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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Psychic Detectives: False Leads, Wasted Time and Investigative Nonsense

      People believe in such things as ghosts, witches, Big-Foot,  alien abductions, spontaneous human combustion and the Loch Ness Monster. Many believe in fortune tellers, soothsayers and so-called psychic detectives who inject themselves into missing person and murder cases. The words "detective" and "psychic" do not belong together. Police detectives who consult these fakes and run down their leads should be put back on patrol. It's all a load of crap.

      In an era of marginal thinking and outlandish beliefs, millions of people buy into paranormal nonsense. The media, particularly television, with supposedly serious shows about ghosts and psychics, adds credibility to this nonsense. Print and TV journalists who know better pretend to take this hogwash seriously because they are popular subjects that attract readers and viewers. These media hacks are part of the problem. Too many Americans have lost the ability to think straight, reason clearly and draw logical conclusions.

     If psychic detectives could do what they claim there would be no such thing as missing children ex-girlfriends and estranged wives. There would be no unsolved murders. No one without inside knowledge of a case, can, by holding a missing murder victim's garment lead the detectives to the body. Harry Houdini escaped locked boxes because he had the keys and psychic detectives claim credit for locating missing persons by embellishing and changing--after the fact--their initial predictions. They get away with it because gullible people want to believe in them.

Psychics Teresa Nicholas and Tiffany Smith: The Costly Curse

     Psychics Teresa Nicholas and Tiffany Smith, "Psychic Readers & Advisors" doing business in Hingham, Massachusetts, if they could have foreseen their own futures wouldn't have bilked a 69-year-old woman who had stupidly availed herself of their fortune telling services.

     On April 6, 2012, when the victim came to Tiffany Smith for a "psychic reading," Tiffany Smith informed her she was under a "curse and a black cloud." More specifically, the psychic reader told the victim that if she didn't fork over $7,000 to lift the curse the victim's daughter, within a week, would commit suicide. The poor woman wrote a check payable to Teresa Nicholas for that amount. The next day, the victim either came to her senses or spoke to someone with common sense. Either way, the police were notified. Teresa Nicholas, however, had already deposited the check.

     A week later the two psychics were charged with a variety of theft offenses related to swindling and fraud.

Psychic Detectives in the Disappearance of Etan Patz

     On May 25, 1979 the parents of 6-year-old Etan Patz allowed the boy to make his first unaccompanied trip to the Manhattan bus stop two blocks from his apartment building. They never saw him again. The missing boy was one of the first to have his photograph printed on milk cartons. His case helped fuel the national missing persons campaign that took root in the 1980s. The boy was formally declared dead in 2001.

     From the beginning investigators suspected a friend of Etan's babysitter, a man named Jose Antonia Ramos. Ramos was later convicted of child molestation and sent to prison in Pennsylvania. While never prosecuted in the Patz case, the missing boy's family won a $2 million wrongful death judgement against Ramos in 2004.

     In 2010 Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance reopened the Etan Patz investigation.

     In April, 2012, FBI agents and detectives with the New York City Police Department interviewed a 75-year-old man named Othniel Miller, a former handyman who in 1979 had worked in a small workshop in the basement of the Patz family apartment building on Prince Street in the SoHo section of Manhattan. Etan Patz did chores for Mr. Miller, and on the day before he disappeared Mr. Miller had given the boy a dollar. At the time of the boy's disappearance Othniel Miller was not a suspect because he had a solid alibi. 

     After questioning Othniel Miller FBI agents placed "scent pads"--material that can absorb and retain odors--in Miller's old basement workshop. A cadaver dog, upon sniffing the pad indicated the scent of human remains. (This technique is not accepted forensic science.)

     Under the supervision of the FBI and New York City Police workers dug up the workshop's concrete floor and screened the dirt beneath it for signs of Etan's remains. At one point investigators thought they had discovered a suspicious stain on a chunk of cinder block, but further analysis determined it was not blood. After four days of excavating the authorities shut down the operation and began cleaning up the mess. The Etan Patz case remained a mystery.

     In 1979, five days after Ethan Patz left home for the bus stop and never came back, a psychic named Carrie Leight told Etan's father that the first-grader was being cared for in a "blue hospital" that employed a nurse named Mrs. Keanne. Another psychic, under hypnosis, said the boy was "living safely" with a dark-haired woman with a Spanish or Cuban accent who lived on the second floor of a tenement building bearing the number 29. New York City detectives ran down these leads that led them nowhere. They wasted their time. 

     On May 6, 2012 Pedro Hernandez, a 51-year-old from Maple Shade, New Jersey confessed to choking Etan Patz to death and leaving his body in a bag in a Manhattan trash can. Hernandez, an employee of a convenience store in the victim's neighborhood had moved to New Jersey shortly after Etan's disappearance and murder.

     In February 2017 a jury in Manhattan found Pedro Hernandez guilty of murder and kidnapping. The judge sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison.

Psychic Nancy L. Fox and the Christine Ann Jarrett Murder Case

     On the night of January 3, 1991, Christine Ann Jarrett, the mother of two young boys, disappeared from her home in Elkridge, Maryland. Shortly thereafter a local psychic named Nancy Fox, who performed "readings, healings and spiritual coaching," was taken to the Jarrett house where she "immediately had a feeling." Psychic Fox informed those present that the missing woman was dead.

     This psychic from Linthicum, Maryland said she had an image of Christine Jarrett getting into a blue car with a man and that the dead woman would be found within 50 miles of her home. The police, according to Fox, would find clues to her disappearance in southern Pennsylvania.

     Even if this rubbish were true the information was so general it was useless. A blue car? Some man? Southern Pennsylvania? The body somewhere within a 50 mile radius of the house? 

     On April 21, 2012, 21 years later, Christine Jarrett's remains were found a few yards from her residence in Elkridge, Maryland, buried under the floorboards of a backyard shed. Her remarried husband, 57-year-old Robert Jarrett, was charged then convicted of her murder.

     When psychic Nancy Fox had her "feeling" she was sitting a few yards from Christine Jarrett's dead body. There was no man in a blue car or clues in southern Pennsylvania. 


  1. paranormal nonsense? How arrogant! Never underestimate the psychic intelligence. You just have not found the one that could solve this. I wish ----- I am careful to wish but it would be a good paranormal experience to find out where the boy is ---- Some divine intervention can come into place --- one never knows. If you are meant to be the messenger the truth will come out. Don't be too quick to brush off people that have these abilities.

  2. i did disagree with you i think there are alot of phony psychics or people who dont know what they are doing with their ability but i believe the ethan patz case is solvable with good investagation work i think people are assuming too much and not taking it from the start the basics that is the problem they are missing alot of clues laying in front of them