Thursday, September 23, 2010

Paranormal Powers and... Murder!

A new book has been attracting the attention of readers who have an interest in the paranormal. Murder in the Thumb, the story of a teenage romance gone terribly wrong, abounds in bizarre and unexplainable events. First there was the unsettling Ouija board death prophesy followed by the extraordinary observations of two psychics and finally a medium’s warning that a key witness had become the target of black magic. Consider this:

• The untimely death of the eventual murder victim was predicted while she and a young friend were experimenting with a Ouija board.

• Over time, the Ouija board contacts triggered a series of ominous sounds and visions that were terrifying to the girls. A minister called in to rid the house of whatever was causing these phenomena was denounced by a neighbor and suspected Satanist who, it turns out, was born on Christmas Day.

• A witness whose testimony broke the case wide open suffered a series of injuries that a medium he consulted blamed on brujeria (black magic) that she said was being practiced by the killer’s grandmother.

Two psychics, a man and a woman, provided police with significant information about past events and made chillingly accurate predictions of things to come. The man never having met any of the players or been in the area where they lived:

• Sketched the image of a young woman he thought was involved in the case. The drawing bore aa striking resemblance to the killer’s sister/accomplice.

• Provided police with a new suspect, the killer’s uncle, by describing him detail – a description that a local resident recognized immediately. Although the suspect was never charged, he showed deception during a police polygraph exam and is thought to have “guilty knowledge” of the crime.

• Told the detective as they were riding together one day that the road they had just passed was “like the road where the body was buried.” That road, it turned out, was the road the killer took to the burial site.

• Predicted that the killer’s sister would provide police with “some assistance” in resolving the case. The woman eventually led officers to the area where the victim’s body was buried but was unable to find the actual grave. Without her help, the state would have been left with a “no-body” prosecution, something considered risky at that time.

• Predicted that a woman would emerge late in the game and turn the case upside down. He described her in detail, provided her middle name and said she spoke with a “raspy voice.” As the murder trial loomed, such a woman contacted police and claimed to have witnessed or participated in the victim’s burial. Ultimately, she lacked credibility but caused a two-month delay in the trial. Her raspy voice was the result of recent throat surgery.

The woman commenting by phone from her home near Washington, D.C, again without knowledge of the players or the area:

• Said she felt keeping pressure on the killer’s sister was the best way to find the murder victim’s body. “I feel there are ways to get to her,” she said.

• Cautioned against granting the sister “total immunity” in exchange for her grand jury testimony. Although the immunity ultimately granted her should have prevented her from being prosecuted, the state was able change the immunity to a lesser form. This was illegal but the error was overlooked and the sister remained in jail. This likely influenced her decision to help police find the body.

• Said she believed that a watch or ring might be significant in resolving the case. When the detective told her the killer had demanded return of a watch and a ring he had given the victim, his former girlfriend, the psychic said she suspected his sister probably had those items. “I think she was jealous of (the victim).”

• Said, after learning that the killer was protective of his image in demanding the return of photos from former girlfriends and collecting the clippings after a haircut, “I feel that has something to do with some type of witchcraft … where they would think that that would create some sort of link with (or a means to control) his mind.” The notion of black magic being practiced in connection with the case did not come to light until years later.

• Summarized her take on the case this way: “I’m certain (the brother) is responsible but I also feel his sister was more (involved) than just helping in it. I think she really prodded it along.”

An unsettling number of coincidences brought tragedy into the lives of people with connections to the A witness for the defense, the killer’s eldest brother, died of an AIDS-related illness on February 23, 1993.

A witness for the prosecution, a young man for whom the victim had once babysat, died on February 23, 1994, of injuries suffered in a traffic accident.

Two of members another prosecution witness’s family, a son and granddaughter, were involved in terrible accidents. The son was paralyzed; the granddaughter was killed.

A key prosecution witness, the victim’s best friend, was injured in a savage attack by an escaped mental patient 13 days after the 20th anniversary of the killer’s arrest on June 12, 1984.

For more on Murder in the Thumb (Marquette Books), check out the author’s website at and be sure to click on the video link. MITT is an in-depth account of the 1976 murder of 17-year-old Robin Adams and the conviction of her former boyfriend, Melvin Garza, more than eight years later. The crime occurred in the Village of Caro in Michigan’s Thumb area.

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