This is a non-fiction novel portraying Billy Milligan, the first person in U.S. history acquitted of a major crime by pleading multiple-personality disorder.
William Stanley Milligan (February 13, 1955 – December 12, 2014), known as Billy Milligan, was an American citizen who was the subject of a highly publicized court case in Ohio in the late 1970s. After having committed several felonies including armed robbery, he was arrested for three rapes on the campus of Ohio State University. In the course of preparing his defense, psychologists diagnosed Milligan with multiple personality disorder. His lawyers pleaded insanity, claiming that two of his alternate personalities committed the crimes without Milligan being aware of it. He was the first person diagnosed with multiple personality disorder to raise such a defense,and the first acquitted of a major crime for this reason, instead spending a decade in mental hospitals. Milligan's life story was popularized by Daniel Keyes's award-winning non-fiction novel The Minds of Billy Milligan (1981, available in fourteen languages).