A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

Billy Milligan is one of the most famous people diagnosed with multiple personality. In his mind, 24 different people "lived" at the same time - ranging from ordinary teenagers to dangerous criminal elements. It was the "personalities" in Billy's body, and not himself, who committed several rapes and robberies, as a result of which the man was declared insane at the trial and acquitted.

This verdict has caused a lot of controversy. The story of Billy Milligan is full of questions: is his 24 personality a terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? Was Billy Milligan really mentally ill, or was he cleverly faking a disorder to avoid punishment? Let's figure it out.

A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

William Stanley Milligan's childhood can hardly be called happy. He was the second of three children of failed singer Dorothy Milligan and talentless comedian Johnny Morrison. His parents were not married. Moreover, Morrison was a family man, and Dorothy was just his mistress.

A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

Billy's mother was not too interested in raising children: acquaintances described her as a "walking, frivolous woman." Naturally, Billy's father didn't care about them either, because two "official" children and a jealous, not without reason, wife were waiting for him at home. Under the yoke of quarrels, children, a failed career and debts, Johnny Morrison began to get drunk, and soon took his own life.

Billy was four years old at that time and, according to psychologists, then one person lived in his body. By the age of five, there were already four personalities.

A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

According to psychiatrists, new personalities appeared in Billy Milligan's body at moments when he was trying to escape from the cruel reality. It was a kind of defense mechanism, and it worked at least 24 times. That's how many personalities were found in Billy's "mind" when they conducted a psychiatric examination at the trial…

Perhaps no one would have found out about Billy's diagnosis if one day one of his personalities had not decided to rob a pharmacy. Then the man was put in prison, and a couple of years later he was released on parole. Less than a couple of months later, he committed a new crime: this time Milligan was detained on suspicion of raping three women.

A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

It was then, during the preparation of his defense at the trial, that it became known about Billy's unstable mental state. Initially , Dr. Willis K. Driscoll stated that the defendant suffers from acute schizophrenia. However, further examinations of the suspect showed that the specialists were dealing with something else…

Psychologist Dorothy Turner concluded that the patient suffers from dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder. The disease is quite rare - it occurs in only 1-5 percent of people. And Billy Milligan, apparently, was among those "lucky ones".

A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

According to the psychologist, the cruelty experienced in childhood contributed to the development of the disorder. Billy said that his stepfather locked him in the barn and raped him. Billy's mother later confirmed these words in court, saying that her husband was a tyrant and a sadist. Although Chalmer Milligan himself denied it.

And although in the end the court did not side with him, all of Milligan's friends, acquaintances and colleagues unanimously insisted that he was an honest, decent, peaceful and completely calm person. But, as we know, there are devils in a quiet pool, and even some serial maniacs looked like simple, nice people.

The more forensic psychiatric examinations were conducted, the more mysterious Billy's story became. First, the doctors found out that ten personalities live in his mind at once, and two of them committed crimes. Then it became known about 14 more personalities. Later, another "unifying" personality appeared — the Teacher.

A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

Under the pressure of the results of numerous examinations and tests, the judges had no choice but to acquit Billy and declare him insane. For robberies and rapes, he did not even receive a suspended sentence, as doctors concluded that the crimes were committed by the man's alter personalities, and not by himself. As a result, Milligan was released "until he recovers." Thus, he became the first person to be acquitted in court due to the diagnosis of "multiple personalities".

Since then, Billy has managed to visit many psychiatric hospitals, because every psychiatrist tried to communicate with a mysterious patient and learn as much as possible about his personalities. Over the years of surveys, various specialists have managed to identify 24 personalities. Some "lived" inside Billy, but manifested themselves extremely rarely, others were more active and often contacted the outside world.

A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

Here are the main personalities of Milligan that psychiatrists have identified:

It is noteworthy that all the personalities had different talents: someone painted still lifes, someone played the harmonica, someone was well versed in electricity, etc.

A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

Later, a Teacher was added to them — a 26-year-old guy who helped Billy tell the world his mysterious story. His appearance raises doubts about the veracity of Milligan's diagnosis. The fact is that Milligan himself invited Daniel Keyes to write a book about his life. He agreed, but on one condition: Billy would give him more information than he gave to psychiatrists and journalists.

Milligan stated that he does not remember anything, since for a long time his life was ruled by alter personalities. Keyes was about to refuse the offer, but suddenly the same Teacher appeared. It was he who helped to remember everything. Thanks to these memories, the book "The Multiple Minds of Billy Milligan" appeared.

A terrible diagnosis or a clever scam? 24 personalities of Billy Milligan

Whether this was a coincidence, or all this time William Stanley Milligan skillfully posed as a mentally ill person, remains to be guessed. In any case, his story, true or not, is now known to the whole world. Billy himself, after almost 11 years of wandering around prisons and hospitals, in addition to fame, received huge debts and eventually declared bankruptcy. Soon, the patient with the mysterious disease was no longer remembered at all.

On December 16, 2014, the American channel WBNS-TV announced his death. According to them, William Milligan died in a nursing home on December 12 of the same year as a result of cancer.

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