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Sierra LaMar: Anatomy of a Search Day 128

The temporary hope delivered by psychic predictions is dashed by the realization that they are inevitably wrong.

Psychics don’t solve missing person cases, yet they insist upon injecting themselves whenever a missing person report reaches the media. Psychic saturation in a given case is dependent upon how widespread it has been reported, the amount of reward offered, and the location from which the person was reported missing. In other words, a case reported in suburban San Francisco will receive more psychic chatter than a case reported out of Western Texas. At best psychic involvement constitutes a distraction, at worst it diverts resources and delays resolution.


Psychics exploit family member’s fears and a desperate desire to know what happened. Psychics don’t have special insight; in fact their predictions tend to veer widely off the mark. They are either impossible to prove, or they tend to be so generic as to be useless. They may say that the missing person is dead and at the bottom of a body of water, or they may say that they see rolling green hills, a highway off ramp, and hear a babbling brook. Well you can’t check at the bottom of every body of water and the geographic description includes all of Northern California and beyond.


The temporary hope delivered by psychic predictions is dashed by the realization that they are inevitably wrong. Any other profession with a zero success rate would be acknowledged utter and hopeless failure, but psychics deny their reality and move onto the next case. Peer review doesn’t exist, but if it did, the baseline for judging and evaluating performance would be a continuum of total failure.
Psychic involvement could be curtailed if there was a consequence for inaccurate predictions, thereby allowing investigative resources to continue pursuing viable leads. One logical way to achieve this goal is to charge psychics for resources wasted when diverted to their unfounded predictions.


Obviously, families are not in a position to charge for this information because they are desperate for information, regardless of the source. And psychics can be very convincing through a combination of lies and fear. However, law enforcement is another matter all together. If the jurisdictional law enforcement agency secured a written promise from psychics that any resources diverted to their involvement in a case would be charged to them should the investigation prove fruitless, you wouldn’t find a psychic in America willing to sign on the dotted line.


The trickledown effect of this action might conceivably impact so-called psychic credibility. Once it became known that psychics are unwilling to put their money where their predictions are, they would be exposed for the frauds that they are. All of the relevant parties would be better served. Families wouldn’t hang false hope on mindless guesses and law enforcement wouldn’t have to distract attention away from a viable investigation.


If you don’t believe me just ask Shawn Hornbeck’s parents. In 2003, Browne claimed that eleven year old Shawn Hornbeck had been abducted by a very tall man with long black dreadlocks and a blue sedan, and that his body could be found near two large, jagged boulders in a wooded area about 20 miles southwest of Richwoods, MO. Shawn Hornbeck was found alive 4-years later. Sylvia Brown has never apologized for the agony that she put Shawn’s parents through.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Marc Klaas August 16, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Marie, This is a viewpoint tainted by experience and knowledge. There are no credible instances of psychics having recovered missing children. They always insert themselves into the cases, but never produce results. Law enforcement neither trusts nor uses them. My own experience mirrors this view. The KlaasKids Foundation has been involved in countless searches for missing persons over the years and we have never been assisted, successfully or otherwise, by a psychic.
Pete Arballo August 17, 2012 at 05:38 AM
If I were to make 1,000 educated guesses, my chances of one being right are probably pretty good and then I can claim all the credit and glory for finding this child and the real people who were making the real effort are left out in the cold. puh-leeze, mumbo jumbo - they never work. I dare anyone to show me a case that the police agree they never would've done it without the psycho. This is my challenge to any person who believes in phonies like S.B.. More like S.O.B.
Jeremy Perez September 27, 2012 at 10:19 PM
SIGH First off to the paper.. you turn a buck off of this poor girl what... every paper. And as for you Marc I can certainly appreciate the fact that you are out trying to retrieve Sierra.. as we are all trying to do in our individual way.. but if you were doing such a good job as you say why are we on day 128?.. Quit tooting your horn, everyone quit trying to play square vs. psychic put your eyes more to the ground, etc.. Maybe beef up the volunteer support, I'll help you where I can in getting the word out.. and then maybe we'll get lucky and find this poor girl. As for the money I for one wouldn't touch it. I just won't her home if that is an option, and I always hold out hope inspite of what I see. And never forget Marc Klaas if you don't find her you can't really blame me for lack of effort.
Marc Klaas September 27, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Jeremy, many of us are dedicated to finding Sierra and supporting her family, but I'm not sure that I have met you at either the search center of one of the events that have been produced to promote her situation. I'm trying not to toot my own horn as much as provide insight into a mystery that has been haunting Morgan Hill for more than six months now. Besides criticizing the search effort what exactly are you doing to recover Sierra Jeremy? I'm sure people would like to know.
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