The use of psychics in the investigation and jury selection of civil and criminal cases. This controversial technique has grown in the decades following World War II due to the publicized successes of various celebrity psychics. The primary technique is psychometry, handling objects, such as discarded weapons or the belongings of victims, and sensing their 'vibrations', which can provide information to help solve the crime.
Throughout history seers and dowsers have been sought out to help locate missing persons and solve crimes. Psychic detection was used in Europe during and after World War I. In 1925 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, predicted that the detectives of the future would be clairvoyants or would use clairvoyants. By the latter part of the twentieth century, hundreds of psychics were working regularly with police in the United States, Britain, and Europe, though their success was erratic. Police departments remain divided over the effectiveness of psychics. Some make regular use of selected individuals and have established written procedures for doing so; others feel psychics make no difference in solving cases. Departments that do use psychics often are reluctant to admit it publicly.
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Sources: (1) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (2) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group.
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