A police chief’s guidance to the grieving: Go see a medium

BARRINGTON, R.I. (AP) — A police chief in Rhode Island gives out some unorthodox advice for those who have lost a loved one: Seek a connection to the afterlife by meeting with a medium.

John LaCross, the police chief in the Providence suburb of Barrington, lost his 21-year-old brother Joey to suicide nearly 40 years ago. Seeking comfort, he began meeting with people calling themselves mediums, but it wasn’t until 2000 that he met someone he says gave him evidence of an afterlife.

Years later, he met with another medium who he says correctly described his brother’s timing and cause of death, down to the manner: hanging. “But can you give me his name?” LaCross said he asked.

“It’s a J name; Joseph,” LaCross said the medium responded.

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After that, he started keeping his brother’s picture in his patrol car, talking to him and asking him for signs. Later, a different medium, he said, confirmed his brother was sending him messages.

LaCross said that medium called him out of the blue after a year of no contact — just after LaCross had asked his brother whether he was on the right spiritual path — with a message from his brother that yes, he was.

It wasn’t the evidence he usually dealt with as a cop — wiretaps, witness corroboration, fingerprints — but it was enough to convince LaCross. Now, after waiting several months until they have absorbed the loss, he recommends mediums to people he judges are in pain and would be open to the idea.

“More than half the time people come back and they tell me they are thankful that they went to see a medium,” LaCross said.

One of them is Dan Converse, who lost his teenage son to a car accident 10 years ago. LaCross delivered the news.

“My wife just dropped to the ground,” Converse said. “I looked into her eyes and knew she was in a dark place. When we got home, she curled up in a fetal position in our dead son’s bed.”

Later, when Converse called LaCross for updates on the investigation, he suggested that Maureen Hancock, the medium who correctly identified his brother’s manner of death, might be able to help them cope.

“I never believed in mediums before, but now I do believe there is an afterlife, that I am still connected to my son spiritually and that we will meet again,” said Converse, now 60. “I’m not afraid of death anymore.”

Hancock said in an interview, “When the…

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