Somebody got hurt in the jail and I came to take the pain. ”
“Would you explain that?”
“Arthur says I’m the keeper of the pain. When there’s hurt, I’m the one who takes the spot and feels it.”
“That must be awful.”
Tears brimmed in his eyes as he nodded. “It’s not fair.” “What’s ‘the spot,’ David?”
“That’s what Arthur calls it. He explained to us how it works when one of the people has to come out. It’s a big white spotlight. Everybody stands around it, watching or sleeping in tneir beds. And whoever steps on the spot is out in the world. Arthur says, ‘Whoever is on the spot holds the consciousness.’”
“Who are the other people?”
“There are a lot. I don’t know them all. I know some of them now, but not everyone. Oh, wow.” He gasped.
“What’s the matter?”
“I told you Arthur’s name. Now for sure I’ll get in trouble for telling the secret.”
“It’s all right, David. I promised I wouldn’t tell.”
He cringed in his chair. “I can’t talk no more. I’m scared.” “All right, David. That’s enough for today, but I’ll come back tomorrow and talk to you some more.”
Outside the Franklin County Jail, she stopped and pulled her coat tightly around her against the cold wind. She had come prepared to face down a young felon who might be feigning insanity to avoid prosecution, but she had never expected anything like this.
The next day Dorothy Turner noticed something different in Milligan’s expression as he entered the interview room. He avoided her eyes and sat in the chair with his knees drawn up, playing with his shoes. She asked how he was feeling.
He didn’t respond at first, looking around, glancing at her from time to time with no sign of recognition. Then he shook his head, and when he spoke it was as a boy with a cockney accent. “Everythin’ is loud,” he said. “You. All the sounds. Oye don’t know what’s goin’ on.”
“Your voice seems funny, David. Is that an accent?”
He peered up at her impishly. “Oy’m not David. Oy’m Christopher “Well, where’s David?”
“Davids been naughty.”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, the others are awful mad at ’im ’cause ’e told.”
“Will you explain that to me?”
“Oye can’t. Oye don’t want t’get inter trouble loike David. ” “Well, why is he in trouble?” she asked, frowning.
“ ’Cause ’e told.”
“You know. ’E told the secret.”
“Well then, will you tell me some things about yourself Christopher? How old are you?”
“And what do you like to do?”
“Oye play the drums a little, but Oy’m better on the ’armonica.”
“And where are you from?”
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
“Just Christene. She’s three years old.”
She watched his face closely as he spoke in his crisp cockney accent. He was open, earnest, happy, so different from the person she had spoken to just the day before. Milligan had to be an incredibly good actor.
On February 4, her third visit, Dorothy Turner noticed that the young man who walked into the interview room had a different bearing than she had seen either of the other two times. He sat casually, slouched back in the chair, gazing at her arrogantly.
“How are you today?” she asked, almost afraid of what he might answer.
He shrugged. “Awright.”
“Could you tell me how David and Christopher are doing?”
He frowned and glared at her. “Hey, lady, I don’t even know you.”
“Well, I’ve come here to help you. We have to talk about what’s going on.”
“Shit, I don’t even know what’s going on.”
“Don’t you remember talking to me the day before yesterday?” ^
“Hell, no. I ain’t never seen you in my life.”
“Could you tell me your name?”
“ ‘Tommy’ who?”
“And your age?”
“And could you tell me a little bit about yourself?”
“Lady, I don’t talk to strangers. So leave me alone.”
For the next fifteen minutes she tried to draw him out, but “Tommy” remained sullen. When she left the Franklin County Jail, Dorothy Turner stood on Front Street for a while, dazed, thinking about “Christopher” and of her promise to “David” never to reveal the secret. Now she was tom between her promise and her realization that Milligan’s attorneys had to be told about this. Later she phoned the public defender’s office and asked for Judy Stevenson.
“Look,” she said when Stevenson got on the line, “I can’t really talk with you about it right now, but if you haven’t read the book Sybil, get yourself a copy and read it.”
Judy Stevenson, surprised by the call from Turner, bought a paperback copy of Sybil that evening and began to read it. Once she understood where it was going, she lay back in bed and stared at the ceiling, thinking: Oh, come on! A multiple personality? Is that what Turner was trying to tell her? She tried to visualize the Milligan who had trembled so badly at the line-up; she thought of the other times he’d been talkative and manipulative, trading jokes, quick-witted. She’d always attributed his changed behavior to depression. And then she thought of the stories Sergeant Willis told about the slippery character who could get out of any strait jacket, and medic Russ Hill’s comments about the superhuman strength he showed at times. Milligan’s words echoed in her mind: “J don’t remember what they said I did. I don’t know anything.”
She thought of waking her husband and talking to him about it, but she knew what Al would say. She knew what anyone would say if she tried to tell them what she was thinking now. In more than three years in the public defender’s office, she’d never come up against anyone like Milligan. She decided to say nothing to Gary yet, either. She had to check it out for herself.
The next morning she called Dorothy Turner. “Look,” she said, “the Milligan I’ve met and talked to for the past few weeks has acted strange at times. There have been changes of mood. He’s temperamental. But I haven’t seen the major differences that would lead me to conclude it’s like the Sybil case.”
“This is something I’ve been struggling with for days,” Turner said. “I promised not to tell anyone and I’ve stuck to that. All I told you was to read that book. But I am going to try to get him to agree to let me tell you the secret.”
Reminding herself that this was a psychologist from Southwest—from the prosecutor’s side—Judy said, “You take the lead. Let me know what you want me to do.”
When Dorothy Turner came back to see Milligan for the fourth time, she met the frightened little boy who had called himself David that first day.
“I know I promised never to tell the secret,” she said, “but I’ve got to tell Judy Stevenson.”
“No!” he shouted, jumping to his feet. “You promised! Miss Judy won’t like me anymore if you tell her.”
“She will like you. She’s your lawyer and she needs to know so she can help you.”
“You promised. If you break a promise, that’s like a lie. You can’t tell. I got into trouble. Arthur and Ragen are mad at me for letting the secret slip out, and—”
“You made a promise. And promises are the most important things in the world.”
“Don’t you understand, David? If I don’t tell Judy, she won’t be able to save you. You might even go to jail for a long time.” “I don’t care. You promised.”
She saw his eyes glaze and his mouth begin to move as if he were talking to himself Then he sat erect, placed his fingertips together and glared at her.
“Madam, you have no right,” he said in a crisp, upper-class British accent, his jaw barely moving, “to break your promise to the lad.”
“I don’t believe we’ve met,” she said, gripping the arms of the chair, trying desperately to hide her surprise.
“He told you about me.”
He acknowledged with a curt nod.
She took a deep breath. “Now, Arthur, it’s essential that I tell the attorneys what’s going on.”
“No,” he said. “They will not believe you.”
“Why don’t we see? I’ll just bring Judy Stevenson over to meet you and—”
“It might save you from prison. I’ve got to let—”
He leaned forward and glared at her disdainfully. “I tell you this, Miss Turner. If you bring anyone along, the others will just remain silent, and you’ll look like a fool.”
After fifteen minutes of arguing with Arthur, she noticed the glazed look in his eyes. He leaned back in the chair. When he leaned forward, the voice was different, the expression casual and friendly.
“You can t tell,” he said. “You made a promise, and that’s a sacred thing.”
“Who am I talking to now?” she whispered.
“Allen. I’m the one who talks to Judy and Gary most of the time.” i
“But they only know Billy Milligan.”
“We all answer to Billy’s name so the secret won’t get out. But Billy’s asleep. He’s been asleep for a long time. Now, Mrs. Turner—You mind if I call you Dorothy? Billy’s mother’s name is Dorothy.”
“You say you talk to Judy and Gary most of the time. Who else have they met?”
“Well, they don’t know it, because Tommy sounds a lot like me. You met Tommy. He’s the one they can’t keep the strait jacket or the handcuffs on. We’re a lot alike, except I do most of the talking. He gets kind of nasty and sarcastic. Doesn’t get along with people like J do.”
“Who else have they met?”
He shrugged. “The first one Gary saw when they booked us was Danny. He was scared and confused. He doesn’t know much about what’s going on. He’s only fourteen.”
“How old are you?”
She sighed and shook her head. “All right . . . ‘Allen.’ You seem like an intelligent young man. You understand that I’ve got to be released from my promise. Judy and Gary have to be told whats going on so they can defend you properly.” “Arthur and Ragen are against it,” he said. “They say people will think we’re crazy.”
“But won’t it be worthwhile if you can be kept from going back to prison?”
He shook his head. “It’s not up to me. We’ve kept this secret all our lives.”
“Who is it up to?”
“Well, everyone, really. Arthur is in charge, but the secret belongs to all of us. David told you, but it really shouldn’t go any further.”
She tried to explain to him that it was her job as a psychologist to make these things known to his attorney, but Allen pointed out that there was no guarantee it would help, and then with all the publicity and newspaper headlines, it would make life impossible in prison.
David, whom she had come to recognize by his little-boy demeanor, came out and begged her to keep her promise.
She asked to speak to Arthur again, and he came out frowning. “You are persistent,” he said.
She argued with him, and finally she had the feeling that she was wearing him down. “I don’t like arguing with a lady,” he said. He leaned back with a sigh. “If you feel this is absolutely necessary, and if the others agree, I give my permission. But you must get the agreement of each one.”
It took hours of arguing as she explained the situation to each one who came forward, never ceasing to be amazed when a transformation occurred. On the fifth day, she confronted Tommy, who was picking his nose: “So you do realize I have to tell Miss Judy.”
“Lady, I don’t give a damn what you do. Just get off my back.”
Allen said, “Promise you won’t tell anyone in the world except Judy. And you’ve got to make her promise she won’t tell anyone else.”
“I agree,” she said. “And you won’t be sorry.”
That afternoon, Dorothy Turner went directly from the prison to the public defender’s office down the street and talked with Judy Stevenson. She explained the conditions Milligan had set forth.
“You mean I can’t tell Gary Schweickart?”
“I had to give my word. I was lucky to get him to agree to let you in on it.”
“I’m skeptical,” Judy said.
Turner nodded. “Good. So was I. But I promise you, when we see your client, you’re in for a surprise.”
As Sergeant Willis led Milligan into the conference room, Judy Stevenson noticed her clients manner was withdrawn, like a j shy adolescent. He seemed frightened of the officer, as if he | didn’t know him, and ran quickly to the table to sit beside 1 Dorothy Turner. He wouldn’t speak until Willis left. He kept rubbing his wrists.
Turner said, “Would you tell Judy Stevenson who you are?” 1 He sank back in the chair and shook his head, looking , toward the door as if to make sure the officer was gone.
“Judy,” Turner said finally, “this is Danny. I’ve come to know him quite well.”
“Hi, Danny.” Stevenson tried to hide her bewilderment at the different voice and facial expression.
He looked up at Turner and whispered, “See? She’s looking at me like she thinks I’m crazy.”
“I don’t,” Judy said. “It’s just that I’m confused. This is a very unusual situation. How old are you, Danny?”
He rubbed his wrists as if he’d just been untied and was trying to restore the circulation. But he didn’t answer.
“Danny is fourteen,” Turner said. “He’s a fine artist.”
“What kind of paintings do you do?” Stevenson asked.
“Still lifes mostly,” Danny said.
“Did you also paint some of those landscapes the police found in your apartment?”
“I don’t paint landscapes. I don’t like the ground.”
“Why is that?”
“I can’t tell or he’ll kill me.”
“Who will kill you?” She was surprised to find herself cross-examining him, knowing she didn’t believe any of it, determined she was not going to be taken in by a hoax, but amazed by what seemed to be a brilliant performance.
He closed his eyes and the tears ran down his cheeks.
Feeling herself more and more baffled by what was happening, Judy watched closely as he seemed to shrink back into himself. His lips moved silently, his eyes glazed and then drifted sideways. He looked around, startled, until he recognized both women and realized where he was. He settled back, crossed his legs and withdrew a cigarette from his right sock without removing the pack.
“Anybody got a light?”
Judy lit his cigarette. He took a deep drag, puffed the smoke upward. “So what’s new?” he said.
“Would you tell Judy Stevenson who you are?”
He nodded, blowing a smoke ring. “I’m Allen.”
“Have we met before?” Judy asked, hoping the trembling in her voice wasn’t obvious.
“I’ve been here a few times when you or Gary came to talk about the case.” ^
“But we’ve always talked to you as Billy Milligan.”
He shrugged. “We all answer to Billy’s name. Saves a lot of explaining. But I never said I was Billy. You just assumed it, and I didn’t think it would do any good to tell you otherwise.” “Can I talk to Billy?” Judy asked.
“Oh, no. They keep him asleep. If they let him on the spot, he’d kill himself.”
“He’s still scared of being hurt. And he doesn’t know about the rest of us. All he knows is that he loses time.”
“What do you mean by ‘loses time’?” Judy asked.
“It happens to all of us. You’re someplace doing something. Then suddenly you’re someplace else, and you can tell that time has passed, but you don’t know what happened.”
Judy shook her head. “That must be awful.”
“You never get used to it,” Allen said.
When Sergeant Willis came to take him back to his cell, Allen looked up and smiled at him. “That’s Sergeant Willis,” he said to the two women. “I like him.”
Judy Stevenson left the Franklin County Jail with Turner. “You see why I called you,” Dorothy said.
Stevenson sighed. “I came here sure I’d be able to see through a phony act. But I’m convinced I’ve talked to two different people. Now I can understand why he seemed so different at times. I attributed it to changes of mood. We’ve got to tell Gary.”
“It was difficult enough for me to get permission to tell you. I don’t think Milligan will permit it.”
“He has to,” Judy said. “I can’t carry the burden of this knowledge by myself.”
When she left the jail, Judy Stevenson found herself in turmoil, awed, angry, confused. It was all incredible. Impossible. But somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew, she was beginning to believe it.
Later that day Gary phoned her at home to tell her the sheriff’s office had called to inform him that Milligan had attempted suicide again by smashing his head against the wall of his cell.
“Funny thing,” Gary said. “Looking through his records, I just realized todays February 14, his twenty-third birthday. You know something else . . . its Valentine’s Day.”
The next day Dorothy and Judy told Allen it was important to let Gary Schweickart in on the secret.
“But you’ve got to allow it,” Judy said. “To save you from prison, other people have to be told.”
“You promised. That was the agreement.”
“I know,” Judy said. “But it is essential.”
“Arthur says no.”
“Let me talk to Arthur,” Dorothy said.
Arthur came out and glared at both of them. “This is getting very tiresome. I have a lot of thinking and studying to do, and I’m weary of all this badgering.”
“You’ve got to give us permission to tell Gary,” Judy said. “Absolutely not. Two people too many already know.”
“It’s necessary if we’re to help you,” Turner said.
“I don’t need help, madam. Danny and David may need help, but it’s really none of my concern.”
‘ Don’t you care about keeping Billy alive?” Judy asked, infuriated by Arthur’s superior attitude.
“Yes,” he said, “but at what cost? They’re going to say we’re crazy. This is all getting quite out of hand. We’ve been keeping Billy alive ever since he tried to jump off the school roof.” “What do you mean?” Turner asked. “Keeping him alive how?”
“By keeping him asleep all this time.”
“Don’t you see how this can affect our case?” Judy said. “It can determine prison or freedom. Wouldn’t you have more time and freedom to think and study outside the prison walls? Or do you want to go back to Lebanon?”
Arthur crossed his legs, looking from Judy to Dorothy and back again. “I don’t like to argue with ladies. I’ll agree only on the same condition as before—that you get all the others to agree as well.”
Three days later Judy Stevenson got permission to tell Gary Schweickart.
She walked from the Franklin County Jail in the cold February morning back to the public defender’s office. She poured herself a cup of coffee, went directly to Gary’s cluttered office, sat down and braced herself.
“Okay,” she said. “Have them hold all your calls. I’ve got something to tell you about Billy.”
When she was done telling him about her meetings with Dorothy Turner and Milligan, he looked at her as if she were crazy.
“I’ve seen it with my own eyes,” she insisted. “I’ve talked to them.”
He stood up and lumbered back and forth behind his desk, his unbrushed hair hanging outside his collar, his baggy shirt half out of his belt. “Oh, come on,” he protested. “No way. I mean, I know he’s mentally disturbed, and I’m on your side. But this isn’t going to work.”
“You have to come and see it for yourself. You just don’t know . . . I’m absolutely convinced.”
“All right. But I’ll tell you this—I don’t believe it. The prosecutor’s not going to believe it. And the judge isn’t going to believe it. I’ve got great confidence in you, Judy. You’re a fine lawyer and an excellent judge of people. But this is a con. I think you’re being had.”
The following day, Gary went with her to the Franklin County Jail at three o’clock, expecting to stay just half an hour. He had rejected the whole idea completely. It was impossible. But his skepticism turned to curiosity as he confronted one personality after another. He saw the frightened David turn into the shy Danny, who remembered meeting him that first terrifying day when they brought him in and booked him.
“I didn’t have any idea what was going on when they busted into the apartment and arrested me,” Danny said.
“What made you say that there was a bomb?”
“I didn’t say there was a bomb.”
“You told the officer, ‘You’ll blow it up. ’ ”
“Well, Tommy is always saying, ‘Keep away from my stuff or it might blow up. ’ ”
“Why does he say that?”
“Ask him. He’s the electronics expert, always fooling around with wires and stuff. It was his thing.”
Schweickart pulled on his beard several times. “An escape artist and an electronics expert. All right, can we talk to ‘Tommy’?”
“I don’t know. Tommy only talks to people he wants to talk to.
“Can’t you bring Tommy out?” Judy asked.
“I can’t just do it. It has to happen. I guess I could ask him to talk to you.”
“Try,” Schweickart said, restraining a smile. “Do your best.” Milligan’s body seemed to withdraw into itself. His face paled, eyes glazed as if turning inward. His lips moved as he talked to himself and the intense concentration pervaded the small room. Schweickarts smirk faded as he held his own breath. Milligan’s eyes drifted from side to side. He glanced around, like someone wakened from a deep sleep, and put his hand to his right cheek as if to feel its solidity. Then he leaned back arrogantly in his chair and glared at the two attorneys.
Gary let out his breath. He was impressed. “Are you Tommy?” he asked.
“Who wants to know?”
“I’m your lawyer.”
“Not my lawyer.”
“I’m the one who’s going to help Judy Stevenson keep that body you’re wearing out of jail, whoever you are.”
“Shit. I don’t need nobody to keep me out of anything. No jail in the world can hold me. I can bust out anytime I want to.”
Gary stared him down. “So you’re the one who keeps slipping out of the strait jacket. You must be Tommy.”
He looked bored. “Yeah . . . yeah.”
“Danny was telling us about that box of electronic stuff the police found in the apartment. He said it was yours.”
“He always did have a big mouth.”
“Why did you make a fake bomb?”
“Shit, it wasn’t a fake bomb. Can I help it if the damned cops are too dumb to know a black box when they see one?” “What do you mean?”
“Just what I said. It was a black box to override the telephone company system. I was just experimenting around with a new telephone for the car. I taped up those cylinders with red tape, and the dumb cops thought it was a bomb. ”
“You told Danny it might explode.”
“Oh, for Chrissakes! I always tell the young ones that so they’ll keep their hands off my stuff”
“Where did you learn about electronics, Tommy?” Judy asked. .
He shrugged. “On my own. From books. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to know how things worked.”
“And the escape-artist stuff?” asked Judy.
“Arthur encouraged me on that. Someone was needed to get out of the ropes when one of us was tied up in the bam. I learned how to control my hand muscles and bones. Then I got interested in all kinds of locks and bolts.”
Schweickart thought for a moment. “Are the guns yours, too?”
Tommy shook his head. “Ragen is the only one allowed to handle guns.”
“Allowed? Who does the allowing?” Judy asked.
“Well, that depends where we are . . . Look, I’m tired of being pumped for information. That’s Arthur’s job, or Allen’s. Ask one of them, okay? I’m leaving.”
“Wait . . .”
But Judy was too late. His eyes blanked and he shifted position. He placed his fingertips together, making his hands a pyramid. As his chin lifted, his face changed to the expression she had come to recognize as Arthur. She introduced him to Gary.
“You have to forgive Tommy,” Arthur said coldly. “He is a rather antisocial youth. If he weren’t so clever with electronic equipment and locks, I think I would have banished him long ago. But his are useful talents.”
“What are your talents?” Gary asked.
Arthur waved his hand deprecatingly. “I’m just an amateur. I dabble in biology and medicine.”
“Gary was asking Tommy about the guns,” Judy said. “It’s a parole violation, you know.”
Arthur nodded. “The only one permitted to handle guns is Ragen, the keeper of rage. That is his specialty. But he may use them only for protection and survival. Just as he may use his great strength only for the common good, never to harm others. He has the ability to control and concentrate his adrenaline, you know.”
“He used the guns when he kidnapped and raped those four women,” Gary said.
Arthurs voice dropped to an icy calmness. “Ragen never raped anyone. I’ve spoken to him about this case. He started to commit robberies because he was worried about the unpaid bills. He admits robbing the three women in October, but he denies, absolutely, any involvement with that woman in August or with any sex crimes.”
Gary leaned forward, watching Arthurs face closely, aware that his own skepticism was melting away. “But the evidence—”
“Evidence be damned! If Ragen says he didn’t do it, there’s no use in questioning it. He won’t lie. Ragen is a thief, but he is no rapist.”
“You say you’ve spoken to Ragen,” Judy said. “How does that work? Do you talk to each other out loud or in your head? Is it speech or thought?”
Arthur clasped his hands. “It happens both ways. Sometimes it’s internal, and in all probability no one else knows it’s happening. At other times, usually when we’re alone, it’s definitely aloud. I imagine if someone was watching us, he or she would think we were quite mad.”
Gary sat back, pulled out his handkerchief and wiped the perspiration from his brow. “Who’s going to believe this?” Arthur smiled condescendingly. “As I was saying, Ragen, like the rest of us, never lies. All our lives people nave accused us of being liars. It has become a point of honor among us never to tell a falsehood. So we don’t really care who believes.” “But you don’t always volunteer the truth,” Judy said.
“And that’s lying by omission,” Gary added.
“Oh, come now,” Arthur said, making no effort to hide his disdain. “As an attorney, you know very well a witness is under no compulsion to volunteer information he hasn’t been asked for. You would be the first to tell a client to stick to a yes or no answer and not elaborate unless it was in his interest. If you come out and ask one of us a direct question, you’ll get a truthful answer or silence. Of course, there will be times when the truth may be taken several ways. The English language is by nature ambiguous.”
Gary nodded thoughtfully. “I’ll keep that in mind. But I think we’ve gotten off the track. About those guns . . .” “Ragen knows, much more than anyone, what happened the mornings of the three crimes. Why don’t you talk to him?” “Not right now,” Gary said. “Not yet.”
“I sense you’re afraid to meet him.”
Gary looked up sharply. “Isn’t that what you want? Isn’t that part of your reason for telling us how evil and dangerous he is?”
“I never said he was evil.”
“That’s the effect,” Gary said.
“I think it’s important for you to know Ragen,” Arthur said. “You’ve unlocked Pandora’s box. I think you should open the lid all the way. But he won’t come out unless you want him to.” “Does he want to talk to us?” Judy asked.
“The question is, Do you want to speak to him?”
Gary found that the thought of Ragen coming out did frighten him.
“I think we should,” Judy said, looking at Gary.
“He won’t hurt you,” Arthur told them with a tight-lipped smile. “He knows you’re both here to help Billy. We’ve talked about it, and now tnat the secret s out, we realize we have to be open with you. It’s the last hope, as Mrs. Stevenson so forcefully put it, to keep us out of prison.”
Gary sighed and put his head back. “All right, Arthur. I’d like to meet Ragen. ’
Arthur moved his chair to the far end of the small interview room, to put as much distance between them as possible. He sat down again, and his eyes grew distant, as if looking inward. His lips moved, his hand jerked up to touch his cheek. His jaw tightened. Then he shifted, the body dropping from a stiff-backed posture to the aggressive crouchlike position of a wary fighter. ‘Is not right. Vas not good to reveal secret.”
They listened in astonishment as the voice dropped to a low, harsh tone with confident power and hostility. It Doomed out in the small conference room with a deep, rich Slavic accent.
“I tell you now,” Ragen said, glaring at them, the tension in his face muscles changing his appearance, eyes piercing, brows beetled. “Even after David tells secret by mistake, I vas against it.”
It did not sound like an imitation of a Slavic accent. His voice now truly had the natural sibilant quality of someone who had been raised in Eastern Europe, had learned to speak English, but had never lost his accent.
“Why were you against letting the truth come out?” Judy asked.
“Who vill believe?” he said, clenching his fist. “They vill all say ve are crazy. It is do no good.”
“It might keep you out of prison,” Gary said.
“How is possible?” Ragen snapped. “I am not a fool, Mr. Schweickart. Police have evidence I commit robberies. I admit three robberies near university. Only three. But other things they say I do is lie. I am not rapist. I vill go into court and confess robberies. But if ve go to jail, I kill children. Is euthanasia. Jail is no place for little ones.”
“But if you kill . . . the little ones . . . won’t that also mean your own death?” asked Judy.
“Not necessary,” Ragen said. “Ve are all different people.”
Gary ran his fingers impatiently through his hair. “Look, when Billy—or whoever—smashed his head into the wall of his cell last week, didn’t it damage the skull you’re wearing?”
Ragen touched his forehead. “Is true. But vas not for me pain.”
“Who felt the pain?” Judy asked.
“David is keeper of pain. Is one who accepts all suffering. David is empath.”
Gary started out of his chair to pace, but when he saw Ragen tense, he thought better of it and sat back. “Is David the one who tried to bash his brains out?”
Ragen shook his head. “Vas Billy.”
“Ah,” said Gary, “I thought Billy has been asleep all this time.”
“Is true. But it vas his birthday. Little Christene makes for him birthday card, and she vants give it to him. Arthur allows Billy to vake up for birthday and to take spot. I vas against it. I am protector. Is my responsibility. Maybe is true Arthur is more intelligent than I am, but he is human. Arthur makes mistakes.”
“What happened when Billy woke up?” Gary asked.
“He looks around. He sees he is in prison cell. He thinks he is do something bad. So he smashes head into vail.”
“You see, Billy knows nothing about us,” Ragen said. “He has—vat you call it?—amnesia. Let me put it this vay. Ven he is in school, losing so much time, he goes up to roof. He starts to jump. I remove him from spot to stop him. He is asleep ever since that day. Arthur and I keep him asleep to protect him.” “When was that?” Judy asked.
“Right after sixteenth birthday. I remember he vas depressed because his father makes him vork on his birthday.” “My God,” Gary whispered. “Asleep for seven years?”
“Is still asleep. He vas only for few minutes avake. It vas mistake to let him on spot.”
“Who’s been doing things?” Gary asked. “Working? Talking to people ever since? No one we’ve spoken to has reported a British or Russian accent.”
“Not Russian, Mr. Schweickart. Yugoslavian.”
“Is all right. Just to keep record straight. To answer question: Allen and Tommy are mostly on spot ven dealing vit other people.”
“They just come and go as they please?” Judy asked.
“Let me put it this vay. In different circumstances, spot is ruled by me or by Arthur, depending on situation. In prison I control spot-—decide who goes on, who stays off—because is dangerous place. As protector, I have full power and command. In situations vere is no danger and vere intelligence and logic are more important, then Arthur dominates spot.”
“Who controls the spot now?” Gary asked, aware that he had lost all professional detachment and had become totally curious, totally involved in this incredible phenomenon.
Ragen shrugged and looked around. “Is prison.”
The door to the interview room opened unexpectedly, and Ragen jumped up, catlike, quickly alert and defensive, his hands in karate position. When he saw it was only an attorney checking to see if the room was occupied, Ragen settled back.
Though Gary had expected to spend the usual fifteen minutes or half-hour with his client, positive he would debunk a total fraud, by the time he left five hours later, he was completely convinced that Billy Milligan was a multiple personality. As he walked out with Judy into the cold night, Gary found his mind racing with absurd notions of taking a trip to England or Yugoslavia to see if he could find records 01 Arthurs or Ragens existence. It wasn’t that he believed there was anything like reincarnation or possession by the devil, but walking along in a daze, he had to admit that he had met different people today in that little conference room.
He glanced at Judy, who was also walking in stunned silence. “Okay,” he said. “I have to admit I’m in an intellectual and emotional state of shock. I believe. And I think I can convince Jo Anne when she asks why I missed dinner again. But how the hell are we ever going to convince the prosecutor and the judge?”
On February 21, Du Stella Karolin, a psychiatrist from the Southwest Community Mental Health Center and a colleague of Dr. Turners, informed the public defenders that Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, world famous for having treated Sybil, the woman with sixteen personalities, had agreed to come from Kentucky to see Milligan on March 10.
Preparing for Dr. Wilburs visit, Dorothy Turner and Judy Stevenson assumed the task of convincing Arthur, Ragen and the others to allow yet another person to be told the secret. Again they were forced to spend hours convincing each of the personalities one at at a time. They had by now heard nine names—Arthur, Allen, Tommy, Ragen, David, Danny, Christopher, but they had not yet met Christene, Christophers three-year-old sistei; nor nad they met the original or core person, Billy, whom the others were keeping asleep. When they finally received permission to let others in on the secret, they made arrangements for a group, including the prosecutor, to observe the meeting between Dr. Wilbur and Milligan at the Franklin County Jail.
Judy and Gary interviewed Milligans mother, Dorothy, his younger sister, Kathy, and older brother, Jim, and though none of them could provide firsthand knowledge of the abuses alleged by Billy, the mother described her own experiences of being beaten by Chalmer Milligan. Teachers, friends and relatives described Billy Milligans strange behavior, his attempts at suicide and his trancelike states.
Judy and Gary were certain they were building a convincing case of a defendant who—by all legal tests in Ohio—was incapable of standing trial. But they realized they faced another hurdle: If Judge Flowers accepted the report by Southwest, Billy Milligan would now have to be sent to a mental institution for evaluation and treatment. They didn’t want him sent to the Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. They knew its reputation from many of their former clients, and they felt certain he would never survive there.
Though Dr. Wilbur was to have seen Milligan on Friday, her plans were changed for personal reasons, and Judy called Gary from home to tell him.
“You coming into the office this afternoon?” he asked.
“I wasn’t planning on it,” she said.
“We’ve got to go through this thing,” he said. “Southwest keeps saying there’s no alternative to Lima, and something in the back of my head says there’s got to be.”
“Look, with the thermostat turned down, the office is damned cold,” she said. “Al’s out and I’ve got a fire going here. Come on over. I’ll make you some Irish coffee and we can review it.”
He laughed. “You twisted my arm.”
A half-hour later, they were both sitting in front of the fire.
Gary warmed his hands on the steaming mug. “I’ll tell you, I was really thrown for a loop when Ragen came out,” he said. “What amazes me is how likable he is.”
“Just what I was thinking,” Judy said.
“I mean, Arthur calls him tne ‘keeper of hate.’ I expected something with horns. But he’s really a charming and interesting guy. I believe him completely when he denies the August rape of the woman assaulted at the Nationwide Plaza, and now I find myself wondering when he says he didn’t rape the other three.”
“I agree about the first. It’s obviously a copy-cat accusation. Completely different pattern. But the last three were certainly abducted, robbed ana raped,” Judy said.
“All we get are bits and pieces of what he remembers of the crimes. It’s damned odd, you know, Ragen saying he recognized his second victim, certain that one of them had met her before.”
“And now we learn about Tommy remembering coming out and being on the spot at the Wendy’s drive-in, having a hamburger with the third victim, figuring one of the others was out on a date with her.” .
“Polly Newtons story confirms the stop at the burger place. And she’s the one who said he got the strange look and quit the sex after a couple of minutes, and said he couldn’t do it, and said to himself, ‘Bill, what’s wrong with you? Get yourself together.’ And then told her he needed a cold shower to cool off.”
“But all that crazy talk about being from the Weathermen and driving a Maserati.”
“One of them was boasting.”
“Okay, let’s just admit we don’t know what happened, and neither do any of the personalities we’ve dealt with.”
“Ragen admits the robberies,” Judy said.
“Yeah, but denies the rapes. I mean, the whole thing is strange. Can you imagine, three different times within a two-week period Ragen drinks and takes amphetamines and then in the early hours of the morning jogs eleven miles across town to the Ohio State campus? And then after selecting a victim, he blacks out—”
“Leaves the spot,” Judy corrected.
“That’s what I mean.” He held his cup out for a refill. “So in each case he leaves the spot, and the next thing he finds himself in downtown Columbus with the money in his pocket and figures he committed the robberies he set out to do. But he doesn’t remember doing it. Any of the three. As he says, someone stole time in between.”
“Well, there are pieces missing,” Judy said. “Someone was tossing those bottles into the pond and taking target practice. ” Gary nodded. “That proves it wasn’t Ragen. According to the woman, he couldn’t get the gun operating for a few seconds. I mean, fooling with it until he got the safety catch off. And then missing a couple of the bottles. An expert like Ragen wouldn’t miss.”
“But Arthur says the others are forbidden to handle Ragen s guns.”
“I can just see us explaining that to Judge Flowers.”
“Are we going to?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s dumb to use an insanity defense for a multiple personality, since it’s classified officially as a neurosis and not a psychosis. I mean, the shrinks themselves say multiples are not insane.”
“Okay,” Judy said, “why not just a straight not guilty without calling it insanity? We attack the notion of purposefulness of the acts, like the multiple personality case in California.” “That was a minor offense,” Gary said. “With a notorious case like ours, a multiple personality defense just won’t fly. That’s a fact of life.”
She sighed and stared into the fire.
“And I’ll tell you something else,” Gary said, stroking his beard. “Even if Judge Flowers sees it the way we do, he’s going to send him to Lima. Billy heard about the kind of place Lima is when he was in prison. You remember what Ragen said about euthanasia? About killing the children if he’s sent there? I believe he would.”
“Then we get him sent somewhere else!” said Judy. “Southwest says Lima’s the only place for treatment before trial.”
“He goes to Lima over my dead body,” she said. “Correction,” Gary said, raising his cup. “Over our dead bodies.”
They clinked their cups and then Judy refilled them. “I can’t accept that we don’t have a choice.”
“Let’s find a choice,” he said.
“Right you are,” she said. “We’ll find a choice.”
“It’s never been done before,” he said, wiping the cream from his beard.
“So what? Ohio has*never had a Billy Milligan before.”
She pulled her well-thumbed copy of the Ohio Criminal Law Handbook from the shelf, and they both went over it, taking turns reading aloud.
“More Irish?” she asked.
He shook his head. “Just black, and make it strong.”
Two hours later, he made her reread a passage from the handbook. She ran her finger down the page to Section 2945.38.
… if the court or jury finds him to be not sane he shall be forthwith committed by the court to a hospital for the mentally ill or mentally retarded within the jurisdiction of the court. If., the court finds it advisable, it shall commit such person to the Lima State Hospital until he is restored to reason, and upon being restored to reason the accused shall be proceeded against as provided by the law.
“Yeah!” shouted Gary, jumping up. “ ‘A hospital within the jurisdiction of the court ’ It doesn’t say only Lima.”
“We found it!”
“Jesus,” he said, “and everybody’s been saying there’s never been an alternative to Lima for pretrial commitment.”
“Now we’ve just got to find another mental hospital within the jurisdiction of the court.”
Gary slapped his forehead. “Oh my God. This is incredible. I know one. I worked there as a psychiatric aide after I got out of the service. Harding Hospital.”
“Harding? Is that in the court’s jurisdiction?”
“Sure. Worthington, Ohio. And listen, it’s one of most conservative, respectable psychiatric hospitals in the country. It’s affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. I’ve heard tough prosecutors say, ‘If Dr. George Harding, Jr., says the man’s insane, I’ll buy it. He’s not like some other doctor who will examine a patient for thirty minutes for the defense and say he’s crazy.’”
“Prosecutors say that?”
He held up his right hand. “I heard it, so help me. I even think it was Terry Sherman. And, hey, I think I remember Dorothy Turner saying she often did testing for Harding Hospital.”
“So we get him into Harding,” she said.
Gary sat down quickly, dejected. “Just one thing. Harding Hospital is an exclusive, expensive private hospital, and Billy has no money.”
“We’re not going to let that stop us,” she said.
“Yeah, how do we get him in?”
“We make them want to take Billy.”
“And just how do we do that?” he asked.
A half-hour later, Gary wiped the snow off his boots and rang Harding’s doorbell. He was suddenly very conscious of himself as a bearded, wacko public defender confronting the conservative, Establishment psychiatrist—the grandson of the brother of President Warren G. Harding, no less—in his luxurious home. Judy should have come. She’d have made a better impression. He tightened his loose tie and tucked his curled-up shirt collar into his jacket as the front door opened.
George Harding at forty-nine was an impeccable, lean, smooth-faced man with soft: eyes and a soft voice. He struck Gary as quite handsome. “Come in, Mr. Schweickart.”
Gary struggled to pull off his boots and left them in a puddle in the foyer. Then, shucking his coat and hanging it on the rack, he followed Dr. Harding into the living room.
“I thought your name was familiar,” Harding said. “Then, after you phoned, I checked back in the newspapers. You’re defending Milligan, the young man who attacked the four women on the Ohio State campus.”
Gary shook his head. “Three. The August rape at the Nationwide Plaza was a very different kind of assault and will surely be thrown out. The case has taken a very unusual turn. I was hoping for your opinion in this matter. ”
Harding pointed to the soft couch for Gary to sit in but took a hardbacked chair himself. He placed the tips of his fingers together and listened closely as Gary explained in detail what he and Judy had learned about Milligan, and about the forthcoming meeting on Sunday at the Franklin County Jail.
Harding nodded thoughtfully, and when he spoke, he chose his words very carefully. “I certainly do respect Stella Karolin and Dorothy Turner.” He mused and stared at the ceiling. “Turner does part-time testing for us, and she has already talked to me about the case. Now, since Dr. Wilbur will be there . . .” He stared at the floor between the steeple of his fingers. “I don’t see any reason why I might not be able to attend. Sunday, you say?”
Gary nodded, not daring to speak.
“Well, I must tell you, Mr. Schweickart. I have grave reservations about the syndrome known as multiple personality. Although Dr. Cornelia Wilbur did give a lecture at Harding Hospital about Sybil in the summer of 1975, I’m not sure I really believe it. With all due respect to her and other psychiatrists who have worked with such people . . . Well, in a case like this, it’s too obviously possible for the patient to feign amnesia. Still, if Turner and Karolin will be there . . . and if Dr. Wilbur is making the trip …”
He stood up. “I make no commitment for myself or on behalf of the hospital. But I shall be pleased to attend the meeting.”
As soon as Gary got home, he called Judy. “Hey, Counselor,” he said with a laugh. “Hardings involved.”
On Saturday, March 11, Judy went to the Franklin County Jail to tell Milligan that the plans had been changed, and that Dr. Cornelia Wilbur wouldn t be there until the next day.
“I should have told you yesterday,” she said. “I’m sorry.” He began to tremble violently. By his expression, she realized she was talking to Danny.
“Dorothy Turner isn’t coming back, is she?”
“Of course she is, Danny. What makes you think such a thing?”
“People make promises and then they forget. Don’t leave me alone.”
“I won’t. But you’ve got to get hold of yourself. Dr. Wilbur will be here tomorrow, and so will Stella Karolin and Dorothy Turner and me . . . and a few other people.”
His eyes opened wide. “Other people?”
“There’s another doctor—George Harding, from Harding Hospital. And the prosecutor, Bernie Yavitch.” “Men?””gasped Danny, shaking so hard his teeth began to chatter.
“It’s essential for your defense,” she said. “But Gary and I will be there too. Look, I think we should get you some medication to calm you down.”
She called the guard and asked to have her client placed in a holding room while she went up for a medic. When they returned a few minutes later, Milligan was cowering in the far comer of the room, his face covered with blood, his nose bleeding. He had smashed his head against the wall.
He looked at her blankly, and she realized it was no longer Danny. It was the keeper of the pain. “David?” she asked.
He nodded. “It hurts, Miss Juay. It hurts bad. I don’t want to live anymore.”
She pulled him toward her and cradled him in her arms. “You mustn’t say that, David. You have a lot to live for. A lot of people believe in you, and you’re going to get help.”
“I’m afraid of going to prison.”
“They’re not going to send you to prison. We’re going to fight it, David.”
“I didn’t do nothing bad.”
“I know, David. I believe you.”
“When is Dorothy Turner coming back to see me?”
“I told …” And then she realized it was Danny she had told. “Tomorrow, David. With another psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Wilbur.”
“You’re not going to tell her the secret, are you?”
She shook her head. “No, David. In Dr Wilburs case, I’m sure we won’t have to.”
March 12 was a bright, cold Sunday morning. Bemie Yavitch stepped out of his car and went into the Franklin County Jail, feeling very strange about it all. It would be the first time, as a prosecutor, that he had ever been present while the defendant was being examined by psychiatrists. He had gone through the report from Southwest and over the police reports again and again, but he had no idea what to expect.
He just couldn’t believe that all these eminent doctors were taking the multiple personality thing seriously. Cornelia Wilbur coming down to examine Milligan didn’t impress him. She believed in it, and she’d be looking for it. It was Dr. George Harding’s face he had to watch. As far as Yavitch was concerned, there was no more highly respected psychiatrist in the state of Ohio. He knew no one would pull anything on Dr. Harding. Many of the leading prosecutors, who had little or no respect for psychiatrists testifying in insanity cases, said the one exception would be George Harding, Jr.
After a while the others arrived, and they arranged to have the interview in the lower-level sheriffs squad room, a large room with folding chairs, blackboards and a desk where the officers gathered at shift change.
Yavitch greeted Dr. Stella Karolin and Sheila Karolin and Sheila Porter, the social worker from Southwest, and was introduced to Drs. Wilbur and Harding.
Then the door opened, and he saw Billy Milligan for the first time. Judy Stevenson walked beside him, holding his hand. Dorothy Turner walked in front, Gary walked behind. They entered the squad room, and Milligan, seeing the crowd of people, hesitated.
Dorothy Turner introduced them one by one and then led him to the seat closest to Cornelia Wilbur. “Dr. Wilbur,” Dorothy said in a low voice, “this is Danny.”
“Hello, Danny,” Wilbur said. “I’m glad to meet you. How are you feeling?”
“All right,” he said, clinging to Dorothy’s arm.
“I know it must make you nervous to be in the room with a lot of strangers, but we’re here to help you,” Wilbur said.
They took their seats and Schweickart leaned over and whispered to Yavitch, “When you see this, if you still don’t believe it, I’ll turn my license in.”
As Wilbur started to question Milligan, Yavitch relaxed. She looked to him like an attractive, energetic mother with bright-red hair and bright-red lipstick. Danny answered her questions and told her about Arthur and Ragen and Allen.
She turned to Yavitch. “You see? Its typical of multiple personalities that he’s willing to speak of what happened to the others, but not about what happened to him.”
After a few more questions and answers, she turned to Dr. George Harding. “This is a clear example of the dissociative state of the hysterical neurotic.”
Danny looked at Judy and said, “She left her spot.”
Judy smiled and whispered, “No, Danny. It’s not like that with her.”
“She must have a lot of people inside her,” Danny insisted. “She talks to me one way, and then she changes and starts using all those big words like Arthur does.”
“I wish Judge Flowers were here to see this,” Wilbur said. “I know what’s going on inside this young man. I know what he really needs.”
Danny’s head snapped around, glaring at Dorothy Turner accusingly. “You told her! You promised you wouldn’t, but you told.”
“No, Danny,” Turner said. “I didn’t. Dr. Wilbur knows what’s wrong because she knows other people like you.”
In a firm but soft voice, Cornelia Wilbur put Danny at ease. She looked into his eyes and told him to relax. She held her left hand up to her forehead, and her diamond ring glinted and reflected in his eyes.
“You are totally relaxed and feeling good now, Danny. Nothing is bothering you. Relax. Whatever you feel like doing or saying is all right. Anything you want.”
“I want to leave,” Danny said. “I want to get off the spot.” “Whatever you want to do is all right with us, Danny. I’ll tell you what. When you leave, I’d like to talk to Billy. The Billy who was bom with that name.”
He shrugged. “I can’t make Billy come. He’s asleeg. Arthur and Ragen are the only ones who can wake him up. ’
“Well, you tell Arthur and Ragen that I have to talk to Billy. It’s very important.”
Yavitch watched in growing astonishment as Danny’s eyes went blank. His lips moved, his body jerked erect, and then he looked around, dazed. He said nothing at first and then asked for a cigarette.
Dr. Wilbur gave him one, and as he settled back, Judy Stevenson whispered to Yavitch that the only one who smoked cigarettes was Allen.
Wilbur once again introduced herself and the people in the room who hadn’t met Allen before, and Yavitch marveled at how changed Milligan seemed, how relaxed and outgoing. He smiled and spoke earnestly and fluently, very different from the shy, boyish Danny. Allen answered her questions about his interests. He played the piano and the drums, he said, and painted—mostly portraits. He was eighteen and loved baseball, though Tommy hated the game.^
“All right, Allen,” Wilbur said, “I’d like to talk to Arthur now. ”
“Yeah, okay,” Allen said. “Wait, I . . J”
Yavitch stared as Allen took a couple of quick, deep puffs of the cigarette before leaving. It seemed so spontaneous, such a small detail, to take those final drags before Arthur, who didn’t smoke cigarettes, emerged.
Again, the eyes went blank, the lids fluttered. He opened them, leaned back, gazed around with a haughty expression and put his fingertips together, forming a pyramid. When he spoke, it was with an upper-class British accent.
Yavitch frowned as he listened. He found himself actually seeing and hearing a new person talking to Dr. Wilbur. Arthur’s eye contact, his body language, were obviously different from Allen’s. A friend of Yavitch s, an accountant in Cleveland, was British, and Yavitch was amazed at the resemblance—the authentic speech pattern.
“I don’t believe I’ve met these people,” Arthur said.
He was introduced around, and Yavitch felt silly greeting Arthur as if he had just walked into the room. When Wilbur asked Arthur about the others, he described their roles and explained who would or would not be allowed to come out. Finally Dr. Wilbur said, “We must speak with Billy.”
“It is very dangerous to waken him,” Arthur said. “Hes quite suicidal, you know.”
“Its very important that Dr. Harding get to meet him. The outcome of the trial could depend upon it. Freedom and treatment, or else prison.”
Arthur thought about it, pursed his lips and said, “Well, really, I’m not the one to decide. Since we are in a prison—a hostile environment—Ragen is dominant, and only he makes the final decision about who does and does not come on the spot.”
“What is Ragens role in your lives?” she asked.
“Ragen is the protector and the keeper of hate.”
“All right, then,” Dr. Wilbur said sharply. “I must speak to Ragen.”
“Madam, I suggest that—”
“Arthur, we don’t have much time. A lot of busy people have given up their Sunday morning to come down here and help you. Ragen must agree to let Billy talk to us.”
Again the face went blank, eyes staring, trancelike. Lips moved as if in an inner, unheard conversation. Then the jaw tightened and his brow furrowed deeply.
“Is not possible,” growled the deep Slavic voice.
“What do you mean?” Wilbur asked.
“Is not possible to speak vit Billy.”
“Who are you?”
“I am Ragen Vadascovinich. Who are these people?”
Dr. Wilbur introduced everyone, and Yavitch wondered again at the change, at the striking Slavic accent. He wished he knew some phrases in Yugoslavian or Serbo-Croatian, to see if it was just the accent or if Ragen could understand the language. He wished Dr. Wilbur would probe into that. He wanted to mention it, but they had all been asked not to speak beyond the introduction.
Dr. Wilbur asked Ragen, “How did you know I wanted to speak to Billy?”
Ragen nodded with mild amusement. “Arthur asks my opinion. And I am opposed. Is my right as protector to decide who comes on spot. Not possible for Billy to come out.”
“And why not?”
“You are doctor, no? Let me put it this vay. Is impossible because if Billy vakes, he vill kill himself.”
“How can you be sure of that?”
He shrugged. “Each time Billy comes on spot, he thinks he is do something bad and he tries to kill himself. Is my responsibility. I say no.”
“What are your responsibilities?”
“To protect all, especially the young ones.”
“I see. And you have never foiled in your duties? The young ones have never been hurt or felt pain, because you’ve protected them from it?”
“Not exactly true. David feels pain.”
“And you let David take the pain?”
“Is his purpose.”
“A big, strong man like you, letting a child bear all that pain and suffering?”
“Dr. Vilbur, I am not one to—”
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Ragen. Now, I don’t think you should set yourself up as an authority. I am a medical doctor, and I have treated cases like this before. I think / should be the one to decide if Billy can come out—certainly not someone who lets a defenseless child bear the pain when he is around to take some of it on his own shoulders.”
Ragen shifted in his seat, looking embarrassed and guilty. He mumbled that she didn’t understand the situation at all, but her voice went on, softly but sharply persuasive.
“All right!” he said. “You are responsible. But all men must first leave room. Billy is afraid of men because of vat his father did to him.”
Gary, Bemie Yavitch and Dr. Harding rose to leave the room, but Judy spoke up.
“Ragen, it’s very important that Dr. Harding be allowed to stay and see Billy. You have to trust me. Dr. Harding is very interested in the medical aspects of this case, and he’s got to be allowed to stay.”
“We’ll go out,” Gary said, pointing to himself and Yavitch. Ragen looked around the room, evaluating the situation. “I permit,” he said, pointing to a chair in the far comer of the large room. “But he must sit back there. And stay.”
George Harding, looking uncomfortable, smiled weakly. He nodded and sat down in the comer.
“And not move!” Ragen said.
Gary and Bemie Yavitch went out into the corridor, and Gary said, “I’ve never met the core personality, Billy. I don’t know if he’ll come out. But what’s your reaction to what you’ve seen and heard?”
Yavitch sighed. “I started out very skeptical. Now I don’t know what to think. But I don’t think it’s an act.”
Those who remained in the room watched closely as Milligan’s face paled. His gaze seemed to turn inward. His lips twitched as if he were talking in his sleep.
Suddenly his eyes opened wide.
“Oh my God!” he cried. “I thought I was dead!”
He jerked around in his seat. Seeing people looking at him, he jumped out of the chair onto the floor on all fours and scuttled crablike to the opposite wall, as far from them as he could get, squeezing between the writing arm rests of two chairs, cowering and sobbing.
“What’d I do now?”
With a gentle but firm voice, Cornelia Wilbur said, “You did nothing wrong, young man. There is nothing for you to be upset about.”
He was quivering, pressing himself back inta the wall as if trying to go through it. His hair had fallen into his eyes and he peered through it, making no attempt to brush it back.
“I realize you don’t know it, Billy, but everyone in this room is here to help you. Now, I think you should get off the floor and sit in that chair so we can talk to you.”
It became apparent to everyone in the room that Wilbur was in control and knew exactly what she was doing, touching the right mental buttons to make him respond.
He got up and sat in the chair, knees jiggling anxiously, body shaking. “I ain’t dead?” ^
“You re very much alive, Billy, and we know you’re having problems and you need help. You do need help, don’t you?’ He nodded, wide-eyed.
“Tell me, Billy, why did you smash your head into the wall the other day?”
“I thought I was dead,” he said, “and then I woke up and found myself in jail.”
“What was the last thing you remember before that?” “Going up to the school roof. I didn’t want to see any more doctors. Dr. Brown at the Lancaster Mental Health Center couldn’t cure me. I thought I jumped off. Why ain’t I dead? Who are all of you? Why you lookin’ at me like that?”
“We’re doctors and lawyers, Billy. We’re here to help you.”
“Doctors? Daddy Chal will kill me if I talk to you.”
“He doesn’t want me to tell what he done to me.”
Wilbur looked questioningly at Judy Stevenson.
“His adoptive father,” Judy explained. “His mother divorced Chalmer Milligan six years ago. ’
Billy stared around him, dumfounded. “Divorced? Six years?” He touched his face as if to be sure it was real. “Hows that possible?”
“We have a lot to talk about, Billy,” said Wilbur. “A lot of missing pieces to put together.”
He looked around wildly. “How’d I get here? What’s going on?” He began to sob and rock back and forth.
“I know you’re tired now, Billy,” Wilbur said. “You can go back and rest now.”
Suddenly the crying stopped. The expression on his face turned instantly into an alert but confused state. He touched the tears running down his face, and he frowned.
“What’s going on here? Who was that? I heard someone crying, but I didn’t know where it was coming from. Jesus, whoever he was, he was just about to run and crash himself into the wall. Who is he? ’
“That was Billy,” Wilbur said, “The original Billy, sometimes known as the host or core personality. Who are you?”
“I didn’t know Billy was allowed out. No one told me. I’m Tommy.”
Gary and Bemie Yavitch were permitted back into the room, and Tommy was introduced to everyone, asked a few questions and taken back to his cell. When Yavitch heard what had happened in their absence, he shook his head. It all seemed so unreal—like bodies possessed by spirits or demons. He said to Gary and Judy, “I don’t know what it means, but I guess I’m with the rest of you. He doesn’t seem to be faking.’
Only Dr. George Harding was noncommital. He was reserving judgment, he said. He had to think about what he’d heard and seen. The next day he would write his opinion for Judge Flowers.
Russ Hill, the medic who had brought Tommy back upstairs, had no idea what was wrong with Milligan. All he knew was
that there were a lot of doctors and lawyers coming and going to see this patient, and that he was a very changeable young man who could draw good pictures. A few days after the big Sunday meeting, he passed by the cell and saw Milligan drawing. He peeked through the bars and saw a very childish line drawing with some words printed on it.
A guard came up and started to laugh. “Hell, my two-year-old draws better ’n that goddamn rapist.”
“Leave him alone,” said Hill.
The guard had a glass of water in his hand, and he flung it through the bars, wetting the drawing.
“What’d you do that for?” Hill said. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
But the guard who had thrown the water drew away from the bars when he saw the expression on Milligans face. The rage was unmistakable. He seemed to be looking around for something to throw. Suddenly, the prisoner grabbed the toilet bowl, ripped it out of the wall and threw it against the bars, shattering the porcelain.
The guard stumbled back and ran to hit the alarm button.
“Jesus, Milligan!” Hill said.
“He threw vater on Christenes drawing. Is not right to destroy the vork of children.”
Six officers burst into the corridor, but by that time they found Milligan sitting on the floor with a dazed expression on his face. .
“You’re gonna pay for that, you sonofabitch!” the guard shouted. “That’s county property.”
Tommy sat back against the wall, put his hands behind his head arrogantly and said, “Fuck county property.”
In a letter dated March 13, 1978, Dr. George Harding, Jr., wrote to Judge Flowers: “Based upon the interview, it is my opinion that William S. Milligan is not competent to stand trial due to his inability to cooperate with his attorney in his own defense, and that he lacks the emotional integration necessary to be able to testify in his own defense, to confront witnesses, and to maintain an effective psychological presence in court beyond his mere physical presence.”
Dr. Harding now had to make another decision. Both Schweickart and Yavitch had asked him to go beyond the competency evaluation and request that Harding Hospital admit Milligan for evaluation and treatment.
George Harding struggled with his decision. He’d been impressed that Prosecutor Yavitch had been at that interview— a most unusual thing for a prosecutor to do, Harding thought. Schweickart and Yavitch had assured him that he would not be placed in an adversarial role “for the defense” or “for the prosecution,” but that both sides would agree in advance that nis report would go into the trial record “by stipulation.” How could he resist when both sides were asking this of him?
As medical director of Harding Hospital, he presented the request to the hospital administrator and the finance officer. “We’ve never turned away from difficult problems,” he told them. “Harding Hospital doesn’t accept just the easy cases.” On the basis of George Harding’s strong recommendation that this would be an opportunity for the staff to learn, as well as for the hospital to make a contribution to*psychiatric knowledge, the committee agreed to admit William Milligan for the three months mandated by the court.
On March 14, Hill and another officer came to get Milligan. “They want you downstairs,” the guard said, “but the sheriff says you got to go in straits.”
Milligan put up no resistance while they fastened the jacket on him and led him from the cell to the elevator.
Downstairs, Gary and Judy were waiting in the corridor, eager to tell their client they had good news for him. When the elevator door opened, they saw Russ Hill and the guard looking on in open-mouthed amazement as Milligan stepped out of the strait jacket, almost freeing himself completely.
“It’s impossible,” the guard said.
“I told you it wouldn’t hold me. And no jail or hospital can hold me, either.”
“Tommy?” Judy asked.
“Damned right!” he snorted.
“Come on in here,” said Gary, pulling him into the conference room. “We’ve got to talk.”
Tommy shook his arm loose from Gary’s grip. “What’s the matter?”
“Good news,” Judy said.
Gary said, “Dr. George Harding has offered to accept you at Harding Hospital for pretrial observation and treatment.”
“What does that mean?”
“One of two things can happen,” Judy explained. “Either at some future time you’ll be declared competent, and a trial date will be set; or after a certain period you’ll be ruled incompetent to stand trial, and the charges will be dismissed. The prosecution agreed to it, and Judge Flowers has ordered you removed from here and sent to Harding Hospital next week. On one condition.”
Tommy said, “There’s always a condition.”
Gary leaned forward and jabbed at the table with his forefinger. “Dr. Wilbur told the judge that multiple personalities keep their promises. She knows how important promises are to all of you.’
“Judge Flowers says if you’ll promise not to try to escape from Harding Hospital, you can be released and sent there right away.”
Tommy crossed his arms. “Shit. I’m not promising that.” “You’ve got to!” Gary shouted. “Jesus, we’ve been working our tails off to keep you from being sent to Lima, and now you take this attitude?”
“Well, its not right,” Tommy said. “Escaping is the one thing I do best. That’s one of the main reasons I’m here. I’m being denied the use of my talent.”
Gary ran his fingers through his hair as if he wanted to pull it out.
Judy put her hand on Tommy’s arm. “Tommy, you’ve got to give us your promise. If not for yourself you’ve got to do it for the children. The little ones. You know this is a bad place for them. They’ll be cared for at Harding Hospital.”
He uncrossed his arms and stared at the table, and Judy knew she had touched the right nerve. She had come to understand that the other personalities had a deep love and a sense of responsibility for the younger ones.
“All right,” he said reluctantly. “I promise.”
What Tommy did not tell her was that when he first heard that he might be transferred to Lima, he had bought a razor blade from a trusty. Right now it was taped to the sole of his left foot. There was no reason to tell because no one had asked him. He had learned long ago that when you are transferred from one institution to another, you always bring along a weapon. He might not be able to break his promise by escaping, but at least he could defend himself if someone tried to rape him. Or else he could give it to Billy and let him cut his own throat.
Four days before the scheduled transfer to Harding Hospital, Sergeant Willis came down to the cell. He wanted Tommy to show him how he managed to get out of the strait jacket.
Tommy looked at the lean, balding officer with the fringes erf* gray hair framing his dark complexion and said with a frown, “Why should I?”
“You’re leaving here anyway,” Willis said. “I figure I’m not too old to learn something new.”
“You been okay to me, Sergeant,” Tommy said, “but I don’t give up my secrets that easy.”
“Look at it this way. You could help save someone’s life.” Tommy had turned away, but now he looked up, curious. “How’s that?”
“You’re not sick, I know that. But we’ve got other people in here who are. We put them in straits to protect them. If they got out, they might kill themselves. If you show me how you do it, we could prevent other people from doing it. You’d be saving fives.”
Tommy shrugged to show that didn’t concern him.
But the next day he showed Sergeant Willis his trick of taking off the strait jacket. Then he taught him how to put it on a person in such a way that he could never get out of it.
Late that night, Judy got a call from Dorothy Turner. “There’s another one,” Turner said.
“Another personality we didn’t know about. A nineteen-year-old girl named Adalana.”
“Oh my God!” Judy whispered. “That makes ten.”
Dorothy described her late-night visit to the jail, how she had seen him sitting on the floor and heard him talking in a soft voice about needing love and affection. Dorothy had sat beside him, comforting him, wiping away his tears. Then “Adalana” talked of writing poetry in secret. She explained, tearfully, that only she had the ability to wish any of the others off the spot. Only Arthur and Christene, up to now, had known of her existence.
Judy tried to imagine the scene: Dorothy sitting on the floor, hugging Milligan. ^
“Why did she choose to reveal herself now?” Judy asked. “Adalana blames herself for what happened to the boys,” Dorothy said. “She’s the one who stole the time from Ragen at the time of the rapes.” ‘
“What are you saying?”
“Adalana said she did it because she was desperate to be held and caressed and loved.”
“Adalana did the—”
“Adalanas a lesbian.”
When Judy hung up, she stared at the telephone for a long time. Her husband asked her what the call was about. She opened her mouth to tell him, but then she shook her head and instead turned out the light.