Interview smarter – interviewing people with PTSD – part 2 – interview with Michael de Yoanna

Michel de Yoanna is the director of “Recovering,” a documentary film chronicling the lives of injured troops healing from the wounds of war. The film follows troops still in and recently out of the military facing lost limbs and post-traumatic stress. They are healing through a simple recreation: bicycling. He is also a producer/ reporter at Colorado Public Radio (CPR).

Denver Private Investigator Blogger What makes interviewing military vets with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) so challenging? Or anyone with PTSD for that matter?

Michael de Yoanna It’s a challenge to interview to anyone who has post-traumatic stress disorder. The first issue is, you may not know whether the person has PTSD or not. I can’t say for sure whether someone has PTSD or not. I’m not a psychiatrist. Though, I am familiar with the clinical definition in the DSM.

Denver Private Investigator Blogger Do you recommend PIs familiarize with that definition?

Michael de Yoanna Yes. Let them say what it means. When someone has PTSD, they’re not going to define it as if they read the DSM (and they probably didn’t) so it’s best to ask how they handle it how they live with it what they’re doing to recover.

Denver Private Investigator Blogger The facts are what win in court, though — More—

Interview smarter – interviewing people with PTSD – part 1

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

When working on legal cases for victims of accidents, private investigators are sometimes required to interview individuals suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  In some cases, individuals suffering from PTSD might behave the same way individuals who are not suffering from PTSD behave during an interview, however in other cases they might exhibit noticeably distinct symptoms such as increased agitation.

This is because, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) someone with “PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.” It is important to bear in mind that PTSD is a neurological condition and that “the person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, them harm may have happened to a loved one or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved one or strangers.” In is therefore in a private investigator’s best interest to learn how to recognize and navigate PTSD symptoms when conducting interviews with victims of accidents and other serious personal injuries for legal cases as well as with witnesses.

Despite the growing number of information and research being done on PTSD, it wasn’t easy to find online material advising private investigators or even lawyers on best practices when interviewing people with PTSD. As PTSD can sometimes impair speech and memory, however, this is certainly relevant to — More—

Sherlock Holmes on Halloween

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

The first collection of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, on display now at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) was published on October 31, 1892. The book was dedicated to the man who inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Joseph Bell. The dedication read “[no] other name has a good a right to the place.”

See also, Why Colorado private investigators should not miss the Sherlock Holmes exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Bell, according to the DMNS Sherlock Holmes exhibit, “was a pioneer for forensic science. He assisted the police in criminal investigations and testified at criminal inquests and murder trials. Bell emphasized that careful observation –or induction– was just as important in medicine as it was in police work. “The student must be taught how to observe,” he insisted.

The tweed clad detective was also a popular Halloween costume in 2015. The modern private investigator prototype’s connection to forensic science may not have been explicitly present, however, the characteristics that defined Holmes and the principles of forensics that Bell helped to pioneer such as close observation and following the hunch by gathering information, was present throughout. — More—

Crimson Peak – horror movie with a solidly represented private investigator

If you want to see a great horror movie featuring a private investigator portrayed with professional integrity this Halloween, go see Crimson Peak, directed by, Guillermo del Toro.

Although the script, written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins is a far cry from naturalism. Mr Holly, the private investigator character played by Burn Gorman who is hired to investigate Thomas and Lucille Sharpe, is presented as a rock solid detective and this is refreshing.

Is is also a testament to integrity of a story that knows when to wax poetic and when to strip smoke screens and moving mirrors down to bare bones truth which is exactly what private investigator do. Plotwise this serves to move the story forward through — More—

Why Colorado private investigators should not miss the Sherlock Holmes exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

By Susanna Speier

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes exhibit opened at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science last Friday with a Sherlock themed fashion show. Yes, fashion show.

While detectives may be cultivators of a refined and specialized skills set –astute observation and inductive and deductive reasoning— forecasting the next season’s fashion forward runway trends isn’t generally first and foremost on the private eye agenda.

That said, the three part exhibit that the party and fashion show opened —which consists of (1) the development of forensic science and its intersection with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s medical education and the real life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes (2) an interactive forensic science section enabling exhibit attendees to solve a fictitious crime using forensic science (3) Sherlock in pop culture and Hollywood in shows like Elementary, Sherlock and C.S.I. — is a must see for any Rocky Mountain region based private investigator. Repeat: if you are a Colorado PI then this exhibit is a must see!

“Sherlock Holmes is the Jedi Master of — More—

The Rocky Mountain Private Investigators 2015 Conference

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

ESTES PARK – The weekend of October 9th, private investigators from all over the country were navigating a narrow, two-lane mountain road. In a scene reminiscent of the opening credits of “The Shining,” they wound their way to the high altitude destination of the 2015 Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) conference in Estes Park, Colorado.

Though not as old as the Stanley Hotel, famous for inspiring Stephen King to write, “The Shining,” The Rocky Mountain Park Inn’s pine-beamed ceilings, thickly chlorinated swimming pool, foosball table and muted orange, lime and olive blends offered a distinctly retro vibe to the weekend’s festivities.

Conference topics, by contrast, could not have been more current. Jonette Miranda of Mj Investigations, LLC, gave a presentation titled “Hunting People Legally,” addressing how social media was revolutionizing the private investigator world. Miranda discussed facial recognition softwares, (happy Back to the Future 2015 day, btw) now an integral part of Facebook software and how PIs can make use of this kind of public information obtained on social networks.

“People give me information in their own words” she said, emphasizing the importance of — More—

85 years of Nancy Drew detective stories: solving the mystery of the teen sleuth’s timeless appeal – part 2: Stratemeyer, Adams and Bensen

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

One-hundred and fifty-three years ago, today, on October 4, 1862, Edward Stratemeyer, the author and founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate was born to German tobacconists in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He grew up reading Horatio Alger and sold his 1st story —and one he claimed to have written on brown wrapping paper in his father’s tobacco shop. Stratemeyer’s big break came in the form of a letter of from the then dying Horatio Alger asking him to complete a story he was too ill to finish. Stratemeyer went on to finish several of Alger’s stories posthumously.

The spread of primary education cleared a market hungry for youth fiction and Stratemeyer revolutionized the publishing process by employing teams of ghost writers. A 2004 New Yorker article by Mehgan O’Rourke, titled Nancy Drew’s Father compared what Stratemeyer did for publishing to what Henry Ford did for automobile manufacturing. He created a number of series books including The Hardy Boys in the 1920s.

“On 10 May 1930 Edward Stratemeyer died in Newark, New Jersey shortly after the premiere of the first Nancy Drew book, The Secret of the Old Clock, according to the Stratemeyer biography written by C.D. Merriman for Jalic Inc. The Syndicate fell into the hands of his daughters Harriet Stratemeyer Adams and Edna Camilla Stratemeyer and Jennifer Fisher (also quoted in part 1) credits their “efficient management” with the series’ long survival.

As Stratemeyer did not approve of women working outside the home, his daughter, Harriet Stratemeyer Adams helped her father edit for him at home until her marriage and after getting married she became a full-time homemaker. Following her father’s death, however, Adams took the helm of his business and — More—