Footnotes:                                         [Return to Renier chapter]

 
(1) Letter to Terry Smiljanich from Dr. Joan Straumanis, Dean of the Faculty, Rollins College, Feb. 16, 1990

(2) David E. Jones, Visions of Time: Experiments in Psychic Archeology  (Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, IL, 1979, p. 16)

This book was the subject of a Skeptical Inquirer article by anthropologist Kenneth L. Feder entitled, "Psychic Archaeology: The Anatomy of Irrationalist Prehistoric Studies" (CSICOP, Buffalo, NY, Summer 1980, pp. 32-43). Among Feder's observations were these: "[P]sychic archaeology has gained an unfortunate professional tolerance, if not acceptance, in some quarters. . .. [F]ar and away the most disturbing work is that of David E. Jones. . . . It makes no sense, in an objective test of a hypothesis, to propose a phenomenon, design an experiment . . . and then seek to explain all experimental results within the context of the assumption that the hypothesis is, in fact, valid and true. This constitutes post-hoc rationalization . . . not  science. . . . All of the results of [Jones'] experiment, including those that quite clearly contradict the hypothesis, are interpreted, squeezed, fudged, and rationalized away as actually supporting the hypothesis. . . . The abandonment of statistical analysis by a person with an advanced degree in anthropology is appalling. . . . Jones [has] abandoned science, reasoning, and rationality." [Emphasis in original.]

(3) Minutes of telephone conversation with Elliot Wiser, June 27, 1991

(4) Vernon J. Geberth, Practical Homicide Investigation: Tactics, Procedures, and Forensic Techniques  (Elsevier, New York, 1983), p. 420

Geberth acknowledges in his introductory remarks (p. 420) that the use of psychics is "somewhat sensational and often controversial," but offers that "anything which has proven to be successful in one investigation should certainly be considered in other cases. . . . [Psychics] may not always be accurate and in some instances may have no value to the investigation. However, this should not discourage authorities from using a psychic, especially in homicide cases where there is limited information."

And from his concluding "Summary" (p. 425):
"[I]nvestigatively speaking, there has been sufficient documentation of successes to merit the consideration of this technique on a case-by-case basis. . . . [T]here is a definite need for an evaluation of the successes and failures of psychic phenomena as they relate to law enforcement before they can be recognized as a 'legitimate' investigative tool. Perhaps in time, the psychic and the homicide investigator may form the perfect partnership against crime. In any event, I neither encourage or [sic] discourage the use of psychics in homicide investigations."

(5) Deposition of Robert Ressler in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Jackson, September 5, 1986, p. 12

(6) Ibid., p. 13

(7) "Psychic sees death try, FBI listens," New York Post,  June 4, 1988

(8) Recorded (with permission) telephone conversation with Richard Ault, May 20, 1991

(9) Ibid.

(10) Chris Doyle, "Psychic asked to solve Keys murder case," The Key West Citizen,  April 2, 1993

(11) Kendrick Frazier and James Randi, "Prediction After the Fact: Lessons of the Tamara Rand Hoax," Skeptical Inquirer,  Fall 1981, pp. 4-7

(12) Transcript of Proceedings in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Jackson, Noreen Renier v. John Merrell  (Case No. 85-3781-J-2), Sept. 10, 1986, p. 84 (Note: In the transcripts of the depositions  referred to, the case number is recorded as ending in "J-1" rather than "J-2.") I should also mention that I have been unable to secure a copy of the National Examiner  item in question. John Merrell informs me that his copy disappeared sometime during the Oregon trial. The National Examiner,  now headquartered in Florida, informs me that it does not keep issues from so many years back. During our telecon, Elliot Wiser had offered to send me a copy from his personal file, provided that I submit the request in writing, attesting that the article would not be used for "legal purposes." I wrote such a letter to Wiser on July 2, 1991, as well as a reminder letter on August 29, but never received a response.

(13) Arthur Lyons and Marcello Truzzi, The Blue Sense  (The Mysterious Press, New York, 1991), p. 84 (Note: This point is footnoted in The Blue Sense  and credited to an article in the Charlottesville, Virginia, Daily Progress  by Anne Richardson entitled "Ruckersville Psychic on Trial of Rapist," Dec. 11, 1979. [It appears that the word "Trial" may be a misprint of "Trail."]

(14) Rex Springston, "'Impressions' give clues in cases," Richmond Times-Dispatch,  June 21, 1992, p. C 1. The fee is said to include "two sessions of 60 to 90 minutes each and a sketch of the crime suspect done by a member of her staff."

(15) Letter to Richard N. Harris from Noreen Renier, Oct. 6, 1989

(16) "The Psychic Connection: Using Psychic Assistance in Law Enforcement" (p. 6 of a previous version of Renier's promotional packet)

(17) Deposition of Robert Ressler, p. 14

(18) Ibid., p. 11

(19) Ibid., p. 16

(20) Telephone conversation with Officer St. Just, NYPD Public Information Office, September 12, 1990

(21) Transcript of Proceedings in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Jackson, Noreen Renier v. John Merrell,  Sept. 12, 1986, pp. 287-88

(22) Ibid., pp. 289-90

(23) "Workshops - ESP: An Awareness," (p. 5 of a previous version of Renier's promotional packet)

(24) Transcript of Proceedings, Renier v. Merrell,  Sept. 11, 1986, pp. 253-4

(25) Letter to Ashland Daily Tidings  from John Merrell, Oct. 10, 1985 (unpublished)

(26) "Memorandum" of Richard Stair, Jr., United States Bankruptcy Judge, Eastern District of Tennessee, Oct. 19, 1989, p. 10 (Note: Merrell had since moved to Tennessee from Oregon)

The ruling centers around the distinction between being a "member" vs. a "representative" of NCAHF. Stair ruled that "the debtor [Merrell], a member of the NCAHF, was not an authorized spokesperson for that institution . . . [and] was never asked by the NCAHF to conduct an investigation of the plaintiff [Renier] . . . ," although Merrell had held "conversations [about Renier] with NCAHF co-members [Dr. Benjamin] Wilson, [Robert] Steiner and [Dr. Robert A.] Mendelsohn [sic] at a Portland, Oregon [NCAHF] conference" and had made an "inquiry to the president of the NCAHF . . . to see if it had any background material on [Renier]" (which it did not) (p. 11). The Dr. Mendelson (proper spelling) referred to is not to be confused with the late Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn, a frequent guest on national TV talk shows in the 1980s as a "medical heretic" claiming that doctors do more harm than good.

(27) Tony Hazarian, "Using the power of the mind," Ashland Daily Tidings,  May 4, 1985

(28) Letter to Daily Tidings  from Leroy Coppedge, published June 4, 1985

(29) Letter to John Merrell from "Nancy Uzdavinis," June 26, 1985

(30) Letter to "Nancy Uzdavinis" from John Merrell, Sept. 14, 1985

(31) Transcript of Proceedings, Noreen Renier v. John Douglas Merrell  (Case No. 3-88-00616), United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Northern Division, April 17, 1989, p. 19

(32) Ibid., p. 50

(33) Affidavit of Dorothy V. Lehman, State of Oregon, County of Clackamas, sworn November 21, 1989

(34) "Motion of Defendant John Merrell for Relief of Final Judgement," Jan. 9, 1990

(35) Affidavit of Noreen Renier, sworn January 31, 1990

(36) Ibid.

When I questioned Merrell as to why the letter had not surfaced earlier, he told me that he had stored his "Nancy Uzdavinis" material in his general correspondence file along with the many other letters from people inquiring about the Northwest Skeptics, rather than in his "Renier" file.

(37) Deposition of Noreen Renier, Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit in and for Orange County, Florida, May 21, 1991, p. 73

(38) Affidavit of Nancy Uzdavinis, State of Oregon, County of Jackson, sworn January 17, 1990

(39) "Order" of Richard Stair, Jr., United States Bankruptcy Judge, Feb. 14, 1990

(40) Loyd Auerbach, "Taking a Skeptic to Court," FATE,  June 1991, pp. 60-68

(41) The Blue Sense,  p. 7

(42) Deposition of Jessica Herbert in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Jackson, August 28, 1986, p. 16

(43) Deposition of Mark Babyak in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Jackson, September 4, 1986, pp. 5-11

(44) John J. Monahan, "Missing Plane Reportedly Seen in Gardner," The Telegram,  Worcester, Mass., Feb. 7, 1984

(45) Monahan, "Air Force Calls Off Hunt for Missing Plane," Telegram,  Feb. 8, 1984

(46) Monahan, "Search For Plane On Again," Evening Gazette,  Worcester, Mass., Feb. 10, 1984 (Note: The Evening Gazette  has since merged with The Telegram  into a single daily paper.)

(47) Monahan, "Plane Found in Templeton; 4 Dead," Telegram,  Feb. 11, 1984

(48) "Examiner Says Plane Victims Died Instantly," Telegram,  Feb. 13, 1984

(49) "Two Plane Crash Victims Are Identified," Telegram,  Feb. 14, 1984

(50) Mark E. Ellis, "Several causes listed for 1984 plane crash," Evening Gazette,  Feb. 27, 1986

[July 30, 2006, Correction:  I discovered only today that the preceding citation (50) refers to an entirely different crash -- another small plane that had crashed near the same airport six days earlier.  I regret the error.]

(51) Deposition of Mark Babyak, p. 12

(52) Deposition of Jessica Herbert, p. 23

(53) Practical Homicide Investigation,  p. 422

(54) Ibid., pp. 423-4

(55) Minutes (prepared by Terry Smiljanich) of telephone conversation with Noreen Renier, Feb. 5, 1990

(56) Letter to Noreen Renier from Terry Smiljanich, Feb. 27, 1990

(57) Telephone conversation with Noreen Renier, Mar. 15, 1990

(58) Since one might perhaps infer from Dr. Robert Van de Castle's letter of recommendation (see early in chapter) that he has had personal involvement in scientifically evaluating, in a laboratory setting, Renier's alleged "psychic" powers, I wrote to him on October 24, 1991 for clarification. In his reply (undated but postmarked on November 5), he expressed his favorable impression of Renier's "psychometry" demonstrations on patients of his ("...I felt she described many aspects of their past history or current personality features . . . "), and noted that "an anthropologist/archeologist in Florida who compared her 'psychometry' impressions with archeological information he had available for this Georgia site . . . described her abilities in 'psychic archeology' very favorably in his book" (see Note #2). As to the point of scientific/laboratory testing, Dr. Van de Castle stated, "I accompanied Ms. Renier to the laboratory facilities of the Psychical Research Foundation in Durham, N.C. She was being evaluated to see whether there would be EEG and other physiological changes produced when she went into a trance state and attempted to contact some spiritual guides. Changes were found but there were also considerable artifacts which made precise evaluation difficult. There were no card tests, etc. attempted. Renier was very willing to return for further evaluation."

(59) Personal communication between Carey N. Bos and Terry Smiljanich (as reported to me by Smiljanich)

(60) "Psychic's career began with $5 readings," Lakeland Ledger  (Florida), July 29, 1986


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