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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this crime investigation show is about real murders and involves psychics talking explicitly about violent attacks. Graphic images of real crime-scene photos include blood and murder weapons, and violent attacks are dramatized. Most re-enactments stop short of showing a weapon's impact or physical contact during a sexual assault, but they're intense enough that younger viewers should stay away.
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What's the story?
When brutal homicides are left unsolved, families and police are sometimes willing to try unusual methods to bring them closer to the truth. In SENSING MURDER, practiced psychics Pam Coronado and Laurie Campbell help investigators gather new leads and gain fresh perspectives on cold cases. Through interviews with family members and police -- along with some dramatized events -- viewers learn about cases that often involve extreme violence and lots of unanswered questions.
Is it any good?
Due to the show's graphic images and descriptions of real crime scenes (including blood spatter) and the re-enactments of brutal attacks (including scenes alluding to rape), sensitive viewers and young folks should stay away. One episode, for example, investigates the death of a young college student who was beaten with a baseball bat and then transported by her attacker to an alley. She was eventually found there by police, only to die later in the hospital. The Boulder, Colorado, police call Coronado and Campbell in at the urging of the victim's family. Working separately (so as not to influence each other), Campbell -- a self-professed medium who says she communicates with members of the "other side -- and Coronado, a psychic who claims to see visual postcards of past events, aid police to help solve the crime.
While the pair's observations don't amount to a major breakthrough in the case, their ideas do help police see the crime through fresh eyes. Whether or not viewers believe in psychics (and certainly, much of what Campbell and Coronado recount seems pulled from general suspect-profiling information), it's fascinating to watch them work -- and see how each woman comes up with remarkably similar stories without knowing any details about the case.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their beliefs about extra-sensory perception. Do you believe in psychics or ESP? Do you know anyone who claims to have psychic powers? Do you think involving psychics in criminal investigations can be helpful? Why or why not? Why do you think there are so many crime-related shows on television (both reality programs and dramas)? Why are viewers fascinated by such dark topics?