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Posts Tagged ‘infidelity investigations’

PIs and Cases: Attempted Murder, Smalltown Cop, Infidelity

Posted by Writing PIs on February 11, 2012

Solving an Attempted Murder Case

Today we’re highlighting some investigations cases, from one of ours to a small down in Wisconsin to an impressive infographic that offers stats from dozens of PIs on infidelity cases.

Solving an Attempted Murder Case

At The Zen Man site, one of the Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes PIs describes one of the more challenging cases we’ve ever worked…and thankfully solved: Attempted Murder, 4 Bullet Slugs, and a Dog Named Gus

A Small Town Hires a PI to Investigate the Town’s Only Cop

It almost seems like a Mayberry sitcom plot, but it’s real. A small town in Wisconsin has hired a PI to investigate its one and only cop — who’s afraid to leave his house because of death threats:

Village Hires Private Investigator to Investigate Its Only Police Officer

Signs of a Cheating Spouse details signs of a cheating spouse, based on interviews with dozens of private investigators, in an impressive infographic. To view, click here.

Have a great weekend, Writing PIs

Posted in Writing About PIs | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on PIs and Cases: Attempted Murder, Smalltown Cop, Infidelity

Chasing Cheaters in Fiction: Electronic Investigations or E-Catching

Posted by Writing PIs on July 22, 2011

We’re guests today at the mystery writers’ blog Stiletto Gang, where we’re talking about chasing cheaters in fiction (“Infidelity Investigations: E-Catching the Cheater”). What’s “e-catching”? Loosely, it’s an abbreviation that encompasses various means of electronic investigations. In our post, we address requests we commonly receive from prospective clients, such as:

“I see a new cell phone number on my husband’s cell phone history. I think it’s this woman he’s seeing. I want her name and address.”

“I think my fiancée is fooling around. I want to download spyware on her phone, listen in on her conversations.”

Drop by the blog and see our answers.  Today, July 22, we’re also answering questions about infidelity investigations, so ask and we’ll answer!  Plus at the end of the day we’re picking a visitor’s name to be gifted a free Kindle version of How to Write a Dick: A Guide to Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths.

Stiletto Gang post: Infidelity Investigations: E-Catching the Cheater

Have a great Friday, Writing PIs


Posted in Chasing Cheaters in Fiction | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Excerpt from How to Write a Dick: Catching the Cheater

Posted by Writing PIs on July 12, 2011

How to Write a Dick: A Guide to Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths, available on Kindle

Infidelity Investigations: Catching the Cheater

When we accept an infidelity case, we request:

  • Information about the suspected cheater’s habits, work schedule, days off and so forth.
  • Photographs of the suspected cheater (and the suspected girlfriend/boyfriend, if available)
  • Addresses and phone numbers (for the suspected cheater’s home, businesses, other places of note as well as the addresses/phone numbers for suspected girlfriend/boyfriend, if known)
  • Any known routes suspected cheater takes on way to work, home, to exercise gym and so forth
  • Vehicle descriptions, license plate numbers for suspected cheater (and suspected girlfriend/boyfriend)
  • Contact information for client, preferred times to call, private numbers person can be reached at, preferred means of contact (work email, cell phone).
  • Any other pertinent information.

As with any other case, we then devise an investigative strategy.  Sometimes the client will call and inform us if the suspected cheater has changed his/her work schedule, is taking off for a surprise appointment or other event.  We can’t always comply with last-minute schedule changes (which we’ve made clear to the client up front) but if time permits, we do.

Part of our contract is that we’ll provide reports on either a biweekly or monthly basis.  However, we’ll work with the client on a different report scheme as long as it’s appropriate, workable and legal.  For example, we’ve had clients who like to call periodically and discuss the case.  We don’t mind discussing the current progress on a case as long as the client remains professional and courteous.  Sometimes a client might request an email update the morning after an evening surveillance, and we’re happy to comply.

The most difficult thing we’re ever had to do was tell a client that we had garnered photographic evidence that her husband was being unfaithful.  It had been a lengthy investigation (several months) and the husband (who had a background in military investigations) had covered his tracks exceptionally well, so well we believed her suspicions were unfounded.  We had scheduled one last surveillance, which she asked us to continue doing, and after that we mutually agreed to terminate the investigations.

It was during that very last surveillance that we saw, and photographed, his infidelity.  The wife’s suspicions of his infidelity had been right on — he was involved with her best friend.  We finished the surveillance, did a wrap-up meeting where we discussed how to present the evidence to the client, then we made the call.  The client immediately wanted to know if her husband and her girlfriend were still at the location where they’d been photographed. We explained the husband and girlfriend had already left the scene, but we had photographic evidence that we would forward in a report.

We’ve since talked to this client and learned that after being confronted with the evidence, he admitted to the affair, and they are now in marriage counseling.  This was a happy ending.  More often, a client’s next call to us is requesting a recommendation for a good divorce lawyer.

PI Wise:  Except in only a few cases, a PI shouldn’t contact a client while the investigation is in process.  Especially in a cheating spouse case, a PI never tells a client, in real time, where her/his spouse is in flagrante delicto.  Remember the woman who ran over her philandering husband three times in the Texas parking lot?  That’s because the PI she’d hired to follow her husband called from the hotel where he was rendezvousing with his mistress and reported the infidelity in real time.  Wifey, enraged, drove over and…let’s just say if the PI hadn’t made that call, wifey might not now be spending years behind bars.

Posted in Excerpt from How to Write a Dick: Catching the Cheater, How to Write a Dick excerpts | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Excerpt from How to Write a Dick: Catching the Cheater

Infidelity Investigations: Tips for Writers Writing Sleuths

Posted by Writing PIs on May 3, 2011

Article is now available in How Do Private Eyes Do That?


Posted in Writing About PIs, Writing Mysteries | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Infidelity Investigations: Tips for Writers Writing Sleuths

Infidelity Investigations: The Signs and How to Hire a Qualified PI

Posted by Writing PIs on August 23, 2010

It’s interesting how often people, when learning we run an investigations agency, immediately assume all we do is chase cheaters.  We perform infidelity investigations sometimes, but not often, as we specialize in legal investigations (working with attorneys to gather evidence, interview witnesses, provide pre-litigation support, etc.).

But sometimes a person calls, requesting an investigator to surveil a spouse/significant other who the person thinks might be cheating.  We’re cautious taking these cases, as any PI should be.  We interview the person to learn more about the relationship, their reasons for hiring a PI, their background (and we inform them, if we take the case, that we’ll be conducting a criminal background check on them as well).

We’ll often review the signs of infidelity with our client, ask if they’ve experienced their spouse/SO doing any of the following:

  • Avoiding answering the phone when you’re around?
  • Regularly going to work early or coming home late?
  • Displaying a lack of affection?
  • Referring to a new “friend” at work?
  • Having unexplained credit card charges?
  • Saying it’s “in your imagination”?
  • Spending less time with you and the children?
  • Having  scents of cologne or perfume on their clothes?

If five or more of the above signs apply to the client’s situation, we’ll suggest they first consider marriage counseling. It’s common for couples to hit rough times, and a qualified therapist can help couples identify and resolve their differences, as well help them to communicate more effectively.

But if a person is resolved to hire a PI, below are a few tips for hiring a qualified investigator who’s qualified in infidelity investigations, has experience conducting such cases, and is ethical, discreet, and professional:

  • Check your state’s private investigator associations, most of which have web sites that post their membership directory.
  • Ask friends, business associates, your lawyer for a referral. Word of mouth gives you the inside scoop, and the opportunity to ask questions specific to your needs.
  • Check Internet and Yellow Pages for private investigator listings, but remember these are paid-for ads. Ask for references. If you’re going before a judge and jury, ask if the PI has courtroom experience. NOTE: An untrained investigator may not know the laws and end up doing something illegal during an investigation-which will cause you problems.
  • After you select a PI, interview him/her. Gauge your comfort level, ensure you have good communication, and agree on a retainer. After all, this person will be working closely with you as he/she gathers evidence that you will use to make a life-changing decision.

Stay cool, Writing PIs

Posted in Infidelity Investigations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Writing about PIs: Catching the Cheater

Posted by Writing PIs on February 25, 2010

Many people think all private investigators spend their time chasing cheating spouses. Actually, private investigators often specialize in different kinds of investigative work (such as accident investigations, fraud investigations and more).  Some investigators specialize in domestic relations (which includes chasing down cheating spouses/significant others) or include such work in their repetoire of services.

Colleen wrote about infidelity investigations in an article (“Your Cheatin’ Heart: Infidelity Investigations”) for the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America. You can check it out at:

“Your Cheatin’ Heart: Infidelity Investigations”:

One of our favorite PIs (and a fellow “writing PI”) Steven Kerry Brown was interviewed this month by a news team, with the story also running in the Jacksonville News, about catching cheaters. In the link to the story (below) scroll down to the video segments, which include footage of Steven Brown in action while conducting a cheating spouse case:

Channel 4 Investigates: Cheating Spouses:

You’ll probably notice a reference to Steven Brown’s book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating at the beginning of Video 1.  It’s a great reference book, not only for private eyes, but also for writers writing about PIs/sleuths and investigations in general. In our interview with Steven Brown here on Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes last month, we talked about this book, as well as other investigative topis and tools.  Check it out at

Have a great weekend, Writing PIs

Posted in Writing About PIs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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