|(See also: Sensing Nothing (SM Review), Murders and Clairvoyants, Fake psychics use Cold Reading, Win $110,000 Paranormal Prize Money!)|
The Australian Skeptics are saddened to see that Channel 10 has decided to screen “Sensing Murder“, a series in which self-proclaimed psychics attempt to solve unsolved murders. This is an insult as psychics have never solved a crime and families of victims have reported the stress of being pestered by useless “psychics” with a fountain of false leads. (See article Murders and Clairvoyants)
On the show, the psychics veer between “discovering” commonly known details, and providing useless “leads” for details that can never be checked on. It’s clear the “Sensing Murder” crew also provides them with some details, although we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they don’t tell everything. When the psychics “find” crime scenes, it’s not hidden that the crew drives them there and then guides them to the precise location.
Much is made of the psychics’ useless ability to relate already known facts about the case without being told them. Sure, this could look good at a carnival, but the show’s supposed to be about discovering new information! Fake psychics can use their common sense and Cold Reading to find already-known information. They might also do research!
If these guys are real psychics their skills seem pretty average. We’d love to see a real psychic come forward – their unambigious skills would change the world. We’re offering a reward of $110,000 for one to come forward. (See Paranormal Prize Money) It’s small change compared to the amazing advances it would bring to science and the world. But we’ve been waiting for thousands of years – fake psychics have nothing real to offer the world.
A common tactic for psychic tv-shows is to record copious amounts of film and then edit it down to the best bits – in other words throw out the mistakes and guesses that didn’t “hit“. Audience members for John Edward shows have reported filming going on all day, for an half hour show! We’ll never know just how much has been pruned out of these “Sensing Murder” episodes. Who said “the camera never lies” ?
Don’t be fooled, this show is not being aired as a public service. This show is being aired for ratings alone – for entertainment! Yet for this, “Sensing Murder” is insensitively trampling on the grieving processes of victims’ families as they send them on a bizarre and fruitless wild-goose chase.
|Episode||Broadcast||Filmed||Case Progress (@ 30/01/2006)|
|“Sensing Murder – Easey Street” (Ch 7)||14/11/2003||?2003?||None|
|“Sensing Murder – The Last Train Home“||26/09/2004||?2004?||None||reward unclaimed|
|“Sensing Murder – Cruel Intent“||15/11/2004||?||None|
|“Sensing Murder – A Mother’s Instinct“||09/02/2005||?2004?||None|
|“Sensing Murder – The Scarlet Letter“||16/02/2005||early 2004||None||Case still closed|
believed to have information about the attack.Asked whether the show’s findings were useful to investigators, Victoria Police spokeswoman Sergeant Creina O’Grady said:
No. The Homicide Squad deals in factual evidence not psychic.
The police also regard the show’s claims as worthless:
(RE: episode 1)
Police have rejected its claims to have unearthed new clues in the murder, including sightings of a light-coloured sedan and a photofit image of a man
“Sensing Murder” is based on a Swedish Tv show which also failed to deliver any results: http://www.randi.org/jr/112103.html (search on ‘Sensing Murder‘)
“Sensing Murder” psychic Deb Webber charges up to $400 for a two hour session to talk to your dead relatives, but it seems dubious when, as “Today Tonight” found out, she’ll even talk with “dead relatives” who never actually existed. http://seven.com.au/todaytonight/story/?id=16000
Where’s the Proof?
Despite what it says on “Sensing Murder“, no proof of psychic powers has ever been discovered. Around the world millions of dollars in Paranormal Prize Money waits the first proof of psychic powers. See:
The Australian Skeptics AU $110,000 Paranormal Prize http://www.skeptics.com.au/features/challenge.htm
James Randi US $1,000,000 Prize http://www.randi.org/research/index.html
other countries with Prizes include England, India … (see Paranormal Prize Money)
“Psychics” exploiting missing children (KLASS Kids Foundation) http://www.klaaskids.org/pg-mc-hazards.htm
How Psychic Sleuths Waste Police Resources (Joe Nickell, Skeptical Inquirer) http://www.parascope.com/en/articles/psychicSleuths.htm
“The Mystery Investigators” view of “Sensing Murder” http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com/news.htm
Similar Current Shows
fictional drama based on alleged psychic Allison DuBois, and the work of the infamous Professor Schwartz.
see “The Allison Dubois Week” discussion: http://www.twopercentco.com/rants/archives/2005/03/medium_the_dubi_1.html
Parts of “Sensing Murder – The Scarlet Letter” were based on the book “The Phillip Island Murder” by Vikki Petraitis which has been reprinted especially for this episode.