Johnny Undercover, Miracle Worker

One of the weird things about being a PI is that, since your job is not that clearly defined, people assume you can do anything. Things like access Federal databases, turn water into wine (man, I wish), divide prime numbers evenly, etc…

Well guess what, spellbound disciples…I probably can. I have long held the theory that anything can be done if you throw enough money at it. Ahhh, but therein lies the quandary:

“If you throw enough money at it…”

So let me modify my previous statement. People believe you can do anything…FOR FREE.

F-R-E-E. How I hate those four little letters. So contrary to everything I represent and aspire to. Free is my antithesis…my Kryptonite…my Dr. Moriarity…Yang to my Yin, Cain to my Able, Yogi Bear to my pic-a-nic basket…

Understand me, mere mortals, nothing gets done for free. Nada por gratis.

Why the rant, you ask? Well, other than the recent change in my medications, I got a request for help.

For free.

Nice lady e-mails me. Seems her hubby recently opted to trade up to Wifey Ver 2.0. A few weeks ago she believed she had substantial assets. Turns out she has squat. Hubby, being the only one in on the plan (which always helps), has pilfered out ½ a million dollars over the past ten years via “business trips” to sunny Mexico.

Where he currently resides. With his new wife, who I won’t identify by name. Let’s just call her by her scientific classification…Whoreus Homewreckerus.

If you know anything about money laundering (or if you prefer, asset relocation), you’ve already heard enough. That money? The fruits of all she’s worked and toiled for? That representation of all her hopes and dreams for the future?


She asked me to look into it Pro Bono, and promised to pay double my usual rate for such services once she gets her divorce judgment. I didn’t even bother telling her the only thing I do Pro Bono is write fan letters to U2. No need to even give that speech, because she’ll never see dem dere pesos, no matter what I find out. Dey goooooooooonnnnneeeee…..

Which, by the way, I did find out. Starry Eyed and Adoring Wife took pity on her plight and demanded I find out SOMETHING to help her out, at least for her divorce case.


Know what I found out? He’s a pretty smart guy. He moved the money out in small increments via frequent, legitimate business trips to Mexico. My source in Mexico City advised me he’s listed as the owner of some prime oceanfront condos and various other real estate holdings throughout the country.

In other words…he won.

Sorry, I don’t like it any more than you. But for years she blindly trusted him to oversee the finances. She faithfully believed he was providing for a good future for her and their children. And she got screwed.

Darwinism 101, spellbound disciples. The strong and smart will devour the weak and naïve. They always have, and they always will until that Guy in the bible with the red lettering comes back and kicks all the bad people in the crotch.

That’s what it says, right? I kinda zoned out in Sunday School…

Could she get her share of that money back? Probably. Can she afford the long and protracted legal battle over international assets?


Anyways, the whole point of that story was to illustrate that ultimately in the end…I did it for free.



Blogger Dennie McDonald said...

so what you're saying is move it in small incraments and buy up Mexican property - got it! ;-)

4:18 PM  
Blogger Ballpoint Wren said...

Give Starry Eyed and Adoring Wife a big hug from all of us for spurring you on, you crusty cynic, you.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Spike said...


1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a sucker born every....(well, YOU know.) :)

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I run a UK private investgator blog, and I'd like to swap links wth your blog.

My blog:-

UK Private Investigator Blog

Your link is on the right hand side of the page, please link back to my blog.


4:22 AM  
Blogger Sicilian said...

To bad you don't update your blog more. I really do like it and would link to it. You are a good writer and keep my attention.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Ballpoint Wren said...

Yeah, Johnny, where've you been? It's almost time for your semi-annual update!

5:39 PM  
Blogger Tom the P.I. said...

I too am a Private Investigator and "I feel your pain!" I have told people that I can find out what they need (provided the actual evidence exists) if they will commit to two things: 1. Patience and 2. The Money to obtain the evidence. Funny, how everyone wants a "Mercedes" of a case performed, but will only pay "Yugo" money!

6:44 PM  
Blogger Buffy said...

I'm watching this very thing happen right now.

I keep telling the lady, a friend of mine, "chica, look lively". But she's not looking at all.

He's not as bright as this fellow. Just relocating his assets across the country. But she's not as bright as this lady she'll probably never catch on.

Ah....some call it love. I call it ignorance. Blech.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous another pi said...

Well, I can't say I've had many people asking for me to take on a case gratis, but I do get quite a few who woefully underfund their project (or just have a ridiculously high expectation for their meagre budget).

Or then there's when I do the equivalent of ambulance chasing in doing some work for free, out of my own initiative, in the hopes it will lead to actual money.

I feel your pain!

10:48 PM  
Anonymous ICORP Investigations, Inc said...

Great blog! I'm a private investigator on Long Island. Seems everyone wants information for free. Looking forward to your next blog.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous SearchLight said...

This is a nice article on private investigators’ way of working under cover. I guess it is a highly thrilling job after all…

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Private Investigator said...

This is s really interesting article. Indeed there are lots of misconceptions in the minds of common people regarding private investigators…

12:53 AM  
Anonymous ICORP Investigations, Inc said...

Liked the pro Bono/U2 comment... Good stuff...I'm a private investigator in NYC and I can def relate to your topic...Enjoy the witt.. Will bookmark your blog.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

This is one of the funnies things I've read all week. Thanks for the humor on this friday!

10:49 AM  
Blogger John Allore said...

Did a little piece on you. I really like your site:


10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that I condone that sort of thing but she could probably get hubby whacked for less than $300 down there, streamlining the asset recovery process substantially.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous LA Private Investigations said...

Ouch. The sad thing is that you may feel like the sucker for doing the free p.i. work. Hopefully, you don't and know that it was nice of you to help her confirm something. A well written story with a sad ending.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Private investigator said...

It is true but sometimes you have to do such thing for humanity.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Private investigator Austin Tx said...

I believe it was President Lincoln who said that an attorney's craft is his time. As a private investigator it seems that many folks think we must live on air. It is those persons who take us for granted that I resent. Most of the time I give folks much more than what they paid for anyway - they already got something for "free" and then they forget to pay the bill - Ha, time is money

8:02 PM  
Anonymous NY Private Investigator said...

Nice blog. Well, some people assume that being a P.I., you can do anything in every situation. It's good of you to do free private investigation work for her.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Diane Chivers said...

Private investigator is not an ordinary job, you have to be detail oriented and sure of what you are doing to have a good outcome. Many people do not know exactly the job of a private investigator, others says negative comments about them. But for me, if you're not doing anything that can harm others, do anything that makes you happy. See Private Investigators in London

2:20 AM  

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