KENNEBUNK, Maine — Vicki Monroe knows what it’s like to lose a loved one.
It was the loss of her sister in a tragic car accident that led Monroe to use the gift she said she had kept quiet as a child and teenager — an ability to communicate with spirits of the dead. For years, Monroe has worked as a psychic medium and now she’s using her gift and experience to help families who have suffered unimaginable losses.
Monroe, who lives in Kennebunk, is featured in “Cell Block Psychic,” a one-hour show in which she uses her skills to bring additional information, and closure, to families of murder victims. The cases highlighted on the show have been closed, with someone being convicted of the crimes, but Monroe retraces the history of the case, visiting with family members, investigators and the convict — all of whom have spirits with them who can shed light on what happened.
“Every family is different. The cases are all very different, but the emotions, because of what they are dealing with, are similar. The cases, in general, are all murders. They are extremely harsh. It lives with them for decades and that’s how it’s been with these families,” Monroe said. “We are never able to bring complete closure, but we’re bringing them as close as we can get to that feeling.”
“Cell Block Psychic” premiered last month on the Investigation Discovery channel and will run for at least three episodes, the last of which will air Friday at 7 p.m.
Monroe said she received a call from a production company about a year-and-a-half ago that pitched the idea for “Cell Block Psychic.” Having helped her parents deal with the loss of her sister, the show “spoke volumes to me,” Monroe said.
“It was just really something that I can relate to, being a sister. I couldn’t relate as a parent because thank God that had not happened to me, but I could relate as a sister. I felt like this is such a brilliant idea,” Monroe said. “At that point you don’t look at it as being good TV, you look at it as this is a good opportunity to go out and help people.”
Monroe says she sees spirits everywhere she goes, and because of that stays away from malls and other crowded places.
On “Cell Block Psychic,” she heads to a difficult place for someone with that skill — jails. She comes face to face with convicted murderers, hoping to gain insight into unanswered questions. While there is tremendous anxiety that goes along with that, Monroe said she knows she’s not going it alone.
“I’m talking to the spirits themselves and they are giving me insight. When I have to go into the prisons, I feel like I am walking in with as much knowledge as the person that did it,” she said. “There’s not as much anxiety, not to say there isn’t, there’s a tremendous amount, but there isn’t as much. I have a support team behind me. You just kind of do what you’re supposed to do and it’s about the family. That’s the whole purpose of this is trying to help all the families we can.”
Filming for “Cell Block Psychic” started last November, with Monroe traveling around the country to meet with families and convicts, and wrapped in January. Now, she’s hoping the show will be picked up and is just waiting to go back on the road.
“That has to be one of the most amazing feelings,” Monroe said of the ability to bring clarity to families through the show. “Take what’s negative and try to see the positive that can come from that. That’s what this whole thing is about. That’s what the show is about. That’s the message we are trying to portray. It can be a horrific experience, and I know because I went through it, but all of them are different. If we can find some extra truth there and a reason for moving forward now, that’s what we’re going to do.”