Over the years law-enforcement agencies have created and developed an array of investigative tools which are designed to aid criminal investigations. But when - despite these new technologies - detectives find themselves at a dead-end, they may actually turn to psychic detectives for help of a more paranormal kind. These so-called psychic sleuths have claimed to possess psychic abilities that have allowed them to assist police in solving kidnapping and murder cases, locating corpses, or generally helping to fine-tune the gut instinct of a seasoned investigator. Here are ten of the most famous.
10. Peter Hurkos
Peter Hurkos claimed to have developed extra-sensory perception after he sustained a head injury and went into a coma following his fall from a ladder at the age of 30. He went on to achieve worldwide acceptance as a psychic detective working on cases involving missing persons, murder victims and even planes that had disappeared. Some of the most notable cases he was associated with include the Boston Strangler multiple murders and the Sharon Tate slayings, and, by 1969, he claimed to have helped successfully solve 27 murder cases in 17 countries. However, this has been contested by some of the detectives in these cases, who have asserted that Hurkos contributed no information that could not have been derived from newspapers – and, in some cases, that he was not even involved in the investigations at all. Despite this, Hurkos and his supporters maintained that he was one of the finest psychic sleuths.
9. Dorothy Allison
Dorothy Allison’s psychic powers first came to public attention in 1968, when she informed the police department of Nutley, New Jersey that the body of a missing boy could be located in a drainage pipe. This was believed to have been an accurate prediction, until the research of Joe Nickell, a columnist for The Skeptical Inquirer, suggested that the body was instead found floating in a pond. Whether this is true or not, Allison continued to be involved in other criminal investigations, including the Patricia Hearst kidnapping that took place in California, New York's infamous 'Son of Sam' killings, and the death of JonBenet Ramsey in Colorado. Although her success rates remain contested, her supporters have argued that she was indeed a notable psychic detective.
8. Rosemarie Kerr
In 1987, the Reverend Rosemarie Kerr was famously the first psychic sleuth to stand in the witness box in a murder trial. Kerr allegedly used her psychic gift to help authorities solve the slaying of Andre Daigle; she was later sent to Louisiana to testify during the trials of two suspects accused of murdering Andre. The case established Kerr as a noteworthy psychic detective, and since then she has claimed to have aided law enforcement officials in similar cases throughout the United States.
7. Bill Ward
Bill Ward attributes his psychic capabilities to his 10 months of service as an army medic in the Vietnam War; he believes that his powers were triggered by the violence he witnessed there. Since 1971, Bill has supposedly assisted in over 400 homicide cases, in which he has claimed a 75 to 80% success rate. He is reputed to have been involved with the investigations of the Jeanie Bennett case that took place in Oregon, as well as the Joliet Grain elevator explosion, Candace and Gregory Augustus murders, and the Anna Sanders murder, all of which occurred in Illinois. Throughout his career of psychic sleuthing, he has shunned publicity – unlike many of his contemporaries.
6. Nancy Myer
Psychic sleuth Nancy Myer claims to be able to perceive information using the environment, objects and people. She also alleges she is able to communicate directly with ghosts if such spirits are present. Nancy reputedly possesses a 30-year history of assisting police and law enforcement officials on both homicide and missing-persons cases – over 765 of them to date – and has apparently come up with accurate information in a significant percentage of them.
5. Greta Alexander
Greta Alexander, an Illinois housewife, discovered her psychic abilities after being struck by lightning. Her successful work as a psychic sleuth includes the investigation surrounding the disappearance of Kathleen Louise Holliday on March 12, 1977. Alexander had reportedly predicted to law enforcement officials that Holliday was dead, would be found by three people within a five mile radius of her home, and that there would be “some water involved.” On May 10, 1977, Holliday’s body was discovered in the Saylorville Reservoir in Polk County, Iowa by three people in a boat – just as Greta had apparently foreseen.
4. Phil Jordan
Phil Jordan believes his psychic talent is the sole reason for his first success story. On August 4, 1975 a six-year-old boy got lost in the woods of upstate New York, and had been missing for 17 hours when Jordan successfully led a search team to the boy. Jordan claims to have achieved this by using a map he had foreseen the previous night. Thereafter, the Tioga County Sheriff had sworn him in as a deputy to assist in other cases. Jordan continues to work with the police agencies at all levels across the country, and his resume contains cases including missing persons, homicide and arson.
3. Nella Jones
Nella Jones, a Romany Gypsy, knew from the age of seven that she was different. One of the most renowned British clairvoyants and psychic detectives of recent years, Jones’ psychic sleuthing began in 1974 when helped the Metropolitan police locate a Vermeer painting stolen from Kenwood House in North London. Since then she has aided the investigations of numerous murders and robberies, including the case of Julie Ward, in which Jones allegedly used her psychic capabilities to pick out the murderer from an assortment of suspects.
2. Noreen Renier
Psychic detective Noreen Renier claims to have worked on over 600 previously unsolved cases with city, county and state law enforcement agencies in 38 states in the US as well as six countries internationally. One such successful investigation took place in 1997 when Renier reportedly used her psychic abilities to lead the police of Williston, Florida to a limestone quarry filled with water, where they discovered the body of Norman Lewis, a 76-year old man who had been missing for two years.
1. Gerard Croiset
Gerard Croiset was a Dutch psychic who reputedly became aware of his gift whilst working for a watch repairer as a young man. A legendary psychic detective, he built up his reputation assisting the police in the Netherlands in the years after WW2, having established himself as a spiritualist and a healer. His path coincided with the work of parapsychologist Professor WHC Tenhaeff, ultimately director of the Utrecht State University Parapsychology Institute, who systematically tested and seemed to verify Croiset's psychic potential. This was best demonstrated in his mastery of the chair test – predicting where people would sit in a room many days in advance and even going as far as to see their pasts and predict their futures.
In 1966 he traveled to Australia to help solve the disappearance of the three Beaumont children. He was unsuccessful in his attempts to find the missing children, yet he did attract widespread public attention for his psychic skills. Despite the setback, Croiset reportedly helped the authorities solve a missing child case in Tokyo during the 1970s, after the child’s body was discovered in a location that corresponded with Croiset’s description. This successful investigation significantly helped his credibility and secured his status as one of the greatest and most intriguing psychic sleuths in history.