A jury found a Manhattan psychic guilty on Friday of swindling two women out of $138,000 in a case that probed the fine distinction between providing an unusual service and running a confidence scheme.
The fortune teller, Sylvia Mitchell, 39, who plied her trade at the opulent Zena Clairvoyant psychic shop on Seventh Avenue South in Greenwich Village, scowled as the verdict was read, reaching up only once to dab an eye.
After the verdict, Justice Gregory Carro of Manhattan Supreme Court said he considered Ms. Mitchell, who lives with her two teenage children in Connecticut, a flight risk and ordered her held in jail. She faces up to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced on Oct. 29.
Outside the courtroom, Ms. Mitchell’s longtime companion, Steve Eli, had sharp words with her defense lawyer, William Aronwald. “You should have let her testify,” he said as he walked away. “You should have let her testify.”
After deliberating for six hours over two days, the jury convicted Ms. Mitchell on 10 counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud. The jury found her not guilty on five other grand larceny counts.
During a weeklong trial, prosecutors portrayed Ms. Mitchell as a clever swindler who preyed on distraught people, promising them that she could alleviate their troubles through prayer and meditation to remove what she called “negative energy” and rectify problems that arose from their “past lives.”
- NYC psychic on trial on charges of conning clients (miamiherald.com)
- NYC psychic on trial on charges of conning clients (azstarnet.com)
- Manhattan Psychic Unable to Predict Grand Larceny Charge (observer.com)
- NYC psychic on trial on charges of conning clients (newsday.com)
- NYC psychic on trial on charges of conning clients (heraldonline.com)
- NYC psychic on trial on charges of conning clients (nbc-2.com)
- Trial Begins For Manhattan Psychic Accused Of Duping Desperate Customers (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Psychic accused of scamming clients out of tens of thousands (huffingtonpost.com)
- Another psychic life coach on trial for swindling (doubtfulnews.com)
- Customers of Psychic Gave Her Thousands to See Their Past Lives (gawker.com)
- Sicko Conspiracy Sociopaths Harass Man Who Sheltered Kids During Sandy Hook Massacre (theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com)
- Gene Rosen, Sandy Hook Hero, Harassed By Conspiracy Theorists Who Claim He’s An Actor (huffingtonpost.com)
- This man helped save six children, is now getting harassed for it (salon.com)
- Grandfather who comforted Sandy Hook Elementary kids says ‘truthers’ are targeting him (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Conspiracy theorists claim Sandy Hook tragedy is elaborate government hoax (vancouversun.com)
- Meet The Sandy Hook Truthers (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Sandy Hook Hero Harassed By Pro-Gun ‘Truthers’ (addictinginfo.org)
- Newtown school massacre a ‘hoax to tighten gun laws’ (thestar.com)
- ‘Sandy Hook Truthers’ claim Newtown school massacre a hoax to spur gun control measures (news.nationalpost.com)
This man helped save six children, is now getting harassed for it
Gene Rosen sheltered six kids during the Sandy Hook massacre. Now he’s become a target of conspiracy theorists
By Alex Seitz-Wald
“I don’t know what to do,” sighed Gene Rosen. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’” Someone posted a photo of his house online. There have been phony Google+ and YouTube accounts created in his name, messages on white supremacist message boards ridiculing the “emotional Jewish guy,” and dozens of blog posts and videos “exposing” him as a fraud. One email purporting to be a business inquiry taunted: “How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What…
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- Conspiracy theory’s final frontier: Iran’s Ahmadinejad and ‘The Fonz’? (dangerousminds.net)
- Conspiracy theorising in the wake of the Newtown shooting (illuminutti.com)
The media lookalikes conspiracy meme started by Ed Chiarini of WellAware1, which I’ve covered here and here, is getting out of control. I thought it was restricted to the fringiest fringe of conspiranoid kooksters, but the picture below has gone viral in a minor way among conspiracy folks, even ending up on Snopes along with other Sandy Hook-related weirdness. On one Facebook page alone, it has received well over 1500 likes, and roughly half the commenters seem to think the whole media lookalikes theory could have some validity (the other half are dumbfounded that anyone would fall for it).
Yes, Nick and Laura Phelps are real people. Obviously. They live in Newtown, Connecticut. They have two children enrolled at Sandy Hook Elementary, and in news reports they have mentioned that they don’t know how to explain the shooting to them.
Seriously, people, why would the media need fake
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On December 14th, 2012, 26 people, most of them young children, were killed in a shooting spree at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Unconfirmed rumours about the identity and motives of the person responsible immediately began to be passed around, and later retracted, by the news media; however, as I write this, police are still trying to piece together exactly how the tragedy came to happen. It will likely be some time before the relevant authorities are able to gather and verify all the facts, and make the details available to the public.
For some conspiracy theorists, though, no further explanation is needed. They already know what caused the shooting: It was the U.S. government – the same government which, they say, was behind other horrific shootings such as those at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, a Sikh…
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