School Shootings

School shootings so far anyway, have been holding pretty much to the same pattern. A student gets upset with fellow students, the leadership, his home life, him self or people in general. He takes a gun to school and it becomes an active shooter scenario. Isn’t this the same scenario that takes place in a church, workplace, shopping mall, neighborhood, concert or any public place? With the exception of a planed terrorist attack. We will never know why these individuals act out this way but I think we all can agree that there is a mental disorder involved at that point. This has been happening as long as I can remember. I first remember the University of Texas tower shooting, 14 dead 31 injured, in 1966. That was a school shooting (53 years ago. Then remember the postal shootings? (going postal) then there was the new buzzword workplace violence. And on and on it goes. My point is that the School shooting problem is not a new one. School shootings and mass shootings in general are happening because mentally deranged people use a weapon; guns, knives, vehicles, (Jim Jones killed 900 people with Kool aid) to act out these crimes against our society. The problem is not guns or Kool aid. The problem is in the hearts and minds of the perpetrators of these crimes. Disarming our citizens only makes soft targets and allows sick, hurting, evil, perpetrators to hurt others more easily. Remember when seconds count the police are only minutes away. I have been an armed protective services professional for the last 20 years. Of course my firm has been involved with many workplace and domestic violence cases. We cant put armed guards or police on every corner but when the shooting starts don’t you kinda hope your on a corner where there is one. I WOULD RATHER HAVE A GUN AND NEVER NEED IT THAN TO NEED A GUN AND NOT HAVE IT. For our friends that don’t want anyone to have guns. I agree. Until that happens we need the good guys to be able to protect us against the sick or unhappy or mentally deranged or sociopathic or criminal bad guys that decide that day for whatever reason that they want to kill someone.

Taking up the slack

Taking up the slack where law enforcement left off


For some time now, the Private Investigation Industry has been called upon take up the slack where law enforcement has left off. Many times, when a burglary occurs a victim is encouraged to file a report over the phone or when the police arrive they take a report and you never hear from them again. The police in most cases are defiantly over worked and underpaid. Due to lack of man power and budget concerns law enforcement is limited as to their level of involvement and the priority given to any given case.


Our firm is constantly being contracted to provide more and more security for someone who feels they are in danger but the threat cannot be proven. The police can’t guard you or your loved ones 24/7 but we can and do.


Many times, we have become involved in a burglary after the police had taken the report and left.  Sometimes we start by fingerprinting the point of entry, then interviewing the neighbors, any family members and associates who might have had opportunity. We sometimes even canvass pawn shops.  We have been able to recover many missing items through the years, including a 3-carat solitaire ring.


Occasionally after an interview, or a series of interviews, a lie detector test is incorporated into the investigation. This comes in handy especially when working an internal theft case, involving many potential suspects or a theft involving family members and or friends.


We have worked several murder cases, unattended death cases, missing person cases that became murder cases and cases that are declared suicides but the family believes differently. Some cities and counties have limited resources to throw at these types of cases. For instance, when a body is found in a certain area, the department in that jurisdiction catches the case. Then it is discovered that the murder took place in the San Jose area. This means that a sometimes small, understaffed, underbudgeted, department must send an officer to San Jose, (to an unfamiliar area) for days or weeks at a time. We are usually retained by the family to assist the police with their investigation or simultaneously work on our own leads. After the police, have ran out of their leads, their budgets or their man power, we were able to continue to follow up on things as they developed. We then can report back to the police department or the District Attorney’s office in that area.


Sometime a second private autopsy can be helpful to determine what happened to the decedent. We can help with arranging that and of course work as a liaison between the department and the family throughout the duration of the case.


This is just another sign of the times. It seems there is too much crime for any police department to handle. Try reporting an identity theft incident. They will most likely, take your information and tell you it’s a blue-collar crime. If you’re lucky the bank or credit card company will cover the loss, but even if you tell them who did it there will be no investigation into the matter. More and more we are going to have to depend on the private sector to take up the slack, concerning crime and security in the world today. If you have been a victim of a crime of or have any security concerns please give us a call for a free consultation. Ray (408) 268-5900                          

Red Flags for cheater victims

There is nothing that can absolutely keep you from being a victim of domestic deceit. Relationships are all different. Cultures are are different. Families of origin are different. Men and women are different. But there are many signs (or red flags), that are the same, in many cases, which can help you to develop behavioral patterns conducive to cheating. Here are a few of the red flags that over the last 19 years of daily investigations, I continue to hear over and over from my clients. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather 10 of the most common indicators. (1) A sudden change in interest in his or her appearance. Is there a change in dress? a sudden interest in working out? different (sexier) undergarments? changed hair styles? enhancement surgeries? (boob jobs, face lifts, stomach stapled, tummy tucks, ext.). (2 ) New friends? (who you don’t or are not allowed to know). (3) a change in schedule? working late, Going to the gym at off hours. New social events that you are not welcome to or can’t attend. Trips alone? (4) Secrecy concerning  cell phone, Texts, email, computers, calendars? or even an additional cell phone. New passwords? (5) Constantly alone while on the phone, Texting, emailing or just on the computer (dating websites?) Protective of what he or she is doing, erasing after each session, not sharing openly what he or she is doing. (6) A new smell or fragrance upon arriving home. (7) Washing clothes/underwear soon after arrival. (8) New hobbies or meet up groups. (9) Secretive or controlling concerning finances? Credit cards or bank accounts that are not accessible by you. (10) Of coarse lipstick on the collar, glitter on the pants, and rumors from friends or co-workers should not be ignored. I know I didn’t list some things. Things that did not come to mind or I have forgotten about. Maybe I’ll write a part 2 in the future. Questions? call 408-268-5900 Thanks, Ray



Cheaters; latest studies

According to the latest study published in The American Sociological Review, Men or women who are totally economically dependent on their partners are more likely to have an affair than couples who both contribute financially to the relationship.

With men who are exclusively dependent on  woman, the probability of acting out, with a third party, increases approximately three times. Economically dependent Women have a 5.2 % chance of having an outside affair. Non totally, dependent, Women have only a 3.4% chance of being involved with a member of the opposite sex other than their partners.

Bread winners overall, on average, have only a 1.5% chance of cheating on their partners. Totally dependent Males (the highest at risk group) have a 15% chance of stepping out on the female breadwinner. Men who are the total breadwinners in the relationship have a 4% likelihood of going outside of the relationship for a sexual affair.

When asked the bread winners/potential cheaters, expressed the belief that even if caught in an affair the dependent partner would not leave. No reasons for this was specified.

The data for this study was based on two thousand seven hundred and fifty seven, heterosexual, couples, with a minimum of a one year, exclusively, committed, relationship.


Counter Surveillance Could Protect You & Yours

It’s one thing to set up surveillance to catch a significant other cheating, or an employee stealing. But what if someone has set up surveillance without your knowledge and is watching you? Tiny cameras, key logs and microphone bugs are all ways someone could track what you do, where you go and what you say.

It’s common for homeowners and office managers to think that they would see a camera or be able to sense a microphone if one was planted. They expect something to be moved, out of place, or feedback to come from multiple devices but this is rarely the case. Experienced professionals can hide all sorts of spying devices completely undetected.

Counter surveillance is a way to find out if any of these intrusions are going on in your home, car or office. Just as it took professionals to install these devices, it also takes professionals to find them. Industry professionals know the tricks of the trade and can extensively physically search for cameras and sound bugs. Technology can also be used to detect recording or monitoring devices.

Most importantly however, counter surveillance professionals will also provide proof of what type of monitoring was being done and potentially where it came from in the first place. Everyone has a right to privacy and if you think yours is being compromised, it couldn’t hurt to see the options when it comes to counter surveillance.

Being watched, recorded or monitored without your knowledge puts your information, financials and well being at risk, not to mention the well being of your family. If there is something in your home or office that you did not place there, you deserve to know what it is and where it came from. If you feel you are being watched, follow your instinct and reach out to an industry professional that can help.

Understanding Why Liars Lie

Lying Everyone lies to an extent. Most of us lie regularly and don’t even realize it, whether it’s to protect yourself from getting hurt or out of concern for another’s feelings. This kind of lying is accepted as a social norm by society, for better or worse. But for those who take lying to an unacceptable level, dwelling into pathological or habitual lying territory, there were psychological reasons for their casual approach to the truth.

The reason your cheating spouse, a thieving relative or business acquaintance is lying to you is much more deeply rooted than their desire to benefit themselves. At some point in their life, most likely when they were young, they got something they wanted or advanced with lying. All four year olds lie, but the differences with lifelong, career liars are no one ever corrected them or told them not to lie. This is often a culmination from trauma, neglect or simple lacking adequate attention.

Eventually, as the habitual liar grew up and continued telling more and more lies, they actually became more comfortable lying than telling the truth. And in a world wherein honesty is always the best policy- where a liar is not a valued member- a pathological liar has a poor self-image and subsequent low self-esteem. This low self-esteem is something they try to overcompensate for with more lying, pinning themselves in a vicious circle and an increasingly entangling web of lies.

Ultimately a liar is trying to convince themselves a lie is fact just as- if not more- than the person they are lying to. So outrageous tales, backpedaling when confronted with lies and just all around deception is just a casualty in a liar’s quest to advance themselves are far as possible through dishonesty. And what’s more, the casual liar won’t even lie to gain popularity or compensate for short comings once lying has become a habit; it will just be for the thrill.

So if you are associating with someone on your own accord who you have discovered to be a pathological or habitual liar, you are better to cut ties with them anyhow. This is because constant lying is typically an indication of deeper issues, such as narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality, or any number of other mental issues.

The Telltale Signs You’re Being Lied To

LiarFrom white lies to massive deception, you to know when someone is lying to you. There are actually four telltale things to look for and analyze if you think there are lies being told. While these habits might not prove that lies are involved, clusters of behaviors could at least tip you off that something is wrong and further investigation is needed.

Since lying takes more concentration than just telling the truth, the pupils will be more dilated than normal. This is one of the most common ways to tell if someone isn’t being honest. Unlike telling a lie, its nearly impossible for someone to control their pupils, so dilation will happen naturally acting as a great indicator of truth or lie.

Can’t get close enough to look into their eyes? Lying can also be detected through increased movement of the feet. Since lying normally makes people nervous, they will often expel anxiety by shaking, tapping or shuffling their feet. In an attempt to relax in an intense situation, the liar might extend out their feet or stretch out their toes.

While telling a story, if you think the person you are talking to is lying, pay close attention to the body language versus their words. Are they congruent? If they are talking about being happy and satisfied are they sitting up straight, engaged and using their hands lightly to emphasize? If they are talking about how happy they are but are hunched over, looking at the floor and lack body movement, something might be amiss.

Also keep in mind when asking questions that coming up with a lie always takes more time than just spitting out the truth. Simple questions about time, date and location should be quickly and easily answered. If someone delays or avoids the question, they could be just looking for time to come up with a realistic lie.

If you believe someone is lying to you check his or her eyes. Also watch their feet and body movement when they talk. Lastly, pay attention to lag in response times when talking face-to-face. While these signs may not be definitive proof, they can be a good indication about whether deception is in the air and if further investigation should be sought.

Lie Detector Services & Private Investigating

Lie Detector Lie detector services are used every day to help prove, or disprove, criminal and court cases.Also known as a polygraph test, these services can be used to see whether or not a person is telling the truth. Unlike just asking someone for a flat out answer, the lie detector test will monitor the body’s involuntary reactions for indications for whether or not the truth is being told.
Cardiovascular levels, the respiratory system and how much sweat is released during questions is all tracked. It is then compared to the answers given using the latest technology. Unusual body reactions along with increased breathing and sweating can point out a lie.
A correctly administered lie detector test can solve a lot of questions to help determine if someone is being honest or dishonest. No matter how good of a liar someone claims to be, their body’s reactions bring the truth to the surface and work against them. While their story might sound convincing, their pulse, breathing and sweat glands might beg to differ.
Polygraph tests have helped solve crimes, mysteries and disputes. Administered confidentially, the test can analyze the results of any type of question no matter how specific or personal. A lie detector test is a much easier way for a wife to prove her husband is cheating rather than following him around or reading through all of his emails.

Why Private Investigators are Better

burglaryA good private investigator can find anything and everything. Anything from stolen merchandise to missing people can be tracked by the right detective with the right resources. They are also much more attentive than police are really allowed, especially on certain kinds of cases.
Police must abide by certain timeframes and following police protocol which may actually be damaging to tracking down the person of interest. This protocol is in place because of how many missing persons cases are false alarms or under the missing person’s own accord. But as a parent or spouse, you are more familiar with the context or the personal situation- when you know, you know. Regardless of how out of character and convinced you are the person in question is actually missing, the police must follow protocol.
Police are often not concerned with tracking down stolen merchandise or cracking cases having to do with breaking and entering either. They have too much violent crime to concern themselves with, especially in larger cities with higher crime rates. So many victims of crime are left feeling helpless and possibly out thousands of dollars, depending on what exactly were stolen from them.
If you do not have renter’s or home owner’s insurance and you are the victim of burglary, you are unfortunately going to have no financial help replacing the stolen items. Or if your car was stolen and you can’t afford full insurance coverage, for example, you are in a very difficult position. Not only are any of your personal items in the car gone for good, but you may be forced to buy a new car. That is unless of course you were able to find a professional dedicated to tracking it down for you.
A private investigator works on your terms for you. They are focused on solving your problem without any of the overseeing regulation and bureaucracy standing in the way of so many police detective cases. When you hire a private investigator, you are treated as a customer, no matter how trivial your issue may seem to your local police department.

Private Investigating: A History

private investigator The history of private investigating is a colorful one. A profession most don’t realize was established by criminals, modern day criminology owes to the field such investigative practices as ballistics and record keeping.
The story of the first professional private investigator starts in the early 1800’s. Eugène François Vidocq, a French soldier turned criminal, revolutionized the world of investigation from behind prison walls in northern France. After years of evading police, escaping prison and breaking the law, he finally decided to start working with police. From behind prison walls, after leading a life of crime, he propositioned authorities to work with them as an informant.
Having first acted as an informant on fellow inmates behind bars, getting the scoop on everything from forgeries to larceny, Vidocq eventually started routing out criminals in the seedy Parisian underworld on the outside as a secret agent. Now working directly with the police, he used his reputation on the crime circuit to gain trust amongst his targets. But word spreads fast and Vidocq eventually had to branch out.
Perfecting disguises and recruiting new detectives, Vidocq began to build his practice. Eventually moving out from under the thumb of the Paris police force, by 1833, he officially founded the first known private detective agency. And based on their profound knowledge of the criminal underworld, who better to bring aboard than ex-convicts?
Not only did he revolutionize the entire concept of who a good investigator is, also how investigations are conducted. Vidocq was the first to actually start record keeping on suspects and criminals and practically introduced the concept of ballistics testing . Obviously police and forensic investigations still employ all these to this day.
Initially conceived as a tool to aid police investigations, private investigation is now employed to get to the root of all sorts of matters. These can include everything and anything from suspicions of infidelity, to private security detail, to uncovering knowledge in corporate mergers and takeovers.