No matter how diligent people think they have been in hiring a private investigator, there is one area where people usually get ripped-off. It is the biggest lie in our business, and it has been for the past seventy years.
On September 22, 1969, I was sworn in as a Federal Agent at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. It seems like only yesterday.
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.
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.
Private investigator Thomas G. Martin was recently featured in an article about the private investigation of senior living facilities.
Thomas Martin was interviewed by A&E about the unsolved, missing child case of Madeleine McCann – a case he believes suffered from too many cooks in this kitchen, and no head chef.
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.
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.
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.
My office is often contacted by radio and television shows looking for a bit of insight from a private investigator.
This week I received a request from Betsy Singer of KAAL-TV ABC6 News in Rochester, MN. I couldn’t resist calling her back.
Singer had read a post of mine about how a Facebook update led to the capture of a fugitive and she wanted to talk about the role social media plays in law enforcement. She was doing a feature on a local program in Freeborn County called Warrant Wednesdays, in which warrants are posted on Facebook in hopes of getting information on the whereabouts of the fugitives.