Thursday, January 1, 2009

He Always Gets His Man (or Woman)

He Always Gets His Man (or Woman)

By Stacey Anter

When you think of a Private Investigator, you conjure up images of a dingy office, the trench coat hanging in the corner, the gun in the desk drawer next to the bottle of Scotch. A perfect scene from an old movie. Today’s investigator has gone high tech using everything from still cameras to computers and sophisticated surveillance equipment.
This month I have the privilege to interview a real working private investigator. Although we are husband and wife, I have helped Tom on numerous occasions in researching documents and sifting through evidence with him. As the owner and operator of Legal Support Services he gets calls for consultation on various cases and situations.

Of course Legal Support Services does the usual investigative services such as surveillance for a divorce and worker’s compensation case, and person location of ‘Deadbeat Dads’, and long lost relatives. They also perform services such as background checks for employment and rental purposes. Adoptees searching for their birth parents and/or siblings have also requested his services.

Tom got his start five years ago when he attended a seminar given by Ed Pankau, a famous investigator from Texas, who became well known investigating the S&L scandals of the 1980’s. After that, there was no stopping Tom. He finished his Associate’s Degree in Law Enforcement and Paralegal Studies, thereby obtaining his Private Investigator’s License.

Soon, a friend of a friend told him about a woman he met forty-seven years ago while on shore leave in Scotland during the Korean War. “Uncle Ed” expressed interest as to where she might be in hopes of contacting her and continuing their friendship. Tom began searching for clues by reading Eleanor’s letters to Ed and picked out places and names. He contacted the local police department and Scotland Yard in Glasgow. Scotland officials could not give out much information without a date of birth, so Tom contacted a Scottish genealogist, which helped fill in the missing piece of the puzzle.
Tom sent a letter to the British Social Security office, which then forwarded the letter to Eleanor. Approximately six months later, Ed got a phone call. It was Eleanor. And the rest is history.

On another case he was involved in, an attorney won a judgment against a contractor who did not perform the services promised. The contractor kept evading the attorney’s attempts to recover the money. This is when his services were required. Tom helped locate the contractor so a “Body Attachment” could be served. At this point a Constable was hired to serve a civil arrest warrant. The contractor later contacted the attorney.
Tom recently had a friend of his who asked for help to find his natural birth parents or siblings. The worst part of this is that the one person who can help him, a close relative, will not divulge the information to him. This is not an uncommon problem in families with adopted children. Presently his friend is weighing the consequences of finding his birth family. In some cases, the parent or child does not want to be bothered with the adoptee for a variety of reasons. They may be ashamed or embarrassed to confront their past. It is not so easy to look someone in the eye and tell them why they had to be given up for adoption. With cases like these it is a 50/50 proposition all the way around, that everyone will end up happy on all ends of the situation.

Hiring a Private Investigator is a very personal decision. People often change their mind at the last minute, especially in divorce situations. Very often they cannot face the fact that their significant other may not want to be with them anymore. I asked Tom how he handles these types of situations. “I generally deal with the client’s attorney as much as possible because the attorney has the their best interest at heart. The attorney acts as a buffer to the client and can advise them on what to do and what will happen next and can help alleviate any rash and adverse reactions on the part of the client.” When asked for his advice in finding birth parents, Tom suggests that you should, “have as much information accessible as you can to help your situation, so the investigator can be sure of what they are searching for, saving you money and the investigator time.”

So, the next time you think of contacting a Private Investigator, make it Big Brother Investigations . Tom can help tip the scales in your favor. Believe me, I know. I’m Dr. Watson to his Sherlock Holmes. I’ve seen him work firsthand.

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