Psychic Sylvia Browne Encounters the Black Dahlia

…at least that’s Browne’s claim. The following review is from the NZ Beach Haven Books website. I haven’t read the book.

Visits from the Afterlife  – Sylvia Browne, Psychic
 REVIEW: This book is an intriguing view into the world of ghosts, spirits, and “reunions” with loved ones on the so-called “other side.” Sylvia explains the differences between ghosts (who are “earthbound” for various reasons) as opposed to spirits who have made the transition. I found Sylvia’s descriptions of ghosts she has encountered over the years to be fascinating, frightening, and intriguing. She points out that spirits will always be friendly, whereas a ghost may not be. Some of the stories are chilling, such as her encounters with Bela Lugosi and Elizabeth Short (aka the Black Dahlia). **It is not stated here whether BD is a spirit or a ghost** Others are sad…

Browne claims when she channeled Short, the information went like this (this is another direct quote): if you read the book “visits from the afterlife” phoebesylvia browne had a conversation with beth short-you can read it at the end of the book-(towards the end) BETH HERSELF SAID THAT THERE WAS ANOTHER WOMEN THERE THAT TOLD THE KILLER,( BY THE WAY-HE WAS A FATHER OF HER FRIEND)AND SHE TOLD HIM TO ” GET RID IF HER”!I WOULD BELEAVE (sic) THE STORY COMMING FROM THE VICTIM HERSELF-WOULDNT YOU?!

The problem with the above opinion (not the review) is that this person naively accepts that Browne can indeed channel and speak to spirits and ghosts. Nonsense. Personally I don’t believe in these things so I am not going to believe anything Browne had to say about Short. However I found it interesting to research what the world’s most notorious psychic had to say about her. Browne is famous not for her accurate predictions but for her inaccuracies, (frauds), including the incorrect prediction of her own death date (she was off by 10 years) but she placed a lot of faith in herself so naturally I had to investigate her claims. I have copied the following information from the site About the Solution:

….But Ms. Browne is definitely in the dark on several Dahlia-case facts. I think you’d be interested in hearing about these facts, so I’ll tell you about them, as part of my reaction to Sylvia’s Black Dahlia piece. I’ll go from the picayune to the profound.

  • Ultra picayune: Elizabeth Short’s eyes were green, not blue; Elizabeth’s hair was naturally brown, not black.
  • Picayune: The ghost said she/Betty had all that she owned with her when she went to San Diego. The ghost was wrong. Betty knew she had a large, full-of-her-stuff steamer trunk at the downtown-LA Railway Express Agency.
  • Sylvia Browne Performs At Route 66 Casino's Legends Theater Semi-picayune: Contrary to what the ghost said, and repeated, Betty Short was not 19 when she resided with her dad Cleo: she was 18. This is something that many Black Dahlia “historians” get wrong. These historians don’t know that Betty went down to Los Angeles right after Cleo kicked her out. She stayed in LA for a short time, then went up to Camp Cooke to take a job in the base PX. She moved in with a US Army MP, got into a bad tiff with him, quit her PX job, went to Santa Barbara and stayed there until she was arrested for underage presence in a bar with Camp Cooke soldiers. By the time of the arrest, Betty was 19. Betty’s ’43 time in LA never made ’47 newspapers. I believe this is why Sylvia Browne and other Dahlia-case historians erred about Betty’s Vallejo-time age . . .
  • Semi- Profound: The ghost said that Betty phoned Dr. Walter Bayley from the Biltmore Hotel, met him at his car, and was with him all that night and into eternity . . . Ms. Ghost was wrong. I think this info derived a priori from Larry Harnisch, newsman and master of the website. Betty exited the Biltmore shortly after she’d said “sayonara” to Red Manley. The “three hours” of the Biltmore stop would come from LAPD via Jack Webb’s ’58 The Badge. Profundity of this will be explicated . . .
  • Profound: Elizabeth Short’s ghost claims she still hangs at the Biltmore Hotel, but occasionally walks over to 39th and Norton to check out the display locale. Ms. Browne thinks the never-happened three hours at the Biltmore really happened, and that this was a cardinal event to earthly BetSylvia Browne Performs At Route 66 Casino's Legends Theaterty and to the real Black Dahlia murder. Psychic Sylvia is wrong. The three hours in the Biltmore is part of an LAPD smokescreen. Betty Short did sit solo and kill three hours soon after she had shed Red. But the sit site was the Gay Way Bar at 514 South Main, about four blocks from the Biltmore. (This was probably one of those errant details the police deliberately gave to the media to mislead people pretending to be her killer).
  • Ultra profound: Betty Short’s ghost has Betty with Bayley continuously, from “Biltmore to bisection.” But Betty was positively ID’d as having checked into The Hirsh Apts. with “Barnes”/Burns, three days after her Biltmore ruse.

There are many stories that prove Browne is a hack, and a cruel one at that:

Case One: – Terry Pflanz: Browne told Pflanz that her son, Mark, who was dying of cancer would “get a miraculous treatment” and would survive. She urged Pflanz to leave her son in the hospital so doctors could tend to him. Mark didn’t want to die in the hospital; he wanted to die at home but Pflanz, on the advice of Browne, left him in hospital. Two days later, Mark died.

Case Two: – Shawn Hornbeck:  (2:32) In 2002 11-year-old 522f44f5ed7ef_preview-620Shawn Hornbeck vanished on his way home from a friend’s house. Browne gave the Hornbecks a reading about their son’s disappearance on the Montel Show, stating the wooded area, so, southwest of you…there are two jagged boulders which look very misplaced… he’s near the boulders.” Browne told the Hornbecks that Shawn was dead; 4 years later he was found alive, a kidnap victim. His parents claimed believing their son was dead was the “hardest pain they’ve ever felt.”

Browne was very unapologetic when she was confronted with her mistakes, no matter how unhappy her “clients”. Her flippant reply was simply, “only God is right all the time.” As to referring to a psychic such as Browne (who is now dead but may come back to life to do more readings), The Amazing Kreskin, a mentalist, stated, “It’s the height of irresponsibility and it indirectly aids the criminal because the people who believe t061412-Kreskinhe psychic may have less of a reason to continue to search for the victim.” Kreskin himself works with police to help solve crimes but he is only right 1/3 of the time (very impressive stats in my book).  “No one celebrates her death, but skeptics do criticize how she lived. Her dismal track record at predictions — she confidently predicted she would die at 88, not 77, for instance — would only be laughable if they did not hurt so many people,” he said by email. “The number of people she hurt with her pretend supernatural abilities is nearly as high as the number of her failed predictions. It is sad that it took death to stop Sylvia Browne.” 

For all that, a blogger on the site Black Dahlia Avenger Archive stated, “It’s interesting to note that in one of Sylvia Browne’s books she “talks” with Elizabeth Short. Elizabeth tells sylvia-browneSylvia (who is in a trance-like state) that her killer was “Dr. H” and that he will someday be identified. Keep in mind that this book was out far before the Black Dahlia Avenger book was.” I don’t know if that is true. I’d nurse a healthy skepticism about Browne and Short’s supposed conversation. It is more likely that Browne read about the suspect Dr. Hodel before she published the book as this wasn’t new information in the media.

Casting further doubt on her character, in 1992, Browne and her then-husband Kenzil Dalzell Brown were indicted on charges of investment fraud and grand theft. Browne and her husband sold securities in a gold-mining venture under false pretenses. In one instance, they told a couple that their $20,000 investment was for the mine’s operating costs, then transferred the money to an account for the Nirvana browneFoundation for Psychic Research.  They received one year probation and Browne was given 200 hours of community service, a pittance compared to giving people such as the Hornbecks’ years of emotional anguish.

The convenience about channeling Short however is that Browne doesn’t need to prove the validity of their conversation. Short’s dead. She can’t object to anything Browne says they discussed. Perhaps that’s the way Browne should have directed her career; conversing with dead people and not devastating those who are living.





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