Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Woman Claims She was Hypnotized and Robbed of Life Savings

Boston's ChinatownA Boston woman alleges that thieves approached her on the street and hypnotized her into giving them her valuables. The unidentified elderly victim, 57, claims that on April 15, 2012, three young women approached her on the street in Boston’s Chinatown (pictured), and asked her a few questions in Cantonese about her family. She claims she was unwillingly hypnotized on the spot, went back to her home, put all her valuables, including her life savings of about $160,000, into a bag and gave it to the women. Experts have long agreed that it is impossible to hypnotize anyone against their will, but community leaders are taking the case seriously. According to the Boston Herald, Mark Liu, deputy director of Boston’s Chinese Progressive Association said, “It seems like it’s something that’s potentially very dangerous. I think the elderly are particularly vulnerable because they obviously would have a hard time just walking away.” Police continue to investigate, and have issued a community-wide alert in the matter.

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