Joe Power: Psychic Detective… although not a detective, and not psychic

The Liverpool Echo today runs a charmingly-sympathetic feature on local corpse-finder and celeb-séancer Joe Power.

For those of you with good memories for niche outré pieces of pop-culture tat (and why the hell wouldn’t you?), Joe was the chap who chatted with a posthumous John Lennon back in 2006.  The reason why many of you wouldn’t have known that – coincidentally the same reason that all of modern science wasn’t turned entirely on its head, causing scientists and philosphers the world over to fall to their knees, beating their breast and cursing their wasted lives in pursuit of damned reason – was that he didn’t actually talk to John Lennon.  John Lennon’s dead, he’s not talking to anyone these days, least of all Joe Power (his name gets better the more you say it aloud. Joe Power. Joe Power).  More details on that can be found all over the internet.  Go ahead, check, I’ll wait.

These days Joe tends to use his ‘powerful gift’ (because his name’s Joe Power.  Good punning, Liverpool Echo) to help police with their investigations – the latest being his help in locating Madelaine McCann.  Joe Power says:

“I believe I have seen the face of the person who abducted Madeleine and it is not dissimilar to the sketch which the detectives released after help from Jane Tanner”

So his psychic ability appears to have led him to confirm the information police came up with on their own and which they have been working on for a while now.  Handy.  Coincidentally, my own psychic ability leads me to predict that the River Mersey is wet, that the sky is blue, and that Joe Power is a fraud.  If he can retrodict, so can I.

This isn’t Joe Power’s first foray into the world of psychic detection.  In the past Joe Power (who’s name really does get better each time you say it out loud) has made similar claims, including having played pivotal roles in the investigations into the death of Sarah Payne and the disappearance of Shannon Matthews – two high-profile cases that were solved without a mention of psychic intervention.

“The police never like to admit they have come to ask me but I have kept all their emails on past cases,” says Joe Power

If that’s the case, then this sceptic is more than satisfied – simply go on record with the emails, Joe Power, show the world that they exist and I will doff my cap, bend my knee, eat my words and personally carry you to the door of the JREF to collect your $1million.   But, it seems, the police are indeed reticent to give Joe Power the credit Joe Power deserves – after claims of psychic involvement in the investigation of Lynsey Quy’s murder in 1998, the following official statement was issued by Detective Superintendent Sloan:

“I wish to state, categorically, that as the Senior Investigating Officer on the Lyndsey Quy murder, I made a policy decision not to use psychics on the investigation. Joe Power has allegedly made claims that he assisted the enquiry but this is not the case.”  Source – Skeptic Report, January 2007

This seems pretty cut and dry – an emphatic denial of the use of psychics in the police force.  As Greg O’Keefe mentions in his article:

“…you don’t hear of many psychics who are regularly contacted by Metropolitan police detectives for help cracking grisly murder cases.”

Too true Greg, too true.  In fact, I’d go further – you don’t hear of ANY psychics who are regularly contacted by any police for help psychicly cracking anything.  As Scotland Yard themselves will confirm:

“There is no recorded instance in England of any psychic solving a criminal case or providing evidence or information that led directly to its solution.”  Source: JREF Encyclopedia

So Joe Power – despite his media-friendly local-boy-come-good life story, his dead-celeb hob-nobbing, and his entirely awesome name (it sounds best in a superhero voice, I’ve discovered) – is not a psychic detective.  He is not even a psychic OR a detective.  Joe Power is little more than, well… I believe it was Greg O’Keefe himself who mentioned a ‘publicity-seeking psychic personality’…

*Joe Power will be signing copies of his book at Waterstone’s, Bold St, Liverpool at noon on Saturday, June 6.  I’m just mentioning. I’m not in any way suggesting anybody should attend. And say his name. In superhero voices. Incessantly.

** Update:  Joe Power has his own Facebook fan page, which you can visit.  I’ve left my thoughts there, if you decide to follow suit please be kind, many of the people there have suffered real losses which have sadly lead them to believe Joe Power is magic.  Also, BadPsychics has an excellent archive on Joe Power, as well as on all of the other psychic-claimants – definitely well worth checking out.

, , ,

  1. #1 by Darren on May 22, 2009 - 20:57

    that is quality. im up for the book signing mate. we should get some t-shirts made up with a joe power superhero mocked up

  2. #2 by Chris on May 23, 2009 - 10:35

    That’s an awesome idea – we could ask him whether he intends to collect the $1m JREF prize given his clearly demonstrated prowess. The T-shirts would be the icing on the cake!

  3. #3 by A. Power on May 31, 2009 - 16:55

    A very interesting piece in The Echo, which I also read.
    I am now of the outlook that someone such as myself, who is HOPEing to commence research for a PhD in Parapscychology – with a local university – will be deemed even less favourable than Joe Power; especially when you discover that my name is Alan Power (no relation to Joe) and my communications come addressed to….A. Power.
    May A Power be with you 🙂

  4. #4 by shirley mealing on August 6, 2009 - 19:56

    can you tell me if my mum, dad, brother,nan and grandad are ok, will i get a better job, will my children get the jobs that they are working towards. thank you

  5. #5 by Marsh on August 7, 2009 - 10:00


    Hi Shirley – unfortunately, I can’t answer any of those questions, I’m not able to see the future or see events via any supernatural means.

    Importantly, neither can anyone else – not Joe Power, not palm readers, tarot card readers, mystics or diviners of any degree. Unfortunately, we’re here and we have to get on without any magical ways of getting the answers. That’s the struggle of our lives; it’s also the challenge and the excitement.


  6. #6 by David on October 24, 2009 - 14:19

    You know for those of you that are skeptical about psychic powers, I too can be included in the “crazy”camp.
    In 1989 whilst in Stroud, I was told by spirit to drive to Gloucestershire to help the girls that had been murdered. This was years before Fred and Rosemary West and their awful crimes came to light. (I never went to Gloucester as I was late for a meeting in Manchester and had just got done for speeding on the way.
    Then I saw a cartoon in my head of a Large shaven man in a White van and a small red car in Surrey when Millie Dowler went missing.
    I don’t have a big ego about this, as its more of a curse, and
    Im not sure the Police would ever believe me anyway, just the same way as you probably don’t believe me either.

    Dave x

  7. #7 by Mike on October 24, 2009 - 14:27

    Hi David,

    We’ll be more than happy to believe you, if you can reliably demonstrate the abilities you claim to possess. We’d be happy to work with you in designing a test to do this. You could even apply for the JREF Million Dollar Challenge! More importantly, once you’ve been able to demonstrate your abilities through a scientific test, then people will start taking you seriously. Then you can use your abilities to really help people, which would be amazingly cool.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

  8. #8 by David on October 24, 2009 - 14:40


    Thanks for your interest, you know the thing is that I am not interested in becoming some sort of circus freak for everyones amusement. I am very genuine about this, I have no interest from a fame or financial viewpoint. Its simply a gift/curse that I am not really qualified to explain or even understand. Yes obviously if I could help people that would be great, but given the situation how do I go about doing that exactly without prejudicing my position?


  9. #9 by David on October 24, 2009 - 14:58

    I just checked my diaries and it was actually around 1986,
    You know what these things are like when you quote from so long ago.


  10. #10 by Kate on October 24, 2009 - 17:03

    Hi Dave…I have JUST the same sort of thing as you. It drives me crazy. I wish I didn’t have it. The Maddy McCann disappearance haunts me. I know I’ve got to go to Portugal but I feel no one would listen anyway even if I felt I knew where she was. Kate

  11. #11 by Mike on October 24, 2009 - 19:57


    I hope you understand that, if proven to be true, the claims you make about what you can do represent a profound revolution in our understanding of the world, opening up entirely new branches of science. This new science would be of immeasurable benefit to the world, especially in the field of law enforcement.

    For example, your mental impression of (who I assume you believe to be) the killer of Amanda Dowler could open new lines of inquiry in a long-running but unsolved murder investigation. Inquiries which could even lead to the killer being apprehended and convicted – preventing him from killing again and therefore directly saving lives.

    This is predicated on your being able to demonstrate you can do what you – and hundreds of others like you – claim you can do. To date, every rigorous investigation of such claims has unfortunately turned up nothing. Until we are able to demonstrate these sort of abilities – or “gift” or “curse” as you refer to it – are a genuine phenomenon then it would be foolish for us to take them seriously.

    You wouldn’t become any kind of circus freak, on the contrary you would be establishing your credibility… and providing credibility to everyone else around the world who claims to do what you can do! You would be providing the required scientific evidence to enable science to take your abilities seriously. It would be a new and amazing world, with applications across all fields of human endeavor.

    As I said, to date everyone who has come forward and submitted to such a rigorous test has been unable to support their claims under controlled conditions. This has lead scientists to the consensus view that such abilities are (probably) confined to the worlds of fiction and fancy. If you’re the guy who can prove them wrong, it is very important that you do so!

    I understand that fame and fortune do not interest you, but perhaps rescuing kidnapped children and saving the lives of innocent people by catching serial killers before they kill again will. I’m sure the JREF would be doubly thrilled if you were to take their $1m prize and then donate it to Childline or the NSPCC.

    All this applies to you too, Kate! We would be equally happy to work with you on designing a test of what you can do. Just tell us what you can do and under what circumstances.

  12. #12 by David on October 25, 2009 - 10:43


    Millie Dowler was murdered by Levi Bellfield, the case has been solved, although Bellfield will not admit it.
    Levi Bellfield borrowed his girlfriend Emma Mills red daewoo car to abduct Millie, the car has never been found. I have been told by spirit it is at a scrap dealers in Harmondsworth near the airport. A second man helped bellfield, this I have been told is someone called Rodney Bevan. Maybe this is just me talking rubbish, who knows.
    I used to be shown a White Toyota Previa too, this I found out later was the vehicle Bellfield used to run over the girl that testified against him.
    Kate thanks for you reply, I too have struggled with the Madeline McCann case, I believe she was abducted by a tall scruffy dark skinned man with facial hair, he took her in a pale blue metallic ford probably a fiesta or escort car.A Woman was there too, Madeline is alive but they have dyed her hair black. She is somewhere in Spain.

    I am not interested in being treated like I am crazy, no thank you. Perhaps I am crazy.
    Mike as for your request for me proving that I have the gift under experimental conditions, this has already been proved.
    During the cold war the American defense Dept used psychic remote viewers to locate sites of weapons or enemy hostiles.
    This I believe has been documented in the US defense records.

  13. #13 by Mike on October 25, 2009 - 11:42

    Actually David, Bellfield has not been charged with Dowler’s murder, much less convicted. The case is currently with the CPS.

    The Cold War experiments by the US military came to nothing. There were no positive results.

  14. #14 by david on October 25, 2009 - 11:53

    Mike I pulled this off the Wikipedia website. I think it disproves your points

    Levi Bellfield (born 17 May 1968 in Isleworth, South West London) is a former nightclub bouncer and manager of a car clamping business who was convicted on 25 February 2008 of murdering Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange. He was also convicted of the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.[1] Bellfield has also been linked by police to the murder of 13 year old Amanda Dowler.[2]

  15. #15 by david on October 25, 2009 - 11:56

    During the eight-month pilot study of remote viewing the effort gradually evolved from the remote viewing of symbols and objects in envelopes and boxes, to the remote viewing of local target sites in the San Francisco Bay area, demarked by outbound experimenters sent to the site under strict protocols devised to prevent artifactual results. Later judging of the results were similarly handled by double-blind protocols designed to foil artifactual matching. Since these results have been presented in detail elsewhere, both in the scientific literature [6-8] and in popular book format [9], I direct the interested reader to these sources. To summarize, over the years the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories [10-14], has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the phenomenon. Adding to the strength of these results was the discovery that a growing number of individuals could be found to demonstrate high-quality remote viewing, often to their own surprise, such as the talented Hella Hammid. As a separate issue, however, most convincing to our early program monitors were the results now to be described, generated under their own control

  16. #16 by Mike on October 25, 2009 - 11:56

    “Linked” doesn’t mean he’s been convicted, David. As I said, Bellfield has neither been charged nor convicted of Dowler’s murder. The police submitted their evidence against Bellfield to the CPS in August, who are currently deciding if it is strong enough to take to trial.

  17. #17 by david on October 25, 2009 - 12:00

    I stated that Bellfield murdered dowler but has not admitted it at this time. The police proved that Bellfield knew Dowler and seeing that he is a convicted murderer on two previous accounts then its highly probable to anyone that he is liked to this case.

  18. #18 by Mike on October 25, 2009 - 12:07

    Bellfield has actually been convicted of the murder of three people, not two. However, that doesn’t change the fact that he has not been convicted of the murder of Amanda Dowler – so your assertions that “Bellfield murdered Dowler” and “the case has been solved” are unsupportable at this time.

    People – even murderers – are considered innocent until proven guilty and Bellfield has not found guilty of the murder of Amanda Dowler. Maybe he did it, maybe he didn’t. We won’t know until it goes to trial and a jury decides.

  19. #19 by David on October 25, 2009 - 12:14

    I guess it will prove how psychic I am when he gets convicted then. HAHAHAHA. 🙂

  20. #20 by Lostit on December 14, 2009 - 11:15


    I have lost something with lots of emotional as well as monetary value. Can you help me find it?

    Thanks in anticipation.

  21. #21 by Jade. on May 25, 2010 - 10:16

    Hey, David?

    I was wondering – will I *ever* get to kiss Mark Owen from Take That? Thank you in advance.

  22. #22 by Mike A on May 29, 2010 - 21:09

    I just checked the JOE POWER!!! Facebook page… Hmm, he’s looking quite mean and magnificent! Quite a contrast to when I last saw him, on a Derren Brown programme going off in a mincing huff after being exposed as a charlatan – a poor charlatan at that.

  23. #23 by Mike A on May 29, 2010 - 21:16

    David :
    I just checked my diaries and it was actually around 1986,
    You know what these things are like when you quote from so long ago.

    What kind of diary only lets you know when something occurred “around” a certain year? Diaries are records of times and events, and should therefore be specific. Or maybe you don’t have a 1986 diary? Maybe you have an “Around 1986” diary? One thing I know is that in MY diaries, I couldn’t just go an check something as quickly as you did: diaries don’t have indexes!

  24. #24 by Mike A on May 29, 2010 - 21:18

    Kate :
    Hi Dave…I have JUST the same sort of thing as you. It drives me crazy. I wish I didn’t have it. The Maddy McCann disappearance haunts me. I know I’ve got to go to Portugal but I feel no one would listen anyway even if I felt I knew where she was. Kate

    Me too! If I could only spend a fortnight in some hot, sunny country, I know I could have a go at solving some well known crime. Well, I’d have a bit of a guess, anyway.

  25. #25 by Chris Wordsworth on December 6, 2010 - 00:55

    I’m an open minded type of guy,I just think its odd with all these pyschics about no one has managed to conclusively prove their abilities.Maybe it’s poorly defined in their own minds like my night out last Saturday or simply just a hit and miss thing similar to my erratic singing voice,who knows.Thanks for the Hella Hammid info,I’m listening to a youtube vid on her as I write this.What about the guy who predicted the terrorsit attack on the RAF base that was quite weird if it was true.I Think I saw it on Strange But True with Michael Aspell.What about ghosts Mike,what are your views on that topic or is this purely a psychic discussion.

(will not be published)