Archive for the ‘Private Investigations’ Category
I have had a few people ask me about my blog post pertaining to Melinda Kidder: Melinda Kidder: Jealous, Wanna Be Private Investigator! I have had a few people actually tell me that I may have been a little too harsh, until I explained……… Once my friendly critics understood what happened, as much as I could intelligently explain to them, they no longer thought I was being so harsh. Believe it or not, there was a time that Melinda Kidder and I were friends, or so I thought…..
What has happened to me the past six (6) months has happened due to vilest of human emotions, JEALOUSY! I am a high school graduate, that “screwed up” and acted like a natural born THUG, when I was a younger adult. I am a convicted felon! I was of a total criminal mindset when I was a younger man. I KNOW what I was, and I KNOW what I am! When I tell my story, when I talk about my early adulthood years, people are amazed because they are talking to a successful business man that they just never thought could run their own business, much less a Private Investigation business, and WAY much less working in the legal field; and be very successful at it. I am not bragging, I don’t usually take the time to toot my own horn, and I am not doing that now, but if I am going to tell you that I am successful, you need to know what my gauge for success is, right? So here it is; I helped parents recover their abducted children, I have assisted innocent people in not being wrongly convicted on serious felony charges that could have put them in prison for ten (10) to twenty (20) years, I have tracked down and returned to custody dangerous fugitives from other countries that otherwise might not have been held accountable for their accused crimes. I have seen a father’s tears when he got his daughter back that he thought he might not have ever seen again, I have seen tears of joy in a mother’s face who’s daughter was found not guilty on two (2) of the most vilest charges imaginable, and I have witnessed a private businessman awe as he thanked me for getting two fugitives out of Mexico for him, that nobody else could touch. I have seen $35,000.00 retainers, I have made $250.00/Hr. with NO college education. Most of all, I have changed my life, I am a pretty decent person, still angry, still not capable of tolerating bad people that like to victimize others, but a decent person, maybe not a good person but still a decent person. Yes, I believe that I am a success story, maybe not as great a success story as many others are, but none the less a success story! What is funny here is that Melinda Kidder has admitted that she is jealous of me, just ask her. Here is the statement she made in 2010:
I’ve considered whether its jealousy on my part, and perhaps I do have some jealousy that you might have more business coming in than I do.
I think that is as close to an admission of jealousy from Melinda Kidder as I need to have. What is even funnier is that Melinda Kidder wastes her time being jealous of all of the things she can actually make happen for herself, and not being concerned about any of the things that she should be trying to change within herself. Melinda Kidder is jealous of the money I make, and the business I bring in which is an uneven flow for all of us, meaning money and success comes and it goes for us all. Money and success are things that come and go in all of our lives, it is never constant; and some people never learn that. What is even more concerning is that Melinda Kidder never thought to consider once how she could make the changes in herself that I made in myself, so she would actually have the amount of business coming in that she perceived me to have, which is what she should have been concentrating on all along.
We all have trying times. I just had another trying time in my life, with one former employee trying to sabotage my company, and another one not being smart enough to see it. This latest round of what I like to call “Fuckery” bought on by this dishonest, morally challenged employee caused me a lot of problems. During this time of “attempted Fuckery” by one of my former employees, somehow or another Melinda Kidder managed to insert herself right in the middle of it. I wonder how? You know, I had one phone call with Melinda Kidder that lasted three (3) minutes in the past three (3) years. I was going to give Melinda Kidder some “over-flow cases”, as to extend an olive branch to her; however Melinda Kidder refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement and that precludes me from assigning case work to sub-contractors. I mean, (and let this be a lesson to the consumer) if a Private Investigator can not guarantee you that they will keep your information confidential unless under court order, or if the Private Investigator does not have a confidentiality clause in their contract; do you really want to risk giving sensitive information to that Private Investigator? So, I concluded my conversation with Melinda Kidder and “subbed” out the work to someone else. But here are the questions: How did Melinda know that my former employee had a court action against me, it was only listed on CaseNet by Case Number, not by either parties name? How did Melina Kidder even know who to get in touch with in regards to my case? She sure had to contact someone in regards to my case, because she was a witness against me in this case that was initiated by a former employee of mine. Melinda Kidder had to make an effort to try to find out what was going on after that phone call I had with her. So, there was an active effort on her part to dig into my personal business to find out about this case initiated against me by a former employee of mine. Why did Melinda Kidder have to dig into any of this, she should have just hung up the phone and moved on and minded her own business; just like I did in regards to her. Nope, Melinda had to try to insert herself into something that was NONE of her business. I mean, Melinda Kidder could not even truthfully testify that she had any idea about what cases I was calling her about, so what do you think her purpose was in my case? Fortunately Melinda Kidder did not lie under oath, but it was not because she is “The Investigator With Integrity”, it was because she is the Investigator that knows Rick Gurley records his phone conversations!
Here is what is REALLY sad, I bought Melinda Kidder into this business. Yeah, I really did. in 2005 I bought a desk from Melinda Kidder at her home, her and I got to talking and she asked what I did for a living and I told her; back then Melinda Kidder was driving a school bus. Melinda Kidder expressed an interest in the Private Investigation business, so I showed her how to apply for a license, where to get an insurance bond at, and what software might be useful to her for running her Private Investigation business. I even gave Melinda a few cases, and paid her pretty well to work those cases. Before she denies it by saying as she said to me once that I never gave her anything but a client that did not pay her, ask her about this picture below:
Now due to Melinda Kidder putting herself in the middle of a situation that was none of her business, she has caused me to blog about it and put some of her business out there; cause and effect. Melinda Kidder is her own worst enemy, now any time she is working a case that goes to court and opposing counsel does a search on her on the Internet, they will find this blog post: Melinda Kidder: Jealous, Wanna Be Private Investigator! And they will find this excerpt from the blog post:
My attorney was going to “obliterate” her on the stand, but after we saw that she actually told the truth under oath, my attorney and I made a decision not to bring out the fact that Melinda Kidder suffers from memory lapses. Just ask her. Ask Melinda if she did not get sick about 10 years ago, and if her illness did not cause her short term and long term memory problems. To any attorney that ever has a case against her, just ask her while she is on the stand about any illness she might of had, what the effects were, and if it affected her memory, and if it STILL affects her memory. Melinda Kidder does not make a good witness in any case due to her illness imposed memory problems. ATTORNEYS TAKE NOTE! I am happy to be a witness that Melinda Kidder personally told me that she contracted an illness, that she had to have a brain operation, and that it caused her and still does cause her short term and long term memory loss problems
And so, Melinda Kidder will have given the court another credibility issue to consider in any case she might testify in. A piece of advice Melinda Kidder: “You don’t piss off the keeper of the secrets by trying to publicly humiliate him, you either KILL the keeper of the secrets or you leave him alone”.
Okay, I am on the “war path”; by now this is no secret! But everything we do should have some kind of a benefit to others; so here is my “pearl of wisdom post” for the year. I hope this post benefits those that have betrayed me and tried to damage my business as well as it does anyone else reading.
Of course if you have ever worked hard, sacrificed, and stayed the course to build something, a business, a company, an organization, a savings account, to own a house, or buy a vehicle, or get a college degree, or just whatever you have worked hard and sacrificed for; then you understand the title of this post. One can only own something when they earn the right to own it. Anyone can steal from someone else, but whatever they steal they will only possess, and never own!
Hopefully this post will help Bonni Arnold to understand one key and critical philosophy in life, that nobody has ever taken the time to explain to her; the difference between owning something and possessing something. This is why Bonni Arnold is a THIEF, not just because of her convictions on Case Net, but because nobody ever taught her the difference between owning something and possessing something. Just type in this case number: 01CR169012 on Case Net: and you’ll get a good idea about Bonni Arnold’s philosophy in life
Here is a picture of Bonni Arnold:
Careful with this one! This lady has tried all of her life to game the legal system, and has had some success! However, she ran into a few people that are going to try to put a stop to it, and hopefully will with some work, effort, and a little luck; and I am only one of those people!
Bonni has never tried to earn anything in her life, she has never held a job for over a year, and has been fired from most of the places she has worked! She would rather fake an injury and try to sue someone in court for a living than to work and earn a living! This is one of the many reasons she is so despicable! Right now as I write this Bonni Arnold has filed a Personal Injury Suit in court in which she claims she can not work a regular job due to someone rear ending her. Here is the kicker; she worked a regular job when she was working for me, she worked a regular job in construction doing manual labor, all after she was rear ended! Fortunately the attorney that is representing the poor guy who’s insurance company is being sued by Bonni seems to be one sharp lady, that is not going to let Bonni Arnold get away with gaming the system. The Attorney is Ann Hagan and she has a lot of experience, and is doing everything she can to prevent Bonni Arnold from “gaming the system”; if you recognize Bonni Arnold and you know something that might help Ann Hagan to keep Bonni Arnold from getting over on the system, please click Ann Hagan’s name above where it is linked and give her a call.
So, here is the lesson for Bonni Arnold and anyone else that does not understand that the easy way out is seldom the best way out. Bonni Arnold, you can’t do what I do! You can’t run a company like I can! You may think you can, but you can’t! You didn’t earn it! You don’t understand what it means to sacrifice for something that is bigger than yourself, because you are too selfish to understand that! You believe that stealing from someone gets you the same thing they had, it doesn’t! You can’t have any pride in what you possess, when you steal it. You did not starve, struggle, and work your ass off to own a company like mine! Six months of working for my company does not even entitle you to be anything other than a laborer, much less own a Private Investigation Agency! A REAL Private Investigator takes years and years learning his or her craft, cultivating contacts, and patiently builds a decent agency over years of time, not months! You have never really owned anything, because you have never taken the time to earn anything. Having a sexual affair with Danieal H. Miller for financial loans and job titles in his company does not make you an Investigator, it makes you a whore! Those sexually explicit text messages that you used to brag about that you got on my phone (YEAH, my phone) from Danieal H. Miller, did you really think that I did not get copies of those? Really? You should know me a little better than that. What about those pictures of your bare ass that you up-loaded onto my phone and my SkyDrive account, you don’t think I saved them somewhere else other than SkyDrive? Remember, I called you and told you that you were uploading those pictures to my SkyDrive account? You are not nowhere as bright as you seem to think you are. Whoever gave you the idea that you could file for an order of protection against me to try to extort $3,061.75 from me REALLY advised you poorly! Yeah, I have a copy of that pile of crap attempt to settle letter, look below:
So, you, “Sleazy” Miller and Brad “Crazy” Crowell REALLY thought you could pull that crap off? On me? REALLY? Nobody told you that I don’t scare or intimidate, you have to put me in front of a Judge and let the Judge decide; but you won’t extort money from me using the legal system! And you thought that after the Judge ruled this would be over with? Ohh HELL no! Every LEGAL means at my disposal to rectifying this situation, I am going to use. And I am in this for the long haul. I am going to file lawsuits, complaints to the OCDC, and blog about this for YEARS to come! I just was not the one to try to victimize, and tell your attorney that too! I don’t victimize well!
What would make any of you two DIPSTICK attorneys that tried to help Bonni Arnold with her attempt to extort money from me, want to try to help her extort money from someone like me, anyway? You have to know that as a Private Investigator in Columbia, MO. for over twelve years, I know a few things that people like you really don’t like me knowing. Brad, didn’t I call you and ask you about that Public Defender that you were having an affair with, while you were still married to your wife? Did you think that was a coincidence? You remember, right before you were admitted to Mid-MO. for blowing a hole though your house with a shotgun, from the inside of the house? I know you managed to keep that quiet, but did you think I did not know? What? Danny Miller; Arlie Nole and I are still good friends; you defended him and took care of his legal problems for years, do you really think that I don’t know a few things that you would not want known? What about that Judge you flew to the Mustang Ranch in NV., to get some bond reductions so that Arlie Nole could post bond for some people that were under no-bonds? Bet you never thought that would come back to “bite you in that old, white wrinkly ass”, did you?
You two attorneys HAVE to had known that when this was over with I was going to respond to your efforts, didn’t you? Bonni Arnold was never a threat to me, she was always too stupid to be a threat, but you two “DIRTY, DIPSTICKS” made her a threat by taking up her cause, when you KNEW it was BULLSHIT! Both of you knew you should not have represented her to begin with, not just because it was not allowed due to our previous relationships (and that is why both of you got kicked from this case), but also because you both KNEW it was inappropriate, and unethical for Bonni Arnold to try to use an ex-parte and an application for a Full Order of Protection to try to collect money that she is not even owed! If any reader here ever wants any proof of how inappropriate and unethical it is to try to use an ex-parte temporary order of protection to collect money, refer back to this earlier blog post: A Good Referral To An EXCELLENT Attorney Who Did A Spectacular Job For Me! and read the quoted case law, and if that is not enough think about this; after I got Danieal H. Miller and Brad Crowell “kicked” from the case (Actually My Attorney Gretchen Yancey did this, she is an ASS-KICKER, I can’t say enough good things about her), the only other attorney that Bonni could find to take this case was from Unionville, MO (135 miles away from Columbia, MO.) and went to law school with Danieal H. Miller. She could not find a local attorney or even an attorney in Jefferson City, MO. to touch this pile of crap after the two “dirtiest” attorneys in Columbia, MO. got kicked from it. So, if you ever ask yourself why I am also including you two “Used Car Dealer’s Of An Attorney” in this, it is because you both tried to help Bonni Arnold damage me and my company, Danieal H. Miller because he is an old pervert that knew Bonni Arnold would exchange sex for legal services, and Brad Crowell because Danny Miller had him at a disadvantage due to him having office space with Danny Miller and assisting him on some of his cases. You both knew better, and you both have an entire page on this blog devoted to each of you, and Danny Miller your secretary, Jo and her “unusual accounting practices” are going to get a page too, because she was so happy to try to be a witness against me…. And tell Stephanie I have my ears open for “dirt” on her too. You people had to know there would be a day of reckoning after the crap you tried to pull in court. You just had to know this day would come, right?
Here is a piece of advice for you two DUMMIES! “You don’t piss off the keeper of the secrets by trying to publically humiliate him, you either KILL the keeper of the secrets or you leave him alone”.
Bonni Arnold, I also know that your boyfriend is with you because it is cheaper to be with you than for him to have to pay the child support you took him to court for in 2004. And he may act like he supports you, but ask Webster if this is turning out like he was so confident that it would…..
Just a piece of advice Bonni Arnold; it is not too late for you. Find something you want in life and EARN it, don’t try to steal it! You’ll change your life for the better if you follow that single piece of advice…
Back in 2008 when Joseph Lucero and Pam Smith were in court over some differences that they had, which seemed to arise from a student-professor relationship that they had when Joseph Lucero attended MU; I knew that Melinda Kidder was not really cut out for Private Investigation work. Not REAL Private Investigation work.
I remember the day as clear as if it was yesterday. Randall Johnston and George Smith two top-notch civil attorneys in Columbia, MO. were representing Joseph Lucero. Now George Smith and Randall Johnston are some of the best civil attorneys that I know of, they just have the experience to be two of the best civil attorneys that I know! On the day that Melinda Kidder took the stand to testify for Pam Smith and Randall Johnston made her leave the courtroom crying like a little baby, YES actually broke down in tears; I knew Melinda Kidder was not cut out for Private Investigation work and this pretty well proved it. Private Investigation work requires one to be tough, “thick skinned”, hard to intimidate, and cool under pressure. Anyone that actually breaks down and cries because some attorney raised their voice at them under cross-examination, has NONE of these qualities!
What is shameful is that I got Melinda Kidder started in the Private Investigation business. Back in 2005 – 2006 I bought a desk from her, and we got to talking and I told her what I did for a living. Melinda Kidder seemed interested in what I did, and wanted to start her own Private Investigation business; so I showed her where to get an insurance bond that was required by the City of Columbia back then, where to apply, introduced her to a few attorneys, and helped her along. I have to admit, I had my reservations; I told my fiancé that she would probably cause me a few problems because she was a short, fat, lesbian and card carrying man-hater. Okay, now I seem mean, cruel, even discriminatory; don’t I? Well, just hold on a second. Not all short, fat lesbians are man-haters, and not all man-haters are short, fat lesbians, and there is certainly nothing wrong or bad with or about being short, over-weight, or a lesbian. I think a person should be free to choose their sexual orientation, I don’t think a person can control their height, and I think a person’s weight is what it is; but when you have a female that openly hates men (except for the men that have female qualities that she can like), and you have these other descriptors that also illustrate something about her personality, then it is worth mentioning in a blog post like this. So, when you have a short, fat lesbian that is a man-hater; any man that associated with her will always have a potential problem, and what happened between Melinda Kidder and I is a classic illustration of that! If you, the reader ever wonder what Melinda Kidder’s problem was with me after she got into the Private Investigation business; just ask her about this single statement listed below that she made in a letter to me in 2010:
I’ve considered whether its jealousy on my part, and perhaps I do have some jealousy that you might have more business coming in than I do.
JEALOUSY is a terrible thing. Only pathetic people would rather sit around and be jealous than to actually be what they are jealous of. Remember this; better to be the one that inspires jealousy than to be the one that is inspired by jealousy!
Just as early as 3 months ago, I tried to offer Melinda Kidder some work, think of it as an “Olive Branch”; and Melinda Kidder would not sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement; which is standard in my company before I sub-contract any work. I was going to give Melinda Kidder some of my “over-flow”; it was about 6 cases. Melinda Kidder turned the work down, and then immediately ran to one of my former employees that had bought a court action against me (THAT I JUST WON) and made her believe that I was trying to have her investigated. Melinda Kidder and one of her “cohorts” on the west coast also tried to cause some problems with some of the tools that I subscribe to in my line of work. None of this has worked, but it was not for lack of trying on her part.
Melinda Kidder had to testify in the civil action between myself and my former employee, and fortunately for her she had just enough decency in her to tell the truth under oath; although I must admit I was shocked when she did. My attorney was going to “obliterate” her on the stand, but after we saw that she actually told the truth under oath, my attorney and I made a decision not to bring out the fact that Melinda Kidder suffers from memory lapses. Just ask her. Ask Melinda if she did not get sick about 10 years ago, and if her illness did not cause her short term and long term memory problems. To any attorney that ever has a case against her, just ask her while she is on the stand about any illness she might of had, what the effects were, and if it affected her memory, and if it STILL affects her memory. Melinda Kidder does not make a good witness in any case due to her illness imposed memory problems. ATTORNEYS TAKE NOTE! I am happy to be a witness that Melinda Kidder personally told me that she contracted an illness, that she had to have a brain operation, and that it caused her and still does cause her short term and long term memory loss problems.
This is Melinda Kidder and I outside of my office back in the days she was playing along and being nice to me to “get what she could get”:
Now, remember that this is the Private Investigator that claims to run a company that touts having “The Investigators With Integrity”.
Stay tuned, there will be an entire series of articles on people like this, that have tried to damage my business to promote their own, and how they conspired to do so. Hopefully, this blog will give you a good idea of who to steer clear of when the need arises to do business in my profession.
Okay, the title is a little “out there”. But this blog post and the series that follows will be about several people that got their start in the PI Business from me. Then after they thought they had learned all they could from me, they tried to take my company down by lying to the court system and trying to get an order of protection against me, that could have cause my PI License to be revoked. So, these people are kind of like the children that tried so hard to take “Daddy” down. What they don’t seem to know is that they will always have to go where “Daddy” has already been!
There will be no doubt that I will be blogging about low-life’s, thieves, morally bankrupt and ethically challenged people, attorneys with no ethics that are willing to ignore truth for some type of a benefit for their self. You will see how a group of people can be bought together in a common goal because they all have one thing in common; they are BAD people! You will now be a witness, firsthand to how dishonorable, unethical, immoral people sometimes come together to try to damage decent people.
These low-life’s that I am going to blog about ALL got their start in the PI Business because of me! And they won’t deny it, because I have the proof from admissions in email to proof of where they started working. I trained most of them as Private Investigators. These people that I am going to be blogging about are some of the most dishonorable, immoral. unethical people that I have ever had the great displeasure of knowing. Anyone that would LIE TO THE COURTS and ABUSE THE PROCESS OF LAW for a financial gain, has NO HONOR! Anyone that can partner up with someone that can do that, is just as bad! If you live in Harrisburg, MO., Columbia, MO., and/or Mexico, MO.; you are going to want to read this blog and learn all about these people. You may even already know them, but I can assure you that you don’t know them as well as you will if you just keep reading this blog! I think when I am finished with this blog series, you will want to think twice before doing business with any of these people.
So, in summary the title of this post kind of starts off and sets the tone for a series on some of the people that actually tried to come into my company, learn from me, and then try to betray me and destroy my company by abusing the process of law and lying to the court system to try to get an order of protection against me that could have negatively impacted my company in a major way.
This is just a preamble. In a few days I am going to introduce each one of these slime-bags and show you pictures of them, and their slime-bag attorney who is already known for “trading out legal services with STRIPPERS” in Columbia, MO. Yes, we are going to take a good look at his old, white, wrinkly ass too, and his secretary. Right now though, I will leave you with this:
SO FOR NOW, LETS JUST SAY “YOU JUST CAN’T BEAT DADDY”!
Okay, one last thought. If you are wondering if I am angry, frustrated, or upset… YES! I am! I was lied on, plotted against, lied to, and a group of people tried to take down my company that I have spent twelve years building, because they don’t want to EARN, they want to try to STEAL! But… Let this blog, the lawsuits I am getting ready to file, along with the complaints that I am going to file against attorneys with the Missouri O.C.D.C. serve as a reminder that I do NOT handle problems with violence or inappropriate actions. I use whatever legal means are available to me to handle my problems. I use my right to free speech by blogging, I use my right to remedy damages in the courts with lawsuits, I use my right to file complaints with the appropriate agencies to handle wrongs committed against me by professionals that should know better. I DO NOT waste my time doing stupid, thuggish things like damaging people’s property.
I came across these comments yesterday, and I just had to laugh:
Back in 2009 a local amateur blogger named Mike Martin who has a “rag” called The Columbia Heartbeat decided to play Amateur Sleuth and attempt to solve a local murder here in Columbia, MO. Mr. Martin was poorly equipped to play Amateur Investigators, as most amateurs are. Not understanding rules of evidence, statement corroboration, proper interview techniques, and the differences between facts, theory, conjecture, and just outright wild speculation Mr. Martin proceeded to solve the Jeong Im murder: Jeong Im Murder
Mike Martin Has It All Figured Out
Mr. Martin proclaimed himself to be a greater detective than all of the MU Police Department and the Columbia Police Department. He was going to solve the crime that nobody else had at this time been able to solve. Mr. Martin made a lot of public statements and got a lot of publicity for this. The Missourian Newspaper ran an article that seemed like it was looking to Mr. Martin’s brilliant powers of observation to conduct a new, fresh analysis of this case. Mr. Martin was having a grand old time with all of his new found publicity. Why, Mr. Martin became a local celebrity in Columbia, MO.. The problem with publicity in professions like mine is that publicity puts further pressure on one to PRODUCE!
So, as time goes by Mr. Martin finds that he needs to start showing that he has done something on this case. He needs a SUSPECT! And Mr. Martin not only proclaims to the entire world that he has a suspect, but that he SOLVED this case. Mr. Martin never really names his suspect, but he does drop enough hints that most of the people that know about the Jeong Im murder quickly determine who his suspect is. Mr. Martin claims that the person that murdered Jeong Im was a work associate of Jeong Im’s. Read Mike Martin’s “solving” of this case below:
Now, when you read the link above titled “Mike Martin’s Suspect” you will see Mr. Martin pointing the finger at the work associate of Jeong Im’s, who Mr. Martin has given an alias to (as Mr. Martin would have you believe) protect two women that this man had been harassing. Yes, Mr. Martin not only has a suspect here, he proclaims to the entire world that his suspect is the man that murdered Jeong Im. Oh, but Mr. Martin is being careful, after all he did give his suspect an alias…… Now Mr. Martin is wondering why the MU Police and the CPD could not be as efficient as he is in solving this case? Our HERO, Mr. Martin has now solved the Jeong Im Murder Case! The only problem is that nobody knows this case is solved but Mr. Martin! Mr. Martin is telling everyone he solved this case. Mr. Martin is telling everyone that he has a “Bonafide Suspect”! But where is the arrest? Where is the charge? Where is the court case for this “solved murder”?
The reality here as you read this, is that Mr. Martin is an Amateur Blogger seeking attention impersonating a Professional Investigator, like myself and many others that get paid for conducting proper investigations. Mr. Martin got his nose out of whack a long time ago because he (Yes, Mr. Martin) checked the wrong box on his property tax form for his house it cost him a bit more money than it would have if he would have just read the form and filled it out like he was as intelligent as he pretends to be. When confronted with this difference by the local Tax Assessor and informed that he could not go back and correct this error, Mr. Martin threw a fit! So, Mr. Martin decided to start a “rag” know as The Columbia Heartbeat to harass and strike back at the evil city government of Columbia, MO. for calling him on his error and holding him accountable for it, thus the birth of the Columbia Heartbeat.
Today, Amateur Bloggers come from all walks of life. They write their opinions, and let the world see them. Some Amateur Bloggers are good about fact checking and researching their material, and not making un-provable and false allegations to the public; they are RESPONSIBLE BLOGGERS, other simply don’t care as long as they are getting some attention. Unfortunately for the citizenry of Columbia, MO. Mr. Martin falls in the latter category. While Mr. Martin likes to criticize other bloggers like Matthew Akins of Citizens For Justice, the fact is that Matthew Akins would NEVER accuse anyone of murder without having solid evidence, Matthew Akins does fact check and research his articles, he does proper video taped interviews for his articles. Matthew Akins does not speculate and throw out wild theories with no base to support his contentions. But Mr. Martin does…… Watch….
Cut back to 2009 when Mr. Martin proclaimed to the world that he had solved Jeong Im’s murder. The reality is that Mr. martin just shot off at the mouth and accused an innocent man of murder. The person that Mr. martin accused of murdering Jeong Im has recently been shown to be innocent of the crime. How, might you ask? Because the REAL investigators at MU and the CPD have figured out who actually committed the murder. I say REAL investigators, because they knew better than to throw out wild accusations to the public. They had enough professionalism to try to be careful not to slander someone’s good name. They did not run off at the mouth for attention. They knew that investigations like this take time, and they patiently worked their case. And here is the result of their case work:
There is a lesson to be learned here. Let the professionals do their jobs! If Mr. Martin had actually been in charge of this investigation he would have caused an innocent man to be jailed, and possibly imprisoned. Mr. Martin simply took a person that was a close work associate of Jeong Im’s and with a lot of conjecture and little speculation, he wildly accused an innocent man of murder; all for a little attention. And the Missourian and The Columbia Tribune just ATE IT UP! I have never seen such an on-point display as to why people that are not properly trained should never try to conduct an investigation that could cause a person to lose their liberty. To be polite, Mr. Martin is a bumbling, attention seeking, arrogant, self-centered, IDIOT that does not care who he causes damage to as long as it benefits himself! Personally, I knew the day would come that this murder would be solved, the MU Police and the CPD held the case open, followed up on leads, and patiently waited for the right lead to develop, and they did all of this without slandering anyone’s reputation.
Ricky B. Gurley
Back in August of 2010 I did a series of articles on a young man named David Riley. You can reference these articles easy enough just by going to the tag cloud on the right hand side of the screen and clicking the name “David Riley” or just by clicking this link: David Riley. David Riley is a young man that went to a store one night to buy some beer, after he had already been drinking, he purchased his beer and he walked out to his car with his designated driver. On the way to his car he kicked a bottle across the parking lot, and drew the attention of what he would soon discover would be an undercover Police Officer. David Riley said some things to the Police Officer that were not very nice, and in return the Police Officer drew his firearm and proceeded to beat David Riley senseless, along with a few other Police Officers that responded to the undercover Police Officer’s calls for back up; all in full view of the store video camera. David Riley was then taken to the hospital where he was verbally humiliated by security staff and the Police. David Riley was then taken from the hospital to the jail after he received medical care, and charged with resisting arrest and some other “cover my ass charges” by the Police. David Riley then bonded out of jail, in horrible physical condition from the beating that he had just suffered. From there this incident basically ruined his life. He was coerced by a Prosecutor (actually I’d personally call it blackmailed by a Prosecutor) to plea to his charges and accept a conviction. He suffered some mental health issues, which in turn caused him to lose his auto dealership and his family. All and all, it was a fine years work of ruining a man’s life by the CPD and the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office; so that the CPD could keep it’s butt covered and looking like they’d never do anything improper.
When this incident first occurred, I got the call from the Defense Attorney the next day to start an investigation on this case. I knew where to start, at the scene of the incident. RMRI, Inc. wrote up a Notice To Preserve Documents and served it on the store that this incident took place at; and RMRI, Inc. actually received a copy of the video tape before the CPD did. RMRI, Inc. measured out the place where the incident occurred, how far the undercover Police Officer was from David Riley when the verbal exchange took place. RMRI, Inc. interviewed all of the store clerks that were working that night. RMRI, Inc. also requested any property that was taken from David Riley by the CPD the night of the arrest, on behalf of David Riley. Interesting enough the CPD returned a pocket knife that David Riley was carrying that night. Interesting because the CPD tried to claim that David Riley was trying to rob the undercover Police Officer; wouldn’t they have kept the knife as evidence if this had really occurred? As I conducted this investigation it became apparent to me that David Riley was a victim of Police Brutality. But let’s be fair and forthright here; David Riley was no angel. David Riley had some very serious criminal convictions in his background, be probably used alcohol a little too much. Sometimes he could be disagreeable and hard to deal with. But we should all understand that none of this precludes him from being a victim of Police Brutality. So, I took a special interest in this case. I have always felt very strongly about Police Abuse and Police Brutality issues. I don’t think that any citizen should have to suffer a beating at the hands of the Police, who are supposed to be protecting and serving the citizenry. Yes, there are times when the Police must get physical and quell a physical threat, but that is called self defense or defense of the public. So, in this particular case; I did all I could to make my community aware of what had happened to David Riley. I spoke at a City Council Meeting, I spoke at a Police Officer’s Review Board Meeting, I spoke to the media and I blogged about it.
Here is an article where the Columbia Tribune wrote about me trying to bring some awareness to this issue: Investigator Stirs Up Closed Case.
Well, I had some people that believed I was right and some people that thought I was using the media to get some attention for myself. I can understand how some people might feel that way, often times when a person is trying to bring some attention to an issue that they are involved in; it is hard to distinguish who they are trying to get attention for. I told the CPD spokeswoman at the time, that this case would wind up costing the city some money. The CPD spokeswoman responded as if the CPD did everything right, and there was no way that David Riley could ever be on solid ground to sue the CPD.
And there is a twist…….
In the last two weeks David Riley was offered a settlement of he received $55,000.00 by the City of Columbia, MO. to NOT go to Federal Court with his case, which he accepted. We don’t know what the amount of the actual settlement was, but you can bet it was more than $55,000.00, because that amount is what David Riley personally received, he also had to have money for his hospital bills, and of course his attorney had to get paid for his hard work. Here is the Columbia Tribune Article on the settlement: City Settles With Man Who Was Beaten During 2009 Arrest
All I can say is good for David Riley. I am glad that he got some money to try to get his life back on track with. I also hope that the City of Columbia, MO. realizes that the undercover Officer that beat David Riley that night and his cohort, just cost the City of Columbia a significant amount of money.
I also want to make something else clear. When this incident occurred, Chief Burton had only been Chief of the CPD for a few months. While technically speaking, Chief Burton was in charge, he was so new that he was having to rely on his staff to see how the CPD was structured, what the policies were at the CPD, what their strengths and weaknesses were, and just to get a feel for how the CPD functioned overall. We don’t see these incidents in Columbia, MO. anymore. Chief Ken Burton has made tremendous strides to try to prevent these types of incidents from occurring. Chief Burton has terminated the employment of Officers that have behaved this way in the past, at great personal sacrifice to himself. We now have a wonderful Chief of Police at the CPD that cares about the citizenry here in Columbia, MO., and is tough enough to make the hard decisions in his job. Chief Burton has bought these types incidents way down. And, I think it is fair that we don’t put the responsibility of this on him ; he was not at the CPD long enough when this incident occurred to really implement any change that would have prevented this.
Last week I blogged about some new technology that RMRI, Inc. now has. This technology is proprietary to RMRI, Inc., so I won’t be very specific about the technology itself, however I would like to update my readership on the effectiveness of the technology based on test results at RMRI, Inc.
Not only have I been impressed with this new technology; but so has the people that have contacted me and requested that I use it to help them in their cases. I have heard nothing but good feedback from the people that have utilized this product to enhance their investigations.
In the most recent case, I was contacted by a Private Sector Fugitive Recovery Agent to assist him in locating a fugitive from justice that has a verified warrant out for their arrest. Due to the fact that this Fugitive Recovery Operation is underway as I write this; I can’t give specifics about it. I will follow up with specifics about it in a later post. However I can say this; the Private Sector Fugitive Recovery Agent contacted me at 9:00 PM on January 8, 2013 (last night) and by 9:30 PM on January 8, 2013 (30 minutes later) the Private Sector Fugitive Recovery Agent had a verified location on his Fugitive From Justice and is now making all of the arrangements to recovery this fugitive. This was all conducted from my computer at my desk. After weeks of field work, interviews, and “Address Checks” to no avail; RMRI, Inc. and the new technology that we can deploy to gather critical information on a subject was able to locate this fugitive within thirty (30) minutes!
In another case RMRI, Inc. was contacted by an attorney to run a background check on a subject. The attorney reported that she had previously had a computerized background check conducted on her subject; and did not get any current information back about her subject; but did get a good amount of historical data back pertaining to her subject. I used RMRI, Inc.’s new technology to run this attorney’s subject for background information, compiled the report along with some visual data graphs that are generated by the technology and sent all of the results over to the attorney. Within one (1) hour I received a phone call from the attorney; she said that she had never seen a report like this, and she was just “blown away” as to how much more information was found on this report in comparison to the reports she got back from ordering a Computerized Background Check from another company. She stated that she felt like she knew everything there was to know about her subject, and that now she had information that she could actually use in her case. This attorney stated that she would be calling RMRI, Inc. for all of her information needs, from this point forward.
In a third case, an Investigator from Maryland named Fred Schroeder contacted RMRI, Inc. about running some information on a few subjects of an investigation he was conducting. Within one (1) hour the Investigator had several reports pertinent to his investigation, and he was also highly impressed. This Investigator indicated that the data that he received answered a question that he would have had to research prior to receiving this report. This Investigator also indicated that he would be using RMRI, inc. for all of his information needs in the future. Below are Fred’s words as quoted from an email he replied to RMRI, Inc. with after receiving these reports:
Good Morning, Ricky.
I have finally had the chance to look over the “reports” you supplied the other day regarding our current investigation.
I am Totally Impressed with the Comprehensive Information contained in your reports. I have been a Defense Based Private Investigator for 30 years and have closely watched the evolution of Information Reports and you absolutely hit a Home Run. As a matter of fact, your report answered the next question I was going to research.
The problem I’ve been having with “reports” is that maybe 10% of the information is “Real” and the other 90% based on “Speculation and Cross Over Information” gathered from other Data Bases.
Your Reports supplied 60% Real And Useful Information. We look forward to a continuing relationship.
Regards & Thank You.
Frederick W. Schroeder, 6th
Schroeder & Associates Investigative Services.
Folks; I think RMRI, Inc. has something here that can benefit the Legal and Investigative Community alike. Of course, as I have stated before there are limitations. If the data you need is not aggregated on-line; we will not be able to get this data, and there are also some limitations as to what various states make available on-line. Barring these limitations; I simply have not seen and do not know of any other source that will pull out the type of information from the Internet and compile it in as comprehensive and easy to read report with good, useful graphics as what RMRI, Inc. has rolled out. The cost of this information is a little higher than what would be paid for standard database results; however when one considers that value of having actionable intelligence that one can rely on; I believe the cost is competitive with standard database results that contain a lot of “canned data”.
Ricky B. Gurley.
As we progress in this technological world we find that information has become a commodity; and accurate, current information is a precious commodity. It is not enough to just have information on a person or a business when there is a need to investigate a person or a business, the information must be actionable! There is only one way that information is actionable and that is if it is current, accurate, and in-depth.
Today there are more files kept on consumers than ever before. We all have a file! There can be no doubt that we all have a vast amount of information that is kept about us in a file on a computer, somewhere. Rarely do we get to see all of the information that is archived and stored about us. One of the problems with accessing this information is that it is broken up into pieces and stored on various computers, depending on the category and classification of this information. There is no central repository for this information, but we are getting close to having a central repository for consumer data. So, the problem for the consumer that has a legitimate need for this information is ACCESS!
While there is no known central repository for consumer data, there is technology that can pull these files on consumers from the various storage mediums that they are housed in and combine them into one report. Even with this technology there is still a problem for the consumer. That problem is accuracy and “freshness”. In order to act on information one has to have accurate and up to date information. Personal data archived on computer systems is often “stale” and inaccurate by the time it is made available to the consumer. In order to overcome this problem, one has to have access to data coming directly from the terminal as it is being archived in the system, instead of access to “canned data” that has been archived for three (3) to six (6) months, and have the resources to check and verify the sources of information against alternate sources of the same information.
Once there is a system in place that can tackle these two (2) problems, a better, more accurate and current grade of information can be produced for those that have a legitimate need for it. RMRI, Inc. has tackled these two (2) problems! RMRI, Inc. is not relying on one (1) database to solve these problems, nor are we simply ordering a report and reselling it. We have developed a streamlined process by which multiple databases are pulled together and the information from those databases is put into a cue where it is checked for integrity and accuracy, and then all of the relevant information that has passed the necessary checks for accuracy, freshness, and integrity are then put into a consumer report with visual mapping, that is actionable!
NOW THE CONSUMER THAT HAS A LEGITIMATE AND LEGAL NEED HAS ACCESS TO GREATER, MORE ACCURATE, AND UP TO DATE INFORMATION THAN EVER BEFORE; AT AN AFFORDABLE COST!
RMRI, Inc. now has the technology to deliver actionable information to our clientele! From detailed current location information to in-depth criminal histories all the way to full, all inclusive National Comprehensive Reports that span everything from location information to utility information to asset information, criminal and civil records; and RMRI, Inc. can quickly put it at your fingertips.
RMRI, Inc. now has the latest, cutting edge technology to offer our clientele actionable investigative intelligence at competitive industry prices. Considering the value of accurate and current intelligence over stale, outdated data our clientele can expect significant long term savings in time and money when in need of investigative intelligence.
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Ricky B. Gurley.
I have been following the Ryan Ferguson case for quite sometime now. This is an interesting case, to say the least. I’ll admit that myself or anyone else will know exactly what happened that fateful night that Kent Heitholt lost his life. There are many different theories about what happened that terrible night, and most of these theories have been explored quite well. Most of the theories that I have heard seem to be fairly reasonable.
Now I’ll concede that theories are just that, THEORIES. However in a case like this, when you have two boys locked up in prison on a conviction that has at this time resulted from a trial in which there was no forensic evidence, a recanted confession from a person that literally confessed on a dream, two witnesses that not only recanted but also state that their testimony was coerced by the Prosecutor; it seems to me that the theories are as plausible as the conviction.
The one thing about this case that has been disappointing to me is that not EVERY theory has been explored so well. With Ryan’s team focusing on Michael Boyd as a “person of interest” whom the Police have investigated and ruled out, and hanging their hopes on recanted testimony that only begs the question of “when were these witnesses lying?”; I am not real surprised that Judge Daniel Green’s ruling came back as it did. The evidence that was presented in this case was really not all that compelling, to me. The evidence did raise further issue overall, as to,whether or not Ryan Ferguson actually committed the crime, but it did leave a lot of credibility questions about these witnesses, and we are left with wondering again, at which point in this case did they tell the truth and at which point in this case did they not tell the truth.
I want to be careful here because I believe that one plausible theory about this crime needs to still be explored, and I don’t think this can be done effectively by giving too much detail about it. There is a plausible theory as to what occurred the night that Kent Heitholt lost his life. This theory is supported with evidence that seems to be just as sound as the evidence that sent Ryan Ferguson to prison. What is disappointing is that nobody has really followed up on this theory. It is disappointing because the energy that went into exploring any connection that Michael Boyd may have had to this crime, and getting witnesses to recant, diverted attention away from what could have very well been a “bombshell” that may have blown this case wide open.
It is not like I have not been talking about, and even to a degree following up on this theory. I have actually been voicing my opinion about this theory for a long time, and there seems to be no interest in following this theory up. Personally, I can’t afford to thoroughly follow up on this theory as it should be followed up on, and I don’t know of many people that can; it would take quite a bit of work. I believe that not following up on this theory has been to the peril of Ryan Ferguson, and that is sad. It may be to late to follow up on this theory, and that is even sadder…
Ricky B. Gurley.
I have been on the Internet for a very long time, probably longer than most Private Investigators have. I am always amazed at the information one can find on the Internet. Most of the information on the Internet is information that we freely give about ourselves. Between social networks, email, and the ”deep web”, we can find out almost anything about anyone. It has become accepted and even expected that the consumer will inadvertently give out private information about their self on the Internet in current times. But what about Private Investigators? One would think that a Private Investigator would be cautious of what they allow others to see about them and their business on the Internet. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case.
The Private Investigation business is a funny business, while the Private Investigator has to be able to keep his or her case information confidential, he or she also has to find an effective way to advertise or market on the Internet these days, also. Often times Private Investigators blur the lines between marketing and giving out confidential information on the Internet. I was amazed eight years ago when I found a naked picture of one Private Investigator on the Internet. Not surprisingly this Private Investigator was the very person responsible for their naked picture being on the Internet. If this Private Investigator had not sent their naked picture to other unsuspecting people of the opposite sex in email, their picture would have never been found on the Internet. This is just an example of how careless one Private Investigator had become with their information. But there are literally hundreds of examples like this where Private Investigators have shared a little too much on the Internet.
We all remember the Baby Lisa Irwin Case, and one Private Investigator’s attempt to grab some attention by proclaiming how he was working this case, then “backpedaling” and stating that he was blogging this case as an “Investigative Journalist”, right? Look at all of the information and inferences one could make from that situation. First, the question comes to mind; why wouldn’t anyone actually hire him to work this case? Second, one has to wonder was this Private Investigator using his fee based, proprietary databases to cull information on this case, while he was clearly not working as a hired Private Investigator conducting a Private Investigation? Third, was it appropriate to share the results of his investigation with the public, while the Police were conducting an investigation into the disappearance of this infant, if he was not hired by anyone to conduct this investigation? It is one thing to conduct an investigation as a hired Private Investigator where you have an obligation to your client to investigate the case and keep the information that you gather confidential; it is entirely another thing to possibly interfere with a Police investigation by conducting an investigation for the sake of blogging about your findings for a little media attention. And to this day, this Private Investigator has put himself in the unenviable position of not being able to prove that he did one single thing that helped in locating this child; the only thing he did do was make himself look like an attention starved, low-rent Private Investigator that would do anything for a little media attention.
RMRI, Inc. works a good deal of very sensitive cases that go to court and can be “life altering” to our clients if certain critical information were to come out about our cases. RMRI, Inc. has a few hard and fast rules and protocols about how we conduct business and what we choose to let the public know about our business. First, the ONLY time we are working a case is when we have a paying client, we don’t work cases for free in the hopes of getting some media attention. In all cases that go to court, we enter into a contract with the client. If the case is something simple, where a contract is not necessary (such as: serving a summons) we get an email acknowledgement or an on-line acknowledgement that we are working for the client and that the client expects any information we find in the course of doing our work to remain confidential. We NEVER speak to anyone outside of the client and our team members about an active and ongoing case. Even after a case is completely finished we have a ninety (90) day wait time before we can even acknowledge that we had any involvement with the case whatsoever, and then after that ninety (90) days we can not mention anything that identifies the case we can just speak in general terms about the case. Our approach is quite simple; “we don’t want attention, we want to be paid”. We liken our work to that of any other job, we “punch in” and work, we “punch out” and go home, and we collect our pay. We work to make a living, not for glamour and fame.
While it is true that you can find RMRI, Inc.’s company name in certain publications for attorneys and certain news papers and magazines, what you wont find is any specific information about cases we work, such as names, dates, and specific locations. While you might see a mentioning of cases on our website, what you will not see is any specific mentioning of the details of these cases unless they are over seven (7) years old. While you might see a Facebook Page for RMRI, Inc., what you won’t see is any mention of a case we are working. We make tremendous efforts and take great pains at RMRI, Inc. not to blur the lines between advertising and giving out even a hint of information about our clients and our cases. RMRI, Inc. is not so desperate for attention that we are willing to forsake our client’s privacy for some media attention.
RMRI, Inc. is made up of two (2) licensed Private Investigators, one (1) Pending Licensed Private Investigator, one (1) Process Server, two (2) Technical Consultants qualified as Expert Witnesses, and one (1) Secretary and all of our staff have committed to keeping all case and client data at RMRI, Inc. confidential. Each member is well aware that intentionally “leaking” case and/or client information outside of the confines of RMRI, Inc. is grounds for termination and possible civil action.
A Private Investigator’s ability to keep his or her case and client information is paramount. Confidentiality in the Private Investigation Business is a justified expectation of the client. A successful and confident Private Investigator feels no need to boast about their cases or their clients. Confidentiality is the hallmark of any successful Private investigation Business. If you don’t understand confidentiality, you don’t understand the Private Investigation Business!
For the past two days I have been in court in Boone County, MO. Tonight on 04/10/2012 I got out of court around 10:30 PM. I was there with one of my Technical Consultants on a very interesting case. I want to discuss this case a little here on this blog.
First of all; before I post about this case I think that there are some really outstanding people who need to be acknowledged. The Boone County Sheriff’s Department’s Cyber Crimes Task Force deserves a lot of recognition. My company has worked cases involving several Internet Crimes Units in Law Enforcement; and this team is by far the very best in the state of Missouri. Andy Anderson, Scott Richardson, Mark Sullivan, and Tracy Perkins are simply phenomenal Investigators that are highly skilled, well-organized, and impressively knowledgeable about their work. These Detectives are an example of what Law Enforcement should be. These Detectives make sacrifices that most people could not begin to comprehend, everyday! They see things that are beyond heart breaking, and somehow manage to keep their humanity and integrity intact; indeed they are very special people. They are incredible people who we should all be grateful to. These wonderful people are keeping our children safe in Boone County and the surrounding areas, and doing a most impressive job of it! They are honest, decent people that I am proud to have working as Law Enforcement in the county that I live in. We owe them a tremendous debt!
When I post about the types of cases that RMRI, Inc. often finds itself working, I have a policy that I never mention the name of the defendant on my blog. So, here in this blog entry we will simply call the person that was charged in this case “The Defendant”.
In the case that I am posting about tonight a person was charged with Possession of Child Pornography and Promoting Child Pornography, two very serious felonies that have a potential of sending the defendant to prison for thirty years if convicted of these two crimes. This person was a young college student when they were charged with these offenses. A college student doing what most college students did back when Limewire was a functioning piece of software. This person was downloading music and videos, and was curious about what they could get from Limewire. As you can imagine, as a college student this person’s curiosity was vast and even extended into wanting to view some adult content material. In the process of downloading files from Limewire this person also downloaded three files that can only be termed as “illegal content”. These three files are what constituted the charges that were filed against this person.
When the defendant in this case had their computer seized and had a computer forensics examination performed on their computer, there were literally hundreds for music and video files on the computer and three clearly identifiable illegal files on their computer. Due to these findings, the defendant was charged with Possession of Child Pornography for having the files on their computer and Promotion of Child Pornography for having these files in a shared folder on their computer.
Now there is no doubt that the defendant downloaded these files, there is no doubt that the defendant possessed these files, there is no doubt that these files resided on the defendant’s computer in a shared folder. These facts were well established by the The Boone County Sheriff’s Department’s Cyber Crimes Task Force . And I will say this, if that were all that it would take to be guilty of these crimes, then the defendant would be guilty. However, these cases are far more complex than this. In almost every crime there is an element of intent, except in a few crimes which are called “Strict Liability Crimes”. In these intent based crimes the Prosecution has to show that the Defendant knowingly intended to commit the crime. In this case that means the Prosecution has to prove that the Defendant intended to download thee files for the purpose of deriving some sort of sexual satisfaction by viewing these files.
In this case Tracy Perkins and Scott Richardson gave testimony as to their factual findings in this case. Both of these Detectives should be commended for giving honest, factual testimony with no embellishment whatsoever. I have come to expect that high level of integrity and honesty from the Detectives at The Boone County Sheriff’s Department’s Cyber Crimes Task Force .
Attorneys George Batek and Kathryn Benson questioned these Detectives on cross-examination thoroughly and these Detectives just relayed the facts of their case honestly and with no embellishment. George Batek and Kathryn Benson are two SUPER Attorneys too, they did not miss a beat in this case. George and Kathryn are simply two of the hardest working attorneys that I have ever met!
George Batek and Kathryn Benson contracted with RMRI, Inc. to aid them on the technical aspects of this case about forty-five days ago. I chose to bring Steve Turner in on this case due to his extremely extensive knowledge of computers, the Internet, and working with people from novice computer users to advanced computer users in instructing them on how to properly use their computers and maintain their computers for over twenty years. Steve Turner was able to quickly develop a profile on the level of sophistication that the defendant possessed with regard to computers and the Internet-based on how the defendant used their computer. Steve Turner was able to demonstrate that the defendant was only a novice computer user and easily made some mistakes on setting their computer up and maintaining the software on their computer. Steve Turner gave Expert Witness testimony on exactly how the defendant managed to get the three files in question, and how it was entirely possible that the defendant mistakenly downloaded these files due to making some mistakes that only a novice computer user would make. Steve Turner is simply a phenomenal person with an impressive amount of experience and knowledge when it comes to working with computers, servers, the Internet, mobile devices, and telecommunications devices.
It is first necessary to say that The Boone County Sheriff’s Department’s Cyber Crimes Task Force did nothing wrong or incorrect. Their methodologies are sound, they are thorough, and they have a very impressive knowledge of Digital Forensics and Digital Evidence issues. Their work was never at anytime in question. The question simply came down to this: Was a Jury ready to send a young adult to prison for a long time and negatively impact their life for a long time over what may have very well been a simple mistake made by a novice computer user? And this Jury had the humanity and the wisdom to refuse to do so and to return a verdict of Not Guilty on both charges.
I have to admit that when the verdict was read I made a “whooping sound” that I felt quickly ashamed of afterwards, but this was because I really had some reservations about the wisdom of the Prosecution in charging this young person with these very serious crimes over what even looks like on its face to be a completely unintentional. I know that the Prosecutor was doing her job. And I am grateful that she too is a very tough lady with zero tolerance for these types of crimes. I have just never been sure in this case if it was wise to charge a young person with such terrible crimes. I mean, I have a hard time understanding the benefit to society in negatively impacting someone’s life with these types of charges for over what even on its face looks to be an honest mistake. But, I will concede that this Prosecutor is smarter than I am about these matters, and she has a level of understanding about the law that far exceeds my understanding of the law.
Despite my reservations about this young person being charged with these crimes; I was happy to be a part of this case. I was surrounded by really good and decent people on this case; two SUPER Defense Attorneys, four WONDERFUL Detectives that are just consummate Professionals at what they do, one of my Technical Consultants that I have become so proud to call a friend, a colleague, and a work associate, and a really nice, family that bound together with love for one another and showed that through their support of their family member, the defendant! In my mind, this was not a “win or lose case”; this was a case that restores one’s faith in people, in Law Enforcement, in the Family Unit and there is simply no better feeling than that!
About a month ago I was contacted by an attorney to locate a person for him. The attorney is a good friend of mine, and someone that I have known for quite a while. Because this is attorney is a friend of mine that I am sure would help me out if I ever encountered some legal problems, I did this locate as a courtesy to the attorney. With all of the information that is available to the consumer today and the additional amount of information available to Private Investigators today; a locate is really not that difficult, or at least it is not as difficult as it used to be but it can be time consuming.
Naturally the first thing any Private Investigator would do to locate a person is to start looking around on the Internet for information about the person, start running database reports and generate as much raw information about the subject as he or she can. Sometimes the raw data that is generated about a person can be quite extensive. The average consumer does not have a clue as to what it takes to locate a person that is hard to find, whether it be because the person has moved several times and their information has changed several times or because the person simply does not want to be found. It is entirely possible to generate fifty to seventy five pages of raw data on the subject the Private Investigator is trying to find. Any half-smart Private Investigator knows that there is a percentage of information that is generated from this Internet research that will be inaccurate. This is why this raw data has to be gone through with a “fine-toothed comb”; to weed out the inaccurate information and keep the accurate information and this can take hours and sometimes even days.
So, when I started to work my locate I generated over ninety pages of raw data. I had old addresses, old phone numbers, relatives, associates, email addresses, and more. The process for weeding out the inaccurate information requires talking to people and confirming the information that you have. In my case I would say that over seventy percent of the information I had was either not accurate, or “stale”. The thirty percent of the information that was accurate was not useful in actually getting in touch with the subject. I did have two addresses in Ozark, MO. that looked like they could be where the subject was living, so I told the attorney about them. The attorney was going to be in that area of Missouri so he said he’d go by the addresses and see if the subject lived at these addresses. The attorney reported back that the addresses were not current and asked me to continue on. So, I ran some reports on a different database and sifted through these reports and came up with an address that I had not seen on any of the other reports I had previously ran, but I did not have a phone number for the address. So, here is where it is time to get some field work done.
Now, the newest address that I had was in Springfield, MO., and I am in Columbia, MO.; I am approximately one hundred and eighty miles from Springfield, MO. In this case it occurs to me that it might be more economical to sub-contract this address check to a Private Investigator in Springfield, MO.; enter Heather Snow.
I contacted Heather Snow of Southwest Investigating Agency. Heather and I spoke and I told her what I needed and sent her all of the research that I had conducted up to the point that I had contacted her. Heather had just suffered a terrible family tragedy, but she still took this case and charged me an extremely reasonable fee. Within just a few days after receiving my payment, she found the person i was looking for. Heather Snow put several hours of work into making this happen, she went to the address I had once and nobody was home. Heather Snow then made a second trip to the address and spoke with a young man at the address who knew the subject and called him to meet with Heather. Heather Snow waited for the subject to show up, got all of the information from him that she could get, and then put him in touch with me. Heather Snow worked diligently, professionally, and she produced an effective result for me, at a most reasonable fee. Below are Heather Snow’s contact details:
Southwest Investigating Agency
305 E Walnut St, Ste 314, Springfield, MO 65806
I would highly recommend Heather Snow to anyone that needs a Private Investigator in Springfield, MO.; she is a worker! As it happens, Heather Snow’s father was a Private Investigator for thirty seven years and Heather grew up in the Private Investigator business; one could say that Heather was “groomed” to be a Private Investigator. I was completely satisfied with the service that Heather provided, Heather produced quick, effective, and accurate results, and she knew exactly how to handle this case. Heather Snow is your Private Investigator connection in the Springfield, Ozark, and Lake of The Ozarks area. I would not hire any other Private Investigator in that area other than Heather Snow.
There is a lesson here too. As one can see by reading the title of this post, the information that we have at our fingertips in this information age makes cases like this a little less difficult to work; but it is not a “case solver”, it is only a tool. There are many Private Investigators out there that believe that database information is the be all and end all to working a case; and they would be wrong. More often than not no matter how much information you get from the Internet and the various databases you may have access to you will have to confirm that information and often enough you will have to “put boots on the ground” and do some field work to complete your case. So, remember that Database are just a tool, you still have to investigate your case!
Back in the last part of 2011 RMRI, Inc. was called upon to review a case in Camdenton, MO. The case involved a young man who had three illegal files on his computer. The state of Missouri Family Services Division has what is known as a “Stat Team”; this is the team of Investigators that conduct technical investigations for the Division of Family Services. The “Stat Team” conducts Computer Forensics Examinations in cases where they might have a complaint of sexual abuse in the family home. If the “Stat Team” finds illegal content on the computer that the Investigator is examining the Investigator that did the examination can refer this case for prosecution.
In the case that RMRI, Inc. was contacted about the Missouri “Stat Team” found three images on the defendant’s computer of an illegal nature. Often times RMRI, Inc. will be called in by the defense attorney to consult on these types of cases. Because these specific types of cases are so technical due to the very nature of these cases often the Defense Attorney wants to call on an expert to explain exactly what occurred on the defendant’s computer that resulted in these charges, to interpret the evidence since it will usually consist of a good deal of technical jargon, and to see if the Investigator made any statements that might indicate that he or she did not correctly interpret their evidence. RMRI, Inc. has some of the best expert witnesses in the state of Missouri for cases involving almost all manners of digital evidence. RMRI, Inc. has a “Technical Team” of two experts that have a combined fifty years of experience in working with everything from software development and programming, source code analysis, virus and malware defense and protection, computer repair, file recovery, software development, computer security consulting, and forensic acquisition techniques.
When RMRI, Inc. is first called in to consult on a case of this nature the first thing that we want to do is see all of the discovery on these cases. We want to see the report from the Investigator that did the forensic analysis of the computer in question, we want to see any deposition material where the Investigators were deposed by the defense attorney, we want to see any interviews conducted with the defendant, and anything else that the prosecution has provided that will give us an accurate picture of what happened to cause the defendant to be charged. RMRI, Inc. also wants to be present for any testimony that the Investigator that worked this type of case gives.
In the present case that we are discussing here, the testimony of the Investigator that conducted the computer forensics examination on the defendant’s computer gave us great pause as to whether this Investigator correctly interpreted the evidence that he found on the defendant’s computer. In this case the Investigator believed that the defendant downloaded three illegal files to their computer for viewing. The reality of the case is that the defendant never even knew that these files resided on their computer. These files were simply thumbnails that were residing in the temporary file section of the defendant’s computer and were put their as a result of the defendant looking at a website, but NOT even knowing that this website would place these thumbnail images on their computer as a result of viewing this website. Through careful and methodical research RMRI, Inc. was able to not only come to understand what had occurred on the defendant’s computer but was also prepared to prove what happened on the defendant’s computer.
The main figure in this case that was actually able to get this case dismissed at deposition without it ever seeing a trial was the attorney. The attorney is Deirdre O’Donnell of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C. who was one of the sharpest and most intelligent attorneys that I have ever worked with. Deirdre grasped the issues that we found very quickly, she understood our explanation of what occurred in this case, and she clearly understood what questions needed to be asked of the Investigator for the state of Missouri. Below are the contact details for Deirdre O’Donnell:
Firm: Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C.
Phone Number: (573) 346-7231
Address: 85 Court Circle N.W., Camdenton, MO. 65020
After RMRI, Inc. heard the State’s Investigator testify, analyzed the discovery evidence, and then worked with Deirdre a little on going over what had occurred on the defendant’s computer, Deirdre decided to depose the State’s Investigator. RMRI, Inc. worked with Deirdre on some of the more technical questions that she would ask the State’s Investigator during deposition, and Deirdre already had a comprehensive understanding of the issues that we wanted to find out more about in deposition, but RMRI, Inc.’s Technical Expert wanted to make sure that Deirdre was armed with all of the questions necessary to give us a complete understanding of what lead the State’s Investigator to apply for charges against the defendant in this case.
Deirdre O’Donnell spent countless hours preparing for this deposition, and she went into the deposition and started asking key questions of the State’s Investigator as to what he believed happened on the defendant’s computer, and why he believed as he did. The State’s Investigator had enough integrity and honor to admit shortly into the deposition that he did not have a complete understanding of how to conduct a forensic examination at the time of his testimony because he had only had the basic computer forensics course at that time; since his testimony he had taken an intermediary computer forensics course and has come to understand that some of what he testified to may not have been completely accurate. At this point in time the Prosecuting Attorney “nollied” (dismissed) the case against the defendant. The State’s Investigator and the Prosecuting Attorney showed a tremendous amount of integrity and honor once they came to an accurate understanding of what had occurred in this case.
Deirdre O’Donnell fought intelligently and passionately for her client. Deirdre worked this case in the most effective way possible and achieved the best possible outcome on this case. It takes a lot of work to convince a Prosecutor that he or she should drop charges and not proceed to trial. The Defense Attorney has to be able to clearly convince the Prosecutor that a crime was not committed; and Deirdre did that perfectly! God forbid, but if I ever have legal problem in the Camdenton, MO. area the ONLY attorney I would hire in that part of Missouri would be Deirdre O’Donnell!
First of all, as much as it pains me to preface this post like I must, it is important to make it clear that no profession is without it’s ignorant, mis-informed, and downright stupid people. And the Private Investigator Profession is just like any other profession; it has its share of “Dipsticks”. What amazes me is the number of Private Investigators that can not correctly interpret a court’s ruling. While it is true that these rulings can generally only go one of two ways, there is much to be gleaned from reading these rulings in their entirety. It is shameful to have to admit that some Private Investigators don’t understand the value of reading these rulings in their entirety.
As we all know, I have been fighting a very lengthy battle with the state of Missouri in regards to the way it has set up the licensing statutes for Private Investigators. This week I lost my case in the Missouri Supreme Court; here is the opinion: Missouri Supreme Court Opinion_SC91741. Some Private Investigators believe that this means that I no longer have a Private Investigator’s License. Well, those Private Investigators should probably stick to Mystery Shopping and not ever try their hand at REAL P.I. work; because they seem to have less of an understanding of the law than the average consumer. So, let me clarify for the “Dipsticks”. My case in the Missouri Supreme Court was a completely separate case from my appeal to the Adminsitrative Hearing Commission, which granted my license over a year ago; as we can see below:
And this can be easily searched at this link: Missouri Professional License Search. My case in the Missouri Supreme Court had nothing to do with trying to obtain my PI License, as there was no need since I already had my PI License since 01/12/2011 as we can see above on my PI License Information Sheet, certificate, and actual license. Now again, for the “Dipstick Private Investigators” that believe this was a license denial; you have just shown the world how ignorant you are.
Now, let us dive into the actual ruling from the Missouri Supreme Court. There was nothing “bad” about the court’s ruling. The Justices used perfect logic in their ruling. I am not so sure that they completely considered the full implications of this statute that they were considering, but their logic was in fact perfect. The ruling was not harmful to me in any way, and as a matter of fact it was actually PROTECTIVE of every license holder in the state of Missouri and myself. Because the ruling set forth a clarification, and perhaps even a warning to any professional licensing board that might try to take away a person’s professional license. Read the language:
B. Procedural Due Process Claims:
Because professional licenses are considered to be “property” for the purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment, procedural due process is required before the government may deprive anyone of his or her professional license. See Stone v. Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Serv., 350 S.W.3d 14, 27 (Mo. banc 2011). On the other hand, because no one has a property interest in a mere unilateral expectation, see Daniels v. Bd. of Curators of Lincoln Univ., 51 S.W.3d 1, 6 (Mo. App. 2001), due process generally is not required before the denial of a new application for professional licensure.
Effectively this language indicates that when I first applied for a Missouri State Private Investigator’s License, I did not have a protected property interest because I did not currently hold that state license, all I had was an idea that I might be issued a Private Investigator’s License. But this language also strongly suggests that now that I have had a Private Investigator’s License since 01/12/2011 that I effectively have a “protected property interest” under the Fourteenth Amendment, that can not be taken away from me without procedural due process.
Furthermore, when one looks at the ruling even closer one can see that I actually raise a valid point, and the court even admits that I raise a valid point, again read the language:
The crux of Gurley’s argument is that subdivision (9) lacks a commercial element. Thus, Gurley argues that “private investigator business” includes numerous First Amendment-protected activities performed every day by most American citizens. He focuses especially on subdivision (9)(b), arguing that anyone who uses a social networking website to locate a former classmate or to search for a potential romantic partner is “making [an] investigation for the purpose of obtaining information pertaining to … [t]he identity … whereabouts … 8or character of [a] person.”
Gurley also argues that the definition of “private investigator business” describes the work of any political volunteer conducting opposition research, any freelance reporter and any author. 8
Gurley is quite right that requiring prior government approval before engaging in so many speech-related activities by uncompensated volunteers would raise serious constitutional questions. But the Court need not confront those questions. “[T]he first step in overbreadth analysis is to construe the challenged statute.” Stevens, 130 S. Ct. at 1587. “The primary rule of statutory interpretation is to ascertain the intent of the legislature from the language used, to give effect to that intent if possible, and to consider the words in their plain and ordinary meaning.” S. Metro. Fire Prot. Dist. v. City of Lee’s Summit, 278 S.W.3d 659, 666 (Mo. banc 2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). That being said, “[i]t is presumed that the General Assembly would not pass laws in violation of the constitution.” Planned Parenthood of Kansas v. Nixon, 220 S.W.3d 732, 742 (Mo. banc 2007). For this reason, “[a] narrowing construction is the preferred remedy in First Amendment cases.” Id. at 741. “In determining claims of overbreadth, our construction of the statute is definitive and we are obliged to give it a construction which will render it valid, if possible.” Pollard v. Bd. of Police Comm’rs, 665 S.W.2d 333, 341 (Mo. banc 1984).
8 An even more troubling possibility would be that licensure might be required for members of religious congregations volunteering to investigate candidates for leadership and other positions.
In essence, my argument certainly is not being viewed as frivolous or meaningless; it simply raises questions that the court feels are not necessary to address at this time. The court does not advocate that the issue I bring could never happen, the court just simply states that this issue has not happened yet and so at this point in time it is purely speculative. All and all, I believe the Missouri Supreme Court made a logical conclusion that I can live with. The Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling certainly did not damage, harm, or hurt me in any way.
I think that there is one issue here that should be understood. There are many Private Investigators out there that are not very fond of me, and that is okay because I don’t care about anyone’s fondness. Some of these Private Investigators seem to derive a pleasure out of what they ignorantly believe is a failure for me, and that is okay too because I really enjoy watching ignorant people show just how ignorant they are. But here is a point for them to consider, and they may have already considered it, which is why they are not too fond of me. Could you have taken a case all the way to your state Supreme Court? Do you have the resources and finances to take a case to the highest court in your state? Could you deal with the stress and financial hardship of having your bsuiness shut down for ten months, and then turn around and revive your business after you open it back up ten months later? Could you stand such a loss and still come back? It is not for the faint of heart. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do what I have done. It was not easy, and most people could not do it; most people would have thrown their hands up and gave up a long time ago. Me? I still have plenty of fight left. I have not been worn down. I adopted two mottos a long time ago that I try to live my life by; I believe there is a simple three word motto that every person should live their life by. It is an old British SAS Motto, which simply says “Who Dares, Wins”! I am a Risk Taker by nature, and always have been. That is the true spirit of the Entrepreneur, which is what most of us strive to be but very few know how to be. I have fought battles and won some and lost some; but I have never been afraid to step up and fight for what I believe to be right. I also live my life by this motto: “Illegitimi Non Carborundum”; meaning “Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down”! Thus far, I am still standing. I am still here, fighting the good fight and I would not have it any other way!
It would not be right to take credit for winning my license at the Administrative Hearing Commission and getting this case to the Missouri Supreme Court by myself. I had two of the very best attorneys that I have ever had the pleasure of handing a case for me: Jay and Randall Barnes. Also, I think it is worth mentioning that every attorney and every Judge that I dealt with in this case, the State Attorneys, Judge Paul Wilson, and Commissioner Nimrod Chapel were all very professional and civil, they treated me with dignity and were very respectful to me. They have all honored their profession in my eyes.
For those of you that like to read my blog, and are fans of my blog, thank you for taking the time to read this post. For those of you reading this because you thought I failed here, perhaps now you will see how ignorant you really are. But, the chances are that you are ignorant about your own ignorance. Stupid people simply do not believe that they are stupid…
Earlier today I saw a post on Facebook that was interesting to me; because it raises a lot of questions and seems to prove what I personally have always known. Below is the post that I saw on Facebook; I took a screenshot of it:
Now it has never been a secret that I am very critical of Mr. Rugen. Personally speaking, I have never believed him to be an intelligent or even a competent Private Investigator. My opinion is based off of many years of being able to observe what he has done in my chosen profession, the Private Investigation business, watching his posts on private forums for Private Investigators, and observing some of his less than intelligent opinions on these forums. The only types of cases that I have ever seen or know of that Mr. Rugen has ever been able to claim any success at is serving subpoenas and judgment collections; which really do not require much skill.
It appears that Mr. Rugen is “giving up” on the Lisa Irwin case? Mr. Rugen also claims that he has been working this case as a “Investigative Reporter”, but more accurately as just an “attention seeking blogger”. The question that comes to my mind about Mr. Rugen claiming that he is not working this case as a Private Investigator is; why not? But the answer seems to be simple and even admitted by Mr. Rugen himself and that is that nobody will hire him. Generally speaking, if you read the Facebook pages regarding Mr. Rugen you will see that he is not held in high esteem, nor is he thought of as competent. It seems logical that the people with an interest in this case that would have a motivation to hire a Private Investigator in this case we are discussing here also read Facebook, and have probably made some calls to see what kind of a Private Investigator Mr. Rugen is. Going off of what Mr. Rugen has been saying, that nobody has hired him; one can only believe that Mr. Rugen’s “reviews” must have been less than stellar.
Mr. Rugen states that he has “put aside paid work that could be done” to work this case. Does anyone REALLY believe that? Does anyone REALLY believe that a struggling Private Investigator, who can not keep a girlfriend or a wife that would add to the household income, that could not pay his rent when he lived in Columbia, MO. and still owes his automobile mechanic $300.00 to this day, would turn down money to work this case? I think that the more likely scenario is that Mr. Rugen did not have any paid work to begin with. But lets say for a minute that he did have paid work coming in and chose not to do it to work this case; would anyone call that “smart business”? I mean, I do understand how Mr. Rugen’s dreams of fame motivated by having a few short clips of him on various News Stations might make one think that this could “drum up business” for him. But the fact remains, no matter how much publicity you get, nobody willfully pays for incompetence!
Now another issue that we can see from reading Mr. Rugen’s posts is that Mr. Rugen claims that since he has not been working as a Private Investigator on this case and he has been working in the capacity of an “Investigative Reporter” he is not bound by any confidentiality or general confidentiality implications. While this may be generally accepted, it is not an ethical stance by someone that is a state licensed Private Investigator. But there is an question that the general public may not be aware of, but another Private Investigator would be aware of; and that question is: Did Mr. Rugen use any databases that he has access to for Private Investigators ONLY to work this case which by Mr. Rugen’s own admission was not a Private Investigation? If Mr. Rugen used any of the databases for Private Investigators only, to work a non-Private Investigation case; then he may be in violation of his agreements with any of the database providers that he is signed up with. This is an interesting question, indeed.
Overall, Mr. Rugen is showing us all what I already knew. He has not made one single inch of headway in solving this case. He has not generated any useful leads or data the entire time he has been on this case. And he has somehow managed to upset the very people that he was supposed to be gaining rapport with on this case. Yes, it is long overdue for Mr. Rugen to take his attorney friend’s advice (Anthony) and just throw in the towel. While it might be a bitter pill for Mr. Rugen to swallow, my thoughts are that he should just admit to himself that he is in fact an incompetent Private Investigator and go back to the “easy money” that does not take a high level of intelligence to make; serving subpoenas and collecting judgments. Doing this may actually serve Mr. Rugen well. The fact is, that Mr. Rugen has done nothing but “spin his wheels” and at the very best got himself a little publicity on this case; meanwhile REAL Private Investigation Agencies (like RMRI, Inc.) are doing what they are supposed to be doing and working REAL private Investigation cases from PAYING CLIENTS, so they can pay their bills and support their families.
Well, maybe we can all breathe a little easier now? Perhaps Mr. Rugen has at least admitted that he is way out of his depth on a case that takes a REAL Private Investigator to even have any hope of solving?We’ll see……….
Well my audience will just have to forgive me; but it is time to say what needs to be said. There are always a few “media vultures” out there in the world, and we can see at least one showing up every day here on the Lisa Irwin Case.
I have had a pretty busy week, working PAYING cases, so I have not had much time to blog about this case in the past five days. Not to brag, but last week was somewhere around a $10,000.00 week for me. It is always important to take care of your paying clients first, and then focus on the topic that interest you. I have had to focus on paying clients. Apparently not all Private Investigators have paying clients to focus on; so they can try to play “Commentator” on cases like the one we are discussing here. Tonight I want to talk about how a “mediocre at best” Private Investigator can harm a case like this, and how a good Private Investigator can help a case like this.
I suppose the first place to start is with the approach that should be taken when working any case as a Private Investigator. One of the most important things to remember is that when it comes to how a Private Investigator works a case, the approach in at least one aspect is much like how a Doctor approaches a patient’s care; First Do No Harm! Often times in the Private Investigation business it is just as important to know what NOT to do as it is to know what to do. If you are a Private Investigator, the “Do No Harm Approach” requires one to be honest with theirself. A good Private Investigator’s first question to himself or herself should be: “Am I qualified to handle this case”? Think of it like this, you would not perform heart surgery on a patient if you did not have the necessary skills, training, and credentials to do so; would you? And if all you have done as a Private Investigator is serve subpoenas and conduct some “cheating spouse surveillance”, what makes you think you are qualified to even give any intelligent commentary on a Child Abduction Case, much less participate in such a case? I take exception to how one of my colleagues seems to want to insert himself into this case and act as if he is some kind of authority on the Lisa Irwin Abduction. What he is doing is selfish, harmful, and has the potential to take away valuable media resources from where they need to be. I will first call your attention to a post made by Mr. Ronald Rugen on 10/25/2011 which is pictured below:
Kris Cantil is a highly experienced Criminal Defense Investigator from Utah, that has spend more time adjusting her make-up in a courthouse bathroom than Mr. Rugen has in a courthouse. She is well qualified to understand the intricacies of a criminal defense case, and to certainly understand what a criminal defense case is. Click on her name and you can see her qualifications. Kris Cantil works for Kane Consulting and her question to Mr.Rugen is important and “dead on”. Folks, the attorneys working for Lisa Irwin’s parents are NOT a “Defense Team” at this point in time, they are simply trying to keep the focus on looking for the person that abducted Lisa Irwin, going on the assertion that the child was in fact abducted. despite what the media wants to title the attorney or attorneys here; there can be no defense without a prosecution and there has not even been an arrest made yet much less a prosecution. The harm in making statements like this is that it gives the public the inaccurate illusion that the parents of Lisa Irwin are the culprits in her disappearance. Now while I am not ready to say that Lisa Irwin’s parents had nothing to do with her disappearance, I am certainly not willing to point the finger at them just yet. The fact is that there just is not enough evidence to make a determination either way at this point in time. Attorney Cyndy Short was right when she said that “this is how people get wrongfully convicted”, these types of presumptuous statements make the public think that there is something that they don’t know but the person making this statement knows that may indicate guilt, which in turn causes public pressure to be put on the Police, which in turn often times impedes their investigation. This can all have the effect of making people rush to judgment in a case where evidence needs to be dispassionately analyzed. These cases have to be worked with a high degree of objectivity, which apparently Mr. Rugen does not have:
it is not hard to see from reading Mr. Rugen’s comment above that by his own admission he has not been very objective in regards to this case. he has “jumped to conclusions”, and implied that Lisa Irwin’s parents had something to do with the disappearance of their child. This is NOT what a good Private Investigator would do. A good Private Investigator would check out everything, including the parents; but he or she would be objective and receptive to reasonable and logical scenarios so as to not easily dismiss something that might be the key to solving this case.
I have personally worked two (2) Child Abduction Cases, and successfully concluded each one within one (1) week. Now, I will admit that both of these cases were non-custodial parental abduction cases; one (1) from Los Angeles, California over seven years ago for an attorney named Shirlee Bliss and one (1) here locally where we recovered the child in Kansas City, MO for the father named Orlando Hayes. These cases are easier than a “Stranger Abduction Case”, none the less they do require objectivity, professionalism, and the ability to keep a “low profile”. My Lead Investigator, Karen Giboney has worked multiple non-custodial parental abductions and “stranger abduction cases” Someone should as Mr. Rugen how many of these cases he has worked?
The media can be a useful tool in helping to solve cases like this. The media gets the word out so that citizens can be on the look out for the child and so that if there is someone out there that knows something they will know who to call and talk to about it. It is self serving and selfish for a Private Investigator to try to inject himself into a case like this for the sake of trying to get some publicity and attention. Someone should ask Mr. Rugen who hired him to work on this case?
Folks, it is important that you don’t give this mediocre at best Private Investigator the attention he is seeking, and you stay focused on the important media aspects of this case. Follow what the media is reporting about possible sightings. Follow what the media is reporting about person’s of interest. Keep your eyes and ears open for information that may relate to those topics, instead of following an “armchair quarterback” that serves subpoenas for a living and has high aspirations of being some kind of a recognized news commentator on cases that he has no experience in what so ever. If I had experience that Mr. Rugen has in the Private Investigation Business, I’d stay out of the media and keep my opinions to myself for being afraid that those opinions might come back to haunt me later on. PICTURE that, if you will…….
Ricky B. Gurley.
When researching a topic such as the one we are discussing here it is important to find the right people to question about certain issues that come up in these cases. Every Private Investigator has to have “Go To Guys”; people that specialize in areas of of investigation and are considered experts in their fields. I have a my own group of “Go To Guys” that I request consultations with in cases where I need to know something, or I may need to be able to refer an expert witness to an attorney. If it is financial crimes and fraud, I call Bill Branscum. If it is due diligence , criminal defense or civil litigation I call Sue Sarkis. If it is cyber investigations or more specifically Computer Forensics, although I have a well qualified staff, I still call Brian Ingram. These are people that I know are qualified, tried, and proven in their fields of expertise and I know I can rely on them to give me accurate information. I have several other “Go To Guys” that I also call upon, and this network of people enables me to be just a little more effective at what I do. When it comes to Death Investigations, I call Dean Beers. Dean Beers has an extensive resume, and his credentials, qualifications, and experience are second to none in the field of Death Investigations. Below is a small sampling of Dean’s qualifications and experience:
As a Certified Legal Investigator, I am very passionate about legal investigations and working with my clients to provide the best information and tools in advocating for our mutual client.
I formed my legal investigative agency in 1987, quickly becoming a leading and innovative provider of investigative, legal and trial support services. I left the private sector in late 2005 to accept a full-time position as a deputy coroner / death investigator with the Larimer County Medical Examiner’s Office, after graduating with honors from the Weld County Law Enforcement Academy. In late 2008 I returned to the private sector, focusing on Personal Injury, Negligence & Death, as well as Criminal Defense. This is built on my extensive education, experience and training in the private sector, as well as my internship, training and job experience at both the Larimer and Weld County Medical Examiners’ Offices.
Services include incident and scene investigations, causation of injuries and death, photography, videography, interviews, evidence collection, records and reports reviews, statement analysis, and many other related services. I have extensive education, training and experience in many investigative disciplines, and have also lectured extensively, written many articles and a book on individual locate investigations.
We are centrally located approximately one hour north of Denver, CO and one hour south of Cheyenne WY. We are pleased to bring our expertise and passion to the front range investigative and legal communities. We welcome your inquiries and the opportunity to assist you.
I am a member of the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC – senior), National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI), Colorado State Investigators Association (CSIA), Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB – investigator/affiliate), International Association of Identification (IAI / RMDIAI), and National Association of Medical Examiners (The NAME).
Extensive experience is in death investigation and related forensics. My specific areas are medical records review, autopsy protocol and report reviews, death and injury evaluation and causation, all incident and crime scenes, equivocal death, photography and videography, statement analysis and fingerprints lifting and comparison. In addition, we provide Individual Locates, Address Verifications, Assets & Liabilities Records, Civil and Criminal Histories and Complete Personal Profiles.
Dean Beers’s Experience
Chairman of the Board
Legal Services industry
November 2010 – Present (1 year)
Excited to lead the board in the continued forward professionalism of the members of the PPIAC. Our current professional licensing effort has gained momentum and is moving forward!
Region 5A Director – NCISS
National Council of Investigation and Security Services
Legal Services industry
September 2010 – Present (1 year 2 months)
Regional Director for CO WY NE & AZ for NCISS – the voice of professional investigators in DC. Duties include membership communication, recruitment and keeping our members informed.
Region 6 CLI Representative
CLI Committee – Region 6
Legal Services industry
July 2010 – Present (1 year 4 months)
I am the Region 6 Representative on the Certified Legal Investigator Committee for the National Association of Legal Investigators. I will be working with other CLI representatives and the CLI committee to further this exceptional certification and our profession. Region 6 includes CO, MT, WY, NM, AZ, UT and ID. There are six CLIs in the region.
Expert – Forensic Investigation, Pattern Injury Analysis and Investigative Protocols
Forensic Investigators of Colorado LLC (Self-employed)
Self-Employed; Legal Services industry
April 2009 – Present (2 years 7 months)
Qualified in Colorado district & county courts in Forensic Investigation, Pattern Injury Analysis and Investigative Protocols. Expert Consultant: crime scene, pattern injury, fingerprint comparison, investigative protocols, forensic photography and blood spatter.
Certified Legal Investigator / Owner
Associates in Forensic Investions LLC (Self-employed)
Self-Employed; Legal Services industry
October 1987 – Present (24 years 1 month)
I have been a Professional Investigator since 1987. I have extensive experience in individual backgrounds and locates, as well as current education, training and experience in Personal Injury, Negligence & Death, as well as Criminal Defense supplemented by my recent position with the Larimer County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Legal Services industry
2008 – 2010 (2 years)
Deputy Coroner / Death Investigator
Larimer County Medical Examiner’s Office
Government Administration industry
September 2002 – August 2008 (6 years)
Beginning with training and internship and progressing into part-time then full-time, after graduating the Weld County Law Enforcement Academy. We were responsible for responding to and investigating deaths and incident scenes, assisting with autopsies and complete follow-up investigation.
Forensic Autopsy Assistant
Larimer and Weld Counties Medical Examiner’s Offices; Colorado Pathology Associates
Legal Services industry
September 2002 – August 2008 (6 years)
Assisted with forensic, medical and hospital autopsies.
Deputy Coroner / Investigator
Weld County Medical Examiner’s Office
Legal Services industry
January 2003 – June 2005 (2 years 6 months)
Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator and Deputy Coroner
As we can see, Dean Beers is well qualified to speak with us on the topic of Human Body Decomposition. I wanted to explore this topic a little because there is some debate on the accuracy of the “hit” that a Cadaver Dog made on the scent of a deceased human body in the Irwin home. I first want to understand the process of Human Body Decomposition, so I called Dean and asked him if he would spend a little time explaining this to me along with any experiences he may have had with Cadaver Dogs. I got a good education from Dean, and I think my readership here may also find that they will learn some interesting things here too.
First, I want to point out some facts that I learned from Dean; then I will give the audience here the entire audio file of the conversation that I had with Dean Beers.
(1) The human body starts to decompose almost immediately after death.
(2) The time frame in which a human body can be in a state of decomposition before a Cadaver Dog can pick up the scent of decomposition varies, but it can be as little as one (1) hour, and in almost all cases a Cadaver Dog can pick up the scent of decomposition within three (3) hours after death.
(3) Cadaver Dogs can detect “the scent of death” from bodies buried underground and from bodies that are under water.
(4) The smell of a human body in advanced stages of decomposition is so unique that a person can smell the scent just one time and remember it for years.
Now here is my conversation with Dean Beers on this topic in it’s entirety: Dean Beers on Human Body Decomposition
Dean also wants everyone to have a clear understanding of what is meant by decomposition from a medical perspective; so here is a quote from Dean that will help you to better understand how a Cadaver Dog can pick up the scent of a decomposing body even in a place where it has been for only one (1) hour to three (3) hours, but has also been moved away from after said period of time:
The process starts almost immediately after death with biological changes, causing build up of internal gases and bacteria. This can be in the first hour and is dependent on environment, decedent’s health, and chemistry (i.e. toxicology can have a role). These seemingly imperceptible changes are what develop the odor that can be left behind after a body is removed or can lead the Cadaver Dog to the body.
From listening to this audio file, you should gain a little more clarity on the probability of a Cadaver Dog making a “hit” on “the scent of death” in the Irwin home. It would seem that it was entirely possible for the Cadaver Dog to have made the “hit” on the scent of a decomposing body in the Irwin home.
I hope this is helpful to the public, and my readership gains just a little more of an understanding of the investigation into the disappearance of Baby Lisa Irwin.
Thank you all for your time.
Ricky B. Gurley
While some of my colleagues like to speculate, accuse, and point fingers without any basis for doing so, here at RMRI, Inc. we have a higher standard than that. We need evidence, clear logic, a pattern, or something more than just a passing thought before we even start to present possibilities. Even though I am doing these blog segments freely and without any consideration whatsoever; I feel like it is only appropriate to still present this to you just like it is a paid for investigation. So here tonight I am going to present two (2) reports that will help us start off in exploring what happened to Baby Lisa Irwin.
Now, I should remind you that the only sources that have been used to develop these reports have been publicly available sources. RMRI, Inc. has not had any contact whatsoever with anyone involved in this case. We have simply culled data from News Sources. The reader can feel free to submit corrections or findings that he or she may have found on the Internet also.
First, we’ll start with Karen Giboney’s commentary report on this case. Karen Giboney is an experienced and seasoned Investigator with over twenty (20) years in Law Enforcement as a Uniformed Police Officer and a Detective with a Major Crimes Task Force. Karen has investigated hundreds if not thousands of major cases such as murder, rape, robbery, child abuse, child molestation, and child abduction cases. Karen has conducted thousands of interviews and had the highest case closure rate in her department for several years. Below is a picture of Karen Giboney:
We have all seen the news here in Missouri and I think we all know who “Baby Lisa” is by now; but for those that don’t below are some news links for you to read:
Now after reading the articles and becoming familiar with this case, one can see that it is a case that has captured a lot of people’s attention. This case is getting quite a bit of publicity and it is certainly considered a high-profile case. This is also a prime case for a good Private Investigator to join in on and work on behalf of the family. This is a good case for a Private Investigator. And we actually have a person that is working this case for the family in what the media has characterized as a Private Investigator. Mr. Bill Stanton is in Kansas City and working this case. Mr. Stanton is from New York, New York, with a background in Law Enforcement and Private Security. While Mr. Stanton was working in the Private Security Sector he did a lot of work for the various News Media Agencies and undoubtedly garnered some contacts in the media that may be very useful in the Baby Lisa Irwin Case. Mr. Stanton seems to be a good fit for a case like this, in which the media can be utilized to help recover Baby Lisa Irwin. So, it sounds like we have a decent person, well suited for this type of work on the case.
But…. Some people just can’t leave the best possible situation alone. And some people don’t like to see others get spotlight that they think they are so richly entitled to… There has been several complaints here in Missouri about Mr. Stanton working this case simply because he is not licensed as a Private Investigator here in Missouri. One person in particular has been very verbal about this case, Private Investigator Ron Rugen from Kansas City, MO. I personally know Mr. Rugen, and I can tell you that Mr. Rugen is an EXCELLENT Process Server. He can deliver a subpoena to a person tha tis a party to a legal case like nobody’s business! Mr. Rugen has apparently had some problems with Mr. Stanton working this case involving Baby Lisa Irwin, and has been quite vocal about it. Now, Mr. Rugen contends that he is legally obligated to report Mr. Stanton to our Private Investigator Licensing Board here in Missouri if Mr. Stanton does not have a Private Investigator’s License. Mr. Rugen is effectively saying that he has no choice but to report Mr. Stanton because he suspects that Mr. Stanton is practicing as a Private Investigator without a license. Let’s examine this for a minute. First let me give you a frame of reference for the rules and statutes here in Missouri that regulates the Private Investigation Business. Below is a link to the rules and statutes that regulate the Private Investigation Business here in Missouri.:
The rules for reporting unlicensed activity fall under 20 CSR 2234-7.010 Code of Conduct. Now lets examine the rules for reporting unlicensed activity:
If you will look on page three (3) of the Code of Conduct you will see this if you read carefully:
(C) Aiding Unlicensed Practice.
1. Private investigators shall neither permit nor suffer any person with whom they are associated to practice the profession without being properly licensed.
2. Private investigators shall promptly report to the board any person who appears to be unlawfully practicing the profession without a license.
A. Private investigators may consult with the person who appears to be unlawfully practicing the profession without a license regarding the circumstances, and if reasonably satisfied that no violation has occurred, choose not to notify the board.
B. Private investigators need not investigate the conduct of the person who appears to be unlawfully practicing the profession without a license in such circumstances. Reporting the conduct to the board discharges the private investigator’s duty under this section.
C. An anonymous complaint to the board does not comply with the provisions of this section.
D. No action will be taken by the board against a private investigator who has made a report pursuant to the provisions of this section unless malice is shown to be the motive for an untruthful report.
I highlit the part of the code for reporting unlicensed activity to the Missouri Board of Private Investigator Examiners. As we can very plainly see there is no hard and fast rule that absolutely requires one to report suspicions of unlicensed activity to the Missouri Board of Private Investigator Examiners. As a matter of fact, there is a specific provision in the rules that allow a Licensed Private Investigator to make an inquiry with the person that he or she believes is practicing without a license in an effort to determine whether there is cause to make a complaint, or if making a complaint would amount to no more than a baseless allegation. So, the statement that one must report all suspicious activity to the Missouri Board of Private Investigator Examiners is not completely accurate. In cases where there is some question as to whether or not a person is operating illegally as a Private Investigator in Missouri by not being licensed, the licensed Private Investigator that is aware of these suspicions has the option to first consult with the person they suspect of conducing unlicensed activity to see if this is in fact really occurring.
Now with regard to Mr. Bill Stanton, there is no doubt that he is not licensed here in the state of Missouri as a Private Investigator. A simple check of the Occupational Licensing database will reveal that Mr. Bill Stanton does not hold a Private Investigator’s license in Missouri. Anyone can check this Occupational Licensing Database, it is available to the public and can be found at this link: Missouri Occupational Licensing Database. So, it is simple to come to the conclusion that Mr. Bill Stanton is not a Missouri Licensed Private Investigator. However, before making a complaint with the Missouri Board of Private Investigator Examiners, what we have to determine is whether or not the activity that Mr. Stanton is conducting can be defined as conducting the business of a Private Investigator without a license. Media reports and media assigned titles do not rise to the level of cause to believe that Mr. Stanton is conducting Private Investigator business without a license. I think that the most appropriate approach to this situation would be to first contact Mr. Stanton and ask what types of his activities he is conducting, in what capacity he is working for the family in, and to go over the rules and statutes with him in order to give him and understanding of where the line is in what activities he can legally conduct and can’t legally conduct.
I must admit that I am a little disappointed in Mr. Rugen’s lack of understanding of our rules governing Private Investigators here in Missouri. I also have to wonder why Mr. Rugen has inserted himself into this case to begin with? Was Mr. Rugen contacted by the family to assist in locating Baby Lisa Irwin? Was Mr. Rugen contacted by Law Enforcement to consult to them with some special skill that he has in trying to locate Baby Lisa Irwin? While Mr. Rugen is an EXCELLENT Process Server; I am not aware of any special skills that he has that would enable him to offer some unique assistance to Law Enforcement in a Missing Child Case. I wonder (and I hope I am wrong), but I wonder if Mr. Rugen is just not trying to use this case to get himself some media attention? I really hope that this is not the case because I think that it would take a pretty selfish person to put their “need” for attention before that of a baby child’s need for as much media focus as possible to try to bring her safely home. I took the time to choose one of the better and most appropriate pictures I have of Mr. Rugen for this blog, which accurately portrays him.
I will follow up with a case analysis on this case from a member of my staff that has over 22 years of Law Enforcement Experience with 12 of those years being a Detective with a Regional Major Case Squad, tomorrow night. I think the public needs a close look at what is happening with this case, and I’d like to try to help focus the public on trying to find Baby Lisa Irwin.
As always, thank you for your time. Stay tuned!
Ricky B. Gurley.
Every now and then RMRI, Inc. likes to give a fellow Private Investigator a “plug” when we have had an opportunity to work with one that impresses us. We are hard to impress at RMRI, Inc. and most Private Investigators in our local area are just not able to meet our requirements to receive work from us. RMRI, Inc. is very selective as to who we work with because we feel that the people we work with and refer potential clients to is a reflection on RMRI, Inc. There are many Private Investigators working in the state of Missouri, but only a very few that RMRI, Inc. would sub-contract work out to.
Matthew Allen is one Private Investigator that RMRI, Inc. is happy to be affiliated with, proud to sub-contract work to, and I am honored to call a friend. Matt has met all of the requirements that RMRI, Inc. has to receive referrals from RMRI, Inc. and to bring on in cases where his expertise is needed. Matt specializes in high-risk security and intelligence operations, he has worked around the world conducting these types of operations. Matt is competent, effective, and a total professional; with an extraordinary work ethic. Below are some pictures of Matt while he was in another country on an operation. His face has been blurred out due to the nature of his work:
RMRI, Inc. has enjoyed a professional working relationship with Matt for almost four years now and has never received anything other than a stellar work product from Matt every time. Matt has always been a part of making RMRI, Inc. “shine” on the cases that we have worked jointly together with Matt.
Matthew Allen is based out of Saint Louis, Missouri and owns and operates Intelligence Services, LLC. If you are looking for a competent Private Investigator or Security Specialist in Saint Louis, MO.; you could do no better than Matthew Allen. RMRI, Inc. will continue to foster a professional relationship with this very valuable resource. This is the type of professional that RMRI, Inc. works with and the level of professionalism and competence that Matt Allen provides is the level of professionalism and competence that RMRI, Inc. expects.
I’d highly recommend Matthew Allen to any person seeking a competent Private Investigator in the Saint Louis area and to anyone seeking a skilled Security Expert. Below are Matt’s contact details:
Telephone: (314) 517-6699
I can assure you that RMRI, Inc. has provided you with a very valuable resource in handling your investigative and security needs with this article.
The term “Process Service” or “Service of Process” just means the service of legal papers to witnesses for court proceedings. Typically this means serving subpoenas or summonses that give a person notice that they are to appear in court for some type of a legal proceeding. Now you are probably envisioning scenes from “Pineapple Express”; right? Well in reality serving legal papers in nothing like what you may have seen on “Pineapple Express”.
Serving legal papers in real life requires persistence, professionalism, patience, and tolerance while at the same time a strong desire to accomplish the task at hand; to be successful in this line of work one has to be very “mission oriented”. In reality a Process Server is just a “mailman” or sorts. While it may be true that we are just delivering papers it is also true that typically we are delivering papers that the recipients do not want. Due to the fact that we are often times delivering papers that are not wanted by the recipient we must understand that we are going to encounter some “resistance” to the delivery of these legal papers. So, it is important to be courteous, polite, patient, and even tolerant but at the same time firm, persistent, and even sometimes “coercive” in getting these legal papers served.
At RMRI, Inc. we take the job of serving legal process very seriously. We look at the entire process of serving legal papers as a necessary and vital component of the Justice System. The objective in criminal and civil cases is to find the truth so that the trier of fact can make often times life altering decisions based on the facts of the case. A subpoena is a demand for a citizen to show up and assist the court in finding the truth in a case through their testimony or through the production of documents that the witness may have that might allow the court to more intelligently discern the facts of the case. These witnesses that are subpoenaed to testify in court are an important part of the process of helping the court to make a ruling based on the facts of the case they are testifying in or producing documents for. It is completely understandable that having to show up for court and testify as a witness can be inconvenient; but this is a necessary inconvenience. Imagine if you will, that you are a witness in a case where a man is facing life in prison and you had information that could prove this man’s innocence and you evaded service and did not show up in court and an innocent man was convicted of a crime he did not commit? Imagine the opposite; that you had information that could prove that a person is actually committing a horrendous crime and you evaded service and did not show up for court and you caused a predator to be released into society to victimize more people? Now we can begin to see why the Process Server’s job is important and on that he or she should take seriously.
At RMRI, Inc. we have certain rules that we abide by when we serve legal papers. First, we always maintain a professional appearance, we are representing the client we work for and to a degree the courts when we serve legal papers; after all the court entrusted us as a competent persons to serve these legal papers. Second we are polite and courteous when we serve legal papers, we try to be quick in respect of the person’s time we are serving and we also try to answer any questions the person may have when we are serving them. Third, we are effective in the service of process; this means that sometimes it is necessary to be firm and to use unorthodox methods to get the papers we are assigned to serve, served. This does not mean that we are not courteous and polite; but it does mean that we expect the people that we are serving to also respect our time and to give us just some basic human dignity and respect when we are trying to serve them. RMRI, Inc. will always try to work around the witnesses schedule and make service as convenient as possible for the person being served. On average it takes RMRI, Inc. approximately ten (10) seconds to serve a subpoena; I don’t think that is too much to ask of anyone.
I hope this gave the reader a little insight into what a Process Server does, and why their job is an important job.
Last week the Missouri Lawyer’s Media did an article on a discovery issue that Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, and Investigators have been wrestling with for a while now. In this article I was quoted by the reporter that interviewed me for this article. I wanted to take some time and elaborate a little further on my position in regards to this issue. First I’d like to present to you a copy of the article. I snipped the full article, but cropped out the other articles that were mentioned in this Trade Journal. Below is the entire article:
First of all I should state that I know some of the members of our Local Internet Crimes Task Force, and the ones that I know are good and honest people. I do trust the members of our local Internet Crimes Task Force and I don’t think they would ever do anything intentional that might send an innocent person to prison. I should caution anyone reading this that attempting to gain access to the hard drive of the investigating agency’s computer should not be the first course of action by the defense, a Digital Forensic’s Expert should first read the reports written by the Investigating Officer’s to try to determine if there is any cause to try to gain access to the investigating agency’s hard drive; often times there is no cause to do so. I should also state that I am not an attorney but I think it is also fair to state that most of the attorneys mentioned in this article are not Digital Forensics Experts either; and certainly not Merilee Crockett as evidenced by some of her statements in this article. The first quote from Merilee Crockett that I noticed was this:
A lot of people believe that once something is on a hard drive it is there forever. That’s a myth. There are no layers. It’s either there or it is not.
Well in essence that is true, but it is also over-simplistic. What is important to remember here in these types of cases is that we are dealing with Digital Evidence, and there is nothing simple about Digital Evidence. When someone tries to over-simplify how data on a computer is stored, over-written, or deleted there are a lot of key issues that get lost in the translation from complex to simple. First of all let me explain data deletion. When a file is “deleted” as the layman may believe, the file is not actually deleted initially, instead it is simply no longer linked to a “file tree” on the computer. The file is still on the computer for the time being until another file is saved and the space where that old file is at is reallocated for the new file, and then the old file gets overwritten. So often Digital Forensics Experts will say something like this to a layman as an example:
Nothing is ever deleted from a computer, it is overwritten. Think of the data on a computer as layers of information, and think of computer forensic software as a tool that can lift these layers of data to expose what you thought was once “deleted”.
Now one must understand that this quote is usually being made from a Digital Forensics Expert trying to explain data storage and deletion to a layman. This too is also an over-simplification of how data is stored, overwritten, and deleted. The difference is that what Merilee Crockett is saying here is for the purpose of trying to give an excuse as to why the defense should be hampered in discovery by limiting what can be key and important information that the defense needs, while all the Digital Forensics Expert is trying to do is give a layman an idea of what to expect in a Computer Forensic Examination. What may be the most accurate way to explain what happens is through this illustration listed below that was provided to me by a well known, and world renowned Digital Forensics Examiners and close associate of mine; Brian Ingram
How many computer novices and laymen do you think would completely understand that illustration above? There is one thing that is clear, if there is a file that occupies a portion of a cluster on a hard drive, then there is room for data from another file on the portion of that cluster that is not occupied, that portion of the cluster that is not occupied is called “File Slack“; and it is not only possible but also likely that a completely different file may occupy this same cluster in the unused portion of this cluster or the “File Slack”. This is a completely accurate illustration of the example that Digital Experts are trying to give laymen when they explain how data is overwritten and they use an example involving “layers of data”. And if you look at the example carefully, and read closely you will see that Merilee Crockett did actually simplify this issue to the point that some key issues on how data is recovered from a hard drive are lost in her “translation” of how data is stored, over-written, and deleted from a hard drive.
There is a reason that I gave the example of how an over-simplified interpretation of an issue such as what we are addressing here can be harmful. Prosecutors typically want to try to limit as much as they can with regard to discovery in a criminal case; but I should also say that there are a few Prosecutors that also believe in “Open Discovery” and Full Disclosure. There is nothing wrong with that, the defense also does the same thing. This is a good example of attorneys doing their jobs. But when a Prosecutor tries to limit evidence that can be exculpatory to the defendant; they start to breach a more sinister area resulting in a denial of justice to the defendant. As any good attorney knows this at the very least may border on what is known as a “Brady Violation”.
One of the key points that the prosecution tries to make when arguing against the defense looking at the hard drive from the Law Enforcement Agency that conducted the forensic examination on a defendant’s hard drive is that the hard drive from the Law Enforcement Agency’s computer will contain sensitive case information from other cases. If you read what Merilee Crockett has to say in this article, she proposes the same argument:
The hard drive contains chats from ongoing investigations. It has names of potential suspects never charged with crimes. It has the photos and names of underage personas used by undercover investigators, which a disgruntled defendant could easily post online. Defense attorneys can’t prevent that from happening. They have an ethical obligation to give the client everything they can
That sounds like a good argument; doesn’t it? I’d say that if I did not know what I know about Digital Forensics, encryption, and how to safely store data I’d agree with that as a good reason NOT to have to hand over the hard drive from the Law Enforcement Agency’s computer. But the problem with this argument is that the whole issue of exposing such sensitive case information to Defense Investigators is that there are a number of remedies that can be applied here. A digital image can be transferred to a hard drive and check-summed to show that it is a true bit image of the original hard drive from the defendant and all of the notes and other such pertinent information that is gathered in the course of the investigation of the specific case in question can also be transferred to that same hard drive; thereby consolidating the case information generated from the Law Enforcement investigation onto one hard drive for the Defense Investigator and keeping all of the other non-pertinent sensitive case information protected. Encryption could also be used on the hard drive belonging to the Law Enforcement Agency to limit what is viewed to only the pertinent data that applies to the case at hand. Under the Adam Walsh Child Protection Safety Act the Defense Investigator has to view the evidence at the Law Enforcement Agency’s facility, so a Law Enforcement Officer can easily sit down and decrypt the section or sections of the hard drive that needs to be examined by the Defense Investigator, thereby protecting all of the non-pertinent sensitive case information on the hard drive in question. The court can also impose orders that limit what the Defense Investigator can discuss with the Defense Attorney and their client to only case related material. There should also be multiple computers that are being used by the Law Enforcement Agency tasked with these types of investigations that have specific purposes; for example the computer that is being used to image and analyze the defendant’s hard drive should be a stand alone computer, not attached to the Internet in any way, that has all wireless adapters turned off this way there is a minimal chance of any evidence corruption issues. The computer that is used to chat with potential offenders should also have that one specific purpose; this way with the use of encryption all chat logs for a specific case can be freely examined by the defense in these types of cases. Are some of these methods labor intensive? Sure, but we are discussing a criminal case in which there is a possibility that a person can be wrongly accused, sent to prison, put on a sex offender registry for the rest of their life, and have their entire life negatively impacted as a result; isn’t doing everything we can to eliminate that possibility worth a little more work? There are ways around this issue; IF the concern here is a level playing field for the defense?
There are always questions in these cases when it comes to best practices in the forensic analysis of the defendant’s computer, evidence preservation and storage, and evidence spoliation issues. Often times these issues are insignificant enough that the chance of them presenting a problem in a case are so unlikely that they don’t warrant any consideration. I am not saying that I don’t trust that Law Enforcement is dong the best they can to make sure that their evidence is correct, but I am saying that it is real easy to make a mistake in cases that involve digital evidence. However when these questions rise to a level of concern to cause a realistic possibility that they could impede a defendant’s right to a fair trial; if the Defense’s expert can clearly articulate the reason for that concern the court should weigh the defendant’s right to a fair trial against the possibility that the investigating agency may have to expose some of it’s sensitive data to the Defense team. In my personal opinion; if you are looking at sending a man to prison for ten (10) years, then his right to a fair trial trumps a risk of exposure of sensitive data from the investigating agency’s computer.
There are a number of questions that the Defense Investigator should be trying to answer when looking over the discovery material from the prosecution.
(1) Was the computer that was used to conduct the Digital Forensic Examination attached to the Internet?
(2) What digital forensic software was used to conduct the examination with?
(3) Was there a virus scanner used by the investigating agency to see if the defendant’s hard drive may have a virus, Trojan, or some other type of malware that could have caused any content to be downloaded to the defendant’s computer without the defendant’s knowledge? If so, what virus scanner was used, what version, was it updated, and are there any known vulnerabilities associated with the virus scanner?
(4) Are there any anti-forensic tools on the investigating agency’s computer? If there are; why are they there?
These are only a small sampling of the questions that the Defense Investigator should be asking and trying to answer by reading the discovery material. If enough of these questions are answered in such a way that they give the Defense Investigator clear concerns that may need to be further examined, then it may be necessary to ask for the hard drive from the investigating agency’s computer. The Defense Investigator should be able clearly articulate these concerns to the court and explain the impact that they may have on the evidence. If the court finds that the Defense Investigator gave a reasonable accounting to the court of his or her concerns, and the court is convinced that these concerns are realistic; then perhaps it is not such a bad thing that the Defense Investigator is given what he or she needs to further explore these concerns instead of having to be forced to trust a detective that may not even know if he or she made a mistake in how they gathered and handled the case evidence?
I have noted that Merilee Crockett has compared handing over the hard drive from the investigating agency’s computer in cases that involve digital evidence to handing over a breathalyzer machine. One difference to note in these two examples is that with regard to digital evidence, usually the defense gets a copy of a detailed report from the investigating agency that outlines their computer examination in fair detail. With breathalyzer tests, there is less detail, and less tools and procedures for the Law Enforcement Officer to detail in his or her report, thus short of a fishing expedition there usually is not enough information to articulate a need to examine the breathalyzer machine source code. In People v. Cialino, 831 N.Y.S.2nd 680, 681 (Crim. Ct. 2007) the court did not deny access to the breathalyzer source code because it was not significant to the case; the court denied access to the breathalyzer because the defense could not clearly articulate why access to the breathalyzer source code was significant to the case; this can be seen in the language the court used when the court first called the defendant’s request a “fishing expedition” but then went on to say “it is incumbent on the defendant to show that a software change has altered the reliability and accuracy of the machine” and the court said that the defendant had not provided a reasonable basis that changes in the software of the Intoxilyzer 5000 had caused it to become unreliable. So the court left the door open for the examination of the source code of the breathalyzer machine in question, but it required a clear articulation as to why it would be reasonable for the defense should be permitted to examine the source code. In cases involving digital evidence that is gathered from imaging a hard drive, the investigative agency’s digital forensic analysis report will usually allow the Defense Investigator more information on the software used, processes used, and evidence interpretations made by the Detective to form any questions that might be pertinent to the case and research these questions to see if there may be good cause and NOT just a “fishing expedition” to ask for the hard drive from the investigating agency’s computer.
In summary; I am not saying that in every case the defense should have access to the investigating agency’s computer hard drive. What I am saying is that the courts should try to be open to seriously considering any request by the defense to examine the investigating agency’s hard drive if the defense can clearly articulate a need to do so. In my mind the whole issue comes down to a balancing act; the court should balance the defendant’s right to a fair trial against the need for Law Enforcement to keep sensitive case information confidential; once a clear articulation is made by the defense that demonstrates that there are reasonable issues that need to be explored by the defense in order to defend the defendant against any evidence corruption issues that may negatively impact the defendant’s right to a fair trial.
Ricky B. Gurley
I’d call this a heck of a win for Jose Baez and a humiliating loss for the prosecution.
Consider that Jose Baez was the “underdog” with no “death penalty case” experience prior to this case. Further consider that Jeff Ashton is a renowned Prosecutor with several murder trials under his belt. If you watched the media during the trial, almost every one of the commentators that are attorneys and investigators were putting Jose Baez under the microscope for what they all perceived as mistakes and praising Jeff Ashton for every little thing he did, with the exception of Sunny Hostin. Looking at these points you can only conclude that Jose Baez did a heck of a job on this case in the face of some overwhelming odds.
I have maintained from the beginning that Jose Baez was doing a really good job as the Defense Attorney on this case, and posted as much on another group before the verdict.
After having watched what I could of this case, I do not believe that Casey killed her daughter. I think that her daughter died as a result of an accident in the swimming pool and drowned. I think that Casey panicked and did not call the police. I think that Casey Anthony DID put the child’s body in the car. I think that Casey Anthony was trying to figure out how to dispose of the body without being caught. I think that the body did start to decompose while in the car. I think that Casey Anthony called her mother to help her figure out what to do with the body. I think her mother told her husband, George Anthony. I think George Anthony then stepped in and disposed of the body for his wife, who would have been grieving at that time and worried that she would lose a granddaughter and daughter if they contacted the Police. And I believe George Anthony disposed of the body in the same manner that he disposed of the bodies of the family pets when they died. Most of all, in my mind I think Jose Baez painted a real clear picture that this or something very similar occurred in this case. And none of this adds up to murder.
But that is just my opinion, it does not mean much.
Kudos to Jose Baez for a heck of a job and a heck of a win!
Well an associate of mine asked me to post this on his blog, and I did. This post has not made it to his blog yet, but I feel that it may; eventually. Now everyone that know me, knows how I am. I have to take my “shots”. Just gotta do it, so let me get those “shots” out of the way, and then we can move on to a more careful analysis of the Casey Anthony Trial.
Jeff Ashton will now be prosecuting bad checks and traffic tickets for the State of Florida; so I guess he figures it is time to retire. Linda Drane Burdick will be arranging plea bargains with defense attorneys for prostitutes and pot smokers; but with the help of some short skirts and low-cut blouses she may be able to “work” her way back up to prosecuting murder cases sometime in the next five years. And the other Prosecutor? Well he was smart enough to minimize his participation in this trial enough that I can’t even recall his name. He may have very well avoided the “career bullet” by minimizing his exposure (mind you that the only way Linda Drane Burdick is going to climb the corporate ladder so to speak, will be by “MAXIMIZING her exposure”). All of the “legal expert commentators” will be wiping egg off of their faces for the next month; and “Nasty Disgrace” will still have a few more runs at Casey Anthony and Jose Baez; despite the egg on her face. But we should all be thankful that “Nasty Disgrace” does have egg covering her face, if only for a little while. And all Mike Brooks has to do is slide the egg upwards to his bald head and it should slide right off; so he will be spewing more of his “judgmental non-sense” next week! But there is an upside; Jose Baez gets to go home with the “gold ring”, and he has earned it. And I hope “Nasty Disgrace” and Mike Brooks get a good, long look at him as he is tilting his champagne glass to the sky! The ONLY News Commentator that demonstrated some real experience, high intelligence, and was completely unbiased on this case was Sunny Hostin. She called it right all of the way down the line!
Now onto the more serious side of this case. Onto a more serious analysis of this case. When one considers the overwhelming odds that Jose Baez faced, the limited funds that he had to work with ($90,000.00 over 3 years), versus the unlimited funds and resources of the Florida State Attorney’s Office; all we can conclude is that Jose Baez is simply a brilliant and “top shelf” Defense Attorney! Jose Baez went into this case with no death penalty case experience, with the media putting his every move under the microscope and looking for errors while the media found every excuse in the world to praise Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane Burdick. And Jose Baez still overcame those overwhelming odds and produced what can only be defined as a WIN! Was he aggressive? HELL YEAH! Did he attack the Prosecution’s case with a vicious brutality? HELL YEAH! Did he thoroughly cross-examine and break down the Prosecution’s witnesses? HELL YEAH! All of which is to say that he vigorously defended his client as any good Defense Attorney should do. Jose Baez did his job and did it well. Jose Baez did what he is legally obligated to do, and nobody can fault him for that!
Anytime a Defense Attorney has a client facing the death penalty and walks out of the courtroom with his client only being convicted of four misdemeanors; that is a WIN! No Defense Attorney gets a verdict like this in a case like this one on sheer luck. No sir, the Defense Attorney has to be skilled to do what Jose Baez did in this case!
The Prosecution’s case was damned to any intelligent Jury to begin with. The Prosecution used what I jokingly refer to as “The Doo Doo Head Strategy”. They did not have any forensic evidence whatsoever, and the Florida State Attorney General admitted this after the trial was over when he stated that they had “no smoking gun” and “a Dried Bones Case”. The Prosecution knew that they had no forensic evidence, so they relied on character assassination of the defendant in hopes that they could get the Jury to be emotional due to the loss of little Caylee Anthony, and want to blindly convict Casey Anthony by making her out to be a terrible person. To an intelligent Jury the Prosecution would have had as much effect by standing up and saying “Casey Anthony is a Doo Doo Head”! The “forensic evidence” that the Prosecution presented was simply “babble”, disguised as smoke and mirrors that amounted to nothing once an intelligent person took a close look at it. And we had twelve intelligent people looking at it and one brilliant Defense Attorney exposing it for what it is to them!
Nobody, not even Jose Baez ever stated that Casey Anthony was “salt of the earth”. As a matter of fact Jose Baez let it be known right up front that Casey Anthony had told a lot of lies, and was a dysfunctional part of a dysfunctional family. Pretty much everyone, even the defense acknowledged that Casey could fairly be considered an unsavory person. But the Prosecution wanted to spend 30 days hammering this point home. The sad fact is that the prosecution could not do much else, because this is all they had! And the one fact that the Jury kept in focus was that a liar, even a promiscuous liar, even more a promiscuous liar that will suggestively pose for the camera for a little bit of recognition, no matter how much we may not like someone like this, is still not a “murderer make”!
In summary; one can never say what verdict a Jury will reach. The fact is that it is impossible to predict what verdict the Jury will come back with. But here, in this case; the jury got it right. The Jury did not allow the prosecution to “play on their emotions”. The Jury stuck with the facts and the evidence; or rather in this case the LACK of evidence. The Jury stayed the course; and we should all be thankful that they did.
I will leave you with this thought. Juries are called upon to perform an incredible task. The fate of another human being is held in their hands. Along with the Jury’s verdict comes a message. The message often times is that we as a society will not tolerate the victimization of our fellow man. But sometimes this message is sent to the prosecution or the state instead of the defendant; and in this case that is exactly what happened!
Thank you all for your readership.
Ricky B. Gurley