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WAPI Chairman “Interviewed on Strange Cases”

Unexpected And Weird Discoveries Made By Private Detectives – Interview With Expert

Adelaide Ross and Mantas Kačerauskas

Jun 20, 2024

I’ve never had any interest in being in law enforcement, but after watching about a hundred true crime documentaries, I have gained an immense appreciation for those who devote their lives to solving cases.

And if you’re as curious about the mysterious lives of detectives and private investigators as I am, you’ve come to the right place, pandas.

One Reddit user invited PIs and detectives to recall some of their strangest cases, so we’ve gathered their most fascinating stories below.

Enjoy scrolling through these tales that sound like they could be plots of television shows, and keep reading to find a conversation with full-time private investigator Tony Smith!

To learn more about what it’s like to be a detective, we reached out to Tony Smith, a full-time private investigator, Operations Director at Insight Investigations, and Chairman of the World Association of Professional Investigators.

Tony was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda and share some of his own experiences working in the field.

“I am a full-time private investigator and have been so since 1978. During that time, I have come across many varying matters requiring Investigation, both in the UK and overseas,” he noted.

“Being a ‘full service’ 24-hour agency, Insight Investigations undertakes enquiries ranging from the tracing of missing people to major Criminal Defence investigations and most anything in between.”

Tony also opened up about one of his most memorable cases. It included the identification and subsequent arrest of an individual who was stalking his ex-partner with the intent of doing her and her family serious harm.

“He was met on a high-end dating site and quickly moved in with his partner, and all seemed well.

Unfortunately, the mother thought something wasn’t quite right and asked me to investigate this individual’s background,” Tony shared. “I eventually established that he had lied to gain entry to the UK and obtain very prestigious employment.

He also had considerable criminal history in his native country.”

“The relationship ended, but subsequently, he went on to terrorize the family and, amongst other things, burn their house to the ground,” Tony continued. “The family were moved to a safe house with round-the-clock protection. 

He was eventually arrested with a weapon and impersonating a member of staff at the place his ex-partner worked, intent on doing her harm. 

He was eventually jailed for 6 years and deported on release.

This became the subject of a TV Documentary.”

We also asked the expert what he believes makes a great PI. “That’s a difficult one. Attention to detail is a must,” Tony says.

“There are those that specialize in surveillance, interviewing, research, IT forensics and the like and as such can combine with others to create a ‘team’ that accomplishes most things, and one need never be stuck with a task, as someone somewhere will have the required skill to solve it. Rarely has there been a profession where the saying ‘Standing On The Shoulders of Giants’ can sometimes be more apt.”

But Tony added that, if you’re going to hire a PI, you need to do your research first.

Today, there is still no legislation controlling private investigators in the UK. “There has been much said by subsequent governments over the years about the need for this, but it has never really gotten off the ground,” he noted.

“The World Association of Professional Investigators, amongst other associations, attempts to self-govern its members in best practice and lobby government for correct legislation, but there remain many rogue individuals who call themselves “private investigators” who are inexperienced, have no consideration for ethics, wish no part of the rules any association has and continue to cause harm to the public image of a profession that is required more now than ever.”

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Posted by Ian (D.Withers)