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In Remembrance

WHY CAN'T I BUY THE DEVIL IN CONNECTICUT ?


New attention has been given these days to Ed and Lorraine Warren and the various cases which they’ve investigated over the course of years. Perhaps the most prominent is a 1980’s possession case which was detailed in a book I wrote called The Devil In Connecticut. Published by Bantam Books in 1983, The Devil In Connecticut was a meticulous reconstruction of that event, which occurred in the town of Brookfield Center, a hamlet located just off Route 7 in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Known then as the Brookfield possession case, there was more to it than just possession: religious authorities technically categorized the entire event as being a diabolical seige. That’s because not just one or two, but in fact some 43 individual entities were involved, every one of which answered to a name. Initially investigated by the Warrens, the Brookfield case ultimately commanded the attention of six Roman Catholic priests from the dioceses of Bridgeport and Montreal. Activity was so brutal and life-threatening, a series of exorcism procedures, some quite horrific, took place in both the US and Canada, in order to bring the seige to a stop. Unfortunately, however, fearing adverse publicity, a major exorcism, the Rituale Romanum, was never authorized by the bishop, and as a consequence, the overt phenomena stopped, but the entities never really left. According to demonologist Ed Warren, the presiding entities, furious at the previous exorcism attempts, simply reconfigured their strategy and in retaliation brought about a gruesome, stabbing death in February 1981. At that point the case, which had hitherto been kept secret, suddenly became public. For the rest of the year what had happened in Brookfield was front-page news around the world. Every major newspaper, every major television network on earth came to cover the story – and they did so exhaustively. Investigative reporters, news anchors, and a stream of top level journalists produced millions of words and hundreds of hours of broadcast coverage on the case. Many of course were skeptics, yet not one could punch a hole in the story, because they discovered, as did I, that the story was actually true.

But how true was it, how deep did it go, what really happened inside that home in Brookfield, Connecticut? Millions of people who’d followed the case wanted to know the answer. At the time, as a writer for the William Morris Agency, I was assigned the task of finding that out - and if true - to produce an “impeccably accurate, legally flawless” book on the subject. This I did by going directly into the home, and acquiring specific documentation and eyewitness testimony not just from the family, but from everyone and anyone who was on-the-scene at the time these extraordinary events had occurred. Corroboration and verifiable facts were essential, and such data was abundant at every turn. In the end I was able to compose a nonfiction work in which every sentence was true, justifiable, and able to withstand withering scrutiny from literary lawyers, demanding editors, and a skeptical press that ultimately conceded to its accuracy.

Fast forward twenty-five years to 2006 when a Hollywood film company contacted the Morris Agency with a desire to turn the Brookfield case into a movie. I declined initially, but both the Warrens and the victimized family wanted to go ahead with the project. The family, in particular, wanted their story to be told. Accordingly, papers were drawn up and signed, an advance was paid, and a script was prepared. Then, suddenly, out of the blue the book became the victim of a complex, premeditated fraud, asserting the book was a ‘hoax’ and that the possession never happened. Typical of such cases, false accusations were put forth in a quest for money. In everyday terms it was a get-rich-quick scheme. Bogus claims were posted on the internet, and then through the aid of a crooked law firm, a lawsuit was filed demanding millions upon millions of dollars in damages. All this thirty-five years after the book was published! It was a stupefying lie, totally at variance with the public record, totally at variance with the evidence, totally at variance with the clergy’s ordeals, totally at variance with the travail of the family - but curiously it went forward nonetheless. In the end, though, the case never went to trial: truth was stronger than the lie. Disgusted, however, like anyone else would be, I determined - as the book’s author - to take The Devil In Connecticut off the market and put a permanent end to this travesty. That then is the status of the book: it is no longer actively for sale. An abundant number of copies nevertheless remain available and can be obtained from a variety of internet booksellers or from second-hand bookstores. My apologies to those who are seeking to purchase this book but that is the situation and that is where it stands today. GB


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