When I described the method of remote viewing in I Scream Man, the first novel in my “Nut Cracker Investigations” series, readers thought I should call it paranormal. However, remote viewing is not supernatural in the sense of ghosts and vampires. You might be surprised to learn that this method helped to find the last victim of Ted Bundy. It can be—and has been—an actual investigative tool.
Remote viewing (RV) involves seeing distant locations or structures via trance-work. What’s
seen is conveyed in a drawing. I’ve watched people with no psychic talent learn how to do it.
Psychic talent helps, but it’s not essential. Although RV has a long history among shamans as a
form of clairvoyance, it’s more of a supra-normal distance perception.
Before you dismiss it, consider this: from 1970 until 1995, the U. S. government used RV.
Officials developed the Office of Scientific and Weapons Intelligence (OSWI) as a spy program,
describing RV as “nonlocal anomalous phenomena” or “extraordinary human body function.”
The OSWI team involved a crew of civilian researchers, sometimes referred to as the “weird
desk.” The Department of Defense used this method to probe foreign military locations, pinpoint
overseas targets, locate high-profile hostages, and locate fugitives. At various times, the NSA,
CIA, NSC, and other agencies sought out the OSWI for assistance. Although the program
“officially” ended in 1995, the most gifted viewers continued to train people privately.
Science writer Jim Schnable documented all this in Remote Viewers: The Secret History of
America’s Psychic Spies. So did science journalist Annie Jacobsen, in Phenomena: The Secret
History of the U. S. Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and
In my second Nut Cracker novel, In the Damage Path, my protagonist, Annie Hunter, adds RV
to criminal profiling to get “remote profiling.” It’s a “mash-up” phrase that links RV with crime
scene analysis of behavioral evidence. In other words, to devise a solid profile, one needs crime
scenes, police reports, and other data. Add remote viewing and you can connect to a scene
without physically going there. Often, the drawings are primitive, but they can still yield clues.
An impressive true story about RV concerns the search for Ted Bundy’s last victim, Kimberly
Leach. The prosecutor, George Dekle, described this in his book, The Last Murder. Annie relates
it to another character:
“Then, there was Kimberly Leach, the twelve-year-old in Florida who became Ted Bundy’s final
victim. In the middle of the day, she’d crossed her schoolyard to retrieve her purse when he leapt
from a stolen van to grab her…
“Bundy had just been arrested for the Chi Omega murders, but he wasn’t talking about the Leach
abduction. They did have a specific type of soil in the van he’d stolen, but that still meant hundreds of square miles to search. Planes hovered over this area with infrared cameras to detect
a decomposing form. No results. Landfills were searched for potential evidence. Even buzzard
experts offered advice. So did psychics. But nothing led them to Kim until a woman used remote
viewing… She drew two sinkholes connected by a canal. South of them was a railroad track and
a highway. North were horses and west was a picnic area. Along the east was a burnt patch. In
the middle, she placed an X for where the body was…
“She offered a location, but nothing in that area matched the items on her map. So, the detectives
went back to where they’d picked up some cigarette butts that were Bundy’s brand. At that
location, they spotted a sinkhole filled with water. It had an outlet that led to a second
sinkhole—so, two bodies of water connected by a canal. When a dirt road there took them to a
burnt field, they remembered the drawing. To the south was a highway that ran parallel to a
railroad track, and one of them recalled a state park to the west with some picnic tables. They
didn’t know it, but they were standing within yards of the body. It was under a collapsed pig
shed. Because of the drawing, they put more effort into the search and found the body. The
woman was wrong about the location. In fact, she was way off. But she’d correctly viewed the
Annie’s aware that psychics can and do waste police time and resources, but she also knows that
there have been some hits, like this one. She’s a skeptic, but she’ll still investigate cases with
paranormal elements. Typically, she finds the natural explanation. Her team’s approach is to
carefully corroborate any “psi” information before taking it to a law enforcement team. Thus,
using a supra-normal skill when all else fails doesn’t make my series paranormal. It only shows
that Annie will use whatever’s beneficial, with corroboration—just like I do.
Katherine’s Biography: Katherine Ramsland has played chess with serial killers, dug up the dead, worked with profilers, and camped out in haunted crime scenes. As a professor of forensic psychology and a death investigation consultant, she seeks unique angles. The author of 71 books, she’s been a forensic
consultant for CSI, Bones and The Alienist and an executive producer on Murder House Flip and
A&E’s Confession of a Serial Killer. She’s become a go-to expert for the most deviant forms of
criminal behavior, which provides background for her Nut Cracker Investigations.
Annie must prove a killer grabbed her childhood friend before he’s free to kill again.
Forensic psychologist Annie Hunter runs a PI agency. She pits her talented
“Nut Crackers” team against Tommy Ray Bruder, who’d snatched her best friend, Hailey, when Annie was 14. Annie made a pledge at the time to find her. Bruder was caught for another crime, but he refused to reveal what he’d done with Hailey. After years in prison, he’s trying to get free. He’s writing coded poems to entice groupies to help him. These same codes offer Annie new clues, but she must act on them before Bruder walks free. Her efforts alarm Bruder’s former partner, a dangerous man with his own damage path. Annie soon finds that her pledge to Hailey has imperiled her entire team.
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