Monday, October 19, 2009


Every now and then a thing just smacks you in the face. It’s been there all along, lurking in your subconscious, leering at you, mocking you. Then one day it just up and clocks you, hard.

I’ve been a research specialist for years: Real estate research, appraisals, feasibility studies, that kind of thing. I dipped a toe into the cold waters of journalism several years ago, mostly out of a love of words, language, and storytelling. I also happen to be somewhat of a gear hound.

I got a call about a year ago from a lawyer friend. Knowing my ability to find things (identify connections between property, people, assets, transactions, etc.), he asked if I could help him track down some business dealings that a client’s soon-to-be-ex had “hidden” prior to filing for divorce. A couple days pawing through obscure public records in the basement of a rural courthouse (There was a sign on the wall that read, “please do not spit in the ash tray.”), and I had not only found the records, but had identified links between soon-to-be-ex and some other businesses about which the client didn’t even have a clue.

This led to the question of whether or not I could testify in court to what I found. My lawyer buddy said (in jest), “If only you were a private investigator.”

There it was. That moment of clarity when you see all these connections that somehow make sense. That afternoon I began the process of becoming Thomas H. Humphreys, Private Investigator.

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