Responding to Sylvia - KMOV.com

Responding to Sylvia

We've received an overwhelming response to our Sylvia Browne story.

I've posted several dozen comments on our blog. Many support Ms. Browne, many others dencounce her. I tried to be fair and publish as many as possible representing the views of Ms. Browne's critics and fans.

During my previous story, I reported that Craig Akers, Shawn Hornbeck's step-father, politely declined to be interviewed about Ms. Browne or her claims about Shawn, which was true. However, I knew that he was still angry about his experience with her on the Montel Williams Show four years ago.

He simply didn't want to make his views on-the-record, at least not then.

On Saturday, he changed his mind.

What happened?

First, Mr. Akers apparently had scheduling problems and wasn't available to talk with us. However, he had also seen our story about Ms. Browne on Thursday night and it seemed to spark the emotions he had tried so hard to supress.

On Saturday, our Supervising Producer Steve Perron learned that the Akers would be attending an event sponsored by the St. Louis school district. Sean would be there too. They were helping parents create identification kits for their children.

Steve decided to go and see if Mr. Akers would talk about Ms. Browne. And, as you know, that's exactly what he did.

"it's obvious she doesn't know what she's talking about, Mr. Akers told us. "It's all fake stuff, it's a fraud. I think she should be ashamed of herself for putting parents through the agony she puts them through. She's a horrible person."

As we reported in our story, the Akers agreed to go on the Montel show mainly to gain national exposure for Shawn's case.

Clearly, the case gained even more attention, but Brown's claims about the case, with the exception of the kidnapper's first name, were wrong.

"We've never heard from her again, never an 'I'm sorry' an apology or even, 'oh, gee, I guess I got that one wrong' - nothing at all," said Mr. Akers.

Steve's interview with Craig Akers ended on a positive note: Shawn is doing great.

In fact, Craig Akers says "he's made up all the ground he lost during those 4 and -a-half years, and he's just done incredible."

"We're really proud of him."

It's wonderful news in a nightmare that will never completely go away for Sean and his parents.

I've tried to include as many responses to our original story as possible. Many of you will never agree on whether Sylvia Browne is really a psychic.

But we can all agree on one thing: Shawn Hornbeck's parents have a unique point of view, one that has never been heard in public.

We believe it's a response that demands an audience.

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