She Hears Dead People

A woman who becomes “suddenly psychic” turns “curse” into a gift.

Posted Jun 30, 2013

Jessica Lunsford was third-grader in Homosassa, Florida, with big plans to become a fashion designer. Then one night in February 2005, she went missing from the doublewide mobile home where she lived with her father and grandparents. Although there was no sign of a struggle, a stuffed purple dolphin was missing from Jessica’s room and the front door was unlocked.

Unfortunately, there were several potential suspects among the area’s known sexual predators. Among them was John Couey, 46, who resided 100 yards from the Lunsfords. Police questioned him and even went into the room where he was holding Jessica captive, but they didn’t see or hear anything related to her.

Authorities finally arrested Couey on March 17, whereupon he confessed to kidnapping Jessica while high on drugs. He’d kept her in a closet for several days before tricking her into getting inside some large garbage bags and then burying her. Jessica's remains were found on March 19. An autopsy indicated that she’d been sexually assaulted and had died from suffocation.

Laine Crosby’s experience as an “investigative medium” began with this case. She suddenly sensed one day, as if she were inside the grave, that a little girl was buried alive and needed help. But the searchers weren’t looking in the right place. Laine was screaming, but no one could hear. “I’m so close,” she writes, “it’s almost as if I’m an overlay, a varnish on a picture.”

Laine wanted to inform the police, fax them a map, anything to help, but her husband persuaded her that they would ignore her or think she was a kook or had guilty knowledge. When Jessica’s remains were found, and Couey admitted he’d buried her alive, Crosby resolved that she’d never hesitate again, no matter what anyone thought. She’s convinced she might have saved the girl.

I met Laine through Mark and Carol Nesbitt, whom I’ve known through my paranormal investigations. Mark was featured in my book, Ghost: Investigating the Other Side, and I’ve often stayed in the “Ghost House” where his Ghosts of Gettysburg office is located. Together, we wrote Blood and Ghosts: Paranormal Forensic Investigators. Laine became part of some of those stories, because we crossed paths at certain sites and she gave us some readings on several incidents.

For example, at the Winery at La Grange in Haymarket, Virginia, large dark stains on the hardwood floor of a third-floor room suggested the presence of blood. In one area, it took the shape of a body that had bled out, and in another area there seemed to have been a bloody struggle. (I’m not psychic and I could see this.) The new owners knew of no violent incidents there, but they did have a few ghost stories. 

I watched as Laine had a conversation with a man who’d died (I heard only her side). Apparently, he was still in the room. The victim described a struggle with his brother-in-law, who’d shot him twice. He lay dying for a long time, he said, and his body went undiscovered in that room for five days. He gave a name and year, but we never found records.

Laine also performed remote viewing for us when she couldn’t come along on a trip, and during this time, she’d told us she was writing a book about her experiences. Now it’s done. Investigative Medium – the Awakening has been published. I was eager to read it.

In 2004, Laine moved from Atlanta, GA, to a haunted house on a former plantation in Maryland. Besides going through culture shock, she soon learned that the property was loaded with spirits, largely from a slave cemetery. When they overheard her tell her kids about spiritual realities, they came calling. Lots of them.

The chaos finally settles down as Laine finds people who can help her to learn more about her spiritual talent, as well as about the history of her new abode.

This book is the first in a series as it describes Laine’s developing ability to absorb the complex details of a decedent’s life story. One spirit in particular, Janette, offers up a long tale about love, family, and slavery. She appears to have had a similar tussle with racism and sexism from her 19th-century circumstances to Laine’s struggle with prejudices against her spiritual abilities. So, the two stories are parallel.

The second book, which is excerpted at the end, looks to be more along the lines of Ghost Whisperer, but The Awakening lays the groundwork. It introduces readers to Laine’s family, her sudden psychic abilities, and her involvement in the process of her mother’s dying, as well as in the stories of people who once lived (or fought a battle) on the plantation grounds. Watching how her gifts affect her family is its own intriguing narrative.

Laine’s talents are well suited to helping historians, historical writers, taphophiles, cold case detectives, and missing-persons organizations. I expect that her books will bring her plenty of new inquiries.