My case of the week started out as a typical marital surveillance job, but ended up having a huge twist.
As a backdrop, our firm has performed thousands of surveillance jobs (in all 50 States and many foreign countries).
A few days ago a woman called my staff in our San Diego office. She requested an appointment to meet with me for what she called a “spousal surveillance.” She arrived on time and, as sometimes happens, the potential client was accompanied by another person in the reception area.
I was about to be amazed.
“Carrie” and “Sean” were brother and sister. Neither were there to have their spouses followed. They wanted my agency to follow their father, “Gary.”
Both explained that their father had been a philandering cheat for most of his 50+ years of marriage. Although they both expressed love for their father, they were just as adamant that his behavior was disrespectful to their mother and very debilitating to the entire family.
Gary owns a well-known restaurant in the Laguna Beach. Sean worked at the restaurant and stated that his father always leaves the establishment around 11:00 a.m. His excuse was that he was going to the bank, the post office or other various lies.
The siblings advised that they were prepared monetarily to conduct as much surveillance as necessary to get the evidence that Gary was having an affair. This is often a “battle-cry” that we hear, but dozens of hours of surveillance are usually not necessary. Most of our surveillances are completed within 4 to 8 hours. We catch 97% of the people we follow in these cases. The other 3% were just “good” on that particular day or their partner was unavailable. If clients stay with it long enough, we catch almost everyone.
Now the million dollar question from me was, “What are you going to do with the video, photos and the report we generate?” They told me their goal was to confront him so that he would stop his behavior. I told them that his proclivity to cheat would not stop, but this would only make him a more careful cheater.
The two million dollar question was, “How does you mother fit into your gameplan?” Unfortunately, they had not thought that out. I cautioned them as to the potential that exposing their father would bring an end to the marriage.
The next day the surveillance job was typical of shooting fish in a barrel. Gary rolled out of the restaurant in his new 4-door Mercedes-Benz at 11:09 a.m. He was followed to a local park where he positioned his vehicle at the very far end of the parking lot at 11:18 a.m.
At 11:26 a.m. a female was observed to arrive in a late model Audi. She exited her vehicle and joined Gary in the back seat of his Mercedes-Benz. The investigator, using state-of-the-art video equipment, was able to capture the next twelve minutes of the sexual encounter.
The plate of the female was run through the California Department of Motor Vehicles and we obtained the woman’s full name. A background investigation was completed by staff and we determined she was married and the mother of two children.
The next day both clients came into my office and viewed the video tape in our conference room. Their heartbreak in finally confirming what they believed was somewhat overshadowed by their outrage that their cheating father was so loathsome and cheap not to even get a room.
I had to ask my clients, “Now what?”
Both clients were in agreement and stated they were going to tell their mother. They felt she probably knew or had some sense of his infidelity after all these years, and had a right to finality with the matter.
I told them that 80% of my surveillance clients are women. When these women find out their mate is cheating, a third want to divorce, a third want to go to counseling and a third don’t know what to do. Maybe their mother would be conciliatory. When our client is a man and we catch the wife cheating, the men end up getting a divorce 99% of the time.
Both clients were hopeful that the evidence that we obtained would not ruin their parent’s marriage but ironically bring them closer together. Hope is a wonderful thing.
“Are you going to confront your father?” I inquired.
“Yes, we have decided to put your report and the DVD on his breakfast plate on Father’s Day morning. Given the details of your report and the shocking video in the backseat, he can no longer claim we are all crazy and imagining things.”
Happy Father’s Day everyone!
A father devastated when he learns his daughter was lured into the world of amateur porn.