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NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 41 Issue: 9 Dated: (September 1993) Pages: 84-88
H Rachlin
Date Published
5 pages
The usefulness of psychics in police investigations is controversial, but psychics have long been and will undoubtedly continue to be involved in unsolved criminal investigations.
Psychics includes clairvoyants, prophesiers, telepaths, palmists, numerologists, graphologists, and metaphysicians. Both psychics and detectives base their work on intuition to some extent. Dorothy Allison of Nutley, N.J. has assisted police in more than 4,000 investigations and has received many letters from law enforcement agencies describing how she helped them. To produce information in a criminal investigation, most psychics like to have an article or photograph of the victim or visit the victim's home or the crime scene. Allison asks only for the person's date and place of birth and the date and location last seen. Professional Psychics United (PPU), a network of more than 380 psychics, has a volunteer Psychic Rescue Team. PPU psychics usually become involved only after the police contact them. Paul Kurtz, head of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, dismisses psychics outright, saying that much of their detection is actually wild guessing. A 1993 article in the organization's journal revealed that 31 of 50 large police agencies surveyed have never used psychics. The FBI also does not hire psychics and does not plan to use them, although it notes that they, like other citizens, can offer information for assessment by law enforcement officials. Psychics and their critics differ sharply in their views about their usefulness, but they will probably continue to be involved in criminal investigations. Photographs and illustration