A psychic detective is a person who investigates crimes using alleged paranormal psychic abilities. Examples include postcognition (paranormal perception of the past), psychometry (information obtained psychologically from objects), telepathy, navigation, clairvoyance and remote viewing. In murder cases, psychic detectives can pretend to be communicating with the spirits of the victims of the murder. Are psychic detectives real?
Although there are documented cases where people claiming to have psychic abilities have assisted the police in resolving crimes, there is considerable skepticism about the general use of psychological means in these circumstances. Many police departments around the world have published official statements claiming that they do not consider divination reliable or useful.
What is the popularity of mental detectives?
Psychic detectives, both “real” and fictional, are now very popular. They were published in Larry King Live and could be seen on the new hit NBC Medium TV, which recently defeated the science-based drama CSI: Miami in the rankings. However, a thorough analysis of mental detectives suggests that they know more about advertising than missing persons.
A common pattern is found in high-profile cases of missing persons (such as Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson, Elizabeth Smart and countless others): dozens or hundreds of “fortune-tellers” offer advice (for free or for a fee), but when the police track the vast majority based on information – or all – turns out to be wrong. One trick used by fortune-tellers is to provide very vague information that can be later interpreted (most missing persons can be found “near the water”, even if it is a lake, puddle, river, drainage pipe, etc.). They also use information already available by ordinary means and make so many guesses that some will almost certainly be right. The police must follow all directions, including those from suspicious sources, wasting valuable hours and police workforce. An accident or police work always occurs when a corpse is found. Despite repeated claims to the contrary, there is not a single documented case of finding or recovering a missing person solely because of mental information.
A number of tests were conducted on medium detectives using control groups to determine psychic abilities related to solving crimes. One of the earliest conducted by a Dutch policeman, Fillipus Brink in 1960. He conducted a year-long divination study, but found no evidence of his ability to solve crimes.
No psychic detective has ever been praised or officially recognized by the FBI or US national news for solving a crime, preventing crime, or finding a victim of abduction or corpse.