The New Psychics
Having tested the abilities of mediums for years, Schwartz swears by his methods for singling out gifted psychics. Yet not everyone agrees that what hes doing is science and skeptics are quick to point out the problems. The Arizona Daily Star included comments by Dr. Ray Hymen, professor emeritus of psychology at the
Du Boiss book is less about criminal cases (there are very few mentioned) and more about what its like to be psychic. She offers nothing new, and if one watches the television show, where murders get solved via psychic impressions coupled with rudimentary police work, DuBoiss actual story is disappointing. Nor does a sampling of media interviews with her indicate just why her life inspired the television show. She conducts readings, to be sure, and has a number of celebrity endorsements-- including from Deepak Chopra, who said she was 77% accurate--but whiles she claims that shes regularly contacted by police agencies for assistance in missing or murdered persons cases (and attorneys for assistance in jury selection), she offers no evidence that her abilities have actually solved a crime.
One can only wonder, if its that easy, why havent psychics solved some of the more high-profile, horrendous crimes in our country? How about Jon Benet-Ramsey or the long-elusive BTK? Yes, television is entertainment, but psychics who claim to be criminal profilers ought to have more success stories. DuBois does discuss the information she provided about the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, but apparently failed to have it taken seriously. She says that its accurate and on record, but she does not offer a copy of the record itself or its location for people to check. Nor does she say anything in her description of the perpetrator, aside from a first name (which was correct), that a regular criminal profiler wouldnt also say. In other words, much of what she offered in this case was basic psychology or common sense. Its likely, for example, that law enforcement was already checking people who knew or had worked for the Smarts.
In defense, DuBois points out that the sixth sense is as fallible as our other five senses, so we cant expect 100% reliability. Thats probably correct, but it raises the question of how the police ought to treat psychics. If many are frauds and those who are authentic are only about 75% accurate at best (and get validation only in retrospect), then any leads they receive via this sixth sense may potentially waste resources and lead them up blind alleys. We certainly do have examples of supposedly accurate mediums getting the case entirely wrong. So what should the police do?
In an interview for 14 WFIE, Dubois insists that investigators use psychics a lot more than theyre willing to admit. So then, its difficult to know if they do or they dont. She also says that the people who do what I do, we dont really want to talk about cases and specifics, and we dont need to be acknowledged as the person who cracks the case, or who gave the information that unjogged the cold case. So according to her, neither the police nor the psychics are talking. That makes the idea of psychic assistance for solving crimes even less credible: We could prove our abilities but were not going to offer a way to do so or verification from those we help.