Man on bench in Dolores Park. Mission District, San Francisco
Before Mike Spencer became a private investigator, he worked the crime beat at a Sarasota, Florida paper. He’s pulling a two-to-eleven shift one night when the fax machine starts humming.
“At 10:30, one of those curly thermal faxes comes in from the sheriff’s office, and it’s a fax about a body being discovered in a trash can in a swimming pool…and I don’t think they ever made an arrest or got to the bottom of all of this—what’s her body doing in the trash can in a swimming pool?”
When you’re a journalist, OR a private investigator, sometimes the stories don’t wrap up, neat and tidy, the way we want them to. But still, we do the work. We gather the facts. We report the story. Sometimes, we’re just left with more questions.
But that’s just another day in the life of an investigator, a reporter, or an officer of the law. Stories are part of the job. Some of them are lurid, gross, or downright bizarre. And those are the ones that end up in our greatest hits case file—tales people ask us to tell over and over. It’s a dilemma for us PIs: We want to be thought of as serious professionals. But then, we have these wild tales people love to hear. Should we tell them?
Pursuit editor Kim Green met Mike Spencer, a veteran Bay-Area investigator, in San Francisco’s Mission District. He kindly agreed to share a few tales from his “Best Of” list. This one has all the elements: Paranoia. Porn. Aliases. Bodily fluids. You get the picture.
Introducing the Sound of Pursuit, Episode 5: Spencer for Hire. This one’s not for the faint of heart.
Mike Spencer has spent more than 20 years interviewing and investigating people and subjects, first as a newspaper reporter, and for the last 16 years, as a private investigator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerPI or check out his excellent blog, Private Eye Confidential.
Check back later this month in the pages of PursuitMag for more of our fascinating interview with Mike Spencer.
Produced by Storyboard EMP
Host: Hal Humphreys
Music provided by Jason White (who composed our theme) and Headmint, “Music for Corporations.”