Known as the 1949 St. Louis Exorcism, the story of possessed child Roland Doe was immortalized in the groundbreaking novel and film The Exorcist. Much has been written about the case, but the truth has been shrouded in secrecy…until now.
Join Steven A. LaChance, as he shares the shocking evidence for how a family’s grief over the death of an aunt progressed into a full-blown demonic possession. While the conventional story is that Roland Doe brought the demonic infestation upon himself, LaChance convincingly suggests an alternative interpretation, and provides new insights into the nature of possession itself.
The events of 1949 culminated in grueling exorcism rites, but the story doesn’t end there as LaChance guides readers through the stunning aftermath that forever changed the Catholic church and the city of St. Louis.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I ended up giving this a full five stars, simply for the interest factor. It kept me turning pages. I can’t say that I fully accept everything about this case as fact, regardless of who has dissected it and reported on it, but the author’s arguments were convincing, for his in-depth research and unique personal experiences.
Honestly, I found most of the value in the first half of the book. It was written from a new angle, spending more time focusing on the family and clergy and their poor decisions regarding the treatment of the boy in question, rather than blaming the entire event on the child himself.
You can come at this book from many different directions and probably form a million different opinions based on your faith and your own experiences, but one thing is for sure, something happened that no one will ever be able to completely explain.
The latter half of the book did not lose my interest, but I saw it as more speculation than proven fact. I would have liked to have seen more witness interviews included to back up the ideas of the author.
Still, this was a fascinating look at a case that still draws interest today. If you are interested in the case, you want to read this one.
This review is based on a complementary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.