Hypnosis as an Investigative Tool
You might wonder if hypnosis just some sort of hocus pocus, or could it be a useful tool in law enforcement investigations? District Attorney Investigator Jim Burkhalter is here to attest to its value in investigating criminal cases and offers the following history.
In 1976 in Chowchilla, CA, a school bus loaded with children was stopped and the children and school bus driver were kidnapped and held for ransom. The children and bus driver were placed inside another bus that had been buried and then sealed.
While the kidnappers were attempting to contact the school and parents to make their money demands, the "hostages" were able to escape and notify authorities.
The Los Angeles Police Department was contacted and their police psychologist hypnotized the bus driver in order to get more details of the kidnapping and possibly identifiers for further investigation. The bus driver, while hypnotized, recalled the license number of the van that had blocked his route and from which the suspects had emerged. This information led police to the suspects who were arrested and later convicted.
In 1977, the Los Angeles Police Department began teaching other law enforcement agencies throughout the country about this new "tool" to assist in the investigation of crimes.
Jim Burkhalter was the first police officer from Colorado sent to Los Angeles and trained in the use of hypnosis for recall. He has been using it in law enforcement ever since.
Jim has used hypnosis in over 200 criminal cases and has been declared an expert in Forensic Hypnosis in Law Enforcement three times in district court. He has given over 130 lectures and is often requested to speak at Jefferson County high schools. He also assists out of state law enforcement agencies when requested.
Since 1997, Jim Burkhalter has been an investigator with the First Judicial District Attorney's Office. He served 30 years with the Denver Police Department and is a past president of the Colorado Investigative Hypnosis Association, as well as a member of the International Association of Forensic Hypnotists.
If you would like more information regarding the use of hypnosis in law enforcement, you can contact Investigator Burkhalter at 303-271-6800.
Last Modified: Mar 28, 2009 10:18 PM