Having a younger brother who suffered from delusions and seizures was hard enough for Carl Glatzel Jr., but then came the priests and a well-known ghost-hunting couple who deemed then-11-year-old David Glatzel to be possessed by demons.
Carl Glatzel, now 42, says he was unable to protect his brother in 1981 when David underwent several rites of exorcism, or in 1983 when a book detailing the supposed affliction was first printed. But after the book was reprinted in 2006, he decided it was time to fight back.
“It makes me furious,” he said of the book’s republishing. “It took me 20 years to build my [construction] business up. Now we are not going to have it thrown away because of something that is not really true.”
Titled “The Devil in Connecticut,” the book was written by then-Glastonbury resident Gerald Brittle, who obtained the Glatzels’ story from ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren of Monroe, founders of the New England Society for Psychic Research. Brittle’s book recounts the story of David Glatzel, who purportedly was possessed by 42 demons and, on the advice of the Warrens, underwent several rites of exorcism under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church.
Word about the exorcisms probably would never have spread had it not been for a killing committed in 1981 by Arne Cheyenne Johnson, then boyfriend of the Glatzels’ sister, Deborah. Johnson’s lawyer tried unsuccessfully to introduce evidence at the trial that Johnson had become possessed himself while participating in David Glatzel’s exorcisms. The jury never heard that claim and Johnson was convicted of manslaughter. He served five years of a 10- to 20-year sentence. He has since married Deborah Glatzel.
Carl Glatzel says neither he nor David gave permission for their story to be incorporated into a book, and that he didn’t sue in 1983 because of his youth. But when the book was re-published by iUniverse Inc., he said, he had enough. Glatzel has begun legal action in Superior Court in Danbury against Brittle, Lorraine Warren and the William Morris Agency, which owns the publishing rights to “The Devil in Connecticut.” Ed Warren died in 2006.
“Debbie, my sister, said I’m doing it for the money. I’m doing this for punitive damages and everything they did to us as children,” said Carl Glatzel who has applied to Superior Court for permission to attach Lorraine Warren’s property in Monroe in advance of the lawsuit for $500,000.
“We are not going to go through this again,” he said. “This is damages that they took away from my schooling and all the things they took away from me all those years.”
Carl Glatzel said the book had an extremely negative effect on him and his brother. Its claim of demonic possession alienated both of them from the Brookfield community and from society in general, he said. In court papers he says the book alleges that he “committed abusive and criminal acts toward members of his family and others.”
“David was a good kid, he never bothered nobody. He lived a living hell because of all the negative attention,” said Carl Glatzel. “The stuff that I have documentation-wise is going to shock a lot of people. I never read the book until January of 2007. When I read it, I was mummified. I know now why people turned their head against me all those years.”
Lorraine Warren said this week the pending lawsuit is upsetting.
“I’m puzzled but not surprised,” said Warren who is 79. “This is such an emotional type of strain on me today and yesterday. If only there’d be some reasoning, if only you could rationalize this and try to figure out where it came from, but you can’t.”
Warren said her husband had worked hard on the Glatzel case, which makes the idea of potential legal action all the more difficult.
“It’s too upsetting a situation,” she said. “You can’t imagine something that you’ve done that nobody could poke holes in, and have something come out by somebody who knows nothing about what they are doing.”
Carl Glatzel’s attorney, Gregory Nolan of the Torrington law firm Febbroriello, Conti & Levy, said a pre-judgment remedy application has been filed in Superior Court in Danbury.
“The purpose of the pre-judgment remedy application is to attach Lorraine Warren’s house to make sure if we go through the effort of bringing this case to trial, we want to make sure there is something there to get if we win,” said Nolan.
The lawsuit will seek damages from the three defendants in excess of $15,000, he said.
“The No. 1 thing in this case is my client runs a business. Throughout his life he has had to be associated with this case,” said Nolan. “He wants to disassociate himself from the demonic possession. He wants to make it clear that all of that is foolish.”
A complaint filed by Nolan on behalf of Carl Glatzel on Sept. 21 claims that David Glatzel was afflicted with mental illness during his childhood, which caused him to experience hallucinations and delusions. From 1979 until 1982, David Glatzel suffered from several episodes of increased symptoms, the complaint claims, which caused severe trauma in the Glatzel family.
The complaint also claims that Lorraine Warren investigated David Glatzel’s symptoms and speculated that supernatural forces caused the episodes and that Carl Glatzel was also influenced by demonic forces. Warren then related an account of her experience with the Glatzel family to Brittle, who incorporated the story into his book.
Carl Glatzel says the Warrens used his family to make money.
“We are not going to back off,” said Carl Glatzel, who created the website www.geocities.com/devilbustedinct, which touts his own tell-all book about his brother’s experience, and offers support to people who have been exploited by alleged ghost-busters.
“Lorraine Warren is nothing but a fraud,” Carl Glatzel said. “She says she has documentation but she has nothing. Lorraine Warren has incorporated our story into several books, she did a DVD on the Glatzel family, she exploited us.”