Real Name: John Catchings
Occupation: Police Psychic
Place Of Birth: Austin, Texas
Date Of Birth: February 17, 1946
Background: John Catchings, a psychic from Texas, has helped the police solve several cases. In 1982, one month after pizza delivery driver Sherry Eyerly vanished, Catchings awoke at 3AM from a sound sleep. At the edge of his bed, he saw the ghostly figure of a young woman standing there. He believed that there was a reason this woman appeared to him. Four days later, Catchings received a package from Salem investigators with information about Sherry's case. When he saw her photograph, he realized that she was the woman he had seen in his bedroom.
Investigators had contacted Catchings at the request of Sherry's parents. They were hoping that he could bring them some closure surrounding her disappearance. His first impression was that Sherry was not "missing" but was actually dead. He believed that she was suddenly and violently abducted by someone that she knew. As his wife read through the report, Catchings had a "vision" of a white house. The front door was open and it appeared that there were stairs right in front of the door. He also saw white pillars or posts that were "super-imposed" over the house.
After reviewing the case, Catchings traveled to Oregon. He was escorted to the scene of Sherry's abduction by Capt. Will Hingston. He wanted to go there to see if he could determine where her body was located. While there, he had visions of what he believed happened that night: Sherry was driving down the road, looking for an address that she couldn't find. She was approached by a pickup truck with several lights on it. The driver tells her that he bought the pizzas and gave the wrong address. As she gets out of her car to give him the pizzas, he grabs her from behind and drags her into his truck.
As Catchings and Capt. Hingston walked around the site, Catchings asked if they had a list of possible suspects that drove a green-colored pickup truck, as this type of vehicle was seen in the area prior to the abduction. As Hingston read the names, one of them stood out to Catchings. The man's name was Darrell J. Wilson. Catchings felt that he had something to do with Sherry's abduction. According to Hingston, Wilson became a suspect when an individual contacted investigators and told them that he had owned a lime green pickup truck. Wilson had apparently painted the truck brown just eight days after the abduction. According to the informant, Wilson knew Sherry and another girl who had vanished from the Salem area around the same time.
Catchings asked Capt. Hingston to take him to Wilson's home. He was shocked to discover that the home was the same one that he had seen in his vision. When they drove to the back part of the home, there was a car port. It was supported by white posts; this was identical to what Catchings had seen in his vision. When Hingston questioned Wilson about taking a polygraph, he refused. However, he strangely said that he would talk to a psychic. Catchings then came out of the car and met with Wilson. He was certain that Wilson was responsible for Sherry's disappearance.
Two hours later, Capt. Hingston was called back to the Wilson home; he had committed suicide. He did not leave any note or information that may have led investigators to Sherry's body. Hingston is quite confident that Wilson was involved in the case. However, he believes that at least one other person was involved in the abduction. Catchings also believes that Wilson was responsible.
Notes: The case was featured as a part of the November 10, 1991 episode.
John Catchings has since lost a great amount of credibility after William Scott Smith confessed to Sherry's murder and pleaded guilty to her murder. Darrell J. Wilson, the man that Catchings said was responsible, was not connected to the crime in any way.
John Catchings died of a heart attack in September 1992 at age 46.