7 episodes

Vicky Baker investigates the stranger-than-fiction story of Lamar Keene, a renowned psychic who confessed to being part of an underground network he called the "psychic mafia"

Fake Psychic BBC Radio 4

    • Fiction
    • 3.9 • 34 Ratings

Vicky Baker investigates the stranger-than-fiction story of Lamar Keene, a renowned psychic who confessed to being part of an underground network he called the "psychic mafia"

    6. Afterlife

    6. Afterlife

    If you wanted to speak with the dead in 1960s America, there was one man who was ready to help. For more than a decade, Lamar Keene was at the top of his game, becoming known as the Prince of Spiritualists. Then, quite suddenly, he turned his back on it all.

    Lamar Keene went public and revealed his whole operation had been one big con. He not only implicated himself but claimed that he had been part of an underground network, which had conspired to defraud the unsuspecting public. He called it the “psychic mafia”, and said that his confession made him a marked man.

    In a series that mixes documentary with drama, Vicky Baker (Fake Heiress) takes a deep dive into Lamar Keene’s stranger-than-fiction life story.

    Episode 6 Cast:

    Lamar . . . . . Edward Hogg
    Lona . . . . . Jasmine Hyde
    Florence . . . . . Barbara Barnes
    Ruthie . . . . . Tillie Murray
    Stranger . . . . . Shaun Mason
    Cop . . . . . Nathan Osgood
    Reporter . . . . . Neil McCaul
    Zoologist . . . . . Christine Kavanagh

    Written and reported by Vicky Baker
    Drama written by Nick Perry
    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko
    A BBC Audio production for BBC Radio 4

    • 49 min
    5. The Devil's Carousel

    5. The Devil's Carousel

    If you wanted to speak with the dead in 1960s America, there was one man who was ready to help. For more than a decade, Lamar Keene was at the top of his game, becoming known as the Prince of Spiritualists. Then, quite suddenly, he turned his back on it all.

    Lamar Keene went public and revealed his whole operation had been one big con. He not only implicated himself but claimed that he had been part of an underground network, which had conspired to defraud the unsuspecting public. He called it the “psychic mafia”, and said that his confession made him a marked man.

    In a series that mixes documentary with drama, Vicky Baker (Fake Heiress) takes a deep dive into Lamar Keene’s stranger-than-fiction life story.

    Episode 5 Cast:

    Lamar . . . . . Edward Hogg
    Raoul . . . . . Tom Mothersdale
    Florence . . . . . Barbara Barnes
    Kate . . . . . Susan Brown
    Betty . . . . . Christine Kavanagh
    Adam . . . . . Nathan Osgood

    Written and reported by Vicky Baker
    Drama written by Nick Perry
    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko
    A BBC Audio production for BBC Radio 4

    • 45 min
    4. The Cathedral

    4. The Cathedral

    If you wanted to speak with the dead in 1960s America, there was one man who was ready to help. For more than a decade, Lamar Keene was at the top of his game, becoming known as the Prince of Spiritualists. Then, quite suddenly, he turned his back on it all.

    Lamar Keene went public and revealed his whole operation had been one big con. He not only implicated himself but claimed that he had been part of an underground network, which had conspired to defraud the unsuspecting public. He called it the “psychic mafia”, and said that his confession made him a marked man.

    In a series that mixes documentary with drama, Vicky Baker (Fake Heiress) takes a deep dive into Lamar Keene’s stranger-than-fiction life story.

    Episode 4 Cast:

    Lamar . . . . . Edward Hogg
    Raoul . . . . . Tom Mothersdale
    Mable . . . . . Susan Brown
    Daisy . . . . . Barbara Barnes
    Joe . . . . . Nathan Osgood
    Stirling . . . . . Shaun Mason
    Don . . . . . Michael Begley
    Realtor . . . . . Neil McCaul

    Written and reported by Vicky Baker
    Drama written by Nick Perry
    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko
    A BBC Audio production for BBC Radio 4

    • 50 min
    3. True Believers

    3. True Believers

    If you wanted to speak with the dead in 1960s America, there was one man who was ready to help. For more than a decade, Lamar Keene was at the top of his game, becoming known as the Prince of Spiritualists. Then, quite suddenly, he turned his back on it all.

    But Lamar Keene didn't go quietly. He published a tell-all expose in which he confessed that he was little more than a conman, a psychic fraudster, who manipulated people in their most vulnerable moments. And in doing so, he catalogued the many physical and psychological tricks he used to separate his followers from their money.

    It wasn’t just his own carefully-crafted reputation that Lamar Keene sought to destroy. He wanted to blow the whistle on the whole industry. He claimed that he had been part of a national underground network that included many other psychics, clairvoyants and mediums, who combined forces to fleece the unsuspecting public. He called it the “psychic mafia,” and said that his confession made him a marked man.

    But how much can we trust the revelations of a self-confessed conman? How much of Lamar Keene’s extraordinary story is really true? And what can it tell us about how our emotions affect belief and our susceptibility to misinformation?

    In a series that mixes documentary with drama, Vicky Baker (Fake Heiress) takes a deep dive into Lamar Keene’s stranger-than-fiction life story.

    Episode 3 Cast:

    Lamar . . . . . Edward Hogg
    Raoul . . . . . Tom Mothersdale
    Tom . . . . . Neil McCaul
    Andrija . . . . . Michael Begley
    Lona . . . . . Jasmine Hyde
    Warden . . . . . Chris Jack
    Mrs Moseley . . . . . Christine Kavanagh

    Written and reported by Vicky Baker
    Drama written by Nick Perry
    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko
    A BBC Audio production for BBC Radio 4

    • 43 min
    2. Eyes Wide Open

    2. Eyes Wide Open

    If you wanted to speak with the dead in 1960s America, there was one man who was ready to help. For more than a decade, Lamar Keene was at the top of his game, becoming known as the Prince of Spiritualists. Then, quite suddenly, he turned his back on it all.

    But Lamar Keene didn't go quietly. He published a tell-all expose in which he confessed that he was little more than a conman, a psychic fraudster, who manipulated people in their most vulnerable moments. And in doing so, he catalogued the many physical and psychological tricks he used to separate his followers from their money.

    It wasn’t just his own carefully-crafted reputation that Lamar Keene sought to destroy. He wanted to blow the whistle on the whole industry. He claimed that he had been part of a national underground network that included many other psychics, clairvoyants and mediums, who combined forces to fleece the unsuspecting public. He called it the “psychic mafia,” and said that his confession made him a marked man.

    But how much can we trust the revelations of a self-confessed conman? How much of Lamar Keene’s extraordinary story is really true? And what can it tell us about how our emotions affect belief and our susceptibility to misinformation?

    In a series that mixes documentary with drama, Vicky Baker (Fake Heiress) takes a deep dive into Lamar Keene’s stranger-than-fiction life story.

    Episode 2 Cast:

    Lamar . . . . . Edward Hogg
    Raoul . . . . . Tom Mothersdale
    Kate . . . . . Tillie Murray
    Mrs Phillips . . . . . Jasmine Hyde
    Dorothy . . . . . Lorelei King
    Lillian . . . . . Christine Kavanagh

    Written and reported by Vicky Baker
    Drama written by Nick Perry
    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko
    A BBC Audio production for BBC Radio 4

    • 43 min
    1. The Showman

    1. The Showman

    If you wanted to speak with the dead in 1960s America, there was one man who was ready to help. For more than a decade, Lamar Keene was at the top of his game, becoming known as the Prince of Spiritualists. Then, quite suddenly, he turned his back on it all.

    But Lamar Keene didn't go quietly. He published a tell-all exposé in which he confessed that he was little more than a conman, a psychic fraudster, who manipulated people in their most vulnerable moments. And in doing so, he catalogued the many physical and psychological tricks he used to separate his followers from their money.

    It wasn’t just his own carefully crafted reputation that Lamar Keene sought to destroy. He wanted to blow the whistle on the whole industry. He claimed that he had been part of a national underground network that included many other psychics, clairvoyants and mediums, who combined forces to fleece the unsuspecting public. He called it the “psychic mafia,” and said that his confession made him a marked man.

    But how much can we trust the revelations of a self-confessed conman? How much of Lamar Keene’s extraordinary story is really true? And what can it tell us about how our emotions affect belief and our susceptibility to misinformation?

    In a series that mixes documentary with drama, Vicky Baker (Fake Heiress) takes a deep dive into Lamar Keene’s stranger-than-fiction life story.

    Episode 1 Cast:

    Lamar . . . . . Edward Hogg
    Bill . . . . . Michael Begley
    Ken . . . . . Neil McCaul
    Waitress . . . . . Jasmine Hyde
    Ruthie . . . . . Tillie Murray

    Written and reported by Vicky Baker
    Drama written by Nick Perry
    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko
    A BBC Audio production for BBC Radio 4

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

smallsteve ,

Old-school fraud, alive and kicking today

Having been on ghost hunts, to spiritualist churches and also watched many series of Most Haunted, this podcast was always going to capture my attention.
To be honest, I don’t believe any of it but I still find it fascinating. I am as much interested in how people react to such things, when placed in supposedly haunted locations. It’s a fascinating view into the psyche of human nature.
Anyway, I found this to be an interesting podcast that was well together. It didn’t get boring at any point and I thought right people were used to provide the voices of the main protagonists.
Fraud takes many forms and works best on the gullible.

MrsB2Bomber ,

Not great

I’m sure there is an interesting story in here somewhere, but the over-the-top drama voicing scenes are so annoying and distracting, it’s hard to follow any kind of narrative.

PKjourno ,

Fascinating & engaging

The dramatised sections of this podcast really bring the story & characters to life.
It’s one of the best told historical pods of recent years.
And the final episode - a very unexpected ending.

Witty and enlightening from start to finish.

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