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'The Exorcist' Featured A Real-Life Serial Killer And Not Many Horror Fans Know About It

'The Exorcist' Featured A Real-Life Serial Killer And Not Many Horror Fans Know About It

Paul Bateson was convicted in 1979 for the murder of film industry journalist Addison Verrill.

What's more terrifying than a horror film? A real-life serial killer in one! William Friedkin's 1973 horror classic The Exorcist just got even more horrifying now that we know one of its most famous scenes feature Paul Bateson. Bateson worked at the New York University Medical Centre when director Friedkin once paid a visit. He was impressed with Bateson so much that he invited Bateson to work as an extra on The Exorcist, reports Esquire. The film revolves around the story a 12-year-old girl possessed by the occult and Bateson's character, that of a hospital technician, calmly explains to Regan what will happen to her during a procedure. In the scene, the girl is taken to the hospital for tests. For one particular test, a catheter is inserted into her neck through an artery. Regan responds by grimacing as blood spurts from her neck.



 

 

Paul Bateson was convicted in 1979 for the murder of film industry journalist Addison Verrill. But the radiographer is also suspected of several other murders of gay men in Manhattan, New York in the 70s. Verrill, who wrote for Variety, was found dead in his flat in New York. He had been beaten and stabbed to death, reports The Daily Mirror. A friend of Verrill, journalist and gay activist Arthur Bell, wrote a piece in The Village Voice urging the killer to come forward to police. 8 days later, he got a call from a man who claimed to be the killer. The caller supposedly became enraged when his advances were rejected when the two came back to Verrill's flat after a party.



 

 

"I needed money and I hated the rejection. I decided to do something I'd never done before," he had told Bell. He said he hit Verrill with a frying pan and then stabbed him. He then stole some cash, a credit card, Verrill's passport, and some clothes. The caller claimed he wanted to 'atone' for other crimes but the next call Bell received came from a man going under the name 'Mitch',  who promptly accused Bateson of the murder. Bateson allegedly confessed to other crimes to his friend Richard Ryan but he was sentenced to 20 years in jail for the Verrill murder. He was released in 2003 the day after his 67th birthday. No one has heard of him since, although a social security record shows a Patrick F. Bateson with the same birthdate passing away in 2012.



 

 

Bateson always publicly denied having anything to do with these crimes. The Exorcist director knew nothing of the murder conviction until he read about it in the news. He then paid a visit to Bateson, whom he considered "a nice, young man".

 



 

Bateson told the director he was being offered a plea deal and that if confessed to the murders of the other gay men his sentence would be shorter. However, he told Freidkin he wasn't sure if he would accept it. Bateson was recently featured as one of the serial killers featured in the acclaimed Netflix crime drama Mindhunter.



 

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