Psychic Sylvia Browne's background is a tapestry woven in controversy. The hit and miss of Browne's predictions plagued her lifelong career, and her 2020 coronavirus prediction proved just as controversial.
Sylvia Browne's Psychic Predictions for Coronavirus
Sylvia Browne's psychic prediction for coronavirus was touted as one of her more famous predictions that came true, along with her foreboding warning the virus would return. In March 2020, the internet blew up with a post about Sylvia Browne's 2008 psychic prediction for the coronavirus, COVID-19. Browne's prediction about a pneumonia-like pandemic was posted by reality show celebrity, Kim Kardashian.
Kardashian uploaded a photo to her Twitter account of a page from Sylvia Browne's 2008 book, End of Days. In the photo, Browne's 2020 pandemic prediction is circled in red. Browne's psychic prediction warned that the deadly illness would return in 2030. The passage from Browne's book was shared around the world. Naysayers and debunkers dove in to pick apart her prediction word-by-word. However, others like Kardashian believed that Browne's message was a clear and prophetic warning.
In her book End of Days, Sylvia Browne writes, "In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments. Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it arrived, attack again ten years later, and then disappear completely."
Oklahoma City Bombing
Sylvia predicted that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing would be solved, resulting in the arrest of two people. This horrific bombing killed 168 people and injured 680. The blast radius covered 16 blocks and damaged over 324 buildings. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were arrested for the bombing. McVeigh was executed in 2001 and Nichols received a life sentence.
60 Minutes Aired Fake Documentary
Sylvia also predicted that 60 Minutes would make an erroneous story. This faux pas would result in their own reporters being investigated. This prediction came true in 1997 when 60 Minutes aired the documentary The Connection. The Seattle Times reported that in addition to the fake drug mules, the producer hired additional actors to portray drug dealers. The filmmakers used the producer's hotel room as the stage for their jungle hideout.
The drug mule carrying those million dollars of heroin was an actor. There was never any heroin, the actor swallowed mints or some other candy, never heroin. More importantly, the so-called new smuggling route highlighted in the show also never existed. 60 Minutes was forced to apologize and set the record straight about the fake award-winning documentary.
Plane Crash Chicago O'Hare
Six months before the tragic 1980 crash of Flight 191 out of Chicago O'Hare, Sylvia Browne predicted the crash. It is listed as the worst non-terrorist American plane crash in history. All 271 people on the plane and two people on the ground were killed.
In one of her books, Sylvia writes about receiving a letter from Kent Herkenrath two days after the crash. It was a thank-you letter for saving his life. He was supposed to be on that flight, but after hearing her prediction, he canceled his ticket.
Jon Benet Ramsey Murder
The 1996 murder of Jon Benet Ramsey in the basement of her parents' home on Christmas night. Sylvia predicted that this tragic case would not be solved. To date, the case remains unsolved and is still listed as an open investigation.
Five Names of World Trade Center Bombers
While on Leeza Gibbons' talk show, Sylvia Browne gave the FBI five names of those responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center. This was during the beginning of the investigation, and no suspects had been identified. Sylvia writes the men's names that she gave Ted Gunderson were correct, except for one man's name was one syllable incorrect. She states she had a deeper relationship with the FBI after she provided that information.
Devastating Hurricane Andrew
Sylvia Browne predicted unprecedented destruction of a Florida hurricane that turned out to be Hurricane Andrew. The August 1992 hurricane was a Category 5 that struck the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana and traveled in a path of destruction through the south, southeast, and mid-Atlantic U.S. 65 people were killed. The highest winds were recorded at 174 mph. Hurricane Andrews caused around $25 billion in damages.
Biggest Earthquake to Strike California
Sylvia also predicted the January 17, 1994, San Fernando Valley earthquake as being the biggest one to strike California with massive damage. The San Fernando Valley quake registered at a seismic magnitude of 6.7 on the Rickter scale. The quake duration was a long 10-20 seconds. It was felt 220 miles away from the epicenter all the way to Las Vegas, Nevada. 60 people were killed and over 9,000 people suffered injuries.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Run for Governor
Sylvia predicted that actor and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger would run for California governor. Schwarzenegger threw his hat in the ring for the 2003 recall election and won. In 2006, he was re-elected and served a second term as governor.
Polly Klaas Killer
Another prediction of Sylvia's was providing the correct initials of Polly Klaas's killer. She stated his initials were R.A.D. The man the police arrested and was convicted for her murder was Richard Allen Davis.
In 2004, Sylvia appeared on The Montel Williams Show with Louwanna Miller, the mother of missing Amanda Berry. Sylvia told Miller that Amanda was dead, and the distraught mother would only see her daughter in the afterlife. Louwanna died two years later believing her child was dead. However, this prediction was wrong. In 2013, Amanda escaped her captor and the social media attacks on Sylvia were brutal.
Between 2002 and 2004, Ariel Castro kidnapped Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus. He held them captive in his home. Amanda and her six-year-old daughter escaped on May 6, 2013, and the other two women were freed by the police. Castro was convicted with a life prison sentence plus 1,000 years, but after only one month in prison, Castro hanged himself in his cell.
2012 Presidential Prediction
Sylvia made annual predictions. In 2012, she inaccurately predicted President Obama wouldn't be re-elected. He was re-elected to serve a second term.
The mysterious May 2001 disappearance of Washington, DC intern Chandra Levy (24) gripped the country. Public suspicion fell on U.S. Rep. Gary Condit of California rumored to be having an affair with the young woman. On July 17, 2001, Browne told Fox News that Chandra's body was "in some trees down in a marshy area." Her body was discovered in Rock Creek Park in May 2002. Her body was in a heavily wooded area of a steep incline - not in a marshy area.
Another missing person was Richard Kneebone. There isn't a great deal of information about the circumstances about when he went missing, but Teresa Kneebone told about a reading Sylvia did for her. Teresa reported that Sylvia said that Richard wasn't dead but had partial amnesia and was possibly traveling in Canada. Soon after the reading, his badly decomposed body was discovered only a few blocks from where he was last seen at a tavern in San Jose, California.
Sylvia Browne Got Her Own Death Wrong
In 2003, Sylvia appeared on Larry King Live. During the show, Sylvia predicted she would die when she reached 88 years old. She died in 2013, at the age of 77. Her cause of death wasn't listed, although TMZ stated they were told she'd suffered a stroke and her health had gone downhill afterwards. A Google search reveals a Google banner that states "Congestive Heart Failure" but doesn't offer any source for the statement, just a link to what congestive heart failure is. According to USA Today, no cause of death was listed.
In another missing child case, Sylvia stated that missing 11-year-old Shawn Hornbeck (kidnapped 2002) was dead. She told his parents that his body was near "two jagged boulders". He was found five years later in the company of his kidnapper. In 2007, Shawn and William "Ben" Ownby (13) were found and rescued by the police. Ben had been abducted by Shawn's kidnaper Michael Devlin (41) four days before the boys were found. Once more, Sylvia suffered greatly for her miscall and the suffering she'd caused Shawn's parents.
On September 30, 1999, Sylvia was on Montel Williams' show when she told Eve Brown's family that Eve was in Florida and was alive and well. In 2000, Eve's body was found at a construction site in Brooklyn, New York. The site was only 13 miles from the place she was last seen. Her murder wasn't solved.
On February 11, 2004, Browne said that Ryan Katcher (19) who disappeared on November 05, 2000, that he was dead and that two boys had dropped him down a metal shaft when they became terribly frightened. She said the location was between 25 and 27 miles from where he lived with his parents. In 2006, Ryan's body was found inside his truck at the bottom of a deep pond. The coroner ruled he was under the influence and drowned.
Terrence Farrell was a missing firefighter who responded to the 9/11 Twin Towers terrorist attack. Sylvia said on Montel's show that Farrell would be found alive. One month later, his body was discovered buried in the Twin Towers' rubble.
On March 13, 2002, Sylvia was on Montel's show and asked about a missing woman, Lynda McClelland. She announced that Lynda wasn't dead but had been kidnapped by a man with the initials MJ and that she was living in Orlando, Florida. She said that Lynda's family would soon find her. The following year, in March 2003, Lynda's body was found not far from her home in Pennsylvania. David Repasky was identified by an eyewitness who testified that David had strangled Lynda. David was convicted of Lynda's murder.
Life and Legacy of Psychic Sylvia Browne
Whether you were a Sylvia Browne fan or a skeptic, there is no denying her legacy lives on after her death, like her 2020 COVID-19 prediction, especially when publicized by celebrities. Her predictions long after her death are still controversial.