‘You Can’t Shake It': Mike Allen’s Exclusive Insights on Connecticut Murder ‘The Devil on Trial’
Photo: Lou Milano
"The Devil on Trial" is currently one of Netflix's most popular documentaries.
The film tells the tragic story of Brookfield's Glatzel family and their alleged dance with dark forces. The tale has been told many times, by many people for over forty years, but one man tells it best.
Mike Allen is featured in the film, in fact, much of the story is propped up by his personal knowledge and notes. Allen was a journalist who covered the case for WINE and WRKI back when the murder took place in 1981.
We spoke with Mike on Wednesday (11/08/23) to ask him about the wave of attention the documentary has created.
Lou: All this recognition, you just got a nice writeup in the News Times, you are in the film and you obviously worked really hard on the case over the years. You've paid close attention to the details and were concerned only about the facts. You avoided certain projects where you thought they might embellish the story, is it nice to get the recognition after all this time?
Allen: "Yes in a way it's nice but I think the bigger thing for me is that I'm just amazed at how this story keeps hanging on. It's like you can't shake it, you can't get rid of it and I always knew at the time that I was covering it that it was, in many ways a pretty special story. You could just tell we were getting calls from, literally all over the world. People forget, particularly the younger folks in our audience these were the days before there was an internet. There were no cell phones and you can't really understand what that was like unless you were alive. So when the phone rang it was a landline phone and when it rang internationally it was a big deal."
That was sort of the dance we did, I was trying to get to Allen's feelings about his personal work being recognized and he'd deflect it. He was, and is dedicated to telling this story without taking centerstage.
Not only did Allen deflect any fanfare, but he took a moment to recognize the late Ruth Lockwood. Ruth worked for the News Times years ago and was Allen's competition on the devil story and many others. When Lockwood came up in the discussion, Mike stopped to honor her memory.
Allen: "Ruth has passed away unfortunately but she was great. There was nobody in my reporting time period who knew Danbury court and the people in it, and all the cases better than Ruth Lockwood. She was the source, just nobody knew it better and she knew everybody there. She was just one of those people, she lived at the courthouse, she knew the courthouse, she breathed it, she lived it. She was great."
Mike Allen is a true gentleman, a real professional and a shining example of what journalism used to be. We've been so blessed here on the I-95 Morning Show to have access to Mike, his mind and his curiosity. It's been a pleasure having him in the studio for "The Place You Live" and watching his podcast "Amazing Tales from Off and On Connecticut's Beaten Path" become so popular.
NOTE: The pictures above were taken at different times. The pictures of Mike standing next to the movie poster were taken at a private screening of the "The Devil on Trial" that Ethan and I attended. The others were taken in-studio the day of the interview, the paperwork you are looking at are some of Mike's original notes and news reports from 1981.
You can listen to the entire Wednesday (11/08/23) interview below in two parts.
In Part 1 Mike lays out the Devil Made Me Do it Case in broad strokes.
In Part 2 we focused more on the attention from the Netflix documentary.
Check out Mike Allen's podcast "Amazing Tales from Off and On Connecticut's Beaten Path" on Apple & Spotify
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Gallery Credit: Lou Milano