A pair of psychics in California are offering clues to investigators about who may have committed the brutal murder of a 13 year-old girl whose body was found in a baseball dugout in a Sacramento park last week – but just how credible is their information?
According to Fox40, local psychics Christina George and Jennifer Newell showed their reporter the exact path taken by Jessica Funk Haslam the night she was killed. The teen’s tragic story began the night of March 5 when the eighth grader had an argument with her mother around 5:30 p.m. and left to meet someone in the park. Her mother claimed the girl would not tell her who she was meeting.
Witnesses say they saw two people near the park between 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. and to have heard a man and a young girl talking around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. However, the dark made it impossible to identify who they were.
Even though the police have no suspects in the case, the psychics claim to know who Jessica met with and where she died.
George claims the suspect is between 16 and 19 years-old. “She does know him and she has been corresponding with him.”
The psychics claim Jessica and her murderer were sitting at a picnic table in the gazebo area of Rosemont Park in Sacramento.
“We came and sat here at this table ’cause this is where we felt she was at, where she met him,” added George.
Newell claims she “saw” Jessica “messing with something under the table” and that the vision gave her “a really big sensation” in her finger tips.
When they reached under the table, the psychic investigators found a piece of tape with the words, “Skittles was here.”
They believe it could be a clue to who Jessica was meeting with on the night she was killed and have offered to make the tape available to detectives.
The women also said Jessica and her attacker got up and walked a path leading to the backside of the dugout where Jessica’s body was found. She had been struck on the head, strangled, and stabbed in the throat.
” . . .( W)hatever happened, transpired (inside the dugout),” George said. “I can see a struggle, I could feel them fighting.”
George claims to have seen all these things through the dead girl’s eyes, and also to have felt what the girl felt at the moment of her death.
If this all sounds a little hokey, that’s because it is.
Truth be told, there’s not a single case of a missing person who has ever been found due to the advice of psychic detectives like Newell and George – at least not according to the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Over 1,000 psychics claimed to know where Elizabeth Smart was, including some famous psychics such as Allison DuBois of the NBC show Medium. None of them were right. Hundreds more weighed in on high profile cases such as that of Natalee Holloway, Laci Peterson, Chandra Levy, and and every single psychic turned out to be wrong.
When it comes to solving murders, the failure rate is even more dramatic. I have never read of even one case of a psychic solving a crime with his or her psychic abilities. Instead, it was usually solved by employing conventional investigative techniques and making it look like it was their psychic ability in order to impress a gullible public.
Take the celebrated TV psychic, Sylvia Browne. She has claimed many times to have used her psychic powers to solve crimes, but when one media watchdog group analyzed the 35 cases she spoke about on a series of Montel Williams programs, her success rate was nothing to brag about. In 21 of the cases, the details she gave were too vague even to be verified. Of the remaining 14, either law enforcement or victims’ family members said Browne played no useful role in solving the case.
She also claimed on the Larry King Show to have solved the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and said she was working with a man named Stephen Xanthos of the Rumson, New Jersey police department on another crime that she was about to solve. However, a fact check of her story found that no one named Stephen Xanthos ever worked at that police department, although someone by that name had recently been fired from another New Jersey police precinct.
Her most famous failure was in the case of the missing Shawn Hornbeck, an 11 year-old boy who went missing on October 6, 2002. Browne appeared on the Montel Williams Show and told Hornbeck’s parents that their son was no longer alive. She gave a detailed description of the abductor and where Hornbeck could be found. When the boy was found alive four years later, almost none of the details given by Browne were correct. Craig Akers, Shawn’s father, said Browne’s declaration was “one of the hardest things that we’ve ever had to hear,” and that her misinformation diverted investigators wasting precious police time.
When it comes to duping the public, Browne is just the tip of the iceburg. Not even Allison DuBois, the “real-life” Phoenix-area clairvoyant / spiritualist whose alleged assistance to law enforcement was the basis for NBC’s drama series Medium has any solved crimes to boast about. In fact, her own website can only claims that she “has consulted on a variety of murders or missing persons cases while working with various law enforcement agencies.”
Carla Baron of Los Angeles, a so-called psychic clairvoyant who calls herself a “psychic profiler,” claims to have solved 50 cases during the last two decades. However, according to the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) which investigates paranormal claims such as hers, of the 14 cases she claims to have been involved in, “every case we investigated was either solved without Baron’s involvement or remains unsolved” (IIG 2004).
But that hasn’t stopped Baron from trumpeting her skills to anyone who’ll listen. She asserts to have worked on the O.J. Simpson case and to have done “some channeling work” with the Brown family. However, when the IIG contacted the sister of the victim, Denise Brown, they were told, “I’ve never heard of this person.”
In the still unsolved case of the Long Island serial killer who has been dumping the bodies of prostitutes in remote areas for years now, the New York Post claimed a “Psychic Nailed it!” when a medium claimed to have correctly located one of the first bodies. The psychic said it was located in a shallow grave, near water, with a letter “G” in a sign nearby. However, when one looked at the facts behind the sensational headline, it turns out that the psychic was more wrong than right. For instance, the body found was not buried but was found above ground in a heavily weeded area. As for being near water, everything in Long Island is near water. And there are a thousand signs on Long Island that contain the letter “G” but none of these was found near the body. Instead, the only place the letter “G” was found was in the name of the beach where the body was located – Gilgo Beach.
Psychics use such simple tactics to snooker the public it’s almost embarrassing to report. For instance, even to pronounce a missing person to be dead or alive has a 50 percent hit rate. If a psychic predicts that the person is dead, they usually go on to make other “startling predictions” such as the fact that the person is buried in a shallow grave. (How many murderers take the time to dig a deep grave?) Or they’ll predict that this grave can be found in a remote or “wooded area.” (How many killers bury their victims in the middle of the front yard?) Other psychics might say “I see water near the body” or “I see trees”, information which can be easily gleaned from looking at a map of the area.
This is not to say that all psychics are frauds and that no one has psychic abilities because some people do indeed have the power to see into the future. But where does their information come from? It can’t come from God because He denounces all soothsayers in Deuteronomy 18. It can’t come from good angels because they exist solely to do the will of God – who would never contradict Himself by allowing an angel to participate in the work of a soothsayer. Disembodied human souls no longer have the capacity to communicate with the material world and can only do so through a supernatural (God) or preternatural (angelic) agency – and this can only be done with the express permission of God.
That leaves only one being who has both the motive and the power to seduce a soul into turning away from God and toward a psychic for help.