A Public Radio Station Aired an Awful Story About the Supposed Power of Psychic Detectives February 9, 2015

A Public Radio Station Aired an Awful Story About the Supposed Power of Psychic Detectives

The Faith Middleton Show, which airs on Connecticut’s WNPR among other places, recently aired an episode about psychic detectives.

If this were a ten-second piece that said “It’s all bullshit,” no problem.

If it were a piece exploring why people take them seriously, I’d understand that, too.

Turns out it was basically an hour-long infomercial for a group called Find Me, which uses “talented psychics” to help discover missing persons.

This guy thinks he’s a detective now.

Bo Gardiner explains just one example of questionable reporting in the piece. Here’s the relevant part of the transcript:

Middleton: “How many cases are you working on right now?”

Find Me president Kelly Snyder: “Unfortunately there are thirty cases pending that need to be assigned. We try to get as many as four a month, but we only work them one at a time.”

Middleton: “What’s the most recent case that you’ve located somebody from the hits that you’ve gotten back from the 158 psychics that you’re working with?”

Snyder: “Well, the best one that comes to mind is a child out of Bayfield, Colorado. His name was Dylan Redwine, and we were working with the sheriff’s department there in La Plata County. They had been looking for this child for seven months and the psychics said where he was, and we went there with the Arizona Search and Rescue dogs and I was on the search. And the very next day, when we started searching, we found him within about six hours.

The actual story of the discovery, however, is very different than what Snyder said (and went unreported in Middleton’s piece):

About 45 law enforcement and search and rescue workers discovered Dylan’s remains and other items while searching along 12 miles of Middle Mountain Road, said sheriff’s department spokesman Dan Bender.

They worked more than 1,600 man-hours during the five-day search on the rugged, unpaved road, which runs parallel to the road Mark Redwine lives on.

Bender said the search was not based on any recent tips or new information. It was part of a series of follow-up searches conducted in the Vallecito area since snows melted in the spring.

So… the psychic group’s best success story is one in which its staff’s input had absolutely no bearing on the case.

A website set up by the Redwine family also didn’t bother to thank the psychics after their son’s body was found, though they thanked plenty of other law enforcement and local officials for their hard work.

Read Gardiner’s piece for more details of how this story is irresponsible journalism masquerading as real reporting.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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