The tragedy of James Hydrick: confessed psychic fraud and martial arts guru
James Alan Hydrick first rose to fame in the early 1980s, via this appearance on the popular TV show "That's Incredible!", performing various purportedly telekinetic demonstrations.
N.B. that he was using the pseudonym "Sum Chai" at this time:
Hydrick, who possessed some truly impressive martial arts/athletic skills, set up a successful martial arts school in Salt Lake City but then spectacularly failed to meet skeptic James Randi's challenge on another TV show, "That's My Line":
Shortly thereafter he was challenged by another skeptic, the magician and investigative journalist Danny Korem. Hydrick became frustrated during taping of a documentary produced by Korem and eventually snapped, offering a full "confession" detailing his tragic history of neglect, abuse and institutionalization and also his reasons for posing as a telekinetic savant.
Korem, who was concerned that Hydrick was dangerous, interviewed people who had known Hydrick as a boy, which confirmed much of his re-telling of his past. Korem completed the documentary, entitled "Psychic Confession", shortly before Hydrick was arrested and jailed for receiving stolen handguns supplied by some of his young students.
It's available here in two parts and makes for riveting viewing:
Hydrick subsequently escaped from jail, was re-captured and spent most of the 1990s and early 2000s in prison on child molestation charges. Having served out that sentence, he is now being held involuntarily in a California psychiatric institution.