Joe Bankson, Gena Charlton: Liberty Co. Couple Sues Media, Sheriff Over That Psychic-Inspired Search for Mass Graves

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Remember last summer's sudden media hysteria about a large number of children's graves on a Liberty County home?

It was all inspired by a psychic who phoned the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, and, we think, some tipster in that office who gave out bad info that led outlets such as CNN to momentarily report that mass graves had indeed been found.

Amazingly enough for a psychic tip, it turned out to be wrong. And now the couple that owns the property, Joe Bankston and Gena Charlton, are suing, as our sister paper the Dallas Observer reports.

They have filed suit in Dallas County state court against the psychic, listed as "Jane Doe," the sheriff's department and various media outlets, including KPRC, The New York Times, CNN and Belo, which owns KHOU.

The suit says they suffered mental anguish and monetary damages by the false reporting and by cops letting the media watch the search.

Fake Mass Grave Complaint

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.