Whatever Happened To The Psychic Who Predicted JFK's Assassination?

Three days after Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, The World News — a Roanoke, Virginia newspaper — had a story headlined "Kennedy's Death Predicted." It alleged that "soothsayer" Jeane Dixon had foreseen Kennedy's murder in a 1956 article in Parade Magazine. Back in May 1956, Dixon predicted that a Democrat would win the 1960 presidential election but would "be assassinated or die in office though not necessarily in his first term."

Dixon's fairly accurate prognostication was enough to launch her career as a nationally known psychic. She would become friendly with two U.S. presidents, write several best-selling books, have a long-running syndicated newspaper astrology column, and become a staple of the talk show circuit before her death at age 79 in 1997, per The New York Times. After her death, her financial advisor opened up a museum in Virginia dedicated to her.

Politics and the apocalypse

Jeane Dixon was born Jeane Pinckert in Medford, Wisconsin in 1904 and later claimed she'd been gifted with psychic abilities since childhood. "I was always psychic," she said (via the Los Angeles Times). She grew up in California and in 1939 married James Dixon. The couple moved to Washington, D.C. in the 1940s, and there they ran a real estate company, per The New York Times. In the nation's capital, her career as a psychic took off. She became known as the "Seeress of Washington" and collected such high-profile friends and clients as Ronald and Nancy Reagan and South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, per The Washington Post and Reuters. According to "Mrs. Wakeman vs. the Antichrist: And Other Strange-but-True Tales from American History," she also met with President Richard Nixon at the White House in 1972. Dixon was also on a first-name basis with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

She had a daily syndicated astrology column, penned seven books, collaborated with Milton Bradley on a game, and continued to stay in the public eye until her death in 1997. Her predictions, which were often wrong, became more apocalyptic as she got older. Per The Daily Telegraph, she claimed the world would end around 2020.

Death and a museum

Jeane Dixon survived a financial scandal in the 1970s when the media reported that her charity — Children for Children — had spent most of its funds on salaries and promotion, with little going to its cause, according to "Mrs. Wakeman vs. the Antichrist." Her career continued unhindered, with her predictions appearing in supermarket tabloids into the 1990s. She died of a heart attack in 1997 and requested that her ashes be scattered on Mt. Rainier in Washington state. Her fame was such that mathematician John Paulos named a phenomenon after her — the Jeane Dixon Effect, which occurs when people focus on a few correct predictions and overlook numerous wrong ones.

Following her death, her financial advisor and friend Leo Bernstein bankrolled a museum and library dedicated to her. The attraction in Strasburg, Virginia opened in 2002 and closed six years later when Bernstein died, according to The New York Times. The museum's collection went up for auction the next year and included Dixon's designer hats and her pet Mike the Magicat's rhinestone collars, among other items.