When she was just fourteen years old, Tina Resch became the center of the best-documented case of poltergeist activity of the twentieth century. During the spring of 1984, Tina's home in Ohio was thrown into chaos: appliances turned themselves on without electric current, objects flew through the air, furniture scooted across the floor. Censured endlessly by her adoptive family and thrust into the eye of a media twister thanks to one reporter's photographic evidence of a flying phone, Tina was propelled into a downward spiral that led to an abusive marriage, a divorce, and the birth of a child all before her twentieth birthday. Three years later she was charged with that child's murder, and she is currently serving a life sentence for a crime as controversial, mysterious, and complex as the accused herself a crime she maintains she did not commit.
Unleashed is Tina's story as told by a parapsychologist who witnessed striking paranormal phenomena in Tina's presence. Examining the destructive powers of thwarted emotions from a scientific perspective, William Roll sheds remarkable light on the case of Tina Resch and boldly confronts our cultural responses to events that cannot be easily explained.
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UnleashedOf Poltergeists and Murder: The Curious Story of Tina Resch
By William Roll
Paraview Pocket BooksCopyright © 2004 William Roll
All right reserved.
I watched in disbelief as four burly officers from the Carroll County sheriff's department took their seats behind the small, white casket covered with flowers, a toy rabbit perched on top. It was the Saturday before Easter, 1992. The open casket showed a pretty little girl wearing her pink Easter dress. Even with the heavy makeup that hid the autopsy sutures, you could see Amber had been a beautiful child.
The Almon Funeral Home chapel was filled to overflowing, but there was no sign of the child's mother. I assumed she was sitting in the private, screened section reserved for family members. Charged with Amber's murder, her mother, Tina Resch, now using her married name of Christina Boyer, had sat in jail for the past three days while the media vilified her. Almost without exception, it seemed the entire town of Carrollton, Georgia, had banded against her, the Northern outsider; a woman so out of control she could kill her three-year-old daughter. In a show of solidarity, the outraged community had taken Amber as one of their own; Almon donated the casket; local florists sent sprays of flowers; police officers provided the burial plot. The only thing from Tina was the pink Easter dress.
My mind was a blur of shock and distress. All I could think was, How? How had this happened? It was impossible. I had known Tina since she was fourteen years old. In an ironic twist, she had been the center of a media blitz then, too; the wild child who could move objects with the power of her mind. The reports hadn't been off base. Much of my research and writing of the previous eight years had focused on Tina's impressive abilities, one of the most convincing cases of poltergeist activity I had ever witnessed. Now a tall, lively, and volatile young woman in her early twenties, Tina could still be that troubled teen desperate for affection and dreaming of happy endings. Abandoned by her mother at the age of ten months and adopted into a rigid, unforgiving household, Tina had not been ready for single parenthood at eighteen, and she often found the role difficult and irritating. But she could never have killed Amber. Amber was her one real hope for a family of her own and a better future. Somehow this message had to get through to the authorities. Tina was innocent.
Pastor Geron Crawford delivered the sermon. When he finished, the officers behind the casket slowly advanced, stationed themselves at each corner of the coffin, and then carried it out, their large bodies almost concealing their tiny charge. Along with a mass of mourners, I followed the procession outside. I was oblivious to my surroundings: the weather, the people beside me -- I couldn't register anything. The words of the sermon stayed with me: "We have been left in a thick darkness." A darkness had indeed descended, and Tina needed my help perhaps more than at any other time in her life.
Copyright © 2004 by William Roll and Valerie Storey
Excerpted from Unleashed by William Roll Copyright © 2004 by William Roll. Excerpted by permission.
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