True crime fans will be happy to know that there is a new Netflix documentary on criminal Billy Milligan, titled: Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan. We explore what happened to Billy Milligan and the condition that plagued his life.

The docuseries focuses on the first defendant who was found not guilty under reason of insanity, due to Milligan’s dissociative identity disorder.

The eight years of Milligan’s turbulent life leading up to his trial is narrated in the documentary as well as a variety of doctors’ opinions on the condition that affected Milligan.

Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan | Official Trailer | Netflix

Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan | Official Trailer | Netflix

What happened to Billy Milligan and where is he now?

In 1972, 22-year-old Billy Milligan was arrested for the alleged kidnapping, robbery, and rape of three Ohio women. It was later revealed in 1978, after many evaluations, that Milligan was suffering from a dissociative identity disorder.

After being institutionalized in several jails and psychiatric hospitals, Milligan escaped from the Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital on July 4, 1986. The documentary illustrated how Milligan obtained fake documents and went to live in Washington.

After Milligan’s roommate, Michael, disappeared, the criminal fled the state and was later arrested in Florida. 

After being taken back to Ohio and subjected to further tests, an independent psychiatrist declared that Milligan was not a danger to society and he was released from custody in 1988.

How did Billy Milligan die?

Milligan died of cancer in 2014 at the age of 59 years old.

After his release in 1988, Milligan spent several years living in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, before moving back to Columbus, Ohio.

His sister had purchased a mobile home for him to live in, where he spent the remainder of his life painting.

Image from Netflix Media Center

What is dissociative identity disorder featured in Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan?

Dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder, is a complicated psychological condition that causes severe dissociation. The condition is also characterized by the presence of two or more personality states that proceed to have power over a person’s daily behavior.

Milligan’s case of this condition was thought to be caused by the severe physical and sexual abuse he suffered as a child, by his stepfather Chalmer Milligan. This consequently caused Milligan’s personality to separate into 24 shards as a coping mechanism.

To this day, DID is very difficult to use as a defense in court, as it requires solid evidence to prove its existence in a person. As an MRI cannot detect DID, psychiatrists often look for changes in handwriting or names in order to detect the condition.

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