*These are true stories from the field. Characters and locations have been changed to protect their identity, but these are actual cases that I have worked on.
Young local lawyer
Webmaster/Pimp/Phony California lawyer
California Lawyer’s “Girlfriend”, AKA “The defendant”
The defendant’s dead Ex-Husband
I was contacted a while back from a young local attorney that needed my investigative services. Apparently he had been hired by a “successful California attorney” that needed legal help for his girlfriend because she shot her ex-husband out of self-defense. Since this young local attorney needed the best defense, he hired me to work the case and gather critical evidence for the defense of this “poor woman.” I agreed and began my investigation of her case. At this woman’s arraignment hearing, I sat out in the hallway with her “successful CA attorney” boyfriend while her local defense attorneys met with the judge.
After a standard crime scene analysis was performed by us (the defense team), we located that safe. It wasn’t opened and we left it at the crime scene for evidence. This didn’t settle well with the “successful CA attorney,” who had gone back to California by this time. Investigations continued and we started to piece together the story behind this woman and her now-dead ex-husband.
It was confirmed that they were indeed divorced one year prior to his death. The couple had a teenage son that the husband was taking care of, and they had ongoing arguments over a divorce settlement agreement. The husband had a decent life insurance policy that he obtained as an Army Reservist. After the divorce was finalized, the woman had moved to California (where she met that “successful attorney”) and managed her legal disputes from across state lines. She made it a point to come back home while her ex was stationed in Montana for Army Reserve maneuvers. During this time, she appeared before a judge and claimed that she was being beaten and requested a protection order. The judge approved (clearly this was a lie, but the judge couldn’t have known it at the time) and he was kicked out of his own house (which she wasn’t even living in!).
After checking that “to-do” item off her list, she returned back down to Southern California, where her boyfriend–the “successful CA attorney” lived. She had met him shortly after her divorce when she moved to California. And he wasn’t a “successful CA attorney”–he was a webmaster pimp. Attorney, webmaster, and pimp…all in one sentence–that’s right. Apparently this guy had a criminal background, wasn’t a licensed investigator (big surprise), nor was he an attorney. He did indeed run a law and investigative “firm” in Southern California that was supposed to protect the rights of divorced or divorcing fathers–sure. Apparently he did have one legitimate attorney that worked there…he was new and he needed a place to hang his shingle and this place was as good as any.
When this “successful CA attorney” wasn’t busy being a pretend lawyer and investigator, he spent his time as a webmaster…and pimp. Apparently he masterminded a website for professional “hook-ups.” He developed a site that allowed weekday office professionals to become weekend prostitutes and escorts. It was a safe place for prostitutes and johns to evaluate each other with the valuable input of other seedy characters, all with the intention of making sure that nobody got beaten, diseased, or arrested. It was a safe way to engage in prostitution and make extra money for the defendant in this case. He had the perfect opportunity and she took the bait.
As their relationship grew, he found out about this woman’s ex-husband and his life insurance policy. This took place right before she returned to Washington to plead before a judge for a restraining order against her ex–what a coincidence? Shortly after the restraining order was issued, the “webmaster/pimp/attorney” had his one-and-only legitimate attorney-in-practice make alterations to her ex’s will in order to expedite any insurance settlement received in the case of his death. Suspecting foul play, the legit attorney got cold feet and alerted law enforcement. The pimp/webmaster/fake-attorney found out about this and asked me to find him. In return, I asked him why it was so important to find this attorney, to which he replied–“So I can take care of him.” This wanted attorney was in danger, and it became apparent that although all investigation information would be kept confidential, it was critical to share this information with law enforcement because the state’s witness was in peril. Of course, since the pimp adored me and trusted me, I was able to convince him that I was looking for that attorney for him. Her defense team considered using this new information to prove that the webmaster pimp orchestrated the whole crime in order to benefit from the insurance policy.
When it came time for the trial, the state’s key prosecution’s witness (the legit attorney in danger) never showed up. They immediately knew he must be in trouble and started requesting investigation information from me. Connections were made and the case became clear.
Why did she empty a .357 revolver into her ex-husband whom she claimed was about to attack her with a knife? Upon considering the following evidence, she was convicted of murder by a jury for:
- Falsely accusing her husband of abuse, resulting in a protection order and access to his home
- Asking her out-of-state family to transport multiple weapons to her prior to her “surprise” meeting with her ex upon his return from Army Reserve maneuvers
- Spending over $400,000 of his life-insurance settlement while out on bail (of which a minimal amount was left for her son)
As for the webmaster/pimp/fake-attorney–he was arrested and convicted for:
- threatening the state’s key witness
- being an accomplice of the ambush and murder of his girlfriend’s ex-husband
- visiting the deceased’s home prior to his murder and planning the attack, as well as taking the deceased’s only defense weapon from the kitchen area (which was found later in the pimp’s home in California)
- forging, cashing, and spending close to $400,000 of the insurance settlement with his whore girlfriend
If the webmaster/pimp/fake-attorney wouldn’t have micro-managed every detail of this investigation and case, it is highly probable that his prostitute girlfriend would’ve done the time and he would’ve enjoyed the insurance proceeds and gotten away with murder. But luckily justice prevailed and the criminals were ultimately convicted. Just another day in the life of a private investigator.