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Friday, April 19, 2013

Robert Graves, Accused Murderer, Penned "Art of Psychic Dice"

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 2:59 PM


The curious case of Robert Graves -- the 66-year-old accused of nonchalantly executing a noisy reveler who lived in his building -- has careened from tragic to baffling to bizarre.

It's unclear how Graves paid the bills (he is now being represented by a court-appointed public defender). But, for $27.50 -- plus shipping and handling -- he'd send you a copy of his book, The Art of Psychic Dice.

Graves' self-published tome comes with its own warning: This book "advocates an optimistic theory of applying psychokinesis while playing casino craps. All gambling is risky. Although the author believes that anyone who applies this theory will increase his or her chances of either winning cash or creating a moment in which psychokinesis visibly manifests, in no event will Robert E. Graves be liable for any action taken by the reader."

The author, who remains in custody on $3 million bail, is liable for violent actions he allegedly took on his own.

"... in no event will Robert E. Graves be liable for any action taken by the reader."
  • "... in no event will Robert E. Graves be liable for any action taken by the reader."
"... in no event will Robert E. Graves be liable for any action taken by the reader."
Graves is accused of shooting 24-year-old neighbor Geoffrey Greer in the head as Greer walked down the stairway following a rooftop party in the building both men lived in at 1135 Pacific Avenue. Graves purportedly asked the young man if he was a policeman's son before shooting him at close range in full view of Greer's friends. Graves walked back into his top-floor apartment and was arrested shortly thereafter.

His book claims to be "your step-by-step guide to the relationship between psychokinetic energy and casino craps." On His website flogging the self-published manuscript Graves describes himself as a "100% red-blooded Midwestern hick from Iowa and Illinois. ... I conceived this book in 1973. By 1976, I had spent hundreds of hours playing craps, testing theories, and researching psychokinesis. I then shelved the project to major in film at San Francisco State University I have penned screenplays, movie reviews and articles. I am a writer and consultant in the San Francisco Bay area."

Graves explains his psychokenetic work in an hourlong radio interview here.

Calls to S.F. State's registrar's office to question whether Graves did indeed attend that school were directed to the National Student Clearninghouse. Messages left there have not yet been returned.  

Graves' claims were received skeptically by researchers of the paranormal.

"My first question would be, why is he writing about this instead of racking up all the money he can in casinos?" said parapsychologist Harris Friedman, a retired research professor of psychology at the University of Florida.  

Friedman was loath to dismiss Graves' claims out of hand. But, after perusing Graves' website, he said "looking at this, I'm not sure if I'd use the word 'hokum,' but I would say I'm extremely dubious there's anything worthwhile in an application like this. If someone could indeed controll the roll of the dice, that person would be a very wealthy individual and probably not selling books."

Informed Graves is accused of shooting a man to death, Friedman questioned why a "psychic master of the dice" couldn't employ "a more elegant solution."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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