Friday, March 17, 2006

3/17/06 (PMP) The Business of Preying

Today's guest post is written by Janice Smolinski, the mother of Billy Smolinski, who has been missing from Waterbury, CT, since 8/24/04.

"Are Psychics to be Believed?

Prior to August 29, 2004, the psychic world was a paranormal phenomenon I was very open-minded about. I figured there was indeed a possibility certain people possess an ability to know facts/characteristics of individuals and deal in the supernatural world. This I thought was a God given quality most people do not have. However since the disappearance of my son William Smolinski Jr. I am now thoroughly convinced this is a shameful act.

Our first encounter was almost immediate. Two psychics had shown up within the first two days. We were misled to the point of exhaustion. One psychic told us Billy was bleeding and lying on the banks of a river near railroad tracks. He only had hours to live if he were not found immediately. Her exact words were,” someone had hit Billy over the head and he was bleeding, lying on the banks of the river too weak to speak." As you would imagine we were in frenzy from sun up till sundown, with no time to eat. Saving Billy was our primary focus; time was of the essence so we thought.

From Watertown to Beacon Falls the river was searched, some in the water, while others scoured the banks along the river. We encountered homeless who had set up housekeeping under bridges, bruises and cuts had by many.

When evening came another call from a psychic. This time we were told Billy was being held against his will drugged in a hotel room near the river in Waterbury. Tired and hungry we took Harley, Billy's German Shepherd, and proceeded to the hotel. After searching room 202, the room number given to us by the psychic, she had the gall to tell us no, not that hotel,the one across town. By this time it was midnight. We did in fact have 2 police officers with us so we could gain access to the buildings. Nothing was found.

A few days later we received another call this time from New Haven, a person claiming again to be a psychic said "Billy was in a red van wrapped in a carpet bleeding heavily and pushed out the door of the van in the Waterbury area." Of course we dropped everything and searched. Our emotions were erratic and we were just focused on finding Billy alive.

Along that same time frame there was also a pet psychic who supposedly could read Harley's mind but immediately started focusing on what she thought happened to Billy. A few days later the same psychic came with us in our car. She seemed to think Billy was indeed held against his will in the basement of possible buildings we drove by, the pychic giving us the indication Billy was there at one time. We felt powerless and our emotions ran wild.

Billy had been missing about two weeks when one of the psychics approached us and said, "Someone murdered Billy and threw him in his septic system." At the top of Billy's system is a good size hole in the ground, large enough to fit a man Billy's size. There is a large metal plate covering it so no one will fall through, but could easily be removed by someone with strength. Stricken with a sense of horror is it possible, could she be right?

We made the call to the person who cleans our systems and also a good family friend. He was NOT told about the possibility because Billy and Bill (is his name) were also very good friends. We did not want to burden Bill, so Billy's dad stood over the hole with his brother (Billy's uncle) in complete silence as it was being cleaned. The system did not contain Billy at the bottom and Bill was never told by us what may have been at the bottom of the system. Another cruel and senseless act our family and countless other families endure during a time of grief-stricken emotions, willing to do anything to find their loved one, perpetrated by a psychic.

In all of our experiences we have NEVER had one apology or any type of emotion expressed by the psychic who had put us through the painful heartbreaking tasks. We thought just like anyone looking for a missing loved one, "WHAT IF THIS PSYCHIC IS RIGHT? There was no question, WE HAD TO DO IT!!

Two months later a medium called our house, paid for by a concerned well meaning friend. We were told Billy was trucked out west, he even told us the approximate area. According to the medium, he said "Billy was disposed of in a canyon and in a coma, if not found he would be crossing over soon." You can imagine, what if this were true? We contacted hospitals, clinics and the police within a certain miles radius notifying them there may be a man needing medical attention, assistance, or if in fact a John Doe had been admitted already into a medical facility. We never heard anything from them.

Some friends and well wishers with good intentions would tell us from time to time to contact certain psychics, but we chose not to, knowing all the rollercoaster emotions and false hopes others put us through.

On one occasion a psychic contacted Paula, Billy’s sister, and said “For $225.00, I will find your brother." Paula's answer was very commendable; she replied" there is a $15,000 reward out for the return or recovery of my brother, find him and the money is yours." Her reply was "I don't do business like that." I just cannot fathom how people prey on families, victimize them over and over again during these hard times and take advantage. This should certainly be against the law.

There was another instance where a psychic called us and said "Billy was hit over the head and dumped into the Connecticut River; he was hung up in the weeds somewhere under the bridge." We certainly had our fill of these predators and we are living proof of the hell these so-called psychics put us through. However, it is always in the back of our minds when someone approaches us, could this be the real thing? I guess it is only human nature, thinking maybe we will have some sort of closure.

If this is a God given gift it should be utilized wisely, but from our point of view they try and gain media attention just for possible notoriety. I would love for someone to come forward and prove that a person has been truly found by a psychic. According to FBI and police reports there has NEVER been anyone found by a person who identifies themselves as a psychic! Until we learn otherwise we will stick by our beliefs that they are just that, full of hogwash. Don't be taken in!!"

For additional information about Billy, please see:

We understand that many people believe that psychics are effective in solving crimes and finding missing people. Please keep in mind that the goal of this series is to help families understand techniques used by persons making these claims and make better decisions about the use of psychics.

Project Jason and its volunteers cannot act as a clearinghouse for persons claiming success in using paranormal means to locate missing persons. We will be unable to respond to emails or other correspondence sent to us from persons making these claims or persons offering information about or referrals to psychics.

We instead invite those persons to present their evidence to the members of the James Randi Educational Foundation. They have a forum available for you to discuss your claims.

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Blogger From Whispers to Roars Admin said...

Thank you Kelly for helping people keep things in perspective. I warn our members to be very careful before just accepting help from strangers. I always reccommend they get a copy of the Family Survival Guide: When your child is Missing. It's free and warns families on how others will try and take advantage of them.

We also have Jason on our forum all our hopes and prayers are with you as well.


1:41 AM  
Anonymous Kristy said...

I was sick when I read your story. I am so sorry for the horror that have you have endured by not knowing where your son is and then being taken advantage of. I hesitate even saying this, but I am a medium and I do work with the police. I cannot apologize for the actions in which the other “psychics” took, but I can sympathize and I can understand as I know how many claim to be psychic or those who feel that it is easy to take advantage of people who are desperate in their desperate time.

Not only for you, but also for those who may seek a psychic for a missing person’s case, I offer these suggestions:

If they are asking for money – walk away.
If they come to YOU – walk away. I work with police agencies and they come to ME. If I have information regarding a case, I go to THEM and NEVER the family.

There are some legitimate psychics/mediums, however there are more scammers than the real thing.

I will definitely keep you, your family and your son in my prayers.

Love and Light,

7:23 PM  

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