Author Topic: Psychic Detective Sued  (Read 16871 times)

Online Laura

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Psychic Detective Sued
« on: March 26, 2006, 02:48:35 PM »
Interesting case here that deserves some investigation:

http://www.noreenrenier.com/index.html
In 1981, when Psychic Investigator Noreen Renier first lectured at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, her work with  police detectives was considered controversial.  Now, she is a well-known psychic detective who has worked on over 400 unsolved cases with city, county, and state Law Enforcement Agencies in 38 states and 6 foreign countries. She has a unique understanding of both the police and the paranormal.

Then this: The Posner Files

http://www.noreenrenier.com/skeptic.html

GARY P. POSNER
A Man Obsessed with A Psychic's Destruction.

“Supporters of Renier’s alleged psychic abilities can be
found in law enforcement and academic communities.” (G. Posner)

“Naturally the Tampa Bay Skeptics are above such people.” (P.Duffie)


“Noreen Renier: The Media's Rising Star Psychic Sleuth”

In an article with the above title, Gary Posner, computer software salesman and founder of the Tampa Bay Skeptics, takes 22 pages in an attempt to discredit Police Psychic, Noreen Renier. Let’s first let's look at the evidence Posner presents for Ms Renier. Then we’ll analyze his debunking attempts.

The Posner article originally appeared in Psychic Sleuths: ESP and Sensational Cases, edited by Joe Nickell (Prometheus Books, 1994).


GERALDO - May 30. 1991.

In 1986, in Albany, New York, a couple were shot to death in their home. By 1988 the case had run full cycle and had hit a brick wall. After reading an article about Noreen Renier in a magazine, the dead couple’s son asked, the investigating officer in charge of the case, Detective Ray Krolak, if he would bring Ms Renier onto the case.

On live television, Detective Krolak, stated,

    “We’d just about run out of leads after two years of investigation.... I checked out her credibility through police agencies I knew, through articles I had read about her. I spoke to officers involved with Noreen.... Noreen described the crime scene like she was standing at the crime scene. She described the victims.... She described the killer. I presented her with ten photographs and she picked out the killer’s picture. She also told us where the killer went after the crime, and that fit exactly into where the alibi was.”

This information corroborated much of what the police had already discovered. BUT, remember the case was about to be assigned to the bottom drawer. Also, the police had been unable to break the alibi of the suspect.

As a result of what Noreen Renier told them, the police re-examined the alibis and, after a lot of hard work by the police, arrests were made.

It is interesting to note that later in his article, Posner, while discussing an episode of the TV program 48 Hours that featured Noreen Renier, makes the most astonishing attack on the integrity of Detective Ray Krolak, when he states:

    “To further bolster the credibility of Renier and of his uncritical journalistic effort, Tunnell [presenter] also interviewed Ray Krolak about his upstate New York double homicide case discussed earlier in this chapter.”

Make of that what you like. I bet Krolak hasn’t seen that! Yet.

POLICE COMMANDER RECOGNIZES RENIER’S POWERS

New York City Police Squad Commander Vernon J. Geberth, states in a police handbook,

    “...a psychic and recognized authority on phenomena of extrasensory perception who has worked with various police agencies including the FBI on homicide cases and other criminal investigations.”


NOREEN PREDICTS ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON REAGAN

While lecturing to the FBI in January1981, Noreen stated that she felt as if President Reagan (in the future) was having a heart attack , chest pains. Later in the same lecture she further stated that these chest pains were sharper, coming from outside of him, more like a gunshot - as she patted her left side. She also said that the assassination attempt would not kill Reagan. And, it would take place within 3 months. That was January 1981.

Reagan was shot by John Hinkley three months later. Yep, he survived.

Supervisory Special Agent Robert K. Ressler was present when Noreen made her prediction. To this day he insists that Noreen made her prediction with clarity and without ambiguity. He has seen the video tape of Noreen’s predictions many times.

copyright 1998 Peter Duffie

Enter Gary Posner.

Unable to laugh the Reagan prediction off by the usual ridicule - remember, Noreen did make her statement in front of an audience of FBI, DEA and Police officers from all over the United States - Posner took another approach. This is really paranormal.

I quote:

    “When I called the FBI Academy, I was informed that Robert Ressler has since retired from duty.”

Naturally Posner would contact Ex-FBI Agent Ressler at his home? He is in business and is listed in the directories. But, no. He never did. Instead he questioned Supervisory Special Agent Richard Ault, who a) wasn’t present at the Renier lecture, and b) is a fellow debunker (although his topic at that time was hypnosis!!). It is interesting that when he and Ms Renier shared the platform together - Ault would lecture first and then immediately leave before Ms Renier lectured. Yes, you can always spot an open mind, but his might be empty.

Posner goes on to include the following astonishing out-of-place quote from Ault:

“At no time during ANY (Duffie’s emphasis) of her lectures, or any of the time that I was associated with her, did she make any ‘uncanny’ predictions, nor was I impressed with anything that she did say....I’ve seen that same technique used by a lot of people.”

So, here we have a man who was not present at the lecture where the prediction was made, stating that “At no time during any of her lectures...” As I said, astonishing. Total hearsay and speculation from an FBI Special Agent. It’s worrying isn’t it?

Having taken his statement from the non-witness Ault - a statement that would have been thrown out of any court of law - Posner has the sub-zero brain capacity to state:

    “Yet, Ressler continues to publicly endorse (and perhaps even embellish, if the following account is accurate) Renier’s abilities.”

Notice the opening word- “Yet.” As if Ressler is completely wrong to state what actually happened at the FBI Academy when Noreen Renier presented her lecture. This raises another question; there were hundred’s of officers present for that lecture, so why did Posner not seek out someone who was actually there?

The answer, of course, is quite apparent; Posner could not afford to speak to anyone who might further endorse Ms Renier’s talents.

Can it get any worse? Naturally it can.

Posner goes on to state, “Considering his age, I suspect that scores of the nation’s “psychics” had predicted that President Reagan would not survive two terms in office (I had doubts myself).”

Excuse me Mr. Posner, but did not Ms Renier predict that Reagan would be shot, but not killed? Hardly veering towards a natural death, if death had occurred.

After her prediction came to pass, Secret Service Agents interviewed Ms Renier as a possible suspect and collaborator with the would be assassin Hinkley. This unnerved her and she decided never to reveal any predictions publicly about Presidents or International figure heads again. She has stated this on several occasions. However, Posner - even though he included that information earlier in his article - suddenly asks,
“Since I admit to a lack of ESP, I cannot read Renier’s mind to divine why she has chosen to move on.” I suggest he reads his own mind to find out what he previously wrote!

While being interviewed by Joan Rivers on TV, Ms Renier said that she did not advertise and did not solicit work. I asked Ms Renier about this, she said:

    “I do not solicit work on headline crimes. I do however as a businesswoman send packets of information about my work to agencies that might be able to use me on an old unsolved crimes.“

Standard business practice.

On the same show, she was asked about the Zodiac Killer, who was active at the time. Ms Renier gave details as she saw them psychically. The following day Joan Rivers announced that Noreen was now working with the NYPD on the Zodiac case. Posner phoned NYPD and was told that she was “not working with the Police Department.” Posner gratefully accepted what the police told him despite his previous sneering comment;

    “Supporters of Renier’s alleged psychic abilities can be found in law enforcement and academic communities.”

It is a fact that after Ms Renier’s input, and there was input, the Zodiac Killer never killed or surfaced again.

copyright 1998 Peter Duffie

** Featuring the Downfall Of John Merrell **

On the 13th page of his article, Posner begins,

    My initial contact with Renier occurred on October 28, 1986, when she and I were guests on Bev Smith’s former radio program on WKIS in Orlando. Shortly before air time, as we introduced ourselves, Renier informed me of her recent victory in her libel action against John Merrell, a co-founder of the Northwest Skeptics. Renier seemed to believe that her claims of psychic powers had been vindicated by the jury, and that her legal battle with Merrell was now behind her.

Is the above true, or is it a blatant lie? We only have Posner’s word that Ms Renier said any such thing. No-one else seems to have heard her say it. If we are to believe Posner; Noreen Renier is a ruthless publicity seeker. Surely such a person would include this in their advertising package - Federal Court vindicates my psychic powers. That she did not speaks volumes. I fear the only place you will find this alleged utterance by Ms Renier is inside Posner’s head.
We can now see that Posner lied when he made the above statement regarding events in 1986. See the next page for details.


ENTER MERRELL

Apparently, Merrell informed Posner that he first heard of Noreen Renier in mid-1985, at a time “when she was doing her rounds in his home state of Oregon.” What “rounds” I wonder was she doing - a milk round perhaps. Or maybe a paper delivery round? Yes, make her sound cheap to bolster the case. In fact she was living there to be near her father and younger brother.

Merrell, being a true pseudo-skeptic, “conducted some research” on Ms Renier. The final file was a collection of malicious lies and half-truths. Ms Renier sued Merrell, after receiving a copy of a letter that Merrell had sent to a newspaper editor (who quite rightly refused to publish it) in an attempt to discredit her.

After a three-day trial the jury found Merrell guilty of libel and awarded Ms Renier $25,000 in damages. Merrell appealed and lost. He declared himself bankrupt to avoid paying the debt, however, this too failed. Bankruptcy would only alleviate the debt as long as no act of malice had been committed. Merrell’s malicious lies caught up with him once again. Four malicious lies to be precise. Out of ten allegations made by Merrell, the court found four to be “malicious.”

All Merrell’s further efforts to discredit Ms Renier failed...miserably. Merrell claims that Ms Renier’s won because she managed to move several female jurors to tears by her dramatic reenactment of a murder. If that is indeed what tipped the balance, why did he fail to convince the Court of Appeal? Did she also succeed in bringing the Court of Appeal to tears also?

I suspect the only person who cried after the litigation was Mr. Merrell.

Incidentally, in an update article dated January 1997 regarding another of Ms Renier's successful cases (Williston Missing Person Case), Posner says,

    "A Tampa law firm (which would just as soon remain unnamed) made a Public Records Request of the police department to provide a copy of its entire file on the case. TBS has been forwarded a copy of the records provided to the firm by the Williston police."

Well, I thought that was very unfair of Mr. Posner not naming this very helpful law firm and therefore depriving them of well-deserved publicity for their business.' Here's what he omitted....

Robert H Buesing, Esq. of law firm of: TRENAM, KEMKER, SCHAFT, BARKIN, FRYE, O'ONEILL & MULLIS. They have an office in both Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fl.

    2700 Barnett Plaza
    101 East Kennedy Blvd.
    P.O. Box 1102
    Tampa, Florida 33601-1102


Watch this space for more adventures of Gary Posner. In particular, his assessment of a Massachusetts airplane crash, and the part Noreen Renier played in the eventual discovery of the crash site.

A Good LIAR Needs a Good Memory.

Mr. Posner seemed a tad confused by this page. On reflection I agree that it could have been clearer. I have therefore rearranged the text and I apologize to any other readers who were similarly confused.

In the Tampa Bay Skeptics Report, Volume 3, No.1 - Summer 1990, Gary Posner makes the following statement:

    "Noreen Renier is of particular interest to TBS for several reasons. First, she is perhaps the most famous 'psychic', having been featured on national television programs and in national magazines (including U.S. News & World Report). Second, by virtue of her successful libel suit against John Merrell, some may have incorrectly inferred that her 'psychic power' has been vindicated in the courtroom."

Note; "...some may have incorrectly inferred that her 'psychic power' has been vindicated in the courtroom." While suggesting that "some" people may have misinterpreted the court decision as a vindication of Ms Renier's powers, Posner makes no reference whatever to Ms Renier having actually said anything that might suggest it. If she had done, Posner would have certainly nailed her with it.

However, four years later, he made the following statement, with regard to his first meeting with Noreen Renier. The meeting took place in 1984 - six years prior to the previous statement.

    “My initial contact with Renier occurred on October 28, 1986, when she and I were guests on Bev Smith’s former radio program on WKIS in Orlando. Shortly before air time, as we introduced ourselves, Renier informed me of her recent victory in her libel action against John Merrell, a co-founder of the Northwest Skeptics. Renier seemed to believe that her claims of “psychic powers” had been vindicated by the jury, and that her legal battle with Merrell was now behind her.”

You will notice that, where before, he referred to "some," he now directly accuses Ms Renier of making this presumption. Did he have a sudden gain of previously lost memory?

If we are to believe Posner, Ms Renier must have said something that gave him this distinct impression. Yet, he swiftly moves on without as much as a hint at what was said. Odd? Most certainly.

It seems quite apparent that this embellishment, or fabrication, was added, for no other reason than, to damage his victim's credibility.

Posner is obviously obsessed with the destruction of Psychic Investigator,Noreen Renier. He seems to be nothing more than a crazy little man living in a sealed box.


BLIND TOO?

On his home page Gary Posner published the following statement:

"In the spring of 1998, Florida "psychic detective" Noreen Renier (and/or an associate) launched an attack upon me as a result of some of my published writings about her. Although venomous and irrational (at least I can't follow much of the "reasoning," especially with regard to the "lie" that I am accused of telling), readers are encouraged to view the site. And perhaps some of you can explain to me what errors of fact I am supposedly guilty of (if you read my original material, you will note that much of the criticism of me is presented without benefit of full context). As is always my policy, I will gladly make every effort to rectify any factual errors in my reporting."


So I have presented his lies and deceits without the benefit of full context? The full context he waffles on about is mere padding. Don't be fooled by this. Read my articles and then read his complete articles. Perhaps, like James Randi, he's trying to get me to infringe on copyright. No amount of extraneous narrative will hide his dirty-work.

It gets worse. Mr. Posner seems to be under the impression that Noreen Renier possibly wrote this "venomous and irrational" article. I have since appended my copyright notice on each page just in case there is someone else who could possibly make the same mistake.

Apart from every page being written in the third person, there is the following text which is prominently featured on page 2:

While being interviewed by Joan Rivers on TV, Ms Renier said that she did not advertise and did not solicit work. I asked Ms Renier about this, she said:[added emphasis]

    "I do not solicit work on headline crimes. I do however as a businesswoman send packets of information about my work to agencies that might be able to use me on an old unsolved crimes."

Standard business practice.


Is it likely that Gary Posner is deliberately citing Noreen Renier as the possible author of these articles for an ulterior reason? I think so.

In light of the above Noreen Renier wrote Gary Posner requesting that he correct the errors, pointing out that she was not an associate of mine, nor was she associated with my website. See letter below (Underline added for emphasis).

    re: The recent posting on your web site

    Dated June 2, 1998

    Regarding your comments about the Duffie web site, you should know that Mr. Duffie is not an associate of mine, nor do I have any association with his site. In fact, as I understand it, he is a magician and therefore we could call him a professional associate of the Amazing Randi. However, unlike Randi and you, it appears that Mr. Duffie is interested in the truth and has taken strong interest in my work as a police psychic, thanks to your site.

    Since you say that you are willing to make corrections of any inaccuracies, I'd appreciate it if you'd clear up this error. I also want to thank you for all the publicity you are providing me. You are doing for me what Randi did for Uri Geller. Please keep up the good work.

    Noreen Renier


In response to the above, Posner said he would correct his errors that day. He did make a change but it was not what Ms Renier had requested! Instead he asserted in parenthesis:

    ...Noreen Renier (who has informed me that she is not associated with Mr. Duffie).

That is not what she said. Posner also asked if he could publish Ms Renier's letter in the forthcoming Tampa Bay Skeptics Report as a letter to the editor!

Ms Renier was forced to write a second letter:

    No, you do not have my permission to put my e-mails to you, in any publication you are involved in.

    Now, I remember why I found you so repulsive. You can't tell a truth. Please read my note to you again. I said,..."Mr. Duffie, is not an associate of mine, nor do I have an association with his site." I have "associated" with Mr. Duffie via e-mail. And when he requested the interview and new pictures I was happy to oblige.

    You say you are willing to make corrections of any inaccuracies; do so!


Posner once again amended his text. This time he ignored Ms Renier's second letter and used only the information given in the first. Why did it take two letters to make partial progress?

So here is Posner's amended text as it stands at the present time, with the begrudged amendment underlined.

    In the spring of 1998, a character by the name of Peter Duffie launched an attack upon me as a result of some of my published writings about Florida "psychic detective" Noreen Renier. Renier informs me that "Mr. Duffie is not an associate of mine, nor do I have an association with his site." Although venomous and irrational...


As a result of the above, Police Psychic, Ms Renier sent her 2 letters to Psy-Zone so that the truth could be published. You've just read it.

Then, on the other side there is this:

http://www.amindformurder.com/

2006: The lawsuit behind the "psychic" book A Mind for Murder
Updated March 16, 2006

A lawsuit against author Noreen Renier was filed December 13, 2005.   On February 23, 2006 action against other original defendants was dismissed in the Superior Court of the State of Washington, Snohomish County, leaving Noreen Renier the current sole defendant.

The lawsuit followed a letter dated September 30, 2005 from an attorney for John Merrell.   Mr. Merrell's name (the Plaintiff) appears more than 50 times in the pages of A Mind For Murder (see chapters 17 and 18).

In the September 2005 letter, the plaintiff’s demands included an immediate removal of the book A Mind For Murder from all vendors, including the Internet, and that the defendants cease and desist from selling the book.

An attorney for the Penguin Group (USA), Inc., and its subsidiary Berkley Publishing told the court on February 23, 2006 that they have ceased publication of the book.

A court summons was served on Noreen Renier in late January 2006, and in early February she was issued First Interrogatories and Request for Production.  As of mid March her responses were overdue.

On February 23, 2006 a civil motions Judge in the Superior Court of the State of Washington, for the county of Snohomish, ordered the dismissal of all other defendants (other than Noreen Renier) "without prejudice" and without sanctions against the Plaintiff.   Therefore the lawsuit continues to proceed solely against Noreen Renier.

This site is intended as a response to the many inquiries from the media, journalists, readers of
A Mind For Murder, and the general public.   As fabricated statements already exist on the internet incorrectly attributed to Mr. Merrell, this website also serves as a rebuttal to those who have attempted to confuse the public.

The plaintiff in this legal action, John Merrell, has discussed this lawsuit with Gary P. Posner, M.D., the founder of the Tampa Bay Skeptics, a non-profit organization and special interest group of the Center For Inquiry – Florida.

Despite Renier's allegations on page 219 of her book, Dr. Posner's paranormal investigative work is highly credible and has received widespread support from science personnel, educational specialists, and international journalists.  An interview about this lawsuit was published in early March 2006: TBS Report.  Additionally Dr. Posner's "Noreen Renier" page contains a link to his lengthy "Book Review" of A Mind for Murder (which includes a rebuttal of her charges against him) and is a must-see.

Any information contained herein, including all original statements on this website, are independent and autonomous from Gary Posner and the Tampa Bay Skeptics.

We welcome the many individuals who previously questioned the work of leading investigators scrutinizing psychic proclamations and who now seek the facts for themselves.

This site will be updated as events warrant.

Email comments to: amindformurder@gmail.com
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

Online Laura

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Psychic Detective Sued
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2006, 02:50:45 PM »
Additional info.  Seems that this Gary Posner is really stalking Noreen:

http://members.aol.com/garypos/Mind_review.html

BOOK REVIEW
by Gary P. Posner

These files may be "real-life"
but is she really "psychic"?

A Mind for Murder: The Real-Life Files of a Psychic Investigator.
By Noreen Renier with Naomi Lucks (Berkley Books, New York, 2005.
310 pages. Paperback, $7.99)

 

The foreword to A Mind for Murder, Noreen Renier's memoir of her career as a "psychic investigator," begins, "I have had my throat slit. I have been shot. . . . I don't like to get killed more than two or three times a week -- it's just too exhausting." I found the entire book an entertaining adventure -- it's a page-turner, and the writing isn't half-bad. But are the author's "psychic" claims even half-true?

Boasting endorsements from retired FBI criminologist/author Robert Ressler (who coined the term "serial killer"), among others in law enforcement and parapsychology research, Renier is the only psychic ever to have lectured at the FBI Academy (at Ressler's invitation). She says she has worked on "more than four hundred unsolved homicides, missing persons, and rape cases." Even if true, does this mean that she must therefore possess genuine "psychic" ability?

Renier, who lived in the Orlando area for nearly two decades before moving back to Virginia early last year, has emerged as a darling of Court TV's disappointingly pro-paranormal primetime Psychic Detectives series, which no doubt has helped cultivate an eager audience for this book (and which now is also airing on NBC). But few readers are likely to have any familiarity with the mound of skeptical material that has been written -- mostly by yours truly -- about some of her most celebrated cases.

The 1986 libel trial against skeptic John Merrell and their ensuing legal battles, thoroughly addressed in my contributed chapter about Renier in Psychic Sleuths: ESP and Sensational Cases (Prometheus Books, 1994), occupy two chapters (17 and 18). But she leaves out the most delicious tidbit: She enticed (some might say entrapped) Merrell into a comprehensive investigation of herself by writing to him under an assumed name (her sister-in-law's) requesting a candid appraisal: "I'm confused about her abilities and need to know if she's real or not. She's planning a workshop in July and I need to make a decision." Ever since their 1992 out-of-court settlement, the terms of which are sealed, I have been hard-pressed to squeeze anything more about Renier out of John, even though we are good friends. I have inferred that their settlement forbids either from speaking ill of the other again. If so, I sense that someone may have violated those terms -- big-time.

Chapter 1, about how Renier discovered her "psychic" powers (including the power to heal), reads more like fiction than fact to me. But I can no sooner dismiss those stories than I can her versions of many of the book's "real-life files," such as when a detective invited her to help rid a home of a poltergeist (Chap. 5 -- though the names of the detective and the town have been "protected" for privacy reasons), or her first murder case, in which she divined the probable killer -- a policeman -- though, due to lack of tangible evidence, he was never charged (Chap. 7 -- again, the identities are "protected").

Yet I remain highly skeptical as to the factual fastidiousness of this autobiography, and the notion that the author possesses paranormal powers. One reason is my general knowledge that a sure-bet Nobel Prize still awaits the first person able to demonstrate "psi" to skeptical observers under properly controlled conditions. Another is my specific knowledge about a number of the other cases featured in this book.

For starters, the man in Houston (Chap. 9) went missing in 1998, not '96. Renier does accurately quote a reporter's misquotation of me ("The founder of a skeptics chapter in Florida said [this case proves] nothing because no one can prove that psychic power is real"). I was properly quoted later in that same article: "There is no good scientific evidence that psychic power exists."

The New York Zodiac Killer case (Chap. 20), as I pointed out in my Psychic Sleuths chapter, illustrates how when Renier holds an object belonging to a victim, reads the vibrations (through "psychometry"), and "becomes" the killer, she is unable to divine her own identity. In this case, she began speaking in first person as Zodiac, saying such things as, "I have black hair, it's curly . . . I feel I have dark skin. . . . I speak Spanish well." During her July 16, 1990, Joan Rivers Show mind meld with Zodiac, she failed to identify him. But her book claims she later came up with "Eduardo" in a reading for the NYPD, and Zodiac (whose eventual capture was unrelated to Renier's clues) was named Heriberto Seda and nicknamed "Eddie." (As an aside, footnote #45 credits my chapter for citing an article that I have never even seen.)

Renier is perhaps best known for three predictions relating to the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan. The first was on November 5, 1980, during her radio program on WXAM (Charlottesville, Va.). These were Renier's words (Chap. 11): "I'm feeling problems in [Reagan's] chest. If it's not a natural problem, perhaps it will come from outside." Reagan was the oldest elected President, and lung cancer or a heart attack, to name two, would have also been considered "hits." According to p. 84 of The Blue Sense, singled out by Renier for its "kind words about me," two years earlier she had a presidential trifecta disaster, having predicted that President Carter would be assassinated on the White House lawn (#1) after his reelection (#2), and that Vice President Mondale would commit suicide (#3).

Her second Reagan prediction appeared in the March 10, 1981, National Examiner tabloid (referred to in the book simply as "a Canadian publication"), saying Reagan would be shot in the left upper chest but not killed. This was right-on, but does it prove "psi"? Was it merely as lucky a guess as her Carter/Mondales were unlucky? Was it even accurately presented and attributed? It was accompanied by other predictions that did not come to pass, and which Renier denied authorship of per a transcript from the 1986 libel trial: "The newspaper put in three or four jazzy ones without my -- I didn't do three or four of those predictions."

The third Reagan reading was her crowning achievement. According to Robert Ressler's libel trial deposition, during a January 1981 lecture at the FBI Academy in Quantico, "She said she felt that Reagan was having a heart attack in the future . . . some sort of chest pains . . . and then clarified . . . it is a gunshot . . . she was patting her left side . . . and that he would not die." But Ressler's contemporaneous description to co-worker Richard Ault, another FBI Supervisory Special Agent, left him nonplussed. I quoted Ault in my Psychic Sleuths chapter: "The way [Ressler] described her prediction . . . it didn't really sound uncannily accurate. [It] sounded pretty general." Alt had missed Renier on that occasion, but had been present on at least two others. Though readers of Chap. 11 will be blown away by her descriptions of dazzling readings during her other lectures, Ault had told me, "At no time during any of her lectures . . . was I impressed."

In Ressler's 1992 book, Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI, he adds that Renier also "helped to locate a [downed] plane containing the body of a relative of an FBI agent" (pp. 270-71). The incident, which occupies Chap. 16 of A Mind for Murder, is covered extensively in my Psychic Sleuths chapter. Notwithstanding the kudos from Ressler (and the other FBI agent), the local newspaper reported that a man and daughter had located the small plane's wreckage while searching the dense woods "based on reports from two area pilots who [had] witnessed [the] crash." Renier's version mentions no witnesses and implies that her geographical clues, obtained psychically ("I was the plane"), were instrumental. Even more curious is Renier's contention that the relative had briefly survived the carnage: "Sitting on some flat rocks under a nearby tree, as if someone had placed her there [as Renier had seen in her "psychic" vision prior to the plane being found], they found the headless body of a young woman. They found the body of [the agent's relative] a few yards away, sitting on the side of a hill. . . . It was clear to everyone that he had been alive when he left the plane." Well, not quite everyone. As I revealed in Psychic Sleuths, the NTSB determined that all four occupants had "died immediately" upon impact.

The only Renier-related case I have investigated on site (for an A&E Television show) involved the March 24, 1994 (her book says "in April") disappearance of 67-year-old Norman Lewis and his truck in Williston, Florida (Chap. 21), which I critiqued at length in Skeptic magazine (Vol. 5, No. 4, 1997) and will address only briefly here. The police credit her with having provided valuable clues, but unmentioned in Renier's book is that Det. Hewitt knew that Lewis had been contemplating suicide in one of the area's many quarries. Hewitt ultimately scouted about 30 of them, but were Renier's clues specific to the one in which the man was ultimately found? My findings argue not. As but one example: Lewis' body and truck were found submerged, 2.1 miles from his home, adjacent to State Route 45 -- supposedly "hits" for Renier's "21" and "45" numerical clues. But an audiotape obtained from the police reveals that Renier had actually said, "Maybe 4, maybe 5. If it's 45 miles, if it's 4.5 miles . . . "

At the end of Chap. 18 Renier says, "I am still -- I guess inevitably -- hounded by skeptics. The most relentless is Gary Posner of the Tampa Bay Skeptics, who seems to be on something of a crusade to discredit me." But Renier does not contest anything I have written about her. All she can add to that is, "Fortunately, he has a number of critics. The very well-respected author and doctor Larry Dossey has criticized him publicly about some of his writings. And among the people coming to my defense is Detective Ray Krolak."

Detective Krolak credits Renier with helping him solve a double-homicide case in upstate New York (Chap. 19). Again, I refer the reader to Psychic Sleuths, but I'll recount this one item: Krolak credits Renier with fingering the dead couple's grandson as one of the killers. But on the May 30, 1991, Geraldo show, with Renier on stage and the grandson's mother sitting next to Krolak in the studio audience, the mother responded unequivocally, "She did not do that. She did not finger my son." Neither Renier nor Krolak disputed her. His e-mailed complaint to me was that I had not personally interviewed him before writing about this in my chapter.

And although Dr. Dossey may not have been pleased with my tough Skeptical Inquirer review of his seminal book, Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine, I am unaware that he has alleged any factual errors in my writings. Dossey is prominently featured on my website's "Critics" page (along with Krolak and several others) only because he took umbrage to the manner in which I once dared challenge a proponent of supernatural healing to a test of his claim that anyone can be instantaneously bestowed with the ability to survive -- absolutely unharmed -- a sword passed entirely through the body.

Back in the foreword of A Mind for Murder, Renier says, "But even though there's no way I can prove to you I'm a psychic, I don't mind being challenged." And in Chap. 17 she says, "I have found that there is no way to prove to . . . dedicated skeptics that psychic phenomena exists [sic]." But while she was living near Orlando, Tampa Bay Skeptics (which I founded in 1988) offered her our "$1,000 Challenge" to prove just that. Though we were open to any mutually agreeable protocol, we suggested a "psychometry" demonstration infinitely easier than the one she supposedly nailed in front of a room full of skeptical policemen (Chap. 8). An object belonging to her, such as a ring, would be placed in a sealed envelope. Similar objects from other people would be sealed in similar envelopes. Rather than having to perform convincing readings on all the objects, Renier's task would simply be to determine which of the envelopes was emanating her own vibrations, as opposed to those of a stranger -- and to do so enough times to achieve greater than 1 in 1,000,000 odds of success by pure chance guesswork (actually back then TBS required 1 in 10,000,000 odds, but has since made the requirements 10x easier). Given that her career is rooted in just this sort of readings, identifying her own vibes should be no more difficult than recognizing her own photograph among a selection, if she indeed can do what she makes a living convincing others she can do. Regrettably, Renier declined.

Her book contains many additional beguiling stories, some involving non-"protected" police cases, and as I said earlier, I enjoyed it. But with "more than 400" cases to choose from, might 350+ be clinkers? Even considering the best this book has to offer, is it time to rewrite our science textbooks to include a chapter on the reality of "psi"? And although Renier claims -- repeatedly -- that she requests no background information, so as not to skew her "psychic" impressions, is it possible that she pre-researches the extensive press coverage of these horrific incidents?

Regardless, stories such as the following will hopefully open the minds of at least some close-minded believers to the likelihood that Renier's readings are but flights of fantasy: "I was told by the ancient oak, 'We have one fear and that is of fire. Would you mind not smoking while you're touching me?' Stunned, I quickly pulled my hands and the cigarette away from the tree" (Chap. 12). Another clue in that direction was omitted from the book. Although we learn the names of Renier's mother, daughters, and dog, notably absent are two former(?) friends who were described this way years ago in one of Renier's promotional packets: "An optional trance is held in the evening with workshop members encouraged to make contact with deceased relatives, friends or famous people, and questions may be posed to 'Sing' and 'Robert,' Noreen's two main spiritual entities, who have something to say about everything!"

Noreen Renier's ability to enchant such an array of law-enforcement personnel, some to the point of praising the value of her assistance despite contrary evidence (as in the "missing plane" case), is nothing short of astounding. But as even a tasty meal begs dessert, A Mind for Murder leaves me hungry for a morsel of compelling scientific evidence to substantiate this sort of "psychic" power as fact rather than fiction.

A condensed version of this book review appears in the Sept/Oct 2005 issue of Skeptical Inquirer.
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2006, 02:42:14 PM »
The question here is: Did Ms. Renier lead the police on a wild goose chase and waste their valuable time? Apparently not. There seem to be high praises coming from the areas of law enforcement she assisted. You know them by their fruits, and it seems Ms. Reneir came through more often then not when conventional methods failed.

So one has to ask: what is behind Mr. Posner's obsession with her? People like him and James Randi are always after the little guy, but I don't see them attacking tax-payer funded government programs in remote viewing for example. These people are not looking for frauds, they are claiming all paranormal claims are complete lies, and there is no possibility they work. Hence they cannot give anyone they attack the benefit of the doubt. Since they are not attacking research foundations and the government it seems to me they act like the old Catholic church hounding down astrologers while the Pope happily guided his own life and decisions by the stars.

I believe paranormal abilities are seen by many as an evolutionary advantage that they do not want propagated at their expense. Either that or the debunkers are simply in direct or indirect support of paranormal monopolies, or else see debunking as THIER claim to fame.

Offline Ruth

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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2006, 02:35:27 AM »
Quote from: Laura
Additional info.  Seems that this Gary Posner is really stalking Noreen:

http://members.aol.com/garypos/Mind_review.html
Why?! Especially if he has better things to do?  Perhaps he is scared that she might find something out about HIM (or somebody he has an interest in 'protecting').  That might be just enough motive...

And its not necessarily him who has the 'dark past' that he is trying to protect.  Some organisations are well known for their criminal involvement.
The only thing in life that is 'free', is will, and even that needs to be paid for - in consequences.
The co-operation of the many will always beat the competition of the few.

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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2007, 08:50:02 AM »
For those interested, please see www.amindformurder.com   It includes updates from a 2006 investigation as well as the latest 2007 developments in the litigation and Washington federal court judgment against Noreen Renier.

atreides

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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2007, 09:14:44 AM »
It all seems a bit pointless. Little boys throw stones at frogs in sport, but the frogs, they die in earnest.

If people want to believe her then let them, if she helps, then good, if she hurts, eventually they will catch on. Basically all I saw is that she makes some resume fudges, and weird claims. I didn't see any claims of criminal negligence. Just because someone thinks they heal, or can talk to the dead, doesn't make them the anti-christ. With all of the evil liars out there killing hundreds of thousands every year through starvation, bombings, and executions just to line their pockets it occurs to me that some elderly medium making bold claims and touring the talk show circuit is not even a blip on the evil radar.

Personally, I would be more inclined to whup this Merrell character, talk about a waste of life, he really tries hard to pull himself out of mediocrity by shoving someone else back into it. People like him are the crabs of our society, everytime someone tries to get out of the crate, they pull you right back and try to get on top of you.  I don't believe this Renier character, and more than likely, she is just pretty good at her stage act, who cares.

Online Laura

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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2007, 10:48:09 AM »
Quote from: atriedes
Personally, I would be more inclined to whup this Merrell character, talk about a waste of life, he really tries hard to pull himself out of mediocrity by shoving someone else back into it. People like him are the crabs of our society, everytime someone tries to get out of the crate, they pull you right back and try to get on top of you.  I don't believe this Renier character, and more than likely, she is just pretty good at her stage act, who cares.
Exactly.  With all the REAL evil going on here on the Big Blue Marble, for Merrill and Posner to spend that kind of energy going after a gal who fudges is truly bizarre and a waste of  perfectly good lives (not to mention taking up space on said planet, breathing the air, and producing waste).  

Yeah, Renier is obviously a fraud, like Vincent Bridges.  So, why didn't Merrill and Posner just write it up, publish it, and move on with their lives?  Sheesh!  Instead, they have demonstrated the same kind of obsession that Vinnie has for me.  At this point in his life, he has done absolutely nothing creative or beneficial for a single human being on the planet for over six years since he spends every waking hour stalking me!
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

amindformurder

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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2007, 08:52:37 AM »
Well the federal court sided with me --- the skeptic.   So though Renier had predicted a win --- she was wrong.
And if a federal court isn't impartial what would you believers think would be better?   Noreen Renier was defended throughout the lawsuit.   See www(dot)amindformurder(dot)com

Online Laura

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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2007, 03:21:18 PM »
Quote from: amindformurder
Well the federal court sided with me --- the skeptic.   So though Renier had predicted a win --- she was wrong.
And if a federal court isn't impartial what would you believers think would be better?   Noreen Renier was defended throughout the lawsuit.   See www.amindformurder.com
You missed the point.  Let me repeat it:

With all the REAL evil going on here on the Big Blue Marble, for Merrill and Posner to spend that kind of energy going after a gal who fudges is truly bizarre and a waste of  perfectly good lives (not to mention taking up space on said planet, breathing the air, and producing waste).

Yeah, Renier is obviously a fraud, like Vincent Bridges.  So, why didn't Merrill and Posner just write it up, publish it, and move on with their lives?  Sheesh!  Instead, they have demonstrated the same kind of obsession that Vinnie has for me.  At this point in his life, he has done absolutely nothing creative or beneficial for a single human being on the planet for over six years since he spends every waking hour stalking me!

You haven't done anything to be proud of.  You are disgusting.
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

Offline anart

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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2007, 05:38:16 PM »
Quote from: Laura
You haven't done anything to be proud of.  You are disgusting.
I agree completely - too bad all that effort and court time couldn't have been used to expose Cheney, Bush and Rice , et al for the liars they are.  Heck, exposing any of the liars in local government, media, police forces or even school boards would have been more beneficial to humankind.