One of the first lessons you learn as an investigator is that when people do the wrong thing, their actions are normally part of a pattern of behaviour.
Some years ago, Lyonswood was contacted by a woman who wanted us to investigate an ex-partner of hers. Clearly a sociopath, the man had stolen a significant sum of money from our client before splitting up with her. We were then contacted 6 months later by another woman who gave us a very similar story about the same man. Each of these women had also managed to get in contact with another woman who had dealt with this same man under similar circumstances. So, with everybody’s consent, we put the 2 pairs of women in touch with each other and we were able to piece together the full story. The man had collectively stolen more than $200,000 from the 4 of them, as well as expensive items like engagement rings. He’d even stolen a cat from one of the women and given it to another as a gift! Lyonswood was eventually contacted by yet another woman a couple of years later who had been victimised by the same man. This time, he had supposedly taken out an unwarranted AVO against the woman so we advised the police of the chequered past of this subject male who was obviously the troublemaker in the relationship.
This situation is just one example of something we see regularly. An interesting story has been making the rounds this week: “Hotel worker stole 1047 bras and underwear and stalked teenage girls” The case involves 37 year old hotel worker Sutan Achmed Daniel Al Hamilton, who is accused of stealing more than 1000 pairs of undergarments from Rydges and Ibis hotels over several years. He admitted to the media outside of his last court hearing that he had “a fetish.”
Both of these cases illustrate the principle that impropriety is a pattern of behaviour. Relatively trivial incidents like the theft of underwear or lies by a partner or spouse may not seem all that momentous on their own but they can be indicative of a deeper problem that will likely develop. In the aforementioned case, Hamilton was ultimately accused of stalking 2 of the victims, aged 15 and 17, from whom he had stolen undergarments. Concerning behavioural patterns are also exhibited by those who commit the most serious crimes – serial killers for example sometimes engage in criminal acts, like arson and the harming of animals, from a young age. In fact, convicted killers like Jeff Brudos and Russell Williams were known specifically to steal women’s undergarments before escalating to sexual assault and eventually murder.
Intuition is nature’s insurance policy. If someone or something appears to be problematic in some way, even in a trivial sense, pay heed to your intuition and see if the behaviour of the person responsible is part of a pattern. It’s for these reasons that background checks are so valuable, especially in cases of employment and of intimate relationships. Evidence of wrongdoing in the past is often an indication that special attention needs to be paid to the subject person in future.