Friday, February 09, 2007

Psychic Investigators 11

For a series that was vaguely amusing for the first episode or so, until it became clear that it would be a piece of formula fiction thereafter ("the police were baffled", "all the psychic's predictions came completely true", interspersed with a lot of shaky handheld camera work), the ABC has managed to drag this out to a mindnumbing eleven episodes. Thankfully, this is the final. Tragically, this appears to be only Series One. That's ominous and depressing news for next Summer's television viewing.

When 25 year-old Jacqueline Poole is assaulted and strangled in her home, Christine Holohan believes Jacquie's spirit is contacting her with crucial clues.

The supposed psychic solving of the crime has been investigated at length by Tony Youens who went back to the original reports, police officers and investigating notes. Something that this program consistently fails to do. Rather than a one-sided psychic promotion told decades after the event without any reference to facts or research, which is all that Psychic Investigators amounts to, he provides a more balanced overview of what might have occurred.

One of the opening lines of the program was:

Would a psychic's paranormal powers or hard forensic evidence nail Jacquie's killer?

The murder was, in fact, solved by an amazing "match". A DNA match. Not by a psychic. Not even helped by a psychic. No psychic assistance whatsoever. The psychic did not investigate, solve or further the investigation and prosecution in any way. Can it be any clearer that psychics do not solve crimes?

Ms Holohan makes much of the many visits she has has from Ms Poole. She apparently visited her after her murder but before the body was discovered. So she says. There is no independent verification of this claim. Ms Holohan also assures us that, when the murder case was closed but unsolved, she knew that it would eventually be solved. So she says. There is no independent verification of this claim. Ms Holohan was again visited in 1999 before she knew that the crime investigation had been reopened. So she says. There is no independent verification of this claim.

Much is also made of the name "Pokie" that Ms Holohan wrote during automatic writing while in a spiritualist trance. "Pokie" was the nickname of the man eventually convicted of Ms Poole's murder. Initially, we are shown a piece of paper with POKIE clearly written on it, and underlined. Later, we are shown what we are led to believe is the original piece of paper (we are never explicitly told anything about either) on which there are various scrawls, some of which look a little more like letters than others but none of which could be considered good handwriting. We are not shown the whole piece of paper clearly. There is something that, isolated from the rest of the writing around it, might be "Pokie" if we are told that is what it is. To EoR, the first letter looks a lot more like an L. The "o" and "k" are very unclear. The "i" and "e" are little better.

Ms Holohan has written a book describing how she solved the crime for the police. EoR can't be bothered giving a link to it. If you want to purchase it, go into a trance, focus on "fictional resources on the psychic plane", and type in the first URL that comes to you via your spirit guide.

As further evidence of her psychic powers, when she was accused of illegally dumping rubbish (she apparently hadn't seen this prosecution coming) Ms Holohan stated:

"I don’t know how it got there. I wouldn’t do anything like that. It’s a mystery to me."

You'd think she could at least have had a guess at who dumped the rubbish. An "S"? An "R"? She could have gone into a trance and written down the culprit's nickname.

EoR also psychically "sees" that she's the same Ms Holohan who stood for the County Council and lost her deposit. EoR wonders why she did that, when she must have known beforehand that she'd lose? Or was the spirit of Jacqueline Poole making fun of her pretentious and pretending claims to paranormal powers?

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