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Thu Oct 25, 2018, 05:10 PM

Searching For the Truth About the Actual Murderer in The Exorcist

Great Halloween reading.

In late 1972, Dr. Barton Lane was performing an angiogram at the Tisch Hospital (then called University Hospital) in the New York University radiology lab in Manhattan, when he got an unexpected visitor. In the days before HIPAA the doors were wide open for pretty much anyone to observe doctors at work, and this particular visitor was scouting a location and potential extras for a movie.

At that time, an angiogram, a diagnostic test that takes x-ray pictures of blood vessels, was performed with a needle stuck into the patient’s artery. When the needle would hit the artery, a jet of blood would shoot out. When the visitor, director William Friedkin, saw the impressive spray of blood, he knew he wanted this exact procedure to be in his horror film—an adaptation of the book, The Exorcist.

The making of The Exorcist—known as one of the greatest horror movies of all time—has long been considered cursed. During production, a series of tragedies befell the cast and crew. Nine people connected to the film died during or shortly after the production, including actors Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros, Linda Blair’s grandfather, a security guard on set, and a special effects expert. Actress Ellen Burstyn suffered a permanent spinal injury while getting thrown from the bouncing bed (her real scream is heard in the film). The set for the MacNeil home burned down, mysteriously leaving Regan’s bedroom untouched. In fact, the production had been surrounded by so much misfortune, a Jesuit priest, Thomas M. King, was brought in to bless the set.

These stories are fairly well-known, and are passed around to add to the lore of an already scary yet beloved film. But there’s another story connected to The Exorcist that has remained largely overlooked. It’s the story of the radiology technician in the film, Paul Bateson, who is often referred to among true crime and horror fans—and even Friedkin himself—as a serial killer. I spent months digging into archived articles, court documents, and speaking with the NYPD and those involved with the film trying to find the truth about Bateson and the crimes he did and did not commit. What I found was a very different story.

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Reply Searching For the Truth About the Actual Murderer in The Exorcist (Original post)
Cattledog Oct 2018 OP
Control-Z Oct 2018 #1

Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2018, 01:41 PM

1. I'm sending this to my younger daughter who is a set designer.

She's a huge fan of horror movies and knows more about the history of film making, movies stars, directors...going back decades before I was born.

She's going to love this!! Thanks for posting it!

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