LO's Laurie McQuary gains national fame as a psychic detective
Laurie McQuary keeps a crystal ball in her office on Boones Ferry Road in Lake Oswego.
The object was given to her by a friend as a gag, and McQuary does not actually use a crystal ball in her work as a psychic consultant in her business M.B.I. - Management by Intuition.
In fact, outside of her auto license plate, with the word SEER on it, McQuary makes little outward display of her remarkable occupation.
'I want people to say, 'Wow, she looks normal!'' McQuary said. 'If you have a 'woo woo' look, you won't arrive at a place of credibility.'
McQuary is not just normal, she's humble. She does not claim to be infallible, and she charges nominal fees for her services, while some other noted psychics have charged exorbitant fees in the thousands of dollars. She also has a special offer: No fee for finding missing pets.
She even jokes about how her children laugh at her for losing her car keys.
'I'm not tuned in all the time,' she said. 'My brain would fry.'
McQuary has gained nationwide recognition as a psychic detective, working on more than 150 police cases over her career and assisting in finding 27 bodies.
Yet she says, 'I never jump out of a truck and say, 'Hey, I solved the case.' What I do is provide pieces to the puzzle.'
Still, Laurie McQuary ranks at the top when it comes to psychics, with innumerable appearances on Northwest television and radio and being featured in many newspaper, magazine and book articles.
Most notably, McQuary has appeared on many national television channels and programs, including Court TV, A and E, Discovery Channel, Inside Edition, and Catherine Crier Live. Four years ago an appearance on The Larry King Show sent McQuary's career into overdrive.
The response to McQuary has been just as remarkable in smaller settings. At parties and fund-raising events, as many as 80 people at a time have lined up just to receive a minute of her time.
Yet there is also a big downside to being a big-time psychic. There are frivolous claims on her time by people simply hoping to score big on the stock market or a horse race.
Then there are the scoffers, some of them in high places, who absolutely deny the value of psychics in police work.
When McQuary was featured last month in a story by Eugene TV station KVAL, a police lieutenant was contacted and bluntly responded, 'Frankly, we never waste our times on psychics.'
But McQuary can take doubting and criticism in stride, because, 'I didn't choose my career. My career chose me.'
The story of how she became a psychic is quite familiar. As an 18-year-old newlywed in California, McQuary had gone horseback riding - riding bareback for the first time - when she fell off her horse and landed on her head.
'I don't even remember the accident,' McQuary said. 'The friend who was riding with me said I was reaching for the reins. Ten years ago I revisited the spot where it happened, and the little bridge was still there. It was an eerie feeling after so many years.'
McQuary was in a coma for the next three weeks, and after she woke up her life was never the same. She began having dreams, like newsreels on black and white film, of violent plane crashes. Shockingly, a few days later she began seeing television news reports of these airline disasters actually happening.
Even worse, she had a dream that her husband's cousin and two of his children died in a violent car crash. This also came about.
Something had happened and she didn't know what it was.
'I had no way of finding out why my dreams were continuing and getting stronger,' McQuary said. 'I had no support at all. My husband at the time was a totally left-brain-oriented South Dakota farm boy. I had to keep closeted about my gift for a long time.'
Only after getting a divorce and moving back to California did McQuary finally find a base of support with the Spiritual Foundation Fellowship Church, which McQuary described as 'a deeply Christian church, but one that believes in the spiritual world.'
Encountering McQuary today you can sense her serenity, peace and acceptance of her astonishing gift.
She admits to this, but says, 'It wasn't easy. It took many years.'
A major reason for this slow process was that life dealt McQuary some tremendous blows - near death, widowhood and, in recent years, a bout with breast cancer on which she had to combat all accepted medical opinion, an experience that 'shattered my faith in the medical profession and left me without part of my body.'
'I used to think, 'Why me? If I've been given this gift, why do I have to suffer these things?'' McQuary said.
Through it all, McQuary has managed to survive and thrive. She describes herself as 'not a religious person but a very spiritual person.' Her faith in God has become so strong that she has what might be described as 'blessed assurance,' even if her questions about the ultimate nature of the spiritual world cannot be answered.
'I don't believe in coincidences. I don't believe in accidents,' McQuary said. 'I believe everything happens for a reason.'
McQuary has been established as a professional psychic in Lake Oswego since 1985 and has gained fame for her work on a series of notable murder cases. Not all police officers appreciate her. In fact, early in her career she was banned from a police station after filming a segment in front of the station in regards to a murder case she was working on.
There is one policeman firmly in McQuary's corner: Her husband Bob Lee, a detective for the Lake Oswego Police Department.
'Our story has been filmed five times,' McQuary said. 'One time in Japanese. I still get calls from people who say they've seen my story.'
For the many people who believe in the power of psychics, it will be good for them to know that McQuary is optimistic about the future. Even police departments.
'Some day every police department is going to have a psychic,' she predicts.
To read more about Laurie McQuary, go to her Web site at www.lauriemcquary.com . She can also be reached at Management by Intuition at 503-636-1832.