One year after Amanda Berry’s disappearance, her mother was told by a psychic on The Montel Williams Show that her daughter was dead. Now that Berry has been found alive, that psychic has some ‘splaining to do. Problem is, she’s pretty withdrawn right now and not saying anything on the subject.
Sylvia Browne has made a career of televised psychic readings. She told Louwanna Miller on a 2004 episode of Montel’s show that her daughter was dead, devastating Miller and causing her to break down in tears on the set.
“She’s not alive, honey,” Browne told Miller. “Your daughter’s not the kind who wouldn’t call.”
Louwanna Miller was crushed by what Browne told her, and believed it “98 percent.”
“Please don’t misunderstand me. I still don’t want to believe it. I want to have hope but, after a year and a half, what else is there?” Miller said. “It seems like the God-honest truth. My daughter would always call home.”
Unfortunately, she died a year later from heart failure, and would never be reunited with her very much alive daughter.
Amanda Berry was found alive on Monday after breaking free from a home in Cleveland where she says she has been kept against her will for the past decade. Since Miller is no longer alive, all raised eyebrows have shifted to Browne and The Montel Williams Show, neither of which have responded to calls for comment.
Regardless of what you might believe, it’s true that psychics have a pretty sordid history when it comes to their involvement in law enforcement cases. This isn’t even the first time Browne has been in trouble over a faulty reading.
Former FBI special agent Brad Garret said that “tips” from psychics rarely lead to a substantial development in a case.
“As far as finding a victim, finding remains, finding evidence or in any way helping to solve the case, it’s never been my experience,” he said. “So, it’s really a disservice to victims.”
Though silent, Browne is on the receiving end of a massive backlash on social media today.
“Psychics” make me sick. Here’s an example: Sylvia Browne told Amanda Berry’s Mum (now dead) her daughter was dead. gu.com/p/3fkxy/tw
— Chris McBriarty (@ChrisMcBriarty) May 7, 2013
In 2004 self proclaimed “psychic” Sylvia Browne told Amanda Berry’s mother her daughter was dead. Has she no shame?
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) May 7, 2013
. @sylvia_browne I don’t have a crystal ball, but would you consider looking in my anus? I lost my keys.
— Jim Norton (@JimNorton) May 7, 2013
What do you believe? Does the Amanda Berry story illustrate the danger of believing in psychics, or do you think that some people really have that sort of gift?