Private investigators do more than just ferret out the truth. They tell the truth as objective, disinterested third parties. They are professional witnesses.
Often, before litigation is started and a suit filed, we'll be asked to investigate the suspicions that are the basis for the suit. As an impartial third party, we don't have a vested interest in the outcome, which means we seek the truth rather than looking for more fuel to flame the fire of litigation.
Here at , we report our findings and observations in that manner, which means we are sometimes subject to 'shoot the messenger' reactions. That happens because sometimes we don't provide what our clients want in order to fulfill their objectives. The results may not be what they want to hear. However, to know the truth, then our clients can make informed decisions based on good, solid information.
For example, in a situation regarding child custody or guardianship, one of the techniques a private investigator can use is what I call "garbology." It's also called dumpster mining, dumpster diving or trash profiling. It's definitely not as specialized or technical as digital forensics or employing Technical Surveillance and Countermeasures to uncover phone taps or surveillance equipment, but even in its simplicity, it uncovers truth.
The police cannot by law access discarded trash of a suspect without a court order, however, private investigators can access it as long as there is no trespass involved. If it's on the curb, which is a public easement, (8 to 12 feet from the curb is usually public access) an investigator can discreetly obtain the trash then review it for contraband that can be admitted into evidence. An example would be booze bottles if there is concern about an alcohol problem.
In some cases, the information we obtain may not substantiate the client's position. It may mean dropping the investigation before it becomes a black hole of cost. It could also mean ending litigation because it would end up as a lost cause in court. Both actions are based on valuable - maybe even priceless - information.
It may not be what the client wants to hear, but we like to think truth is what is being sought and that's what we provide.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations