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"In the Book of Matthew, an encounter between Jesus and two demon-possessed men is described, and the demons beg: ''If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.'' He does, the passage recounts, ''and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.''
Normally, pigs can swim quite well. But such stories in the Bible help form the basis for the Roman Catholic Church's acceptance of the concept of demonic possession, and even of its transfer from one person to another. It is the concept made famous by the book and movie ''The Exorcist.''
Now, in this graceful, affluent and heavily Roman Catholic region of southwestern Connecticut, a similar story is being told, this time to defend an accused murderer. For the killing of a man named Alan Bono, the first murder this quiet town has known in decades, the court and the public are being asked to let the Devil take the blame. The defendant, the story goes, was possessed by demons.
Little Evidence Made Public
Mr. Bono, the manager of a kennel, was fatally stabbed on Feb. 16 after an argument with 19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who worked for a tree surgeon here. Mr. Johnson's knife, with a folding 5-inch blade, was found at the scene, and he was indicted last Thursday on a charge of first-degree murder. No other evidence has been made public."
-Source: “Defendant in a Murder Puts The Devil on Trial” by Dudley Clendinen (New York Times)