Sister Of Billy Milligan Speaks Out On Upcoming Biopic Starring Leonardo DiCaprio


Billy Milligan’ story was destined for the silver screen. 

His sister Kathy Preston disagrees.  “I didn't think anybody would hold interest over all of these years.”  She says if Hollywood is going to tell her brother's story, she hopes the film sends a message about the severe child abuse she says he suffered as a boy and not portrayed as an adventure movie.

“I don't want that; it's not fantasy.  This is a horrible reality in our lives.”

In 1977, police arrested Milligan for the kidnapping and rapes of three women near the Ohio State University campus.   During the trial, a psychiatrist testified Milligan had 24 personalities.  The case gained national attention when he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

But Preston says her brother was only a small boy when his mind began to fracture.  She says she vividly remembers the two of them watching helplessly as their mother was brutally beaten.  "He was 8-years-old and whimpering in near fetal state,” Preston recalls. “Almost like a 3-year-old would.  I remember that because I sat down with him and held on to him and it didn't feel like my 8-year-old brother.  It didn't even feel like that; it felt like a child, a little child.”

VIDEO VAULT: 10TV looks back at the Milligan case 

Preston says her brother spent a decade receiving what she calls questionable treatment in several Ohio asylums; sometimes by doctors who she says didn't believe the diagnosis.  "He was a troubled, sick person all his life, but he also had a tremendous capacity for compassion.”

In 1988, doctors believed Milligan's personalities had fused, and it was safe for him to return to society.  He told 10TV then he wanted to fade from the spotlight.  "I would just like to blend right into the woodwork.  I don't want to be talking to you people again,” Milligan stated.

Milligan's family says if Hollywood is going to tell his story, they hope the filmmakers get it right. 

Billy Milligan died quietly of cancer at a Columbus hospital in December 2014.  The screenplay is based on a book - The Minds of Billy Milligan - that was published shortly after the trial.

VIDEO: Watch excerpts of interviews that were part of the Billy Milligan documentary.