Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Private Investigators: Right Time to Hire One

Yes, the gas prices have gone down, but the economy is still in very bad shape. Millions of people have been laid off this year and many companies have gone out of business.

Sherlock Investigations has been in business since 1995. The recession is affecting us, but we don't plan to quit now. As a result of the recession, we're willing to work with you, and we'll make every effort to make our fees affordable.

Not only have we lowered our prices, we have more time to conduct investigations. In both cases you win!

If you've been thinking of hiring a private investigator, now is the time. Whether it's to locate someone who owes you money, to sweep your office for electronic listening devices, conduct surveillance on someone, or to conduct pre-employment screening for your company, now is the right time.

Remember, we accept the challenge of unusual cases.

Contact us today at; investigators are standing by.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

D.B. Cooper's DNA

Last year the FBI asked Sherlock Investigations to supply DNA evidence for Kenneth Christianson, whom we believe was "D.B. Cooper." We sent them envelopes and stamps that Christianson had licked. We also sent them a right thumbprint from his Army discharge papers where he was a paratrooper.

All this is probably in a box in the basement of the FBI headquarters in Seattle.

Today we learned from a credible source that the DNA the FBI has from a clip-on tie that they found on a seat in the 727 that Cooper hijacked is in a "severely decomposed state," probably from mishandling. The DNA is probably not good enough to stand up in court, and probably not good enough to match any DNA supplied to the FBI from possible suspects.

The only other DNA evidence that the FBI had was 8 cigarettes that Cooper smoked during the skyjacking. We understand that over the years the FBI lost them.

The FBI lifted about 66 fingerprints that couldn't be identified. We don't know whether or not one of them was a right thumbprint.

Until New York Magazine came out with the story of our suspect last fall, the FBI had all but buried D.B. Cooper. We caused them to reopen the case.

The recent discovery of a parachute in the area where Cooper jumped looked like an amazing new clue. The chute turned out to be silk, when the one operable one that Cooper used was nylon.

If Cooper lived, he must have told someone about his feat. But it was almost 37 years ago, and Kenneth Christianson is deceased, and anyone that he told may also be deceased.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Broadway Buffs

From time-to-time our readers help us with locate cases. Once again, I need your help.

We're looking for a Broadway actress who was quite attractive and renowned about 50 years ago. Her name is Rosemary Williamson. Sometimes she went by Rosemary Williams. She's about 80 now, if still with us.

Williamson, we believe that's her birth name, was from, we also believe, Ohio.

Williamson was the subject of a provocative TIME magazine article called "I Never Knew..." on March 19, 1951.

There is also a photo available from LOOK magazine in 1949. It shows Rosemary Williams putting on makeup. Stanley Kubrick was the photographer.

Rosemary Williamson was listed as a show girl in the 1949/1950 comedy/musical "As the Girls Go" in New York.

We don't know what other shows she was in, if any.

If any of our readers know the current whereabouts of Rosemary Williamson, we'd really like to hear from you. Email us at

Friday, April 04, 2008

D.B. Cooper Identified

Sherlock Investigations just obtained letters written by suspect Kenneth Christiansen, before the 1971 hijacking in which he describes himself physically, and offers a motive for the hijacking. The daring hijacking was carried out by a man identifying himself as D.B. Cooper. We believe that Christiansen could very well be D.B. Cooper.

Christiansen frequently flew to Hawaii and enjoyed sunbathing on Waikiki Beach. Indeed, in one letter he wrote, "Spent all afternoon in the sun, sure changed the color of my skin."

Yet, the FBI claims that Christiansen was "pale."

In other letters he reveals a possible motive for extorting $200,000 from Northwest Airlines. He writes of frequent strikes that caused him to get laid off. In one, he says that "the peanut butter jar is getting low," so he'd better get a job. He worked various odd jobs during the strikes.

When working at Northwest, Christiansen got $150 a week. Yet, a year after the hijacking he bought a small house in Bonney Lake, Washington with cash.

When Sherlock Investigations first identified Kenneth Christiansen as the most likely suspect for being D.B. Cooper, Ralph Himmelsbach, the retired FBI Special Agent who had worked on the case for years said that if he were still on the case he would investigate Christiansen.

When Florence Schaffner, the stewardess (then not yet called flight attendants) who Cooper handed the hijack note to, saw the photo of Christiansen, she said that he looked more like Cooper than any photos the FBI ever showed her. She, and Tina Mucklow, the other stewardess, thought Cooper was about 45.

Kenneth Christiansen, then 45, was 170 pounds, 5'10" in shoes, and was dark-complexioned through constant sun tanning. But Special Agent Robbie Burroughs in Seattle said, "He's not a viable suspect."

The FBI claims that Kenneth Christiansen was 5'8" and 150 pounds, and pale, when Cooper was described as 5'10" to 6' tall, up to 175 pounds, and dark-complexioned.

Also, the FBI asked, why would he hijack a plane from his own company? Somebody would recognize him, they said.

Well, Florence Schaffner, who worked for the same airline, in the same capacity as Christiansen, didn't recognize the photo of him. Neither did Bill Rataczak, the co-pilot in the hijacked Northwest plane.

Kenneth Christiansen, before working for Northwest as a steward, was mechanic for the airline. He knew the planes. Recently, Bill Rataczak said that Cooper "knew the airplane."

Kenneth Christiansen's drink of choice was bourbon, and he chain-smoked. During the hijacking, Cooper ordered bourbon, and chain-smoked. The cigarettes he smoked on Flight 305 would yield valuable DNA evidence, but the FBI lost them.

Sherlock Investigations has a copy of Christiansen's Army discharge papers, where he was listed as a paratrooper. Many skydivers have said that the jump could have easily been pulled off. In fact, a few years ago the jump was duplicated. Yet, the FBI still believes that Cooper died when he jumped. Still, no body or parachute was ever found.

Kenneth Christiansen lived until 1994 in his house in Bonney Lake, Washington.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Locating Wiretaps and Bugs...Without Any Special Equipment!

Requests for bug sweeps come into Sherlock Investigations from all over the country. Electronic eavesdropping detection is expensive, especially so if I have to travel outside of the New York metro area. The truth is, (and this is a trade secret) most bugs and wiretaps are found through a visual inspection.

The key is, knowing what to look for. Thus, the manual, Locating Wiretaps and Bugs...Without Any Special Equipment!, by Skipp Porteous. In the manual, I tell, and show, you exactly what to look for. It has about 36 full-color photos, and full descriptions on how to conduct a sweep of a home, small office, or vehicle.

I'm a well-known TSCM (Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures) expert. In my manual, I reveal some of my trade-craft that will give you all you need to know about locating bugs and wiretaps.

If you suspect your spouse has bugged your home, or your neighbor has tapped your phone line, I'll show you how to find the bug or wiretap. And you'll save hundreds of dollars!

For more information, click here.

Surveillance On Couple of Chicks

Ten Maxims for Private Eyes

Skipp Porteous, owner of New York City's Sherlock Investigations, has been a private eye for years. Now, he shares the top ten things he's learned over the years.
1. Question everything.
2. Assume that your phone is tapped.
3. Look both ways on one-way streets.
4. Look both ways when the light turns green.
5. Make use of your rear-view mirror.
6. Never think that you're above the law.
7. Trust is earned, not assumed.
8. TV private eyes are fictional.
9. Don't make problems for yourself when solving other's problems.
10. Keep a sense of humor.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ban Cell Phones at Meetings

Some companies now ban laptops at meetings to battle against multitasking. Cell phones should also be banned, but to prevent spying, not multitasking.

Corporate spying is growing along with technology. Perhaps the most common "bug" today is the cell phone. Not a bug in the cell phone, but the cell phone itself. If given $10,000 in cash, a lot of employees would dial a number on their cell phone before going into a confidential meeting.

That's all a competitor would have to do to learn a company's secrets. The cell phone would pick up all the conversation in a meeting and transmit it to whoever is listening, and, perhaps, recording.

Before high-level meetings, Skipp Porteous, of Sherlock Investigations, often sweeps a conference room for electronic listening devices. "I can assure them that the room is clean," Porteous said, "until the people attending the meeting arrive." To prevent eavesdropping from cell phones, Porteous says that all staff members should leave their cell phones in their desks.

While most employees are trustworthy, "You never know for sure," Porteous said.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Chute NOT D.B. Cooper's

Earl Cossey, who owned and packed the original parachutes that were supplied to the man known as D.B. Cooper on Thanksgiving eve in 1971, said that the chute recently given to the FBI was not one of the one's supplied to Cooper. "Not even close," Cossey said.

There's been inconsistency about the parachutes given to Cooper. The FBI said recently that Cooper's parachute was white, while other reports long ago said that the parachute was yellow and red. In his book on D.B. Cooper, Max Gunther said that "Clara" knew that the parachute Cooper used was red and yellow, when this fact hadn't been released to the media.

The discovery of the parachute in a field in Clark County, Washington by a contractor building a road revealed another inconsistency. The FBI believes that Cooper didn't even open the parachute when he jumped, plunging him to his death. This is pure speculation on the FBI's part. Even he was able to open the chute, the FBI says that he would have died anyway, due to the rough terrain in which he would have landed.

When I first learned about the parachute that was found in a field near Amboy, Washington, I google-earthed the location. Clark County, to my surprise, is largely fields, not forest. The chute was found right where they think Cooper jumped. I still maintain that Cooper survived the jump, as no body or parachute was ever found.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

D.B. Cooper's Money

In some of the stories about D.B. Cooper's parachute possibly being found, the extortion money is mentioned. Now the FBI is claiming that none of the $200,000 made it into circulation. Some $5800 was found on the banks of the Columbia River years later.

Why do they think that none of the $200,000 from the 1971 crime never made it into circulation? Well, the FBI believes that Cooper died when he jumped out of the plane. They don't think he even opened the parachute. Of course, this is purely speculation on the FBI's part. Therefore, if D.B. Cooper died, then he didn't spend any of the money.

At the time, several rewards were offered for returning any of the money, and the serial numbers of all the $20 bills were distributed to banks. In his 1985 book, "D.B. Cooper, What Really Happened," Max Gunther wrote:

"Bank people feel in general that their chances of participating in any meaningful way in such rewards are slim. If an alert teller or bookkeeping clerk spots a listed bill, that is typically the first minor step in an investigation. The bill may have changed hands many times since it was originally spent by the criminal being sought. Tracking the bill back to that criminal would involve a long chain of people, most of whom will feel they have a greater claim on the reward than the teller who first spotted the bill. In most cases the biggest share of the reward--if not all of it--goes to the detective or witness who makes the final connections leading to the arrest. The teller, if lucky, gets ten bucks and a letter of official gratitude. More often, the teller gets forgotten."

It's doubtful that any serious attempt was made to spot any of the bills.

Now, Kenneth Christiansen, who was employed by Northwest as a flight attendant, purchased a house with cash about a year after D.B. Cooper carried out his daring crime. Also, his lifestyle was seemingly beyond the means of most Northwest employees.

I recently talked with Bill Rataczak, the co-pilot of Flight 305, the Boeing 727 that Cooper hijacked. He told me that Cooper insisted that the wing flaps be tilted 15 degrees, to slow the plane down. "He knew that airplane," he said. "A flight attendant wouldn't know to do that." I reminded him that Christiansen was a Northwest mechanic before he became a flight attendant. He said that he didn't know that. He also didn't know that Christiansen was a former paratrooper.

The FBI asked Sherlock Investigations to submit DNA evidence from Kenneth Christiansen. We did about nine months ago. It's probably in a box with all the other evidence from the case, in the basement of the FBI office in Seattle.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

D.B. Cooper's Parachute?

We got word today that the FBI in Seattle has had a parachute that a farmer dug up in a field in Clark County, Washington for 3 weeks now. Larry Carr, the Special Agent in charge of the case, said that the FBI is looking for parachute experts to help them determine whether the chute they have belonged to D.B. Cooper.

This is odd, because the FBI should have in their case files all the information they need on the parachute to readily identify it. I've maintained for some time that the FBI is dragging its feet, and some wonder if they really want to solve this case.

If the parachute was the one used by D.B. Cooper, it proves our contention that he survived the jump, something the FBI denies. It still doesn't prove that our suspect, Kenneth Christiansen, was D.B. Cooper, but we're still working on that. The FBI won't even investigate our claim because they think Cooper died when he bailed out of the plane. They think that he didn't even open the parachute. No body, or parachute (until now) was ever found.

The parachute was found exactly where it is believed that D.B. Cooper jumped from the 727 in 1971 with $200,000 in cash. A farmer was building a road through a field and his plow hit the buried shoot.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Private Investigators, Private Investigators, Private Investigators

If you googled private investigators you got 4,270,000 listings! That's a lot of competition. Somewhere not too far down the list you found Sherlock Investigations.

But, if you googled ny private investigators, private investigators in new york, new york private eyes, or any combination thereof, you found that Sherlock Investigations comes up near the top, even though there are a lot of private eyes in New York.

Why is that? For one thing, we've been around since 1995. That should tell you something. From the beginning in 1995, we've been on the Internet. In fact, besides word of mouth, and the occasional publicity in the media, the Internet is the only place we're listed. Once in a while we run ads on Google's Adwords.

However, coming up first in "natural" order is better than an ad appearing when you google a search term.

We've been around for a few years, and intend to be here a few years from now. So, if you need a private investigator to locate someone, run a background investigation, conduct surveillance, or perform a bug sweep, drop us an email at

Also, we welcome unusual investigations, and believe me, we've had them.

People Search

We do a lot of things at Sherlock Investigations. I like to think that what we do, we do well.

It's always so rewarding when we locate a person for a client. About of a third of our business involves finding people. We've located all kinds of people. From deadbeat dads to runaway teens. We've located people in Africa, and even under a bridge in Tucson, Arizona.

We take personal pride in locating people. Generally, we never give up until we find the person. Often, in hours or days we can find someone. In rare instances it takes a year or two. The main thing is that we never give up.

If you've tried Net Detective, or companies using computerized services to locate people, and still haven't found who you're looking for, let Sherlock Investigations handle your locate. We're pleased that you trust us with your business.

Contact Sherlock Investigations by clicking on

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bug Detectors and Sweeps

I've always been interested in electronics. I found my first bug at 15. Since then I obtained my amateur (ham) radio license, KC2PYP, and even today, I have an amateur radio station in my home.

Formally trained in TSCM (technical surveillance counter measures) I've been doing wiretap and bug sweeps in the New York-metro area for a few years. My clients have ranged from ordinary people to celebrities, politicians, police, lawyers, accountants, hedge fund managers, socialites, and a famous auction house.

One thing that struck me a few years ago is that almost all bugs are found with a visual sweep. At least this is true where there is a fairly low threat. Of course, if the government taps your phone or bugs your office, it's going to be thoroughly professional and top notch. Even I probably couldn't find it, nor would I want to.

Most of my cases involves so-called infidelity cases. Jealous or suspicious spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, tap a phone, or place some bugs where they want to eavesdrop. Some of them do it themselves, others hire unethical P.I.s to do it.

In almost all these cases, the wiretap or bug can be found with a visual inspection, if one knows what to look for. With this realization, I wrote a manual so that people could learn to do it themselves. While it was aimed at my typical client, other P.I.s, who don't know anything about TSCM, could benefit too.

"Locating Wiretaps and Bugs...Without any Special Equipment" is a how-to manual for the do-it-yourselfer. It has about 36 full-color photos and describes in detail what to look for. I'm confident that almost anyone could find most wiretaps and bugs by following the steps in this manual.

Years of experience and knowledge have gone into this manual. In handy PDF form for downloading, it's only $29.95. TSCM work is expensive, but this little instruction booklet could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. To order, just click here.

Now, if you suspect the authorities are tapping your phone or have bugged your office, you need a lawyer, not a manual.

To contact the Technical Division of Sherlock Investigations click on