Fraud: The ‘Proud’ Legacy of Sylvia Browne

Written by Patrick Kane on December 4, 2013

Self proclaimed psychic and inexplicable celebrity Sylvia Browne was found dead at 77, Tuesday. She leaves behind only the wrinkled, painted visage of an ancient lizard witch, and a long list of dissatisfied clients. Despite her complete lack of criminology knowledge, Browne offered her psychic services to police departments all across the country. Browne would use her psychic abilities to give police invaluable information about cases, such as the first letter of a killer’s last name, or the location of a place where no crime ever occurred. Though a comprehensive survey showed Browne’s predictions to be incorrect a total of 115 times for 115 cases, Browne still boasted an impressive 85% success rate.

When not assisting the police, Browne offered psychic readings to her followers over the telephone. Preying on the grieving and bereaved, Browne offered a thirty minute reading over the phone at a charitable rate of only $850 ($1700 an hour). During these readings, Browne would give desperate mourners the names of their ‘guardian angels’ and the comforting thought that their loved ones are floating around with nothing better to do than talk to Sylvia Browne.

Though Browne publicly accepted skeptic James Randi’s infamous million dollar challenge to prove her paranormal powers live on the Larry King Show, the psychic would never follow through. Browne claimed that despite her psychic ability, she did not know how to get ahold of Randi to coordinate the test.

Below are just a few of Browne’s most notable accomplishments over the years:

1. Browne predicted she would die at 88 on the Larry King Show in May 2003, eleven years longer than she would actually end up living.

2. In 2004 Browne told mother of kidnapping victim Amanda Berry that her daughter was dead on national television. Berry would be found in 2013, but Berry’s mother would die before knowing this.

3. Hired to use her “gifts” after a mining accident, Browne reported that she, “knew (the miners) would be found” and that, “this was not a gloomy moment”. Though once it was discovered that all the miners were dead, Browne immediately changed her reading and claimed she knew they were dead all along.

4. Predicted that Bill Bradley would win the 2000 Presidential election. Who is that?Good question, Bradley would never make it past the primaries.

5. Predicted that Michael Jackson would be found guilty in his 2005 child molestation trail. Jackson would later be acquitted of all charges.

8. Claimed that Clinton was falsely accused in the Lewinsky scandal.

9. Predicted Bush would bring the troops home in 2007.

10. Told parents of missing boy Shawn Hornbeck their child was dead, and knew where his body was in 2003. Hornbeck would be found alive in 2007.

11. Indicted in 1992 for investment fraud and grand theft.

12. Predicted the death of Osama Bin Laden before 2011.

For those interested in psychic readings, please refer to the advice from legendary musician Scott Walker: “Look, don’t go to a mind reader; go to a palmist’ I know you’ve got a palm”.

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Follow the author, Patrick Kane at or on Twitter @PatVKane

Patrick Kane is a political activist based out of Boulder Colorado. He is currently employed by several of Colorado's preeminent think tanks and has worked in the liberty movement since he was fourteen. An aspiring writer, Patrick currently writes for Girls Just Want To Have Guns and Complete Colorado Page Two.