Private eye in Rockefeller case talks about his profession
Marshfield private detective G. Robert Warren has been named as a witness in the case of Clark Rockefeller, who is charged with abducting his 7-year-old daughter in Boston last month.
The incident sparked an international manhunt for Rockefeller and his daughter, Reigh Boss. Rockefeller was arrested outside Baltimore earlier this month.
Warren, of Diverse Investigative Services in Webster Square in Marshfield, confirmed that Boston police have named him as a witness, but would not comment on the investigation.
But he did say most of a private eye’s work isn’t so exciting.
“Most of the time, it’s slow, mundane, boring,” he said. “You sit for hours and hours and hours on surveillance. If you blink, you might miss what you’re waiting to see.”
Warren is one of dozens of private investigators in the region who handle all sorts of cases – from people who want proof that a spouse is cheating, to workers compensation, to accident reconstruction, to theft of trade secrets to missing persons and murder.
The investigators, for the most part, have police, military or government experience. Warren became a private investigator after retiring from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Private detectives in the state must be licensed. But, Warren said, they have no more rights than any other citizen. They are not police officers.
“We try and do what the police can’t do or won’t do,” he said. “There’s too much they have to do to enforce the law.”
Jim Collins of Hingham-based East Coast Investigative Services said police are generally reactive, where as private detectives are proactive.
The investigators say they track down cheaters, art thieves, embezzlers, deadbeat parents and missing persons for corporations and private parties. They bring clients evidence of wrongdoing, often through photographs or videos.
Phillip White, executive director of the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts, which is based in Brockton, said there are 820 licensed investigators in the state.
Private investigators make between $80 and $150 an hour, he said. Many are referred by lawyers or police, or by other investigators who are too busy or do not specialize in an area.
Charlie Moore, an Army veteran who runs CGM Private Detective Group in Plymouth, said the work is challenging and tedious.
He started doing investigative work in the 1970s when an insurance company asked him to find a stolen painting. He said he has since recovered more than $50 million in stolen art. His company also specializes in investigating arson, surveillance, strike security, electronic countersweeps, due diligence requirements in business transactions and business background profiles.
“Sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing until that day,” Moore said. “Some cases take an hour, some cases take months.”
Since 1990, he has been working on his own to recover artwork stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
On March 18, 1990, thieves stole 13 works of art, including a Vermeer painting and Rembrandt’s only seascape, “Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” a print of which hangs in his office.
“I don’t have a client. I’ve been working on that continuously since March of 1990,” Moore said. “I’m working for the reward. I have a file that would fit a complete file cabinet. I’ve done a ton of work on it. … We have leads, we’re working on them, and hopefully they’ll be fruitful.”
Warren says he usually investigates domestic issues, cases of violence in the workplace or disability claims. Half of his job is doing contractual work with the government – investigations of prospective employees for positions that require a security clearance.
Warren said he enjoys the work and can sit watching someone for 12 hours. And, he said, he sees his work as helping society and protecting people – including children like Reigh Boss.
“We never like to see a young child a danger. This young child was very very much in danger,” he said. “This Clark (Rockefeller), who professes a love for his daughter – my opinion, he doesn’t have love for his daughter. He put that child in an extreme amount of danger.”
Sydney Schwartz may be reached email@example.com.
Where the private eyes are
Licensed private investigators on the South Shore, by town:
KING Investigative Services
METRO Investigation Inc.
Broad Range Investigations
Central Bureau of Investigation
Miller Investigative Services
Risk Management Advisors
Executive Surveillance and Protection
TM Seger Claim Service
East Coast Investigative Services
Diverse Investigative Services
Jackson Investigative Services
LE Defense Services
Landers Service Company
Nicky-Mack & Co.
C. G. M. Private Detective
Checkmate Forensic Services
Mullen Investigative Services
P A C Investigations
Truth Detection Laboratories
Confidential Investigative Agency
Yankee Detective Agency
Gallagher, Mahoney & Assoc.
Lawrence F. Pacino Investigation Service
William Murphy DBA
Diversified Corporate Solutions
Source: Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts (http://www.lpdam.com/)