Homeowners accused of crime file defamation suit against psychic tipster

In June 2011, a woman who claimed to get her information from angels, called in a tip to the Liberty County Texas sheriff’s office that sent the FBI and officials looked for buried bodies at a home in Hardin. The media heavily covered the story showing the house as the search was underway. The tipster knew details about the house but there were no bodies. She was never charged because the police concluded she did not have criminal or malicious intent. But the home owners will have their say, they have sued the woman for defamation.

No Mass Grave, but a Defamation Lawsuit | Courthouse News Service.

A Texas couple claim in court that they were defamed by major media companies, including The New York Times, Belo Corp., CNN, Thomson Reuters and ABC News, after a self-proclaimed psychic told the sherriff that 25 to 30 dismembered bodies were buried in a mass grave at their home.

Joe Bankson and Gena Charlton sued the news outlets, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Houston-based KPRC-TV and Jane Doe aka “Angel” – the self-proclaimed psychic – in Dallas County Court.

The couple claim that Angel called the sheriff’s office on June 6, 2011, and said that 25 to 30 dismembered bodies were buried at the plaintiffs’ house.

Bankson and Charlton claim the sheriff’s office searched their home unreasonably and without probable cause, inviting the media along to watch the intrusive execution of the search warrant.

Tip: CFI’s Morning Heresy

The psychic had this to say back in June:

“They up front asked me how I got the information, and I am a reverend. I am a prophet and I get my information from Jesus and the angels, and I told them that I had 32 angels with me and they were giving me the information and then it went from there,” she said.

While a search at the home turned up nothing, Angel said she still believes there are children in trouble, but for now she says she’s staying out of it.

“I want to be left alone, I want to go back to my little life, my little quiet life, and I want this to stop,” she said.

The sheriff’s department alleged they did nothing wrong in the investigation (except perhaps the “angels” part they overlooked). However, if she KNEW details, they may have believed it was legitimate. I’m not clear how and why the media were so involved in the actual search which made things into a circus for the homeowners.

It seems quite fair that after what the homeowners must have had to endure after such an allegation against them, that they would want some reparations. The psychic may have learned her lesson and it would be hoped that OTHERS who call in such supernatural visions to “help” police will shut up. But they probably won’t. As we note every time one of these stories come up, no psychic has EVER led police directly to solving a crime or finding a body that anyone else couldn’t have done by knowing the same details and using logical guesses. Psychics don’t help, they hinder.

  8 comments for “Homeowners accused of crime file defamation suit against psychic tipster

  1. LREKing
    June 11, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Jesus and 32 angels?

    Someone needs to ask the police, the FBI, the MSM, and the courts why they would take seriously information from someone who is obviously delusional.

    If Joe Bankson and Gena Charlton get their day in court, perhaps someone will.

  2. Fastmover01
    June 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    So lemme guess she will use the religious exemption for where she got her information..because she is a reverand. I hope they put this woman into abject poverty for feeding off of others distress…lowlife.

  3. Massachusetts
    June 11, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    1. It’s possible for a mentally ill or merely eccentric person to see something or acquire legitimate information, but communicate it in an odd or unconvincing way. As pointed out in the text above, she did know some details that appeared to be superficially accurate, so the cops may have felt it was important to check it out, on the off chance that it was correct information

    2. However, since they invited the media, this implies they were confident that the information was accurate and were expecting to find bodies. That puts a different spin on the situation entirely. Maybe there was a leak and things just got out of hand. But it doesn’t look good for the cops that the investigation turned into a media circus.

    3. I’m not sure the woman actually fed off the distress of the family, strictly speaking. She caused the distress of the family quite directly, by accusing them of a horrible crime. But it sounds like she is a true believer and quite possibly mentally ill, so as tempting as it is to apply the “low life” moniker, she may have genuinely believed she was doing good, as frustrating as that is to contemplate.

    • LREKing
      June 11, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      1) It would be informative to know what “details” she knew about the house:

      “Jesus tells me they have a…a…a kitchen.”
      “Okay, now Angel, this is important. Do they have a gas stove or an electric stove?”
      “Yes.”
      “A basement?”
      “Gabriel says yes. And it’s underneath the house. In the direction of Hell.”
      “You’re doing great, Angel…”

      Gah.

      2) It should NOT look good for the cops. They should be utterly shamed, embarrassed, and contrite.

      3) The road to hell. Whether she meant well, she messed up their lives. She, the cops, the courts, the FBI, and the MSM all need to learn serious lessons from this exercise of irrationality. The woman clearly needs counseling. The organizations need to pay hefty, punitive damages for their stupidity…plus counseling in clear thinking. No excuses.

  4. Jay
    June 11, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Quoth the Raven, “… I am a reverend. I am a prophet and I get my information from Jesus and the angels …”

    I’ve seen other psychos (I mean psychics, although the distinction escapes me) who claim to get info from angels and spirits (even space aliens).

    Interesting how Jesus, the angels and spirits are proven wrong EVERY time and nobody seems to point that out.

    Do those so-called psychics EVER read the bible they prattle about? It says that prognosticators, fortune tellers, people who talk to familiar spirits, etc. are an abomination and to be put to death.

    Examples:
    Leviticus 19:26
    Do not practice divination or sorcery.

    Leviticus 20:27
    A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood [shall be] upon them.

    among others …

    So how is a prognosticator any different than a prophet? Their proven historical accuracy is as laughable as your typical garden variety psychic. Zero across the board. Even Jesus made at least one false prophesy, so I guess that explains it. Still up to his old tricks.

    Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur!

  5. Dougie
    June 12, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    So the “psychic” now says “I want to be left alone, I want to go back to my little life, my little quiet life, and I want this to stop,” funny really. The people she delusionally accused of mass murder never wanted this to start and I’m sure their life is far from quiet as there will be plenty of other nutters refusing to leave them in peace even when it’s been proved they have done nothing wrong! I hope the law courts are more sensible than the law enforcers.

  6. June 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    It hardly takes a psychic to predict a person’s an idiot.

  7. nullius in verba
    June 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    This incident is so unbelievable, it’s hard not to treat it as some sort of joke. Alas, some law enforcement agency and major news outlets actually ACTED on this psycho’s “information”. To make matters worse, apparently her identity is protected as she is being identified as “Jane Doe aka Angel”. What has the world come to when a whack job, out of the blue, can accuse someone of a heinous crime, without any substantiating evidence, and stand protected from scrutiny? I hope the victims of this episode successfully fling the lawsuits far and wide and with vicious force.

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