Cool Free Sites for Playing Amateur Detective

Like pro baseball teams do, I am going to open a “fantasy camp” to make a few bucks. Bored housewives and executives can pay me $5K per-week to come to “private investigator training.”

I will show them how to rise at 5:00 a.m. to get out to to San Ramon to serve the shady lady dodging the depo subpoena, or take them to that park in Hayward looking for the homeless witness to that girl-brawl outside the 7-Eleven. Or, they can learn the finer art of the “collection call” making it seem like they are interested in things other than getting paid.

They will wear a non-descript uniform of jeans and a sweatshirt. Campers will receive electric shock if they are caught on surveillance reading, playing with a Blackberry or otherwise averting their eyes from the target. They will see how the master “plays dumb” when looking for people or otherwise stirring the pot or bringing bad news.

And, they will get some free detective sites on the Internets, using the internet of their choice. My favorites for address histories are: and These search sites are decent but they do not attach dates to when addresses were reported. These sites tend to work well for finding stable people.

Another site that I have used for a long time is Robert Scott’s Blackbook Online at This handy web site is a clearing house for all free court sites and other public records, such as professional licenses and fictitious business names. If a county or agency has records available online you will find it here.

And campers, just remember that the internet and sites such as these are merely tools. There is no substitute for a professional private investigator with a wealth of experience.