The world of private investigation is rarely as glamorous as the media would like you to believe. Most work done by proper private investigators is grounded in real life, and doesn’t involve a lot of drama. Instead, we work efficiently and professionally to get a wide range of jobs done.
Sometimes though, real private investigators do make the news. Normally it’s because of their involvement in celebrity lives, but there are other times when a more quirky story involving typical PI work can also hit the headlines.
Here’s a look at some recent stories that have involved private investigators and the work that they do.
Murdoch Served Divorce Papers
One of the core tasks of a private investigator is process serving – the act of delivering legal documents when appointed by a solicitor, in a way that follows the law. It’s a task that requires expertise in what constitutes legal process serving, as well as good investigation skills to identify where and when is the best time to reach someone.
And recently, one of the world’s most powerful media moguls Rupert Murdoch encountered a private investigator who was acting on behalf of his estranged wife Jerry Hall’s lawyers. As Murdoch prepared to board his private jet at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, the detective was able to hand him divorce papers, despite Murdoch being surrounded by his personal security at the time.
According to the news report, the security team couldn’t react in time – likely as a result of the experienced detective knowing the best time to act.
Delivering divorce papers and other legal documents can sometimes be difficult, especially when the recipient is being evasive. There’s no evidence that Murdoch was avoiding papers – the reports say he was shocked to receive them at all – but hiring a respectable PI is one sure way to have the best chance of documents being delivered in a timely fashion.
Baldwin Expects To Be Cleared
Alec Baldwin has also been in the news as the investigation into the accidental shooting on the set for the movie Rust continues. Alongside the police and FBI investigation, Baldwin hired his own PI to look into what happened when Halyna Hutchins was killed. And now Baldwin has announced that he doesn’t expect to be charged with a crime following the conclusion of his investigator’s report.
He also stated that two others involved in the case – props assistant Hannah Gutierrez Reed and assistant director Dave Halls – would be cleared and that the shooting would be ruled an accident.
Declaring what you expect an FBI investigation to find before the results are announced is a bold move, suggesting Baldwin’s private investigator has carried out a detailed and deep analysis.
Private investigators can work with solicitors to find evidence in criminal defence cases, using their expertise to identify potential witnesses or even cameras that might be able to provide crucial information that a solicitor can use as part of a case.
Depp PI Finds No Harmful Character Evidence
Sometimes a private investigator won’t find what they’re looking for. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the PI has failed at their task – but often there is nothing to find.
And that’s exactly what seems to have happened in the long-running saga between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. While the court cases seem to be over (for now), we’re still getting new information on how everything played out.
Recently, that has included the admission from private investigator Paul Baressi that he was hired by Amber Heard to find information that could be used against Depp in the case – but he wasn’t able to find anything useful.
He said: “I collected all of these historic document on him (Johnny Depp). Amber hired me in July 2019. I searched on every rock, every stone, all over the world to find out bad things about Johnny and we all came empty-handed.”
Often, finding nothing is good news when you’re a PI. We don’t tend to work with celebrities like Johnny Depp or Amber Heard often, but we might be investigating whether a partner is cheating on their spouse. And if they aren’t, we’ll be glad to confirm that there is no evidence.
KFC Hunts For Fake Food Inspector
Ending on a more fun note, let’s turn to KFC. The fast-food chain has said that it was forced to hire a private investigator in South Africa, due to someone impersonating a food inspector at restaurants in the country in order to get free chicken.
The reports state that a man has been visiting KFC branches since 2019 wearing a suit and brandishing a fake ID, claiming to be a food inspector from head office. To help with the ruse, he would have a friend drive him to the restaurants in a limousine.
These reports later turned out to be false, but another two men were accused of running the same scam.
Sadly, to pour cold water (or cold gravy) onto this fun tale, it has all turned out to be a PR ruse from the fast-food chain. While rumours of fake fast food inspectors do persist, the company has admitted that the story of it hiring a private investigator was just to feed into the urban legend to create a fun story.
Having said that, a good private investigator can be used by businesses for a number of reasons, including when goods are being stolen. PIs can even go undercover to speak to employees and find out more about the likely thief, if it is expected to be an inside job.
That’s just a quick round-up of some of the stories that have got private investigators in the news in recent weeks. However, we don’t hang out with celebrities or investigate fried chicken thieves all the time – the work we do can help a lot of people and businesses, on any scale.
So if you think you need help from a respected private investigator, give our team a call today on 01772 334700.