On March 23, 1972, Allen went with Dorothy to the recruiting office, and he and Tommy signed the enlistment papers. Dorothy had mixed feelings about letting her younger son join the Navy, but she knew it was important to get nim out of the house, away from Chalmer. The expulsion from school had made things worse.
The recruiting officer moved quickly through the paperwork and the questions. Dorothy did most of the answering.
“Have you ever been in a mental institution or been diagnosed as mentally ill?”
“No,” Tommy said. “Not me.”
“Wait just a minute,” Dorothy said. “You did spend three months in Columbus State Hospital. Dr. Brown said it was hysterical neurosis.”
The recruiter looked up, pen poised. “Ah, we don’t have to put that down,” he said. “Everybody’s a little neurotic.” Tommy gave Dorothy a triumphant look.
When the time came to take the General Education and Development Test, Tommy and Allen both looked it over. Seeing that it had nothing to do with any of Tommy’s abilities or knowledge, Allen decided to take the test himself. But then Danny came and looked at the paper, not knowing what to do.
The proctor, seeing his confused look, whispered, “Go ahead, you just black in your answers between the little lines.” Danny shrugged and, without reading any of the questions, went down the columns and blacked in between the lines. He passed.
Within a week Allen was on his way to the Naval Training Center at Great Lakes, Illinois, and was assigned to Company 109, Battalion 21, to begin his basic training.
Because Milligan had been in the Civil Air Patrol when he was in high school, he was appointed RPOC (Recruit Petty Officer in Charge) of 160 young recruits. He was a strict disciplinarian.
When Allen learned that the company most proficient in the sixteen-count manual would be made the honor company, he and Tommy set to work to find where they could whittle minutes off the morning schedule.
“Cut out showers,” Tommy suggested.
“Regulations,” Allen said. “They’ve got to go into the showers even if they don’t use soap.”
Tommy sat down and figured out an assembly-line method of showering.
The next evening Allen instructed the men: “You roll up your towel and put it into your left hand. You put your bar of soap into your right. There’s sixteen showers this way, twelve across and sixteen this way. Now, they’re all even water temperature, so you won’t get scalded or froze out. What you do is walk through and keep walking as you wash the left side of your body. When you get to the comer, flip the soap over to your other hand and keep moving, going backwards as you wash the other side of your body and your hair. By the time you get to the end shower you’ve rinsed off ready to dry.”
The recruits watched in astonishment as he demonstrated by walking through the showers with his uniform on, checking his watch. “This way it takes only forty-five seconds for each one to shower. All hundred and sixty of you should be able to get through, out of the shower and dressed in less than ten minutes. I want us to be the first company out on the grinder in the morning. We’re gonna be the honor company.”
Next morning, Milligan’s company was the first out on the parade grounds. Allen was pleased, and Tommy told him he was working on a few more time-saving methods. He was awarded the Service Medal for good conduct.
Two weeks later things started to go bad. Allen called home and found out that Chalmer was beating Dorothy again. Ragen became angry. Arthur, of course, didn’t really care. But it bothered Tommy and Danny and Allen a great deal. They became depressed and it caused another mix-up time.
Shawn started wearing his shoes on the wrong feet and leaving them untied. David became slovenly. Philip found out where he was and didn’t give a damn. The men of Company 109 soon realized there was something wrong with their RPOC. One day he would be a crack leader and the next day he would sit around talking and letting the paperwork pile up.
They observed that he began walking in his sleep. Someone told him about it, and Tommy started tying himself to the bed at night. When he was relieved of the RPOC job, Tommy became depressed and Danny went to sick bay whenever he could.
Arthur became interested in the hematology lab.
The Navy sent an investigator to observe him one day, and he found Philip stretched out on his bunk in uniform, his white hat on his feet, flipping cards off the top of a deck.
“Whats going on here?” Captain Simons demanded.
“Get on your feet, mister,” said*his aide.
“Fuck off!” Philip said.
“I’m a captain. How dare you—”
“I don’t give a damn if you’re Jesus Christ! Get outta here. You’re making me miss.”
When Chief Petty Officer Rankin came in, Philip told him the same thing.
On April 12, 1972, two weeks and four days after Tommy joined the Navy, Philip was assigned to the Recruit Evaluation Unit.
The report from his company commander stated: “This man was my RPOC at first, but then he didn’t do anything except try to boss everyone all the time. Then he started going to sick-call after I relieved him of his RPOC job. Each day it got worse, and every class he found a reason to get out of it. This man is way behind the rest of the company and is going downhill all the time. This man will require watching.”
A psychiatrist interviewed David, who didn’t understand what was going on. After a check of the records from Ohio, the Navy discovered that he had been in a mental hospital and had lied on recruitment papers. The psychiatric report stated, “He lacks the necessary maturity and stability to function effectively in the Navy. It is recommended that he be discharged as temperamentally unsuitable for further training.”
On May 1, a month and a day after his enlistment, William Stanley Milligan was discharged from the U.S. Navy “under honorable conditions.”
He was given his pay and an airline ticket to Columbus. But on the way from Great Lakes to O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Philip learned that two other recruits on leave to go home were heading for New York City. Instead of using his United Airlines ticket, Philip joined them on the bus. He was going to see New York, the place he knew he was from but had never seen.
At the New York bus terminal Philip said good-by to his traveling companions, slung his duffle bag over his shoulder and started walking. He picked up maps and brochures at the information desk and headed for Times Square. He felt at home. The streets, the voices that sounded natural to his ear, assured him that this was where he belonged.
Philip spent two days exploring the city. He took a trip on the Staten Island Ferry and one to the Statue of Liberty. Then, starting at the Battery, he wandered the narrow streets around Wall Street and walked up to Greenwich Village. He ate in a Greek restaurant and slept at a cheap hotel. The next day he went to Fifth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street and stared up at the Empire State Building. He took the tour to the top and studied the city.
“Which way is Brooklyn?” he asked the tour guide.
She pointed. “Over there. You can see the three bridges— the Williamsburg, the Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.” “That’s where I’m going next,” he said.
He took the elevator down, hailed a cab and said, “Take me to the Brooklyn Bridge.”
“The Brooklyn Bridge?”
Philip flung his duffel bag inside. “That’s what I said.”
“You gonna jump off it or buy it?” the driver asked.
“Fuck you, doc. Just drive and save the smart-ass jokes for the out-of-towners.”
The driver let him out at the bridge and Philip started walking across it. There was a cool breeze and he felt good, but when he reached the halfway point, he stopped and looked down. All that water. God, it was beautiful. Suddenly he felt very depressed. He didn’t know why, but in the middle of this beautiful bridge he felt so down he couldn’t go on. He slung his duffel bag over his shoulder and turned back toward Manhattan.
His depression grew deeper. Here he was in New York and not having a good time. There was something he had to see, someplace he had to find, but he didn’t know what or where it was. He got on a bus, took it as far as it went, then transferred to another bus and another, looking at the houses and the people but not knowing where he was going or what he was searching for.
He got off at a shopping mall and wandered. In to middle of the mall he saw a wishing fountain. He flipped a couple of coins. As he started to toss a third quarter in, he felt a tugging at his sleeve. A little black boy was looking up at him with big pleading eyes.
“Oh shit,” Philip said, flipping him the coin. The boy grinned and ran.
Philip picked up the duffel bag. The depression began to eat -at his gut with such a feeling of pain that he stood there for a few moments, shuddered and left the spot . . .
David staggered under the weight of the duffel bag and dropped it. That was too heavy for an eight-year-old—almost nine—to carry. He dragged it along behind him, looking at the store windows, wondering where he was and how he had gotten here. He sat down on a bench, looked around and watched children playing. He wished he could play with them. Then he got up and started pulling the duffel bag again, but it was too heavy, so he just left it and wandered off.
He went into an Army and Navy store and looked at the surplus CB’s and sirens. He picked up a big plastic bubble and pressed a switch. A siren went off and the red light inside started flashing. Terrified, he dropped the bubble and ran, knocking over an ice cream vendor’s bicycle parked outside and scraping his elbow. He kept running.
When he saw no one coming after him, David stopped running and walked the streets, wondering how he was going to get back to the house. Dorothy was probably worried about him. And he was getting hungry. He wished he had an ice cream. If he could find a policeman, he would ask him how to get home. Arthur always said if he was lost, he should ask the bobbies to help him . . .
Allen blinked his eyes.
He bought an ice cream on a stick from a vendor and started off, unwrapping it, but then he saw a little dirty-faced girl watching him.
“Jesus Christ,” he said, handing it to her. He was a sucker for kids, especially those with big hungry eyes.
He went back to the vendor. “Gimme another one.”
“Boy, you must be humgry.”
“Shut up and gimme the ice cream.”
As he walked, eating his ice cream, he decided he had to do something about letting kids get to him. What kind of con artist lets kids make a sucker of him?
He wandered around, looking at the big buildings of what he thought was Chicago, and then took a bus downtown. He knew it was too late to get down to O’Hare Airport tonight. He’d have to spend the night here in Chicago and take the plane to Columbus in the morning.
Suddenly he saw an electronic sign on a building that flashed: may 5, temperature 68°. May 5? He pulled out his wallet and looked through it. About five hundred dollars’ separation pay. His discharge was dated May 1. His plane ticket from Chicago to Columbus was dated May 1. What the hell? Here he’d been wandering around in Chicago for four days since his discharge without knowing it. Where was his duffel bag? He had an empty feeling in his stomach. He looked down at his dress blue uniform. It was filty. The elbows were ripped and his left arm was scraped.
All right. He’d get something to eat, get a night’s sleep and take the flight back to Columbus in the morning. He grabbed a couple of hamburgers, found a flophouse and spent nine dollars for a room.
The next morning he hailed a cab and told the driver to take him to the airport.
He shook his head. He didn’t know there was a La Guardia in Chicago.
“Nah, the other one, the big one.”
All during the trip to the airport he tried to understand what had happened. He closed his eyes and tried to reach Arthur. Nothing. Ragen? Nowhere around. So it was another mix-up time.
At the airport, he went up to the United Airlines counter and handed the clerk his ticket.
“When can I get outta here?” he asked.
She looked at the ticket and then at him. “This is for a flight from Chicago to Columbus. You can’t go from here to Ohio on this.” ”
“What are you talking about?”
“Chicago,” she said.
A supervisor came over and examined the ticket. Allen didn’t understand what the problem was.
“You all right, sailor?” the man said. “You can’t fly from New York to Columbus on this.”
Allen rubbed his unshaven face. “New York?”
“That’s right, Kennedy Airport.”
Allen took a deep breath and started talking fast. “Well, look, what happened is somebody made a mistake. You see, I’ve been discharged.” He pulled out his papers. “I got on the wrong plane, you see. And it was supposed to take me to Columbus. Somebody must’ve slipped something in my coffee, because I was unconscious, and when I came to, I was here in New York. Left my bags on the plane and everything. You’ll have to do something about it. It’s the airline’s fault.” “It’s going to cost you a surcharge to change this ticket,” the woman said.
“Well, you just call the Navy in Great Lakes. They’re the ones who have got to get me back to Columbus. You just bill them for it. I mean, a serviceman on his way home has a right to be given proper transportation without going through a hassle. You just pick up that phone and call the Navy.”
The man looked at him and then said, “Okay, why don’t you just wait here and I’ll see what we can do for a serviceman?” “Where’s the men’s room?” Allen asked.
She pointed and Allen walked to it quickly.
Once inside, seeing there was no one else there, he grabbed a loose roll of toilet paper off the ledge and flung it across the room. “Shit! Shit! Shit!” he shouted. “Goddamn it, I can’t take any more of this shit!”
When he settled down, he washed his face, brushed his hair back and put his white cap on at a jaunty angle to face the people at the ticket coounter
“All right,” the woman said. “It’s been worked out. I’ll write you up a new ticket. You’ve got a seat on the next flight out. It leaves in two hours.”
During the flight back to Columbus, Allen mulled over his annoyance at having been in New York for five days without seeing any of it except the inside of a taxi and Kennedy International Airport. He had no idea how he had gotten there, who had stolen the time or what had happened. He wondered if he would ever find out. On the bus to Lancaster, he settled back for a nap and mumbled—hoping Arthur or Ragen would hear it—“Somebody sure screwed up.”
Allen got a job selling vacuum cleaners and trash compactors door-to-door for Interstate Engineering. Fast-talking Allen did well for about a month. He observed his co-worker Sam Garrison making dates with waitresses and secretaries as well as customers. Allen admired his hustle.
On the Fourth of July, 1972, Garrison asked, as they sat talking, “How come you don’t date some of these chicks?”
“I don’t have time,” Allen said. He squirmed, always uncomfortable when the conversation turned to sex. “I’m not really that interested.”
“You’re not queer, are you?”
“Seventeen, and you’re not interested in girls?”
“Look,” Allen said, “I’ve got other things on my mind.” “For God’s sake,” Garrison said, “haven’t you ever been laid?” f
“I don’t wanna talk about it.” Unaware of Philip’s experience with the girl in the psychiatric hospital, Allen felt his face go red and he turned away.
“You don’t mean to tell me you’re a virgin.”
Allen said nothing.
“Well, my boy,” Garrison said. ‘We’ll have to do something about that. Leave it to Sam. I’ll pick you up at your house tonight at seven o’clock.”
That evening, Allen showered, dressed up and used some of Billy’s brother’s cologne. Jim was in the Air Force now and wouldn’t miss it.
Garrison arrived on time and drove him up town. They pulled up in front of the Hot Spot on Broad Street and Garrison said, “Wait in the car. I’ll be right out with something.” Allen was startled when Garrison returned a few minutes later with two bored-looking young women.
“Hi, honey,” the blonde said, leaning into the car window. “I’m ‘Dina and this is Dolly. You’re a good-looking guy.” Dolly flipped her long black hair back and got into the front of the car with Garrison. Trina got in the back with Allen.
They drove out into the country, talking and giggling all the way. THna kept putting her hand on Allen’s leg and playing with his fly zipper. When they got to a deserted-spot, Garrison pulled off the road. “C’mon, Billy,” he said. “I got blankets in the trunk. Help me get them out.”
As Allen walked to the trunk with him, Garrison handed him two thin tinfoil-wrapped packages. “You know what to do with these, don’t ya?”
“Yeah,” Allen said. “But I don’t need to put two on, do I?” Garrison punched his arm gently. “Always the comedian. One’s for Trina, and the other one’s for Dolly. I told them we’d switch. We’ll each fuck ‘em both.”
Allen looked down into the trunk and saw a hunting rifle. He looked up quickly, but Sam handed him a blanket, took one for himself and shut the trunk. Then he and Dolly walked off behind a tree.
“C’mon, we’d better get started,” Trina said/ unbuckling Allens belt.
“Hey, you don’t have to do that,” Allen said.
“Well, if you’re not interested, honey—”
A short time later, Sam called for Trina, and Dolly came over to Allen. “Well?” asked Dolly.
“ ‘Well’ what?”
“Can you make it again?”
“Look,” Allen said, “like I told your friend over there, you don’t have to do anything and we can still be friends.”
“Well, honey, you can do anything you want, but I don’t want Sam to get mad. You’re a pretty nice guy. He’s kind of busy with Trina, so I guess he won’t notice.”
When Sam was done, he went to the trunk, pulled a couple of beers out of the cooler and handed one to Allen.
“Well,” he said, “how’d you like the girls?”
“I didn’t do anything, Sam.”
“You mean you didn’t do anything? Or they didn’t do anything?”
“I told them they didn’t have to. When I’m ready, I’ll get married.”
“Now, that’s okay, take it easy,” Allen said. “Everything’s cool.”
“Cool, crap!” He stormed over to the girls. “I told you this guy was a virgin. It was up to you two to turn him on.” Dolly walked to the back of the car where Garrison was standing and saw the rifle in the trunk. “You’re in trouble, buddy.”
“Shit. Get in the car,” Garrison said. “We’ll take you back.” “I’m not getting in the car.”
“Well, then, fuck you!”
Garrison slammed the trunk shut and jumped behind the wheel. “C’mon, Billy. Let the goddamn bitches walk.”
“Why don’t you get in?” Allen asked them. “You don’t want to stay out here alone.”
“We’ll get back okay,” Trina said. “But you guys are gonna pay for this.”
Garrison gunned the motor and Allen got into the car.
“We shouldn’t leave them here alone.”
“Shit. Just a couple of crummy broads.”
“It wasnt their fault. I didn’t want it.”
“Well, at least it didn’t cost us nothing.”
Four days later, on July 8, 1972, Sam Garrison and Allen went to the sheriff’s office in Circleville to answer some questions. Both were immediately arrested for kidnapping, rape and assault with a deadly weapon.
When the judge in Pickaway County heard the facts at pretrial, he dismissed the charge of kidnapping and set a bond of two thousand dollars. Dorothy raised two hundred dollars for the bondsman’s fee, and took her son back home.
Chalmer argued to have him sent back to jail but Dorothy arranged with her sister to take Billy into her home in Miami, Florida, until his October hearing before the Pickaway County Juvenile Court.
With Billy and Jim away, the girls began to work on Dorothy. Kathy and Challa gave her an ultimatum: If she didn’t start divorce proceedings against Chalmer, they were both going to leave home. Dorothy finally agreed that Chalmer had to go.
In Florida, Allen went to school and did well. He got a job at a paint supply store and impressed the owner with his organizational ability. “Samuel,” the religious Jew, learned Billy’s father had been Jewish. Along with many of the other Jewish residents in Miami, he was outraged at the killing of the eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Village. Samuel went to Friday night services to pray for their souls and the soul of Billy’s father. He also asked God to have the court find Allen innocent.
When he came back to Pickaway County on October 20, Milligan was turned over to the Ohio Youth Commission for evaluation. He was held in the Pickaway County Jail from November 1972 to February 16, 1973—two days after his eighteenth birthday. Though he had turned eighteen while in custody, the judge agreed that he should be tried as a juvenile. His mothers attorney, George Kellner, told the judge that in his view, whatever the decision of the court, it was imperative that his young man not be sent back to his destructive home environment.
The judge handed down a verdict of guilty and ordered William S. Milligan sent to an Ohio Youth Commission facility for an indefinite period. On March 12, the same day Allen was transported to the youth camp in Zanesville, Ohio, Dorothy’s divorce decree from Chalmer Milligan became final. Ragen mocked Samuel and told him there was no God.
“Arthur.” Pencil sketch by Allen
“Ragen Holding Christine.” Pencil sketch by Allen
(Christine spells her own name with an “e” – Christene –
whereas the other personalities spell it as usual, with an “i.”)
“Shawn.” Oil painting by Allen
“David.” Oil painting by Allen
“Adalana.” Oil painting by Allen
“The Bitch: Portrait of April.” Oil painting by Allen
“Christine.” Pencil sketch by Allen
“Christine’s Rag Doll.” Drawn by Ragen in the
Franklin County Jail (Christine is holding this rag doll in
the above sketch.)
Christine’s note to Attorney Judy Stevenson
“Dr. David Caul.” Oil painting by Allen
“Landscape.” Oil painting by Tommy
“The Grace of Cathleen.” Oil, painted in Billy’s cell at Lebanon
prison by Allen and Danny. (Originally signed by Billy, but note
the lower right-hand corner where Allen and Danny later signed
Legt to right: Jim, Kathy, Billy. Center bottom: Dorothy
Billy in 1965 at age ten