Johnson’s story actually starts with a young man named David Glatzel, who was allegedly possessed as a child. The Warrens assisted with his exorcism, and it’s said that during the procedure, Johnson taunted the demon to take him instead. A few months later, Johnson attended a party where Bono was also in attendance, which ended with Johnson pulling out a 5-inch pocket knife and stabbing Bono multiple times. His body was found two miles from the site of the killing. Johnson maintains that he does not remember anything about the murder, and his defense lawyer tried to argue in court that this was the result of demonic possession. The judge eventually rejected the defense, and Johnson was eventually convicted of manslaughter in the first degree. Johnson was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in a maximum security prison, only serving five.
Holt’s documentary features never-before-shown audio recordings and photographs of the alleged possession, fictional reenactments, and interviews with Johnson and family, including brothers-in-law: David, Alan, and Carl Glatzel. “When the Warrens came along, they were told to start documenting [David’s possession],” Holt said on the Netflix podcast You Can’t Make This Up. “They needed to provide proof and evidence to the diocese [to get approved for] an exorcism.” This documentary is the first time that documentation has ever been shown to the public. Johnson’s trial and defense claims have been adapted multiple times in addition to “The Conjuring” series, but this is the first time many of those directly involved with the real events have ever told their story.