Psychic sued for damages resulting from fake “visions”

The Great Psychic Shootout, from SouthPark episode 124 "Cartman's Incredible Gift"

The Great Psychic Shootout, from SouthPark episode 124 “Cartman’s Incredible Gift”

A self purported psychic had “visions” that dozens of dismembered bodies were buried on the property of a Texas couple. Surprise! No bodies there. But that was discovered after the yard and house had been torn to shit thanks to credulous morons in the local police department and the couple’s name dragged through the mud by infotainers in the media. So the couple sued the woosayer:

Ginsberg found that Gridley had made defamatory statements about Bankson and Charlton on June 6, 2011, when she volunteered false information to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, claiming that a mass grave containing dismembered bodies was at the plaintiffs’ home. The defendant’s false statement injured the plaintiffs’ reputation and exposed them to public hatred, contempt, ridicule and financial injury, the complaint stated.

For damages suffered, the judge awarded $3 million in damages to Bankson and $3,849,000 to Charlton, plus 5 percent interest from the date of the occurrence in 2011. The suit was filed June 5, 2012, almost exactly a year after the alleged incident took place.

The suit alleges that Gridley called the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and falsely claimed that 25 to 30 dismembered bodies were buried in a mass grave at the plaintiffs’ residence. The sheriff’s office repeated the false statements to various news media organizations and provided the plaintiff’s address, the suit states.

Way to go there sheriff! Now, lest I be accused of cursing law enforcement darkness, I hereby light a candle: you wanna see someone who did hazard an informed guess on how this might generally turn out, complete with a time stamp from last year on a reputable website? Another surprise, that “seer” was a skeptic of these confidence operators going by the name of psychic and concluded with this eerily prescient warning to police:

Disc News — Psychic information often wastes police time and resources following up on false leads. Despite popular belief and claims to the contrary, there is not a single documented case of a missing person being found or recovered due to psychic information. Psychics have consistently failed to find missing persons, including high-profile disappearances like Natalee Holloway and Holly Bobo (the Tennessee woman abducted in April 2011 who remains missing despite efforts by dozens of psychics).


  1. says

    Instead of suing the “psychic,” shouldn’t they be suing the public officials who ACTED on the “psychic’s” word, thereby committing gross abuse of their authority? It’s their action that caused the harm, not some charlatan’s prattling.

    Also, if the cops were that quick to act on a woosayer’s woo, it’s probably because the woosayer appealed (knowingly or not) to some pre-existing bigotry or other agenda of theirs. I strongly suspect the cops had some sort of prior grudge or suspicion toward that “person of interest,” and that combined with the bogus psychic crap to move them to act as they did. Do you really think they’d have done this to someone they liked?

  2. Trebuchet says

    Not to mention assorted kidnap victims declared dead by Sylvia Browne, who belongs in prison.

    What do you suppose the odds are on the couple ever collecting a cent from the psychic?

  3. says

    I suspect a more important question is how many people will continue to believe the couple did murder a bunch of people, having never heard nothing of the sort happened.

  4. grumpyoldfart says

    My prediction:

    They will never see a single cent of that compensation – not one cent.

    And Gridley will suffer no consequences for non-payment.

  5. Al Dente says

    How did the sheriffs convince a judge to issue a search warrant? “Ya see, yer honor, this psychic told us about seeing these bodies in a vision.”

  6. Olav says

    There should be a law forbidding all law enforcement or other agencies to seek or accept the help of “psychics”.

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