Listen, the City’s Talking

Billboards and road signs aren’t the only text around the city trying to bombard you with information. If you look closely, there are other types of literature trying to tell you something, whether it’s graffiti or highway bloggers expressing their political opinions.

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Do Everything

One thing you can’t say about me is that I can’t multitask. I’m currently working on a murder case gone cold and doing GIS research on eminent domain related to pipeline projects. Bless my Keurig machine.

Micro Notes

Trying to find arrest records at the New York City Municipal Archives is like trying to find a virgin at the Porn Awards. I’m working on that “serial killer” case, and all I got to go on is a husband who thinks his wife is trying to poison him. He says this lady worked as a prostitute in the Lower East Side during the 1950s, and that she murdered Johns. She’s basically the predecessor of Aileen Wuornos. This is gonna cause me some major sleep depravity for the next two weeks.

The Things We Carry

As a private investigator who does criminal defense and ends up going to rough parts of town to conduct surveillance, undercover work or field interviews, it’s advisable to have a LTC/CHL (License to Carry/Concealed Handgun License). I carry a Ruger SR9c loaded with Barnes TAC-XPD 9mm Luger +P Hollow Point ammo, and a pocket knife with a glass breaker tip on the handle and seat belt cutter.

I prefer this type of pistol because it’s light overall and has a light trigger pull. The frame is also relatively thinner than a Glock 22 and other similar models, so there’s minimal to no printing when it’s holstered. I prefer to use an IWB (Inside the Waistband) holster for extra concealment, tucked in my jeans usually at the 1 o’clock or 4 o’clock positions.

I also prefer to use hollow points for self-defense and exclusively use full metal jackets for the shooting range. Law enforcement agents will agree with me on this one, because hollow points have more stopping power than a FMJ, especially if you’re shooting a 9mm.

This means I can stop a bad guy with a single shot at center mass (torso) because the expanding bullet will tear up his vital organs pretty badly. A full metal jacket could go through his body, leave a narrow hole through him, and probably won’t kill him or even stop him immediately. In that case you will have to keep firing, which could escalate the situation and the last thing you want is a full-blown shootout. You want to stop your target ASAP and secure the scene until the police arrive.

Additionally, if you’re shooting indoors, a full metal jacket could theoretically go through the bad guy’s body and through the thin walls of a home, and potentially hurt innocent people behind those walls. So hollow points are recommended for self-defense.

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It’s rare that you’ll find yourself in a life-threatening situation on this job, but it never hurts to always be prepared, because life can come at you fast like a bullet.

Micro Notes

Invest in a dependable and durable GPS tracking device. Remember, it’s a federal crime to place one on a car other than your own unless you have the owner’s consent. You would think that it’s dumb for an owner/suspect to consent to that and you’re right, but if you’re a parent and you want to track your druggie son or Cash Me Ousside How Bow Dat-type daughter using the car that you own, it makes total sense. Also, if you want to track your cheating spouse’s movements, you legally have the right to place it underneath the car without their knowledge because it’s shared property.

Be sure to get the waterproof magnetic case to house your unit. The magnet is very strong and can easily be applied underneath the vehicle, usually the bottom of the spare tire compartment near the rear bumper.

When you’re doing a “hard tail” on a subject through the city–the GPS tracker planted underneath their car like a leach–you realize how much of a badass driver you really are. Bonus Points: Track them during the late afternoon traffic jam and try not to lose them to see what you’re made of.

P.S.

Don’t fuck with my fridge. Don’t touch my food.

Micro Notes

1. To apartment security: don’t allow a large gap underneath your gate. Even a sexy stud with enormous muscles like myself (that was sarcasm) was able to slip under the gate as if I was playing Metal Gear Solid in real life.

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2. If you can’t post up long-term to wait for someone to drive away, you can put ketchup packets underneath their tires. Come back later on and see if the packets burst or if they’re still intact. Shout-out to McDonald’s for always giving me extra condiments.

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3. There are new cases waiting to be solved everywhere. One of my favorite channels is the Justice Network. During commercial breaks, they post missing persons and wanted criminals in the local area. It reminds me of Big Shot show in Cowboy Bebop, minus the goofy Western theme and barely-dressed blonde.

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4. I convinced my boss to give me the serial killer case. This subject is almost a carbon copy of Aileen Wuornos. That stack in the middle of my desk is only 1/5th of the research files on her.

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No Church in the Wild

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I found an old abandoned African American church in North Carolina that’s been on the market for a while now. A state preservation organization is the current keeper.

I did my research and found out that a group of white teenagers and young adults vandalized the church in 2003. They even etched or tagged racial slurs inside.

I want to buy it, renovate it, and then establish a relationship with an African American congregation in the area and donate it to them.

If the surrounding land, which is all woodland, is also for sale, I’ll buy as many acres as I can. I want to develop tech parks in the area–whilst still maintaining and incorporating the natural environment–and encourage black tech entrepreneurs to set up shop there. I want to create a Silicon Valley of the South that not only encourages minorities to create tech start-ups, but educate (free coding schools) and incubate (venture capital) as well.

If it’s successful, I’ll employ the same thing in Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and Cleveland. Who knows, the next tech/business revolution could be born in that humble battered church in the woods.

Close Encounters

Doing sniper surveillance (camping in the back of a surveillance vehicle with a DSLR or camcorder) is the most effective way to get the money shot. You’re supposed to be a ghost. No one should even notice you, much less see you, but I’ve always preferred engaging the subject face-to-face. Come up with a cover story (Jehovah’s Witness, landscaper handing out flyers, asking for directions, etc.) and then talk to the subject with your phone in your shirt pocket recording the whole thing. I want my subject to remember the face that betrays his trust.

Pill Nation

I did an undercover operation on an unlicensed doctor earlier and it was such a piece of cake getting the pills that I wanted.

I actually felt bad for the doctor. He was a young, nice guy, seems smart as heck, who was just helping a poor immigrant community–but I did what I was assigned to do. The law is the law: you cannot practice as a physician if you’re not licensed with the state. But it showed me how easy it is for pill addicts to get prescriptions from these types of clinics. No wonder opioid addiction is on the rise.

TempHQ

Personally, I like to have a “temporary HQ” when I’m getting ready to do street work. It’s a place that you go to for respite, or to develop strategies, or to park your car and do quick research on your phone.

A temporary HQ such as a parking lot allows you to quickly mobilize when your target is on the move.

Private Investigation teaches you to be patient, methodical, and precise with your actions & decisions. It’s similar to chess or hunting.

Prowling across Houston and throughout Southeast Texas, you end up loving and hating your region more.