People Who've Hired Private Investigators Shared Their Wildest Stories And, Y'all, What The Heck
"Turns out my grandmother was also being investigated for drug dealing..."
Have you ever wondered the type of weird, wacky, wild things a private investigator might find while on the job? I know I certainly have!*
Anyway, this week, when redditor u/edgeworth_ asked, "Redditors who have hired a private investigator...what did you find out?" we got some insight into all of that and more, and some of these stories are WILD, y'all.
So, with that in mind, here are just a FEW of the incredible private investigator tales shared:
Oh, and — since theses are stories of "private" investigators — we've opted to keep the Reddit usernames private as well, but you can still click through the links in the titles to view their original posts!
1. This happy ending:
"A friend hired one because he was suspicious that his stepdad was being unfaithful to his mom. So, he asked me, and I put him in contact with a guy I knew.
A bit of a backstory: The stepdad is 5’10”, 160 pounds. My friend is 6’2”, 235 pounds, ripped. At 15, when my friend’s mom and stepdad started dating, my friend gave the typical 'You hurt her, you’re dead' speech. Also, his bio dad walked out on him and his sister when they were very young. It took a while, but my friend warmed up to this guy, and, honestly, he’s a good guy (took my friend and I to a 49ers game once, which was pretty cool)!
Anyways, the P.I. said he wasn’t cheating. As it turned out, there was a house on the market that my friend’s mom wanted, and he secretly bought it. He had been remodeling it for some time and he kept it all a big secret. As a five-year anniversary gift, he gave it to her. They live there now."
2. This mistaken identity:
"Years ago, my brother injured his back at work because of his employer's unsafe work practices. During the ensuing suit, my brother's lawyer was given a folder full of documents from the employer's team. Turns out, they had hired a P.I. to investigate my brother to prove that his injury was 'faked.'
Well, unfortunately for them, the P.I. had mixed us up, and had been taking pictures of ME the whole time, operating an ATV mounted leaf hopper.
My brother walked into the court hearing and watched the color drain from the opposing lawyers' faces when he introduced himself, looking nothing like me, the person in the pictures."
3. This IRL Ace Ventura:
"My little brother hired a pet detective to find his dog. He was living in LA and his complex let the dog out on accident. It was a small dog, some mutt of toy breeds.
My brother looked on his own for two weeks and was devastated. My folks found this guy in Indiana who was like $3,000 to hire, but he guaranteed he’d find the dog or he wouldn’t get paid. So, with nothing to lose, my folks and I chipped in, since my brother couldn’t afford that.
The guy found my brother's dog within a day. Shit was wild."
4. This in-SURE, JAN-ance claim:
"My law firm had a bad faith insurance case several years ago. A guy had gotten hurt at work. He claimed he was disabled because he 'hurt his back' and could not lift anything or really engage in any type of physical activity.
His disability insurance carrier failed to handle the claim and pay him what was owed. There was a potential for relatively large damages. In fact, the carrier filed in the court case what is known as an 'Offer to Confess Judgment.' It's a way of agreeing to let judgment be taken for a given amount. The plaintiff can accept the offer or reject it. However, if he rejects the offer, he is responsible for the defendant's attorneys' fees if the verdict ends up being less than the amount of the Offer to Confess Judgment.
The offer in this case was $750,000. He rejected the offer.
A few weeks later, our P.I. found out that the plaintiff bowled every week. The P.I. got video of the plaintiff bowling and copies of his score sheets going several years back through the date of the accident. It was clear he really was not disabled. He also found that plaintiff had been in a car wreck and was making identical injury claims to the other driver's insurance carrier.
We filed a motion with the court to dismiss the lawsuit based upon fraud and perjury. The court set the motion for a hearing, but — before that happened — the plaintiff dismissed his lawsuit."
5. This anti-climactic turn of events:
"My parents hired a private investigator to find out who my online boyfriend was when I was 13. The P.I. came back and told us he was just a fat-ass 13 year-old, LMFAO."
6. This family affair:
"When I met my wife, she seemed to have a normal, modern family. Two moms, two dads. Over time, it became apparent her stepdad wasn’t around much. Holidays, birthdays, you name it, he’d pop in to say 'Hi,' grab a nap, whatever, then take off again.
My wife’s family thought this was normal, since this was just the way it had always been since they were teenagers. He claimed to have a job following FedEx trucks around the state to prevent 'theft and drug trafficking,' but I thought it was strange and started making jokes about him having another family. Well, I guess my jokes got my sister-in-law thinking, because she got a favor from the P.I. at her law firm.
Sure enough, he has not one, not two, but THREE wives around the state, and five other (step)children between them all. My sister-in-law breaks the news to her mother, who immediately changed the locks and filed for divorce. They never spoke again. Cold Turkey. Divorce was even uncontested.
Then, just as an F.U. to him, they also send the full report to his other wives..."
7. This old con man:
"My grandmother's first 'boyfriend' after my grandfather died said he was a retired cop and a veteran. They enjoyed dancing to country music together, and bought a new car...in her name...even though she can't drive anymore.
After that purchase, my uncles hired a P.I. Turns out, that old bastard had a habit of shacking up with widows and bleeding them dry."
8. This extra discovery:
"I used to work for an insurance defense firm years ago, and the best P.I. story I have was one where we hired a P.I. to tail a guy who was suing our client for an injury that wasn’t entirely our client’s fault.
The guy was refusing to settle, and was insisting on going to trial — even though we offered a fair sum that would’ve paid his medical bills. The P.I. we hired got some good pictures that showed the plaintiff was nowhere near as 'injured' as he claimed, but the crown jewel of the photos was one where the guy was walking on a pier with a woman who...was NOT his wife. He had his hand on her ass and everything.
Later in a deposition, the attorney slid the picture to the plaintiff and said something along the lines of, 'Mr. Smith, who is the woman in this picture? We would like to schedule a deposition with her as well...'
The guy went ghost white and told his attorney he wanted to settle."
9. And this similar extra discovery:
"We had a case 10 years back where we felt an employee was faking an injury. The P.I. got video footage of him getting VERY freaky with his wife with the curtains wide open. The acts that were witnessed...would have been impossible for him to do, since he was claiming he could not even walk without assistance.
At the next court hearing, we planned to show some of the video, in hopes of the case being dismissed, but, when he arrived with his wife...it became evident that the woman in the video was NOT his wife!
We asked for a brief recess, showed him and his attorney the video in private, and he walked back into the courtroom and dropped the lawsuit immediately.
I always wondered what he told his wife after that..."
10. This act of kindness:
"I hadn't heard from my mom since I was about 15 (she was very unstable due to drugs and alcohol). When I was 29, I decided it was time to find out what happened to her. I figured if she was a Jane Doe somewhere, then I could put her to rest, but if she was alive, then I wanted to let her know that I forgave her.
So, I hired a P.I. to help. I guess the P.I. was moved by my story, because she also ran a report for information on the man my mother was (apparently) married to (his name was on the house). With one clue from his report, I was able to track them down.
I wouldn't have found my mom (alive and just starting on recovery after being homeless and addicted for many, many years) if it wasn't for the P.I., who kindly ran an extra report for me for free. My mom has remained sober now for about seven years and is probably the healthiest she's ever been, physically and emotionally."
11. This closed book:
"My mother's dad walked out on her, my aunt, and my grandmother when mom was just 5. A few years later, my grandmother died of a grand mal seizure. My mom was taken in by her grandparents, but she always wondered why her dad left and what became of him.
In her forties, she saved up a bit and hired a P.I. to track him down. Turns out he moved over time from Pittsburgh to California, where he wound up in prison for armed robbery and some other violent crimes. He died in San Quentin penitentiary.
My mom got a lot of closure out of that. She was able to see that life would have most likely been even worse had he stayed and that by living with her grandparents, she was loved and raised to fulfill her potential."
12. This life-ruining whoopsie:
"I came home from work one day and my fiancé asked if he could have my engagement ring, as he wanted to take it to be professionally cleaned. The second I handed it over, he accused me of cheating on him.
The conversation went back and forth for ages. I was beside myself, I couldn’t believe what he was saying, and that he would not believe I was innocent. He then told me he’d had me followed for six weeks by a P.I., who had seen me 'get into a red mini.' The car in question belonged to a girl I knew who was giving me a lift to work. Still, he would not believe me. I knew it was over, so I packed my things and left. I told him to get in touch with the P.I. and have another look at this so-called 'evidence' that I was cheating.
An hour later, he turned up at where I was staying, begging to have me back. He and the P.I. had realized their mistake, but there was NO WAY I was going to get back with someone who behaved that way, so we parted ways."
13. This double trouble:
"My grandfather once hired a P.I. to investigate my grandmother. While spying on her from his car, another P.I. he knew came up frantically to his window and was like, 'What are you doing here?!' To which his response was obviously, 'Wait, what are YOU doing here?'
Turns out my grandmother was also being investigated by the D.E.A. for drug dealing. We don't know for sure if anything came of it, but we're all pretty certain it's the reason the old family barn was burned down. That woman was batshit crazy, and this isn't even the wackiest story I've been told about her."
14. This not-so-bingo moment:
"I know somebody who was an assistant to an actual P.I. She once went to a bingo hall with a camera in her purse to capture video of a woman. The woman claimed that a car accident had completely immobilized her...but she would take off the neck brace all the time while playing bingo for hours on end.
Nothing exciting, just capturing fraud."
15. And finally — this missing "twin":
"My sister (mid thirties) is adopted, so she hired a P.I. to find her estranged biological father.
They came back saying not only was he still alive and nearby, but he had a daughter, meaning she also had a biological sibling! Further digging from the P.I. uncovered that they weren't JUST similar ages...they were exactly the same age. So, the evidence suggested that my sister had a twin and her birth father had taken the twin and vanished.
Huge, life-changing news.
Eventually, through more incredible detective work, the P.I. realized that the 'daughter' was actually just my sister the entire time. There was no other sibling and they had just been investigating my sister the whole time accidentally. Needless to say, we asked for the money back.
TL;DR: My sister hired a private investigator and the private investigator accidentally investigated my sister."