Sunday, 12 October 2008

Out, damn'd spot! Out I say!

It turns out everything is connected.

For example, only a handful of weeks after writing a post on New Delhi's Monkey Man, this news story made it's way on to the BBC website. (Gee Note: Special thanks to Jenny from Generation Minus One for taking the time out of her hectic schedule to mail me the link. I owe you a breakfast.) Sadly despite the title of the video, this Monkey Man is a guy in a mask walking around half naked on all fours in order to, um, scare off other monkeys. It turns out that people actually get paid for doing that. I should really think about a career change.

Another example, remember when I was talking about how, unfortunately, a local murder is often the most interesting story of the year? Well blow me down if this news story from a couple of years ago hasn't gone and resurfaced.

Basically, for those of who are far too busy to click on the link provided, a man named Neil Davies was murdered with his own ceremonial oriental knife after an argument with his wife Kelly during a family barbecue back in 2007. Kelly Davies was promptly arrested and charged with homicide in the first degree and despite being unable to recall any of the events of the evening, and having previously threatened to stab Neil only two weeks before, she was found not guilty by a jury on May 18th of that year. Since then no further arrests have been made in relation to the case.

The reason why this is back in the local headlines is thanks to a medium named Austin Charles (Gee Note: Oooh wait. I'm feeling a.... a presence in the room. It's saying... wait.... it's saying that “Austin Charles” may be a made up name, and that his real name is probably something really dull like Brian Smith. Wait... I'm losing them...).

Austin's claim to fame is that, according to the proud boast on his website, he once appeared on a program called “Britain's Psychic Challenge” in which eight charlatans Psychic Mediums duked it out in a range of challenges to determine which, if any of them, had contacts on the other side. And to be fair to the chap he did rather well. Not as well as the two other psychics that finished above him, pushing him down in to third place. But, you know, being the third most reliable psychic out of eight isn't bad is it?

Anyway the story goes that Mr. Charles was performing at the Neath British Legion, his home town venue which attracted some 200 people. One of those people that night was none other than Kelly Davies. Austin singled Kelly out and after presumably asking Mrs Davies if she knew someone called “Jim” or “John”, suddenly blurted out that she would be accused of something horrendous but that she was innocent and that it would all sort itself out in the end. Now both Austin Charles and Kelly Davies have confirmed this to be true. Which, let's face it, is very interesting because only two nights later Neil Davies lay bleeding to death on his kitchen floor.

Now the reason all this is being brought to light is that last week Austin Charles gave an interview to “The Big Issue”, a current affairs magazine whose profits are used to help out Britain's homeless population. During the interview Austin was quoted as saying:

“I had to give a message to a woman that I didn't like saying. I was in Neath, my home town, at the legion, and I felt very uncomfortable. It was a lesson for me that things are said for a reason. The message was that she was going to be in court and blamed for something she hadn't done, but it would be okay. Two days later, on the news, I saw she had been arrested and charged with the murder of her husband. It was the famous barbecue murder in Neath.”

Things are said for a reason indeed. But if this was said for any other reason than for Charles to use someone's violent death to promote himself then I'm afraid he's done a really poor job of conveying it. Because, alas, that's how Neil Davies' mother Julie Chapman saw it.

She of course was contacted by a local reporter and issued a statement saying that, you know, it was a pretty low thing to do. “There is a police investigation ongoing and I think he should leave things for the police to decide.” were her exact words.

Charles responded by apologising and saying that he never meant to cause any offence, before going on to say that “I can understand what she's saying about the inquiry, but it's not going to make any difference, because the police don't listen to what I have to say.”

Which kind of jars with Austin's own website, which declares on it's homepage that he “has also worked on unsolved murder cases....”. Which may be true. But if it is then I'm afraid it obviously hasn't been in any kind of official capacity.

And so what can we learn from all this?

Well apart from the dubious nature of Mediumship in general (Gee Note: I watched an episode of “Crossing Over with John Edward” earlier on this afternoon. Even they have to start the show with a disclaimer that basically reads like a “please, don't end up taking this seriously and sue us for false advertising.”), and the obvious lack of closure for both Kelly Davies and Julie Chapman there is one major point to take on board if you're a budding medium. If you're going to try and promote yourself be very careful about what you say. Because you may end making yourself look a lot worse in the process.

And as a medium, not to see that coming would be very foolish indeed.


Naveed said...

I've always had a hard time trusting mediums. It's one of those things that I need to witness in person as opposed to on TV.

Speaking of mediums I wonder if that one in Australia will have her UFO prediction come true?

Gee said...

Well we're well in to Tuesday here and no "Breaking News" broadcast from Alabama. What's the news that side of the Atlantic?