A version of this post was published at Doubtful News.
by Bo Gardiner
Psychic Lisa Lanno (left) interviewed on PBS
Connecticut media needs remedial critical thinking training. Earlier this month, Connecticut Public Radio aired a bizarre and unquestioning interview with “psychic detectives” who made outrageously false claims about their supposed help to authorities in finding missing people. Now more news of Connecticut broadcasters’ obsession with psychics emerges. “Spiritual medium”
Lisa Lanno is best known for appearing weekly on a Hartford, CT, Fox TV morning “news” show called “Medium Monday.” In December 2012, Lanno was rather disappointingly invited on PBS station WGBY’s nightly public affairs program “Connecting Point” to discuss communication with the dead. She was joined by the mother of murdered 20-year-old Amanda Plasse, about a year after the August 2011 crime. The killer’s identity was still unknown, and the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction had recently been upped to $10,000. Carrie Saldo was the show’s host:
CS: The 2011 murder of Chicopee resident Amanda Plasse remains unsolved… Recently [Amanda’s mother Michelle] Mathieson teamed up with medium Lisa Lanno to see if that would result in any new information…
MM: Nothing right now. No… no leads.
CS: No new information since…
Psychic Lanno is incoherent in her attempt to explain her failure:
LL: [Amanda] will give me some validations that are very specific, and I’ll bring them to her mother… I’ll ask Michelle, “Does that make sense to you? Does that make sense to you?” And even if I don’t know exactly what’s going on, she will tell me “Yes, that makes sense.” Because in order to do this type of work, I have to validate with her that these things make sense. Because otherwise—people should be skeptical, it’s good, you should be. So it’s my job to prove it and say “Does this make sense to you?” And when she says, “Yes, that makes sense…”
CS: [Interrupting] So, Lisa, in terms of information that Amanda has communicated to you, do you feel that you’ve received any information that might help lead to the person who murdered Amanda?
LL: Good question. She’s given me a lot of information, but there’s not necessarily anything I can do personally with that information. It’s a big puzzle. What I see may make sense to Michelle, it may make sense to the police, but I don’t have the authority to go in and arrest somebody…
CS: Well, of course.
LL: And if you think about it, it’s all a big puzzle. If any medium were able to get every little speck of information… our lives would be in danger, and then there’d be no need for police…
Lanno did go on to say that Amanda had revealed her interest in sunflowers, tattoos and Pink Floyd. Another year later, an arrest was finally made in November 2013. Amanda had filed a police report of a burglary before her death, which led police to obtain DNA evidence on the man she suspected of being the burglar:
A state police report made public in March stated that DNA evidence led investigators to Rosa-Roman, whom Plasse suspected of breaking into her apartment several weeks before she was killed.
A third year passes. And as usual, the psychic’s story has evolved into something unrecognizable and bigger than life. Lanno claimed yesterday in a TV interview that she did help the police find Plasse’s killer: The interview, billed as one in which “Lanno discusses how she assists investigators in such cases,” was by Theresa Dufour on WTNH, a Connecticut CBS affiliate. Dufour introduces the segment with a highly questionable claim of her own: Continue reading