NBC’s Dateline is airing a story about Leslie Neulander who died suddenly in her home. Her friends say they used psychic information to lead to the conclusion that she did not have an accident, she was murdered.
Terri Barr tells Dateline NBC she was in the Neulander’s DeWitt mansion after Leslie’s body was found. “When I saw the shower, I thought, there’s no way she fell in here and died,”[…]
As her suspicions grew, Barr says she struggled and consulted a medium a few months after Leslie’s death. “I said I’m here to talk about a friend. And she said, “I know who your friend is. I see that she died from a head injury. She’s holding her head. Her head hurts so bad.” “You know, was she ill?” And I said, “No.” She said, “Well, she’s struck in the head,” Barr recounts.
The article also mentions a former medical examiner, Dr. Mary Jumbelic, a family friend, who said Leslie was talking to her from “beyond the grave”. What does that even mean?
Leslie’s husband was found guilty of murder and covering it up to make it look like she fell in the shower.
While this piece is designed to be a promotion for the show, it can easily lead people to believe that there was something supernatural going on in this case. However, nothing of the sort should be assumed from it. This is not the way to present such an extraordinary claim.
The psychic first says she’s “struck in the head”, she didn’t say someone struck her. Also, we are missing key details of the exchange which nearly always is a bit different than what really happened because people automatically reconstruct the story in a way they wish to remember it. Second, the insinuation of Dr. Jumbelic is that she was also receiving psychic information. However, as a medical examiner, she has experiential knowledge that others may not have that could have suggested to her that foul play was involved. Plus, she was emotionally involved.
Reading this article as a typical reader would, I see how strongly it attempts portray a more interesting story about psychical powers. But a critical reader, and someone who knows that psychic detective powers are invoked often but are never impressive, should see that there is nothing in this piece that is good evidence. In fact, it’s terribly weak. The media however will take an angle and push it while ignoring the more rational explanations.
I wouldn’t doubt that Dateline takes the claims at face value without critical investigation. It’s a TV show anyway. When given a fantastic story that goes against what we know about how the universe works (and doesn’t work), you should be very skeptical of its veracity.