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Gerard Croiset born Gerard Boekbinder (March 10, 1909 – July 20, 1980) was a Dutch parapsychologist, psychometrist and psychic. He was often asked to help police detectives trace missing persons, though authenticated successes were few, and compared against the failures, his success rate was ruled no better than chance.
Croiset was born in Laren, North Holland, in 1909. He said he began to become aware of his gifts while a youth working for a watch repairer, and that on one occasion he held a ruler belonging to his employer and saw events which he related to his employer and which his employer confirmed were accurate.
After World War II, Croiset was sometimes consulted by Dutch police authorities for cases involving missing persons, or murder. On one occasion he was said to have examined the property of a murdered woman, and provided accurate information relating to her murder, and also gave the name of her murderer. The name matched a man who was being held in connection with the crime. He gained a reputation as a reliable consultant in the area of missing persons, and his fame extended beyond the Netherlands, as anecdotes about his abilities came to be discussed in other countries. He also gained a reputation as a psychic healer, and would allow people to visit him in his clinic for healing sessions.
Missing persons cases
In 1966, he was invited to Australia to aid in an investigation relating to the disappearance of the three Beaumont children, who had disappeared without trace from a beach in Adelaide, South Australia. Although police were skeptical, his expenses were paid by the wealthy property tycoon Con Polites, who was interested in the case, and publicity was such that Croiset's ideas were thought to be worthy of consideration. During his brief stay in Australia, he attracted widespread publicity but failed to find any trace of the missing children.
In January 1970, Croiset participated in the investigation of the kidnapping of Muriel McKay, the wife of publishing tycoon Rupert Murdoch's Deputy Chairman Alick McKay. Croiset was asked by a McKay family friend, Eric Cutler, to help locate her. Croiset said that she was in a white farmhouse in the north or north-east of London, and that nearby to her was another farm and an abandoned aerodrome. He claimed that if she was not found within 14 days she would be dead. Her body was never found. Brothers Arthur and Nazimoodeen Hosein were convicted of her murder—the first case in British history of a murder conviction without a body.
During the mid 1970s, Croiset was invited to Puerto Rico to find two missing children of a local businessman. He concluded that the children were no longer on an "earthly plane" and could offer no clues. He was also asked to locate a missing woman in Scotland, and once again failed to provide any clues.
His well-publicised failures tarnished Croiset's reputation during his later years. In 1973, two little children were kidnapped by their father in Haute-Savoie (France). In 1976, Gérard Croiset declared briefly by phone: "They are in Italy". The mother observed that the father didn't speak Italian. During a second phone call, Croiset's secretary said that he couldn't do anything more in this case. After having lived with his girls in Spain and Germany, the father was arrested in France in 1979. Some time later, the children said they had visited friends in Italy just at that time their mother had spoken to Croiset.
In an allegedly successful case during May 1976, a Japanese television station flew Croiset from the Netherlands to Japan to see if he could help locate a missing seven-year-old girl. After being shown a picture of the missing girl, Miwa Kikuchi, Croiset stated that she was dead "on the surface of a lake near her home and near a quay for boats near a yellow protruding structure". The girl's body was later recovered floating in the reservoir near a quay for rowing boats and a water supply tower, which was painted yellow. Although the press were astounded at Croiset's paranormal abilities, some policemen stated that they would have found the girl's body without Croiset's help.
Croiset died in Utrecht in 1980, aged 71.
Croiset claimed he helped to solve the case of an assault of a girl in Wierden, the Netherlands. The Chief of Police of Wierden stated however, that the information by Croiset was inaccurate and his communications were not used in the case. He was investigated under controlled conditions by The Belgian Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Phenomena Reputed to be Paranormal and they did not find any evidence of psychic ability.
The skeptic James Lett has written:
The truth is that the overwhelming majority of Croiset’s predictions were either vague and nonfalsifiable or simply wrong. Given the fact that Croiset made thousands of predictions during his lifetime, it is hardly surprising that he enjoyed one or two chance “hits”.
The Dutch parapsychologist Wilhelm Tenhaeff has written Croiset had genuine psychic powers due to the information he had given in police cases. However it was discovered that much of Tenhaeff's data was fraudulent.
- Con artist
- Confidence trick
- Fortune telling fraud
- Houdini's debunking of psychics and mediums
- Ann O'Delia Diss Debar ("One of the most extraordinary fake mediums... the world has ever known" -Houdini)
- Televangelist Peter Popoff exposed by James Randi
- Bob Nygaard
- Boekbinder, Gerard (1909-1980), Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands
- Troy Lennon (25 January 2016). "Clairvoyant Gerard Croiset failed to crack the Beaumont case but gave rise to the 'psychic detective'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
- Casefile: True Crime Podcast. "Case 110: Muriel McKay". Retrieved 8 July 2019.
- Neher, Andrew (2011). Paranormal and Transcendental Experience: A Psychological Examination. Dover Publications. p. 221
- Clement, Stone and Browning, Norma (1964). The Other Side of the Mind. Prentice-Hall. p. 85
- Lennon, Troy (25 January 2016). "Clairvoyant Gerard Croiset failed to crack the Beaumont case but gave rise to the 'psychic detective'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
- Hoebens, Piet Hein (1981). "Gerard Croiset: Investigation of the Mozart of 'Psychic Sleuths' – Part I. Croiset and Professor Tenhaeff: Discrepancies in Claims of Clairvoyance (Part II)". Skeptical Inquirer. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. VI (1 (Part I), 2 (Part II)): 17–28 (Part I), 32–40 (Part II). Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- A Field Guide to Critical Thinking, James Lett.
- Hoebens, Piet Hein (1981). 'Gerard Croiset: Investigation of the Mozart of "Psychic Sleuths"'. Skeptical Inquirer 6, nº 1: 18–28. Hoebens, Piet Hein (1982). 'Croiset and Professor Tenhaeff: Discrepancies in Claims of Clairvoyance'. Skeptical Inquirer 6, nº 2: 32–40.
Media related to Gerard Croiset at Wikimedia Commons
- BOEKBINDER, Gerard (1909-1980) Dutch language entry in scholarly biographical dictionary