Terry’s Old PI Files – The First Wife Stalker

One of my first cases was probably one of the simplest ones I’ve ever been involved in, but easily the most memorable.

Frustration... but who's at fault?

Frustration… but who’s at fault?

A woman walked into my office and stated that her husband was being incredibly unfaithful. There was quite a story after, but it still boiled down to infidelity and wanting proof for divorce hearings. After explaining my pricing, she opted to just put a GPS tracker on the family car, so she could always find his whereabouts.

The GPS Tracker

The GPS Tracker

That was that. I thought that would be the last of this, but it’s interesting where circumstances falls in the strangest places. About a week later, a fellow walks in and tells me about the week from hell he’d been in. You see, he was separated from his insanely jealous wife, and had started to build a life for himself. He had a new bachelor pad, social friends and more importantly, a new girlfriend. But suddenly, his soon-to-be-ex wife was showing up everywhere he and his girl went. They could be in a picnic in the woods, there she would be. A public restaurant? There the wife would be in the next booth. He even saw her trying to find him in a movie theatre during the show! Needless to say, he really wasn’t quite thrilled.

Equally Frustrated... but why?

Equally Frustrated… but why?

When he told me when the timing as well, the proverbial lightbulb magically clicked on above me. My heart kinda sank as I was absolutely sure that his wife was the lady last week, but what to do? I couldn’t explain that his wife had probably bought a GPS tracker from me. So, girding myself for possible discovery, I sat him down and explained that someone may have put a GPS tracker onto his vehicle. We went through the defense options, and in the end, he opted to buy a special Radio Frequency detector that could find such GPS devices.

All was well in the world again… or so I thought. A week passed by, and I honestly put this whole affair out of my mind. Strange how when you’re right, fate seems to always want to have a hand with the joke!

The original woman who came in, and asked for my help again! You see, the tracker had done it’s job too well, and she was always able to find her “wayward” husband. She was able to prove he was “cheating”, but then suddenly she noticed her husband started going back and forth to Edmonton. So one day, she started to follow the signal for a full day, only to find out she was following a GREYHOUND bus. She didn’t know what else to do, but we chatted for awhile after…. (what happened later is another tale)

Catch the Greyhound!

Catch the Greyhound!

Not long after, I received a phone call from the gent, who told me that he DID find a GPS device and attached it to a bus out of town. He was pretty sure that was the problem, because he had 3 days of uninterrupted peace and quiet from his wife. Needless to say, I found the whole thing amusing.

So what lesson to impart? Nothing that’s mind breaking or soul shattering, except maybe… what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. ūüôā

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From Terry’s PI Files : The 3 Wives – Wife #1 and the Teen Lover

Through the years I worked in investigations officially and unofficially, none were as enigmatic to me as the 3 wives. These 3 women, all in successful businesses, relationships and so on, were mothers, power negotiators and more. Yet from when I first met them (all within the same year), to when I saw them last, they all had the same problem, philandering husbands and yet refused to break away.

Today, I’m going to cover the first one. She’s since threw the jerk out, but there was a pretty long period where she just wouldn’t pull the trigger on this guy. She was clearly an emotionally abused woman, without much self confidence. Attractive and still young, she had apparently caught her husband once with her neighbor but refused to give me the full details.

Still, what she DID give me was more than enough to work with. And more importantly, the guy had the habit of using her laptop to contact his lover through messenger and the like. EVEN more so, he liked to use her car for quick trips out to the office or wherever as opposed to his ridiculously powered Hummer.

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It was a fairly easy sting as stings go. I placed a GPS tracking device onto her car, so I would have a record of his comings and goings. With her permission, I put a data logging program into the computer. There, now I had whatever he would write online. (By the way, if you ever find yourself in the need to find out if your computers are being abused by your employees or kids, I can’t begin to recommend properly the software Spector Pro. Trust me on this.) Finally, I resorted to plain old PI work.

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After about 2 weeks, I was ready. We’re all people of habit. You and I might like going to a certain cafe a few times a week, or certain restaurants, a bus stop, a favorite path to jog around in. These are all examples that with the help of GPS, I had his. I also had a LOT of rather incriminating emails written in code names that indicated that there was not only an affair going on, but a pretty hot and heavy one.

On Tuesday I noticed that he would go to a certain parking lot at 3 pm every day. It was close to a good sized strip mall, a city community rec centre, and… a large high school. This got me thinking, as my client still hadn’t told me much about the neighbor. Doing a routine check, I found out that 3 persons lived there, a father, mother and a daughter. As the mother was in her late 30s, I assumed that was the possible partner. But now… was it the daughter? I went to the parking lot to find out.

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It didn’t take long. A rather attractive teenager, maybe 16-17 ran across the street, and into his car. They then sped off, and not far behind, I followed them to a house that apparently had a basement suite. Well, that was enough info (and pics), and I went off. I asked to meet the client, and she asked me to see what else I can find online before meeting.

I had done a cursory examination of the email files before. Nothing too serious, just looking for anything that might be a smoking gun (which was most of it), but all of it was still under code names. This time, I looked into it seriously, and soon found quite a few pics that made the word compromising seem mild.

I won’t go any further into the lurid details. The client had proof that her husband had seduced a teenager and kept a secret love nest. The girl, as distasteful as it was, was officially at the age of consent at the time (over 14 yrs of age), and as she was the one who did a ton of porn selfies, the law wasn’t quite clear on whether to charge her with creating her OWN self child porn willingly.

She stayed the with guy for another 2 years before kicking his ass onto the curb. There were other related matters she would bring me in, but none as surprising as those early days.

As for any lessons? Well, I guess, never be so cheap or stupid to use the laptop and car of the wife you’re cheating on? Outside of that, nope, no idea of anything else.

But as she was the first of three who stayed as my clients throughout the years, I never quite understand the power of love, hate, obsession, safety and security until I met them. Wait until next week.

 

From Terry’s PI Files – Bizarre Family Relations & The Shawarma Shop

Now that I’m more or less out of the game, there’s a few of my more bizarre cases that I always wanted to write about but couldn’t. Just to let you know, no names will be mentioned, or which business involved (as I understand it, it’s since changed ownership), but it was beyond weird.

A few years back, a young attractive woman walks into the shop with a number of kids. She asks for some information on what I did, what was possible and what could be done. She explains that she and her family owns a restaurant, and that her husband has been having an affair with someone there during the day. She needed to have proof and it had to be indisputable. A typical case in the private eye biz, more or less. A few nights later, I was putting up a disguised smoke detector in the kitchen and a recorder. It has a good resolution, battery life, and I was able to install it quickly. Angled it. Pointed it. All done, and now time to wait and see.

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A Smoke Detector… but also a disguised Hidden Camera System all in one

I didn’t have to wait long. According to the time stamp, it was roughly during the lunch rush, with what I could probably guess was a full dining room and a line up at the cash. From the angle of the camera, I had a great shot of a prep table, the door to the dining room and the stove. And there was the client’s husband, and a pretty attractive woman in her 40s. And then….

A few days later, I had retrieved the camera and looked at the recorded footage and captured the incriminating evidence. Job done, I went off to meet the client and we watched the footage together. It was… well… pretty graphic admittedly, but nothing I’ve never seen before. But while I wasn’t really fazed at all by the video, I was by my client’s reaction to it. ZERO. Nothing. She might as well have been reading the menu at a McDonald’s. This struck me as completely odd, as most clients have always reacted with some satisfaction, some sort of relief, anger, fear, even laughter. But this gal? She was stone cold still.

I almost jumped when she turned my way and asked me, “Can you play that again in a few minutes? My Dad is coming home.” Now let me explain the significance of this comment. This client was from an east Asian background, one of those that are very patriarchal in their views. Even after all of the years living in Canada, the concept of equality between man and woman wasn’t exactly very high on their list. The client had long since known about her husband’s infidelities, but no one would take her seriously whatsoever. Worse, she was even beaten up by both her husband and her father for making such accusations without proof. It was after such a beating that she had decided to come get professional help. She needed to make a point.

I thought the request was a little odd, but I didn’t dispute it. The client was paying my time, and my presence probably would have saved her from an immediate beating if her dad went ballistic. Either way, the video was hers now, and sure, why the hell not. Her dad was a man in his late 50s or so, but still in pretty good shape. He did however look pretty darn stern, the serious type of guy who always seems to be disapproving of anyone or anything that’s not of his world. Still, he calmly sat down as his daughter told him who I was, Well, the video started again. The husband was prepping some food with another attractive woman. He puts down the knife, and then quickly grabs the woman, flips up her skirt and I’ll leave the rest to you.

Strangely enough, my only reaction was that this guy was having sex with some woman on the prep table during lunch service. Having some relations with the restaurant industry, that was just disturbing to me. Well, the father was simply stone cold silent, but now you could kinda feel a seething amount of anger, even disgust now. That old saying, you can cut the tension with a knife? I doubt a machete could have gotten through that! My client simply turned around and said, “Dad, I told you MOM and (…) were having an affair!” Well, that was pretty much it. I stood up, simply asked for my cheque, and left. Given how supremely awkward this event had become, “discretion is the better part of valor” and all that. I left.

Now admittedly it probably wasn’t the best thing to leave the client alone, but I really didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of that mess. Would you? As for a tidy ending? Not really. I was paid for the job, so I know that the client survived and was going through divorce hearings. No idea about what happened to the mom or the husband, but some things are better left unsaid.

But I do have one quick tip. Next time you go to a shawarma shop/restaurant in town, are you really sure the garlic sauce is just that? Just sayin’.

Adventures in the Spy Biz: Reflection on the Final Days

Seven years. I’ve been involved in the Spy business for 7 years, and it comes to a relative end in 2 weeks.

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Always watching through the windows when you least expect it

In 7 years, I’ve been involved in at least 4-5 police investigations involving murder, assault or kidnappings. I’ve assisted in a number of child abuse cases, or at least made it possible for the parent to do the work themselves. I’ve helped prevent at least 2 child abductions, and helped family members find out if their son or daughter was into drugs, planning secret parties or being cyber-bullied. As for infidelity or other stuff, I can’t even begin to count the number of cases I’ve either directly or indirectly been involved in.

In the end, as my time here comes to an end (not 100% immediately, I’ll still do the odd case or two or assist with my successor to complete existing contracts that started in my time), I wonder what did I learn?

Well, the first thing is… unless you work for a corporation or contracted to one, it’s not exactly the most glamorous job in the world. For every interesting case involving police work, there are¬†10 jobs involving husbands or wives cheating. It’s not so much James Bond as it’s the cheekier side of Magnum PI. In my last entry under “Adventures”, there tended to be a lot of times that would involve long hours watching a hotel or sneaking around a place in the middle of the night to plant tracking devices, cameras and the like.

Next, you find out that Hollywood has completely misconstrued everything to be a world where there are tracking devices the size of sugar cubes that work around the world and need absolutely zero power. For example, those wireless portable cameras that Lisbeth uses in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”. How the hell did those cameras operate? Battery power on wireless cameras work for a matter of HOURS, not days, not weeks as suggested. If they applied the real rules, then the cameras would have run out of power long ago and her journalist friend would have been murdered. There’s Hollywood, and the laws of physics. I would bet on those laws every day. One special note though, the tools and the gear has improved a lot though, even from when I first started my work.

Finally, there’s always an anterior motive. It doesn’t matter who and what case, there always is one. I won’t comment on the Police ones out of respect to the inspectors who have a hard enough time as it is, but there have been too many cases from other Private Investigators and the public at large to not have seen this. I’ve found that without knowing that motive, a client’s case would linger for weeks, even months. I’ve had cases go for over 5 years because I was directed to look in one direction without knowing the other. Sure they pay well, but you just want to have the closure eventually.

So, as my time comes soon to an end, I wonder, was it worth it? I know that a huge chunk of my soul has been bruised in ways that I can never describe. The look of horror of that woman when she found out how her child was being drugged. The knowledge that no matter what I do, often the client refuses to help themselves and endure unspeakable abuse. The regular disappointments by occasional clients that despite retrieving what they needed, they lack the courage to take it that last step. But in the end, I think yes. Despite what my family and friends who disapproved of the job, in the end, I can honestly say that I was in a position to help far more than most. That’ll be the thought that will follow me.

But if I’m so melancholy of the time I spent as a spy of sorts, how did I manage for so long? People in Calgary know me as a social media person, a regarded foodie and Calgary booster. That description probably fits me well, but little do people know that all of this wasn’t just me being a particularly involved with things, it was my life line. While the infidelity stuff can be funny, more often than not, it was simply tragic. It’s a world where there are legions of broken hearts, misplaced anger and residual damage in the lives any children involved. I needed the social media world, a dynamic arena of minds and spirits the world over to keep me engaged with the brighter parts of life. I needed to be a foodie, not simply because I truly enjoy good food and the passions involved with cooking, but to give me a means to brighten the horizons of others through the simple communion of a shared meal. As for being a Calgary booster, that was easy. For every one case I dealt with, there were 100 Calgarians making the lives of one another a better place. If anything, the people of Calgary bring me hope that there are happy families out there, lovers enjoying the simple joys and artists creating art and music. To this incredible city, thank you, and I promise to continue to serve.

Adventures in the Spy Biz : What NOT to do when you’re Cheating Pt 1

A few years back, I was requested by a client to see if I could give her a hand. I had been working at Spy City as the store manager for a while, and we had long since established ourselves in Calgary as a place of last resort.¬† We dealt with the people who couldn’t get help from the police, needed to get evidence and find a means to protect themselves.

In the almost 7 years I’ve been there, I can honestly say that I’ve prevented some child abductions and saved I don’t know how many women from serious physical and emotional abuse. There are stores and restaurants that I’ve stopped internal theft and¬†outright assaults. Information I’ve gathered have stopped a murder and made life easier for helpless seniors. Needless to say, I really have to write a book about all this one day, but the most prevalent type of case I’m involved in usually has something to do with infidelity and the like.

Well, with my work, I’ve gotten much more involved in some cases than simply selling product or advising companies. Why take the risk? I’d like to say it’s because I love being a spy for hire, or try to emulate my favorite childhood tv show Magnum PI. I might even say that with my strong belief in Chivalry, that maybe it has something to do with being a White Knight and helping the damsel in distress. But really, in the end, if I ever do get involved in a case, it’s more because the person in trouble simply trusts me and her situation is dire, and I just can’t look away.

Now there are plenty of pretty serious cases, but there are a few that were also pretty hilarious. So let’s get to a few tips to the Cheater on what NOT to do, and I’ll give a bit of a summary.

1) When you’re having a nooner, do NOT use the Company Van

A few years back, a wife had intercepted her husband’s cell phone message from his secret lover. He was supposed to go to a motel at the outskirts of town, and be available for an hour of bedroom acrobatics. Since the wife was a housewife who didn’t drive, she turned to me to see if I can get some evidence¬†ASAP.¬† My problem, he was going to his nooner the next day, and the exact motel wasn’t mentioned. ¬†Still, I knew that there were only so many possible places, so I drove up and down this strip of 16 Ave NW and tried to figure it out.

I had barely gone 2 blocks when I noticed the work van. Now, normally, trying to find a single work vehicle in a large neighbourhood would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But this particular vehicle was with a company that’s quite popular in Calgary, with especially visible cartoon like characters all over the sides. Needless to say, it took me less than 2 min to find the place, and being a motel, I just waited around with a camera and got the evidence when the client’s husband and lover left the motel. Easiest tracking of a client EVER.

2) Don’t post your topless pics to try to impress your lover on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

You would think that this would be a no-brainer, eh? I mean, Anthony Weiner is by far a great example of what can be found out. Apparently, NO!

My client was admittedly had a bit of a tech-phobia. She had barely any idea how to use her computer, and had not touched social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and the like.¬†Her husband, being a little tech saavy, had no such restrictions, and was using his own Facebook page as a means to impress a friend with topless beach pics and the like. Worse, he was encouraging the target of his affections to make comments and so on. It really didn’t take me very long to get evidence obviously.

3) Do NOT get a mother angry. Not unless you really want to become a eunuch.

There’s an old saying, the female is the deadlier of the species. I prefer the ol’ saying, “Hell hath no fury than¬†a woman scorned.”

When a family is about to be broken up or endangered and young kids are involved, I find that women are always going to find unusual levels of strength and anger to protect her cubs. I’ve also found that they tend to be ESPECIALLY vengeful for the family being damaged in the first place.

To my experience, when a guy is cheated on, 9 out of 10 times he’ll just do what’s needed to confirm and then leave or break things off. When a gal is though, and kids are involved….. well,¬†6 out of 10 times she’ll do what’s necessary… and THEN do even more to continue to make his life a living HELL long after the breakup!¬† I’ve got cases that has lasted over 5-6 years where I found the evidence a long long time ago and they’re still after the guy’s head. Needless to say, I should give presentations at wedding encounter workshops.

That’s enough for a start for now… but I guarantee that you’ll be more than a little amused.¬† Same bat-title, same bat-channel!

The Days Before Tomorrow … Pt 1

“Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face” – Alanis Morrisette, “Ironic”

”They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that’s true. What they don’t tell you is that when it starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up.” – Ed Bloom, Big Fish

“The magic of our first love is our ignorance that it would never end.” – Unknown

This will definately become a multi-part blog, as it’s a pretty long story.¬† It’s one that’s probably worthy of a soap opera, and it literally spawns over decades.

It’s a tale never written in full, but it’s time that its told, even in summary.¬† It’s about a pretty special girl who I will never forget, and in many ways never forgive as well. It’s about love and loss. It’s about passion and fate, pride and stupidity.¬† It’s about obsession.¬† It’s about hatred. It’s about the law. It’s about the moral right against the legal right, and how it’s so hard to tell where the line between the two is sometimes. And in the end, it’s simply about a girl, who loved a boy, who loved her back, and how they both lost one another.

But to tell the tale, I have to tell you a bit about how it all started.  Just to let you know, because some people are still around in this whole mess, including 2 innocent kids who I still love so all names have been concealed save mine.

When I first saw her at the community pool, I think I could honestly say that I was just breathless.¬† It wasn’t one of those teen flashes of “babeocity”, where hormones ran rampant and hearts flew. I was just stunned.¬† There she was, in her simple 1-piece swimsuit, her smile and that look… that look that turned me into a deaf mute.¬† Again with the buts though, this was a time when I was young, insecure and painfully shy.¬† I aspired to be the knight of olde even then, but all I could pretend to be was the new squire to be ordered and ridiculed.

I wasn’t one of the cool crowd back then.¬† I was the geek, the kid who was nervous and self conscious and jittery.¬† I was the one who everyone liked, but not necessarily would invite to a night out for a drink and would be far more at home in a basement playing Dungeons and Dragons than watching a football game.¬† So while I was struck by her, I was equally intimidated by her as well.¬† It was like a “5” was striving to win a “10”.

So the first few weeks went, with course after course learning how to rescue dive, to perform CPR, use a spinal board and so on.¬† There I was, longing to know her and being too shy but it took the secret “summer friend” event at the YMCA to change things.

In the day, I was working for the YMCA as a day camp counsellor and then would bike to swim classes.¬† To promote friendship among the staff, a secret summer friend project was launched, whereas a summer friend would get to do something special for another one secretly based on names picked out a hat.¬† Simply put, I kinda sucked as a secret summer friend.¬† With my busy schedule, I kept forgetting to do something special for my “friend.”¬† But my secret friend rocked!¬† One day, I went to check my personal mailbox, only to find a bag full of fresh baked cookies!¬† Pretty jazzed by the gift, I brought it to swim class and lost pretty much all inhibitions and offered them to HER.¬† The cookies rocked, but what happened right after rocked ME.¬† She kissed me on the cheek,

From thereon, we were great friends.  We were always sitting together during classes, talking, joking and chatting, working out times to go out together and so on.  It was a glorious summer, and as the weeks passed, my feelings grew ever more.

But as all good things, classes came to an end and I dreaded the time to miss her presence.  With that, I knew I had to take one great chance.  Fortes fortuna juvat.  Fortune Favours the Bold.

It was the day of the final swimming exam where we had to “rescue” each other, take each other out, and perform mouth to mouth.¬† Everyone walked in ready for the challenge. I walked in not caring at all for that one, as I had a greater challenge in my hands…. a bouquet of roses.¬† Before class started, I faced her, and quietly gave her the bouquet, and secretly reveled in my glorious action.¬† I didn’t give her a chance to answer.¬† I didn’t give her even a word explaining it all.¬† I just showed her that I really, really cared for her.

The exam went on, and we all performed as expected.  Swimming a few miles in the pool in the different styles.  Diving in one way or another.  Dealing with panicked swimmers.  But then came the mouth to mouth, and it was her turn to rescue me.

Well, here I was, “unconscious” and partially “drowned”, doing my best to pretend to be a swimmer in distress.¬† I was partnered up with her, and I just really hoped that I didn’t have really bad breath to make her exam unpleasant.¬† Nope. It was so far completely from unpleasant that she honestly did take my breath away.

It was a typical procedure of course.¬† Tilt the head.¬† Check for breathing.¬† Clear the airway.¬† Pinch the nose. Take a deep breath.¬† Cover his mouth with yours.¬† Begin to secretly give him a french kiss in the middle of a mouth to mouth exam knowing he won’t endanger your mark and hope he doesn’t freak out.

Yes people, that was my first french kiss.¬† She knew I reveled in flustering her with the roses, so she french kissed me in a very unusual way, and in the one place where she knew I would never run.¬† Each “kiss” had to be quick and short, but as her tongue touched mine each time, the moments lasted damn near forever.

That was that, the gauntlet was thrown, and we would become close in our own clumsy way.¬† Over the years to come, she and I would walk together in the morning every day before she would get onto her bus to school.¬† We were both from different school districts, so I never saw her in the weekdays much.¬† But we would write to each other day after day, note after note found awaiting the other.¬† On weekends, she would be with her friends, and I with mine, but still grew close through our words and our rare moments together. And… always, whenever possible, we would sit close, stare into the heavens and watch the lightning and the thunder play their dance in the night skies.¬†

By the end of that first year, I knew I was in love with her.  And I believed she loved me too.

Fast forward a few years, and as ever, we just couldn’t seem to keep a regular schedule together. We both had other boyfriends, girlfriends, dates and flings, but we always found ourselves together a few months later.¬† Each time was chaste, honourable and proper.¬† We loved each other, but weren’t quite sure HOW to love one another.¬† We both kept ourselves pretty busy and just kept passing one another by like 2 ships in the night.¬† We were young and stupid, and kept finding barriers to keep each other apart, yet would write to each other like crazy and still find ways to let our words touch the other.

We were now university students, but she was always in many ways far more focused than me.¬† She had won a full scholarship far away, and I was so proud and happy for her.¬† But, and again always the but, there was a problem.¬† She didn’t want to leave.

Was it because she was afraid of leaving Montreal?¬† Afraid of being alone in a new school?¬† We spoke, discussed, talked, argued and communicated in every way that was possible over days with the matter going no further ahead.¬† Her family was concerned, and I was worried beyond belief.¬† Such opportunities rarely came, and I didn’t want her to miss out on this chance of a lifetime.¬† And being a typical male, I saw it all in a black and white matter, when she showed me her one overwhelming argument in one burst of communication I never considered…. a kiss.

It was a long, deep kiss, full of longings, hopes and dreams.¬† It told me everything about her, her heart and what she wanted without saying a word.¬† I was the reason why she wouldn’t leave. No more… no less.

And with that, I started my plans to do probably the singly most noblest thing I’ve ever done, and probably the stupidest one as well.¬† I started to conspire with her parents to break her heart and shatter this almost a full relationship for good.¬† My logic, break her heart and drive her away to school where she can focus and become a great lawyer.¬† The problem? Logic never really works well in matters of the heart.¬†¬† And from that moment, a mutual journey began.¬† It was one that would run over 20 years and tie our lives and several others together in ways that I could have never ever foreseen.

End of Part 1.

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt. 2

The Days Before Tomorrow, Interlude

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt. 3

The Days Before Tomorrow, Pt 4 – Those Left Behind

The Days Before Tomorrow, Epilogue and Answers

The Days Before Tomorrow, Afterword

From Terry’s PI Files – The Digital Love Affair

[Back in January 2014, I left the security and investigations business to pursue new ventures. But, I’ve been recapping my old cases in recent times… here’s one of the funniest I’ve ever been involved in. This was written in 2013]

In Calgary, I wear a number of hats. I’m best known as a foodie and avid twitter fiend (@calgarydreamer), but those who know me also know me as the guy to go to when you need help… in an espionage kind of way.¬† I used to run and operate Spy City in Calgary from 2007-Jan 2014 years.¬† Needless to say, I’ve encountered some pretty funny and some pretty tragic events.

Priiiivate eyes...they're waaatching you... they're seeing your every moooove...

Priiiivate eyes…they’re waaatching you… they’re seeing your every moooove…

As cool as my job sounded, a lot of the work deals with some of the nastier stuff of human nature… that is, betrayal, hatred, lust and fear.¬† Think more Magnum PI than James Bond a lot of the times, and you have some pretty negative situations all around.

But every so often, you get a pretty funny surprise that blindsides you in it’s hilarity and even genuine sense of love and redemption.¬† There’s the client who had me follow her husband and his “mistress” for a few days, only to find out that the “mistress” was a party planner and my client was about to have a kick-ass surprise birthday party.¬† There’s the guy who found out he was just too suspicious and discovered that his girlfriend was about to surprise him with the announcement of their first child (they’re a great couple btw). And then there was this case…

My client was technologically inept in pretty much every sense of the word.¬† A charming lady, she brought meaning and true embodiment to the term, “more jittery than a jitterbug.”¬† She couldn’t believe it had come to the point that she needed my help.¬† But at the same time, she didn’t know what to expect as well.

Every night, her husband would leave their bed, and he would go on the net every night to do god knows what, and then return to bed a few hours later.  It went on like clockwork for weeks, and it was an obsessive sort of action.  But the last straw was when she went down to try to see what he was doing online, and he snapped back at her.

Burning the midnight oil or something nefarious?

Burning the midnight oil or something nefarious?

When she came to me, she was at her rope’s end.¬† Her husband had always been a good person, but now with these late night online events, he would sleep less and less and go to work an utter zombie.¬† He refused to talk to her about what was going on, and would not let her near him when he was online.¬† And in a time when online affairs was rampant, you can only imagine what she was going through.

After she explained the whole situation, my own first impression was that he was probably having an online affair.¬† I didn’t really know the man, but this sort of behavior was common among the cheaters I’ve caught in the past.¬† So after a few more minutes to gather initial impressions, we were both convinced that some sort of monitoring software was needed.

Later that day, with her permission of course, I installed a useful piece of software that records every single action, keystroke, website and more into a secret database.¬† It’s been a pretty handy tool for someone in my line of work, since I can honestly say that I’ve assisted in stopping at least a few adult stalkers, cheaters, prevented 3 child abductions (way cool…) and stopped a planned assault that could only go worse.¬† Once installed, I let it work it’s magic, and waited for him to do his.

About 2 days later, my client was waiting at the front door anxiously for my arrival.  She had to know if she had lost her husband to another woman or online porn or worse, and I was her only hope.  So I sat down before the keyboard, and hitting a secret combo of keys and passwords, I called up the hidden logs.

At first, I noticed that she was right.¬† In the last 2 nights alone since the installation, someone had been using the computer for hours between 10pm and 2am.¬† But that was pretty much all that she was right about.¬† My attention turned to the keystrokes, and I noticed that there were far too many keystrokes for a normal chat.¬† Over and over, the letters A, W, S, D and SPACE were being hammered on every second of every minute of every hour.¬† There was very little actual chats being made as well, except terms like “cover me” and “eat my unholy axe”.¬† It was with the last words, that everything came into view… he wasn’t having an online affair at all.¬† Heck,. he wasn’t even looking at porn.¬† He was addicted to WORLD OF WARCRAFT.

Screenshot of World of Warcraft

Screenshot of World of Warcraft

It was a bit difficult to explain to her that her hubby wasn’t cheating on her with another woman, but instead with 2000 orcs and goblins, but eventually I got through.¬† She was so incredibly relieved, and had me take the software off the computer. Needless to say, it was probably the best few hundred she ever spent.

This was one of the best results I ever had in a case, that led to happy (relatively) results.  I still look back at that and smile.  But as I think about it, one little thing concerns me.. how does a real life mortal wife compete with 2000 digital Orcs and dragons?