Last June, things got pretty busy around Joe Banks and Gena Charlton's farmhouse in Hardin, what with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, the FBI, DPS and a half-dozen media outlets stopping by, as you see in the AP video above.
What were they looking for? A mass grave containing 25 to 30 dismembered bodies, of course, which they had on good authority was somewhere on the remote Banks/Charlton property. Their tipster was a 48-year-old self-proclaimed psychic grandmother who went by the name of "Angel."As Angel later told Houston TV station KHOU, she informed the police from the outset that her information was divinely inspired. "I am a reverend," she said. "I am a prophet and I get my information from Jesus and the angels. I told them that I had 32 angels with me and they were giving me the information and then it went from there."
But when the cops went out to check on Angel's tip, no bodies were found. Who could have predicted that? (Besides Angel. Clearly.)Just to be sure, I checked the June 9, 2012 KHOU news account of this search:
HOUSTON -- Detectives said it was a tip from a psychic that led them to a home in Liberty County searching for a mass grave that did not exist, and now the woman who phoned in the information is telling her side of the story.
“I was calling to have a welfare check on three live children,” said the 48-year-old woman, who only wanted to be identified by her nickname Angel. “Everything pretty much got blown out of proportion.”How did "a welfare check on three live children" turn into "mass grave containing 25 to 30 dismembered bodies"? That's a bit more than blowing something out of proportion.
I realize that police need to look into every plausible lead concerning a serious crime--but how did this qualify as a plausible lead? Was it a slow day in Liberty County?