People have claimed to possess clairvoyant powers allowing them to predict the future and solve mysteries for thousands of years. Today, many are scornful of the idea that psychics help the police with criminal cases, yet law enforcement personnel, trained to be skeptical and discerning, admit to using psychics as investigative tools.
While serious publications may resist the idea that there are psychics who aided the police, there is one medium that allows police, psychics, and victim's family members to tell their stories to the public: reality television. Shows like Psychic Investigators and Psychic Detectives present viewers with firsthand accounts of citizens who use their paranormal abilities to uncover clues in criminal cases. In going public with these stories, law enforcement personnel are willing to put their professional integrity on the line.
The stigma surrounding psychic ability is apparent in the dated cliches some reporters use to describe psychics, painting them as carny types staring into crystal balls. The New York Times manages to sniff at the idea of cops working with psychics while simultaneously citing a survey that acknowledges 35% of the 50 largest US police stations admit to doing just that. That percentage could be even higher. As Captain Bob Ingalls notes in the "Blood Money" episode of Psychic Detectives, "using psychics is employed by many police agencies. Some agencies don’t talk about it, and some do.”
It's clear that many psychic claims are bogus and may even hinder investigations, but the testimony of detectives and police officers who've worked successfully with psychics is difficult to summarily dismiss. In the following police investigations that used psychics, the psychic was credited by law enforcement as providing helpful information.
On June 1st of 1996, 22-year-old single mother Nicole Arochas left her daughter with her parents to go out for the evening. As told in an episode of Psychic Investigators, when Nicole didn’t return that night, her father reported her missing to Detective Jim Novak of the Sayreville, New Jersey Police Department.
Detectives interviewed Nicole’s boyfriend Michael Reid, who reportedly claimed that he last saw Nicole before she "went out drinking" the night she disappeared. According to Detective Novak, he knew that Nicole was dead when Reid referred to her in the past tense, telling Novak, "I didn’t love Nicole. We were only friends.” But the detective had no evidence to back up his suspicions.
Two days passed with no sign of Nicole or her black Chevy Malibu. With no leads in the case, Nicole’s mother Pat Arochas says in the episode, “My uncle, Walt Werner, worked for the Hackensack Police dept. and he suggested a psychic that the police force sometimes used.” That psychic was New Jersey resident Frank St. James, said to be known for finding missing persons.
After seeing Nicole’s picture, St. James delivers the bad news on the third day of Nicole’s disappearance. Nicole was no longer alive. The Arochas family invited the psychic to their home to see if he could get more information. In their kitchen, St. James claimed to connect with Nicole’s spirit who showed him her car in a marshy area "close to home" that could only be seen from the air.
Detective Novak was able secure a helicopter to search local marshy areas on June 6, five days after Nicole's disappearance. Novak says he remembers thinking, “Please God let us find something. If we don’t, I am never going to be able to live this down.”
The helicopter pilot spotted a car that looked like Nicole’s in a secluded, marshy area. Police did a ground search and found Nicole’s body inside her Chevy Malibu. Reid was reportedly charged in her drug-induced death and sentenced to ten years in prison.
“We had nothing,” now-retired Detective Novak says about the case. “We found Nicole based on the information supplied to us by the psychic Frank St. James. And that’s it. I don’t see how anyone could dispute it.”
A few miles south of San Francisco lies the town of Pacifica. Known for its rugged coastline intersected by California’s famously scenic Highway 1, the town is flanked by plenty of hiking trails and a national park. When local resident and former paratrooper 71-year-old Dennis Prado was reported missing in May of 1997, cops discovered Prado liked to go for walks and knew they had a tough job in front of them.
“Finally, about nine to ten weeks into his disappearance,” Detective Fernando Realyvasquez of the Pacifica Police told Nancy Grace in 2005, “His family had come to me and asked me if I would go see a psychic on their behalf.”
Despite razzing from his colleagues, Detective Realyvasquez contacted psychic Annette Martin. Martin reportedly pinpointed a small area on a map that covered over 2,000 acres, a small area that Nancy Grace measured out to be “the size of two city blocks." Searchers went to the location Martin chose and discovered Prado’s body, just as she predicted. “Based on the final conclusion,” Realyvasquez told Grace, “she was very, very accurate.”
According to the Mercury News, “Prado’s appreciative family invited Realyvasquez to join them spreading the the man’s ashes at sea under the Golden Gate."
On a stormy night in 1975, psychic Phil Jordan was contacted by the father of a boy who went missing after picnicking with his family at Empire Lake in Tioga County, New York. Earlier that day, five-year-old Tommy Kennedy, wearing nothing but a swimsuit, reportedly had a temper tantrum and ran into the national forest surrounding the lake.
After an initial search by the family and park rangers failed to find the boy, the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department were called to the scene as “hundreds of volunteers searched in vain.” By the time Detective David Redsicker and Phil Jordan arrived at the lake, the search was about to be halted until the next morning due to thunderstorms.
Jordan brought a map with him that he reportedly drew at home to prevent the chaos at the scene from clouding his psychic impressions. Jordan’s map is said to have led searchers through dense forest to an area that had yet to be searched. And in that area, cold and exhausted, was little Tommy Kennedy.
Now-retired Detective Redsicker said on Larry King Live, “We had spent well over 12 hours with a couple hundred searchers without success, and it was actually less than an hour before Phil led us right to the boy.”
Rosemarie Kerr is a psychic featured in Psychic Detectives's 2007 "Midnight Strangers" episode on the murder of Andre Daigle.
Daigle went missing in 1987, after leaving a Louisiana bar with an unknown woman. Police and Andre’s family immediately began an exhaustive search of the New Orleans area. After three frustrating days, Daigle’s sister reached out to California psychic Rosemarie Kerr, sending her a photo of Andre and a map of Louisiana.
After touching the photograph, Kerr says she “knew something terrible had happened, and felt an urgency stronger than any other urgency she’d felt in a reading.” After opening the map, Kerr was drawn to the New Orleans suburb of Slidell. Kerr called the Daigle family and told them to go to Slidell immediately. “Do it now. Do it quick.” Andre’s family members reportedly raced toward Slidell, and when they got off at the Slidell exit, they spotted Andre’s truck on the road next to them.
According to Captain James Gallagher of the Kenner police department, “They pull up to the truck and they see two strangers.” Andre’s brother reportedly flagged down a cop car, and the truck was pulled over. The two suspects in the car were arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle, but there was no evidence of foul play.
Captain James Gallagher took psychic Kerr to the bar where Daigle was last seen. Andre Daigle was no longer alive, Kerr said. He'd been murdered by two men. Kerr was able to reportedly connect with Andre's spirit and was shown images of a body of water and railroad tracks. Captain Gallagher said, “She described the location in great detail” and stressed that the number 7 was also “very, very important.”
Detective Gallagher searched a previous apartment of the two suspects (apartment number 7) and found a “huge bloodstain” later confirmed as Daigle's blood. The suspects, already in jail thanks to Kerr, confessed to using a female accomplice to lure Daigle from the bar, then killing him in a convoluted plot to “get into the mafia.”
When the suspects led police to Daigle's body (next to Interstate 7), Detective Gallagher confirmed that the location had “everything she (Kerr) described. I was stunned and amazed.”
Kerr later testified in the trial of one of the suspects. She was reportedly “the first psychic to ever testify in a criminal trial” because, as Detective Gallagher states, “she led directly to the killer. You can’t dispute that. That is fact.”
Both suspects were eventually convicted and are reportedly serving life sentences.