As a child, California native Vicki Monroe was at church getting baptized when she experienced something unusual.
“I started hearing, seeing and speaking to those that have crossed over since I was 4 years old,” Monroe said.
She remembers being visited by the spirit of an old, jolly, heavy-set, white-haired man with a beard at the church. He was wearing a loose robe, similar to Friar Tuck in the movie “Robin Hood,” and he reminded her of Santa Claus. He was smiling at her.
“He had the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen,” said Monroe, who lives in Maine. “I turned around and he said, ‘Whenever you lose your way, I will come to you.’ And he has, every time.”
A professional psychic medium, Monroe has been using her abilities to touch the lives of others around the world for more than two decades. She also works professionally as a physic investigator, assisting law enforcement officials across the United States with criminal cold case investigations at both the local and federal levels.
She also provides spiritual, health and wellness counseling, and has hosted several radio shows. She has been featured on the History and Discovery channels, including on the documentary series, “Cell Block Psychic,” which aired in April.
Monroe, 52, has lived in Maine for about 30 years. She travels throughout the world, doing interviews, hosting lectures and workshops, and is working on publishing her third book.
In the 1980s, Monroe was living in Germany with her husband, Bret, who was in the Air Force at the time, when she was visited by her sister’s spirit in the middle of the night.
“I thought I was dreaming,” Monroe said.
Her sister appeared in her bedroom – just hours after she and her husband were killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver.
“That morning when I woke up, and before the phone even rang, I could smell her (perfume) everywhere,” Monroe said. “I thought, ‘This just can’t be right.’ ”
When the phone rang, it was her father, calling to tell her the horrible news. That’s when she realized she truly had a gift.
“After that, more and more spirits started visiting,” said Monroe. “Ever since then, I have never not been able to see them.”
She communicates with the spirits of the dead on a daily basis, regardless of where she is or what she is doing. She claims she sees them behind just about everyone she talks to.
“They are here all the time – 24/7,” she said.
As part of the “Cell Block Psychic” series, Monroe attempts to communicate with spirits of the dead in order to provide closure to relatives of murder victims, using a technique known as cold reading.
According to Monroe, during the show she visited maximum-security prisons and talked to convicted murderers. One of the cases, which took place in Texas, involved a family whose brother went missing after a party.
“It was a Mexican mafia killing,” said Monroe. “I met with the convicted felon, and left that prison not believing that the man did it. The spirit of the victim said it wasn’t him either,” she said.
In recent years, Monroe teamed up with investigators from the Portland Police Department to help solve a case involving the disappearance of Amy St. Laurent from Portland’s Old Port in October 2001. At the time, Monroe was doing on-air readings for Portland radio station WJBQ. According to Monroe, police heard the show and contacted her regarding the St. Laurent case.
That December, her body was discovered in a shallow grave in the woods in Scarborough. Jeffery “Russ” Gorman was convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison for sexually assaulting and fatally shooting the 25-year-old woman.
“They couldn’t find this girl. But she came to me and showed me where she was,” said Monroe, who described to police what St. Laurent was wearing and where she could be found. “She ended up being right out behind the felon’s mother’s house.”
Joseph Loughlin, a retired assistant police chief for the Portland Police Department and co-author of a book on the case, “Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine,” said that Monroe shared some “incredible, uncanny pieces of information” that helped police solve the case. It was the first time Loughlin hired a psychic to assist with an investigation, he said.
“She told me basically that was Amy underneath something and close to water, which turned out to be true,” said Loughlin. “She definitely has talent and insight. She mentioned things that no one else could possibly know, that assisted us in our thinking. When we found the body, certain things she had said had manifested.”
According to Monroe, she helps her clients connect with dead loved ones, and provides them with a sense of closure by delivering the spirit guides’ messages. Two of her clients, who live in Maine, said they found Monroe’s skills as a psychic medium/spirit messenger to be inspiring and comforting.
Julia Riley, from Kennebunk, said she’s experienced readings with Monroe in private and group settings. During one personal reading, Monroe connected Riley with a deceased family member who had an “interesting death,” which really touched her heart.
“It was something she wouldn’t have known about, or that I barely knew about at the time,” said Riley of that incident.
Information that Monroe is able to reveal to her clients can be life changing, said Riley. Monroe’s interactions with people often bring tears to their eyes, she said.
“She brings such incredible comfort to people,” said Riley. “She’s got an incredible soul and presence about herself.”
According to Riley, Monroe is respectful, beautiful and engaging.
“She’s funny and she’s caring. I think all of that helps people feel comfortable when they are talking about things that are really serious for them,” she said.
Laura DiDio, a client from Massachusetts, was “totally blown away” by her first reading with Monroe, she said. DiDio remembered asking Monroe specific questions that she wanted specific answers to, she said.
“She described my parents to a T,” said DiDio of her deceased family members. “This was not information you would find on the web or on my Facebook page.”
DiDio is also a writer and investigative reporter who has attended several of Monroe’s readings and is collaborating with her on her new book, “Conduit.”
“I’ve worked with a lot of psychics,” said DiDio who has known Monroe for 11 years. “Vicki is the most talented I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible.”
According to DiDio, Monroe is not the type of psychic who predicts the future. Instead, she said, Monroe has “a sixth sense.”
“Vicki is like a satellite receiver,” said DiDio. “She’s getting all the channels.”
Kimberly Savage, Monroe’s makeup artist, hairstylist and friend, who has seen Monroe in action, said Monroe’s field of work “is a hit or a miss with people. There are a lot of critics out there,” said Savage. “Anytime that she’s ever read anybody who is a skeptic, it blows their mind. I’ve seen people’s faces turn beet red. Everything she says is right on point.”
For nearly her entire life, spirit guides have talked with her, followed her, and often appeared at her bedside, presenting themselves to her as children or young adults, said Monroe.
She admits she doesn’t get much sleep.
“It’s not something you turn off,” Monroe said.
“I am not out to tell anyone, ‘This is what you must believe,’ ” she said of her work. “You just have to have faith – it’s all you need.”
On the cover, psychic seer Vicki Monroe poses in a Kennebunk cemetery. Psychic seer Vicki Monroe?, left,? walks through a Kennebunk cemetery with a friend and client, Kimberly Savage.? Vicki Monroe, a psychic medium and spirit messenger from Maine, is featured on the Investigation Discovery channel series “Cell Block Psychic.”