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annoyance, ignorance, lawyers, legal stuff, memories, monumental-waste-of-time, old-school, PI biz, tortfeasors, TV Cops, TV PI, vigilance

Knock On Any Door

I’ve often written regarding the windshield time and shoe leather expended during my tenure as a private investigator.  This is definitely a shoe leather story.

One of the items TV cop and PI shows do not expand upon is the time expended.  Especially if the investigation in is the pre-Internet era.  Of course, even in today’s CSI-oriented procedural shows, time remains a factor.  Collect fluids for the lab – DNA results back after the commercial.  Easy-peasy.

In the real world it’s like a minimum of six weeks.  Would definitely put a damper on the 44 minute long hour show!

So, here I am, in the Fall, in N.W. Phoenix.  Not the oppressive heat of July, but not January, either.  Canvassing a neighborhood.  On foot.

Three, four fairly long neighborhood streets.  Middle-income, mixed ethnicity, probably 3/4 White. (IOW, NOT the ghetto, the barrio or the projects).  THANK YOU GOD!

Regardless, still laborious.  Lots of walking.  Keeping track of each household by address. By name if possible.  Returning to empty homes to try to catch folks who had returned.  Or get a name off the mailbox (or the mail) for a telephone call later.

All because at the end of one of the blocks, one neighbor’s dog (German shepherd, pit bull, I don’t remember) had broken through the horizontal-wood fence separating the yards and attacked neighborhood kids, seriously injuring one.

Did anyone witness the attack?  Or the aftermath?  Or someone taunting the dog?  Do you know any witnesses with whom I could speak?

As if most of the neighbors were in one or the other of the fenced back yards…

Due diligence was still necessary.

I walked and walked.  Knocked on a lot of doors.  Rang a lot of doorbells.  Received little information.  From this procedure (which took two afternoons and two evenings, by myself) or the follow-up telephone calls.

I remember one household.  Across the street from the feuding neighbors.  Had Mexican immigrants therein, all of whom had to fill the doorway when the person answering announced (to no one in particular) INVESTIGATOR! (een-ves-ti-ga-tor’).  Little English and even less information.

Most folks knew bupkis.  Some has their own opinions and theories – even if they hadn’t know of the event before I spoke with them!  Others offered information on other torts, crimes, events and neighbors.

As if I cared.

Eventually, I gathered up the big collection of negative data and coalesced it into a big report, signifying nothing.

I’m certain the lawsuit was eventually settled between the various homeowner’s insurances involved.  And their attorneys.

And my boss got a cut of one attorney’s fees.  I got my usually hourly wage, sore feet and worn-out shoes.  Pretty sure I didn’t make enough for a new pair, or even resoling.

Ah!  The thrilling life of a private investigator.  🙂

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


7 thoughts on “Knock On Any Door

  1. More thrilling tales of yesteryear, featuring derring-do (and a lot of derring-DON’T) when actual work was required. Before “knowledge worker” was a thing, and people spoke to each other. Or didn’t. But still, actual human contact was part of life. Now? Hardly any at all. We’ve insisted that our daughters know how to answer a phone, and shake hands/make eye contact/make conversation. They’re in that 1% of the Millennial generation which can actually do so.

    Nope, no glamour in it. But still necessary. At least, I hope so.

    Posted by Rev. Paul | August 8, 2016, 10:33 am
    • YES! Personal contact, handshake, speaking, looking-in-the-eye are true social skills!
      Your progeny will appreciate it, if they don’t already.

      Posted by guffaw1952 | August 8, 2016, 10:39 am
      • I’m not so sure they do – both of their jobs involve customer service, and that’s definitely a mixed bag, these days. On the other hand, they’d not have landed in those jobs without the skills in question, so … definitely a mixed bag. Hmm.

        Posted by Rev. Paul | August 8, 2016, 10:48 am
  2. Mostly boredom then, and probably still that now… LOL

    Posted by Old NFO | August 8, 2016, 2:16 pm
  3. Reminds me of repoing cars. 3-5 am being the best time to walk neighborhoods and peek in back yards.

    Posted by Frank White | August 8, 2016, 3:15 pm

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