When Bemie Yavitch and Terry Sherman read Dr. George Hardings report, they agreed it was one of the most thorough mental examinations they had ever seen. All the things they as prosecutors had been trained to attack in the testimony of psychiatrists, all the positions they might normally object to, were unassailable in Hardings report. It hadn’t been a three-or four-hour checkup. It had been a hospital study of more than seven months. And it was not just Hardings opinion alone, but included consultation with a great many other psychologists and psychiatrists.

On October 6, 1978, Judge Flowers, after holding a brief competency hearing, ruled on the basis of the Harding report that Milligan was now capable of standing trial. He set tne date for December 4.

Schweickart said that was satisfactory, with one proviso: that the trial be conducted under the law that existed at the time of the crimes. (The Ohio law would change on November 1, placing the burden of proof of insanity on the defendant rather than placing the burden of proof of sanity on the prosecution.)

Yavitch disagreed.

“I will take that motion under advisement,” Judge Flowers said. “I know similar motions where amendments have been made—specifically, the new criminal code, for example. I know in most instances they have held, almost without exception, that the defendant is entitled to the better of the acts as to one way or the other. But I know of no decision or court cases in that regard.”

On the way out of the courtroom, Schweickart told Yavitch and Sherman that he intended to waive jury trial on behalf of his client and was asking Judge Flowers to hear the case.

As Schweickart walked off, Yavitch said, “There goes our case.”

“Not as locked up as it looked at the beginning,” Sherman said.

Judge Flowers later said he felt that the prosecutors, in agreeing to accept Dr. Hardings report but not agreeing that Milligan was insane, had “put the monkey on my back.”

Back at the Franklin County Jail, Gary and Judy noticed that once again Billy had become depressed and was spending most of his time drawing and brooding. The increasing publicity was bothering him. As the days went by, he spent more and more time sleeping, withdrawing from the cold, bare surroundings.

“Why can’t I stay at Harding until the trial?” he asked Judy.

“It’s not possible,” she told him. “We were lucky the court gave you the seven months there. Just hold on. The trial’s less than two months away.”

“Now, you’ve got to keep yourself together,” Gary said. “I have a strong feeling that if you stand trial, you’ll be found not guilty. If you break down and can’t stand trial, they’ll send you to Lima.”

But one afternoon, one of the guards watched Milligan lying on his bunk, drawing with a pencil. He looked down through the bars and saw the sketch—a Raggedy Ann doll with a noose around its neck, hanging in front of a shattered mirror.

“Hey, why’re you drawing that, Milligan?”

“Because I am angry,” came the deep Slavic accent. “Is time for someone to die.”

The guard, hearing the accent, quickly hit the alarm button. Ragen just studied him in mild amusement.

“Now, just back up slow there, whoever you are,” the guard said. “Leave the drawing on the bunk and back up against the wall.”

Ragen obeyed him. He saw the other guards now crowding around the bars of the cell. They unlocked the door, quickly came in, grabbed the drawing and slammed the door shut again.

“Jesus,” said one of the guards, “that’s a sick picture.”

“Call his attorney,” someone said. “He’s cracked up again.”

When Gary and Judy arrived, they were met by Arthur, who explained to them that Billy had never been totally fused.

“He is sufficiently fused, however, to go to trial,” Arthur assured them. “Billy now understands the nature of the charges against him, and he can cooperate in his own defense. But Ragen and I have stood apart. As you can see, this is a hostile place and Ragen is dominant. But if Billy isn’t moved from here to a hospital, I can’t guarantee that he’ll stay even partially fused.”

Franklin County Sheriff Harry Berkemer told a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch that his deputies witnessed an extraordinary feat of strength and endurance when Milligan was in the personality of Ragen. Ragen had been taken to the prisoner recreation area, and he chose to punch a large body bag. “He hit it hard for nineteen and a half minutes straight,” Berkemer said. ‘An average man can’t hit it for more than three minutes straight without becoming exhausted. He hit it so hard we thought he had perhaps broken an arm, and took him to a doctor to have him checked out.” But Ragen had not hurt himself.

On October 24, Judge Flowers again ordered Southwest Community Mental Health Center to examine Milligan and submit a report on his competency to stand trial. Dr. George Harding, Jr., could, at his discretion, attend the defendant. The judge also ordered Milligan immediately transferred from prison to the Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital.

On November 15, Marion J. Koloski, director of the Court Assistance Program of Southwest’s Forensic Psychiatric Center, reported that when Dr. Stella Karolin and Dorothy Turner last saw him, they had found Milligan competent to stand trial and capable of assisting his attorney in his defense, but added: “His mental condition is viewed as being very fragile, however, and it is possible that at any given time there could be a disintegration of the present fused personality into the dissociated personalities which have been evidenced previously.”

On November 29, the Dayton Daily News and the Columbus Dispatch published Chalmer Milligan’s denials of the widely circulated report that he had sexually abused his stepson. The following Associated Press story appeared in the Columbus Dispatch:

Stepfather Says He Didn’t Abuse Young Milligan Chalmers [sic] Milligan says he has become “very upset” by published reports that he physically and sexually abused his

stepson William S. Milligan, whom doctors say has 10 personalities.

“Nobody has talked to me,” complains Milligan, who asserts the abuse claims by his stepson are “completely false. ...”

According to a report signed by Dr. George T. Harding, the psychiatrists also concluded that Milligan exhibited multiple personality behavior and that he had personalities unaware of the actions of others. They blamed his condition partly on abuse he suffered as a child. . . .

Chalmer Milligan said he has suffered considerable hardship as a result of the published reports.

“You always have the misunderstanding bunch. It’s very upsetting,” he said.

He said he particularly was upset by published accounts that failed to attribute the abuse claim to William or the psychiatrists.

“It all goes back to the boy,” Milligan said. “All they’re (the publications) doing is repeating what they (the psychiatrists and young Milligan) said,” he added.

He would not say whether he planned any legal action regarding the abuse claims.

Feeling increasingly confident that Billy would be found not guilty by reason of insanity, Judy and Gary realized there was still another hurdle. Up to this time, all such verdicts resulted in the defendant being sent to Lima. But within three days, on December 1, a new Ohio law dealing with mentally ill patients would go into effect, requiring that someone found not guilty by reason of insanity be treated as a mentally ill patient and not as a criminal. The new law would require that he be sent to the least restrictive environment consistent with safety to himself and others, and his commitment to a state mental institution would come under the jurisdiction of the probate court.

Since the trial date was set for December 4 and Billy would be the first to come under the new Ohio law, there was a good chance that after the trial, the probate court would agree to send him to a place other than Lima if the defense could demonstrate an alternative where he would receive proper treatment.

Harding Hospital was out of the question because of the expense. It would have to be a state hospital where someone could be found who knew about and could treat a multiple personality.

Dr. Cornelia Wilbur mentioned that at a state mental hospital less than seventy-five miles from Columbus, there was a physician who had treated several multiple personalities and who was recognized as being skilled in the field. She recommended Dr. David Caul, medical director of the Athens Mental Health Center in Athens, Ohio.

The prosecutors office requested a pretrial meeting with Probate Judge Richard B. Metcalf to clarify procedures under the new Ohio law. Judge Jay Flowers agreed and arranged the meeting. But Judy and Gary knew that the meeting would range far beyond that. Judge Flowers would join the meeting, and it would be decided which evidence was to be admitted on Monday by stipulation and where Billy Milligan would be sent for treatment in the event he was declared not guilty by reason of insanity.

Gary and Judy decided it was important to know if Dr. Caul would accept Billy as a patient at the Athens Mental Health Center. Though Judy had heard Cauls name before and had written him in July for information about multiple personality, she had not mentioned Billy’s name. Now she phoned to ask if he would accept Billy Milligan as a patient and if he could come to Columbus on Friday to attend the meeting.

Caul said he would have to check with the hospital superintendent, Sue Foster, who would discuss it with her superiors in the state Department of Mental Health. Caul said he would consider accepting Milligan as a patient, and he agreed to drive to Columbus on Friday to attend the meeting.

On December 1, Judy waited impatiently for Dr. Caul. The lobby outside Judge Metcalf’s chambers was filling up with the others who had become involved in the case, including Dr. George Harding, Dr. Stella Karolin, Dorothy Turner and Ber-nie Yavitch. Shortly after ten o’clock, she saw the receptionist point her out to a middle-aged, fat little man. His oliveskinned, fleshy face was fringed with gray hair. His fierce, penetrating eyes were the eyes of an eagle.

She introduced him to Gary and the others, and led him into Judge Metcalf’s chambers.

Dr. David Caul settled back in the second row and listened as the attorneys discussed how the new law applied to the

Milligan case. A short while later, Judge Flowers entered the chambers and, together with Judge Metcalf, summarized the case and the procedures up to this point. Bemie Yavitch spoke of the professional information that had been assembled and agreed that it would be difficult to refute the evidence regarding Milligans condition at the time of the offenses. He would not challenge the reports by Southwest and Harding. Gary pointed out that the defense had no intention of challenging the prosecutions evidence that Milligan had actually committed the crimes.

It dawned on David Caul that they were all talking about what was going to be happening at that trial on Monday. It was his impression that here was a meeting of the minds about the scenario of that trial. Gary and Judy agreed that the victims’ names be deleted from the record. What remained was to determine what would happen to Billy if Judge Flowers found him not guilty by reason of insanity.

Gary rose and said, “We have Dr. Caul here from Athens. He has had experience in treating patients with multiple personalities at the Athens Mental Health Center, a state facility, and he was highly recommended by both Dr. Ralph Allison in California and Dr. Cornelia Wilbur in Kentucky, who themselves are recognized experts in this area of psychiatry.”

Caul found all eyes suddenly focused on him. Judge Flowers asked, “Dr. Caul, would you accept him for treatment?” Something suddenly triggered his alarm instinct. He decided that all these people were passing along a hot potato and he had better clarify his position.

“Yes, I’ll take him,” Caul said. “But if he comes to Athens, I want to be able to treat him in the same manner that I’ve treated other multiples, in an open—and the most therapeutic—setting we have.” He looked around at the others who were watching him, then back at Flowers and Metcalf, and said emphatically, “And if I can’t do, that, don’t send him.”

When he looked around, he saw all heads nodding.

As he drove back to Athens, Dr. Caul mulled over what he had seen and heard at the meeting, and it occurred to him that almost everyone there, even the prosecutor Yavitch, accepted the fact that Milligan was a multiple personality. He knew that if it went at the trial as it seemed to be going at that meeting, Milligan was about to become the first multiple personality charged with major crimes ever to be declared not guilty by reason of insanity. He realized the meeting he had just attended foreshadowed the making of legal and psychiatric history on Monday in that courtroom.


When Billy Milligan awoke on December 4, the morning they were to take him from the Columbus Ohio Psychiatric Hospital back to the Franklin County Courthouse, and looked into the mirror, he was startled to see that his mustache was gone. But he didn't remember shaving ity and he wondered who had done it. The mustache had been shaved off between the first and second rapes, and he had grown it back. Now he had lost time again. He had the same odd sensation he had known in those last days at Harding and in the Franklin County Jail— that somehow Ragen and Arthur had stood apart, and they couldn’t or wouldn’t fuse until they were sure he wouldn’t be sent to prison. Well, he was partially fused, enough to stand trial.

He would continue to answer to the name Billy, though he knew he was neither the core Billy nor a completely fused Billy. He was somewhere in between. He wondered, as they walked to the police van, what it would feel like if he was ever completely fused.

When he got into the police van at the entrance to the hospital, he saw the deputies looking at him strangely. On the way to the courthouse, the paddy wagon made a five-mile detour to throw off any news reporters or TV news people who might be following. But as it swung around Front Street into the cruiser entrance of the Franklin County Jail, a young woman and a man with a TV camera stepped inside just before the sally-port door closed behind them.

“All right, Milligan,” said the driver, opening the door.

“I’m not getting out,” Billy said. “Not with tnat TV camera and that reporter there. If you don’t protect me here in jail, I’m gonna tell my‘lawyers as soon as I get in.”

The driver turned and saw them. “Who are you?” “Channel Four News. We’ve got permission to be here.” The driver looked at Billy, who shook his head defiantly. “My lawyers told me not to get near any reporters. I’m not getting out.”

“Well, he won’t come out while you’re here,” the officer told the reporter.

“We have a right—” the woman began.

“Its a violation of my rights,” Billy called from the van. “What’s going on here?” another officer shouted from inside the security gate.

The driver said, “Milligan refuses to get out while these people are here.”

“Look, folks,” Sergeant Willis said, “I’m afraid you’ll have to leave so we can get him inside.”

When the TV cameraman and the reporter stepped outside the sally port and the steel door clanged down, Billy let Willis lead him out through the doors. Inside, black-shirted sheriff’s deputies gathered to watch Milligan being brought in, and Willis made a path for Billy to go through.

Sergeant Willis took him up to the third floor. “You remember me, son?”

Billy nodded as they stepped out of the elevator. “You were pretty decent to me.”

“Well, you never caused me no trouble. Except them toilets.” Willis handed him a cigarette. “You’re a pretty famous man.”

“I don’t feel famous,” said Billy. “I feel hated.”

“Well, I seen Channel Four out front and Channel Ten and ABC and NBC and CBS. There’s more TV cameras and reporters out there than I’ve seen in a lot of big murder trials.” They stopped at the barred exit to a small anteroom, beyond which the court passage gate would lead him to the Franklin County Hall of Justice.

The guard at the desk nodded to him. “Almost didn’t recognize you without your mustache.” Then he pressed the buzzer to call the central control room and tell them to stand by and unlock the court gate for Milligan.

The court passage door opened. The court escort braced him against the wall and frisked him carefully.

“All right,” the man said, “walk on ahead of me down that passageway to the courthouse.”

When they reached the seventh floor of the Hall of Justice, Judy and Gary joined them. They noticed that Billy’s mustache was gone.

“You look better without it,” Judy said. “More clean-cut.” Billy put his finger to his lip, and Gary had the fleeting impression that something was wrong. He was about to say something when an officer with a walkie-talkie and an earphone came up, took Billy’s arm and said the sheriff wanted Milligan brought down to the second floor.

“Wait a minute,” Gary said. “The trial’s on this floor.”

“I don’t know what’s going on, sir,” the deputy said, “but the sheriff wants him brought down immediately.”

“Wait here,” Gary told Judy. “I’ll go down with him and see what’s going on.”

He got into the elevator with Billy and the deputy, but when the doors opened at the second floor and he stepped out, Gary saw what it was. A flashbulb went off. It was a photographer and a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch.

“What the hell is this?” Gary shouted. “Do I look dumb to you? I won’t stand for this.”

The reporter explained that they wanted to take some photographs and hoped to get pictures not showing the manacles. The sheriff, he said, had okayed it.

“The hell with that,” Gary snapped. “You have no right to do this tp my client. ” He turned Billy around and led him back to the elevator.

The deputy took them up and directed them to the holding room outside the court of common pleas.

Dorothy Turner and Stella Karolin came into the holding room, hugged Billy and calmed him. But when they left to go into the courtroom and Billy was alone with the officer, he began to tremble and gripped the sides of the chair.

“All right, Milligan,” the officer said. “You can go into the courtroom now.”

Gary noticed that when Billy was led in, the sketch artists all stared at him. Then, one by one, they picked up their erasers and started rubbing. He smiled. They were erasing the mustache.

“Your Honor,” said Gary Schweickart as he approached the bench, “both the prosecution and the defense are now agreed that there is no need to call witnesses nor to put Mr Milligan on the stand. The facts of the case will be read into the record as stipulations, agreed upon by both sides.”

Judge Flowers consulted his notes. “You are not contesting the charges nor denying that your client committed the crimes he is charged with, except for the first count of sexual assault. ” “That’s right, Your Honor, but we plead not guilty by reason of insanity.”

“Mr. Yavitch, do you plan to contest the findings of the psychiatrists from Southwest Community Mental Health Center and Harding Hospital?"

Yavitch rose. “No, Your Honor. The prosecution agrees to the evidence presented by Dr. Harding, Dr. Turner, Dr. Karolin and Dr. Wilbur, supporting the defendants mental condition at the time the crimes were committed.”

Judy Stevenson read the defense testimony, taken by deposition, into the court record. As she read to the hushed courtroom, she glanced at Billy from time to time and saw how pale his face was. She hoped the pain of hearing all this wouldn’t make him unfuse.

Mrs. Margaret Changett can testify that she saw Billy’s mother on several occasions after being beaten by Mr. Milligan. She will testify that on one occasion Bill called her and said his mother was beaten rather badly. Mrs. Changett went to the Milligan house and found Mrs. Moore in bed. Mrs. Moore, according to Mrs. Changett, was in bed, shaking and battered. Mrs. Changett said she called a doctor and priest; she stayed with Mrs. Moore all day.

Dorothy Moore, the defendant s mother, will, if called, testify that her ex-husband, Chalmer Milligan, was very abusive to her and would often beat her when he was drinking. He would generally lock the children in their bedroom while he beat her. She will testify that “Chalmer often became sexually aroused” after the beatings. Mrs. Moore said that Mr. Milligan was jealous of Bill and beat him quite often “for punishment.” He once tied Bill to a plow and later tied him to a barn door in order to “keep him in line.” Mrs. Moore will testify that she was not aware of the severity of the beatings, and sodomy, administered to Bill until the present offense came to light . . .

Gary saw Billy put his hands over his eyes when he heard the testimony. “Got a tissue?” Billy asked.

Gary turned and saw a dozen people around him pulling tissues out and handing them over.

And Mrs. Moore will testify that on one occasion Bill’s effeminate side was displayed when he prepared breakfast for her. She said that Bill was walking like a girl and even talking effeminately. Mrs. Moore will testify that she found Bill on the fire escape of a building in the downtown area of Lancaster, in a “trance like” state. He had left school without permission and the principal called her to inform her that Bill had left school. Mrs. Moore said that she has found Bill in a “trance” on numerous occasions. She will testify that when Bill came out of the “trance” he could not remember anything about what transpired during his “trance.”

Mrs. Moore will also testify that she did nothing about her marital situation with Mr. Milligan because she wanted to keep the family together. It was only after her children gave her an ultimatum that she divorced Mr. Milligan.

The report from Southwest by Karolin and Turner was read into the record.

Then came the deposition of Billy’s brother, Jim:

If James Milligan was called to testify, he would state that on many occasions Chalmers [sic] Milligan would take James and Bill to family property on which there was a bam. That he, James, would be sent out to the field to hunt rabbits and Bill would always be told to remain with his step-father Chalmers. On all these occasions, when he, James, would return to the bam area, Bill would be crying. On many occasions, Bill told James that his step-father hurt him. Whenever Chalmers saw Bill relating these incidents to James, he, Chalmers Milligan would say to Bill—now nothing happened in the bam did it. Bill who was very afraid of his step-father would say No. Chalmers would further state we don’t want to upset your mother do we. He would then take James and Bill to the ice cream store prior to going home.

He would also verify all of the home life trauma directed at Billy.

At twelve-thirty Judge Flowers asked if either side wished to make closing arguments. Both sides waived the right.

The judge dismissed the first count of rape, pointing out the lack of corroborating evidence and the lack of a similar modus operandi.

“Now, proceeding as to the defense of insanity,” Judge Flowers said, “all of the evidence is stipulated medical evidence, and from that, without question, the doctors all testify that at the time of the acts in question, that the defendant was mentally ill at the time of the offense with which he was charged. That by virtue of his mental illness he was unable to distinguish between right and wrong, and further that he did not have the ability to refrain from doing these acts.”

Gary held his breath.

“Lacking any evidence to the contrary,” Flowers continued, “this court has no alternative other than to determine from the evidence before me that as to counts two to ten, inclusive, that the defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity.”

Judge Flowers placed Billy Milligan under the authority of the probate court of Franklin County, struck his gravel three times and adjourned.

Judy felt lie crying, but held it back. She squeezed Billy and pulled him toward the holding cell to avoid the crowd. Dorothy Turner came in to congratulate him, as did Stella Karolin and the others, who Judy could see were crying.

Only Gary stood apart, leaning against the wall thoughtfully, arms folded. It had been a long battle, with sleepless nights and a marriage ready to break up, but now it was almost over.

“All right, Billy,” he said. “We’ve got to go down to probate court before Judge Metcalf. But were going to have to go out in the lobby and run the gauntlet of those reporters and TV cameras. ”

“Can’t we go the back way?”

Gary shook his head. “We’ve won. I don’t want you to have bad relations with the press. They’ve been waiting there for hours. You’ll have to face the cameras and answer a few questions. We don’t want them to say we sneaked out the back way.”

When Gary led Billy out into the lobby, reporters and cameramen gathered around, filming as they followed him. “How do you feel, Mr. Milligan?”


“Are you very optimistic now that the trial is over?” “Nope.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Well,” Billy said, “there’s a lot to come.”

“What are your goals now?”

“I want to be a citizen again. I’d like to learn life all over.” Gary pushed him with gentle pressure in the center of his back, and Billy moved on. They went up to the eighth-floor probate court and Judge Metcalf’s chambers, but he’d gone to lunch. They would have to come back to the court at one o’clock.

Bemie Yavitch called each of the victims, as he had promised he would, and told them what had happened in court. “Based on the evidence and the law,” he said, “there’s no doubt in my mind that Judge Flowers made the right decision.” Terry Sherman agreed with him.

After lunch, Judge Metcalf reviewed the recommendations of the psychiatrists and committed Milligan to the Athens Mental Health Center in custody of Dr. David Caul.

Billy was taken down to the conference room again, where Jan Ryan of Channel 6, who had been working on a documentary about Billy’s life for the Child Abuse Foundation, asked him a few questions and shot some more footage for the TV special. Judy and Gary were called away, and before they got back, the officer knocked and said that Billy had to leave for Athens.

He felt bad, leaving without being able to say good-by to Judy and Gary, but the officer slapped the handcuffs on him, needlessly tight, and hustled him downstairs into the police van. A second officer shoved a container of hot coffee into his hand and slammed the door.

As the van turned the comer, some of the hot coffee spilled onto his new suit, and he threw the cup down behind the seat. He felt lousy, and the feeling was getting worse and worse.

He had no idea what the Athens Mental Health Center would be like. It might be a prison for all he knew. He had to remember that the torment was far from over, that a lot of people still wanted to put him behind bars. He knew the Adult Parole Authority had notified Gary that because of the guns, he was in violation of his parole and probation, and as soon as he was cured they would send him back to prison. Not Lebanon, he imagined. Because of his violent behavior, probably a hell called Lucasville. Where was Arthur? And Ragen? Would they ever join the fusion?

They drove along snow-covered Route 33, passing through Lancaster, where he’s been raised, gone to school and tried to kill himself. It was too much to bear. He was very tired and he had to let go. He closed his eyes and let it all slip away . . .

Seconds later, Danny looked around and wondered where he was being taken. He was cold and lonely, and afraid.