Kasumigaseki Station, Marunouchi Line Source: ph by っ, 2005-05

I was in the Tokyo subway when it was attacked in 1995. Here’s the story.

A few days ago my phone started to ring with a flurry of texts and emails. It had to do with doomsday cult leader Shoko Asahara being executed in Japan. You might remember the deadly 1995 terrorist attack where cult members released the nerve gas sarin in Tokyo subways. Asahara was the mastermind of that attack. 13 people died and thousands suffered ill effects.

I was there.

I was there on that day, in that subway. And I remember the events as if they happened yesterday.

Shooting fish in a barrel: How private investigators do surveillance in the age of smartphones

The days of private investigators performing marital surveillance jobs are pretty much over. Previously, marital surveillance jobs could be challenging, demanding and stressful. It was hard to get that photographic “money-shot.” Gathering evidence today is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Here’s why private investigators are hired for marital surveillance jobs today – and it’s a good reason.

If a background check was run on you, here’s what would be in it

You’ve probably wondered at some point: If someone ran a background check on me, what would be in it?

Believe me when I say you would be shocked at what’s actually in these reports: I’m a private investigator whose agency performs hundreds of these background checks and asset searches every year.

The sheer amount of data in these reports is staggering: Many of them are a hundred pages or more.

Be your own pet detective: How to find your lost pet

You can be your own pet detective: How to find your lost pet

As the president of a private investigative agency with 5 offices and 22 investigators, we regularly get calls from people that want us to track down and find missing or lost pets. I am very sympathetic, but I will not take your money or your case.

The reality is that you don’t need a private investigator. When it comes to finding a lost pet, you honestly have the ability to do everything a PI can do.

Advice on becoming a private investigator

The top 10 things private investigators WON’T do

Our PI firm receives thousands of calls a year. Every day, we have to explain to at least one caller that some of the things they want us to do for them are in fact illegal – and punishable by prison and fines. I decided to compile a list of these requests, and group them into categories. This allowed me to come up with a top 10 list of services we either won’t perform – or will only perform only under very tight restrictions, under the direction in writing from an attorney and/or they meet the severe limitations of the civil and criminal codes of conduct.

Serving papers can be a deadly business (Image: Austin Animal Protection)

Serving papers can be a deadly business

We are routinely called upon to serve papers. I was reminded this week that all our investigators need to be continuously vigilant.

A few days ago, Erin McClesky, a 36-year old process server from Austin, Texas, was killed when she was attacked by several loose dogs on the property as she attempted to serve civil papers.