Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hidden Video Camera

Can you find the hidden video camera in this photo? Hint: Look closely at the door frame to the left of the door.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


We're often contacted by men who are looking for ex-girlfriends, or women they were once attracted to. They'll say something like, "I went to school with her and lost contact after graduation. I'm sure she'll be glad to hear from me."

We take these cases on one condition. After we locate the subject, we tell the potential client, "We'll tell her that you're looking for her. If she gives us permission to give her address to you, then we will. Otherwise, we'll respect her privacy."

This always weeds out stalkers, as we never hear from these would-be clients again. Legitimate clients have no problem with this policy, and understand that we need to do all we can to protect the public from this sort of thing.

Several years ago, we were hired by two different stalkers. Intuitively, in both cases we told the women that so-and-so is looking for you. In these two cases the police were involved and restraining orders had been issued. Now we make it a policy to tell clients in advance about our policy.

Incidentally, in both cases, the client (stalker) gave us stolen credit cards. Now, we have strong measures in place to prevent credit card fraud.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Digital Camera Tips

We haven't purchased any film since we went all digital three years ago. Since that time, digital cameras have come a long way. One annoying problem with digital cameras is the lag time when you push the shutter button, especially on inexpensive digital cameras or cameras more than a year old.

This happens because when you push the shutter button, the camera first has to focus, then it takes the shot. To overcome this problem, aim the camera, and push the button half-way down. Your camera will then focus on the subject. When you get the pose or picture you want, push the button the rest of the way. This is the best way to get a real-time shot.

Another thing to do is to try to anticipate the next move of the subject. I've practiced this technique when photographing bald eagles in flight. In surveillance too, when using a digital camera (versus a camcorder), you have to anticipate the subject's next move. If you wait until a couple's lips touch before you push the shutter button, you'll probably miss the shot. But, if you see them about to kiss, push the button half-way, and then a second before they kiss, push the button all the way down.

People are still enamored with the screens on their digital cameras, and thus often take blurry photos. I often see people holding their camera at arms length, trying to frame the subject in the screen. The monitor is really there to review your shots, not to frame your shot. Reviewing your photos on the screen before you print them can save a lot of mone and/or disk space on your computer.

To really get a good shot, use your optical viewfinder. (I know some new models don't even have an optical viewfinder. Avoid buying these.) This helps you in two ways. One, it's a lot easier to see your subject, in any kind of light. Two, by holding the camera up to your eye, you'll avoid camera shake, as you can take a steady shot as you'll be holding it up to your face, and not at arms length.

Finally, be sure your batteries are fully charged, or that you have extra batteries with you.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Mysterious Buzzing Sound

Some people who contact us about suspected bugged apartments or phones are simply paranoid. In other cases, though, something is really there.

Recently, a woman said that when she went to bed at night she heard a mysterious buzzing sound. It was so strong that her bed seemed to vibrate. When she got up, it stopped. It only happened when she lay down.

Upon investigation, it was noticed that the woman had a platform bed with drawers. In one of the drawers, with an apparent lose wire or faulty switch, was her vibrator. It only went off when she layed on the bed. Case solved.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Governor Bugged

After New York's Governor George Pataki's phone was tapped by an unknown individual he asked for a federal investigation. Embarrassed over the public exposure of his colorful language, and, maybe more so, a discussion about patronage appointments, he wants to nail the person responsible for turning the illegal tapes over to the New York Post.

We're not holding our breath waiting for the Governor to call us for a bug sweep, but we could do it if he asked. We recently did an electronic sweep (in nearby major American city) of a mayor's office, conference room, and personal limousine.

Free Credit Reports

Starting next week (September 1st) a new federal law goes into affect giving every American the right to get a free credit report once a year from the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.

This will help curb identification theft, as you can see if someone is using your I.D. To get your free credit report go to, or call 877-322-8228. To better monitor your credit reports ask for them every four months, i.e., Equifax in January, Experian in May, and Transunion in September.

If you go directly to the credit bureaus, they may try to sell you their credit monitoring serives, which vary from $5 to $10 a month. You have to decide for yourself whether it's worth it or not.

Take note of, because if you Google "free credit report," all kinds of sites will come up that will try to lure you in to spending money, as all you want to really do is take advantage of the new law giving you a free annual credit report from each of the main reporting bureaus.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sherlock's New Office

Summer's almost over and each member of the staff at Sherlock Investigations has had a little break. While things normally slow down in the summer, this summer has been straight out serving our many clients.

Sherlock Investigations moved to new offices at the beginning of the year. Now, it's time to move again. Our building's management office is creating a new space for us just down the hall that will give us more elbow room, with additional space available to us in the future as our needs increase.

While most of our clients conduct business with us by phone and email, we always like to have clients make an appointment to come to our office so that we can meet face to face. Of course, this is impossible for most, as our clients contact us from all over the United States and many foreign countries.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

To trust or not to trust? - Lifetime interview

Several months ago Lifetime called me up, for a project called, "Spot a Liar". They wanted to know about some of the infidelity cases that I had worked on and what information I had gleened from watching and/or catching the unfaithfuls. Since we do spend quite a bit of man (or woman) hours investigating those who cheat, I was able to give the ladies at Lifetime some of my observations about what to watch out for, what instincts to trust, and when checking up on someone's background isn't paranoid, just smart. To view the article online go to:

Constance Marie, PI

New logo, new image

Today we introduced our new Sherlock Investigations logo. For the past ten years we used an image of Sherlock Holmes holding a magnifying glass. While it served us well, we felt that it didn't really convey who we are or what we do.
Today, through advanced technology, we serve our clients mostly without having to leave the office.