Back in the mid-‘80s, we were gathering material for a magazine article on psychic detectives when our friend Renie Wiley, a psychic detective herself, said we should talk to a man named George Hardy.
George was living in Davie, Florida, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale when we visited him one evening. He told us a disturbing story about his involvement with the Boston Strangler case. I’ve never forgotten what he said, and I have no reason to believe that he was making up the story.
When we asked why him how he’d gotten involved in working with the police, he said that the faces of killers haunted his thoughts when he heard about a crime. If he was watching television or listening to the radio and a story came on about a missing person or an unsolved murder case, he would suddenly know things he shouldn’t know, and see how things happened.
In the aftermath of a south Florida murder case in 1971, Hardy showed up at a police station and said he had information about the murder of George and Ino Jo Beck aboard their 57-foot catamaran that was docked in Dania, Florida. Hardy described for Dania police the interior of the ship perfectly and gave a reasonable account of the crime. The murder weapon, he said, was a hammer, wrapped in a curtain ripped from a window on the boat and buried behind the killer’s house.
Then Hardy described the killer as a man living near Griffin Road, who drove a bright yellow car and also owned a blue van. He limped on his left leg. The surprised police chief said he knew the man Hardy was talking about. He worked for the local government. When the man found out the psychic had pinpointed him in the murder, the suspect committed suicide a few days later. The police never found the weapon, though, in spite of digging up the man’s backyard.
Earlier, Hardy had volunteered to help detectives investigating the Boston Strangler murders. In all, 11 women in the Boston area were murdered in the early 1960s. He played a small role in the investigation, but the case changed his life. Hardy told us that he provided accurate details of related crime scenes that only authorities knew about. When he had told them all that he had seen in his visions, the police turned on him. They were baffled by the case and decided to find out if George Hardy was revealing visions or if he was the Boston Strangler and was telling them about his own deeds.
Hardy was interrogated at length, then given injections of “truth serum.” Sodium Pentothal is the best known drug used, but other psychoactive drugs have also been tested and Hardy thought he might’ve subjected to a drug cocktail of hypnotics and sedatives. In the aftermath, he suffered from a nervous disorder that continued for decades. When we talked him, in th mid-1980s, he was clearly upset about how the Boston police had treated him years earlier, and the physical after-effects.
George died Sept. 21, 2005 at the age of 78.