Croiset, Gerard - Death in the woods of Arnhem
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Croiset the Clairvoyant - Jack Harrison Pollack
CASE S-Death in the Woods
The semi-nude body of a seventeen-year-old girl was found on May 23, 1950, outside Arnhem, Holland, a lovely garden city on the Rhine, which was a bloody Allied-Nazi battle-ground during World War II.
The girl's body indicated that she had had sexual intercourse before she died. Police questioned many suspects without any results. Finally, they phoned Professor Tenhaeff asking whether Croiset could throw any light upon the man who was last with her.
On Sunday, August 5, a tape-recorded session was held at Arnhem police headquarters. Some of the dead girl's clothes and knick-knacks were on the table to be used as inductors for the clairvoyant, who was told only that a body was involved-nothing more. Everyone present maintained a neutral, noncommittal attitude.
After touching the girl's clothes, Gerard Croiset said, "I have an image of a young girl . . fair-haired . . . her hair is hanging down to her shoulders. She is a schoolgirl . . . in a secondary school. I see her in a seat near the window. She can see the street from her desk." (This description of the girl's appearance and school seat was correct.)
Suddenly, Croiset startled everyone by lying down on the floor. "She was found lying down like this in a wooded area," he exclaimed. "Near her hand was a small post." [Correct. She was found lying in precisely that position, but the police hadn't noticed any such boundary mark.)
"My breathing is becoming more difficult. Was she strangled?" inquired Croiset. [Incorrect. Police originally believed that the girl had been strangled because of two spots on her neck. But an autopsy proved that she wasn't.)
"In the immediate vicinity where the girl was found, there was a bike belonging to her." [Correct.]
After describing a young man who was not the guilty person, but had only dated the girl, Croiset continued, "Now I see a straw hat before me, which reminds me of Lou Bandy [a prominent Dutch variety artist who wore the familiar straw hat like Maurice Chevalier's). This means that the man I see is connected with show business. [Correct. When X, the 'culprit,' was later found, he proved to be a member of an amateur-theatrical company.)
"Now I have a picture of Heck's tearoom in Arnhem. It has some connection with this man. [Correct. X's sister worked in this tearoom.)
"Now I see the girl again. She is on a date. Until now, she has not gone out with him for a long time. I see him wearing a badge. And also a khaki-colored shirt. He hates tight collars because they hurt him. They must be very loose around his neck." Croiset then gestured with his fingers, indicating how a man makes a tight-fitting collar feel looser. [Correct. X was a former acquaintance of the girl. After losing touch with him, she re-encountered him. He wore a badge given to him after participating in the four-day marches. He detested wearing collars, which discomforted him because of his very sensitive neck.)
"This girl enjoyed going out with boys. She often did. [Correct.] She excited them sexually, but at the last moment, would withdraw. This time, however, she went further than with the others. [Correct.]
"She indulged in all kinds of sexual fantasies. She was sexually over-excited and this over-excitement was shown in her dreams." [Correct.]
Croiset then supplied some precise data about the girl's bleeding. Then he asked, "Was this girl treated by a doctor? [Correct.) Something was wrong with her heart. [Correct.)
Now I see the man again. How strange. Has this man an abnormally big genital organ?" Croiset described, in vivid detail, X's sex organs.
Then the clairvoyant switched to another physical characteristic of X: "I also get the impression that he walks with a slight limp. [Correct.] One leg is a little shorter than the other."
Now turning his inner vision back to the girl, Croiset asked, "Is her father connected with education? [Correct).
Is he a headmaster? I see a school building. But something is the matter with this man. [Correct.] It wouldn't surprise me if his conduct gave rise to all kinds of gossip. I have a stick in my hand, and now beat time with it. Is the father connected with music? (The girl's father occasionally conducted choirs.)
"About one hour before her death the girl saw her father, [Correct.] I have a clear picture of that. This father did not understand his daughter very well." [Correct.]
Several hours after this session, the police, Croiset, and Dr. Tenhaeff drove to the spot where the girl's body was found. On the way, Croiset suddenly stopped his car and said: "This was where she saw her father for the last time. This is the girl's position and here the boy's position. And here's where the father was. I hear people singing." (These place indications proved remarkably correct.)
Dr. Tenhaeff later elucidated: "Accompanied by X, the girl had passed the spot where her father had conducted a choir. They had listened to his performance for a while, and then bicycled on. A witness who had notified the police saw her standing on this spot on the afternoon of May 23. But not knowing or seeing X, he did not mention X's presence.
Based upon this witness' statement, originally the detectives only knew that the girl had been on this spot. Croiset's statement about X was believed by the police to be incorrect, however, Croiset insisted that X had also been present. Four months later in December, X's admission confirmed the correctness of Croiset's image."
Getting back in the car, the investigators drove to the bicycling path. After the car was parked, they walked along the path, Croiset advancing about twenty meters ahead of the others. Suddenly he stopped, indicated a cleared grass area and asked: "What was that blue car doing here? Near this car, a man and a woman were lying in the grass." A detective admitted that shortly after the girl's body was found, a man and woman were encountered making love in the grass. And they had driven there in a blue car.
Croiset then disappeared in the woods. But he quickly returned and informed the group that he had located the spot where the girl's body was found. Near this spot-which he correctly indicated-there was a national ground stake, a provincial boundary mark. Originally this post had not been noticed by the detectives because it seemed to have no significance in the case. In fact, after the session at police headquarters, Croiset was told that this stake did not exist. But Croiset kept insisting it was there. Now, he triumphantly pointed out the post which had escaped the detectives' notice.
"When we realize that the word 'post' reminds Croiset of an event which occurred when he was twenty years old, it becomes clear why this post-even though of no police value-was seen by him," explains Dr. Tenhaeff.
The clairvoyant also accurately indicated the spots, without being asked, where the girl's white shoe and broken belt were found. Similarly, he showed the tree against which her bicycle had been parked and even the position of the bicycle.
- After leaving the scene of the girl's death, the group drove back in Croiset's car toward Zevenaat about ten miles away.
While driving, Croiset was led by a "directional sense" like that observed among animals and primitive peoples. He was convinced it would enable him to discover the man's residence. Later, the police confirmed that Croiset's directional sense was correct. Unfortunately, a suggestion made to him during the ride by a detective threw him off his course, blurring his images and confusing him. "Had this not occurred," says Professor Tenhaeff, "Croiset would probably have discovered the house of X, in whose immediate neighborhood we were and it would have saved the police many hours of searching."
When the police finally found X, they learned that he was a twenty year-old cook who occasionally used a big red basting syringe in the kitchen which prompted Croiset's image of an abnormally large genital organ. As a boy, he had been run over by a streetcar and, as a result, had a slight limp, as the paragnost had said.
Other information furnished by Croiset about X also proved to be correct. But the word "culprit" used by Croiset was wrong. X did not murder the girl. She died from heart failure during intercourse with him, the police investigation revealed, which explains the clairvoyant’s image of her heart difficulty.