“Hindsight is 20/20”. I don’t know a legitimate palmist who would have had the foresight to predict that the person who belongs to this hand-print would commit murder. The murderer allegedly left a bloody hand-print at the scene of the crime, which led to his conviction. I’ve read well over a hundred murderers, serial killers, and violent criminals in person and would not have predicted what most of them did from their hands. It’s a whole lot easier to look backwards to find clues, motives, and reasons for what we’ve done.
The following is a true story. I don’t have prints of my client’s hands. I’ve taken sections of prints and photos from other client’s hands to illustrate what I’m talking about.
Twenty-five or so years ago, I received a phone call from a man living somewhere in the boonies of industrial New Jersey. He learned about me from a newspaper article . He was friendly and effusive in his praise for my talents and abilities and volunteered that he had no problem with my fee. He wanted to come to Manhattan as soon as possible for a consultation. We set a date and time.
I was giving a lot of private readings in my East Village apartment at the time. After buzzing my client into the building, I stood outside of my apartment waiting for him to get off the elevator. As he stepped into my hallway, he stumbled and began pounding violently on the wall with his fists. I felt like shutting the door and telling him to go back to wherever he came from. He was a short, balding, middle age man who reminded me of David Berkowitz (Son of Sam). Being larger and stronger than he was, I figured I could easily overpower him if I had to. I cautiously and respectfully invited him in. As he entered my apartment, I placed my hands squarely on his shoulders and looked into his eyes. “Are you having a bad day?” I inquired. “I’m having a bad life.” he snapped back.
Rather than go through my usual process of printing his hands before reading them, I encouraged him to sit down and talk. I held his hands, palms up in mine, and carefully examined them as he spoke. He told me that he was a wonderful person who had never had a significant relationship, meaningful work, or good health. He was unemployed, deeply in debt, on food stamps, and very out of shape. It was obvious that he couldn’t afford my fee. We were both at the end of his rope. His long crooked middle finger, short index finger, and chewed down nails informed me that he was chronically depressed and in a very pessimistic place. It was no surprise that he had found no one to share his misery.
I could see from the way his chained heart line dipped down to touch the beginning of his head line that his head was in control of his heart. As a child, he had learned to rationalize, analyze, and compartmentalize his feelings in order to protect himself from his psychologically abusive parents. The long islanded connection at the beginning of his head and life lines revealed how hard he had striven for his parent’s approval, but that short index finger verified that he never got it. With his large ball of the thumb, he desperately wanted to love and be loved, but his fear of intimacy was so great that the idea of trusting anyone brought tremendous pain. It felt like he was spiraling downward into a dark abyss and was asking me to justify his condition and behavior through his symbolism. I told him that I’d seen gurus and saints with horoscopes as difficult as his. He angrily accused me of blaming the victim.
I asked, “What would you like me to say to you? Why are you here?” “Because I’m going to kill someone” he replied. “Who are you planning to kill? “ I asked. “I don’t know, anyone, probably a woman”, he answered. I felt queasy. After a moment of silence, I responded, “You must be in terrible pain. I wish I could help you, but I’m not qualified. Consider this consultation a gift. Use the money to go see a psychotherapist. Get a prescription for Prozac or some other appropriate medication”. Not having to pay brought the first glimmer of hope to my client’s face. I had let him off the hook for conning me and he was grateful. As he left, I shook his hand, and told him that I was sorry for his hardship. I told him to keep in touch as I closed the door behind him.
Can you imagine what was going through my mind? If I call the police, what will I say? “Hello, I’m a palmist in the east village and some crazy person just told me that he’s going to randomly kill someone”. Even if they believed me, what if he found out? Would he stalk my family? I felt jittery and began to physically tremble. I called several of my most experienced mentors and asked them what they would do. I was encouraged to do nothing. It appeared that many had crazy clients from time to time and nobody had ever followed through on their threats. If I was wrong, I felt sure my client would get away with more than a few murders before getting caught as he was very methodical.
I anxiously watched the local news every night for weeks. Then one day, I picked up the phone. It was my client. “I just wanted you to know that I’m not going to kill anyone” he said. “I’ve joined the Hemlock Society and have found people who will assist me in my suicide”. “I’m sorry” I replied. “I don’t approve of killing yourself either, but better you than some innocent person”. I wished him good luck in his next life and never heard from him again.