Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ronald Edwin Hunkeler: The little boy who inspired "The Exorcist"

Ronald Edwin Hunkeler
(Also know as: Roland Doe and Robbie Mannheim)

For at least 10 years now, I have been obsessed with finding out the identity of the little boy who was "possessed" back in 1949, inspiring William Peter Blatty to write "The Exorcist", leading to the production of arguably the greatest horror movie of all time, and convincing thousands and thousands of people all over the world that they were possessed and in need of an exorcism. Whether or not you believe this story to be a case of genuine demonic possession, you cannot deny the power of the story itself and the effect it has had on the world. Even after all of these years, people are still intrigued by the story, myself included. I plan on writing a much more detailed blog on my recent findings, but for now I will leave you with this: The little boys name is Ronald Edwin Hunkeler, and the picture above is his high school photo. I'm not sure what I was expecting him to look like, but I certainly didn't expect that I would consider him "attractive" but he kind of is...if you overlook the crazy empty stare in his eyes. It's kind of ironic that this photo was taken after the exorcism. I can see how this guy could pull off the presence of a demon. He has a very cold gaze. Nevertheless, here he is. Apparently he never moved very far from his childhood home and even ended up working at NASA! He had 3 children, 1 boy and 2 girls, the boy being named "Micheal"...ironically of course, seeing as how that was the name of the angel that saved him from the "Devil"...He divorced once and now lives a quite life in Maryland, enjoying retirement. It pains me to not spill all the information I have all at once, but that would literally take me hours and hours, maybe even days. I have spent so much of my life studying this story over the years, on and off, so I really want to sit down and put a lot of thought into what I write about it. I have read many other blogs of people who have researched this story to no end and figured out his identity long ago, all with their own theories about what really happened. I think it is time for me to add my own to the bunch. I started this journey at the age of 12, and even though others have made this discovery before me, it feels nice to finally have a name and a face to match the amazing story that has fascinated me for all these years!


  1. Great information/read. So good to 'know' his "Robbie Doe" or "Robbie Mannheim" and to have my question answered it he was still alive or not.

  2. I grew up in the house on the corner of 34th street and Rainier ave in Mt.Rainier Maryland. My grandmother knew the family and I was Baptised by the Episcopal priest who was cut by Ronald on his arm with the bed spring. Ronald and his family lived in Mt.Rainier not Cottage city. Nobody there that was alive when all that happened really wants to talk about it and I wish his name had never been found out. Now his children and grandchildren will have to live with the stigma. God bless you Ronald and all your family. I am sorry your name got out.

  3. Is the NASA part of this story true? Do you know what he did with them and if possible the timeframe in which he may have worked there?