The Devil on Trial: Where is Arne Johnson now?

The Devil on TrialImage Courtesy Netflix
The Devil on TrialImage Courtesy Netflix /

The Devil on Trial is Netflix’s latest documentary. It mainly centers around the 1981 murder trial of Arne Johnson, also known as the “Devil Made Me Do It” case. If you watched the supernatural horror film The Conjuring 3, you’d already be somewhat familiar with this case.

On Feb. 16, 1981,19-year-old Arne Johnson, his girlfriend Debbie Glatzel, and his sisters had lunch with Debbie’s boss/landlord Alan Bono. They had been eating pizza and drinking before Bono became really intoxicated. Johnson wasn’t comfortable with the way Bono was acting so he told Debbie and his sisters that they should just leave. But as they were leaving, Bono grabbed one of Johnson’s sisters and wouldn’t let her go. This led to arguing, a physical fight, and Johnson repeatedly stabbing Bono until his death.

Johnson then took off to the woods and was believed to be heading to the family home, but was later stopped by police and taken into custody. He pleaded not guilty to the gruesome murder and claimed he was under the influence of demonic forces. He later changed his plea to self-defense to hopefully get a manslaughter charge instead of murder in the first degree. On Nov. 24, 1981, Johnson was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for the slaying and sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.

Arne Johnson - The Devil on Trial
The Devil on TrialImage Courtesy Netflix /

According to AP, Johnson received a high-school degree, earned several other educational certificates, and took many college courses while in prison. But he didn’t end up serving his complete sentence. He got out in 1986 for good behavior, after only serving five years. The year prior, he and Debbie got married in prison.

Is Arne Johnson still alive?

Yes, Arne Johnson is still alive, but not much is known about his current whereabouts. He’s managed to stay away from the public eye ever since his release from prison. However, he does appear in The Devil on Trial to share his side of the story.

After he and Debbie got married in 1985, they went on to have two kids together. They remained together until Debbie’s death in 2021.

After Johnson’s release from prison in 1986, paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren, who worked on Johnson’s case, said that Johnson was ready to work for a landscaper in town and that he was “coming home to live in a very good family atmosphere.” That’s all that was revealed about his circumstances after being released from prison.

As of October 2023, Johnson is believed to be 61 years old.

The Devil on Trial is streaming now only on Netflix.

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