Associates in Forensic Investigations, LLC
A Colorado Limited Liability Company and Licensed Private Investigators
www.Forensic-Investigators.com ~ (970) 480-7793
Quaero Indicium -'To Find the Evidence'
Please distribute to others that may have an interest
|Dear (Contact First Name),|
We hope everyone had a wonder-full Thanksgiving with friends and family. Ours was fantastic, with lots of time with the family, and lots of play time with the grandkids. We are very much looking forward to Christmas, just around the corner, and pass on our best wishes to you and your families for the holidays this month - Christmas and Hanukkah. Every year we like to share Christmas from the Heart, 17 holiday spirited songs Karen sang and recorded. Please enjoy and feel free to share. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/77n8man56al4kso/TWq1BiF2F9
Also, this is a special time of year to consider donations to worthy charitable causes. There are many, from your local charities to nationwide. We regularly donate to any local Children's Hospitals and Ronald McDonald House - they were there for our grandsons, Gage and Cash, when they were born premature and their parents needed a place to stay. We are also charter members of both the Flight 93 Memorial and WWII Museum; as well as many very worthy causes throughout the year. Please open your hearts to those that need help. To our fellow PIs, check with your local associates to see if you can help colleagues displaced or otherwise impacted by super storm Sandy.
We would also like to share how you can 'pay yourself' all year with savings on gas. As PIs, driving is something we tend to do more than the average consumer. Here is a tip that can save you up to $2/gallon. If you have a Kroger store (Kroger, King Soopers, City Market) near you, buy gift cards from them. From restaurants and entertainment, to retail and online shopping - they have dozens of popular businesses to choose from. Kroger offers fuel points at participating gas stations, and gifts cards are worth twice the face value in fuel points ($50 card is worth 100 points, a .10 discount). Points are good for two months from purchase and this month gift cards are worth 4x the face value. The savings add up (especially in a 55 gallon RV). Before you dine out, shop or see a movie - buy a gift card for your use and save money on gas.
Finally, throughout 2012 we have been asking our colleagues to remember that 'Together We're Better' and ask you to share this concept. Our profession relies on networking and assistance to each other. As we prepare for 2013, we would like to share a few words from our friend and colleague, Gene Ferraro (Business Controls, Inc.) - 'Surround yourself with success'. In our personal and professional lives, we do emulate our relationships and environments.
IN THIS ISSUE
-- Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah; Holiday Songs by Karen
-- Time for giving and some money saving tips
-- More tips to improve your mobile office experience
-- Agency news
-- Association news
-- In the News - videos of interest, fraudulent clients, and more
-- You're more than a PI!
-- MUCH More!!
|Bits and Pieces|
Dean and Karen are full-time RV Investigators (Team Beers) with their office based in Colorado.
IMPROVING YOUR MOBILE OFFICE INVESTIGATIONS AND ACTIVITIES?
Last month we began sharing some experiences from our RV travels. First, we offered that Autonet Mobile was a reliable mobile hot spot service. Unfortunately, the pricing plan shared with us in August was in error by their representative and it is very much not cost-effective. We have canceled our service.
We are looking for reliable and cost-effective hot spot service - any ideas?
RV life is different, and almost the same as being a professional investigator with the mobility we require. This month, storage and portable computing. But first, a communication tool we forgot to mention last month.
-- Toll-Free Numbers are not as essential as several years ago, but they may attract new clients. With Kall8 at http://kall8.privateinvestigations.org you get several features, all online by you. One number can be your voice and fax, including voicemail and faxmail boxes with messages delivered to your email. You can program it to ring to any number, and also see who is calling. There is also a calling card feature - make inexpensive outgoing calls, identifying your toll-free number. There is no monthly minimum, only the low per-minute cost. You can also transfer (port) an existing number to Kall8.
-- Portable Computing with netbooks, pads and tablets has grown in just the last two years since the major introduction of these devices. We started with using an Acer Netbook. Netbooks are handy for mobility if you have Windows based home or office PCs. This is reliable for mobile needs. But, when you are both mobile and stationary, with lots of travel - multiple devices is inconvenient. We recently opted for one device for our mobile, tablet and PC needs. The Lenovo Yoga is a Windows based PC ultrabook as light as netbook, sized to a laptop, as powerful as a desktop - and converts to a tablet. Wow - time savings with full function mobility.
-- Portable Storage is an absolute must in our profession. When traveling you have three considerations: 1) multiple computers; 2) online storage; 3) portable storage.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is valuable if you have a stationary office. This provides external backup and online access to your records. When mobile, you may have to have multiple computers, and use remote access services to login to your office system. Our office is on wheels and with us, so that was not an option - but we'll address that next month. Multiple computers was how we initially started (as noted above). Using a netbook was easy when one of us was the passenger to work. But, transferring data to our desktop when stationary was too time consuming and troublesome. We solved that problem with our Lenovo PC/Tablets. We'll talk about networking your data next month.
Online storage is limited by access and bandwidth. If you have a Gmail account, the Drive is a good online storage. We don't use their suite of word processing, etc. due to limitations on bandwidth and access. We use DropBox at http://dropbox.privateinvestigations.org for online storage and transfer. You can download the app for your computer, tablets and phones - and set them up to synch between all devices. You can also choose to share a folder with another DropBox account - which automatically synchs their folder. This has been very helpful and time saving for us in our case consultations and reviews. If you have limited access or bandwidth, you may want to limit synching or temporarily use another solution.
For easy file transfer in your pocket, we recommend flash drives for easily transferring files between computers. This Cruzer Flash Drive is a 128GB flash drive with installed programs for your mobile needs. For a more permanent solution, with portability, consider the Western Digital My Passport. This is a solid state USB drive - 1 Terabyte! You can plug this into your computer, network through your router, or use a network solution we'll talk about next month. This is about the size of a square hockey puck, so very portable - consider instead of a flash drive.
Watch our blog at www.MedicolegalPI.com for our mobile PI and travel tips. For more information about what we use for our mobile needs, we feature these at http://amazon.PrivateInvestigations.org under 'Handy Gadgets'.
About Dean and Karen:
Dean is a subject matter expert in the areas of death investigation and personal injury causation. He is the only Board Certified Legal Investigator (CLI) in northern Colorado, a faculty consultant and Certified Criminal Defense Investigator (CCDI) and is also a certified Medicolegal Death Investigator. He continues to speak extensively on investigative techniques and principles and has authored multiple peer-reviewed white papers, and self-published "Professional Investigations: Individual Locates, Backgrounds and Assets & Liabilities" and recently published "Practical Methods for Legal Investigations" (CRC Press) He currently consults nationwide as an expert in criminal defense homicide and civil equivocal death investigations.
Karen has been a Legal Investigator and research specialist, since 1996. She has a Bachelor's in Social Work from Colorado State University (Magna Cum Laude) and in 2011 earned the designation Certified Criminal Defense Investigator (CCDI). Together they operate Associates in Forensic Investigations, LLC. In addition to her skilled interactions with troubled youths, she trained and worked as a Deputy Coroner at the Larimer County Medical Examiner's Office. This background provides essential skills and knowledge in their Personal Injury, Negligence and Death investigations and consultations in Colorado and nationally. In addition, she has written for prominent professional investigation journals and was instrumental in the revisions and contributions to both agency books, as well as the co-development of "Death Investigations for Private Investigators" for PIEducation.com
|Our Expert Forensic Affiliations|
| We believe that medicolegal investigation and consultation is a team effort. Stephen Cina MD, Harold Schueler PhD, and our agency are affiliated as experts in our respective fields offering our clients comprehensive medicolegal services.|
Dr. Cina is the Chief Medical Examiner of a large metropolitan area in the upper mid-west, and Dr. Schueler is the forensic toxicologist at a south Florida medical examiner's office. Contact our office to consult on medicolegal death and injury causation. The CVs of both Dr. Cina and Dr. Schueler are available by contacting us.
Dr. Cina is also the co-author of the non-fiction historical look at "When Doctors Kill" available at http://whendoctorskill.forensic-investigators.com
You are more than a PI - You are a Consultant
We are often asked, by our PI colleagues and attorney clients, how can investigators help beyond the role of fact finding legal investigators. Every investigator, and almost every investigation, has the same core fundamentals in the fact-finding process. These are: 1) records research through public and private resources; 2) interviews of parties, subjects and witnesses, potential witnesses, etc.; 3) conducting backgrounds and locating these persons; 4) communications - verbal and written, including a professional investigative report. There is more to this than investigations, as other tasks and assignments that often go unrealized.
There are several unrealized areas of specialty for all investigators. This includes assisting with fact and protocol reviews of other investigations. This may include the official investigation in criminal defense cases, official and original defense investigation in criminal appeals, and reviews in specialized areas in civil investigations.
If you have been involved in criminal defense investigations long enough, you have seen the good and bad in the official investigations, and perhaps any original criminal defense investigation. If there is any reasonable doubt in the underlying criminal defense case, it should be found in the original fact finding investigation. If you are brought in to replace or augment a criminal defense investigation, reviewing both the original and independent investigations are important. If you are brought in during the appeal process, one of the additional tasks will be to determine if there is any new evidence, which often arises from either missed or falsely reported information, and from new developments in applicable fields - such as medicine, forensics, procedures, etc. You may have, or know someone, with a specialty that can be imperative to the investigative process and case. Moreover, you have a responsibility to yourself and clients to be current, through continuing education and self-awareness, of any advances in areas you are active as a professional investigator. Specific to these types of investigative tasks, you are also fact-checking and verifying the investigative protocol of all underlying official and independent investigations. Veteran investigators should be strong enough in these areas to be subject matter experts.
So why call in another investigator on a case you are involved with. First and foremost remember that each person has a constitutional right to have an adequate and competent defense to include an adequate and competent investigation. If you take two investigators, hand them both a report to read, the percentage that these two investigators will find all of the exact pertinent information to a case is very low. Sure, there might be quite a few points that both investigators note, however, odds are both investigators are going to miss some points of interests to the case that the other picked up on and vice versa. The old saying, "two heads are better than one", holds true in numerous things in life, to include a good investigation. Remember, you are a fact finder, and there is no room for egos, there could be someone's life on the line. Build the best investigative team you possibly can with the money allotted in the case, and work that case as if it were your own life on the line.
The same holds true when analyzing and reviewing prior investigations. Your benefit to the defense is the experience to deconstruct previous investigations and give a critical analysis. You may find issues for the defense in the initial case, or points of appeal in such cases. In addition, the task of deconstructing and critically analyzing the criminal discovery, civil disclosures and all pertinent investigative processes and evidence gives the professional investigator an additional benefit to the attorney-client. Also assisting in the preparation of witnesses, questions for witnesses, and evaluation of potential witnesses, this would include opposition witnesses and preparing the attorney-client with questions for this anticipated testimony.
Your role as the investigator is an integral and vital part of the legal team. In addition to a fact-finder, you are also a presenter of these facts to your attorney-client.
|Agency News and Updates|
NEW BOOK DUE BY JANUARY 2013
On an off-topic personal note, as a student of history, Dean has had a book mentally in process for several years. He has recently begun the self-publication process as an eBook. Planned for release by the end of the year is "Beers with our Founding Fathers - A Patriot's view of the history and direction of our Country". If interested, visit
or email admin@BeersWithOurFoundingFathers.com
AFI-LLC WEBSITE AND SUBDOMAIN LINK ERRORS
In mid-November our domain host changed to a new platform. We were victims of domains, subdomains and links that went nowhere. By the end of November, most of the issues were restored. Some of our email was also interrupted. If you have any problems with our links, please contact us and let us know. Also, whenever you send an email, we will respond as soon as possible to at least confirm receipt. If you do not get a confirmation, please call us - and always leave a message if we are unable to answer your call.
AFI-LLC ASSISTS IN FAMILY SEEKING JUSTICE IN ARIZONA
The October 28, 2010 death of Phoenix Police officer Sean Drenth has been shrouded in mystery. AFI-LLC was contacted by colleague and fellow CLI, Jon Colvin, to assist. Paul Rubin, a reporter turned PI with fellow CLI, Rich Robertson (R3 Investigations) is on top of it with this two part story worth reading - http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2012-11-08/news/the-curious-case-of-sergeant-sean-drenth.
LICENSING IN COLORADO - FROM PPIAC VP OF MEMBERSHIP
Stason Ikenouye, new VP of Membership, has posted this well-written article about his views of licensing in Colorado. Please visit http://overwatchcolorado.com/should-professional-investigators-be-licensed. Getting licensed now also provides the benefit of being tax deductible this year, and your renewal will not be until February 2014.
AFI-LLC has written an opinion on this subject at www.ColoradoLicensedPrivateInvestigators.com
From CRC Press you can order Practical Methods for Legal Investigations
and save 20%; discount code is 083MA
We have expanded www.PrivateInvestigations.org to include not only email and subdomains, but books and resources for investigations and business operations.
|Associations and News of Our Profession|
PPIAC (www.PPIAC.org) Board Elections
The PPIAC annual meeting and elections are held every November. This year Dean's term as Board Chairman expired, together with offices of President, Treasurer and Secretary. Elected was PPIAC past president, Chris Bray, as Board Chairman, recent VP of Membership Steve Davis as President, senior member John Morris as Treasurer, and continuing another term as Secretary is Julia McAleer. Dean and Robert Orozco (term expired as President) continue on the Legislative Committee.
PPIAC Quarterly (Fall 2012) newsletter is available at
National Association of Legal Investigators (www.NALI.com )
It's getting close! Mark your calendars for a special event - celebrate Valentine's Day in Memphis with NALI. This will be Feb 14-16, 2013 - Memphis, Tennessee at The Peabody (and their famous ducks). The topics and speakers - including about The Memphis Three - will be exceptional. http://nali.com/conference-mid-winter-memphis2.php
Also, the Certified Legal Investigator examinations are given only at the conferences. If interested, please review the details at http://www.nali.com/cli.php and give yourself plenty of time to prepare.
The current issue of NALI's official journal - The Legal Investigator - is now available online at http://www.bluetoad.com/publication?m=14458&l=1.
National Council of Investigation and Security Services (www.NCISS.org)
NCISS keeps a list of various association events at http://www.nciss.org/news-and-events/latest-events.php. This includes information about the 2013 Hit the Hill and SAAB (State Association Advisory Board) leadership training April 15-17.
Members of NCISS receive a copy of the twice-yearly published 'The Report' in the mail. This is also posted online, feel free to share this valuable information about our profession and legislative issues with your colleagues and clients. http://www.nciss.org/documents/The_Report_Fall_2012.pdf. Bi-monthly is the eReport direct to your email and the current issue, Looking to 2013, is at http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs179/1102296473151/archive/1111261089615.html.
NCISS wants to share this great savings with you - super discounts at Office Depot for supplies at http://nciss.ctcshares.com
(the discounts could be enough to pay our annual dues).
NCISS also sends out important legislative alerts. If you are interested in these alerts, consider joining NCISS. At the very least, drop us an email and we will make sure you get the alerts as they happen. beersda@Forensic-Investigators.com
World Association of Detectives (www.WAD.net)
The value of networking extends beyond your local clients, and should include statewide, nationally and internationally. This should include your state association, NALI, NCISS and of course WAD for international camaraderie. You can contact us for membership information for any of these associations. As the WAD Governor of the Americas (USA, Canada, Central America, Caribbean and Argentina), Dean is interested in answering your WAD membership questions. You can also contact any of the WAD Ambassadors.
The WAD magazine, Beyond Global, is availabile online at http://www.wad.net/page/newsletter.aspx .
Other Association News
Alabama (APIA - Alabama Private Investigator Association) is in the process of pursuing professional licensing for private investigators. If you are interested in supporting their efforts, contact Bill Posey, President by email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arizona (AALPI - Arizona Association of Licensed Private Investigators) is hosting an Advanced Internet Profiling and Intelligence Gathering Training by Michele Stuart March 15 & 16. Email email@example.com.
If your association has news, please send it to us for inclusion.
In the News
|News happens so fast, please visit our agency blog for daily and weekly posts on news of interest - www.MedicolegalPI.com or our business Facebook page at www.facebook.com/4N6Associates|
POPULAR VIDEOS GOING VIRAL
-- The RV Park Project is a mysterious video found in northern Colorado.
-- Have you changed a tire, on an airplane, in mid-air? This woman did - amazing!
-- Here is a video link of the pedestrian crash reconstruction. It sends a powerful message, both concerning vehicle and pedestrian safety, and some of the steps taken in reconstruction. In Colorado, we have also noticed that many bicyclists fail to abide by the laws they legislated for, and vehicle traffic laws. Although involving a pedestrian, this also demonstrates the dangers a bicyclist presents when ignoring these, or by a driver that is not attentive to the presence of bicyclists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKwPp6dp7KM
AFI-LLC APPROVED BY MARICOPA COUNTY (AZ)
Update - for our attorney and investigator clients in Maricopa, here is the link to the information in retaining AFI-LLC. Please contact for any inclusion in your county and state, we are available nationally. Details are at http://www.maricopa.gov/OPDS/Assets/Documents/Service_Providers/MedicolegalDeathInvestigator.pdf and http://www.maricopa.gov/OPDS/Assets/Documents/Service_Providers/Criminalist.pdf
WATCH FOR FRAUDULENT POTENTIAL CLIENTS
It has been in the news lately that PIs continue to be fooled by potential clients, as a consequence possibly endangering the subject of an investigation. This can be negligent, and has also been the cause of the loss of access to many public and private record resources to our profession.
The common ploy is to simply convince a PI to conduct a locate investigation by circumventing the actual skip trace process. Instead, PIs are asked to conduct background investigations, hoping that this will produce the subject's address. At AFI-LLC we screen and conduct due diligence on all cases. There are strict agency policies in place to prevent fraudulent and potentially dangerous use of our services. Another ploy is to file legal pleadings that require a skip trace to serve the defendant. To avoid an attorney, it is filed in small claims and there is often no basis for the litigation, except to get an address; win or lose doesn't matter. For this reason we decline all such requests.
If you are interested in other ways to protect your agency and our profession, please contact us.
Book Review of 'Practical Methods for Legal Investigators' by Gene Ferraro
Friend, colleague and fellow author at CRC Press, Gene has written a concise review of Dean's book for the prestigious Security Management magazine of ASIS. This review is at http://www.forensic-investigators.com/1/post/2012/10/book-review-by-eugene-ferraro-of-practical-methods-for-legal-investigations.html
Do you have a book to be reviewed or special announcement? Let us know!
If you want to send a complimentary copy, we will gladly review it for you and also provide a customized press release and distribution.
NEW - CRC Press Author Profiles! Check out the new Featured Author profile for Dean at CRC Press! http://www.crcpress.com/authors/i140-dean-a-beers-cli-ccdi
Scott Harrell's complete review for Pursuit Magazine
Burt Hodge's complete review for Florida Association of Licensed Investigators
Bob Wall's complete review for Professional Private Investigators Association of CO
Don Johnson's complete review for PI Magazine
Gene Ferraro's complete review for the ASIS Security Management Online
Jennifer Brown, CLI, JD, is the Editor for the quarterly newsletter of the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado, writes "Awesome book, Dean. Should be required reading for investigators. It's helped me clean up some of my procedures."
|The Quint-Essential Qualities of a Professional Investigator...|
|Skills Appropriate for the Assignment |
Law firms and medical offices specialize - Professional Investigators also specialize. Their casework and continuing education should also be in your specialized areas.
Experience and Knowledge
Professional Investigators strive to maintain and further these. All professions have requirements of continuing education. The CLI program requires extensive compliance with continuing education.
Responsible and Ethical Conduct
Every component of the investigation has evidentiary considerations. Professional Investigators hold themselves to a higher standard and leaves no question as to the admissibility of their evidence. Information without ethics is not evidence.
Professional Investigators maintain communication with the attorney, client, witnesses, and other key persons in the investigation. Moreover, reports are the product of an organized investigation and should reflect the work product you expect.
Keyword - 'Professional'
Honesty, Integrity & Intelligence. These define Professional Investigators and gives you the confidence that your case is in competent and skilled hands.
In Closing...See you next year!
As 2012 comes to a close, many still struggle with the continuing downturn of the economy. This can be very trying on the small businesses and sole-proprietorships that make up this profession. Remember two things - our motto of 'Together We're Better', and Gene Ferraro's motto of 'Surround Yourself With Success'.
This has been a great year and 2013 looks as promising. We have our family and freedoms to be thankful for, and celebrating these times especially reminds us of that.
We are honored to have the privilege of working with you and being surrounded by such great people!
Best wishes - Dean and Karen
|Associates in Forensic Investigations, LLC
|Dean and Karen Beers|
specializes in the Expert Consultations and Legal Investigations of Personal Injuries, Negligence and Death in Civil, Criminal and Probate litigation.
We can consult on any death or injury causation case from any location with the conveniences of modern technology. Call us today, we're glad to help!
We are the PRIDE of Associates in Forensic Investigations, LLC - Professional Reliable Investigators Defining Excellence in every assignment.
Thank You. Please contact us with any questions or for additional information on these topics and our related services.
Dean A. Beers, CLI, CCDI (beersda@Forensic-Investigators.com)
Karen S. Beers, BSW, CCDI (beersks@Forensic-Investigators.com)
Associates in Forensic Investigations, LLC
Office: (970) 480-7793 (Dean x1 and Karen x2) ~ Fax: (970) 480-7794
Newsletter and Press Release Archives from July 2010
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|Flat Fee Equivocal Death Analysis|
Dean and Karen have several articles published, some are available for reprint.
For details email:
|Find Us at:
Dean is at:
|Find us and 'Like' us!|
Karen is at:
Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC)
National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI)
National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS)
World Association of Detectives (WAD)
Criminal Defense Investigation Council (CDITC)
National Defender Investigator Association
Florida Association of Licensed Investigators
Texas Association of Licensed Investigators
National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME)
International Association for Identification (IAI) and (RMDIAI)
(Rocky Mountain Division) National Association of Professional Women