The Crowded Room starring Tom Holland is based on a startling true story
Trailer for ‘The Crowded Room’
WARNING: This article contains potential spoilers from The Crowded Room
Apple TV+ will be dropping its psychological thriller The Crowded Room on June 9.
The 10-part limited series is led by Spider-Man actor Tom Holland as Danny Sullivan, a man facing trial for a shooting in New York City in 1979.
He is interrogated by Rya Goodwin (played by Amanda Seyfried), who is trying to get to the bottom of his crimes.
In a series of interviews, Rya learns about Danny’s mysterious past with the story building to a shocking conclusion.
Is The Crowded Room based on a true story?
Yes, is the short answer with the show takes its cue from the non-fiction 1981 novel The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes.
Author Keyes claimed Milligan had multiple personalities from the time he was five.
Billy Milligan – full name William Stanley Morrison – was the first person in America to be acquitted of a major violent crime after putting in a plea of dissociative identity disorder (DID).
DID was formerly known as multiple personality disorder, and is often referred to as split personality disorder or dissociative personality disorder.
Milligan is thought to have had at least 24 different personalities, The Columbus Dispatch reported in 2007.
Among his personalities were Ragen, Arthur, Adalana, Christene, along with 19 others.
Milligan was put on trial after he raped multiple women on Ohio State University’s campus but his lawyers claimed insanity and said his alternate personalities committed the crimes without his knowledge.
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He had a difficult childhood with his father Johnny Morrison dying by suicide in 1959 when Milligan was just four-years-old.
Milligan’s mother Dorothy Pauline Sands went on to marry several times, eventually tying the knot with Chalmer Milligan, who adopted his new wife’s children and changed their surname to his own.
During his trial, Milligan claimed his step-father had abused him as a child, something which Chalmer denied.
Prior to the rapes, Milligan had committed a series of felonies including armed robbery.
After he was acquitted, Milligan spent a decade in a series of psychiatric hospitals, where he was said to have received little help and was eventually released in 1988.
He lived in California after this and lost contact with most of his friends and family.
In 2012, he was diagnosed with cancer and living on his sister’s property in Ohio.
Milligan died from his illness at a nursing home in Columbus, Ohio on December 12, 2014 at the age of 59.
Netflix previously released a documentary in 2021 called Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan, which shed further light on the case.
The Crowded Room premieres on Apple TV+ on June 8
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