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'The Exorcist' Case / Murder Hornets

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Date Host George Noory
Guests J. Patrick Rick, Cheryll Jones

In the first half, a former brother in an Alexian Novitiate Monastery, Patrick Rick, discussed new information about the possession and exorcism that William Peter Blatty wrote about as a fictional account in the 1971 novel The Exorcist, which in 1973 was made into the movie of the same name. The case that inspired Blatty was the exorcism of a thirteen-year-old boy in 1949, who was given the pseudonym of "Roland Doe." The Maryland teenager was exorcised at the Alexian Brothers Hospital (since demolished) in St. Louis in a series of rituals conducted by two priests, William Bowdern and Walter Halloran, Rick recounted. At one point, the boy broke Halloran's nose-- he was notorious for being able to land a punch even with his eyes closed. Roland's symptoms of possession, began in 1948 and grew worse into the next year, Rick detailed.

While at the psychiatric unit of the hospital, a diary was kept of Roland's procedures and exorcisms, and nurses snuck the volume out, made a copy of it, and then replaced it, Rick revealed. It was this "purloined" document that Rick gained access to. The exorcisms, which were said to heal Roland eventually, took a toll on Bowdern, who lost a lot of weight, Rick noted. Interestingly, Roland is reportedly still alive. Now 85, he played an important role in the NASA space program and their ability to land shuttles, Rick reported.

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In the latter half, C2C's investigative reporter Cheryll Jones interviewed Doug Yanega, the chief scientist of the Entomology Research Museum of the University of California – Riverside. They talked about the potential new threat of Asian Giant Hornets, nicknamed "Murder Hornets," that have turned up in the Pacific Northwest. The media over-hyped the dangers of the hornets for the US, said Yanega, as only one colony was found in Vancouver, BC, and a single insect crossed the border into Washington state. The concern at this point is really localized to that area, he commented. What happened, he continued, is that a reporter found out that the Japanese nickname for the large insects translated as "murder hornets" and that amplified people's fears.

The bugs do have a very gruesome methodology in attacking beehives, said Yanega. Swarming a hive, they swiftly decapitate the heads of the worker bees guarding the entrance, so they can get inside and steal the larvae. In a kind of arms race, Japanese honeybees figured out a way to counteract the hornets, forming a defensive ball around them and cooking them with their body heat. Yanega noted that the hornets are not particularly aggressive toward humans, and we have more to fear from disease-carrying mosquitoes. He also warned of a new threat to palm trees in the US from a weevil migrating from South America. During the second hour, Cheryll and George took calls from listeners.

News segment guests: Dr. Peter Breggin, Robert Zimmerman

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