Saturday, February 5, 2011


I got my third homicide/suicide case in 30 days.
A parent called, said his daughter would never have killed herself.  She hated guns, was very vain, would never have put one in her mouth and pulled the trigger.
He and his wife are sure the psycho boyfriend with the new girlfriend did it.
They are still grieving, the police are at a stand-still even though the investigation remains open.
And there's an insurance policy recently issued to the boyfriend as sole beneficiary.
They want an investigation launched.

I also got a bunch of witnesses to find, someone to serve, a thief to investigate, and a stalker to stop.
I've got a head full of stories shared with me daily by strangers the minute they ask and I choose to tell them what I do.
I suppose this job is somewhat like being a shrink.
People tell you their problems.
Same thing with P.I.'s
Only we do more crisis management and hands-on work in the field....
on scenes, in homes, in places where you have to step over puddles of piddle, rat dropping and needles.

It's not an easy business. And nowhere as glamorous as TV makes it.
It's often hard, dark, lonely and dangerous work.
And its work we tend not to talk about because doing so means violating confidences.
Or worse, reliving things we'd prefer to forget.

So it's a weekend night and I have visions in my head of a case I recently investigated.
A young man run over by a train.
The question is, was he too close to train -- standing where the warning signs said not to?

Or was he standing where everyone stands? Just behind the brightly colored warning line?
Except...some amazing confluence/convergence of factors/events... perhaps weight, height, speed.... all governed by the laws of physics....
something(s) caused the kid to get sucked right off the platform and under the train which kept moving until it could fully stop.
Not much was left of him.
I saw the pictures and took a few of the memorial and the scene.
It all happened in front of many witnesses. Some of whom I have interviewed. Many of whom are minors. I've spent time with his parents. He is/was an only child
So it's hard to shake this stuff out of your head sometimes.
What you have to do instead, is focus on the living. The survivors.
The tiny specks of light in the darkness,
The people who have lived through the incomprehensible.

See... parents aren't supposed to outlive their kids.
And when a DUI kills someone you love, at that remains is a hole in the soul and an urgent, unrelenting, overwhelming, obsessive demand for justice.

Sometime I see the role of a P.I. as a crisis manager.
And when some crises are inexplicable or unfathomable, that's when I call on "the angels."
I use them allegorically, not religiously.
Because every culture, all people, have their own vision and version of angels in their heads.

It's angels I talk to grieving parents about at roadside crosses where their kids died.
It's angels I speak of to a man with a broken neck and leg who for all intents and purposes should have been killed by the pick-up that hit him in the cross walk.

"You must have an angel" I said to the young woman  who would still walk -- despite the fact she took a bullet to the spine while at a bus stop, caught in drive-by gang crossfire.
She smiled and said, "Yes, I do. My mama, she died when I was a baby."

So I thought tonight would be the perfect time to post one of my favorite songs.
It  says a lot about how I....and other P.I.'s.... feel.
Admittedly, some of us are jaded and see only dark humor in dark places.
Me... I see the glimmers of light, the beacons of hope.
I call on the angels.


  1. That's........a great post. Thanks Susan.

  2. I say.... make today a new day in your life.
    Make today a new start.