At the age of 65, Dorothy Alison announced she would not live to see 75. In 1999, four weeks before her 75th birthday, she died of heart failure.
When Dorothy was 14, she had a vision of her father’s death. He died of pneumonia a few weeks later. Neighbors thought she was a witch. Her mother knew better. She told her daughter she had a special gift. One she should use for good and never for profit.
In 1968 Dorothy dreamed a blonde boy in a green snowsuit had drowned in a pond. He was wearing his shoes on the wrong feet, and his body was stuck in a drainpipe. Dorothy told the Nutley Police Department about her grim visions. Shortly afterward, they found the body of a young boy in a drainpipe. He matched Dorothy’s description perfectly.
She became known as a psychic detective. During her lifetime, she participated in more than 5,000 cases. Dorothy claimed she helped detectives locate 250 bodies.
During the 1974 Patty Hearst kidnapping, Dorothy predicted the two cities the newspaper heiress was being held in. And she predicted that Patty would rob a bank with her captors.
Dorothy also gave a spot on description of the “Son of Sam” killer. And she predicted how a traffic violation would lead to his arrest.
Yet despite her successes, Dorothy had her fair share of critics and failures. She failed to help solve the Atlanta child killings. She suggested 42 names to the police which could help identify the killer. Every single name was a dead end. One detective called her a charlatan. He claimed she led them on a wild goose chase to promote her book.
Journalist Joe Nickell insisted no crimes were ever solved by psychics. He says they simply make a logical assumption and call it a psychic prediction. He also accuses psychics of forcing the facts to fit a prediction after they become known.
Yet Nutley Police Department’s chief Robert DeLitta insisted Dorothy was the real deal. He said she gave invaluable help on many occasions.
Dorothy chose to ignore the skeptics. Being called a ‘fake’ and a ‘sham’ was like water off a duck’s back for her.
While not everyone believed in Dorothy’s abilities, she wasn’t in it for the money. She always refused to take compensation for her work with police departments around the country. She said it would be “blood money.”