Psychics who solve crimes

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Main Question or Discussion Point

...That Chiara ended up in Lake Como, and not in Venice or who knows where, was already known: it was in fact the most likely hypothesis," said Massimo Polidoro, the head of a sceptics group called the committee for the control of paranormal affirmations.

Others have suggested that she more probably did some research on the Internet instead of speaking with the dead.

But Remo Bonetti, a rescue worker who has led similar searches for bodies in the past, said that the mystery would not have been solved without Busi's help.

"Without the directions of Maria Rosa no one would have ever been able to find her, unless by accident," Bonetti was quoted as saying in Il Messaggero newspaper [continued]
http://today.reuters.co.uk/News/newsArticle.aspx?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=2005-09-16T183324Z_01_KWA666767_RTRIDST_0_OUKOE-UK-CRIME-PSYCHIC.XML

I have read and seen many interviews with police investigators who swear to the credibility of these claims. To me it seems that some must be genuine as there are well documented cases that seem to leave no doubt. In many cases, the notion of luck is simply not possible by any reasonable measure.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
SGT
Did the psychic provide all the details before or after the finding of the body?
Alleged psychics normally say that the probable victims are underwater or buried in some wooded area, because those are the most probable locations of missing bodies. So, if there is a nearby lake, there is a good probability that a missing person may be there, either by accident, suicide, or because some murderer chose the place to hide the body.
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking said:
In many cases, the notion of luck is simply not possible by any reasonable measure.
You're gonna have to do better than that. And as far as what u mean by reasonable measure, uh, what do u mean? Can we look at all the misses that occur and then compare it to the hits, is it unlikely that out of a huge amount of misses, a few guesses may be correct. And then we can concede that they are not mere guesses, but in retrospect they are educated guesses (something real investigators use all the time.)

It's probably also not reasonable to assume someone could be lucky enough to win the california lottery, with odds of 1:41,416,353 against them. Are we talking about luck more unreasonable than that?
 
  • #4
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Here is a story with a little more details:

Divers initially balked at the venture because the spot identified by Ms Busi was 500ft from shore. Detectives were yesterday trying to work out how the four-wheel drive came to be so far from the lakeside.

On Tuesday the dead woman's father, Francesco Beriffi, watched as the dark red vehicle was hauled 400ft from the bottom of the lake by a ship-borne crane. "I hesitate to believe in voices from beyond", he said. "But I really cannot be sceptical."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/italy/story/0,12576,1570196,00.html
So it seems she identified a spot in the lake that was 500 feet offshore. Apparently this was such an unlikely place for the corpse to be, that noone else considered it.
 
  • #5
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I believe in psychics. However, being one who understands nirvana, it's a dangerous power which can lead one straight to the underworld. Sometimes I wonder if these people are truly psychics.
 
  • #6
Johann
That Chiara ended up in Lake Como, and not in Venice or who knows where, was already known: it was in fact the most likely hypothesis," said Massimo Polidoro, the head of a sceptics group called the committee for the control of paranormal affirmations.

Others have suggested that she more probably did some research on the Internet instead of speaking with the dead.
I often wonder why the police doesn't hire skeptics to find missing persons, since skeptics claim to understand what psychics do better than the psychics themselves. Or, as the other skeptic suggested, just look for the missing person on the internet. :grumpy:

Why is it that some people seem to have an enormous need to refute that which they don't understand? So the woman had a vision, so what? Why does it have to be something else?
 
  • #7
SGT
Johann said:
I often wonder why the police doesn't hire skeptics to find missing persons, since skeptics claim to understand what psychics do better than the psychics themselves. Or, as the other skeptic suggested, just look for the missing person on the internet. :grumpy:
Police investigators are, in the great majority, skeptics about the powers of psychics and they solve many more cases than the alleged by psychics. So why hire other skeptics?
Why is it that some people seem to have an enormous need to refute that which they don't understand? So the woman had a vision, so what? Why does it have to be something else?
Skeptics don't refute what they don't understand. I don't understand string theory, but I don't refute it. I refute things for which there is no evidence except for anecdotal accounts.
 
  • #8
Johann
SGT said:
Police investigators are, in the great majority, skeptics about the powers of psychics and they solve many more cases than the alleged by psychics.
The problem is not that psychics don't solve a lot of cases, the problem is that they shouldn't be solving any case at all and yet from time to time they do.

Skeptics don't refute what they don't understand.
You mean skeptics fully understand everything about every single claim of psi phenomena? Man, those skeptics must be really smart.

I don't understand string theory, but I don't refute it.
I don't understand clairvoyance, but I don't refute it.

I refute things for which there is no evidence except for anecdotal accounts.
Nope. You refute ideas simply because you don't like them. Anecdotal evidence is just fine if it doesn't conflict with your beliefs. You are not smarter than anyone else, that is something you can depend upon.
 
  • #9
SGT
Johann said:
The problem is not that psychics don't solve a lot of cases, the problem is that they shouldn't be solving any case at all and yet from time to time they do.
There is no evidence that psychics do anything else than providing educated guesses.


You mean skeptics fully understand everything about every single claim of psi phenomena? Man, those skeptics must be really smart.
I have never said that. I said that I refute them not because I understand or not, but because there is no strong evidence for them.
I will not reject a claim for wich there is little evidence, if it does not contradict the accepted laws of Nature. If you present a case that contradicts our understanding of those laws, you must present strong evidence. In this case all skeptics will accept it.
A good example is the theory of continental drift. When it was presented it was rejected because there was no known mechanism that could fundament it. When the mechanism of plate tectonics was discovered, all scientists accepted the fact of continental drift.

I don't understand clairvoyance, but I don't refute it.
Good for you!

Nope. You refute ideas simply because you don't like them. Anecdotal evidence is just fine if it doesn't conflict with your beliefs. You are not smarter than anyone else, that is something you can depend upon.
See my previous explanation. Anecdotal evidence is just fine if it doesn't conflict with the accepted laws of Nature. My beliefs have not to do with it. And when did I say that I am smarter than anyone?
 
  • #10
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We need more details. So far ive gathered that she actually drew a map and pinpointed the location as being in the lake 500 feet from shore. She has also explained the cause of her death as being "That evening there was a flood, a landslide, there were problems on the road," she said.". Police havent yet found the cause.

Anyone have more details?

Btw i saw a similar story on Oprah Winfrey a few months ago. A person had been missing for awhile. A woman dreamt about a car driving off a mountain. In the dream there was a voice telling her to look a bit further. The next day she and her daughter went to the spot on the mountain that she dreamt of. She stopped the car, got out, and looked down the mountain. They didnt see anything. She remembered the voice telling her to look a bit further, so she started walking down the mountainside through the bushes and after a few hundred meters the car was there with the person inside still alive.

The woman in this case didnt claim to be a psychic and she never experienced this before.

Just found the story, here it is:

Parents Jean and Todd Hatch hired a private investigator and on Saturday organized an unsuccessful search with 200 volunteers in areas near the place where the car was found.

Sha Nohr, a church member and mother of a friend of Hatch, said she had several vivid dreams of a wooded area with the message, "Keep going, keep going," after she went to bed Saturday night.

She said she awakened Sunday morning with an urgent need to look for Hatch, had her daughter join her and drove to the area where the crash occurred, stopping at one point, then leaving because "it just didn't feel right" and going to another spot.

Along the way, Nohr said, she prayed: "I just thought, 'Let her speak out to us,'"

At the second stop something drew her to clamber over a concrete barrier and more than 100 feet down a steep, densely vegetated embankment where she barely managed to discern the wrecked car in some trees.

http://www.anomalynews.com/phorum/read.php?f=3&i=41&t=41
 
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  • #11
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PIT2 said:
We need more details. So far ive gathered that she actually drew a map and pinpointed the location as being in the lake 500 feet from shore. She has also explained the cause of her death as being "That evening there was a flood, a landslide, there were problems on the road," she said.". Police havent yet found the cause.

Anyone have more details?

Btw i saw a similar story on Oprah Winfrey a few months ago. A person had been missing for awhile, police had given up the search. A woman (who did not know the missing person) dreamt about a car driving off a mountain. In the dream there was a voice telling her to look a bit further. The next day she and her daughter went to the spot on the mountain that she dreamt of. She stopped the car, got out, and looked down the mountain. They didnt see anything. She remembered the voice telling her to look a bit further, so she started walking down the mountainside through the bushes and after a few hundred meters the car was there with the person inside still alive.
The woman in this case didnt claim to be a psychic and she never experienced this before.

I saw that same story on another show on another show (Inside Edition maybe?). It was a short segment with few details, but they did have some short interviews with the people involved. I'm a skeptic by nature, but I found the people to be very genuine and their story really makes you think. From what I remember, the girl that had the "vision" was just a close friend of the missing girl and does not claim to have psychic abilities. There were no skid marks on the road or anything other evidence that a car had gone off the road there. I suppose that it could have just been "luck"... maybe she was driving on roads where the girl might have traveled and just decided that this was a likely place for an accident. Or maybe there really is something to this and similar cases. However with the limited and sketchy evidence we have it is impossible to make a convincing argument for psychic abilities. For now, I will remain skeptical but intrigued.

I found it equally remarkable that the girl survived for a week trapped in the car with little or no food and water (they didn’t give any details on this). :bugeye:


chief
 
  • #12
857
2
Here are some more links about the Laura Hatch case:

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_1603391,00.html
http://www.annointed.net/Article699.html [Broken]
http://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2004/10/13.html

The last link describes the dreams the woman had:

Laura Hatch Case
In Wednesday's first hour, Shay Nohr, the woman who found 17 year old Laura Hatch eight days after she crashed into a forested area near Seattle, discussed her prophetic dream that led to Laura's discovery. Shay said she had a repeated dream vision of an intersection, and then a second dream with a rabbit, like that from Alice in Wonderland, that said "keep going, keep going."

This led her to suggest to her daughter that they go look for the missing girl at that particular intersection. Later, as they found Laura in her car, she said it might have been connected with the fact that a church group was praying that she would be found at around the same time.
 
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  • #13
Ivan Seeking
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I only have a few minutes a day for PF right now. It could be up to another week before I can get back into this or the other thread. It looks like you're on your own for awhile PIT2. :biggrin: See you soon

work work work...
 
  • #14
PIT2 said:
Here are some more links about the Laura Hatch case:

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_1603391,00.html
http://www.annointed.net/Article699.html [Broken]
http://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2004/10/13.html

The last link describes the dreams the woman had:
But don't you see the inherent potential for bias here? If the media sees the potential for an 'amazing' story you can count on them delivering an amazing story.

Whether or not the person claims to be a psychic or a prophet is not really an issue. With billions of people having hundreds of dreams per night something seemingly inexplicable is bound to happen. I'm not trying to play the devil's advocate here, the story is amazing, assuming that all of it's true. How likely is it that the woman purposely fudged some details of her dream? And if that doesn't seem likely, how reliable do u find ur recollections of your dreams?
 
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  • #15
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kcballer21 said:
But don't you see the inherent potential for bias here? If the media sees the potential for an 'amazing' story you can count on them delivering an amazing story.

Whether or not the person claims to be a psychic or a prophet is not really an issue. With billions of people having hundreds of dreams per night something seemingly inexplicable is bound to happen. I'm not trying to play the devil's advocate here, the story is amazing, assuming that all of it's true. How likely is it that the woman purposely fudged some details of her dream? And if that doesn't seem likely, how reliable do u find ur recollections of your dreams?

That's a good point. I could easily see the media contributing to the exaggeration of the story. Each time the story is told, it gets a little more incredible. Pretty soon it has grown to supernatural proportions and the dreamer isn't able to distinguish between the actual dream and the incredible story she has been telling her friends and the media. Certainly a possibility.
 
  • #16
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In the Laura Hatch case it is however pretty strange how the dream-woman ended up at the exact spot where the car went down the mountain. Was this just luck or was there some kind of proces at work? I think the latter, simply because the odds are against the former. What this proces is remains to be seen.

The story about her vision may have been exaggerated, and the details of the dream distorted, but the original idea behind it (that the dream brought her to the location of the car) probably was true. Unless she fabricated the dreamstory entirely.

Btw if i remember correctly, she told her daughter about her dream right after waking up. So the daughter also knew about the dream from that moment. This makes it less likely that both their memories have been distorted by media exaggerations.
 
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  • #17
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There are no such thing as people who have extraordinary extrasensory perceptions. It has been proving they are fakes many time over already. They usually predict 1 right thing, then they get all this press attention. And not to mention that it's quite hilarious they always try to be vague. Psychology books have proven again and again that ESP aren't real. If they are, then "psychics" would have won the lottery again and again.
 
  • #18
Chronos
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All this psychic stuff seems a lot more amazing after the fact than it does before, doesn't it? I can retrofit just about anything that already happened and show how 'improbable' that event was a lot easier than make a prediction before the event that later turns out to be true. Show me a psychic who correctly predicts the winning powerball lottery numbers - only once per year is just fine - and I will be a believer. My bad, the spirits frown upon that... It's a potted meat product. It doesn't look so savory once you read the label. Call me hard core. I won't deny it. I also will not deny that inexplicable events occur in this universe, but, I would wager one scientist will find the correct answer sooner than a dozen psychics.
 
  • #19
Chronos
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Footnote: I do, however, subscribe to the notion of 'sensitives'. 'Sensitives' are people who have an uncanny ability to solve puzzles given few clues. Most of us know such people [e.g., that annoying gal who solves almost every Wheel of Fortune phrase after 2 letters]. I believe some 'psychics' fall under that classification. Most of them have no idea how they do it. Few claim it is because they are psychic.
 
  • #20
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I've never heard the term "sensitive" applied like that, but I agree with the notion. The successful crime solving "psychics" are really just excellent detectives who know how to interpret facts that seem vague and ambiguous to other people with great accuracy.
 
  • #21
SGT
Interesting idea. A good example is Dr. Arthur G. Lintgen of New Jersey. He is able to name the music and sometimes the conductor in a classical vinyl recording, without seeing the label.
Dr. Lintgen, who does not claim to posses any paranormal power, says he examines the grooves in the recording and is able to evaluate the relative duration of each movement. With this knowledge and a great familiarity with classical music, Dr. Lintgen is able to name the specific music recorded.
It is possible that the some of the so called psychic detectives have some similar talent, but for the majority of them the solving of crimes comes from three techniques: knowledge of statistics, general assertions and the shotgun technique.
A missing person is either alive or dead, so there is a 50% chance to give the right answer. If a psychic is called only after quite a long time, the death probability is higher. If the person is dead, there are to major probabilities: either he/she is buried in a shallow grave in a remote area, or is at the bottom of a river or lake.
If the psychic says that the person is buried, the information may be complemented by vague indications like 'I see trees' or 'There is water nearby'. Most remote areas have trees and running water nearby.
Finally, the shotgun effect is to throw a great number of distinct informations, one of wich may be true. People tend to focus on the hits and forget the misses. For the press, the misses have no interest, they don't sell newspapers, so only the hits are published.
 
  • #22
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So the mechanism would then be that this information about a persons location is already available, the psychic pics this up and then it lingers in the subconscious, untill it blurps out as a dream or a vision. The question remains what kind of information this is, how does it reach the subconsciousness of the psychic and how does it turn into an answer.
 
  • #23
SGT
PIT2 said:
So the mechanism would then be that this information about a persons location is already available, the psychic pics this up and then it lingers in the subconscious, untill it blurps out as a dream or a vision. The question remains what kind of information this is, how does it reach the subconsciousness of the psychic and how does it turn into an answer.
Newspapers provide much of the information, either from family members or from the police. And there is much in common between disappearances and this is common knowledge. Alleged psychics may be honest people that gather all those informations together and perhaps dream of the problem, or they may be frauds that use it to promote themselves.
Another possibility is that police officers obtain information using illegal means, feed them to the psychic and then use the feedback from him/her to find the missing person in the place they already suspected.
 
  • #24
Chronos
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A very clever idea, SGT. And probably true. An inventive, and quite possibly legal way to circumvent illegally obtained evidence.
 
  • #25
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Chronos said:
A very clever idea, SGT. And probably true. An inventive, and quite possibly legal way to circumvent illegally obtained evidence.
Hehehe...no, not legal. As long as they maintain plausible deniability, though, they're fine. Police do, indeed, use such tactics from time to time: photographs "accidently" slip out of folders in front of people who aren't supposed to be privy to them, etc.
 

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