How Dangerous Is It to Be a Female Private Eye?
Posted by Writing PIs on February 26, 2013
Guns, Gams and Gumshoes PI and writer Colleen Collins is a guest today at writer Morgen Bailey’s blog. Below is an excerpt from Colleen’s article (to read the rest, click the link at end of excerpt).
How Dangerous Is It to Be a Female Private Investigator?
by Colleen Collins
I suppose people read and see fictional private eyes doing all kinds of dangerous, risk-taking actions in books and film so they assume that’s how it is in real life, too. My general response is that, like many things in life, it’s wise to practice common sense and take precautions when necessary. For example, when you go to a store at night, don’t park in a dark, isolated area–better yet, go during the daylight hours. That kind of common sense guideline.
However saying that, private investigations can be dangerous at times if the person isn’t paying attention and taking precautions in certain situations. I’ll discuss two of these potentially dangerous situations below.
Process Services: Get In, Get Out
When my husband and I started our investigations business nearly a decade ago, we would sometimes talk to the people to whom we were serving legal papers. The person might ask, “What are these papers? What am I supposed to do?” And we’d take the time to explain that the attorney’s name and contact information was listed on the papers and they should contact him/her to discuss it.
Then a male private investigator (PI) in our state was murdered while serving legal papers. Why? He got overly involved with the people to whom he was serving the papers. He went inside their home to try and pacify an angry situation, which resulted from the service of the papers, and the PI was killed.
Therefore, I now limit my conversation to verifying the person’s identity and to briefly explaining that I’m serving business or legal papers to them. Then I leave. In other words, I get in and get out. No dawdling. If they say, “What are these papers about?” I might say over my shoulder as I’m walking away, “Contact the attorney listed on the papers.”
But I don’t hang around to chat.
This past year, I’ve had two women go ballistic on me after serving them legal papers. Both times, the women followed me to my car, yelling and screaming and calling me a few colorful names.
Did the danger level differ because I was a female versus a male PI? It is conceivable that people might stereotype a female PI as being more vulnerable, but to my mind, it wouldn’t have mattered if a man or woman served papers to these two women. What was important was for me to not engage in a verbal confrontation, and to leave immediately.
Surveillances in Bad Neighborhoods
In the past, I’ve conducted surveillances in some bad neighborhoods, and yes, I have felt more vulnerable being a female PI in those instances. My safety precautions have included:
(Click here to read the full article)
Have a great week, Writing PIs
- Author Spotlight no.174 – Colleen Collins (morgenbailey.wordpress.com)
- Our Top 10 Posts About Private Investigations in 2012 (writingpis.wordpress.com)
- Has the Private Eye in Movies Lost Its Myth? (writingpis.wordpress.com)
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