‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,‘ like its predecessors, is a horror movie that follows paranormal investigators, authors, and self-proclaimed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren as they delve deep into a demonic possession matter like no other. Revolving around the real-life case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, also known as the “Devil Made Me Do It” case, hence the title, it examines his relationship with his girlfriend, Deborah “Debbie” Glatzel, her family, and how that led to a death no one saw coming. The case is also covered in Netflix’s ‘The Devil on Trial,’ as various members of the Glatzel family share their sides of the story. So now, if you’re curious to know what happened to Debbie, in particular, we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Debbie Glatzel?
Deborah “Debbie” Glatzel was 26 years old with three younger brothers, Carl Jr, Alan, and David Glatzel, when her world turned upside down. It all started with the apparent possession of her younger brother, David Glatzel, who was reportedly having hallucinations, having claimed to have seen a demonic figure in the house that Debbioe and Arne Cheyenne Johnson were moving into on July 2, 1980. Panicked like the rest of her family when David began producing these ominous episodes often, she supported the decision to enlist help for a few exorcisms on the 11-year-old.
However, things went a bit awry when, during the exorcism process, Arne apparently told the demon to possess him instead of David. Following that, the Glatzels claimed that David was cured, though Debbie was worried when her partner started to exhibit the same signs as her brother. It was months later, on February 16, 1981, on a seemingly ordinary day, that Debbie sensed the tension. Arne and a couple of young relatives had joined her at her workplace, where her boss and landlord, Alan Bono, took them for an uneventful lunch.
Later, Debbie and the relatives went to have pizza, only to hurry back because she felt trouble. After all, Arne had already endured a series of incidents where he would hiss, spit, swear, or kick at and around Debbie, which he then didn’t remember. That’s when Alan purportedly seized her 9-year-old cousin, leading to Arne killing him. Throughout the legal process that followed, Debbie remained in support of her partner and continued to claim that Arne’s act of murder was done due to demonic influence.
How Did Debbie Glatzel Die?
Because Debbie Glatzel had witnessed and experienced all that occurred herself, when Arne Johnson stood trial, she testified on his behalf. She not only described his actions, but she also highlighted how they were similar to David’s and why she believed that the devil possessed him as well. She stood by him at every turn. Thus, it came as no surprise when Debbie and Arne tied the knot in January 1984 while he was behind bars and serving his sentence for manslaughter. Following that, once he was released early for good behavior in 1986, the pair built a good life and had two children together, away from any scrutiny.
Debbie and Arne remained happily married until she passed away from an unspecified form of cancer in 2021. With that said, we do know that Debbie was involved in the making of ‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.’ “This is the story of Arne and also his girlfriend who became his wife, Debbie Glatzel,” said director Michael Chaves. “She was there during the exorcism, she was there at the murder, and she testified for him, and she believed. She stood by that, and they’ve been married the rest of her life. She actually just passed away from cancer.”
However, we should also mention that Debbie and David’s oldest brother, Carl Glatzel, has since claimed that Ed and Lorraine Warren fabricated the entire story and used their family’s public tragedy to gain fame, whereas they were only paid $2,000 for it. He also claimed that Arne had likely killed Alan Bono due to the rumors that claimed that he and Debbie were having an affair, something that Debbie has vehemently denied. Instead, she and Arne have always backed the accounts of the demonic possession.