Montel: Weyman Robbins Reading
A woman asks Sylvia Browne for answers about the death of her 12-year-old son.
Weyman Robbins, two months before his death.
On December 18 2002, 12-year old Weyman Arizona Robbins was reported missing. After a brief search, his body was found in his mother's back yard.
Several months later, Weyman's mother Misty Robbins appeared on the Montel Williams show, hoping that Sylvia Browne could shed some light on the circumstances surrounding her son's death.
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The episode was first broadcast on May 7, 2003.
The following is a transcript of pertinent parts of the episode, interspersed with my comments (all emphasis mine):
At the start of the show, a "teaser" segment was shown
Announcer: Sylvia reveals what caused her daughter's death...
(Sylvia) Browne: The white car caused the accident.
Woman #1: Huh. Thank you.
Announcer: ...and the death of her 12-year-old son.
(Misty) Robbins, Weyman's mother: He died of asphyxiation by strangulation.
Browne: One of the kids is named Danny.
Announcer: What happened after the show shocked us all, and led police to an alleged killer. Sylvia Browne Wednesday. Don't go away. That's coming up right now on MONTEL.
So, did Browne's reading lead to an arrest? Let's look at the actual reading...
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After a segment where Browne and Williams promote her latest book (), the reading begins.
(Montel) Williams: My first guest says that her 12-year-old son was found dead and wonders if there was plou--foul play. Please welcome Misty to the show. Where's Misty?
Robbins: Thank you.
Williams: Why don't you tell Sylvia what happened? This was an afternoon. He should have come home, and he didn't, right?
Robbins: He did come home. My brother was baby-sitting him. He was outside playing. He--I came home at 5:30 and found out my brother hadn't seen him since 4:00 in the afternoon. I immediately started making phone calls. This is at 5:30. No one had seen him since he'd gotten off the bus. So...
Browne: And that wasn't like him?
Robbins: Not at all.
Browne: I know.
Notice that Browne asks a question, and when the mother answers, Browne acts as though she already knew the answer. This is a standard cold-reader's trick, planting the thought in the audience's mind that the cold-reader knows more than he or she actually does.
Williams: And they went...
Robbins: Not at all.
Williams: And they kept searching, right? Well, you di--you didn't really search.
Robbins: I went out and looked for him.
Williams: The police came by your house, correct?
Robbins: Yes, they did.
Williams: And at one point in time, did they not look in the back yard?
Robbins: With a spotlight. As he was pulling out of my driveway, he had the spotlight on, and it shined right back there.
Williams: You saw nothing?
Robbins: There was nothing there.
Williams: So how many hours later did they find your son there?
Robbins: An hour and a half.
Williams: Was he in the same area that that light was shined?
Robbins: Yes. Yes.
Williams: So now do you think that he was put there after the police left, or may he have been there...
Robbins: That's what I believe, yes.
Williams: S--and you want to know from Sylvia what?
Robbins: If i--there was foul play, or if this is really an accident. My son was found--there was a--a rope from one tree to the next. He was found in the middle, on his feet with a ring around his neck. He died of asphyxiation by strangulation. He was attached to a bandanna, his chin resting in a bandanna.
Browne: No, this--this wasn't his doing. This was foul play. This was other kids. They were playing this stupid game.
Robbins: It's a game?
Browne: Yeah, some game.
Robbins: Can you tell me how long he was deceased for?
Browne: See, what really aggravates me is when they shined the light back there--shone the light--English teacher--shone the light, he was there. They just didn't--they skimmed over it. He was there.
Robbins: He was? When I held him, warm air came out on my--my neck. I thought we had time until I realized it was me squeezing him.
Browne: Yeah, the--the air from the lungs was...
Robbins: Right. The detective told me that kids, a month prior to Weyman's death, had been using bandannas to asphyxiate themselves to get high.
Browne: That's what I'm saying. That's...
Williams: Well, yeah, and--and that--that's--when I say that, I'm not trying to--I don't want to give too many details about this...
Browne: No. We don't want to...
Williams: ...right now on the show because I don't want other kids copying this.
Robbins: Yeah. I mean, I just don't understand how the rings got around his neck like this, and he was on a bandanna.
Browne: Well, he didn't put it there, hon. He didn't put it there. There were two or three other kids that did it.
Robbins: Two or three other children?
Robbins: Do you know who they are?
Browne: Well, they're right in the s--they're right in your neighborhood, in the area, in the school, every--you know. I mean, they're...
Robbins: OK. Someone that goes--he goes to school with?
Browne: Well, one of the--the kids is named Danny.
Robbins: OK. OK.
Williams: So I would look in the--and especially if the police have--have some knowledge of this having happened and if there...
Browne: The only thing that bothers me is I don't think the kids meant to. You know, I--see, that's--and I agree with Montel. You don't want to give out too much information, but I don't think kids know what they're playing with. You know, it's like snuffing. You know, that--you know, what...
Williams: Or huffing, yeah.
Robbins: Well, that's what I blame, you know?
Browne: ...or huffing, rather, with aerosol.
Robbins: I mean, how simple, a bandanna. It's not drugs, you know what I'm saying? 'How can it hurt me?'
Williams: Yeah, and that--that's the problem. I mean, you know...
Robbins: Exactly. Exactly.
Williams: ...with this--this insatiable desire for us to find...
Browne: For a high.
Williams: ...the next buzz and the next high, kids are trying to do this because they think that this is gonna--and--and it doesn't. Exact...
Robbins: And it costs a dollar.
Williams: Right. ...(Unintelligible).
Robbins: I mean, there was a red bandanna that came up missing, also, that was tied around his leg that has never been found.
Browne: See--well, I think for some reason the cops took that, but what I'm telling you is I don't think your son had any idea what was going on. He was almost a hapless victim of somebody saying, 'Let's see what we can do.' Do you see what I'm saying?
Robbins: Yes. Yes, I do.
Williams: All right. Thank you.
Robbins: I do, thank you.
Williams: I'm sorry. Let me take a little break. We'll be back right after this.
So, according to Browne, Weyman was inadvertently killed by two or three other kids in an asphyxiation "game."
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At the end of the show, the following segment with Ms. Robbins was shown, apparently taped some time later than the rest of the episode.
Robbins: Well, Montel, since the show with you and Sylvia, my brother was arrested in the murder of my son, Weyman Robbins. He was charged with second-degree murder. He confessed to it.
So then, Browne was wrong. She said it was two or three kids responsible, not one adult.
Sylvia said that someone named Danny was involved in Weyman's murder. My brother's name was Daniel.
Browne said it was two or three children, one named Danny. Not an adult named Daniel.
Sylvia also said there were three names that came to her mind. My brother was given three names at birth, Daniel, Shawn and eventually Martin.
Browne did not say that three names came to mind. She said that there were two, maybe three kids responsible, and that one was named Danny.
I'd like to say to Sylvia: Thank you for giving me the inspiration to go on with this story. Without what she told me, I would have been at a loose end. I want to thank her with--the bottom of my heart for helping me in this.
It is difficult for me to understand how Ms. Robbins believes Browne to be deserving of thanks. Perhaps Browne saying that the death was "foul play" gave her the encouragement she needed to press on (she hired a PI who cracked the case). But other than that, Browne was wrong about almost everything.
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So, how did Browne do? Let's compare the statements she made with the actual outcome, based on Ms. Robbins' account.
|Browne's Statement ||Reality ||Rating |
|No, this--this wasn't his [Weyman's] doing. This was foul play. ||Weyman was murdered by his uncle. ||Right |
|This was other kids. They were playing this stupid game. ||It was an adult. ||Wrong |
|See, what really aggravates me is when they shine the light back there [in the back yard] (...) They just didn't--they skimmed over it. He was there. ||No way of knowing. ||Unknown |
|Well, he didn't put it [the bandanna] there, hon. He didn't put it there. ||Probably true. ||Right |
|There were two or three other kids that did it. ||It was one adult. ||Wrong |
|Well, they're right in the s--they're right in your neighborhood, in the area, in the school, every--you know. I mean, they're... ||The murderer was an adult. ||Wrong |
|Well, one of the--the kids is named Danny. ||There were no kids involved. ||Wrong |
|The only thing that bothers me is I don't think the kids meant to. ||The murderer was an adult, and it was intentional. ||Wrong |
|See--well, I think for some reason the cops took that (bandanna) ||No way of knowing. ||Unknown |
|I don't think your son had any idea what was going on. ||According to Ms. Robbins account here, Weyman was murdered for defending his sisters. ||Wrong |
|He was almost a hapless victim of somebody saying, 'Let's see what we can do.' Do you see what I'm saying? ||Not according to Ms. Robbins' account. ||Wrong |
So, Browne got two statements right out of eleven. That's about an 18% accuracy rate. As always, far lower than her claimed accuracy rate of 87%. And it is important to note that nothing Browne said would have been of any use to law enforcement in finding the person responsible, since they would have been looking for "two or three kids."
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Yet again, Browne weighs in on a tragedy and proves to be mostly wrong, and totally useless.
This makes a dozen missing person and homicide cases I have profiled on this web site, and Browne has yet to be substantially correct in any of them.
As always, I invite anyone who can point out an instance of Browne being right about any missing person or homicide case on the Montel show to contact me and tell me about it. I will research it, document it, and publish an article about it on this web site.
As of this writing, I have heard from no one with such a case. As far as I can tell, Browne's success rate on these cases remains at zero percent.
My thanks to EMM for finding and researching this reading.
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