RMRI, LLC.'s Blog

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Notice To Preserve Evidence: EFFECTIVE Evidence Gathering

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First, I should preface this post. This blog post is in the legal category of my blog, but I am NOT an attorney. Always follow the discretion of your attorney over what I say and/or write. Your attorney will understand things about your case that nobody else will, like the nuances of your case, the general attitudes that key people in your case have, and such. So, always listen to your attorney in your case, over anyone else.

Now, on to the topic of this blog post. This blog post is about the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter, sometimes referred to as the Litigation Hold Letter. This has to be one of the most effective tools for gathering evidence that I have ever used, but yet one of the most overlooked tools that I know of. The Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter is very powerful, if worded correctly and explained correctly to the person it is being served to.

I have served these Notice To Preserve Evidence Letters for over 10 years, and although attorney’s seem to overlook using them, or at least seem to rarely use them, we have gotten evidence that we would not have gotten without using them. In one case we got video evidence that actually exonerated a client on drug trafficking charges, and in another case we got video evidence that assisted a client in securing a settlement from city government. 

Below is a photo of an old Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter that RMRI, LLC. used to get video evidence that resulted in our client obtaining a settlement from the city of Columbia, MO.

The benefit to the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter is that it puts a burden on the person that it is being served to, that often times influences that person to turn over the requested evidence when they are being served rather than have to try to keep up with it and risk losing it. In the case mentioned in the previous paragraph, where our client was exonerated from drug trafficking charges, RMRI, LLC. served a Notice To Preserve Evidence on a local hotel for video footage in the time frame that the arrest and search of our client occurred, and we found evidence that the items that were found in the search did not belong to our client, nor did he have any knowledge that they were there. The evidence was compelling enough that the prosecution dropped all charges against our client. The hotel did not want to have to pull the video, store it, and be responsible for it, so the management decided to allow us to pull the video and process it the same day we served the the hotel with the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter. We actually got key video evidence in this case before the local law enforcement agency that investigated this case did. In the other aforementioned case where our client got a settlement from the city, we also got that video evidence before local law enforcement did, the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter in that case is pictured above.

Typically, Notice To Preserve Evidence or Litigation Hold Letters are used in civil cases, however I know of no case law, court rule, or procedure which bars them from being used in a criminal case. 

The Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter should be crafted by the Private Investigator in these criminal cases, since the Private Investigator should know what specific evidence to target, approved by the attorney, and then served by the Private Investigator. Serving the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter is no different than process service, as a matter of fact it is process service. After the Notice To Preserve Evidence is served, the signatures are taken and the time and date are filled out, a copy of it should be put in the court docket. This allows the court to see that the party that was in possession of said evidence was put on notice to preserve that evidence in a legal matter. 

The Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter has been one of the most powerful tools that I have ever used in gathering evidence in criminal and civil cases.

RMRI, LLC. hopes to see this tool more widely used by attorney’s and private investigators to gather key evidence that may exonerate their clients in criminal cases or win judgments in civil cases.

Rick Gurley of RMRI, LLC.

RMRI, LLC. People Locates!

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RMRI, LLC.

Today I’d like to talk a little about locating people, which is one of the things that RMRI, LLC. does really well. Rick Gurley, the owner of RMRI, LLC. has over 28 years of history at locating hard to find people. Rick Gurley honed his skip tracing skills in the Bail Bonds Industry starting in 1989 by locating fugitives that were on the run and trying to avoid criminal prosecution from crimes ranging from petty theft to murder. Rick Gurley learned how to investigate the ‘old fashioned way” back in those days, by taking trips to the courthouse to review case files, going to the libraries to look in Cole’s Directories, interviewing people face to face, and spending long hours on surveillance watching locations.

As the technology evolved Rick Gurley knew that the Internet would be the wave of the future when it came to efficiently locating people. Rick Gurley knew that the Internet would be a place that all of the resources he had to physically travel to and spend so much time looking up in books and hard copy files could be packed into. So, Rick Gurley began to learn about the Internet, computers, and how this could enhance his ability to investigate fugitives and locate them. Rick Gurley spend hours and hours a day on the Internet researching site that housed personal information. Rick Gurley also learned how the Internet worked, what the Internet Tool Suite is, and how to use it to trace information on the Internet, becoming very proficient with Internet Investigations.

As technology progressed in the early to mid 90s, Rick Gurley started noticing that the new technology on the Internet was customized databases that were being privately developed for profit. customized databases that could house huge amounts of personal data. Rick Gurley knew that it would be imperative to learn about these new databases, how they worked, where the information in them came from, and how it could be updated. Rick Gurley gained access these databases, and started experimenting with the databases. Rick Gurley became very knowledgeable on where the information came from in these databases, which databases were the most up-to-date, and which databases kept their information the freshest. Later Rick Gurley would go on to consult to the private sector and to the government a little on how these databases could be used to locate and background people.

Now, Rick Gurley has the history behind him to feel confident in his abilities to locate even the hardest to find of people. Rick Gurley has amassed the tools and technology to be able to locate a person very quickly and without having to spend much in expenses, therefore economically to his clients. You know those people that are “shadows”? hard to find? Hard to know anything about? Well, that is what RMRI, LLC. does, we cast light on those shadows. We can find out where they live, what their phone number is, what their email address is, and who they are.  RMRI, LLC. can do this very affordably, in most cases under $1,00.00., and in a lot of cases under $500.00.

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When you need to know. When you have only a “shadow”, and you need to know more. Call RMRI, LLC. and let us bring those shadows out into the light for you. We can find that long lost relative, that Military buddy, that old college friend, that witness you may need on a court case, or that person that owes you money. This is what RMRI, LLC. has been doing for over 28 years! Call RMRI, LLC. today: (573) 234-4871

 

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Bail Bondsman Jason Sutton: A Public Service Post

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I have tried to stay away from “flame wars” on the Internet. I have also tried to work more towards marketing my company than having petty disputes with people on the Internet. But, sometimes one has to come to understand that some things are unavoidable, and one has to ask the question, can any good come out of doing this? The question becomes, will what I am about to do have any benefit to anyone? In this particular case, I do believe the public needs to know about a man that has abused his professional license, and by doing so has abused the very people in his own community.

JASON SUTTON BOONE COUNTY BAIL BONDSMAN, CRIMINAL AND THUG!

Jason Sutton Charges In Peoria Illinois

This picture above is a picture of Jason Sutton getting in trouble, as he usually does. Mr. Sutton has a Bail Bonds License through the Missouri Department of Insurance, and is known for abusing that professional license. One man named Steven Clark has stated that Jason Sutton threatened to rape his wife, because Mr. Clark missed a court date. Jason Sutton is known for making threats, below is a sound byte of him talking to me on the phone one night:

 

Yes, that is Jason Sutton bragging about his FBI Record, and his ties to organized crime. That is Jason Sutton trying to intimidate me with his “I’M A CERTIFIED, BONIFIED KILLER” line. If this man was not a criminal that has abused his professional license and harmed other people by doing so, he’d be comical. even though he is completely pathetic.

Jason Sutton is now going to court for beating up a lady named Kate Reller, when he had to pick her up for missing court. It was terrible, I saw the video footage. You could see Jason Sutton ‘s facial expression of pure pleasure while he was beating up on this poor lady. Jason Sutton beat this lady so much that he was charged with THREE (3) counts of assault on her.

Jason Sutton also set a man’s car on fire in the middle of the night when the man was asleep. Jason Sutton is about 6’4″ maybe taller and every bit of 300 Lbs, and the man who’s car he set on fire is 5’6″ and barely 150 Lbs. I also know that Jason Sutton did this because he admitted it to me the first night I met him, when we were on civil terms. I guess he thought this was something to brag about too. These types of incidents tell us a lot about a person’s character. I don’t want you to think that I am making allegations with no proof, below are Jason Sutton’s charges for the two incidents listed above:

Jason Sutton Current Charges

Anyone can access these charges on Missouri CaseNet, they are a matter of public record.

Jason Sutton has gotten by, by intimidating people. He has spread filthy lies about me, and I have told him that if he “kept lying about me, I’d start telling the truth about him”. There is one thing about what I am saying on this blog, there is evidence that I have provided to back up what I am saying here.

I do not like having to make blog posts like this. But the public knowing about this man is the lesser of two evils between any concern for this man’s ability to profit from his professional license. He has abused his license, and abused the people in his community by doing so. The public should have very grave concerns about dealing with him, or allowing him to bond them or their loved ones out of jail.

About seven years ago, a Bail Bondsman got charged with a weapon’s offense down in Springfield, MO. and the Department of Insurance immediately suspended his license, until the final disposition of his case. I have to wonder why Jason Sutton is getting special treatment here? Below is a copy of his current bonding license information and his General Agent’s bonding license information as of 08-20-2017:

Jason Sutton General Agent

 

If you wonder about this, please feel free to contact the MO. Department of Insurance and inquire:

Main Office Contact Information

  • Phone: 573-751-4126
  • Street Address: 301 W. High St., Room 530, Jefferson City, MO 65101
  • Mailing Address: PO Box 690, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0690
  • Correspondence with fees: PO Box 4001, Jefferson City, MO 65102-4001

 

Please, just beware of this man.  There are plenty of good, professional bail bondsmen out there. You don’t have to deal with someone like this.

This is a public service blog post bought to you by RMRI, LLC.

 

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Written by Rick Gurley

August 21, 2017 at 5:28 AM

A YEAR OF TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS

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I’ve never been much for baring my soul to people, but sometimes it’s just therapeutic! The past year has been the worst year that I have had in a long time. I’m really not complaining, because I take full responsibility for it. I also don’t feel real bad about it, because I learned some very valuable lessons that will last me for a lifetime.

First, my fiance of twelve years left me. Of course, as anyone can imagine that in and of itself was devastating. Couple that with the fact that our living expenses were based on a two-income household and you have a good reason to be depressed!

Then only three months later I had a major heart attack. I have a complete blockage of the L.A.D. Artery (Left Anterior Descending Artery), otherwise known as “The Widow Maker”. This took me out of work for three months.

Then after I got healthier, I met someone that I really liked that turned out to be a complete “child-like demon from that special part of hell where only the worst of the worst get sent”… This “lady” was nothing but a scandal laden, trouble making, thieving, lying, conniving, manipulative nightmare. She managed to damage my company by trying to blackmail some of my clients, and letting one of the subject’s of one of my investigations know all the details of his case, lied to the court system and got me put out of my own house for ten days. Simply put, she was a really bad person. Watching her go was like watching Christmas come!

Then because of how bad my finances were affected by not being able to work, and because I managed to get myself into a “don’t give a damn state of mind”, I lost my house to foreclosure.

And to top all of that off, I had a tragic even occur at my house, that had a profound mental affect on me.  Some of you may know about that, most of you may not. But I can’t even elaborate on it right now.

So, to sum up this past year, it has been utter hell! But I learned a lot. And the lessons I learned will last for the rest of my life. I associated with people that were not good people, because I was afraid of being alone. That happens when you are with someone for twelve years. I thought that even being around bad people beat being alone. What I learned was that being alone beats being around bad people. Trust me when I tell you this, choose who you let into your circle very carefully!

I learned that there are a lot of people out there that will tell you they are your friend, but very few that will actually be your friend. Usually they are telling you they are your friend when there is something for them to gain from it. Friendship is an action, not a word.  Remember that, remember that true friends will be there for you in the good times and the bad times, they’ll never leave your side. I dropped a lot of “friends” this past year, and they are people that I never want to associate with again. Once I saw them for who they are, it did not bother me at all to just completely get them out of my life.

“In the end we are all alone, and nobody is coming to save you”, it’s a line from one of my favorite television shows. But sometimes the simplest phrase can have the most profound meaning. It’s true, that when things get bad, even if you are all by yourself, you still have one person; yourself! In order to be successful, we have to take accountability for what we do, we have to make our minds up not to give up, and we have to push our self to keep moving forward.

I am getting things back in order. I have moved, and moved on! I am focusing on my company, and the friends that I have kept have turned out to be true friends. I think that the friends I have now, are really true friends, and provide a great support system because they care. We all need friends, we all need someone to talk to every once in a while, and it is good when those people are loyal, genuine friends. My company will prosper again. I am coming out on the other side of this past year a better person. And I am thankful for the opportunity to learn these lessons.

Okay, enough of this. You got a glimpse! Now it is back to business for me.

Thank you for reading, hopefully you will learn something from this post, and not have to learn anything the hard way, like I did.

 

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Rick Gurley

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Written by Rick Gurley

August 4, 2017 at 12:13 AM

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Ethics? It’s the Private Investigation Business!

Ethics? It’s the Private Investigation Business!

By Ricky B. Gurley and Laurien Rose

Anyone interested in learning about the ethics of the private investigation industry should read Hal Humphreys’ article, The Dishonest Investigator as “Rational Fool.” Humphreys analyzes the trustworthiness of modern private investigators, focusing specifically on the use of GPS mapping systems. Although I agree with much of what Humphreys has written and believe his intent in writing the article is honorable, I would like to mention a few differences of opinion.

“Business doesn’t always have to be a zero-sum game,” Humphreys states.

This is the private investigation business we are talking about — not just any old business like selling used cars or bail bonds. Humphreys is right: this is not a “zero-sum game.” It is not a game at all. In this business, the quality of people’s lives depends on our work. Their freedom, liberty or life itself could be on the line. I believe private investigation work is a “zero-sum business” because anything the investigator loses during a case could be someone else’s gain.

“Case in point: Occasionally, clients will ask me to slap a GPS tracker on a subject’s car. That surely makes surveillance easier, but I’m not willing to do it. Bottom line—it’s cheating,” Humphreys writes.

I have a few ethical questions regarding this statement:

  • If you enter into a contract with a client in this business, covering topics like acceptable performance standard, is it ethical to forego using a GPS when it is legal to use one because you are worried about “cheating?”
  • If you can legally use the GPS in a case but refuse to because your personal belief is that this would be “cheating,” are you serving your client’s interests or yours?
  • Are you offering your client the best service possible if you refuse to use certain tools that are legally at your disposal?

The legality of GPS usage depends on the state you legally work in and circumstance. A private citizen can place a tracking device on any vehicle under his or her own name. Not using a GPS because it is illegal is one thing, but avoiding GPS usage because it violates your idea of fair play is a whole different bowl of fruit when you are contractually obligated to your client.

My observations expose a dilemma in the private investigation business: ethics. This business involves a certain amount of deception, comparable to bluffing in poker or diverting an opponent’s attention in chess by moving a certain piece. But there is one major difference: the private investigation business is not a game. The stakes are high and an investigator that doesn’t use every tool at their disposal doesn’t normally face the consequences — their clients do.

When determining what is ethical, perhaps one should ask: what is the motivation behind my ethics?

Are your ethics easy to justify, but also self-serving? Or do your ethics protect people other than yourself?

If your ethics dictate you will not “cheat” by using a GPS or other legal-to-use technology during a client’s contract case, are you:

a) being ethical by refusing to “cheat?”

b) putting your personal interests above your client’s that you are contractually obligated to serve to the best of your ability?

When I take on a case, my first obligation is to my paying client with whom I signed a contract stating I will perform a service to the best of my ability.

I think the ethical goal should simply be this: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. If you are not doing everything you legally can to bring favorable results to your client’s case, I don’t think you are giving your client an honest day’s work. Clients (and society) benefit from a private investigator that refuses to do anything illegal while working a case.

Ethics are a moral guideline. Good ethics will lead to honest business, protecting the business owner, clients and society from disreputable, dishonest and damaging acts. The way an investigator behaves in their business should be determined by their personal ethics.

I doubt many people in the private investigation business can even define the term ethics. Although they may throw the word around to get out of doing work or make competition look bad, they would be hard pressed to answer the question: why is it unethical for you to do this or for Investigator X to have done that?

Ethics don’t mean a thing without a clear definition and understanding of why they should be followed.

Written by Rick Gurley

July 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Skipsmasher: Revisted

If you’ll remember a while back I posted an article about Skipsmasher. This is a database that uses one of the most invasive methods of all for gathering information about a person. Skipsmasher employs a deceptive method for obtaining a consumer’s exact location with an annoying text to a person’s cell phone, at which time when the consumer receives this nagging and annoying text they are presented with an option t opt out. When the consumer opts out, their exact location is sent to the customer of Skipsmasher that pays about $3.00 for this information.

Imagine that, you are at your child’s school, now someone knows where you child goes to school at. You are at your bank, now some stranger knows where you bank at. You are at your girlfriend’s house, now some stranger knows where your girlfriend lives. As a PI, I can tell you that it is not hard to deduct what this information that the person employing this deceptive tactic means. This is really scary when you consider the implications. A Pi can charge a client $30.00 to find out where you are at, anytime of the day. That client of the PI can be a stalker, a murderer, a rapist, whoever can come up with $30.00. And if that client of the PI can come up $300.00, that client can determine your travel habits and routines. And you, the unsuspecting target; you will NEVER know just how much of your real time, personal details have just been obtained by this complete stranger.

Now, I know what you are probably asking yourself.  Why would I be urging you to call your Congressmen and State Representatives over this issue, when it can eliminate a tool that I could do my job with more proficiently? Well, because I am all for public records, and innovative ways to locate information that is already available to those that know how to obtain it. It is one thing to use public information to find out what you need to know about a person. It is another thing to trick someone out of their privacy and obtain information that really is not publicly available. If your car is in your garage, should anyone that wants be able to know that you are home, without a public sign of a vehicle? You do have a right to be secure in your home. You do have a right to privacy in your home, especially when you are making an active effort to preserve that privacy. I don’t want to see anyone’s REAL reasonable expectation of privacy violated. The problem is that most people don’t know what a reasonable expectation of privacy is, and I can tell you that your personal comfort often times does nto enter into that expectation of privacy. But sometimes, people go to far for a quick dollar, and that is what Skipsmasher has done.

Here is a link that may interest you, if you are concerned about your telephone privacy: H.R. 4709 (109th): Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006

Of particular interest is the quote from this act below:

SEC. 3. FRAUD AND RELATED ACTIVITY IN CONNECTION WITH OBTAINING CONFIDENTIAL PHONE RECORDS INFORMATION OF A COVERED ENTITY.

(a) Offense- Chapter 47 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1038 the following:

`Sec. 1039. Fraud and related activity in connection with obtaining confidential phone records information of a covered entity

`(a) Criminal Violation- Whoever, in interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly and intentionally obtains, or attempts to obtain, confidential phone records information of a covered entity, by–

`(1) making false or fraudulent statements or representations to an employee of a covered entity;

`(2) making such false or fraudulent statements or representations to a customer of a covered entity;

`(3) providing a document to a covered entity knowing that such document is false or fraudulent; or

`(4) accessing customer accounts of a covered entity via the Internet, or by means of conduct that violates section 1030 of this title, without prior authorization from the customer to whom such confidential phone records information relates;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.

`(b) Prohibition on Sale or Transfer of Confidential Phone Records Information-

`(1) Except as otherwise permitted by applicable law, whoever, in interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly and intentionally sells or transfers, or attempts to sell or transfer, confidential phone records information of a covered entity, without prior authorization from the customer to whom such confidential phone records information relates, or knowing or having reason to know such information was obtained fraudulently, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

`(2) For purposes of this subsection, the exceptions specified in section 222(d) of the Communications Act of 1934 shall apply for the use of confidential phone records information by any covered entity, as defined in subsection (h).

`(c) Prohibition on Purchase or Receipt of Confidential Phone Records Information-

`(1) Except as otherwise permitted by applicable law, whoever, in interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly and intentionally purchases or receives, or attempts to purchase or receive, confidential phone records information of a covered entity, without prior authorization from the customer to whom such confidential phone records information relates, or knowing or having reason to know such information was obtained fraudulently, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

`(2) For purposes of this subsection, the exceptions specified in section 222(d) of the Communications Act of 1934 shall apply for the use of confidential phone records information by any covered entity, as defined in subsection (h).

`(d) Enhanced Penalties for Aggravated Cases- Whoever violates, or attempts to violate, subsection (a), (b), or (c) while violating another law of the United States or as part of a pattern of any illegal activity involving more than $100,000, or more than 50 customers of a covered entity, in a 12-month period shall, in addition to the penalties provided for in such subsection, be fined twice the amount provided in subsection (b)(3) or (c)(3) (as the case may be) of section 3571 of this title, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

`(e) Enhanced Penalties for Use of Information in Furtherance of Certain Criminal Offenses-

`(1) Whoever, violates, or attempts to violate, subsection (a), (b), or (c) knowing that such information may be used in furtherance of, or with the intent to commit, an offense described in section 2261, 2261A, 2262, or any other crime of violence shall, in addition to the penalties provided for in such subsection, be fined under this title and imprisoned not more than 5 years.

`(2) Whoever, violates, or attempts to violate, subsection (a), (b), or (c) knowing that such information may be used in furtherance of, or with the intent to commit, an offense under section 111, 115, 1114, 1503, 1512, 1513, or to intimidate, threaten, harass, injure, or kill any Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer shall, in addition to the penalties provided for in such subsection, be fined under this title and imprisoned not more than 5 years.

`(f) Extraterritorial Jurisdiction- There is extraterritorial jurisdiction over an offense under this section.

`(g) Nonapplicability to Law Enforcement Agencies- This section does not prohibit any lawfully authorized investigative, protective, or intelligence activity of a law enforcement agency of the United States, a State, or political subdivision of a State, or of an intelligence agency of the United States

I submit to you that every time a nagging text message is sent to your phone for the purpose of getting you to opt out, so your physical location can be sent to someone that you have not authorized to know your physical address, your bank, your child’s school, or any other private information that you would not want a complete stranger to know, that a type of misrepresentation and fraud has been committed: `(2) making such false or fraudulent statements or representations to a customer of a covered entity;

Call your State Representatives and your Congressmen, and make this known. DEMAND an investigation into this practice. And if the investigative findings are that this violates this act quoted above; demand penalties for Skipsmasher, and the owner. You true privacy is worth it, it’s not like we have a lot of it left; don’t let this company nibble away at what privacy you DO have!

State Senators Directory

U.S. House Of Representatives Directory

California State Representatives  Mr. Robert Scott lives in California.

Search State House of Representatives This is the Google Search Link, all you have to do is click it and peruse the results.

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REAL INTEGRITY: The Glen James Story!

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Often times I see business’s and people proclaim and advertise to the world about how much integrity they have. I often wonder if most of these people have ever really had their integrity tested? People often ask me about other people’s integrity, and most of the reader’s here would be surprised at who I will say has integrity and who I say does not.

To me, integrity is not about being honest, honorable, ethical, and moral when it is easy to adhere to these standards and one has nothing to lose by adhering to such standards, and especially so when one has something to gain by adhering to these standards;  but instead integrity is all about adhering to high standards of honesty. honor, ethics, and morality when one has something to lose. The true test of one’s integrity is not won or lost when it is easy to have integrity, but instead when it is difficult to maintain integrity.  Of course we can all say we have integrity when we stand to gain fame and fortune by doing the right thing, that is easy. But if you really want to see who has integrity, see who does the right thing when it is difficult to do, and there is nothing to gain and something to lose by doing it.

Glen James, a humble, homeless man can teach us all something about integrity. Glen James is a true example of what integrity is. The Boston Police Department got it right for honoring a man with such true integrity in a time where integrity is little more than a buzz word to get the consumer’s attention.

THE GLEN JAMES STORY

Glen James, Humble Homeless Man Who Returned Bag Of Cash Is Honored By Boston Police

A humble homeless man who returned a backpack full of cash and traveler’s checks to police said he felt “very, very good” to do it and used a ceremony honoring him at police headquarters to thank all the people who have ever given him money on the street.

Glen James

Glen James said, “I don’t talk too much because I stutter.” But he handed out a handwritten statement in which he said, “Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a … penny of the money I found. I am extremely religious — God has always very well looked after me.”

The statement also said, “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone — every pedestrian stranger — who has given me spare change. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said that James’s actions were “really a remarkable tribute to him and his honesty.”

“He’s an honest guy and realized the property belonged to someone else,” Davis said.

The middle-aged man, balding, bespectacled, and thin, appeared friendly but shy and slightly overwhelmed by the attention from the media drawn to a feel-good story.

On his way out of the building after the news conference, the police department clerks gave him an ovation.

James said he had been homeless for several years. He chuckled as he said it felt good to return the money.

James’s statement also gave mayoral candidate Charles Yancey an endorsement, saying Yancey had put “a total of seven dollars into my panhandling cup. I fully endorse Charles YANCEY for Mayor of Boston. He cares!!!” the statement said.

James found the backpack Saturday at the South Bay Center in Dorchester, a sprawling suburban-style shopping complex in Boston visible from the Southeast Expressway.

After making his discovery, James flagged down a passing Boston police officer and handed over the backpack. The backpack contained $2,400 in cash, $39,500 in traveler’s checks, passports, and various personal papers, police said.

Story by Peter Schworm. Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.

ORIGINAL STORY: http://bit.ly/14bHrvM

May we all take from this example, and strive to be more like Glen James….

 

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Beware Of What You Don’t Know: SKIPSMASHER!

 

That pesky weather bulletin that you are getting, you know the one that keeps “popping up” on your cell phone? That text message to call a number that is listed in the text, you know the one that looks like there is some kind of a dire emergency that you need to be warned about? BEWARE, these could very well be some unethical Private Investigator trying to locate your exact geographical position! Yeah, REALLY!

The average consumer is probably unaware of how many times a day his or her privacy is violated. The average consumer is probably unaware that at any give time most Private Investigators and Collection Agencies, Repossession Agencies can find a person’s exact location. Thanks to sites like “Skip Smasher” you’ll never know if that Weather Bulletin is a real weather alert that was sent to you strictly to warn you about weather conditions, or if it is someone trying to find out what your exact location is. Below is the description from “Skip Smasher” of the service it offers to it’s customers:

Cell Stinger

This is actually a wonderful way to invade someone’s privacy and claim it is legitimate because they have location services turned on, on their phone. The problem is that this method uses subterfuge to exploit your location bases services that were originally designed to help drives and hikers navigate. What happens is the weather bulleting starts to pop up and nag the unsuspecting victim and it asks the unsuspecting victim if they would like to opt out of receiving these alerts, when the unsuspecting victim does this the opt out process captures the unsuspecting victim’s location and sends it to a server where it is processed and sent to the person paying to have this service in the form of a  Google Map with as much details as can be processed on the unsuspecting victim’s location.

Enter Robert Scott, the man that owns “Skip Smasher” and who is making good money off of showing Private Investigators how to exploit your privacy. And he does not care at all that this could be an invasion of privacy, because he is a Private Investigator himself and that is how he markets this service, as a service for Investigative Professionals by Investigative Professionals. Actually what happens here is some Private Investigator uses this to locate you, the unsuspecting citizen for someone that is paying that Private Investigator money. And the service is CHEAP! For under five dollars ($5.00) a Private Investigator can use this service to “ping” your exact location. Does it not seem a little “creepy” that a person that does not like you, or is obsessed with you, or intends you harm can get someone with this type of technology to find your exact location at almost any given time, for a price? Are you still comfortable with that weather bulletin that just came in on your cell phone?

Okay, so you are a Private Citizen and you want to do something about this. What do you do? Well, right now this service is not illegal, however in 2001 pretexting a cell phone for a third party’s cell phone records was not illegal either. Until Senator Charles Schumer made it illegal to gain another person’s cell phone call details without authorization. If you feel like you don’t want to be the victim of this type of privacy invasion, call your State Representatives, Call your Senators; request that they open an investigation into Robert Scott and “Skip Smasher” . Request that your Senator or your State Representative try to pass new legislation to outlaw this practice. Request that your State Senators and State Representatives send Robert Scott a stern message that it is not acceptable to profit from the wholesale invasion of people’s privacy.

Below are links that will help you find the contact details for your State Senators and State Representatives, if you decide that you don’t want to accept this type of privacy invasion:

State Senators Directory

U.S. House Of Representatives Directory

California State Representatives  Mr. Robert Scott lives in California.

Search State House of Representatives This is the Google Search Link, all you have to do is click it and peruse the results.

Privacy is in short supply. You will find the word “privacy” nowhere in the constitution. But we should all have an expectation that the items we purchase to make our lives a little more comfortable should not be exploited and turned against us to take what little bit of privacy we have left.

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Who Is Watching The Cops?

Okay, I know the title of this post seems to indicate that I am making a post about Police Corruption and Abuse; sorry to disappoint but this post is FOR the Police.

I am a staunch supporter of constitutional rights, just as much so as anyone else. I’d be the first to stand up and speak out when I see any type of Police Corruption and/or abuse. I think anyone that knows me, knows what I just wrote is true. But I do have a rant, and it is supportive of the Police; so please read on.

I am seeing a trend these days of people video taping the Police and confronting the Police over issues that they believe are unjust or just wrong. I am all for video taping, and as a Private Investigator I think I have a fairly firm grasp of privacy issues and what constitutes an expectation of privacy. Based on my knowledge as a Private Investigator I believe that video taping the Police in a public place is completely legal. However, I have a concern over the confrontations that I have seen occur in some of these video tapings, so let me address that one specific key issue.

I have seen a lot of citizen confrontations with the Police, and I have to say that rarely have I seen a discourteous, impolite and/or less than professional manner in which the Police Officer were communicating with the citizen he or she was having a confrontation with. As a matter of fact I have seen Police Officers tolerate more rudeness, belligerence, and down right verbal abuse than any citizen could be expected to tolerate. I have a real problem with this. Now, before I go much further I want to acknowledge and compliment the people that do remain courteous and respectful when confronting Police Officers, that is how you are supposed to communicate with another person and Police Officers are people too.

Who can fault a person for doing their job? Who can fault a public official for correctly doing what the citizens of their community pay them to do? While I will concede that the job of a Police Officer is often unpleasant, and is usually confrontational, and often enough ends up in someone going to jail, that does not seem like a reason to disrespect the people that work in the Public Safety profession across the board. These Police Officers are typically just responding to calls, and enforcing criminal procedure. I think that very, very rarely is that personal. I can’t for the life of me understand why people can’t treat the Police with the same respect in their communications that the Police seem to try hard to treat the citizens with. I know that some Police Officers can seem a bit abrasive at times, and that can be irritating; but there is a huge difference in being abrasive and being disrespectful.

Just because a citizen has taken it upon himself or herself to watch the Police does not give them any right to call the Police names and use foul and disrespectful language with the Police. I could not imagine a job where I had to look forward to being talked to in the worst possible way everyday I came into work. It is possible to be civil when a person is confronting a Police Officer, not only is it possible but it is far more effective and the Police Officer is far more likely to listen if one addresses them in a civil and polite manner. Personally speaking, I have never been addressed in a rude or belligerent manner by a Police Officer, as a matter of fact any time I have had a confrontation with a Police Officer he or she has never been less than professional with me.

My thoughts are this, let the Police do their jobs. If you think they are doing something wrong, video tape and document but remain courteous and cooperative. A citizen has many recourses available to them after the incident at hand is over with. If the Police Officer gives you an unlawful order or violates your rights, then document it, get an attorney and make them pay for it; but I see no need to communicate with the Police Officer in a less than civil manner. My observation has been that most Police Officers are just good people with a thankless job. I’ll acknowledge that there are some “bad Police Officers” out there; but one thing that may do everyone well to remember is that every Police Officer out there has the potential to be the one to save your life one day.

I don’t think it is asking too much to treat the Police with some civility and basic human respect when you are communicating with them.

 

Ricky B. Gurley.

 

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Written by Rick Gurley

July 5, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Earn It, Own It! Steal It, Possess It!

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:

Bonni Arnold: THIEF!

Bonni Arnold: THIEF!

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:

ATTEMPT TO EXTORT MONEY FROM ME BY OFFERING TO SETTLE EX-PARTE FOR $3,061.75

ATTEMPT TO EXTORT MONEY FROM ME BY OFFERING TO SETTLE EX-PARTE FOR $3,061.75

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…

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Rick Gurley

Rick Gurley

A Good Referral To An EXCELLENT Attorney Who Did A Spectacular Job For Me!

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Why Amateur Bloggers Should Not Try To Be Professional Investigators!

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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

Mike Martin

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:

Mike Martin Starts To Work On The Jeong Im Murder

Mike Martin’s Suspect

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:

Jeong Im Murder PROPERLY Solved By PROFESSIONAL Investigators; NOT An Amateur Blogger

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

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The Interesting Case Of David Riley: VINDICATION!

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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.

Ryan Ferguson: A Sad Case..

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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.

Written by Rick Gurley

November 6, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Confidentiality: Good P.I.’s Remain Silent About Their Cases And Clients!

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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.

In Summary

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!

A Case To Remember!

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Investigator Databases Are Just Tools; Nothing More!

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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

(417) 866-1756

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!

 

Working A Good Case With Good People

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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:

Deirdre O’Donnell

Firm: Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C.

Website: http://www.pmcwlaw.com

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!

Missouri PI Licensing Law, The Missouri Supreme Court; What It All Means

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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…

Who You Work With Is Who You Are!

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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

Website: http://www.intelservice.net/

Email: info@intelservice.net

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.

Written by Rick Gurley

September 18, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Process Service and What That Means To RMRI, Inc.

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Special Process Server Appointment

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.

Written by Rick Gurley

September 17, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Cyber-Investigations For The Defense: Fair Discovery?

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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:

Lawyers Weekly Article with Rick Gurley 1

Lawyers Weekly Article with Rick Gurley 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Hard Drive Data Illustration by 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

The Trial Of The Century: Casey Anthony vs. State of Florida

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Earlier today I made this post on a Yahoo Group when asked to comment on the Casey Anthony Trial:

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!

Ricky Gurley.

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!

The Casey Anthony Prosecution Team in their "What Do We Do Now?" Pose

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!

Jose Baez getting ready to ask Jeff Ashton "What Kind Of Crap Are All Of You Going To Try To Pull Now"?

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”!

Does This Equal Murderer? REALLY?

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

Ricky Gurley Hard At Work

Why I Do What I Do!

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Private Investigation work is hard work. It is emotionally taxing many times. It is stressful almost all the time. The hours can be rough on a person. Often times Private Investigation work can take a toll on one’s family and/or home environment. And every Private Investigator will find themself with at least a few detractors if they stay in business for only a small amount of time; sometimes the Private Investigator is just not a popular person. There are certainly some liabilities in Private Investigation work. Well all of this is true for the Private Investigator that actually works at being a Private Investigator; anyway. So I guess that a fair question to ask is “why do the work if it can be so difficult and dreadful”? I know that the answer to this question will vary from Private Investigator to Private Investigator. For me there is a single defining moment that made me realize why I continue to do Private Investigation work. I could say it is the money because I have made some pretty good money at this line of work. I could also say that it is the opportunity to manage and own my company. But while those two explanations may be good reasons to stay in this business they are not why I have stayed in this business.

Before I explain that one defining moment that has kept me in the Private Investigation business let me also say that sometimes I get frustrated in this business. Sometimes I get annoyed and irritated in this business. I know that this business has made me more of a callous person that I was before I started doing Private Investigations. I know that I am not a very trusting person now because of some of the things that I have seen and encountered in the Private Investigation business. I fully understand that no business is perfect but yet I do expect  competency and integrity from my fellow Private Investigators; and not just as “buzz words” on a webpage but as standards that are practiced in such a way to show that my fellow Private Investigators know what they mean and understand how important they are. I also know that I have become a very “high-strung” person from years of seeing things that I just don’t believe to be fair to other people. There is no doubt that I have become quite outspoken about many of these things; but I am not so sure that this is a bad thing because I think that it does show that I still have a sense of fairness, and compassion for people who are treated unfairly.

Despite all the issues that I have just listed in the past two paragraphs that I seem to grapple with constantly; I still love this profession. I still know that one can make some significant differences in this profession. I still believe that the people in this profession can truly make a difference in people’s lives for the better. And that one defining moment that I mentioned in the first paragraph made me certain of these statements.

In 2004 I received a call from an attorney in Los Angeles, California. This case is 7 years old, so I can write about it now. She had a client whose daughter had been “abducted”. Now this incident was not your traditional abduction where a stranger abducts a person; this was what is known as a parental abduction. Simply put a parental abduction usually occurs when a non-custodial parent that has visitation rights with their child simply picks the child up for visitation and refuses to return the child to the custodial parent. The attorney told me that she had some information that the non-custodial parent was living in Columbia, MO. and she wanted me to see if I could find the non-custodial parent and gather evidence that her client’s daughter was with the non-custodial parent. I was sure that I could help and I told the attorney so. So the attorney had her client call me. Enter Francisco Ochoa, the custodial parent whose daughter was not returned to him by the non-custodial parent after the court ordered visitation. After taking copious notes over the phone with Mr. Ochoa and receiving a retainer from Mr. Ochoa I started my investigation. I did all the investigative work I could from the computer before going in the field as any good Private Investigator would. After I had all the information I could gather from database searches, court records research, running background information on the non-custodial parent, and making phone calls to various people who might be able to give me some leads to follow-up on I went out in the field with 2 other Private Investigators that were licensed under my company. Within seventy-two hours we had found the non-custodial parent’s location, verified the daughter was there, and took several pictures of the daughter at the location. I sent all of this information back to the attorney with the pictures and kept surveillance on the location while the attorney petitioned the court for an emergency custody order showing that Francisco Ochoa was the custodial parent and that the daughter was with the non-custodial parent after the visitation time had elapsed. Within one week Mr. Ochoa was on his way from Los Angeles, California to Columbia, Missouri with that emergency custody order to pick his daughter up. When Mr. Ochoa arrived he and I went to the Columbia Police Department with his emergency custodial order and my evidence of his daughter’s whereabouts and the Columbia Police Department wasted no time at all in getting several Officers out to the address that I had under surveillance to recover Mr. Ochoa’s daughter for him while he waited at the Columbia Police Department. I also had to go out to the address to serve the mother with some paperwork from the court in Los Angeles, California. I remember returning to the Columbia Police Department at about the same time that the Police Officers did with Mr. Ochoa’s daughter. I also remember when Mr. Ochoa’s daughter came up to him that he gave her a big hug and just simply broke down in tears, crying tears of joy that he was reunited with his daughter. I remember this moment in time because I also remember that when I saw this big man crying while hugging his daughter it was all I could do to stop myself from shedding a few tears too. The emotions were simply overwhelming. I can’t begin to describe how emotional that moment was but I can tell you this; I’ll remember it forever. And I thought to myself that there could be no other sense of accomplishment and feeling that I had made a significantly positive impact in these people’s lives greater than what I was experiencing right then and there. I could not think of any other job in the world that I could have that would have allowed me to experience that one moment in time. From that day forward I have not wanted to do anything else other than what I am doing now. If I had to trade in all the money that I made on that case just to experience that one moment in time I’d do it without even as much as a second thought.

This is why I do what I do. These brief moments in time when I know that I made a difference in someone’s life. These moments don’t happen often; they are quite rare. But it only takes one of these defining moments to make all the sacrifice and hard work, all of the frustration and irritation worth being in this profession.

I hope that every Private Investigator in this profession has at least one of those defning moments in the course of their time in this profession.

RIcky B. Gurley

Rick Gurley

Written by Rick Gurley

April 25, 2011 at 3:46 AM

Net Tools 5.0; One Of The Best FREE Internet Investigation Tools On The Net!

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I was looking to update my “arsenal” of software to conduct some of the investigations that I usually conduct for clients. Of course I found the “old usuals” like Sam Spade and a few other ancient tools. Don’t read into the terms I just used the wrong way, Sam Spade was really good in its time and is still very useful today; but things have changed a bit in regards to how the Internet works now and how it worked only ten years ago.  I like real robust tools that work dependably and give accurate results.

So in my quest for an updated, robust, and comprehensive tool for conducting various Internet Investigations such as Internet Profiling, Email Tracing, Security Scanning and other services that my company offers to select clients; I was surprised to find a tool matching my description of current, robust, and comprehensive being offered for FREE! Of course I would not have known how useful and comprehensive this tool would turn out to be until I tested it. So I downloaded the tool and started putting it through various tests to see how well it performed. I was surprised at the sheer volume of tools that could be found inside of this piece of software. I was even more surprised when I saw how well all the tools in this piece of software worked.

Net Tools 5.0 turned out to be one of the best, most versatile, comprehensive, and diverse pieces of software that I have used in a long time. Net Tools 5.0 has far too many tools to list here; but it really does live up to the name “multipurpose”!

Below is a screenshot of just a few of the tools that come with Net Tools 5.o:

Net Tools 5.0 Tools Menu

Net Tools 5.0 has many applications that are useful for anything from Internet Profiling, Email Tracing,  Internet Searching (Try The “Power Of Google” Tool For Deep Web Searches for Confidential and Classified Documents), to even analysing your own computer for problems.

If you are a Private Investigator and a portion of your work is Computer or Internet Based, this is one tool that I HIGHLY recommend!

Written by Rick Gurley

March 20, 2011 at 3:46 PM

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