The discovery of the body of missing prostitute Jayne Furlong on the beach at Port Waikato directly contradicts the claims by the Sensing Murder exploitainment show that self-proclaimed psychics Deb Webber and Kelvin Cruickhank were able to “tune into the location of Jayne’s body”.
On the show, which aired in October 2007, Cruickshank proclaimed confidently that that Jayne was “not outside the city; she’s inside the city” (Auckland). He added references to dirt, hammers, jackhammers, concrete, concluding that her body hadn’t been moved from the scene and suggesting she’d been buried under a demolition site.
Last week’s sad discovery of Jayne’s body in isolated coastal sand dunes bears no resemblance whatsoever to Cruickshank’s claimed visions.
“How many times do they have to be wrong before it becomes blindingly obvious that these psychic performances are just exploitative guessing games?” The only people who benefit from this are the psychics who have made great business off the back of the marketing push for their shoddy exploitainment programme,” says Vicki Hyde of the NZ Skeptics.
Even when the show aired, the performances of the two psychics contradicted each other. Webber described the killer as being a white, 50-year-old man, driving a BMW and associated with a finance company – a standard stereotype of a professional out on the town. Cruickshank produced a different stereotype — a balding man, lots of tattoos and motorbikes and some kind of pay-back motive.
Even less surprising is the identification by the psychics that the young teen-age prostitute had worked in the K’ Rd area, probably the best-known place in the country for sex worker activity, says Hyde. Such details, including the young woman’s specific patch, had been clearly identified in news reports and seen in a re-enactment on the Crime Watch programme.
In 2007, the psychics pinpointed Auckland Domain as a likely locale for the body as, according to Cruickshank, she would be found not far from where she was last seen. The actual location of the body at Port Waikato is some 86 kilometres distant from the K’ Rd area.
“There are thousands of cases where psychics have wasted police team, misdirected investigations and, worst of all, exploited vulnerable families and friends for their own ego or economic gain,” says Hyde. “This is just one more very sad example. Let’s hope the next missing person’s case sees the media ignore any psychic pronouncements.”
Hyde cites the WhatsTheHarm.net website which tracks media coverage of many such cases; the NZ Skeptics have an information flyer on Psychics and the Police, available in the resources section of their website (http://skeptics.org.nz).