In 1968, German girl, 17-year-old Anneliese, began to have convulsions. She was eventually diagnosed with grand mal seizures. It could have been dismissed, but while praying, she began to hear devilish tormenting voices. Her condition spiraled and in 1973, she was classified as having depression and suicidal thoughts.
In 1975, her parents were certain she was possessed and they withdrew her from mental heath care for exorcism rites instead. Some of her odd behaviors had the family begging for exorcism and finally after a few attempts, the bishop granted it. They reported that their daughter would not walk past a certain figure of Jesus, that she smelled horrendous, and was afraid of the crucifix.
Father Renz and Pastor Alt came to the aid of the family. The two carried out 67 rites of exorcism over a 10-month period.
Given her age and her symptoms, many conclude that Anneliese suffered from schizophrenia and these long rites of exorcism by her parents were a sign of neglect, playing into her psychosis.
Anneliese reported she was possessed by several demons including; Lucifer, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Cain, Hitler, and Fleischmann. She deteriorated quickly, drinking her own urine, eating bugs, and hurting herself. In 1973, she was started on antipsychotic and antiseizure medicines, even up until her death.
In fact, on July 1, 1976, Anneliese died in her home. The autopsy report revealed dehydration, starvation, and pneumonia. She weighed 68 pounds. Her knees had been broken the day before in a fit. The priest, the pastor, and both parents were brought to trial. They were found guilty of negligent homicide and given six months in prison with three years of probation.
Audio recordings of the exorcisms and the many demons said to possess her were taken. They were not released. The church requested a 30-year hold.
Below is an audio. It is very unsettling. Given the lack of efficacy of the exorcisms, her lack of medical assistance, and her age and signs of schizophrenia, the case truly seems like a no-brainer. There are many who believe that she was very much possessed and the answer will never be revealed, as Anneliese was the victim of experimentation and desperation and is no longer with us to illuminate her illness or for medical officers to intervene and see if they could eliminate her symptoms.
It continues to be an interesting case and one in which the movie "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" quite aptly revealed the case and all its possible explanations.
Anneliese is unfortunately the only person to suffer at the hands of clergy and parents who believe them to be possessed. Here's links to other cases -
Horrific murders by parent of young children she thought were possessed
Priest kills nun during exorcism
Father beats daughter to drive demons from her
Autistic child killed during exorcism
Pakistan woman dies during exorcism
Girl suffocated during exorcism
*Tomorrow's post - Kecksburg UFO Incident