Peter Russell

Pete is a technology expert. He founded Joomla with a great group of people in Europe. He is an author of a range of content including stories and tutorials.

Mysteries of a Psychic Detective

Mysteries of a Psychic Detective

As a police reporter in Albury many years ago, this would rate as the most bizarre happenings during my time in the Border District.

This story is about a double murder that was solved by a psychic detective.  In my 10 years of police reporting, it is the only time I'd heard of a psychic successfully solving a crime.  It was so "out there" the paper decided to report the case minus the esoteric elements.

The Border Morning Mail covers a huge area, stretching from Wangaratta to Holbrook and Corryong to Deniliquin ... and other satellite populations.  Covering the police rounds required a daily visit to both Albury and Wodonga police centres — uniform and detective branches and each court complex.  It also required a daily ring-around of the district.  A very busy job.

The police sergeant at Albury detectives called me in to talk about a case.  The newspaper's relationship with the police was at best tenuous.  Sometimes we'd be praising them and others criticising — and therein was the crux of the issue.  Like a marriage of convenience, but often testy.

On this particular day it was as if he had to get something off his chest.  "But you can't say anything about the details on this one," he said.  "Deal?"  This was unusual and normally we didn't do deals.  I thought "what the heck" ... the relationship had been really difficult at the time, so keeping a secret might help with the "trust" issue.

The Det-Sgt told me his team had travelled north to Tumbaruma some months eariier to interview a property owner who had reported his wife and her child missing. While the police had their suspicions about foulplay no evidence had yet been unearthed.

In the interim the missing woman's family had contacted the NSW Police informing them that they had been "contacted" in writing by their daughter, saying she had left the Tumburumba man.  Alarm bells range with the police when they received a copy of a typewritten note that had been sent to the family.  The woman had always hand-written letters she sent to her loved ones back home in Asia.

Again the police visited the man and questioned him but again they were unable to elicit anything incriminating, despite their suspicions. 

"Then we received a phone call from a woman claiming to be a medium, a spiritualist in Sydney," the detective sergeant said.  "She told me that she had been having visions of a young woman and her chid murdered and the bodies were lying at the bottom of a huge cliff."

The police put two and two together, despite the strange lead and organised for the woman to travel to the Border District.  She had never been to Albury before, let alone Tumburumba.

They took the medium to the lonly outpost to meet with a park ranger where she described the area she had been "seeing" the bodies.  The ranger quickly identified a couple of areas that met the description.

A search of the second site — a huge escarpment with a massive vertical drop — revealed two bodies. Sadly it was the woman and her child, which obviously led to further questioning of the husband and charges for double murder and later a conviction.  The pair had been pushed to their deaths — a bushwalk with a terrifying end.

"As strange as it was, the information received from the psychic had led to solving the crime and a conviction," the detective said.  "I'd always been a sceptic about using them but in this case she was right on the money."

We reported the murders straight and kept the "secret" and the relationship with the Albury detectives improved for quite some time.  But now some 20 plus years later, I felt it was now time to let the cat out of the bag.  This was one of the strangest cases I'd encountered on police rounds and is the first time I've written anything about it.

There have been other examples.  The most notorious would be the disappearance of Paula Brown was a popular hairdresser who disappeared after partying with friends in Sydney. Her distraught fiancé had asked for the help of psychic Phillipa Durant to help find Paula. Through the psychic, the police found Paula's body at Port Botany.

The psychic had used a grid map, plumb bob and some hair from the victim to help her state the location of the body. Though the body was found by chance, the police had acknowledged the accuracy of the information given by the clairvoyant.

Strange, indeed!



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