In the upcoming series “The Crowded Room” Tom Holland plays the role of Danny Sullivan, a young man who is arrested for his involvement in a New York City shooting in 1979. Inspector Rya Goodwin played by Amanda Seyfried takes on the case and decides to interrogate him, but as the interrogation carries forwards, she discovers that there is more to him than meets the eye.
Who is Danny Sullivan in The Crowded Room?
The show is inspired by the non-fictional novel “The Minds of Billy Milligan” by Daniel Keyes. Danny Sullivan who is the main character of the show is based on the life and the infamous case of Billy Milligan who was the first person to be acquitted of major crimes in the history of the United States on his diagnosis of having mental health disorders. Billy Milligan pleaded to be suffering from ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’ also known as ‘Multiple Personality Disorder’ and claimed that one of his personalities had committed the crimes without his knowledge.
About Billy Milligan
Billy Milligan was born on February 14th, 1955 in Miami Beach, Florida to Dorothy Pauline Sands and Johnny Morrison. According to David Keyes, Billy had a troubled childhood, to say the least. His father who was a gambling addict, committed suicide when Billy was 3. Daniel claims that Billy had multiple personalities from an earlier age but his first 3 started appearing by the time he was 5. During the trial, allegations were made against Billy’s Stepfather, Chalmer abusing him.
The Case of Billy Milligan
Milligan was first arrested for armed robbery and rape and was sent to Lebanon Correctional Institution in 1975. He was later released on parole in 1977 and in the October of the same year, he was arrested in Ohio raping three women on the campus of the Ohio State University. Billy was indicted on three counts of kidnapping and aggravated robbery, each, and on 4 counts of rape before being transferred to the Ohio State Penitentiary awaiting trial.
As per procedure, he underwent a psychological examination, where Dr. Willis.C.Driscoll diagnosed him with acute schizophrenia. He was also examined by another psychologist Dorothy Turner who diagnosed Billy with Dissociative Identity Disorder. His lawyers pleaded insanity and he was acquitted. Billy Milligan did not endure any jail time but however, spent more than a decade in psychiatric hospitals. He was released in 1988 and died of cancer in early December 2014.
What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
The definition of Dissociative Identity Disorder as per the Oxford Dictionary is
“a mental condition characterized by the existence of two or more different personality states, with distinct behavior, memory, and cognition, in one individual.”
During the diagnosis, it was discovered that Billy Milligan had 24 personalities, labeled “The Undesirables”. Some of the notables ones included-
- Arthur, an Englishman with expertise in the field of science & medicine
- Tommy, an escape artist
- Ragen Vadascovinich, a Yugoslavic Communist who committed the robberies
- Adalana, a 19-year-old lesbian woman who used to cook for all the other personalities and allegedly committed the rapes
Where can you watch the show?
The Crowded Room is set to air 3 episodes on Apple TV+ on June 9th, followed by weekly releases.