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Parapsychology – Psychic Criminology

2. A History of Psychic Detection

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about a history of psychic detection, focusing in particular on: (i) Jacques Aymar’s solving of a murder in 1692 as the first recorded case of psychic assistance in a criminal investigation; (ii) the involvement of Robert Lees in the Jack the Ripper case; (iii) the work of Frederick Marion, Dorothy Allison, Gerard Croiset and Wilhelm Tenhaeff in psychic assistance to investigation; (iv) Dorothy Allison’s famous prediction of the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan, as well as her work with the FBI; (v) Dorothy’s function in the FBI being more related to training agents to access their intuition, rather than her claimed psychic abilities; (vi) Uri Geller’s input into missing person cases.


In this course, Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University) explores the role of psychic involvement in criminal investigations. In the first lecture, we think about how to define psychic criminology and the involvement of psychics in police investigations. In the second lecture, we think about a history of psychic detection in police investigations. Next, we think about the Williston case as a key example of psychic involvement in a police investigation. In the fourth and final lecture, we think about the sceptical perspective on psychic detection and ways in which psychic predictions can be made to seem more impressive than they are.


Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor of education and research and head of the School of Human and Social Sciences at Buckinghamshire New University. Professor O’Keeffe’s research interests include investigative psychology and parapsychology, and has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities. Some of Professor O’Keeffe’s recent publications include 'Things That Go Bump In The Literature: An Environmental Appraisal of 'Haunted Houses'' (2020) and 'Restorative Justice and Recidivism: Investigating the impact of victim-preference for level of engagement' (2014).

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APA style

O'Keeffe, C. (2022, July 25). Parapsychology – Psychic Criminology - A History of Psychic Detection [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

O'Keeffe, C. "Parapsychology – Psychic Criminology – A History of Psychic Detection." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 25 Jul 2022,

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