US magazine identifies boy whose case led to 1973 horror classic 'The Exorcist'

WION Web Team
New York Published: Dec 21, 2021, 06:08 PM(IST)

Skeptical Inquirer, a magazine, has named the boy, whose case inspired movie ‘The Exorcist’ (file photo). Photograph:( Twitter )

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A US magazine has identified the boy, whose case inspired movie ‘The Exorcist’. The 1973 horror classic had showed a demon-possessed child in the film. The magazine, Skeptical Inquirer, has named the then 14-year-old boy, as Ronald Edwin Hunkeler. In 1949, Hunkeler had underwent exorcisms in Cottage City, Maryland and St Louis, Missouri

A US magazine has identified the boy, whose case inspired movie ‘The Exorcist’. The 1973 horror classic had showed a demon-possessed child in the film.  

The magazine, Skeptical Inquirer, has named the then 14-year-old boy, as Ronald Edwin Hunkeler.   

In 1949, Hunkeler had underwent exorcisms in Cottage City, Maryland and St Louis, Missouri.  

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After suffering a stroke at home, Hunkeler, who had born in 1935, died in Marriottsville, Maryland last year.  

Worked with NASA as an engineer, Hunkeler contributed to the Apollo space missions in 1960s. He patented a technology, which helped space shuttle panels withstand extreme heat.  

A companion on condition of anonymity told New York Post that Hunkeler was always on edge as he thought his colleagues at NASA may find out about his past.   

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After hearing about the demonic possession of Hunkeler, William Peter Blatty wrote the 1971 novel and also the film based on the same name. Blatty heard Hunkeler's story when he was a senior at Georgetown University in Washington DC.  

Hunkeler was raised by a middle-class family in Cottage City. He had begun experiencing paranormal activities at the age of 14.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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