Tag Archives: Private Investigator

Don’t use cellular phone to track without a warrant

cell phone track“Police violated a burglary suspect’s state constitutional right to privacy when they located him using cellphone tracking information without first obtaining a warrant, a New Jersey appeals court ruled on Friday.

Read more: http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202642187228/Tracking-Suspect%27s-Cellphone-Without-Warrant-Flouted-Constitutional-Rights#ixzz2tJTc9thZ


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Spyware on your cell phone?

Several mobile phones
Image via Wikipedia

From Tom Slovenski, of Cellular Forensics

How do you protect a client and their information from thieving eyes and stalking ex-lovers?  How do you protect your own phone as well.  Here are a few simple tips.

  1. Never let anyone you do not know use your cell phone.  Don’t loan it out.
  2. If the phone is lost or stolen and  then recovered, do not use it to transmit sensitive date until it has been thoroughly checked by a cellular professional as it could have become infected.
  3. Turn off the “Bluetooth” when not is use. There is no need for an “open door” when you are not using a secure headset. For added security, use a wired headset.
  4. Do not accept any connection with which you are not familiar.  If you are sitting in a Starbucks and your phone is asking permission to hook on to a device with which you are not familiar…refuse the connection.
  5. Do not open attachments from a party you do not know
  6. Password protect your phone. This will eliminate 95% of problems. If the phone is locked down, the bad guy can’t get into it.

What if the person thinks the phone is already “bugged”? What are some of the signs?

  1. Are there too many “coincidences” in the client’s life? Is the information being transmitted from their phone seemingly winding up in someone else’s  hands. In a conversation, does the other party relate confidential information you did not disclose to them?
  2. Was the phone recently lost and then recovered?
  3. Has the person recently been through a traumatic experience with an ex-lover, spouse or business partner?
  4. Is the person in the midst of a highly charged court battle?
  5. Is the battery area hot to the touch? (The extra transmissions of the spyware to the other party pulls on the battery power)
  6. Does the battery drain quicker than it used to? (Again, more transmissions, less power)
  7. Does the phone light up for no reason?

For the complete article, see PI Magazine, June 2009 edition, or Tom’s website, www.cellularforensics.com, then click on Articles.

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Dateline will feature Wilmington cold case

april 5
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Dateline’ traces Wilmington unsolved murder cases in Friday TV show

 The investigation into the murder of two women whose skeletons were found in the woods near Carolina Beach Road last April will go before a national audience on Friday.

At 10 p.m., NBC’s “Dateline” will take an hour-long look into the killings of Allison Jackson-Foy and Angela Nobles Rothen. The two women disappeared a year apart and their remains were found next to each other.

The case

On April 26, a passerby found two skeletons in a narrow strip of woods not far behind businesses in the 3500 block of Carolina Beach Road. Months after the discovery, DNA testing confirmed investigators’ suspicion that the bones were those of Jackson-Foy, 34, of Wilmington and Nobles Rothen, 42, of New Hanover County – two mothers who went missing in the summers of 2006 and 2007.

Almost a year later, no one has been charged with the killings.

National television

The “Dateline” panel of experts includes a retired homicide detective from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C.; a prosecutor from Los Angeles; and a Las Vegas crime-scene investigator who was a model for the TV show “CSI.”

Mankiewicz said the panel would help the audience watch “the investigation from the inside” – something that wouldn’t have been possible had Wilmington police not allowed it.

“Dateline” crews traveled to Wilmington numerous times and interviewed anyone involved in the case who would talk on camera.

That included Wilmington police; Marc Benson, a private investigator who has worked on the Jackson-Foy case since soon after her disappearance in 2006; and Iannone.

The rest of the story

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Read Cheryl Thomas’ page-Undercover Investigations

Cheryl Thomas

Cheryl Thomas

Be sure to read Cheryl Thomas’ new page on the blog, Undercover Investigations.

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The value of the “retainer” fee or always get a retainer before starting any work

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 20:  Recording artist R. Ke...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I always regret when I do not insist on a “retainer fee”. Isn’t it always the client that doesn’t want to pay a retainer the same client that calls numerous times a day and costs 5 times what they paid for?

Retainer protects investigator from

deadbeat clients

March 25, 2009

That pesky child porn case is rearing its ugly head again for Southland native R. Kelly.

Kelly is being sued by a private investigator who claims the singer stiffed him on a $300,000 bill. According to a lawsuit filed in Missouri federal court, Charles Freeman claims he was hired during Kelly’s trial to “obtain and/or recover certain tapes that were said to incriminate” R. Kelly.

Freeman said he did the job but never got paid. He’s suing for damages plus interests and costs.

Kelly was found not guilty on all counts in his trial.

It appears what happened here is a retainer was not asked for, and thus work was done on credit and the bill never paid.

This happens far too many times in a variety of businesses. It is not exclusive to private investigators, but in this field and the field of law is where retainers are most generally recognized as a way of doing business.

The reason investigators and attorneys rely so much on retainers and do not work on credit is for the most part outcome-based.

Let’s say, for example, you hire an investigator to do some surveillance for you. The investigator does not ask for a retainer and begins doing the surveillance work.

During the course of the surveillance, the investigator loses the subject in traffic or is found out. This is good for no one, however, the investigator still needs to be paid for his or her time.

Without a retainer, an angry or bitter client might not want to pay.

The same applies in the field of law. You get into some legal trouble and hire an attorney. You don’t pay a retainer and you go to court and are find guilty. How motivated will you be to pay the attorney if you lose?

The retainer is also used to protect against scheduling conflict, and for the most part is nonrefundable.

Let’s say you schedule an investigator to do surveillance for a certain amount of hours on a certain date. Then you call on that date and cancel the surveillance. You will be billed from the retainer for these hours because the investigator set aside that time for you when he or she could have been working on something else.

The first rule of investigation is “get a retainer.” It also should be a rule for painters, handymen, builders etc. Get an appropriate amount of money upfront to cover your costs materials and some of the labor.

In these economic times, you can reduce your rates if you want, but do not start a project without securing yourself first or you will be like the investigator chasing R. Kelly for $300,000.

Keith McRae is a licensed private investigator and president of KAM Data Services, 35 E. Wacker Drive, No. 1545 Chicago 60601. Contact McRae at (312) 422-1500 Ext. 1 or kmcrae@kamservices.com.

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History of Women in Investigations

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I was also a Pinkerton Detective.

Women in Security: History

Kate Warne: The First Female Detective

When Kate Warne walked into Allan Pinkerton’s Detective Agency in 1856, he thought she was interested in clerical work. When the childless widow said she wanted to be a detective, Pinkerton replied “It is not the custom to employ women detectives!”

But Warne didn’t leave, and after pointing out to the advantages a female detective would have in certain situations over men, Pinkerton hired her the next day.

Warne became one of Pinkerton’s best operatives. The night the Pinkertons protected Abraham Lincoln on his trip through Baltimore for his first inauguration, it was Warne who arranged the railcars, coordinated transportation, and provided disguises.

In 1860, Pinkerton had hired several more female detectives and called them his “Female Detective Bureau.”

Warne’s career, unfortunately, was cut short by illness. She passed away suddenly in January 1868, at age 35 with Pinkerton at her bedside. She’s buried in the Pinkerton Family Plot in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, IL.

Upon her death, Pinkerton said “She succeeded far beyond my utmost expectations. Mrs. Warne never let me down!”

Web Sites

  • Find-A-Grave (View Kate Warne’s Grave)
  • Pinkerton History
  • “In his memoirs, Allan Pinkerton was to credit two specific agents – one female – for doing more in the early days than anyone else to establish the firm’s reputation for efficiency and honor. They were Timothy Webster and Kate Warne.” Quote from an article on Court TV’s Crime Library web site.

Other Resources

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NC Private Investigator To Be On Talk Forensics Radio

Although this is a PR release, it is after all about Monty Clark, the famous Monty Clark

Private Investigator Monty Clark Is This Week’s Guest on Talk Forensics Radio Show Feb 22

2009-02-17 20:11:14 – Talk Forensics, a new talk radio show hosted by Larry Daniel of Guardian Digital Forensics, is proud to announce Monty Clark, Private Investigator will be the guest on Talk Forensics Radio for the February 22nd Episode.

About our guest:

Monty Clark is a member of the North Carolina Association of Private Investigators (NCAPI), the South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators (SCALI), The National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS), The US Process Servers Association (USPSA) and the Internationl Association of Process Servers. Monty has been on the Board of Director’s for the North Carolina Association of Private Investigators for the past 13 years serving as Vice President from 1996-2000. He has served as President of the NCAPI during 2000-2002 and 2004-2005. He is presently serving as the President.

Prior to entering the Private Investigative profession, Monty was a Charlotte City Police Officer for 11 years. During this time he assisted the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) in various undercover assignments. He was then transferred to the Vice and Narcotics Bureau where he served four years undercover investigating specialized crimes. Monty was then transferred to the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Narcotics Interdiction Unit investigating drug smuggling.

Monty was also assigned to special tasks units that provided executive protection for President Ronald Reagan, President Jimmy Carter and Presidential Candidate Gary Hart during their visits to the Charlotte area.

In 1997 Monty was accepted by the National Football League (NFL) to assist as the Associate Security Representative assigned to the Carolina Panthers Football Team.

About the Show:

The purpose of our show is to educate and entertain the public on the various fields of forensic science, crime scene investigation, missing person searches and various aspects of the legal system as it relates to forensic science.

You can call (646) 727-3674 and ask questions of our Expert Guest during the live show.

About our host:

The host of our show is Larry E. Daniel. Larry is the primary expert for Guardian Digital Forensics. Larry is well known for his work on capital cases and is an expert in computer forensics.  Larry also writes a popular internet blog on forensics at http://www.exforensis.blogspot.com.

The show airs on www.blogtalkradio.com/TalkForensics each Sunday at 4PM Eastern. Shows will be available soon after on iTunes as pod casts.

We are currently looking for additional guests in various forensic disciplines and for law enforcement experts as well. Contact Leslie Denton for more information or to be considered for the show. (919)868-6291 or email leslie@guardiandf.com

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