Peter Hurkos

The Psychic Who Got it Wrong

In the photo above, “psychic” Peter Hurkos is seen kneeling next to Sharon’s dried-up blood, with his wife Stephany in the background. The photo was taken on August 17, 1969.

Dutch clairvoyant Peter Hurkos (born Pieter van der Hurk) was a house painter until an accident in the 1940s changed his life forever. After falling from a ladder and suffering serious brain damage, Hurkos was in a coma for three days. When he awoke, he reported having developed supernatural powers, including the ability to see into the future and events in the past. With his newfound gifts, Hurkos became a celebrated figure.

Hurkos made headlines for his involvement in the infamous Tate murders, as Roman Polanski had asked for his help in identifying the perpetrators. Famed photographer Julian Wasser accompanied Roman Polanski to the Tate residence and took several photos of Polanski and the crime scene for a story in Life magazine.

Polanski gave several photos to Hurkos, hoping he could help find the killers. A week before the article ran in Life magazine, the photos appeared on the front page of Hollywood Citizen News. It turned out that Hurkos had sold his photos to the press, vibrations and all, as Tom O’Neill wrote in his book “Chaos”.

Hurkos made several predictions about the Tate murders. According to Hurkos, the murders were the result of a bizarre game that Tate and her companions had been playing. Hurkos claimed that the game involved contestants being asked when was the last time they had sexual relations, with the person admitting the longest lapse being hung from an overhead beam and beaten.

Hurkos also alleged that during this game, one of Tate’s companions experienced a bad trip and saw “a vision of the devil”, prompting them to go berserk and fatally attack Tate and the others. Hurkos claimed the victims were in a drugged stupor and could not resist.