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Dorothy Allison and Etta Smith


Skilled Investigator
A fascinating person I've researched regarding the topic of Psychic Detectives has been that of Dorothy Allison, we'll be examining her most significant cases in this thread. That's the main discussion of this thread. I'll also briefly mention the strange case of Etta Smith at the end of this post (the later having only one case, but a very significant one, where she directly discovered the body in the case she was getting stuff on, and the police arrested her for the murder until the two killers confessed).

As for Dorothy Allison, I've written extensively about her. I'll share the cases of hers I find most crucial, and then deal with criticisms of hers I've read from debunker sources.

Case I:

I'll start with the most significant (to me) case of Dorothy Allison. Where the father of a murdered teenage girl followed Dorothy's clues to a marsh area location over 30 miles away from their home, found all of the specific clues that Dorothy gave her at this location (including a big rock with the letters MAR written on it in big red letters), and then brought Dorothy Allison there. She told him, "this is the place, your daughter is here, you have to get the police". The police wouldn't listen to them (still treating her case as a runaway). Several months later, a group of teenagers found her body in a water hole in the exact same area they were searching, in visible sight of ALL of the clues Dorothy had mentioned.

Detailed Information on this Case:

On May 15, 1976, a 14 year old teenage girl named Susan Jacobson disappeared shortly after leaving her home. Her parents went to the police, who simply wrote her off as a runaway, and told them that they had neither the time nor manpower to search for an obvious runaway. The parents heard of Psychic Dorothy Allison by reputation, and arranged her to meet them at their home, after the police refused to take their daughter's disappearance seriously. Here are the highlights of this particular case...

* In the case of this murdered girl: The numbers she got, 2562 being the daughter's birthday, 405 being the time the daughter was born. She named her boyfriend (got the right name) and stated that she had been strangled by her boyfriend (he was later convicted of it). She got a vision of the place her body was to be found (a marsh area), the word MAR written in Big Red Letters on a Rock (her exact words) found within 100 yards of the body (in plain visual sight from where her body was dumped), Smell of Oil (she was found in an oil drum), and 222 connected with the Smell of Oil (being Numbers on the Oil Drum that she was found in), she was in water but didn't drown (she was in a water hole in the oil drum), and a number of other visual clues all found within 100 yards of the body in plain visual sight (two sets of church steeples, dual smoke stacks, a broken down car, in a marsh area, etc).

As for the debunkers on this particular case ...

They are mostly silent. The Debunker Skeptic Articles will often only mention that Dorothy and her Clues did not directly locate the body (true), will leave out ALL Veridical Hits on this Case, (except sometimes they will mention one very weak one, where Dorothy supposeably mentioned a "bridal path of horses" [which I can't find mentioned in any source on her on this case], which connects to the cemetary where she was later buried, and TOTALLY OMIT the more interesting veridical hits.)

In OMITTING the veridical information Dorothy got on the case, they've left out the most interesting aspects of the case, the most intruiging being, that her own father followed Dorothy's clues to the *exact location* where his daughter's body was later found, over 30 miles away, as well as the information I previously mentioned.

Case II:

Now the second case of hers I'll present is her very first one, which is almost as good as the one I listed above ...

On December 3rd 1967, a little boy was playing with his brother along the riverbank, and disappeared. Dorothy Allison had a vision of the boy drowning and being caught in a pipe, a full two hours before the incident happened. She later contacted the police, who were very skeptical, but upon describing the little boy and the clothing he was wearing the morning of his disappearance exactly, information that had not been released to the public (no photo of the little boy had been released to the public either), they decided to take her insights seriously in an open-minded way. Here are the highlights of this particular case...

* In this case the entire description of the drowned child was accurate in each and every detail and layer of clothing (not made available to the public), including the religious metal pin on the third undershirt and that his under shoes would be found on the wrong feet (this even the parents didn't know). She also saw that when he would be found his hands would be caked with mud, which they were, and that when he fell in the water, was distracted by a paint can, which his brother who was there confirmed, but his parents didn't know. All sorts of numerous visual location information being within visual sight of the body, (that he would be found behind a school, with a lumber mill nearby, gold painting on a door near by, a parking lot and an ITT factory nearby, etc, all were within plain visual sight of the body when and where it was found), and the biggest that he would specifically be found on February 7th, and a high significance that was put on the number 120 would be solved on that date as well (police detectives interviewed stated that they had written these clues down three months before it happened, the exact date and time), and he was indeed found on February 7th, at 1:20 in the afternoon.

As for the debunkers on this particular case ...

In the missing child who drowned case from 1967, what the Debunkers usually state is that she did not locate the body herself (true), that her clues did not *directly* lead to the discovery of the body (again, true), point out that a man looking to bury his cat discovered the body (true), and then point out that Dorothy "wasted their time" digging up a drainage pipe "she said contained the boy" that didn't contain the boy (half-true, distorted information), and then count the entire case a total miss. (While OMITTING all of the dazzle shot hits she DID get right on the case.)

Examining the veridical hits I posted earlier, it's clear that by OMITTING this information out of the equation entirely, they've left out very significant, very interesting information she got on this case.

Also, the information they present regarding the drainage pipe search for the boy was a bit inaccurate. What actually occured, was Dorothy Allison had a vision of the boy's body inside of a drainage pipe that had unique cracks all inside of it, and had a vision of him being sucked out of the drainage pipe. She asked the police to search the drainage pipes in the park, because it might not be too late, that he could still be inside of it.

All of the pipes in the park did not looked cracked (at least from the outside) like the one she saw in the vision. But, she had a gut feeling that "that one!" (she pointed at one) was the one. They opened up the pipe, and it WAS the pipe in her vision, it had the same unique cracks all inside of it. (And, it was the *ONLY* drainage pipe in the entire park that was cracked inside, even the maintanace guy was unaware of it.) But the boy's body was no longer there. That's the full story of the pipe incident that debunkers don't mention.

Case III:

On December 20, 1974 a businessman got aboard a train to travel, but no one saw him get off of it at it's stop. He simply disappeared. Rumors circulated that he had embezzled and vanished, or run off with a mistress, they simply couldn't find the guy. So the police, knowing the reputation of Dorothy Allison, contacted her asking for her help. The police wrote down everything she said, a full three months before his body was discovered. Here are the highlights of this perticular case ...

* In this case of a man who went missing on a train, she saw that he had actually fallen from the train into the water (she said he thought he was at his stop, walked out, and fell into the water below), even though police suspected he had embezzled or ran off with a mistress. The Bow and Arrow significance she got which was how his body was discovered (a son and father were shooting arrows with a bow over the river, when a stray arrow from their shooting above the riverbank missed it's target and landed right next to his corpse below on the riverbank, they called the authorities.) That there was a row of tires up on a sleded hill next to the area where the body was found where children played (which was fully accurate), and the 2-2-2 clue given by Dorothy as significant in this case was February 22, the exact date the body was found.

As for the debunkers and this case, I haven't seen a single mention of it, it's totally omitted.

Case IV:

Famous Cases ...

* That the Son of Sam killer would be caught because of a Parking Ticket, such an obscure foreseen detail, not to mention the Accurate Portrait of the Killer that she drew.

* That Patty Hearst would bond with her kidnappers and rob a bank with them, not to mention her pinpointing locations where she was previously held. (When they checked these locations, she was no longer there, they had moved, but it was later revealed after she was found that they had actually been there previously.)

* She was also questioned about a missing body in the John Wayne Gacy case, which she said would be found floating in the river at a certain *specific* bridge, and even gave the exact time and day. (Like in the child's case.)

As for the Skeptics on these three cases, only the Patty Hearst and Gacy cases get mentioned criticized by debunkers ...

One skeptic article has the father of Patty Hearst talking about how she did not locate his daughter, and the Debunkers making a big deal out of his statements, and suggesting that the Patty Hearst case was a complete miss. They, however ignored Dorothy's prediction that she would bond with her kidnappers and rob a bank with them, and that she pinpointed locations that they had been, but were no longer there by the time they searched there.

One Skeptic Article I read states that on the Gacy Murders, she merely led the police on a "wild goose chase" with absolutely nothing of substance. This was inaccurate...

She predicted the exact time and day that one of the bodies of the young men murdered by Gacy would be found (one that was not in the house, that was still missing), and she stated that his body would specifically be found floating down a river NEXT TO A SPECIFIC BRIDGE when it was discovered. ALL of these details were correct, the exact time and date the body was found (like in the little boy's case) and he was discovered floating down a river NEXT TO A SPECIFIC BRIDGE. (She even named which bridge it was.)

That's significant.

Case V:

These are several MISC cases of hers I find interesting ...

* In March of 1991, accurately picking up that a girl in the area would be dismembered, encased in cement, dumped in a specific lake, with one body part sticking out of the cement, shortly before it happened. And another girl in the general area would be found nude, strangled, covered with brush, and placed near running water. (And was, in June 1991.) Both before they happened, one several months before it happened. (Interesting thing about that case, was that she was initially there trying to pick up a *different* murder victim in that area. She got nothing on that original victim, but instead picked up information on a *separate* killing that *had not happened yet*.)

* That she would die shortly before her 75th birthday of heart disease (made In 1990), and did just one month short of her 75th birthday (died In 1999).

An elderly Alzheimer's patient disappeared from a nursing home. Dorothy Allison was called into the case.

* Dorothy said he was near a wooded area, where there are caves, near a mountain. She also said the Number 5 is significant.


* He was found in a wooded area, near a copper mine, near a mountain, 2.5 miles from the nursing home. And the only house on the road he was found dead on, was house number 5. (The house number on the house was 5.)

Dorothy Allison met the director of the Unsolved Mysteries episode that she was interviewed in, and upon seeing the woman with him who would later become his wife, she pointed to her and said to her...

* 3/27! 3/27! (March 27th is her birthday.)

* The woman asked Dorothy if there is anything she should look out for. Dorothy told her that her husband is going to have a heart attack. (That same day, hours later, her ex-husband had a heart attack. This hit was slightly misdirected, as he was once her husband, but wasn't at the time. It was the ex-husband, not the current one, that had the heart attack.)

Those are the cases (in order I listed) that I find the most intriguing from greatest to least.

Now, of course, to be totally fair and honest, there ARE a number of cases where Dorothy Allison investigated and DID NOT get ANYTHING of value on a particular case, (or information that was far too vague to count as hits), and even cases where she got INACCURATE INFORMATION and OUTRIGHT MISSES when she tuned into certain cases.

This is not disputed. These exist, you can find mention of them online and in books. For Example...

* A case of an occultic boy who ran away from home, whom she said was dead, but who was actually later found alive is one example of a clear miss.

*A case where she said a teenage boy would be found dead in a flooded basement, but whom was actually later found dead outdoors, on the other side of town, is another example of a clear miss.

* She got information wrong on the Jon Benet Ramsey case. She drew a portrait of the killer which turned out to be a fairly accurate portrait of the guy who was arrested (then later released) just a few years ago (a few years after Dorothy died) in suspicion of the case, but he was later cleared of any wrongdoing. So, he didn't do it, but Dorothy seemed to have picked up on the guy. Misdirected hit perhaps?

Even the book "Dorothy Allison: A Psychic Story" gives a number of her known misses as well as her known hits. It gives cases where she got valuable information, and cases where she did not. These are not hidden. Even Dorothy Allison herself mentioned this in her Unsolved Mysteries interview. About this book I mentioned (long out of print and a good source on her) ...

"Material for this book was gathered from several sources. Dorothy's own retelling of the stories has been supported by newspaper and magazine articles and signed affidavits from many of the parties involved. In most cases, the families of the victims have cooperated fully, regardless of the fact that the interviews stirred unpleasent memories. Many of the law-enforcement officers involved have also given generously of their time in recounting their experiences with the psychic detective." - Scott Jacobson in Foreward to 'Dorothy Allison: A Psychic Story'

There are a number of intriguing cases in this book that I don't have listed, and some of the cases I do have listed have additional information that I need to eventually update with in this book.

That she got certain cases wrong, off, or inaccurate is known and not hidden, the bigger questioned that should be asked is, "Does she have very good cases that stand up to scrutiny where the veridical data she presented is both unexplainable, specific, veridical, highly significant, and could have led them to the body if they interpreted it correctly in time?" And that answer is yes.

I recently found an online video of the interview that Dorothy Allison AND the Police Detectives she worked gave on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, where it profiled several of her best cases. Here is the Unsolved Mysteries Episode on Dorothy Allison, it's in six parts, and isn't very good video quality (since it's so old), but I highly recommend watching them all, in order, as they present several of her best cases. I'm glad I stumbled across this ...







Now lastly, unrelated to Dorothy Allison, I'd like to bring up the interesting case of Etta Smith, which I find intruiging because it's the only known case I know of where a Psychic *herself* actually directly discovered the body ...

All about Psychic Detectives, by Katherine Ramsland - Crime Library on truTV.com

"In 1980, Etta Smith, a shipping clerk in Los Angeles, heard an announcement on the radio about a house-to-house search for Melanie Uribe, a missing woman from her neighborhood, as documented in A&E's film and Larsen's Psychic Sleuths. Smith had an impression that the woman was not inside a building but outside in a certain area, and though she'd never before had such an overwhelming sense of something, it seemed so vivid that she reported it to the police. "It was like someone was talking to me," she said. She felt that the nurse had been hit in the head and dumped in a canyon, which she showed to a detective on a map. She said there was a dirt path going to her. When he seemed not to take her seriously, she decided to go have a look on her own.

As Etta drove through the target area in Lopez Canyon, she had a feeling of "urgency." Spotting some tire tracks in the dirt, she felt them and sensed the trauma that had taken place there. "It was like a thermometer going up." She got back into her car and drove, but her daughter told her to stop because she'd seen something. What she had spotted were a pair of white nurse's shoes.

Smith knew who was there. She drove away and spotted a policeman. She waved him to a stop and told him about the body. He told her to go home. She did, but then two detectives came to bring her in for questioning. She agreed to take a lie detector test, and the police later said that she'd been judged "deceptive," so she was treated as a suspect, strip-searched, and put into a cell for three days. They planted an undercover cop in the cell with her to try to find out why she had come forward and whether her information had come from neighborhood gossip, as suspected. The cop reported that her motive was money.

Then three men confessed and Etta was released. She filed a wrongful arrest suit, asking $750,000 in damages. The jury awarded her $24,000.

She says she never had another such vision, or if she did, she was smart to not report it."

That's fairly interesting overall I'd say.


Paranormal Adept

I wonder if there's a word limit for opening threads that, if you exceed the amount of, say, ten words, your thread is going to be ignored because no one has the time or interest to go to the trouble of reading it.

I mean, this is a perfect example of a thoroughly researched, eloquently written and interesting opening post -that gets utterly ignored. :(

I don't exclude myself, though. I was on the forum already back in 2009, and I do have an interest in these cases (though probably more now than six years ago), but I totally missed this...:oops:

Eteponge, if you should read this, sorry for not responding.

I'm just catching up on "psychic detectives" and I think it's a shame these cases get ignored.

From the few things I have seen and read about this, I guess, it only takes one big Silvia Browne like fail to make all of these guys look like frauds.

In my country, the subject is treated as pure entertainment (as seen in U.S. TV series, so they can't be for real per definition) and basically a joke (as in "those nutcases that always call the police in an unsolved murder case"). Official statements here in Germany always say that "no psychics have ever contributed anyhing worthwile", meaning they are all probably self-deluded or charlatans. If there are police officers working with intuitives, they probably know better than to let anything on.

What strikes me as funny, is that even though there have obviously been dozens of very credible (ex-)police officers talking about it in shows like "Sightings" or "Unsolved Mysteries" in the U.S., going on the record about psychics producing relevant and veridical information, the official stance still doesn't seem to differ that much from the U.S. to Germany (?)
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