The Minds of Billy Milligan

'The Minds Of Billy Milligan is the true story of a man with multiple personalities, written by Daniel Keyes.

Abused since childhood by a sadistic stepfather, Billy Milligan "went to sleep" and created twenty-three other personalities to cope with life. Many of the personalities expressed extraordinary talents for languages, medicine, or painting, while others were petty criminals and thieves whose crimes got the others into constant brushes with the law. Still others were children incapable of dealing with adult life.

To control the chaos, three of the dominant personalities—Arthur, Ragen, and Allen—took over the major tasks, assigning each of the other personalities goals and duties based on their individual talents. Personalities who did not contribute or who were seen as threats to the stability of the whole were declared "undesirable" and banished from holding the consciousness.

The Ten

  • William Stanley Milligan: The original, unfused personality.
  • Arthur: The Mean Brit. Intellectual, controls who gets to "take the spot".
  • Ragen Vadascovinich: The Yugoslavian Papa Wolf. Has Super Strength and controls the spot while Billy is in jail.
  • Allen: The Con Man. Responsible for talking himself out of whatever mess the other personalities have gotten themselves into.
  • Tommy: The Escape Artist. Has a vast knowledge of technology. Sometimes mistaken for Allen.
  • Danny: The Shrinking Violet who Does Not Like Men after being Buried Alive by Billy's step-father.
  • David: The Empath. One of the few child personalities, his role in the "family" is to be basically a human shield.
  • Christene: The Cheerful Child.
  • Christopher: Christene's older brother. Plays the harmonica.
  • Adalana: The affection-starved lesbian. Keeps house and writes poetry. Later turned out to be a Sympathetic Rapist.

The Undesirables

  • Philip: The thug. Has a strong Brooklyn accent.
  • Kevin: The small-time criminal.
  • Walter: The Australian. Fancies himself a big game hunter.
  • April: The bitch. Her only ambition is to kill Billy's stepfather.
  • Samuel: The Jew. The only religious personality.
  • Mark: The workhorse. No initiative. Takes care of monotonous labour.
  • Steve: The egomaniac. Makes fun of others with mocking imitations.
  • Lee: The Class Clown. His belief that nothing is sacred gets him into trouble.
  • Jason: The pressure valve. Screams and throws tantrums to let off tension.
  • Robert: The daydreamer. Although he dreams of making the world a better place, he doesn't have the ambition to actually do so.
  • Shawn: The deaf child. Assumed to be retarded. Makes buzzing noises to feel the vibrations in his head.
  • Martin: The snob. Puts on airs and wants things without earning them.
  • Timothy: Worked in a florist shop until a Depraved Homosexual made advances that frightened him. Went into his own world.

The system slowly spiraled out of control, finally shattering when "Billy" was arrested for the abduction and rape of three women. Adalana, a lesbian personality, claimed responsibility for the rapes. In a landmark decision, Milligan was found not guilty by reason of insanity, the first and only multiple ever to be found so in a felony case. Originally sentenced to a mental institution, legal arguments broke out as to whether he deserved prison for his crimes. Meanwhile, doctors frantically worked to fuse his personalities. They were temporarily successful, but when Milligan was finally moved to prison, the fusing broke apart, with the personality Ragen stepping forward to protect the children for a final time.

Milligan served his prison sentence and was eventually released. Legal and financial issues caused him to move to Japan, where he still resides. Keyes and Milligan published another book, The Milligan Tapes, released in Japan. The Milligan Tapes have not yet been released in the United States due to laws preventing criminals from profiting from selling the rights to their stories. A screenplay titled The Crowded Room, based on The Minds of Billy Milligan, has been in production since the 1990s, with such names as James Cameron, Joel Schumacher, and Leonardo DiCaprio attached, but has remained in Development Hell due to rights issues.

The Minds Of Billy Milligan provides examples of: