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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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

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