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´╗┐Title: Practical Instruction for Detectives - A Complete Course in Secret Service Study
Author: Manning, Emmerson W.
Language: English
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                         PRACTICAL INSTRUCTION

                            FOR DETECTIVES

                              _A Complete
                    Course in Secret Service Study_


                          EMMERSON W. MANNING

                 Manning National Detective Institute


                       FREDERICK J. DRAKE & CO.


                            Copyright 1921

                       FREDERICK J. DRAKE & CO.

                            Copyright 1916


                          EMMERSON W. MANNING

                Printed in the United States of America


Having been connected for many years with two of the largest and
most successful private detective agencies in this country, both as
an operator and as an official, and having been requested to outline
briefly and concisely the most modern and up-to-date methods employed
by leading detectives and private detective agencies of today, I
shall confine myself in these pages to facts and a few personal
experiences. I will endeavor to show that any person possessed of
average intelligence, and who will use good common sense, can become a
successful detective, regardless of his present or previous occupation.

This country today stands in need of more and better detectives than
ever before in its history, and if one be inclined to doubt this
statement he need only pick up the morning newspaper of any city of
any size and be convinced that this is true. Hundreds of crimes of
all descriptions are committed daily and statistics show that more
than fifty per cent of persons committing crimes go unmolested and
unpunished. Besides, there are the thousands of employees on our
various transportation systems, in banks, stores, and in mercantile
establishments, who are daily committing thefts of various kinds from
their employers and whose nefarious operations are rarely uncovered,
when one considers the actual number of thefts committed.

One may wonder why such conditions exist, or why so many criminals can
operate without detection. It is because of the lack of sufficient
trained detectives to hunt down the criminals and to ferret out the

It has been said that every criminal, no matter how careful he may be
in his operations and regardless of the nature of his crime, will leave
some trail or clue by which he may be detected. All good detectives
will vouch for the truth of this statement. For the real detective no
case is too complicated nor too difficult. More trained detectives
are needed, and until we have them, undetected crimes and unpunished
criminals will continue on the increase.

Every large city, every corporation, transportation company, mercantile
establishment and manufacturing concern is constantly in need of
detective service. There are thousands of concerns, also individuals,
who are ever on the alert for the opportunity to employ good
detectives. To the young man who may wish to connect himself with some
reliable detective agency it will be well to keep in mind the following:

That when making application for such position he very likely will
encounter such inquiries as: "What can you do?" or "What do you know
about detective work?" In order to secure a position in any line it
is essential that one have not only a talking knowledge, but also a
working knowledge of the line. Careful study of what I shall set forth
should enable any ambitious young man not only to secure a position as
a private detective, but to "make good" as well; and if he so desires,
to start and successfully conduct a private detective agency of his

                          DETECTIVE AGENCIES

With regard to starting a private detective agency, laws pertaining
to the granting of licenses to individuals and companies to engage in
such business vary in almost all of our states. In order to engage
in the business, in some states it is necessary to secure and pay a
business license, the rate per year being approximately the same as is
paid by any other business concern. In some states licenses to engage
in private detective work and to conduct private detective agencies
are granted only by the courts of the county in which it is proposed
to establish the main office or headquarters of the agency. Ability
and fitness to hold such licenses must be established before the court
granting them. This usually is accomplished by the applicant having
several persons of responsibility vouch for his good character, fitness
and ability. In some states bond must also be furnished to the state as
a guaranty against misuse of the privilege that such license affords.
Where such licenses must be secured I would advise that a reliable
attorney be consulted.

It must not be construed that every private detective must have a
license issued in his name or secured by him in order to operate in
the state wherein licenses are required. In such states an agency must
necessarily have a license, but as a rule agencies employ as many
operators as they may require. Operators work under the licenses of the
agencies that employ them. In starting a detective agency it is by no
means necessary to engage a suite of elaborate offices. I have known
many successful agencies to have been conducted from one or two modest
office rooms, for which only nominal rentals were paid.

When starting an agency one of the first things to be done is to
announce to business concerns, private persons, and the public in
general the fact that the agency is open for business, at the same
time advising of its location and how it may be communicated with by
telephone and telegraph. Letters of announcement should be mailed
direct to prospective clients whom it may be desired to reach.


  CHAPTER                                                           PAGE
     I   SHADOWING                                                    13

    II   BURGLARIES                                                   24

   III   IDENTIFICATION OF CRIMINALS                                  38

    IV   FORGERIES                                                    41

     V   CONFESSIONS                                                  53

    VI   MURDER CASES                                                 55

   VII   GRAFTERS                                                     57

  VIII   DETECTIVE WORK IN DEPARTMENT STORES                          66

    IX   RAILROAD DETECTIVE WORK                                      72

     X   DETECTIVE WORK FOR STREET RAILWAYS                           76

    XI   OTHER KINDS OF DETECTIVE WORK                                80
           Illegal Liquor selling--Anonymous
           Work in Warehouses--Express
           Retail Business Establishments--Divorce
           Cases--Arson                                            80-94

                 Practical Instruction for Detectives

                               CHAPTER I


Shadowing, or more correctly speaking, keeping under surveillance some
person, building or premises, is one of the most important branches
of detective work. I know of many private and other cases wherein
shadow work proved to be the only means of securing results. In my
experience in handling and placing shadows, and in directing cases
which necessitated shadow work, I have found that if one is to have
any degree of success at shadowing, he should in the first place be a
person not above medium height, of medium build, and preferably smooth

While at work the shadow should give out no intimation of being
interested in what may be going on around him, although he should be
at the same time alert and watchful and alive to everything that may
transpire near him. The shadow should wear no conspicuous clothing,
shoes or jewelry. Patience is the most important requisite to insure
success in this branch of the work. While at work the shadow must never
for an instant allow his attention to be detracted from the person or
place he may be watching.

To my own discredit, I will relate how I once shadowed a woman for five
weeks, hoping to be on hand when she would meet a certain person.
I was purposely occupying at the time a room in a house across the
street from where the woman lived, and from which point of vantage I
was enabled to observe, unknown to her, when she left or entered the
house. On the opportune night, when I should have been watchful and
wide awake, I found, no doubt because of my long vigilance, that I had
slept for ten or twelve minutes. Later I learned that the woman left
her apartments during the few minutes that I had slept, and, with no
intention on her part, gave me the slip.

In these days of fast trains, street cars, high powered automobiles
and taxicabs, which offer swift means of travel, the detective when
shadowing should be prepared at all times to cope with such conditions.
He should ever keep in mind the fact that his subject, whether he or
she be a criminal or not, is liable to travel in accordance with what
his or her means will permit. On another page I will take up the matter
of shadowing criminals, but will state here that the detective, unless
he has had experience, should not undertake to shadow a person who may
have reason to suspect being shadowed. It has been my experience that
boys can accomplish the most when such persons are to be shadowed.

I have in mind a case where it was desired to have shadowed on a
certain day, a woman who lived in an exclusive residential section
of a large city. No man could have remained in the neighborhood in
view of this woman's home longer than half an hour until he would
have attracted the attention of every person in the block. For this
particular case two young boys were selected to do the shadowing. They
proceeded to a point near the woman's home, and apparently paying no
attention to anyone, engaged in a game of marbles. When leaving her
home the woman passed within a few feet of the boys and of course did
not suspect their purpose. Three blocks distant the boys boarded the
same car with her, and were thus enabled throughout the day to observe
the woman's every movement, and without having attracted her attention
at any time.

We will suppose that it is desired to keep under surveillance an
employee of a bank, office or store. It is advisable in such cases
that the person to be shadowed shall at no time see the detective
if it can be so arranged. In my experience I have found that under
most conditions the following plan will be most feasible for taking
up surveillance of such persons. The plan applies also to any other
occupants of such places. A detective other than the one who is to do
the shadowing should visit the place where the person to be shadowed
is located. When making such a call the detective may use the pretext
of having called to solicit insurance, or he may use any other pretext
that will be suitable and which will not arouse suspicion.

While making such a call the detective must make the best of his
opportunity to scrutinize the subject closely, and should make mental
note of any peculiarities of the subject. The color of the subject's
hair should be noted; the shape of his ears, nose, etc. The detective
should look for the hat rack, and according to the season of the year
should endeavor to note the kind of hat, overcoat or coat the subject
will wear when he or she leaves the building. Immediately after coming
away from making his call upon the subject, the detective should
convey to the one who will do the shadowing, a complete detailed
description of the subject. Detectives should immediately write down
such descriptions and should never trust them to memory. The reason
for this will become apparent when the detective undertakes to pick out
of five or six hundred, or possibly a thousand employees, some certain
employee when he or she leaves a large factory or office building.

The detective who has seen and talked to the subject should remain
near the logical exit from the building and when the subject comes
out should designate him or her to the detective who will do the
shadowing. Subject will then be shadowed by a person whom he or she
has never seen, and whose purpose will probably not be suspected if
noticed. Should the streets be crowded, the shadow, under ordinary
circumstances, may keep quite close to the subject, but must at all
times be governed by the number of pedestrians on the streets at the
time as to how close to remain to the subject. The subject must not be
lost sight of for an instant, as invariably, in private cases, clients
expect to be advised of every movement of the person being shadowed.
Therefore, should the subject stop in the street to talk to anyone,
careful note should be made by the detective of such persons, so as to
be able, at the end of the day's work, to render a detailed description
of every person with whom the subject may have talked or associated.

Care must be exercised by the detective when subjects board street
cars. The detective should always endeavor to secure a seat in back
of, and on the same side of the car that the subject sits. For the
detective to sit anywhere in front of, or opposite the subject in a
street car or railway coach would give the subject an opportunity to
study his face and features, and which must be avoided. I know of a
great many cases, however, when detectives boldly sat beside their
subjects in street cars and by so doing were enabled to read letters
and papers in the hands of the subjects, and even to engage them in

When shadowing is being done in large cities, detectives must pay
close attention and use the best judgment when subjects enter large
office buildings or department stores. As to office buildings it is
usually desired to know at what office a subject may call, and in order
to ascertain this to a certainty it is necessary that the detective
enter the same elevator with subject and leave it at the same floor
that subject does. While the subject proceeds to the office he or she
intends to visit, the detective may pretend to have gotten off at the
wrong floor, or may busy himself scanning the names on the various
office doors. In cases of emergency it may become necessary to make a
"fake" call at some office in order not to attract the attention of the

After having made note of the office that the subject has entered, the
detective may take up a position on the street or the main floor of
the building and await the reappearance of the subject. Should there
be more exits from the building than the detective can properly cover
he should endeavor to obtain assistance. When subjects enter large
department stores, which may have from one to four entrances, it is
of course essential that the detective keep in close proximity to the
subject at all times, whether a man or a woman. If the subject stops
to make a purchase, or to make inquiry at some counter, the detective
should do likewise at some nearby counter so as not to attract the
attention of floor walkers or sales clerks. Often it becomes necessary
for the detective to make purchases, but it is better to do this than
risk losing the subject.

I know of countless cases wherein it was desired to have women shadowed
in order to learn of their actions during an evening, but because of
their having visited department stores in the afternoon detectives lost
them and were not on hand to observe their movements in the evening.

Occasions often arise when subjects visit theaters while under
surveillance. Very often it is desired to know with whom subjects visit
such places. When a subject purchases his or her ticket the detective
should make it a point to be next in line at the box office so as to
see or overhear the kind of ticket bought. If successful in learning
this, the detective can ask for a ticket in the same section, but one
or two rows behind the subject, or in any other location that will
serve his purpose.

Should the subject have previously secured his or her ticket and if it
is necessary for the detective to ascertain if the subject is alone
while in the theater, he may have to purchase several tickets until
he locates the seat occupied by the subject. If a man or woman enters
a theater alone, it must not be taken for granted that he or she is
enjoying the performance alone. I have known many prominent men and
women to meet clandestinely in theaters, although they did not enter or
leave the theaters together. This is usually brought about by the man
purchasing two tickets one or two days ahead and sending one by mail or
otherwise to the woman; then, on the appointed night, they can occupy
adjoining seats without entering or leaving the theater together.

When subjects visit railway ticket offices the detective can easily
arrange to be near enough to overhear the point of destination, and
then if desired can purchase transportation to the same point. In cases
where subjects board trains without stopping to purchase tickets, the
detective, if he cannot learn the subject's point of destination from
the gate man or through any other source, should be governed by the
kind of train the subject boards. If the train be a local one it would
be advisable to purchase a ticket to the end of the run and leave it at
the station where the subject leaves it. If it be a through train and
the destination of the subject is unknown, a ticket should be purchased
or fare paid to the end of the first division; then, if necessary, to
the end of the next division, and so on.

If it be desired to have a person kept under surveillance for any
length of time, it is advisable that the detective secure lodging near
the home of the subject. From there it will be possible to observe the
subject going to and leaving his or her home. If practicable it is
always best for the detective to remain off the streets and away from
public view.

In the apprehension of criminals of all classes, records of private
detective agencies and police departments in this and other countries
show that in most cases more or less shadowing was resorted to in
order to effect the arrest of the criminals, and also to establish
their guilt. I know of a good many cases wherein careful and diligent
shadowing was the only means by which "yeggs," "hold-up" men,
pickpockets, store thieves and others were "caught in the act" or
"caught with the goods on them," which in most cases is essential in
order to insure convictions.

Some of the leading private detective agencies and most police
departments in cities of any size, maintain and keep up, to a wonderful
degree of perfection, photograph galleries which are commonly known
as "rogues galleries," and in which are kept photographs of all
known criminals, provided an opportunity has been had to photograph
them or to secure pictures of them. Along with these photographs
detailed descriptions of the criminals are kept, also what are known
as criminal histories which show the date and place of any previous
arrest, the nature of crime committed, method of operating, term of
sentence, etc. After a criminal has once been photographed his picture
usually is well circulated and retained indefinitely, regardless of
whether he remains in or out of prison.

We will take for instance a pickpocket, who in detective vernacular is
known as a "dip"; or a safe blower, who in the same vernacular is known
as a "yegg." If he has been arrested or convicted at any time for one
of these crimes his photograph very likely appears shortly afterwards
in the rogues galleries throughout the country, it is reproduced on
reward circulars and mailed broadcast over the country, or is shown in
police and detective magazines published for the purpose. If, after
serving a prison term, the criminal ventures to some large city, the
chances are that he will not be there many days until he is "spotted"
by some city or private detective, unless he is cautious and keeps
under cover.

As a rule, when detectives see and recognize him, yet know of no crime
that he may have recently committed, or of no charge that can be
brought against him, they shadow him to ascertain where he "hangs out";
then endeavor to have him kept under constant surveillance. I might
state here that in my opinion there are very few detectives or police
chiefs used to dealing with criminals, who believe a criminal can or
will reform. But regardless of this, it has been found by detectives
long ago to be a good plan to keep track of the time of release of
criminals from prison, and then to watch them closely until they may
commit another crime.

I know of a good many cases where by this method detectives were
enabled to catch their men in the act of committing a crime, or if they
were not on hand or nearby when the crime was committed, as a result of
their shadowing they knew just about where the criminal was at a given
time and who would have been likely to commit such a crime; therefore
they knew whom to look for. A good detective will make a study of the
records of criminals and their methods of operating. It is a well known
fact that every criminal has a distinctive manner of operating, and
these distinctive features should be studied by detectives. Detectives
should also make it a point to know, as far as possible, what known
criminals are in their city at any time. Then if a store, warehouse, or
residence is burglarized, if the picking of pockets becomes prevalent,
or if a safe in a bank or office is blown, the wide awake detective can
know from the nature of the crime, and the method employed, whom to
confine his attentions to.

If for instance a safe has been dynamited, if feasible, arrangements
should immediately be made to have all known safe blowers in the city
shadowed. In this way criminals have often been caught in the act
of either dividing their loot, or in disposing of it. Careful and
systematic shadowing has also been the means of bringing to light the
identity of many a thief who, until found out, enjoyed the utmost
confidence of his employers.

I recall the case of a young man of good family who was a trusted
employee of a certain large business concern. Sums of money ranging
from ten to fifty dollars disappeared weekly from the firm's cash,
the thefts having covered a period of about three months before the
identity of the thief was established. Four persons had access to the
firm's cash, and all were in turn shadowed from the time they left
their respective homes in the morning until they retired at night. This
plan of systematic shadowing developed the fact that the young man in
question was the only one of the four possible guilty ones who was not
leading an exemplary life, and in addition it was found that once a
week he visited and made deposits at a certain bank while away from
the office during the noon hour. Investigation at the bank developed
that the young man was depositing each week more than the amount of his
weekly salary.

Upon being shown detailed reports of his every movement for a period
covering four weeks, and upon being questioned regarding his deposits
at the bank, needless to say there was no difficulty in obtaining a
confession from this young man.

I was once called upon to place under surveillance for two weeks a
young man who lived in an exclusive residential section of a large
city. It was not feasible to have the detective obtain a room in the
neighborhood or "cover" of any kind, and to have had the detective
stand on the street in this particular neighborhood would no doubt
have exposed his purpose in a few hours. I made arrangements for the
services of a uniformed messenger boy, provided him with a few novels
to read, then had him sit under a tree on a lawn not far from the
subject's home. In this way when the subject would leave his home to go
into the city, the messenger boy would signal to the detective who was
stationed some three blocks distant at a logical car station, and where
the detective's presence did not attract attention. The messenger boy's
real purpose was not suspected, and this surveillance was continued
successfully for a period of two weeks.

When conditions are similar to those in the case just mentioned I
frequently have provided the detective with a pair of field glasses
which would be used from a room that the detective would rent.

I have handled many cases wherein it was desired to keep under
surveillance persons who visited the city each day, but who lived in
the suburbs, or in thinly settled outlying sections of the city. In
such cases two detectives were used, one to remain out in the suburbs
to observe the car or train that the subject would board, after which
this detective would telephone to the other one, stationed in the city,
the number of the car or train upon which the subject would arrive
in the city. In this way the subject can easily be picked up and his
movements covered during the day. Shadow work properly directed and
properly executed never fails to bring good results.

                              CHAPTER II


Private detectives are frequently called upon to investigate burglaries
of banks, offices, stores and residences. If the burglary has been
committed in the city or in the country, or in a large or small town,
the detective who investigates the case should proceed to the place
as soon as circumstances will permit. If the burglary presents the
appearance of having been perpetrated by outside parties, a thorough
investigation should be made and nothing overlooked. I know of dozens
of cases of burglary in small towns in which no results were secured
because of the fact that only perfunctory investigations were made,
and these were not conducted along proper lines. In cases of burglary,
especially where safes or vaults have been dynamited or wrecked with
nitroglycerine, the detective should conduct an investigation along the
following lines:

Notes should be taken and a record made of the name of the bank,
store, firm or individual suffering the loss; the date and hour that
the crime was committed; date and hour discovered; by whom discovered;
and a descriptive list should be made of all articles known to have
been stolen. If the theft consisted of cash, the respective amounts of
gold, silver or currency should be ascertained. If possible, secure the
numbers of any missing bills. If papers, checks or negotiable notes
or securities have been stolen, banks or other places where they are
liable to be cashed should be notified promptly.

A careful investigation should be made as to how entrance was gained to
the building. If a safe or vault has been blown or opened, note should
be made of the name of its manufacturer, whether or not the safe or
vault was old or new, whether equipped with double or single doors,
whether opened by key or combination, and from whom it was purchased.
Note should be made as to the kind of explosive used, or if tools were
used. If holes were drilled it is important to ascertain the exact
size, and if possible the kind of drill used. If other tools were used
the detective should endeavor to establish their nature, which usually
can be done from the marks left by their use.

Professional burglars nowadays do not travel from place to place
with tools on their persons, because suspicion might be aroused or
arrest invited for carrying them. They often purchase or steal their
tools locally at some hardware store or blacksmith's shop a few hours
before the time set for the burglary. The detective should endeavor to
establish, at least to his own satisfaction, whether the burglary is
the work of a professional or an amateur; also if any known burglars
or "yeggs" live in the vicinity where the crime was committed. If
so, their most recent movements should be traced and checked up. If
possible, names should be secured of any persons who may have been
seen loitering in the vicinity. If the names of such persons cannot be
learned, detailed descriptions should be secured.

If the burglary has been committed in some small town, the hotel
registers should be looked over and any doubtful persons investigated.
Finger and foot prints and measurements should not be overlooked,
providing any are found at the time of the burglary. Photographs
should be made of finger prints and measurements made of foot prints.
Professional burglars, or persons representing them, disguised as
umbrella menders, peddlers or beggars, often visit and look over the
place it is proposed to burglarize. Any such persons should be given
consideration by the detective in the course of his investigation.
Proprietors of nearby garages and livery stables and their employees
should be seen and interviewed; also ticket agents and section hands
on any nearby railroads. Conductors and crews of passenger and freight
trains should be interviewed; also crews of street cars. If any known
criminals likely to have committed such crime are believed to have been
in the vicinity, their photographs should be shown to nearby residents
and others. Should a photograph be identified, the detective will have
something upon which to work.

When taking descriptions of criminals or of suspects, the following
details should be embodied, if possible to secure them: Nationality;
age, height, and weight; color of hair, color of eyes; build;
complexion, whether smooth shaven, moustache or beard; moles, marks
or scars; kind of clothing worn, including hat and shoes; whether or
not the person walks or stands erect or stooped; any jewelry or lodge
emblems worn, and whether he has the appearance of being a business
person, a clerk, a mechanic, or a laborer.

In cases of thefts of jewelry, silverware, clothing, etc., from private
residences the detective should first endeavor to establish to his own
satisfaction whether or not the theft has been committed by an outside
party, or by some member of the household. If it is believed that some
member of the household is responsible, a servant for instance, such
persons should be questioned closely regarding their movements, when
they last saw or handled the stolen articles, if they knew of the
existence or location of them, what they were doing and where they
were about the time the theft must necessarily have been committed,
etc. A descriptive list of the stolen articles should be made up, and
if the same consists of jewelry, silverware, cut glass or clothing,
pawnbrokers and proprietors of places where such articles would likely
be disposed of should be seen and questioned. A descriptive list of the
stolen articles should be left with the proprietors of such places and
arrangements made to be notified promptly in case any of the stolen
articles are offered for sale or appraisal.

I recall having investigated for a bank a case which was at first
believed to have been one of burglary from the outside. The bank had in
its employ a well educated foreigner, who was in charge of the bank's
foreign department. In order to conduct the business of this department
of the bank, he was permitted the use of five hundred dollars in cash,
and for which amount he was of course always responsible to the bank.
The "burglary" was discovered about 7:00 A. M. on a Sunday by the
colored janitor when he came on duty to clean the banking rooms. The
"burglary" having been committed in the foreign department, the foreign
manager was among the first to be called to the bank. When he arrived
he recalled that he had neglected the night before to lock into the
vault a tin box in which he kept the five hundred dollars extended him
by the bank. This box seemed to have been broken open during the night
and was found lying on the floor empty by the janitor.

I was called into the case the following day, and a few minutes after
arriving at the bank the foreign manager called me aside and told me
he suspected the colored janitor, and that I would do well to confine
my attention to him. He, however, could give me no plausible reason
for suspecting the janitor, which fact caused me to become suspicious
of the foreign manager. I then began an investigation as to how the
"burglar" had gained entrance to the premises, and found that a large
transom over a side door had been forced in, seemingly from the
outside; also a wire fly screen covering the transom space had been
forced loose, which would have permitted any ordinary sized person to
then have gained entrance.

The transom was held rigid and in place by a heavy metal side fixture,
and I still recall distinctly having wondered at the time how a person
could have possibly exerted sufficient pressure or force against it
from the outside to bend double the heavy metal side fixture, and to
have accomplished it without attracting the attention of police or
other persons. After studying the situation from all angles, I obtained
a ladder and examined closely the ledge over which the "burglar" was
believed to have climbed. Between the transom and the outer edge of the
transom frame, where the fly screen was nailed, was a space perhaps
six inches in width, and which space was thickly covered with dust.
I examined it closely but failed to find any finger imprints, or any
other marks that would necessarily have been made by a person climbing
through the transom.

I became convinced that the foreign manager was guilty. He was the last
person to leave the bank on the night of the robbery. It was quite
plain to me then that before leaving the bank he broke open the tin
box, appropriated its contents, then pulled down the transom from the
inside and loosened the fly screen to make it appear that a burglar
had entered from the outside. I brought my discovery to the attention
of the officials of the bank, who agreed with me that no burglar had
entered from the outside. I then took the foreign manager in hand
and recounted to him how I believed that the entire matter had been
planned and executed, that the same was all very clever with but one
exception--that being that he had neglected to take into consideration
the coating of dust on the ledge. I told him, in the presence of three
officials of the bank, to turn over the stolen money, which he did, but
he was not prosecuted and the case was given no publicity. In this, as
in practically all cases, it will be seen that the criminal, no matter
how carefully he plans his crime, usually leaves some clue by which
he can be detected, and which clues, as a rule, can be developed by
thorough investigation on the part of the detective.

By permission of the Current Literature Publishing Company, we quote
from the May 1915 number of "Current Opinion" an article dealing with
the technique of crime according to Inspector Cornelius F. Cahalane, a
noted instructor of detectives, appointed to the metropolitan police
force of New York:

"Practically every burglary is prearranged and the details planned.
Burglars guard against the ordinary precautions which they think a
live policeman will take to prevent their crimes or to capture them.
Do not imagine that every burglar or thief wears a peak cap, box coat,
sweater, striped trousers or bull-nosed shoes, so typical of stage
burglars. They realize that to dress in such a manner would arouse
immediate suspicion, and, accordingly, dress and carry themselves in
a manner least likely to attract attention. They do not, as most
persons fancy, carry burglary tools on their persons at all times.
They know that it is not only a violation of the law, but that it is
circumstantial evidence as well. Hence burglars carry tools no longer
than is absolutely necessary. Sometimes they hide their tools near
the scene of the contemplated burglary. If they have tools in their
possession and think they are going to be searched, they will try to
hide them or throw them away. Tools are carried frequently in musical
instrument cases.

"There are many different types of burglars, who resort to various
means in plying their calling. The burglars most dangerous to society
are those known as 'Dutch house men.' They are the most desperate.
They always work heavily armed and to accomplish their purpose or to
avoid capture will take life under the slightest provocation. They
usually operate in an inhabited dwelling, and to gain entrance, secrete
themselves in some part of the building or grounds until they think
the occupants have retired; then, if necessary, they make their way to
a roof, fire-escape or porch, and get in by prying open a skylight or
jimmying a window sash.

"As a rule, householders fasten windows leading to fire-escapes or
porches, but are careless about the other windows. 'Dutch house men'
know this failing and often take advantage of it. They fasten one end
of a rope (which one of them may have carried wound around his body)
to a chimney on the roof and drop the other end over the ledge. One
of them will lower himself to the desired window, open it and enter.
They generally seek the place where it is most likely that valuables
have been left before the owner retired, such as the tops of dressers
or the pockets of clothing. In going from room to room, they usually
place some obstruction, a table or a chair, in such a position that
if the occupant should awaken and attempt to leave the room, he would
trip over the object and make enough noise to warn the burglar that
his presence had become known. Unless they are sure that no alarm has
been given, they will seldom leave by way of the street; usually they
secrete themselves on the roof or in the back yard and remain until
there is an opportunity to escape.

"Flat thieves are not as desperate as the ordinary run of burglars, but
they are burglars too, and they manage to steal considerable property.
As a rule they will not enter an apartment while anyone is at home.
They profit by the knowledge that housekeepers generally hide their
money and valuables in a nook where they think a thief will be least
likely to look--under rugs, legs of tables, under mattresses and beds,
in sewing machine drawers, and the like.

"A flat thief requires only about five minutes in an ordinary flat,
and when he is through it looks as though an earthquake had shaken the
building. He starts by pushing the furniture to one end of the room.
He turns the rugs over, empties the contents of bureau drawers into
the middle of the floor, where they are examined, throws mattresses to
the floor, cuts them open if he has not already discovered the hiding
place, turns vases and bric-a-brac upside down, and, in this way, has
every part of the flat searched in a short time. Flat thieves are
usually young men between the ages of sixteen and thirty years.

"They gain entrance by ringing the vestibule bells, and, if no response
is made, they assume that no one is at home, and enter the hallway and
proceed to the apartment selected. If the door is locked they either
use a false key or jimmy it open. Or, they may watch persons leaving
their apartment, and enter during their short absence. If questioned,
they try to represent themselves as peddlers, agents, inspectors of
telephones, gas, water or electricity, or mechanics. They usually
bundle together the proceeds of a theft and carry it to the street,
passing through the halls with an air of bravado, so as not to excite
suspicion. They generally work in pairs; one standing in the hallway to
warn his partner of the return of the tenant, and, in case the thief is
pursued, to trip the person in pursuit or to divert him in some other
way. They seldom leave a house together, but usually meet at a distance
from the scene to dispose of the property and divide the proceeds.

"Many flat thieves work by hiring a room or rooms in a residential
section of the city and as near the roof as possible, particularly
where the roofs in the vicinity are of about the same height. They use
scuttles and fire-escapes as a means of getting into buildings and
convey the plunder over the roofs to their rooms. In this way they
avoid the danger of being detected in the street.

"More ambitious than the flat thief, but in something of the same
class, is the loft burglar. Loft burglars are the most feared by
merchants, for when they make a haul it is usually a big one, amounting
to thousands of dollars. They are necessarily the brainiest of burglars
for the reason that their work requires more and better planning. Plans
are often made weeks in advance.

"A loft is selected after a study of the location and the quantity and
quality of the stock carried in it. Weeks are then spent in becoming
familiar with the habits of persons who might be in a position to
thwart or discover them, particularly the watchmen and patrolmen on
post, and the customary time of opening and closing the building,
noting the person to whom this duty is entrusted.

"A Saturday afternoon or night is generally selected for the entry.
Sometimes it is necessary to gain entrance through a building three or
four doors away and clamber back over the roofs. When the loft selected
is reached they do not hesitate to cut through a wall to get one of
their number in it; if necessary they will drill through the floor from
the loft below or through the ceiling from the one above, lowering
the first man down with a rope. The door of the loft is then opened
from the inside if the circumstances warrant it. The loot is carefully
selected from the most valuable stock. Packing cases are constructed
from material lying about, filled, and nailed shut.

"They are now confronted with the most difficult task, that of getting
the packing cases from the building. The property is seldom moved at
night. They fear that the appearance of a vehicle at an unusual hour in
a section of the city where lofts are located would arouse suspicion.
Instead, if as a result of their previous study, they know that the
loft will be opened at 7:30 A. M., a vehicle will be brought to the
front of the building at about 7:20 A. M., the door opened from the
inside by one of the gang dressed as a porter, and in the most bold and
daring manner the cases will be loaded on the wagon. One of the gang
may even engage the patrolman on post in conversation, possibly within
sight of their activities. The bogus porters, if the circumstances
necessitate it, will go back into the building and escape by way of the
roof or through an adjoining building.

"Safe burglars know as a rule the particular make of each safe on
which they intend to operate. Like loft burglars they plan far in
advance and come prepared to break through any part of a building in
order to get to the safe. They have been known, when working in an
exposed position, to make a pasteboard safe, paint it to imitate the
original, shove the genuine safe into an inner room and leave the
substitute in its place. Others do not resort to this subterfuge, but
simply bodily shove the safe into a position where they can not be
observed from the street and begin operations. They try not to use
explosives. The easiest way, the combination, is tried first. If this
fails, the weakest part, the bottom or back, is tried. The ordinary
safe is turned upside down and the bottom or back is cut out with a
tool they call a 'can opener.' If the bottom or back resists, they
drill a hole near the combinations and try to disturb the tumblers
sufficiently to turn the lock. As a last resort a hole is drilled
and charged with explosive. To deaden the report the safe is wrapped
with material found on the premises or with blankets brought along. A
lookout is usually stationed on the outside to signal in the event of
peril. Safe burglars, like burglars who break windows or side lights,
wait for the rumble of a passing vehicle to deaden the sound of an

"Store burglars generally gain entrance through a rear or side window.
They travel in gangs of two or three, one always on guard, and steal
from the till, cash register or small safes. They, too, have their work
planned in advance, and know just what to do when they enter. The loot
is seldom removed through the front of the building; it is carried
through the rear yards or over the roofs of an adjoining building and
thence to the street.

"If the booty is too bulky to transport on their persons, a push cart
is hired or stolen for the purpose, or a milk or baker's wagon is
pressed into service, sometimes with the consent of the driver, and
the goods moved early in the morning, during the hours when milkmen
and bakers are making their deliveries, so as not to excite suspicion.
Burglars who break store windows and side lights work in pairs and are
very tricky. Their outfit in most instances consists of a long piece of
heavy wire and a heavy piece of cloth, such as part of a bed comforter,
which they carry wrapped about their bodies.

"A store is selected which displays articles of some value in its
windows. The habits of the man on post are learned, and at an opportune
moment during his absence they will throw a padded brick or iron
through the window or side light, having first placed the comforter on
the stoop or walk to catch the broken glass and deaden the sound. Or,
they may use a glass cutter to remove a section of the window. This
step accomplished, they dart into a nearby hallway and wait to see if
the breaking of the glass has attracted attention. If they find it
has not, operations are resumed and the contents of the show-window
extracted by means of a stiff wire, the tip of which has been bent into
a hook. The store selected is often covered by the crooks for hours,
sometimes from an adjoining precinct or post, awaiting a suitable

"The sharpest and most successful burglars of late have been
foreigners, some of whom can not speak English. Their favorite method
is to select a residence along some street-car route, enter it during
the daytime, if possible, and remain secreted in areaways, back yards
or on roofs until night, then force an entrance through a window, door
or roof scuttle when the occupants have retired. After securing the
plunder they open the front door and wait inside until a car passes.
Then they run out and board a moving car, watching meanwhile to see if
they are pursued. Sometimes they ride almost to the city line before
getting off. They are afraid that if they pass a brightly lighted
street corner they will be observed and for this reason they use the
street cars.

"If there were no receivers of stolen goods there would be but little
burglary of these or any other kinds: A thief will not steal unless
he knows that he can make some profitable disposition of his haul. It
is comparatively easy to dispose of jewelry, but a thief must know
positively where he can immediately dispose of bulky property that
he cannot readily conceal. Usually such stuff is immediately sold
to unscrupulous dealers who carry goods of the same kind in stock;
for instance, a quantity of stolen cloth may be sold to a dishonest
dry-goods merchant. In some cases, however, a store or flat is rented
in advance of a burglary or theft and the loot stored in it. The
receivers are then visited in turn by the thieves, shown samples,
and bids are requested. In this way they dispose of the goods more

"A careful thief destroys, as soon as possible, all marks of
identification, but if he has not done so, the receiver takes that
precaution as soon as the stolen property comes into his possession.
Merchandise handled under unusual conditions should immediately suggest
'receivers' to you. For instance, if you saw a large quantity of silk
being taken into a small retail store, or saw the delivery being
made from a hand-truck or from a wagon not ordinarily used for such
deliveries, or by persons who, from their appearance and manner of
handling the merchandise, did not seem to be engaged in the business;
or if you observed boxes of shoes being taken into a barber shop, or a
great quantity of food being delivered to a dwelling, it should arouse
your suspicion.

"Remember that persons engaged in a legitimate business are constantly
devising ways and means of advertising themselves. They want everyone
to know that they are engaged in a certain business, and located at
a certain place, and invite inspection of their stock. They do not
paint their windows to hide the contents of their store, or arrange
the interior so that the stock will not be in plain sight, or deny
prospective purchasers the privilege of examining their stock."

                              CHAPTER III


In all up-to-date police and detective bureaus the Bertillon System
is now being used whenever practicable for the identification of
criminals. I consider it important that detectives be thoroughly
familiar with the system, as it is a wonderfully accurate system of
identification and quite easy for anyone to become familiar with, as I
will show.

The Bertillon System of identification was unknown previous to the
year 1880, in which year it was adopted in France as a standard by
the police department of Paris, where it was introduced by Alphonse
Bertillon, its founder. Since then it has been adopted by police
departments of practically all large cities in the United States,
Canada and Europe. For the identification of criminals the Bertillon
System depends upon accurate measurements of various parts of the human
body, having to do especially with the bones, which in adults never
change. The parts measured are head, left ear, left foot, left middle
finger, extended left forearm, outstretched arms, the trunk and height.

In the Bertillon System the metric measurement is used exclusively.
In such measurement we have the meter, which equals 39.37 inches; the
centimeter, which is the one-hundredth part of a meter and which equals
0.3937 of an inch; and the millimeter, which is the one-thousandth part
of a meter and which equals 0.03937 of an inch.

In order to take the measurements of a criminal in accordance with the
Bertillon System it is of course necessary to have and use a metric
measure; one can be purchased almost anywhere in the United States
for fifty cents. So as to make the matter of measurement more clear,
I might state that under our own system of measurement we measure by
yards, feet and inches, half inches, quarter inches, etc. Under the
metric system we measure by meters, centimeters and millimeters. It
will readily be seen that with the metric system it is possible to
measure accurately the thousandth part of an inch.

We will take for instance a criminal whose height is five feet and one
inch. In Bertillon or metric measurement his height would be one meter
and fifty-five centimeters; written thus: 1 M. 55. 0. If a criminal's
height be, for instance, five feet seven and a half inches, it would
be, according to Bertillon or metric measurement, one meter, 71
centimeters, and five millimeters, written thus: 1 M. 71. 5. A criminal
whose height is five feet and 7/8 inches would be shown in Bertillon in
the following manner, with other measurements added:

  1.67.6  1.74.0  88.1  19.0  16.0  14.5  6.0  26.1  11.8  8.9  45.4
   HGT      OA     TR    HL    HW    CW   RE    LF   LMF   LLF   FA

These abbreviations signify, in the order shown, that this criminal's
height is one meter, sixty-seven centimeters and six millimeters;
outer arms one meter, seventy-four centimeters; trunk eighty-eight
centimeters and one millimeter; head length nineteen centimeters;
head width, sixteen centimeters; cheek width fourteen centimeters and
five millimeters; right ear six centimeters; left foot twenty-six
centimeters and one millimeter; left middle finger eleven centimeters
and eight millimeters; left little finger eight centimeters and nine
millimeters; forearm forty-five centimeters and four millimeters. The
foregoing abbreviations have been adopted for convenience upon the
backs of criminal photographs and where space usually is limited.

                              CHAPTER IV


Although not generally known it is a fact that banks, business
concerns, and the public in general probably suffer a greater loss
through the operations of forgers and bogus check operators than
through any other form of crimes perpetrated against them. There are
confined today in the penal institutions of this country, thousands of
persons convicted and found guilty of these offenses, and yet I would
venture to state that not over forty per cent of this class of criminal
is ever apprehended.

There is hardly a morning anywhere but what one may pick up a newspaper
and read an account of how some clever forger succeeded in victimizing
a bank, hotel or merchant. With this large number of forgers at large
and free to operate when, and practically wherever they please, we have
additional proof that there are today by no means sufficient trained
detectives to run them down. The methods most commonly practiced by
forgers, both professional and amateur, are quite well known, yet I
believe it will be well for me to dwell at some length on the subject.

In a general way I might state that the methods of all forgers are
much the same; at any rate such has been my experience with this class
of criminal. Their aim in most cases, before presenting for payment a
check to which a signature has been forged, or an endorsement, is to
ascertain if the firm or person against whom the check is to be drawn
has deposits sufficient to cover the check. After satisfying himself
on this point the forger proceeds to fill in the check and to affix
thereto a signature or an endorsement purported to be genuine.

After having selected the person whose signature or endorsement is to
be forged, the forger must next be familiar with the handwriting of
that person. It is comparatively an easy matter for anyone so inclined
to secure an original, facsimile or tracing of the average business or
professional man's signature. After providing himself thus the forger
sets about writing a check that will be so near like the genuine that
it will not be likely to be questioned when presented at the bank. The
forger usually makes it a point to present his check at a time when the
cashier or paying teller is busiest, and when the forgery will most
likely pass unnoticed.

In my experience I have found that employers very often are careless
in leaving their private check books, and sometimes signed checks,
lying around the office where a dishonest employee or other person may
have easy access to same. Very often cancelled checks fall into the
hands of forgers who promptly take advantage of the handwritings for
their ulterior purposes. There are dozens of ways by which a forger may
secure them. Workmen who receive their salaries from their employers in
the form of checks often are tempted to make use of the signature to
forge others and have them cashed.

Under this class of criminal we have also to contend with what are
known as bogus check operators, who, when writing and passing checks,
use fictitious names of banks and persons; also the worthless check
operator, who, after gaining the confidence of his employer, or of
some bank, writes and has cashed a check in excess of funds he may have
on deposit. The detective must not confuse forged checks with bogus
checks. The former is a check upon which is written what purports to be
the genuine signature or endorsement of some person and which signature
or endorsement was not written by, nor authorized by that person. The
latter is one upon which is written the name of some bank which does
not exist, or which may be drawn on a bank which does exist but at
which bank the drawer of the check has no account. There are also many
other forms of checks passed which come under the classification of
bogus checks.

Thousands of hotel keepers and merchants are victimized yearly through
cashing forged, bogus and worthless checks presented by oily tongued
swindlers who tell plausible stories as to how they happen to be out
of funds, etc. In order to be successful in handling forgery cases it
is essential that the detective be a good judge of human nature and of
handwriting. The more technical knowledge he may have of handwriting
the better.

If the detective is called upon to investigate, for instance, a case
wherein a bank has been defrauded through the operations of a forger,
he should endeavor first to see the forged check. A record should be
made as to the kind of blank form the check was drawn on, whether or
not same was drawn upon an ordinary counter check form, if the form was
taken from a private printed check book, or from a pocket check book.
Record should be made of the date, the number, on what bank drawn on,
in whose favor drawn, the amount, how signed, and how endorsed. Such
records should include whether or not the check or any part of it was
filled in with pen and ink, with pencil, or with a typewriter.

For the detective's future reference a tracing should be made of all
handwritings on the check, especially of any known to have been written
by the forger. By far the best plan is to have both sides of the check
photographed. Until such time as it may be needed as evidence in court,
a forged check should never be taken away from a bank, carried in the
pocket, or handled any more than may be absolutely necessary. The
reasons are that in taking such a check from a bank it may become lost,
and by carrying it or handling it the writings may become effaced. No
chances should be taken in losing or destroying the most important
evidence with which to prosecute the forger in case he is apprehended.
The detective should place his initials or some other mark upon the
original check so that he can positively identify it later if called
upon to do so.

At the bank the detective should secure as thorough a description as
possible of the person for whom the check was cashed, also should
make note of any statements made by the forger as to where he came
from, what firm he claimed to represent, or by whom employed, etc.
Hotel registers should be examined closely for any registration in
handwriting identical with that in the forged check. In order to
establish the identity of the forger if not known, or to learn the
direction in which he may have gone, the detective may proceed along
the lines outlined with regard to burglary cases.

I have handled hundreds of forgery cases and will say that I never
found the forger a criminal difficult to apprehend. There are two
good reasons why this should be so; the first is that the forger, as
a rule, must present himself in person at the bank or other place to
secure the money on his check, and by so doing enables the detective to
secure a good description of him, how he was dressed, etc.; the second
reason is that the forger when filling in his check, or by endorsing
it, must necessarily leave behind one of the very best clues for the
detection of any criminal, that being his handwriting.

In fully ninety per cent of forgery cases I have handled I have
found that the person whose signature was forged could tell, after
being questioned, who was responsible for the forgery, and I will
show you that the process is very simple and easy. I have in mind
a good many cases each of which I cleared up in less than half an
hour after arriving upon the ground. My plan was to first secure the
best description obtainable of the forger, then a specimen of his
handwriting, after which I would see or call upon the person whose
signature was forged. To that person I would submit the description
and the handwriting, and, as previously stated, ninety per cent of
them were able to tell very quickly which employee, relative, friend,
acquaintance, or enemy was responsible.

After the detective has learned the identity of a forger but cannot
locate him, he should keep in touch, under some good pretext, with the
forger's parents, wife, sweetheart, sister, brother or other relative
or friend. The forger will communicate with his sweetheart, friends
or relatives sooner or later; it is human nature and I have never
seen it fail. When the detective has succeeded in causing the arrest
of a forger, or of a suspected forger, he should endeavor to secure a
confession from him. I have secured many confessions from forgers by
saying to them in a friendly way that the best way for them to prove
that they had nothing to do with the forgery with which they were
charged, was to write a specimen of the forged check. It is really
surprising how many professional forgers will allow themselves to be
led into this simple ruse.

While the forger's mind is laboring under the strain of being under
arrest, and seeing possible conviction ahead, he is eager to take
advantage of what he thinks is an opportunity to prove that he did
not write the forgery and will rely upon his ability to disguise his
handwriting sufficiently to mislead the detective. Another reason why
he will comply with such a request is that he will fear his refusal
to give a specimen of his handwriting will be taken as an evidence of
guilt. As a matter of fact I have found no persons in my experience who
could successfully disguise their handwriting with their minds under
any kind of strain. The forger can therefore be easily led into hanging
himself with his own rope, as it were.

After securing such handwriting the detective should take out his
facsimile, or photographic copy of the forged check, and if he finds
the handwritings identical, he should point out the similarities to the
forger. There should be no difficulty experienced in securing a full
confession, and in addition the detective will have in his possession
the handwriting of the forger, which, I neglected to state, should be
secured in the presence of one or two reliable witnesses, so that the
confession and handwritings can be substantiated in court if necessary.
It goes without saying that efforts should be made by the detective to
secure such handwritings and the confession as soon after the forger's
arrest as possible. Should the forger or suspect have an opportunity to
confer with an attorney before this is done, the chances are that no
handwritings or confession will be secured.

Great care must be exercised by the detective when it is left to him
to have warrants issued for criminals of this class. It often happens
that one person will forge a signature or endorsement to a check,
then delegate a confederate or other person to present the check for
payment. Under these circumstances the presenter of such a check could
hardly be convicted of forgery, but he could be convicted of passing
the forged check and of obtaining money thereon. The point to be borne
in mind by the detective in such cases is, that in order to convict a
person of forgery, it is necessary to prove the handwriting, or produce
one or more witnesses who actually saw the signature or endorsement
being written. Warrants should be issued accordingly; the best kind of
warrant to be gotten out in such cases being one in which the offender
is charged with passing the forged check and with obtaining the money.

I have known quite a few clever forgers, who with the aid of good
attorneys, succeeded in beating their cases simply because the warrants
for their arrest were not properly gotten out, and which resulted in
improper indictments being returned against them. I have known dozens
of bungling detectives and officers to swear out warrants charging
persons with forgery when, as a matter of fact, the forgery could not
be proven, but a charge of passing a forged check and obtaining money
thereon could have been made and proven. In the cases I have in mind
the offenders went scott free simply because the wrong charge was
brought against them, and because they were given advantage of the law
itself to escape punishment.

As a whole I consider the forger one of the most dangerous of criminals
to be at large, but as stated, one of the easiest to apprehend when
proper methods are applied. I believe I will do well to recount
here what I considered, when it was first submitted to me, my most
difficult forgery case, but which in the end proved quite easy to
unravel and clear up. One day it was discovered by a bank in a small
town in the West that during the preceding seven months it cashed for
some unknown person eleven checks to which were forged the signature
and endorsements of one of the bank's customers. These forgeries were
discovered when the customer came into the town from his ranch to have
his pass book balanced. Upon being handed his cancelled checks he
discovered the forgeries.

In this particular case no person connected with the bank could recall
in the slightest degree for whom, nor for what kind of person they
cashed the checks. From the fact that the customer called at the bank
so rarely they did not know him by sight. Inasmuch as this customer
lived far out from the city on a ranch, he could throw no light on who
forged his signature to obtain the money from the bank, which, as I
recall it, amounted to several hundred dollars.

In looking over the forgeries and the dates upon which they were paid,
I found that they had been presented at the bank and were paid, on an
average, of one every three weeks. Outside of the forger's handwriting,
there was absolutely no clue upon which to work. After giving the case
several hours' thought, I came to the conclusion that the case, to my
way of thinking at that time, could be cleared up along only one line,
that being that I find the person through his handwriting.

The town in question was a county seat of about five thousand
population. I had concluded also that the culprit, from the fact of his
forgeries covering a period of seven months, must be a resident, or at
least an habitue of the town. I found myself figuring how long it would
take to enable me to see a specimen of the handwriting of every man in
the town. This being my plan I started to work along the line of least
resistance, going first to the court house, where I secured permission
to look over any and all kinds of records, in the hope of finding
somewhere in the town a specimen of handwriting identical with that
of the forger in the case. Near the close of the second day my search
was rewarded through my finding upon the payrolls of a contractor a
signature, every letter of which was identical with the same letter
in the forgeries, the forger being at that time in the employ of the
contractor. The same characteristics and peculiarities being evident in
both handwritings, I lost no time in effecting arrangements for having
the suspect brought before the town marshal and me.

We handed the man pen and ink and check forms, and upon his signifying
his willingness to write for us specimens of any checks we desired,
we of course had him write copies of the forgeries. His handwriting
proved to be identical to the smallest detail, with the handwriting in
the forgeries, and upon being shown both writings he made a confession
on the spot. Later he pleaded guilty to the charge of forgery and was
sentenced to serve two years in state prison.

A favorite method of offenders in defrauding banks, and which scheme
is worked somewhere every business day of the year, is to visit a bank
and open an account by depositing a bogus or worthless check, and which
transaction is usually handled by the receiving teller. As a rule a
pass book will be given to the offender in the regular way, but no
money will be paid out by the bank until it ascertains if the check
is good, and which, by ordinary methods, usually requires two days'
time, and longer if the check be drawn on a far distant bank. On the
day following the opening of the account the offender will visit the
bank and on this occasion approaches the paying teller. Of course, he
is not known to the paying teller, but he produces his pass book and
shows the paying teller that he has on deposit say one hundred dollars.
He asks to withdraw fifty. Hundreds of paying tellers have been caught
off their guard with this game by neglecting to look up the party's
account, and in an unguarded moment take it for granted that the
party's account is O. K.

Stolen pass books are an extensive source of loss to banks. Throughout
the country thousands of foreigners have savings accounts in banks.
With most of them it is customary to keep the bank books in their
trunks or rooms where they can easily be stolen by one of their
countrymen, who takes the book to the bank, impersonates the owner and
obtains the cash.

To illustrate the importance that the detective must give to the
small details when making an investigation, I was once called upon
to investigate a forgery that had been perpetrated upon a bank in
a town of about twenty thousand population. In this case a middle
aged woman presented a check and obtained eighty dollars thereon,
the check later proving to be a forgery. I questioned the paying
teller for an hour, but he seemed unable to assist me and could say
nothing about the woman except that she was of middle age and pleasant
appearing. This, however, was very vague, as there were in the town
probably five hundred women who were pleasant appearing and of middle
age. I persisted in having the paying teller revert his mind to the
occasion of the woman's visit to the bank, and he finally recalled
that the woman wore a pin bearing the emblem of a secret society of
some kind--he could not recall which. I immediately set to work, and
later in the day submitted to the paying teller a dozen or more lodge
emblems, when he selected the emblem of the Order of the Eastern Star
as being identical with what the woman wore. The foregoing consumed
one day, and the next morning I set about ascertaining what member of
the Order of the Eastern Star in that town or vicinity would have been
likely to pass the forged check. From the secretary of the order I
obtained a list of the members, then decided to take the secretary into
my confidence and asked him who of the members he thought would have
been most likely to commit this crime. His suspicions rested upon a
woman who lived in a village just outside of the town, and from all he
told me I became convinced she was the woman wanted.

The next morning, accompanied by the paying teller, I called at the
woman's home under a pretext, and when the paying teller promptly
identified her as being the woman for whom he cashed the check.

Many large sums of money have been obtained through forgery. The most
remarkable case ever brought to my attention was one that involved
$30,000.00. A man forty years of age had been made the business agent
of a wealthy lady who was some eighty years old. This man was also
named in the lady's will to be the executor of her estate after her
death. It happened, however, that this man died first and among his
papers and effects was found a note for $30,000.00 purporting to have
been signed by the woman in favor of this man. When claim was made upon
her for the amount of this note she promptly denied having ever signed
such a note, and pronounced the note a forgery, and so the note was
never paid. In this particular case it occurred to me that the man no
doubt believed that the woman for whom he was business agent would, in
all probability, die first, and when it would have been an easy matter
for him, as executor, to have taken possession of the amount of the
note. Because of the prominence of all parties concerned in this case,
it was never given publicity.

Raised checks are an extensive source of loss and annoyance to banks
and individuals. Many checks, after being written, mailed or sent, fall
into the hands of persons who make a practice of "raising" the amounts
for which the checks were originally intended and written, and then
pass or have them cashed. For instance, a check written for ten dollars
will be raised to one hundred dollars, or to whatever amount the raiser
may believe it can be passed without arousing the suspicions of the
bank, merchant or individual upon whom it is to be passed. I have seen
many raised checks, the favorite method of the latter day check raiser
being to remove from the check with chemicals the figures and wording
of the amounts, and then to insert a greater amount. The original
signature of the drawer of the check is of course left intact. It often
requires the aid of a magnifying glass to discover the erasure or
removal of the original writing. When necessary the name of the payee
is also removed and another name inserted.

                               CHAPTER V


As in other criminal cases, when confessions are obtained from forgers,
it is a good plan to take the same in writing in the presence of
reliable witnesses, and to have the confession signed by the criminal.
However, great care must be exercised when taking a statement or
confession from a criminal, and even though the statement or confession
is given voluntarily and willingly by the criminal, it should be
embodied in the statement in writing that the same is so given, that it
is given without any threats or coercion having been made or resorted
to, and that it is given without promise of reward or compensation.
Such a statement should also show that it has been explained to the
person before signing it that he or she understands that the same may
be used against him or her later.

For the average case I would suggest a statement worded about as
follows, or in accordance with the kind of case it is to apply to:

 "I, Jone Doe, wish to state that on June 30th, 1914, I entered the
 First National Bank and obtained $50.00 cash upon a check which I
 knew to be a forgery, and to which check I signed the name of John
 Smith, without Mr. Smith's permission or authorization, and which
 check I represented to the bank as having been signed by John Smith.
 I was arrested today by Detective John Brown, who has not threatened
 nor coerced me in any way, neither have I been promised any reward,
 compensation or leniency for making this statement, and I understand
 this statement may be used against me."

Having persons make affidavit to statements of this nature does not
strengthen them in any way, since the law permits persons to repudiate
affidavits without constituting perjury, so long as the affidavit or
statement has not been given in any judicial proceeding.

In connection with the investigation of forgery cases I might add that
it is a good plan to have the person whose signature was forged make
an affidavit that the check or other paper repudiated by him, was not
signed by him and not authorized by him. I once had a case of forgery
wherein it was neglected to do this. When the offender was arrested he
proved to be a close friend of the man whose signature was forged. Then
to save his friend from prosecution the man went to the bank and stated
that the check which he had at first repudiated was his own signed

                              CHAPTER VI

                             MURDER CASES

In my experience with murder cases I would divide such crimes into
three classes, namely: The cases wherein a murder has been carefully
planned or premeditated; the cases where a murder is committed suddenly
or on the spur of the moment; and those that are a result of some
person intending only to do bodily harm to another but wherein such
injuries later cause death. One could hardly lay down any set rule to
be applied by the detective for the proper investigation of murder
cases. There are, however, several primary things that should be
kept in mind by the detective, and which I have found will apply in
most murder cases. The first and most important thing to be looked
into is the motive. Every effort should be made by the detective to
establish the motive, and if successful he will, as a rule, have little
difficulty in ascertaining the identity of the murderer. After the
murderer's identity is known the detective has something definite upon
which to work.

The detective should satisfy himself as to which of the three classes
previously named the crime would come under. It should be borne in mind
that murders as a rule, are not committed for pastime or amusement. I
would venture to state that seventy-five per cent of murders committed
come under the first named class. Often they are very carefully
planned and the plans just as carefully executed. The detective should
ascertain, by making inquiry or otherwise, who would profit by the
death of the person murdered. It should be ascertained if robbery was
the direct motive.

Hundreds of persons have been murdered by slow poisoning. In such
cases the detective must look for the relative who would benefit by
the death of the person murdered. Persons very often are murdered
so that the insurance they may carry can be claimed. It should be
ascertained if the person murdered had any quarrels with business
associates, relatives, friends, or other persons, or if the enmity of
any person in particular was incurred at any time. If a weapon was
used to cause death, it should be ascertained from the nature of the
wound what kind of weapon was used, and if the weapon prove to be a
pistol, its calibre, make, etc., should be gone into. Regardless of the
kind of weapon used, if its nature can be established, the detective
should endeavor to learn where it was secured, who was known to be in
possession of, or known to have carried such a weapon. In murder cases
every clue, no matter how small or vague, should be run out by the
detective. The smallest clues often develop the best results. As the
circumstances in every murder case will differ, the detective must use
his own judgment as to how to proceed. Application of good judgment and
good common sense methods have never failed to bring about results.

                              CHAPTER VII


A class of criminals who are, in my opinion, the most obnoxious of any
the detective may have to deal with, and of which class only a small
percentage are detected and convicted are the grafters. I will venture
to state that not more than one such criminal in every hundred finds
his way behind prison bars, where all thieves of this class rightly
belong. The general public cannot perceive how prevalent this form of
stealing has become. The reason probably is because the grafter of
today usually moves in the best society and often holds a position
of trust, which facts tend to divert suspicion from him and from his
crooked dealings.

I am sure that a successful career awaits any ambitious young detective
who will devote his time and energy to hunting down grafters. One
or two successful cases will start the detective on the road to
success. The field for detectives for this class of work is unlimited,
remuneration is the best, and better still, the grafter is by far the
easiest of all criminals to catch. It is as easy to catch grafters as
it is to catch fish, the process being simply a matter of baiting a
hook; the grafter, in his greed for money, will do the rest.

In both large and small cities, and in country districts as well,
grafters are daily gathering in ill gotten money in many different
ways. Criminal records of most of our states show that men, while
holding important positions of trust in our state departments, have
been detected and found guilty of various forms of grafting. The same
records, in a good many of our large cities, will show the same. I
believe that one of the best things that could possibly be done by
the governors of our states, by the mayors of our cities, and by our
prosecuting attorneys, would be to employ annually a first-class,
reliable detective to investigate thoroughly into the various interests
of the public which they control to ascertain if grafting exists.
Grafting has usually been found where such investigations have been

The various ways by which men who have held official positions in
state, county and city governments have been known to profit by
grafting would be a long story to relate. Regarding grafting by public
officials, there is one thing in particular that the detective should
always keep in mind, that being that political records show that
thousands of men throughout the country have had themselves elected
to public office, the full term of which netted them in salary often
only half the amount expended by them in having themselves elected to
office. When such persons are elected to public office it very often is
the beginning of grafting by them in some form.

We will grant that some of these men were public spirited citizens,
and while in office may have served the public at their own expense.
Nevertheless, when we know that a man has actually bought his way, and
paid dearly to have himself elected to office, that man will at least
bear watching. I have in mind the case of a certain county official
in a western state, who, some years ago, succeeded in having himself
elected to office, which office, for its entire term of three years,
carried a salary amounting to $2,400.00. This man was known to have
expended close to $5,000.00 to become elected. Within a year after
taking office he was ousted by the people of the county, who demanded
his resignation, it having been found that his campaign for election
was financed by a certain manufacturing company, and that after taking
office he had accepted certain additional sums of money to protect the
interests of the same concern.

Right here we have another kind of grafter. The man just mentioned
was known to have purchased outright with money, at so much per vote,
hundreds of votes that were cast for his election. Voters accepting
such money are of course guilty of a crime worse than grafting. In most
of our states we now have laws which make it a misdemeanor for anyone
to pay or promise to pay, or to give or promise to give anything for
any person's vote.

Grafting of the worst kind has been found to exist in the law making
bodies of some of our states. Many state legislators have been
convicted through having accepted money to vote for or against certain
measures, when by so doing they virtually sold out, for considerations
of money, the people by whom they were elected to faithfully represent.
The methods employed by most grafters, I believe, are too common and
too well known to need mention.

In connection with grafting in county and city governments, it has been
found very often that officials whose duties were to protect society,
and to endeavor to stamp out and to prevent certain violations of the
law, were grafters of the worst type. For considerations of money they
guaranteed protection to persons known to be violating the law. Such
protection has been guaranteed in many of our large cities by police
officials to keepers of houses of ill repute, to keepers of gambling
dens, or blind tigers, etc. The extent to which such grafting is done
can easily be ascertained by the detective if he will cultivate the
acquaintance of the keepers of such places. And now a few words as to
how the detective may set about catching some of these various kinds of

One good way for the detective to secure evidence against a grafter is
to first form his acquaintance, then lead him to believe, and make it
plain to him that he also is a grafter, or at least willing to be one.
After such confidence is established, an arrangement should be made
for making any payments of money to the grafter at such a place and in
such a manner that it can be substantially corroborated. So as to make
this point more clear, I will illustrate how I once, as a result of one
day's work, secured confessions from some forty grafters in connection
with vote buying in one county just previous to an election.

It was suspected that a certain candidate for office was spending large
sums of money for votes and I was called in to obtain positive proof
of it. After being supplied with a list of names of persons believed
to be the distributors of the candidate's money, I purposely selected
from the list a man said to be the smartest of the lot. A few hours
later, accompanied by an assistant, I called upon the man at his home.
I advised him that while we were strangers to him we were old friends
of the candidate's and that we had been called upon to assist in his

After discussing local conditions with the man, and the prospect of
our friend's election to office, I took from my pocket two hundred
dollars in bills which had previously been marked, and handed them to
the man saying that our friend the candidate sent the money to give
to him for distribution. Needless to state, the man did not refuse to
take the money. The bold and confident manner in which it was handed to
him laid at rest any fears or suspicions he may have had. He no doubt
felt satisfied that we were grafters of his own type, and immediately
began to talk very freely with us. We conversed with him for probably
an hour, during which time he advised us of various sums of money given
him by the candidate for distribution, also gave us the names of a
dozen or more men who were distributing funds for the candidate.

Before the day was over we had this man arrested and searched, when all
of the marked money was found on his person. Realizing that he had been
trapped, he lost no time making a confession, in which he implicated
others, with the result that some forty confessions were secured. I
have found grafters of this kind very prevalent practically all over
the country, and, as a rule, a good detective will experience little
trouble finding some honest, public-spirited citizen willing to defray
the cost of detective hire to run down such persons.

Regarding another kind of grafter, I once was called upon to secure
evidence in a certain small town against a county official who was
believed to be guaranteeing protection to persons selling liquor
in violation of the law, the chief violators being several local
druggists. Shortly after arriving in the town I began to negotiate in a
business like way for the purchase of one of the drug stores. I found
the proprietor of one of the stores willing to sell out provided he
secured his price. After remaining in town about ten days, I took an
option for thirty days on one of the stores, for which option I paid a
hundred dollars. I then left town temporarily, telling the druggist I
was returning to my home town to consult with my partner in business.

Within a week I returned with my partner (another detective) and who
expressed himself as being satisfied with the place I had negotiated
for. We told the druggist we were ready to buy, but before closing
the deal had decided we would like to be assured against interference
by the authorities in case we saw fit to sell liquor in our store.
I suppose because he believed he was getting his own price for his
property and business, the druggist responded quite easily. As we
expected he would do, he volunteered to take us and introduce us to the
very county official we were after, and which he did that evening.

The druggist explained to the county official that we were to purchase
his property and business the next day, and that we were naturally
anxious to know if we could be assured of protection in case we decided
to sell liquor. Everything appearing to be regular to the official, he
told us very bluntly what it would cost us per year to be protected and
requested a first payment of $50.00. I advised him we did not have so
much cash with us, and finally arranged that he call upon us the next
day at 10 a. m. at my room at the local hotel, when we would make the

Early the next morning at the hotel we secreted two responsible persons
in a closet in my room, then awaited the arrival of our grafter. He
came at the appointed hour and we again discussed the matter of our
protection and paid him $50.00. Immediately afterwards our witnesses
stepped out of the closet, and finding himself caught with four
witnesses against him, the man readily agreed to give us a written and
signed confession. He was told he would have to resign his position
forthwith or be prosecuted. He chose the former, which ended the case.

The dictagraph has played an important part in the detection and
conviction of grafters. When it is suspected that state, county or
city officials are grafting, in order to detect them, we will take for
example one or more city officials whose duty it is to let for their
city, contracts for paving. When a municipality gets ready to pave
three or four streets, or to let contracts for machinery, buildings
or other public improvements, specifications are drawn and the same
advertised. Perhaps twenty contractors will submit bids and one can
imagine the rivalry that may exist among the contractors, especially
since the municipality usually reserves the right to reject any or
all bids and are not bound to let any given contract to the lowest
bidder. Then naturally and very often the question arises as to who
shall be favored. My experience in many cases has been that when the
city officials are open to taking graft, a contract will go to the
contractor who will pay the most for being favored.

Three city officials once were trapped when a detective spent six
months in their city posing as a contractor, and finally when his
company was favored with a street paving contract upon the payment of
$500.00 cash, he arranged to talk over the transaction and later paid
over the money in a room in a hotel in which a dictagraph was secretly
installed, and which made it possible to substantiate the transaction
from start to finish.

Grafting is prevalent in many lines of business, especially where one
man is entrusted with the letting of contracts, or with the purchase of
supplies for a city, corporation, factory or individual. The following
will illustrate just how prevalent petty grafting has become and
which came to my notice through a case I had occasion to investigate
for a certain well-to-do gentleman. This man owned two automobiles
and entrusted to his colored chauffeur the purchase of gasoline
and supplies for the machines. From various dealers this chauffeur
obtained a "rake-off" on every gallon of gasoline used, and on the
purchase of new tires, etc. The more gasoline he used the more money
this chauffeur would make, and the same with tires and other supplies.
During the investigation this chauffeur's purchases of gasoline from
the dealer were compared with the mileage of the automobiles, and when
it was estimated that the owner was paying for two or three gallons of
gasoline per week for a long time that could not possibly have been
used. It was then believed that the chauffeur was selling the surplus
gasoline, but this could not be proven. Finally, when taken to task and
shown the amount of his purchases, he confessed to having poured the
gasoline into the sewer of the garage.

I was once called upon to look into a case where grafting was suspected
in a small town, and where the president of the town council, who was
a prominent physician, was under suspicion. I arrived in town two days
before a certain measure was to be acted upon in council, the measure
being in relation to a heating contract. I called upon the physician
at his office and told him in plain words that I represented one of
the competing firms and that I had been authorized to offer him two
hundred dollars for his vote and influence in favor of my company. He
accepted from me the two hundred dollars cash consisting of marked five
dollar bills, and endeavored to convince me that he was not a grafter
by saying that he had intended favoring my company anyway and was not
accepting the money for changing his decision on the measure in council.

After leaving him I went promptly to the persons who had retained me,
when it was quickly arranged to have a certain person who owed the
physician a small bill go there to pay it with a twenty dollar bill.
This party returned with three of the marked five dollar bills, which
the physician unsuspectingly made the change with. In addition, I had
had the physician prescribe for me for a pretended ailment, and by
which I was enabled to substantiate my call upon him, in spite of the
fact that I went to him alone. It was only desired to have this man
resign from council, which, it may be imagined, he was glad to do when
confronted with the evidence of having accepted a bribe. This entire
case was closed successfully in less than four hours after active work
was started.

                             CHAPTER VIII


There are, in my opinion, no business concerns that suffer a greater
loss, nor are occasioned more worry than are the department stores of
our large cities. Annually they lose thousands of dollars worth of
merchandise mainly through the operations of store thieves known as
shoplifters, and through the dishonesty of employes. In any of our
large up-to-date department stores the services of no less than a dozen
trained detectives, both male and female, are required to properly
guard such stores against thefts. Inasmuch as department stores offer
one of the broadest fields for private detectives, I shall set forth
some of the many ways by which such stores are robbed and defrauded
daily; also one of the best known methods for detectives to cope with
the offenders.

As previously stated, in department stores, both male and female
detectives are employed. Although I have known instances where
experienced female store detectives have been of valuable assistance
to department stores, male detectives, as a rule, can give the best
protection. The store detective must be a person of good, sound
judgment, be able to think and act quickly, and must always be alert
and wide awake during business hours at the store where he or she may
be engaged. It is essential that store detectives dress well, but not
conspicuously, and while in the store, if the detective be a man, he
should wear his hat and coat at all times.

If it be in the winter time the detective should wear a light overcoat,
and on rainy days should carry an umbrella. It is a very good plan for
the detective to carry a package under his arm, the purpose of all
these things being to give out the impression that the detective is a
customer instead of what he really is. The detective should keep moving
about in the store, pretend to make purchases, and if possible change
his hat and coat several times a day.

In order to emphasize the necessity of these things, we will look at
shoplifting for a few moments from the shoplifter's point of view.
Usually when a shoplifter decides upon some particular store to operate
in, he or she may first visit the store a dozen times if necessary in
order to pick out the store detective. After becoming satisfied on this
point the shoplifter figures on how best to avoid the persons he or she
have picked out as being detectives, then will begin to operate.

The professional shoplifter, if she be a woman, usually wears, during
cold weather, a long coat and wide skirt in which are capacious pockets
for concealing and carrying off stolen merchandise. The shoplifter
rarely will bother with cheap merchandise, but will confine her thefts
to valuable laces, silks, furs, jewelry, etc., which she secretes in
the pockets of her skirt or coat. During the summer season when it
would be out of place to wear a coat, the shoplifter takes advantage
of the rainy days and enters stores with her umbrella, in which she
secretes and carries off such articles as she may find an opportunity
to take from the counters unobserved by the clerks or floorwalkers.

Very often a professional shoplifter will take with her to a
store a confederate, especially if she has reason to believe that
her operations have aroused the suspicions of any of the store's
detectives. The confederate will proceed directly to the ladies' toilet
or rest room. After the shoplifter has taken one or more articles
she joins her confederate, and unobserved passes the articles to the
confederate. Then in case she has been watched or is arrested upon
leaving the store, no goods will be found on her person.

I have known careless store detectives to arrest shoplifters whom
they observed stealing goods in the store, but who did not have the
goods on their persons when they were arrested. When an arrest of
this kind is made it is usually the beginning of serious trouble for
the management of the store. The detective will have played into the
hands of the shoplifter; she will promptly take advantage of the
circumstances and bring suit against the management for false arrest.
Ordinarily department stores do not relish such undesirable notoriety;
damage suits are expensive, so usually they settle such cases. If the
shoplifter, after having been observed taking some article, enters the
rest or toilet room before leaving the store, it will be best for the
detective not to take any chances in causing her arrest for the reason
just mentioned.

The detective, as a rule, should not make an arrest under any
circumstances until after the shoplifter has left the store. I have
known cases where shoplifters and store thieves were arrested inside
of stores with stolen goods on their persons, but who, immediately
after being arrested, set up the claim that they had no intention of
stealing the goods, but that they were just taking the goods to the
light to examine them. Later when their cases came up in court they
would be represented by shrewd attorneys who took advantage of the law
itself by maintaining that inasmuch as the goods had not been taken
from the premises of the store, no theft was committed.

I would state that as a rule if the detective is watchful he will have
no difficulty in picking out the shoplifters. Persons so bent usually
keep looking about them furtively to note if anyone is watching them.
Quite often they are nervous and flit quickly from one counter to
another. If the detective be in doubt he usually can, with half an
hour's careful watching, determine to his own satisfaction the real
purpose of any person's visit to the store.

Department stores suffer serious losses through the operations of other
classes of criminals who make a practice of preying on such stores. A
large department store of the present day may have on its list from one
to two thousand customers, who have with the store what are known as
charge accounts. Such customers may visit the store, make a purchase,
and have the amount of same charged to their account. Often they make
such purchases by telephone, or may send a maid or other person to the
store to make the purchases. A certain class of store swindlers make
it a point to ascertain the names of persons having such accounts at
stores after which they visit the stores, impersonate the customers,
and very frequently secure and make off with goods of great value.

Usually such swindlers are not discovered until the end of a month,
when the customer receives his or her bill, but by which time the
swindler may be in some distant city preparing to victimize another
store. Dishonest employes and discharged employes are usually
responsible for giving out information regarding customers' charge
accounts. The swindler, however, can easily secure such information
in many other ways. We have also the store swindler who goes to some
large city and purposely registers at a leading hotel. He then visits a
department store, purchases an expensive suit or overcoat, in payment
of which he tenders a bogus check. He requests that his purchase be
delivered to his hotel, which may be done, but the swindler will be
gone long before the store discovers that it can not realize on the

One may ask how stores can be so easily victimized. There are two
reasons, and they apply not only to this class of swindle, but to many
others as well. The swindler may have, by his smooth and suave manner,
impressed the management or clerk that he was all that he represented
himself to be, and they, in an unguarded moment, allowed themselves to
be swindled. On the other hand, it may have been the anxiety of making
a sale at a good profit with an apparently good customer that may have
caused them to overlook ascertaining the genuineness of the swindler's
check before delivering the goods.

Another source of loss by department stores is through dishonest
clerks being in collusion with outside parties. A clerk, for instance,
employed at a silk or lace counter, will have a friend or confederate
call at her counter during the day. A yard of silk may be purchased
and paid therefor, but it is quite an easy matter for the dishonest
clerk to cut off and have wrapped a yard and a half or two yards of the
material purchased. I have known respectable, well-to-do women enter
into such arrangements with clerks at stores, seemingly treating such
matters lightly, and even telling their friends about such transactions.

There are innumerable other ways by which employes steal from stores.
Some clerks inclined to steal become very bold and very often carry out
openly stolen goods that they claim to have purchased. At thoroughly
up-to-date stores all clerks and employes, when leaving the store in
the evening, are required to leave by some certain exit, where there is
stationed a watchman who examines all packages that are carried out.
The watchman holds up all packages that do not bear the O. K. of some
floorwalker or other official of the store.

During such times as the Christmas shopping season, which in large
cities begins about November first, the management of large stores
find it necessary to double their detective forces, and well they may,
as November and December are the months during which shoplifters,
pickpockets and others figure on reaping their harvests. Pickpockets in
stores must also be given attention by the store detective. Customers
do not relish having their purses or pockets picked while in stores,
and when it does happen to a customer, he or she usually remains away
from that store in the future. Much more might be said upon the subject
of department store detective work, but I believe what has been gone
into will be sufficient to guide the average person in this branch of
the work.

                              CHAPTER IX

                        RAILROAD DETECTIVE WORK

Railroad companies suffer tremendous losses yearly in spite of the fact
that vast sums are continually being spent to guard against theft by
employees, thefts by car thieves, damage suits, etc. As to the first
mentioned source of loss railroad companies are obliged to maintain at
their freight yards and terminals large forces of detectives to guard
against thefts. Although not generally known to persons outside of
railroad circles, it is a fact that many roads employ an average of
fifty detectives for every hundred miles of their systems. The large
railroads nowadays are policed in much the same manner as are our large

Besides guarding against thefts of valuable freight while in transit,
patrons at the crowded stations and depots must be protected so far
as possible from the operations of pickpockets, swindlers and baggage
thieves. The smaller stations along the line where there are ticket
offices must be guarded against attacks by burglars. Practically all
large railroads maintain staffs of detectives whose duties are to
travel over the lines and do what is called checking. Manipulation of
tickets and cash fares is usually prevalent and no doubt will always be
so long as we have railroads and conductors.

Trains are checked at regular intervals unknown to train crews. Action
of train crews while on duty are reported on by detectives; also the
kind of service accorded patrons of dining, parlor and sleeping cars.
In these days when competition is keen, and when railroads are vying
with each other to furnish the best possible service, it is important
to managements to know to a certainty if conductors and other employees
are courteous and obliging to patrons, if any rules of the company are
being disregarded, and, as a whole, if the kind of service that it is
intended to give is being given.

Checking passenger trains is one of the most congenial branches of
detective work, and a branch which gives the young detective plenty
of valuable experience. This branch of railroad detective work being
the most desirable, I will endeavor to show what managements usually
expect from their detectives. The detective may be detailed to check
a sleeping car on some particular line from the time of departure of
the car from some given point in the evening until it arrives at its
destination in the morning. The detective's report will be expected to
contain information about as follows:

Name of the conductor in charge of the car; if the crew got out at
stations to assist passengers to board or alight; if the stepping
box was properly placed for passengers; if assistance was given
with baggage; if the conductor and porter were wearing their proper
uniforms; if uniforms were neat, and if the conductor and porter
were courteous to passengers. If the car was properly cleaned and
dusted; if the porter unnecessarily disturbed the passengers in any
way; if all berths were made up properly, and if properly closed in
the morning; if the window shades worked properly; if hammocks were
properly hung in berths; if the linen was clean and the lights in good
order; if the lights were turned out at the proper hour; if any persons
at stations disturbed passengers; if any of the crew loafed in any
unoccupied berths. If there were any complaints by passengers and if
the complaints were attended to. If ventilation was good and proper
temperatures maintained; if any of the crew slept while on duty; if the
water and towel supply was proper and sufficient; if there were any
accidents during the trip; if porter had shoes properly polished.

If passengers were properly brushed by the porter; if any of the crew
acted familiarly with passengers; if any of the crew smoked while on
duty; if tickets were collected promptly by the conductor, and if
railway and hotel guides were in proper places. In addition to the
foregoing the detective usually is required to report on how many
berths were occupied in the car, the number of men and number of women
passengers, children if any, also how many cash fares were collected
by the conductor for berths. When reporting on dining car service
detectives usually are expected to cover in their reports the following:

If crew was polite and efficient; if conductor was properly uniformed,
amount of the detective's check and its number; if linen was in good
condition and clean; if tables were properly set; if food was of good
quality. If waiters were properly uniformed; if finger bowls were
promptly and correctly served; if dining car was properly ventilated
and lighted; if liquor was served on the car; if silver was in good
condition and prompt service given. The articles of food and drink
ordered by the detective should be shown, the number of the table at
which he sat, the number of the waiter who served him, the number of
the car, the time he left the car, the number of the train, its time of
departure and arrival, and between what points traveled.

With such daily reports placed in their hands, persons responsible
to the managements for proper maintenance of sleeping and dining car
service are enabled to know precisely the kind of service that is being
given patrons, which information enables them to keep such service to
the highest standard of efficiency. Employees often, when coming in
from a run, are summarily discharged, or their resignations may be
asked for, but that is another matter; railroads need and must have
detectives. It will be seen that the railroads offer a very broad field
for detectives, and there is no reason why any young man with good
common sense should not be able to properly check a sleeping or dining
car on his first attempt.

                               CHAPTER X


Practically all street railway companies find it necessary to employ
detectives. The largest corporations of this kind may employ anywhere
from ten to fifty detectives the year round, and one may wonder why and
how all these detectives are employed. Street railway companies, like
the railroad companies, are obliged continually to guard against three
serious sources of loss, namely: thefts by employees, damage suits
and strikes. Experience has taught the management of street railway
companies that stealing on the part of conductors is always more or
less prevalent. Conductors are not usually prosecuted when caught
stealing fares, but are simply discharged. The morning and evening
crowds on street cars provide opportunities for conductors to steal, if
they may be so inclined.

A conductor may feel that half a dozen fares appropriated to his own
use every day will not be missed by the company. However, if we take
a corporation employing say five or six hundred conductors, it will
readily be seen that small thefts by conductors can easily run into
hundreds of dollars daily. As a rule managements do not discharge a
conductor for stealing until it has been found conclusively, on at
least two or three occasions, that he is doing so. Usually there are
as many detectives employed on street railway lines as there are runs
or routes on the system. Unknown to the conductors these detectives
ride on the cars from early morning until evening, or from morning
until midnight, changing from one line to another frequently enough not
to be noticed by the conductors.

The detective provides himself with a small counting machine which can
be concealed in the hand. Upon boarding a car he makes note of the
number of the car, the cap number of the conductor, and the number
of cash fares shown by the register. While apparently busily engaged
reading a newspaper or magazine, the detective keeps accurate count of
the number of passengers boarding the car, noting at the same time if
transfers are received or issued. As a rule conductors are required to
render separate reports to the company for every trip they make, and to
show the place and minute the trip was terminated. They must show in
their reports the number of cash fares collected; also the number of
transfers issued and collected.

If a conductor's report for any given trip does not coincide with the
report of the detective the conductor will be checked more closely on
succeeding trips, often by as many as three detectives at the same
time. If the conductor's reports to the company continue to show a
shortage of cash fares, the chances are that he will be discharged. As
to the second mentioned source of loss, managements of large companies
usually are obliged to defend in the courts the year round, damage
suits brought against them for personal injuries by persons who very
frequently have sustained no injury or damage whatever. A surprisingly
large number of fake suits are entered yearly against transportation
companies. There is also to deal with the professional witnesses, who
go from place to place, and who, for considerations of money, will
swear to having seen anything happen.

I recall a case wherein a middle aged lady left her home one morning
in New York to board a steamship bound for Europe. She rode down town
in a surface car which happened to collide with another car, with the
result that half a dozen passengers were more or less injured. The lady
in question, however, sustained no injury and continued on her way.
Several months later, while at the home of a relative in England, she
accidentally fell and injured her spine. She promptly took advantage
of her mishap by returning to New York, where she brought suit against
the railway corporation, claiming to have been disabled permanently as
a result of the street car accident before sailing for Europe. The fact
that she was permanently injured could not be disputed; the railway was
not prepared to dispute the matter of where and how she claimed to have
received her injuries, with the result that she received heavy damages.
The fraud was discovered by chance several years later.

Like all other large employers of labor, street railway companies are
not immune from having their employes go out on strike. When street
railway employees, or those of other transportation companies are
organized, a strike is liable to be called at any time, and often upon
the least provocation. It is highly important that managements have
advance information of any proposed strike, and of any grievances of
any employees, whether well founded or not. By having such advance
information serious loss can very often be averted by the management
getting rid of the agitators and trouble makers as quickly as they make
their appearance among the employes. It is well for the managements to
keep advised at all times regarding the attitude of employees.

There is but one good way to accomplish this, and that is to have
detectives scattered among the employes. The detectives can be put to
work among the men as conductors, motormen or as shop men. I have known
detectives to work in each of these capacities for years at a stretch
without becoming uncovered, and without their purpose having become
known. The valuable services that such detectives can render their
employers will readily be appreciated.

                              CHAPTER XI

                     OTHER KINDS OF DETECTIVE WORK

I believe it will be of interest to both experienced and inexperienced
detectives to be enlightened regarding some of the many other sources
from which private detective work arises. Lawyers throughout the
country, in both large and small cities, and even in thinly settled
country communities, are large employers of private detective service.
When prosecuting or defending damage cases, attorneys very often
need detective service in getting at facts, in order to properly
prepare their cases. Witnesses must be interviewed, and very often
investigated. Murder, burglary, damage and divorce cases supply needs
for a great deal of detective work.

State, county and city governments are large employers of private
detectives. Counties and cities often have their own staffs of
detectives, but there are many occasions when special detectives
must be pressed into service. Nowadays election frauds are practiced
practically everywhere. Private detectives are needed and can easily
obtain employment wherever there are professional politicians. Trusted
employees often go wrong and disappear with public funds. Officials
holding high offices very often turn out to be embezzlers. Dozens of
banks are being defrauded daily somewhere by forgers, sneak thieves and
others. Hundreds of our large banking institutions periodically place
under surveillance their entire staffs of employees, from the cashier
down to the messenger boy and porter in order to keep advised regarding
the habits and associates of the employees, which information enables
them to select from time to time the proper persons for promotion.

Large manufacturers, no matter what the line, usually are extensive
employers of private detectives. I have in mind a large manufacturing
concern which employes in its factory probably three thousand persons,
and at all times not less than two hundred traveling salesmen, also
dozens of branch managers. When it is suspected that a traveling
salesman is not attending to business, he is placed under surveillance
while on his travels from city to city, for probably one, two or three
weeks. The detective's report will show the time of day the salesman
begins work, what firms he calls on, how much time spent with each
firm, and how much time is idled away, and the time the salesman
discontinued work each day; also how much time the salesman may spend
in saloons or other places, how he spends his evenings and how much
money he spends.

In connection with this class of detective work, I once had occasion
to keep under surveillance for three weeks a traveling salesman, who,
as it developed, devoted more time to a side line than he did to the
line he was being paid to travel and promote business for. Needless
to state, this salesman, after his employers received my reports, was
obliged to change his ways. The tendency of salesmen to devote time
to side lines is one of the worst evils that employers of traveling
salesmen have to contend with.

In factories, no matter of what nature, employers usually find it
expedient to place secretly among their employees, detectives who
work side by side with the employees. Male or female detectives are
so placed, as the case may warrant. The reports these detectives are
enabled to render show which employees are worthy of trust or promotion
and those that are not. Such reports will show who are the lazy ones,
the dissatisfied ones, the strike agitators, those who steal tools,
material or supplies, those who violate any rules of the factory or
shop; also what kind of treatment is accorded the employees by the
foreman. An entire book could be written on this branch of detective
work alone. It is an undisputed fact that large employers of labor
nowadays cannot conduct their business as successfully without secret
service work.

Besides the thousands of manufactories, transportation companies
and others who constantly employ detectives, we have the wholesale
companies who deal in groceries, dry goods, drugs, shoes, etc., who
also are in need of such services. The traveling salesman of such
concerns must be looked after, also the drones and thieves with which
their warehouses become infested.

                        ILLEGAL LIQUOR SELLING

Illegal liquor selling opens a very broad field for detectives
throughout the country, and I have personally obtained and directed the
obtaining of evidence in a hundred different ways. In this branch of
the work one cannot be guided by any set rule, but must be governed by
prevailing conditions. If it be desired to obtain evidence regarding
the illegal sale of liquor, or regarding any other violations of law
in a hotel of any size, there is only one good plan, and that is to
have the detective obtain employment at the place for a few weeks or a

I have had many occasions to direct the work of obtaining evidence of
the illegal sale of liquor, gambling and other vices in small towns.
In the average town of from three to ten thousand population, the best
plan is to have the detective obtain employment in some mill, factory
or store. In this way he can easily become acquainted and can associate
with whatever element he may choose to associate with and without his
purpose being suspected. After the detective has been in the town for
two or three weeks, and has purchased liquor at the various places
where it is sold illegally, a second detective is sent to the town who
poses as the friend of the first one. The first detective then proceeds
to take his friend around to the various places in the evening, or on
Sunday, and in this way corroborative evidence is obtained. Bottles of
liquor should be obtained at the various places and retained intact for
use later as evidence.

                           ANONYMOUS LETTERS

There are written and mailed every year thousands of anonymous letters,
threatening and otherwise, and there is need for much detective work
along this line. Many such letters are written and addressed with the
typewriter, the authors believing that by so writing them they can
escape detection. But this is not so, as I have always found it easier
to trace to the writer those that are written with typewriter, because
when type is placed under the magnifying glass it is found that type
differs considerably on every typewriter, and each set of type has its
own peculiarities. With the assistance of an able typewriter expert, I
was enabled during the course of one year to clear up three anonymous
letter cases wherein the letters were written with a typewriter.

Thousands of letters known as "black hand" letters are mailed and
sent throughout the country, the sending of which offers a wide field
for investigation. "Black Hand" letters are by no means all sent by
Italians, as is commonly believed. The term is usually applied to
letters in which sums of money are anonymously demanded, upon threats
of death, torture or punishment.


The term "roping" is used in connection with detective work to express
cultivating the acquaintance of a criminal or other person for the
purpose of learning what the person may know regarding a crime or other
matter about which it may be desired to obtain information. There is a
vast lot of detective work of this kind done, and I will submit a few
cases, since every detective should be proficient along this line.

A man was in charge of the supply department for a large corporation,
and was suspected of carrying to his home such articles as light
globes, machinists' tools, paint, stamped envelopes, soap, towels, etc.
Being called upon to verify this, I detailed a female detective on the
case, who succeeded in obtaining lodging and board at the house, and in
two weeks she had seen and brought away more than fifty different kinds
of articles that had been stolen and carried home by this man.

I once directed the investigation of an $8,000.00 jewel theft which
was brought to a successful close by having a negro detective "rope"
a negro waiter. The jewels in question were inadvertently left lying
on a chair in a cafe by a well known actress, and they were not missed
until the following morning. Three negro waiters came under suspicion
and finally suspicion was narrowed down to one of them, who, after the
theft, kept roving from city to city. Although he was kept under close
surveillance for a period of four months he was never seen with any of
the stolen jewels, and apparently made no effort to dispose of them.
The suspect finally obtained a position as waiter in a fashionable cafe
in a certain large city, when I arranged for a similar position at the
same cafe for a negro detective, who immediately began cultivating the
acquaintance of the suspect. After two weeks he told the suspect that
he was worried over the fear of arrest for having stolen some jewelry
in another city. This caused the suspect to feel safe in confiding to
the detective the fact that he also had stolen some jewels and was
worried over the matter. On a certain night they arranged to meet
at the suspect's room to show each other their stolen jewels, the
detective arranging for this so as to ascertain where the suspect was
keeping his. The suspect was arrested the following day, and at his
room practically all of the stolen jewels were recovered.

I have handled a great many cases wherein the acquaintance of persons
holding confidential positions were cultivated. For example, men who
employ private secretaries often desire to know if the secretary is
absolutely reliable and trustworthy. Whether the secretary be man or
woman, "roping" is resorted to, to ascertain if such persons would
divulge secrets of their employers. "Roping" of this class of people
often entails great expense and detective work of a very high order.
I have handled several cases wherein it was necessary to have the
detective, in order to get acquainted in a natural way, join the same
church and clubs to which the party to be "roped" belonged, also
furnished the detective with an automobile and other things so as to
keep up appearances, and apparently be on an equal footing with the
person to be "roped."

Roping is very frequently resorted to in damage cases, also in theft
cases. Many fake damage suits are brought annually against street
railway and other transportation companies. While such suits are
pending it is a good plan to have a male or female detective, as
circumstances may require, get acquainted with, or obtain room and
board with the person to be "roped," and which usually results in the
detective learning the extent of the person's injuries, if there be
any, and such other information of value to attorneys defending such a


As previously stated herein, every owner of a wholesale house or
warehouse can employ detective service with profit, also packing houses
and similar concerns. I have in mind a certain wholesale drug house
which employs approximately one hundred men the year round. At one time
it was estimated that between two and three hundred dollars worth of
goods were stolen and carried off per month. I detailed a detective
to go to work in the building among the other employees, and at the
end of four weeks the detective's reports showed specific instances
of stealing on the part of sixteen employees. The detective was then
permitted to discontinue, and I took these sixteen men in hand, one
after another, and obtained signed confessions from them relative to
their stealings, and all were discharged. I recall that one of these
men admitted stealing and carrying off seven Gillette safety razors in
a period of two weeks. Also one of the men whom we took in charge, as
he was about to quit work for the day, had secreted on his person six
different stolen articles.

In the case of a large packing house it was found that drivers were
short some of their goods upon arriving at depots, claiming that the
missing goods either were stolen or had not been loaded upon their
trucks. They made these trips to the depots between midnight and 5 a.
m. These drivers with their trucks were shadowed, when it was found
that each had along his route a place where goods were unloaded and
sold by the driver. In the case of another large packing house I
uncovered thefts of butter alone amounting to three hundred pounds per

                           EXPRESS COMPANIES

Express companies are large employers of detective service, because the
temptation to steal goods while in transit is very strong with a great
many employees. By detailing secret detectives to work with employees,
both in the depots and on trains, I have uncovered many thefts. I once
obtained a confession from an express messenger who admitted having
stolen in one day two dressed turkeys, a loin of pork, two pounds of
butter and a quart of whiskey. He admitted these thefts after he was
shown that his helper in the express car was a secret detective, who
saw him appropriate the articles.

I once had occasion to conduct an investigation for an express company
regarding the theft of $1,500.00 worth of unset diamonds, which were
stolen while in transit. In the course of three weeks the thief had
not been detected, and the nearest that responsibility could be fixed
was that the theft was committed by one of three persons. A ruse was
then resorted to which produced results, and which ruse often brings
results in cases of theft by employees. We caused it to be published in
the newspapers that after several weeks investigation and surveillance
we had learned the identity of the thief, and that an arrest would
positively be made the following day. This had the effect of causing
the thief to believe that he had actually been detected, for the next
day the stolen diamonds were delivered to the company by mail. The same
ruse, applied in various forms, has also been the means of obtaining
many confessions in criminal cases. Fear of arrest and conviction often
leads a first offender to give up his plunder, and the successful use
of this ruse is a matter of bringing it to the attention of the one
under suspicion in the most forceful way.

On behalf of an express company, I once was called upon to investigate
what was reported to be a burglary of the express office in a town
of about five thousand population. Upon arrival there the next day I
found that the front window of the office was broken, the break being
sufficiently large to have admitted a man's body. I talked with the
agent whose breath indicated to me that he had been intoxicated the
night previous, and which fact he admitted. This agent had reported to
his superiors that upon arrival at the office that morning he found the
front window broken, that the safe apparently had not been tampered
with, as the key was found to work perfectly. Upon opening the safe he
found that two hundred dollars was missing, fifty dollars having been
left in the safe by the burglar, according to his statement. Nothing
else around the office was stolen or tampered with. In less than five
minutes after arriving there I concluded that if any cash had been
stolen the agent himself was the guilty one. From a boy outside I
learned that the window became broken during a severe electrical storm
the previous night, which placed the town in darkness for several hours
around midnight. An overhead sign was blown down and crashed through
the window. Being further convinced that the agent was guilty and had
taken advantage of these circumstances to report a burglary, I asked
the agent if he had ever loaned his safe key to anyone, and he replied
in the negative. I then told him that I knew how the window had become
broken, and asked him if he believed it logical that a thief would take
the trouble and risk arrest by having a suitable key made for the safe,
enter the building, steal two hundred dollars of the cash and leave
fifty there. I told him that in my judgment such would be the work of
an employee but not of a burglar. The agent hung his head and I told
him I was justified in having him arrested on the spot. He confessed
immediately, less than an hour after my arrival upon the scene. The
facts as shown in this incident should prove of much worth to the
experienced or inexperienced detective.


The disclosure of conspiracies in their hundreds of forms offers a
broad field for the detective. Hundreds of damage suits are instituted
annually throughout the country wherein damages claimed to have been
suffered by the plaintiff are nothing more than conspiracies to
defraud. The field for such investigation is very wide, especially as
it applies to fake bankruptcy cases and damage cases brought by persons
against railroad and street railway companies. For example, I once
investigated a case wherein the store of a certain jewelry firm was
destroyed by fire. Later they claimed that during the excitement of the
fire some $20,000.00 worth of diamonds were stolen from the premises by
some person unknown. The creditors were loath to believe this and had
an investigation made which developed that the diamonds in question had
not been stolen, but were removed from the store by the owners previous
to the fire, and that the fire itself no doubt was a part of the plan
to defraud creditors.

Railroad companies suffer tremendously as a result of conspiracies,
of which the following is an example, and which ease I personally
directed: A new railroad was constructed through a certain farming
district, for a distance of perhaps fifteen miles. Before the advent
of the railroad none of this farming land had ever been valued at
more than twenty-five dollars per acre. Practically all the farmers
along the line of the railroad claimed damages up to a hundred dollars
per acre. The cases were decided in the courts, upon the opinions of
viewers who were appointed by the court, and which body of viewers was
composed of disinterested farmers of the same county.

After the railroad company had been compelled to pay two or three
excessive claims, it looked about for relief, it having suspected
right along that a conspiracy existed among the farmers and viewers
to claim and recommend such excessive damages. After three cases had
been decided against the railroad company, I detailed two detectives to
visit these farmers, and who pretended to have been sent by a number
of farmers of a far distant county, who also proposed bringing damage
suits against a new railroad company; that they had heard of the
success these farmers were having with their suits, and that it was
desired to know along just what lines they were proceeding. The two
detectives also advised the ring leaders that they did not want the
information gratis, and if given assistance were authorized to pay a
certain percentage of all damages secured in the distant county. The
result was these farmers then unsuspectingly told the detectives how
they had all met and agreed to claim certain amounts of damages, and
how they had even gone so far as to hold mock trials at several of the
farmers' homes, so that all concerned would be properly coached when
the time came to go into court. At these mock trials one farmer would
pose as plaintiff, while another would pose as the railroad company's
attorney, when questions were asked, and answers agreed upon, as was
anticipated would come out at the real trials or hearings. Needless to
state, that after corroborative evidence of this conspiracy was placed
in the hands of the railroad company's attorney, no more excessive
damages were paid, and I later had the pleasure of being advised that
this bit of detective work saved the railroad company fully forty
thousand dollars.

As to how creditors are defrauded in hundreds of instances, the
following is a fair example: A retail shoe dealer in a middle western
state went into bankruptcy owing several eastern jobbers several
thousand dollars. Examination of the dealers' stock and records of
sales for several months developed the fact that two or three thousand
dollars worth of shoes purchased from the eastern jobbers evidently had
never entered the dealer's place of business. It was suspected that
the merchandise was concealed or had been secretly disposed of by the
dealer. I directed an investigation which resulted in locating the
goods in another city, the investigation having been conducted along
the following lines:

Information as to the road over which the goods were shipped, together
with dates, weights and car numbers was first obtained from the
shippers. The drayage company on the dealer's end was then seen, after
which drivers for the drayage company were interviewed, and which
developed information that the missing goods had never been delivered
to the dealer's place of business, but instead were moved from one
depot to another and promptly re-shipped to another city. The same plan
was then followed in that city with the drayage companies and the goods
easily located, and which were promptly attached by the creditors.

In another case an Italian fruit jobber once received three carloads
of fruit, and after disposing of same left suddenly for parts unknown,
without remitting to, or paying the shippers. I was called into this
case, and I promptly directed that the Italian's wife and children be
placed under close surveillance. In about a week the wife and children
packed up their household goods and had the same shipped to a city some
three hundred miles distant. The household goods were then watched
closely after being unloaded in the freight depot at the point of
destination. Three days later the goods were removed from the depot
and taken to the home of an Italian, whose house was then kept under
surveillance, but no trace could be seen of the fugitive. At the end
of a week the household goods were again taken out, hauled to a depot
and re-shipped to a small town a hundred miles away. I recall having
personally examined the shipping tags attached to the goods upon this
occasion, which gave us the address of the final destination of the
household goods, and which address, a few days later, enabled us to
cause the arrest of the fugitive.


The making of test purchases in retail stores is done very extensively,
and for which work detectives are employed. Taking for example a high
class confectionery store, drug store or cigar store. The proprietor
may not come to his place of business until late in the morning, or
may be away for perhaps a week. He desires to know if his sales clerks
are honest and reliable, and courteous to customers during his absence
from the place of business. The detective retained for this purpose
enters the store one, two or three times a day and makes purchases the
same as any other customer would, and while in the place makes careful
note of the kind of treatment accorded him by the sales clerk, and in
particular notes if the amount of his purchase is properly rung up
on the cash register, with which most retail business establishments
are now equipped. Owners of department stores and of saloons spend
thousands of dollars annually for detective work of this kind.

                             DIVORCE CASES

As everyone knows, thousands of divorce actions are brought every
year throughout the country and many detectives find employment in
connection with such cases. The custom is that when the husband,
for instance, suspects his wife of infidelity, he has her placed
under surveillance for a month or so, which usually develops whether
or not his suspicions are well founded. However, information and
corroborative evidence is obtained by the husband, or by the wife, as
the case may be, in a hundred other ways. While detective work of this
nature has no doubt always been profitable to detectives, my opinion
is that it has never been any too creditable, and my advice to the
detective is to keep as clear of this kind of work as possible, because
such cases require skillful work and handling, and often when handled
successfully, the results do not offset the undesirable notoriety that
may be given the detective.


As is quite well known, the fire losses in the United States run
annually into millions of dollars, and if one would take the trouble
to have half an hour's talk with any fire insurance expert it will be
found that a surprisingly large percentage of fires are no doubt the
results of schemes to defraud fire insurance companies. Much detective
work is directed in an effort to lessen these losses, and to bring
about the arrest and conviction of the offenders, but my knowledge of
conditions is that the crime of arson continues on the increase rather
than on the decrease.

Life and accident insurance companies throughout the country employ
hundreds of detectives the year round to investigate risks and
fraudulent claims. Many individuals somewhere daily place in the hands
of private detectives, various kinds of cases to be investigated, and
in conclusion I will say that when a case is submitted to the detective
for investigation it should be made the subject of careful thought and
consideration. As a rule, every case differs in some way, but if good
common sense methods are applied, results can be secured, no matter how
difficult or how complicated the case may be at the start.

                       FINGER PRINTS SIMPLIFIED

     A New Handbook of the Science of Finger Print Identification

                             By JAMES HOLT

[Illustration: Book Cover]


 I The Uses of Finger Prints:--Banking--Military Uses--Family
 Records--Loss of Identity--Criminal Work--Opportunities for Students.

 II Finger Print Future:--The Probationary Period--Check
 Protection--Pensions--Wills--Business Identification--Criminal
 Identification--Offsetting Circumstantial Evidence.

 III Making and Reading Finger Prints:--Types of Prints--Articles
 Needed--How to Take Prints--Ridges and Depressions--Types or
 Patterns--Type Distribution--Care in Taking Prints--Symbols Used in
 Finger Prints.

 IV Classification of Finger Prints:--How to Produce Formulas--Method
 of Forming Primary Classification--Sub-Classification--Lettered
 Formula--Classification Rules--Second Sub-Classification--Final
 Classification--Classifying Broken Sets--Ring Finger Count.

 V Filing, Searching and Comparing:--Order of Filing--Searching Files.

 VI Review Questions and Answers.

                           FULLY ILLUSTRATED

         Cloth Binding. 135 Pages.      Price, postpaid, $1.25

                 FREDERICK J. DRAKE & CO., Publishers


 Transcriber's Notes:

 --Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

 --Punctuation and spelling inaccuracies were silently corrected.

 --Archaic and variable spelling has been preserved.

 --Variations in hyphenation and compound words have been preserved.

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