From the files:
I hired a private detective to check into my boyfriend
By Stacy Peters
Okay…I know it may sound totally paranoid that I hired a private detective to check into my boyfriend, but you just can’t be too careful who you get serious about these days. Especially when someone seems too good to be true. Maybe I am a little paranoid, but how often do you come across a guy who’s great looking and a doctor and opens the car door for you and always picks up the check?
Before letting myself fall for him big time, I wanted to be sure that he was what he said he was. This isn’t the first time I’ve had someone’s background checked into – it’s a precaution every woman should take with all the crazies out there. This time, I hired John DeMarr and I was very pleased with the service his firm provided. Starting with the lovely girl who answers their phones, everyone was always courteous and helpful – and never made me feel like I was being paranoid.
In less than a week, the people at DeMarr sent me a complete report that was very professionally prepared and very well organized. They knew exactly what information someone in my situation would want, and provided me with the answers I needed. They did a very thorough job, looking for everything from aliases to tax liens and bankruptcies to a medical license search to criminal records. I felt that I had everything I needed to know when I read the report.
So I guess everyone’s wondering if my boyfriend checked out. He did. Everything he’d told me was true, he wasn’t married before, he wasn’t in jail, and he didn’t owe the IRS $200K. I was 100% relieved after reading the report, and felt that I could trust it completely. I guess sometimes too good to be true turns out to be true. Having the investigator run the check didn’t even cost all that much. I’ve spent way more on handbags than I did to make sure that I was safe with the man I’m dating.
I didn’t lie to my boyfriend and I told him that I’d hired a P.I. to check up on him. He thought it was hilarious.
Extensive Asset Search
by Zev R.
My grandmother died a couple months ago. She was never the most organized woman in the world, and she’d gotten a little vague in her last years (she was 101 when she died.) I was her executor, and, when I started going through her papers, I found chaotic records that were probably incomplete. She’d told me things about her holdings over the years, but I couldn’t find any traces of a lot of what she’d told me about.
I’d never been an executor before, so I didn’t know what to do. The lawyer was no help whatsoever. I didn’t know from asset searches until a friend who’d been an executor last year told me you could hire a private investigator to look up and locate everything a person owns (or owned.) My friend recommended John DeMarr. I called, gave them my grandmother’s information, and ordered an extensive asset search. (The extensive part was that it included locating bank accounts.)
By the end of the week, I had a report with a lot of information I could never have found myself. The search matched the things she’d told me, and located accounts at three banks I’d never even heard about. The investigators even turned up copyrights from the 1950s for some sefarim my grandfather had published. Talk about extensive.
So I learned that there’s such a thing as an asset search -- and found somebody good to do one at a very fair price.
Stage Door Process Service
A recent service of process assignment had for its subject an up-and-coming actress who, we determined through industry contacts, was appearing in a play in a small theater in Hollywood.
Having learned that the cast arrived two hours prior to the 7:00 p.m. show, our investigator presented himself at the box office at 5:00 p.m., only to learn that the evening’s performance was sold out. Knowing that a ticket would secure entry into the theater, the investigator explained to the clerk at the box office that he was a casting agent who had been away in Australia for several weeks, but who very badly needed to attend that performance, as he was holding an important audition the following week.
The box office manager told our investigator to check back close to curtain time, and that he would have first crack at any cancellations that came through. Looking around, the investigator then noticed a group of young women outside the theater. He approached them and learned that they were performing in the show, and also that the subject usually arrived only very shortly before the performances’ starting times. He repeated his casting director story, which got one of the women with whom he was speaking (who turned out to be the director of the play) to offer him one of the tickets that were kept back for industry people such as he.
Ticket in hand, the investigator retreated to await the arrival of the subject, on the chance that she might be intercepted prior to entering the theater’s back door. At 6:45, a black SUV pulled up alongside the theater, and several women emerged, including the subject, whom the investigator recognized from a photo. There was no immediate physical access to the subject, who then entered the theater.
We had a female investigator on the job as well. She had obtained a small bunch of flowers, and, after the subject had entered the theater, approached the box office manager, saying that she was a friend of the subject’s, and that she wanted to give her the flowers and to wish her well before the performance. The box office manager told her to wait, and sent someone backstage to contact the subject, who appeared two minutes later. “Hi, ***,” said the investigator. “Yes?” The investigator then informed the subject that she was being served legal documents, which she initially refused, but subsequently accepted.
Three Strike Law
A client came to us who had been in a seriously wrong place at the wrong time. He was at home with his wife when the police arrived at the door and arrested him for Grand Theft Firearm – a felony in California that comes with up to three years in prison and that counts as a strike according to the Three Strike Law.
He was innocent, but a large amount of circumstantial evidence (and the lack of an alibi) pointed to him. His situation was worsened when he was picked out of a line-up by a witness. It was starting to look like an open-and-shut case for the police.
The client and his wife were desperate when, literally at their wits’ end, they called us and asked us to investigate what the police weren’t.
It took a lot of work (some of it undercover), but we did manage to locate the person who actually had stolen the gun, and turned our evidence over to the police, who arrested the man and released our client. (Although the case has yet to come to trial as we write this, it appears that the D.A.’s case will incorporate much of the evidence we obtained.)
Vanished family member
A very strange case we handled began with a family having dinner at a restaurant. One of the family members got up to go to the men’s room – and never came back. It was as though he had disappeared into thin air.
The family called in the police, but, as there were no signs of violence attached to the disappearance and no crime appeared to have been committed, they let the case go cold, leaving the family baffled, upset, and unsure whether or not their family member was alive or dead.
They hired a private investigator, but he was unable to locate the family member, and told the family to give up.
That they did, until, a few years later, one of the family decided to give it another shot. Almost at random, they picked our name off the Internet, and put us on the case. It took us across four states, but we did find the missing person – after recognizing that the vanished family member was likely following the instructions in the book Vanishing Point: How to Disappear in America Without a Trace. Without recognizing the pattern from the book, it is unlikely that the man would ever have been found, as he had planned his disappearance extremely well.
Although there was no fond reunion, and the man did not return to his original family (which wants to keep the reasons for the disappearance private), they do at least know that he is alive and well, and have had a huge load of worry taken off their shoulders.