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Deciding to hire a private investigator is not a decision that most people would take lightly. It’s hard to picture your average Sydneysider absent-mindedly booking in an appointment with a PI as they flick through the paper over breakfast. Hiring one to investigate your partner or ex-partner may be considered even more taboo; and even in some of the more extreme scenarios described below, it possibly wouldn’t cross your mind that hiring a private detective could be an option.
Even we’d agree that this isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. The fact of the matter is, often when you’re hiring a private eye, it’s because a situation has progressed beyond your ability to manage it satisfactorily on your own. But really, when used appropriately, it’s no different to hiring any other sort of professional. If your toilet broke, you wouldn’t lie awake at night wondering how you were going to manage going to the bathroom from now on – you’d hire a plumber. Far better to call in an expert, and there’s no more shame in admitting you need the help of a professional investigator than there is in admitting you’re not the world’s foremost authority on u-bends. Consider the following reasons you might want to hire a private detective to investigate your partner or ex:
1. You’re being blackmailed by them.
It’s not unheard of for people within relationships to be blackmailing or threatening each other, but let’s focus for the moment on the sort of ugliness that can transpire in the fall-out of a dying or dead relationship.
This sort of stuff isn’t exactly new. In one of his classic short stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes take on a case for the King of Bohemia, who was being blackmailed with love letters and a photograph by a former lover. That was set over a hundred years ago, but lovers have been threatening and blackmailing each other since Adam and Lilith. The modern day equivalent of the King of Bohemia’s problem might be those nude selfies you took of yourself and sent to your mistress. Being faced with blackmail, especially when the source of said blackmailing won’t identify themselves, can be quite overwhelming – what makes for an intriguing plot in a mystery story can destroy lives in reality – and it can feel like you have no one to turn to. How many people are involved? What evidence might be helpful to secure in order to make a conviction? How should I respond? It’s a good time to call a PI and see what they can do.
2. …or threatened, or intimidated.
Some scorned lovers can take things even further. I heard the following story through a friend of a friend: A guy and a girl living in a major Australian city had a turbulent relationship, during which the guy made a few attempts to leave girl, but was manipulated out of it (emotional blackmail is one area a PI can’t help you with, unfortunately.) They had been living together in the gentleman’s apartment, and when the relationship drew to a close, the lady moved out. A few weeks later, the guy returns home to find his house trashed. The damage ranged from the bizarre, to the expensive, to the dangerous – everything from seafood sewn inside his mattress, to pins through the electrical cord of his iron. Even the strings in his piano were cut. Every person who was even passingly familiar with the situation knew exactly who did it (hint – it was the only person who had a motive, a history of craziness and a key to the house), although the heartbroken (and apparently delusional) lad still insisted to all who would listen that there was a possibility it had all been a random crime of opportunity by some passing punk teenagers. Who knows how he had a peaceful night’s sleep after that. I don’t know what ended up happening in the end, but I do know that I would have recommended he call a PI.