Everyone has seen one of those crime dramas on television where the cops can't find any leads so they bring in some weird lady that holds her hand over mug shots until she finds the killer. Have you ever wondered if stuff like that happens in real life? While television may take a few liberties with the presentation, this does happen. People that do things like this are called psychic detectives, and you might be surprised to find out just how common it is.
A psychic detective has the same goals as a conventional detective. Usually, they are trying to solve a crime, often with very little physical evidence to go on. However, a psychic detective doesn't use normal police techniques in their investigation. They employ their psychic abilities to go places where a normal detective could only dream of. This is considered to be paranormal, so you will have people out there that are skeptical. They don't believe that psychics can really do the things they say they can. Those people should do their research. While there are plenty of psychic frauds out there, it is a real thing, and psychic detectives have put the authorities on the right track many times.
There are several different techniques that are common amongst psychic detectives. These are often considered to be abilities, meaning that not every detective can necessarily do all of these. They have the ability innately from birth. A lot of the time, psychics discover their abilities unintentionally. They also may not immediately realize that their talent is something special because it comes so naturally to them that they don't understand that others can't experience it also. Many times, a detective will specialize in one or more of these abilities, so the nature of the ability may determine how useful the psychic is in investigations.
One very common psychic ability is postcognition. This is when a person has a paranormal ability to view the past in their mind. Sometimes this can be triggered by going to a place where something terrible happened. The psychic sees the crime scene and then views the events in his or her mind. It is often an intense and draining experience because the psychic is literally observing terrible events in the eye of the mind. This can be stressful for the detective, especially as they experience more and more of these over the years.
Psychometry is a similar ability. This involves the psychic gaining information by actual physical interaction with objects. For example, perhaps the psychic detective can touch the murder weapon and then reveal information about what it was used to do. Maybe touching the victim's belongings can trigger a psychic event that can reveal important clues that might lead to the perpetrator.
Psychic detectives often deal with a supposed different realm that is happening around us in real time that most people cannot see, much less interact with. Clairvoyance is the ability to observe this realm. Remote viewing is a great example of a clairvoyant ability. It basically means that the psychic can see things happening right now somewhere else in time and space without physically traveling there. This is unique among psychic abilities because it is not predicting a future event or viewing a past one, but actually viewing something that is happening right now from long distances.
Obviously, this is one of the easiest abilities to prove or disprove because it deals with current events. However, just being wrong about the details doesn't necessarily mean the psychic doesn't have the ability. Remember that interpretation of what they psychic is seeing plays into this also. The detective may have interpreted the visions in his or her mind one way, but later realize that what was being viewed related to something else entirely.
Other psychic detectives conduct investigations by actually communing with spirits of dead people. That's right. There are people in this world that have a special ability to actually communicate with the spirits, and can even control it to use it for very specific purposes, such as communicating with a murder victim to find out what happened to them.
These abilities are amazing and fascinating, which is why they are so prominent in movies and books. Psychic detectives are really out there, and many police departments turn to them when the lead trail turns cold. While the techniques of psychic detectives will rarely be admissible in a court of law, it doesn't take away from their usefulness.
After all, if the police are put on the right trail by a psychic and can then build a case based on physical evidence from there, it's still a big win for everyone involved (except the criminal, of course). It certainly can't hurt to give it a try, and in many cases worldwide, psychic detectives have helped the real detectives get their man.