Sunday, April 5, 2015

"Psychic Detectives" Season 1 Episode 11

The episode "Psychic Detectives" first aired on May 26, 1977 . It was  written and produced by Deborah Blum.

This may be the episode I have gone into with the most bias so far. I consider myself open-minded, but on this topic 'm not as open as others. Maybe htis episode will change my mind a bit?

Nimoy begins right away with a dramatic reenactment of the way psychic Peter Hurkos learns about things in a trance. Surprisingly Hurkos is able to reveal certain details. A little research by me reveals that skeptics like James Randi believe Hurkos is using cold reading techniques and not actually a psychic. Hurkos died in 1988, still known to be a famous psychic.

(Peter Hurkos)
Nimoy next introduces us to police detective Robert Lowery of St. Louis and the traditional methods he uses. But he also uses some no so traditional methods. In an effort to solve a kidnapping case, Lowery was stymied. He was persuaded to turn to a psychic. He talks about his skepticism, but he felt he had no other options. We are told this psychic had a direct hand in solving the case.

"Extra-Sensory Perception is the power of the mind to reach across time and space in a way that seems impossible." Nimoy claims that scientists recognize this power, but have no idea how to tap into it. Hmmmm...

Back to Hurkos and the work he has done. He has worked on over 800 cases. We also meet psychic Irene Hughes and Bevy Jaegars who have been helping the police in different parts of the US. Jaegars founded a "psychic rescue squad" who meet in the evenings to try and track down missing persons. They were so effective they qualified to be licensed as private detectives.

(Bevy Jaegars)

Next we meet Phyllis Degendorf who is a graduate student at George Washington University. She claims to be able to experience the moment when a crime was committed and describes what she goes through. We also meet Judith Krauss who uses a technique called "psychometry". Psychometry is the supposed ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Her husband, Bob, claims to be able to project himself to the scene of a crime. The use of music and the way this segment is filmed, does contribute to the creepy factor. These people seem like normal and believable people who aren't seeking attention. That may not be true, but the genius of "In Search Of... " is in how they were able to present things in a way that strikes a nerve with creepiness. Unlike many programs and documentaries being made today, it all feels very realistic and not contrived or cartoonish. 

Next we hear about the famous case of Sally Lucas who disappeared in St. Louis. A suburban house wife, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason for her disappearance. Police were stymied. Bevy Jaegars contacted a local newspaper with a hunch. She informed the police she saw the car near a large body of water. They found the car near a large body of water and brought Bevy out to sit in the car and see if she learns anything. Much discussion here of how unusual this was. Creepy music and video of Bevy sitting in the car. I have to admit, it was creepy to watch. Bevy wrote down a bunch of things and felt much agony. 

(Sally Lucas)

Bevy describes some of the things she saw that don't seem to make much sense. She said she knew she was still alive when she was taken from the car. Bevy was motivated to take up the search on her own for Lucas. She went to the location that most closely matched her impressions. She started with Babler State Park. We see some video of a reenactment of their trip to the park and the discovery of Lucas' body. The way they present this, it is all pretty creepy. The same things Bevy told police she saw while in the car, were connected to the area where Sally was found. Coincidence?

"If the technique of using ESP to pinpoint crime and ferret out criminals can be developed on a broad and practical scale, it may become a deteerant to anyone contemplating a criminal act. This, it seems, may not be beyond the power of the mind." Brillinat ending.

This was a very good episode! I went in a bit skeptical, but the creepy factor was big here. I'm not saying I believe psychics much more than I did, but nothing here seemed cheesy or overly fake. The way it was filmed made it seem a bit like a scary movie or thriller at times. I was reminded of the old Stephen King book that was made into a move The Dead Zone. Kudos to Nimoy and crew for making this an entertaining episode. I'll take any topic if they can turn it into a creepy episode like this one!

You can watch this episode "Psychic Detectives" below.

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