Eventually, these imagined persons become very real, and they each had a specific function.
Ragen, a young aggressive male, comes out whenever Billy needs to defend his body.
In the first chapter, the author reviews how Billy Milligan was arrested in 1977.
Milligan is accused of two rapes, one attempted rape, and several kidnappings and robberies around Ohio State University after his third would-be victim, Polly Newton, identifies him in a lineup of suspects.
Everything that Keyes recreates here is based on videotaped conversations with this “teacher.” The teacher tells the “writer” (Keyes) all about Billy’s life.
The reader learns that Billy’s birth father, Johnny, committed suicide while Billy was a young child.
It received several awards and was the basis for several documentaries.
Its themes include deception, the nature of mental illness, and the interaction between the criminal justice system and mental illness.
Milligan claims to have twenty-three to twenty-four unique personalities.
When police or therapists ask to speak with the real Billy Milligan, various personalities inform them that Billy is currently hiding because if he were to come out, he would want to commit suicide.