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Local Spotlight: Hypnosis And Law Enforcement in Texas

A Texas and an American flag fly in front of of St. Augustine's Church  in Pflugerville, Texas.
A Texas and an American flag fly in front of of St. Augustine's Church in Pflugerville, Texas.

For many, the process or practice of hypnosis is something we think about or witness only at shows in county fairs or while watching cartoons.

Some scientists say that the process of hypnosis can be used to embed false memories in a person. But some law enforcement authorities have claimed that when done correctly, hypnotizing victims or witnesses can reveal important, new information that then can be used to solve a case.

For the latest in our “Local Spotlight” series, we’ll talk to two reporters who investigated the use of hypnosis in Texas policing. After their report was published, the Texas Rangers said they’ll stop using hypnosis as an information-gathering technique.

Why was hypnosis considered a legitimate investigative technique to begin with? And how common is this technique in departments nationwide?

This is part of a series called “Local Spotlight,” where we cover local stories that deserve national attention. Have a suggestion about what we should feature? You know where to find us.

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