How Do Psychics Help Police Fight Crime?
Though the use of mediums by law enforcement agencies can be controversial, there is no doubt that it does happen from time to time. While some departments may be forthcoming with details about their use of psychics, many others prefer to not discuss this aspect of their investigations.
This is likely due to fear that the courts may not be willing to trust investigations aided by psychics or that juries may not accept evidence obtained through the use of psychics as valid.
Psychics can provide various types of information to authorities depending on the crime committed.
In a murder investigation, for instance, it may be information about where the body can be found or information about the actual killer.
A kidnapping might have mediums getting impressions of the location of the victim or the identity of the kidnapper. Missing person cases can result in clairvoyants having information on anything from the whereabouts of the person to how they came to be missing.
The first documented use of a psychic to aid in a police investigation was in 1845 when a clairvoyant in a trance accused a teenager of theft.
The youth promptly confessed to the crime but little else is known about the incident. Since that time, psychics have assisted in thousands of investigations both officially and unofficially. Sometimes law enforcement may request help but many times psychics simply offer the information they have to authorities.
One of the most famous cases where psychics were able to aid police was the serial murders committed by John Wayne Gacy.
Psychic Carol Broman directed police officers investigating the case to search for bodies buried in the crawl space beneath Gacy’s house. There they discovered many bodies and the true scope of the killer clown’s spree was discovered. Another psychic, Dorothy Allison, was able to direct police to the body of Robert Priest, the murder victim that directly led to Gacy’s identification as a suspect. Amazingly, Allison did this from New Jersey, about 800 miles away from the crime scene in Chicago.
Thanks to the hit show Medium that aired on NBC and CBS between 2005 and 2011, one of the best known psychics to work with police is Allison DuBois. She has not only aided in investigations but has also consulted in jury selections. DuBois was tested extensively by Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona who supports her claim of psychic ability. While she certainly has not had every experience depicted on the television series, DuBois has worked with agencies from local police forces to the Texas Rangers.
Vernon J. Geberth, a retired New York City Police Department Lieutenant Commander, is the author of Practical Homicide Investigation. Geberth has more than 40 years experience working in law enforcement and his book is considered by those in the field to be "The Bible of Homicide Investigation." In the book, Geberth discusses the use of clairvoyants and even goes so far as to give guidance for the use of psychics in a homicide investigation.
A psychic’s performance, Geberth states in the book, should be judged by the results of the information he or she provides. A psychic should have a distinctive way of working though the particular method may vary from one seer to another. The psychic should be considered an aid in developing clues in the case and information he or she provides should be followed up on by the police.
Geberth goes on to state that since no scientific guidelines are in place regarding a medium’s performance, police must decide whether any claims are valid and worth pursuing. Obviously, the psychic must be able to give information that has not been made public. Any officer who cannot accept the possibility that a clairvoyant may be legitimate should not be involved as they can affect the psychic’s efficiency. Geberth also states that all conversations with a medium should be taped.
Since taping conversations is one of Geberth’s recommended guidelines, you have to wonder just what kind of recordings might be sitting around in various evidence vaults. Geberth’s experience was with the New York City Police Department, so it makes you wonder if this means he had first hand experience with the use of psychics while working on America’s largest police force?
NYPD officially does not ask for help from psychics, but they have no "official" policy regarding accepting help from psychics.
Department spokesmen have stated in the past that a tip from a psychic would be accepted and followed up on just like any other tip from a member of the public. While there has never been any indication that they have sought out psychic assistance, there have been signs that the involvement between psychics and the department goes beyond simply following up on leads the mediums may provide.
Retired Detective Louis Pia and Detective Phil Tricolla of NYPD’s 49th Precinct have discussed the involvement of psychic Ellie Crystal in the case of 22-year-old Kim Antonakos who was kidnapped and murdered. "One of the things I got from Ellie", Detective Pia has said, "when I was present during the interview with her [is] it was most astonishing when she said the letter J would be important in solving the case. The four convicted of her crime, all their first names started with the letter J." Detective Tricolla agreed, stating psychics are "good at what they do."
An interesting twist on psychic’s assisting law enforcement agencies is police officers who are in fact psychic themselves.
One such police officer, Riley G. Matthews, Jr., worked on the New York City Police Department before leaving and forming a psychic detective agency that assisted on many cases, most notably the Green River Serial Killer before turning his talents to more mainstream endeavors and an acting career.
Ken Charles, a British police officer who identified himself as a psychic, stated in his autobiography, Psychic Cop, that he used his psychic abilities to solve crimes and then used intuition to come up with a way to get the criminal to leave evidence that could be used in court. Ken Charles and Riley G. Matthews, Jr. are not the only cops to claim to have psychic abilities, and in fact, many detectives would agree that intuition is an important part of the job they do.
It is that belief that likely led a psychic named Rennie Wiley to open Dragon’s Lair in 1984. The agency, located in Florida, attempted to teach officers how to use their intuition and possibly even tap into their own extrasensory abilities. Dragon’s Lair also combined the talents of mediums and retired police officers to assist local agencies with cases, mainly concentrating on finding stolen property.
Will the world become more accepting of psychics assisting police officers in the years to come? With the number of television shows dedicated to the theme it may seem that the general public is warming to the idea. But unfortunately those fictional shows will probably remain most people’s only exposure to the concept until the stigma associated with the use of mediums can be removed from the public eye. Those agencies that are dedicated to protecting and serving the public will likely continue to turn to psychics more often behind the scenes than in front of any cameras that happen to be around.