THE PORT ST LUCIE NEWS
||"Secrets of Top
How to Become a Private Investigator
September 13. 1993
By Nicole Piscopo
PSL couple hone the fine art of snooping
"Secrets of Top Private Eyes," contains everything you need to know to be a
top-notch private eye -- except the cloak and pipe.
PORT ST. LUCIE --- Smell usual perfume on your spouse? Have a few unanswered
questions about someone you want to hire? Need a wristwatch camera or bionic-ear
microphone system? Some people believe almost anyone can learn how to sleuth
with the right training. A Port St. Lucie couple, working with about a dozen
private investigators from Florida and the Southeast United States have compiled
an at-home course on private-eyeing. Watch several hours of videotape, follow
along in a manual and you will know why a dog provides a perfectly legal excuse
to be walking around odd places at strange times, and why a wide-mouth plastic
bottle is an indispensable tool for a stake-out.
"People don't know," Hoover said, "there's so much information you have access
to. There is so much freedom as far as what is legal and what is not."
Hoover and partner Anni Adkins, artists and free-lance producers, worked a year
to assemble the four hours of videotapes and the 475-page manual, which they
hope to slim down with editing.
"At first, we thought of writing a course for private investigators," Adkins
said. ''There are More than 4000 professional private investigators in the
country, but there are almost 200 million American adults. We decided: let's
make it for everyone."
The course goes over background investigation techniques for pre- employment or
business deals. "People move around so much," Adkins said.'' Before anything
catches up with them, they can move to another state."
All this knowledge comes with a price. Hoover and Adkins say the information is
worth the price. They say the course also can be used to locate missing people,
from dead-beat parents to the birth parents of someone who has been adopted.
A section on relationship investigations warns people what to look for before
getting romantically involved or, if married, tips on what to do if cheating is
One hint: if certain basic questions - like where he or she lives and who the
family and friends are - go unanswered, even at the beginning of a relationship,
you might want to conduct a background investigation of your own.
With the computer sources available today, a lot of information can be gathered
with just a full name, place and date of birth: workplace information, Social
Security number and information about past jobs, addresses and schools, said
Hoover and Adkins.
If you suspect your spouse of cheating, there are More hints, ranging from
checking the vehicle odometer, the suspect's pockets and papers, to conducting a
surveillance operation of your own.
A state-by-state resource directory is provided for local, state and federal
"You can find people," Hoover said. "You can learn to protect yourself. You can
do it yourself."
The real "secret" to the success of these endeavors is
the contributions made by our experts. To read about these interesting and
energetic professionals, "