November 8, 1992 Voice of the People Chicago Tribune 435 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 6061

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Skeptic Tank!

November 8, 1992 Voice of the People Chicago Tribune 435 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611 To the Editor: In the subtitle of your story, "Weird Science" about "psychic detectives" (Tempo, October 27), the question of "What can it hurt?" is asked. There are several answers. First, time spent by the police to follow up on the so-called leads given by "psychics" could be much better spent doing actual police work. "Psychic detectives" generally give many, widely separated "leads". If one is even remotely close, they claim credit. Looking into each of these "leads" can take hours of police time and return no positive results. Second, and probably more important, is the detrimental effect that the use of "psychic detectives" can have on the family involved in the case. For example, in the case of Tiffany Sessions, a woman who disappeared from the campus of the University of Florida, her mother has used approximately 25 "psychics" without any success. In one case, two "psychics" led Mrs. Sessions to a field in Gainesville to dig for Tiffany's body. When nothing was found, they told her that Tiffany's body had probably been cut into pieces and burned. (The information on this case was reported on the Jan. 27, 1992 "Eye on Tampa Bay" show on WTVT-TV.) Not only do "psychic detectives" provide no help to police, but it is quite clear that they can be extremely detrimental in more ways than one. David Bloomberg

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