For the New York Times, Michael Wilson interviews long-time New York City detective Michael McFadden on the subject of psychics, people who visit psychics, and the reasons they visit them. Writes Mr. Wilson,
In fairness to honest psychics, [Detective McFadden] did not suggest that every psychic has criminal intent. But he knows more about the ones who do.
He said fraud schemes like the one Ms. Delmaro is accused of running were not uncommon, and probably more widespread than anyone knew — although they typically involved smaller amounts. Victims feel duped and ashamed and don’t always come forward.
There are three types of people who approach a psychic, Detective McFadden said.
“You’re curious, you’ve never done it,” he said. Or a group of friends go together, for fun. “It’s a goof,” he said.
“And then you have people who are in crisis,” he said. “They’re very vulnerable.” A disreputable psychic latches onto this customer, promising aid and urging a follow-up visit.
An earlier article discussed the particular case of a Manhattan man who visited Ms. Delmaro, whom he says defrauded him eventually of more than $700,000 after promising him that the woman he loved would return his affection. She died sometime during the period that Ms. Delmaro was providing psychic services. The man finally sought the assistance of a private detective, then went to police, after he lost his job and his money. Police arrested Ms. Delmaro, and she is now awaiting trial on grand larceny charges. She denies the accusations.