Tag Archives: criminal investigations

4 tools every investigator needs

With so much mental work to be done, it’s easy for investigators to forget the practical tools at their disposal. It’s no secret that offering investigative services demands a lot of knowledge, critical thinking and strategy, but there is also a range of physical equipment that could help your case.

  1. Cameras

Cameras are everywhere nowadays. Almost everyone now has a smartphone with an in-built camera or two (or three!), so taking photos and videos has never been easier. Add to that the rise in CCTV in public areas and it’s virtually impossible to go anywhere without photographic evidence.

That being said, you can’t always rely on other people’s footage. Tapes are often low quality or simply erased entirely – that is if they ever even existed, as a lot of establishments don’t have functioning cameras. Video cameras are an indispensable part of an investigator’s surveillance toolkit, allowing you to capture evidence you need to win your case. Take matters into your own hands by investing in a good quality CCD camera with high-res C mount.

  1. Modems

In a fast-paced, demanding job, the last thing you need is slow internet. Almost everything is done virtually these days, which means you will fall behind if you can’t get online fast.

With a high-bandwidth, wireless modem, you’ll be guaranteed maximum coverage and lightning-fast performance. As well as impressive speed, you’ll also enjoy easy installation, a built-in, commercial-grade firewall and powerful wireless access.

  1. Phones

People are glued to their phones more and more every day, and for good reason. There is almost nothing these small and mighty machines can’t do – from checking your banking or sending an email, to shopping online and tracking your steps, there’s so many ways to use your phone.

A prepaid phone with good quality cameras and WiFi-calling is the perfect option for a busy investigator. Ideal for your everyday professional and personal needs, this phone will ensure you can get everything done in a few easy clicks.

  1. Hard Drive Data Erasers

Protecting your data is one of the most important parts of being an investigator. You are privy to an enormous amount of information which, in the wrong hands, can have dire consequences. Making sure this doesn’t happen is one of the fundamentals of your job, so you must take this responsibility seriously.

Investing in a data eraser is essential if you want to ensure that information cannot be stolen from under you. A Drive eRazer tool is a must-buy to secure your data and protect your clients.

3 crimes where forensics can come to the rescue!

Forensic science has origins as far back as 13th century China, but the modern landscape of the criminal world is very different and more unique than it has ever been before. Forensic investigators must employ the most modern and progressive methods to detect crucial evidence that can help solve crimes. Without this forensic assistance, there are certain areas of crime where cases may go unsolved.

1. Murder, manslaughter and assault

When detectives are investigating offences against someone involved in more serious crimes such as murder and manslaughter, forensics can play an integral part in finding and prosecuting the culprit. From identifying DNA evidence to proving a suspect’s whereabouts using cell phone technology, forensics plays a fundamental role in these investigations and subsequent prosecutions. There have been cases in the past, such as the BTK killer, where traditional detective methods were ineffective and the perpetrator was only caught through the employment of forensics.

2. Fraud

Using state-of-the-art technology, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a team of forensic investigators can track and expose individuals or corporations that are attempting to conceal assets, manipulating documents, or unlawfully disposing of property. Surveillance, cell phone records, and computers are all crucial tools in the investigation of fraud. Bank fraud and tax fraud are both areas where a criminal investigation service in Texas can help to resolve these white-collar crimes and bring those who are responsible to justice.

3. Public corruption

When the integrity of public officials or their aids is at stake, using forensics can provide a solution to ensure that law and order are fully maintained. In crimes such as bribery, money laundering, and embezzlement, forensics experts are able to analyze financial records and other documents, even when the suspect may have tried to conceal or destroy them. Any interaction that has occurred via cell phone messages or emails can be tracked to present a complete case that is admissible as evidence in a court. Without forensics, there may be significantly more corruption and no way to prove it.

To find out more about how a criminal investigation service in Fort Worth can help you, please visit ICFECI.

THEN THEY CAME FOR ME

As a criminal investigator, I am sometimes called on to piece together the stories of those who cannot speak for themselves—the very young and the very old. I believe in the sanctity of life. A recent spate of cases I’ve worked, combined with an uptick in news coverage for these kinds of cases, has me worried. I wonder, are we heading down a slippery slope that will take us back in time to the dark days of the Holocaust?

The inevitable question that is asked in abuse, neglect and death cases of the very young and very old is HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?

The Holocaust Museum, in Washington DC is a haunting and often disturbing look back in history. It’s a physical place that endeavors to answer the question with relics and artifacts. It does so much more. It challenges us to look at ourselves.

First, it’s important to understand that the slippery slope I mentioned above doesn’t start with a widespread killing mechanism. The Nazis started with sorting humanity in Germany and growing those programs in the countries that were subsequently conquered. At first there were simple charts, genealogy in nature. Your life had value if you could “prove” your “purity.” Next came medical examinations of hair and eye color. Something as common as brown eyes, or dark hair could lower your status.

The Nazis then determined who could serve in the military, and that was mandatory. The non-pure were sorted into two groups: those who could work, and those who could not. Those who could not work, included the elderly, sick and disabled.  The year was 1939, the program was dubbed  “T4”. And ultimately 90,000 disabled where euthanized. A mere 80 years ago.

From that point, the killing machine was in full force.  We know the end of the story.  The “Final Solution” ultimately killed 11,000,000 people.  Of course we know the tragic plight of the Jews , estimated at 6,000,000 deaths.  But the killing spread from the disabled, and very young, Jews, then Roma “gypsies”, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, ex-convicts, and others who resisted occupation (political dissidents).  Add in the Soviet prisoners of war, and the number exceeds a staggering 17,000,000. And, remember, it started with “mercy killings” of the disabled. (The Nazis even produced a propaganda film in which a German man kills his sick wife to encourage ordinary people to join the “cleaning” of the German race.)

A growing number of countries, including the US, have legalized assisted suicide. Although on the surface it seems reasonable to allow people who suffer from physical pain and diminished quality of life to end their lives, there is a recent shift in the “right to die” movement.  People with treatable and manageable conditions such as depression are making petitions to die. Some European countries have dealt with cases of rapists and murderers who want to die rather than face prison.

Here in the US, we face some troubling realities.  We are living longer. Our elderly are covered by Medicare, and this government insurance program approves and declines medical procedures on our aging population. Two startling statistics arise in consideration of care: 1) 5% of patients at the end of life consume 50% of the costs for Medicare, and 2) in the last 6 months of life, it’s estimated almost 30% of a person’s lifetime healthcare costs are spent. Are we at the point where cost considerations are the slippery slope I’ve mentioned?

I’m concerned also about so-called partial birth procedures. At what point do those go from voluntary  and used to spare a mother’s life to compulsory? I can see in the not-so-distant-future when, again, costs could mandate these lives aren’t cost effective.

It’s easy to say, I’m young and healthy. My insurance wouldn’t do that. The US appears to be moving to “Medicare for All.” If, and when, we become a single payer system, will all life be valued and protected? Or will we begin sorting ourselves?

German pastor Martin Niemoller wrote a poem called “First they came…”  It’s been edited and changed over the years, and originally was written to criticize the German intellectuals who did nothing as the Nazis began purging unwanted populations.

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I am not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Now, replace the words I bolded, with words that describe yourself, your friends, your religion, your politics, your race, etc. It’s a haunting reminder from just the last century.  Let’s never look back on our society and ask, “HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?”

I’m hopeful we can live in such a way that respects life. All we need do is live by the “do unto others” mantra, and vote for those representatives that will continue our collective respect for life. We must hold each other accountable for the least among us. I’ve already chosen to take a stand for the weak and broken in society. I’m hopeful you will stand with me.