Twisted mind comes to Limerick, RANT

My recent and timely post about the 'paranormal' (Now, I've seen a lot of bullcrap, but this…) , discussed the ghoulish phenomenon of the predatory 'psychics' who swoop in after the disappearance of a child, trumpeting their snake-oil skills and making vague pronouncements about the case.

Who could have known (a 'psychic' perhaps?) that we would be seeing this odious travesty occur on our own turf within a few days. The motive here is simple: money; and you'll see why later.

Look who has swooped into town to 'assist' with the Happy Kelly case, none other than the noted 'psychic' Dennis McKenzie, who, as he repeats ad nauseum, famously 'helped' in the Soham murder investigation.

Victim Holly's father Kevin Wells recounts McKenzie's spooky accuracy in his book Goodbye, Dearest Holly. Was Dennis really that accurate?

'Mr McKenzie went on to describe the physical characteristics of caretaker Ian Huntley, later found to have killed the girls, and his girlfriend Maxine Carr, who lied to police to protect her partner. He even foresaw the significance of a red car, similar to the Ford Fiesta owned by Huntley, in the unfolding tragedy.'
Cambridge Evening News, March 2005

Gosh, that sounds pretty convincing, right? Reading this I can somehow understand how some people, friends of mine, intelligent friends even, still think there's something to this 'psychic' lark.

But looking further into the Wells account we read that 'Describing his meeting with the clairvoyant, Mr Wells writes…' Ah, so this is the father himself recalling the 'psychic reading' from memory, not some impartial third party who recorded the event. That explains a lot.

While many of even the reported details given by McKenzie were wrong or vague (a third person, an 'older man was involved'), we can only wonder at the amount of unreported bad hits which are absent in the retelling.

For example, during an interview with Limerick's Live 95 (the Irish Daily Star of local radio), McKenzie stated that he gave the number plate of (the eventually apprehended) Ian Huntley's car–further suggesting that the police accepted his account, but needed more evidence to move in on Huntley. Impressive.

McKenzie then corrected himself and claimed only the first three letters.

We look closer and find his actual statement was only that 'the letter J was involved' somehow. Well I'm sure the Soham police immediately rejoiced with that information. 'Case closed there, then Sonny. Put out an A.P.B. on the letter J'.

During the same radio interview, McKenzie mouthed the old line whereby the real problem with his job is that there are 'so many charlatans out there.' Why, yes there are, Dennis.

You may notice I've started putting quotation marks around the words 'psychic' and 'paranormal.' I'm trying this out because these things simply do not exist. No matter what you read or how much anecdotal evidence you hear, there is no such thing as 'psychic ability'.

By that I mean it has never been proven to exist–the minute there is proof, it will cease to be paranormal, it will be an observable phenomenon, and I will gladly give it credence. But for now, it's all just hogwash.

Just as in the Soham case, McKenzie went with the odds ('I'm not right 100% of the time') and told Happy's desperate mother that her son was dead.

This is utterly unconscionable, deeply despicable and patently pathetic. You, Sir, are that thing which never existed in nature before, a cruel leech.

'Sure, didn't the mother say he told her things no one knew?' It's called Cold Reading, get over it.

'But, Happy's mother said he wouldn't take any money.' Aww, how charitable. However, Mrs Kelly, in her innocence, is giving McKenzie all the financial aid he needs, in the form of credibility–the most valuable currency in the world of confidence tricksters. Another case solved by Sherlock McKenzie.

For example, it turns out Dennis got his job with Woman's Own on the back of the Soham case. In that magazine he puts readers in contact with dead relatives. So, to end on an uncharacteristically malevolent note (couldn't pass it up): here's hoping someone puts Dennis in touch with his own dead relatives, real soon.

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UPDATE: I came across this story on the Limerick Blogger's site.

A supposedly well known psychic, Denis McEnry [sic] has told the mother of missing man Richard “Happy” Kelly, that her son was kicked to death on the night he went missing, one year ago.

That was back in April.

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