A Serial Killer Appeared as Extra in 'The Exorcist' Aug 26, 2019 18:31:36 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Aug 26, 2019 18:31:36 GMT -5
A Serial Killer Appeared as Extra in The Exorcist
If anything could make William Friedkin’s 1973 horror classic The Exorcist any creepier, then this is it: One of the film’s most famous scenes starred a real-life serial killer.
The Exorcist’s now-renowned story of Regan, a 12-year-old girl possessed by the devil, continues to terrify audiences, but arguably one of its most chilling scenes has nothing to do with the supernatural. In the well-known clip, Regan is taken to hospital to undergo tests, during which a catheter is inserted into her neck through an artery and the girl grimaces as blood spurts from her neck. But the scary part is that one of the medical technicians in the scene is Paul Bateson (above), convicted in 1979 of the murder of film industry journalist Addison Verrill, and suspected of killing several other men in the New York’s gay community.
Bateson’s story received fresh attention after he was featured as one of the serial killers in the acclaimed Netflix crime drama Mindhunter, however, his inclusion in one of the most famous horror films of all time is a fact that hasn’t been publicized to any great extent.
Bateson, who was originally a radiographer, came to the attention of Friedkin when the director visited the New York University Medical Center, where Bateson worked, to conduct research. Impressed by his work, Friedkin invited Bateson to work as an extra on The Exorcist, and in the film, he calmly explains to Regan what will take place during the procedure.
Unfortunately what happened to Bateson after the film is the truly dark tale. On September 14, 1979, Verrill was found beaten and stabbed to death in his Horatio Street. The murder prompted Arthur Bell, a journalist and gay rights activist, to publish a piece in The Village Voice urging the killer to come forward. Afterward, Bell received a telephone call from someone claiming responsibility for Verrill’s murder. The caller said that after partying together, he went home with Verrill and became enraged when the writer rejected his advances. “I needed money and I hated the rejection,” the caller told Bell. “I decided to do something I’d never done before.” He hit Verrill with a frying pan, knocking him out, then stabbed him, after which he stole cash, a credit card, and some of Verrill’s clothing and his passport.
The caller continued, claiming he wanted to “atone” for other crimes, but the next call Bell received came from a man calling himself “Mitch,” who accused Bateson of murdering Verrill. The fleeting movie actor was ultimately sentenced to 20 years in prison for Verrill’s murder. He was never charged with any of the other murders, though he allegedly told his friend Richard Ryan he killed the other men.
Bateson was paroled in 2003 and seemingly disappeared until a man going by the name of Patrick F. Bateson, with the same birth date (August 24, 1940) and social security number as that of Paul Bateson, died on September 15, 2012.
Sources: Simon Catling, LADBible, August 23, 2019; Matt Miller, Esquire, October 25, 2018; and Jewish Genealogy.