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March 23, 2012

Paranormal Fridays: Is John Douglas Psychic?


I recently finished reading a book by John Douglas, Mind Hunter, which is about criminal profiling in the FBI. For those who don't know, Douglas is one of the pioneers of criminal profiling (and the author of The Silence of the Lambs).

The book is intense and disturbing, since Douglas talks at length about the many serial killers and rapists he has interviewed or helped capture. If you want my full review, check out my Goodreads page.

There were many interesting points in the book, including when Douglas would talk about psychics. He largely dismissed them, saying most are just good at picking up on nonverbal clues so they gain law enforcement's confidence. In fact, when Douglas was working the famous Atlanta Murders case, he said psychics near and far came out of the woodwork offering all kinds of wild explanations.

Douglas does say that he thinks there are a few select psychics who actually are helpful in criminal investigations. He admits that he doesn't know how exactly, but then Douglas also admits criminal profiling is part science and part "magic." In fact, at one point Douglas pauses to wonder if he himself doesn't have some latent psychic abilities that help him create criminal profiles where others cannot. In some cases Douglas was able to "guess" that a suspect spoke with a stutter, had a limp or some other uncommon ailment.

Perhaps there is something to the "witchcraft" claims some people make about good criminal profilers. 

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