In 1971, I had staring contest with Charles Manson. I was reminded of this by Season 2 of Netflix’ Mindhunter, which mostly gets investigation correct.
As a professional private investigator and a former Federal agent, it can be very hard for me to watch television. With rare exception, nearly every Hollywood depiction of private investigation and criminal investigation consistently gets it wrong. (I’ve written a few posts about the Hollywood vs. reality aspect of private investigation: here, here and here.)…
I’ve taken part in more than a few television shows as an interview subject. In recent years, I was approached by two of the major studios, as they wanted me to help create and star in a reality-based television show about private investigators. I have ended up turning down many interviews and all of the reality shows – because I insisted upon keeping the reality aspect intact.
Here’s how these things typically go.
During their previous careers as federal agents, many of our investigators actually worked inside Mexico – either covertly or overtly.
I am offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to finding Derek Seehausen or physical evidence supporting his death.
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.
Last year, the Washington Post released a fascinating study that mapped out over 52,000 homicides over the past decade across 50 cities. It turns out that the overall arrest rate was only 49%, and in some areas the arrest rate was lower than 33%.
Given I’m going on 49 years of being an investigator, this posts lays out for the prospective PI of the future, what I see as the pros and cons of becoming a PI.
Over the past twelve years, I have given a handful of interviews about this case and written on particulars of the investigation. At one point, the family’s representatives considered us as an agency to investigate the case. I do wish we had been selected as the lead agency, and I often wonder what difference we could have made in this investigation.
Here’s what I would recommend for the case now.
Many private investigators only want to work in a specific genre of the business and it’s probably a good choice to have an area of specialization. My firm is a full-service investigative agency.