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—

85 years of Nancy Drew detective stories: solving the mystery of the teen sleuth’s timeless appeal – part 1

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

The name, Nancy Drew along with the name of her pseudo author, Carolyn Keene, has been popping up in media a lot this year since 2015 marks the 85th anniversary of the fictitious teen detective. So how do you solve the mystery of why the private eye has been around so long?

The Mary Sue, quoting Scholars Janice Radway and Nan Enstad, credited the series with providing “girls a “place to dream.” If that is, indeed, the case, Nancy Drew inspired dreamers could not boast a more impressive marquis. According to a recent MTV News article, the teen sleuth is credited for inspiring “Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Barbra Streisand, Hillary Clinton, and three Supreme Court Justices: Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor.” Those women grew up when women’s options were decidedly more limited, however. What about now?

Nancy Drew’s frequent BuzzFeed appearances —in articles titled 15 Modern Mysteries Only Nancy Drew Could Solve, If Nancy Drew Had Instagram and the Which Nancy Drew Era Are You Quiz – could not be a stronger testament to the intrepid private detective’s — More—

Private investigator events happening in October

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

Several September events have come and gone and The National Council of Investigative and Security Services conference is happening now. It started Sunday, September 20th and runs through the 22nd in Las Vegas. Can’t get enough of Vegas? Don’t forget the opportunity to get your dark web on in Vegas at the National Association of Legal Investigators conference in mid October.

The Washington Association of Legal Investigators (WALI) will host an annual event on Saturday, October 3rd in Shoreline, Washington. On October 8th the Society of Professional Investigators (SPI) will host their annual gala dinner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and of course, in Colorado the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) will run October 8th through October 11th.

Heading Midwest? The Indiana Association of Private Investigators (NAPI) hosts an annual event this month, also. October 23rd to October 24th in — More—

What real detectives think about the Dick Tracy inspired Apple watch

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

“Facebook messenger coming [to] Apple watch. Txt audio, share location. A different take on Dick Tracy,” tweeted The Huffington Post, Senior Tech & Society editor, Alex Howard. He was sharing his impressions of Tim Cooke’s September 10th Apple Event presentation and the reference to the fictitious detective caught our attention. Could Apple’s latest smart device, with its integration of Facebook, text audio and location also be relevant to real life detective work? We began by tracing the fictitious two-way crime fighting wrist radio’s origin:

The Dick Tracy comic premiered October 4, 1931, according to the Dick Tracy museum. It first ran in the Detroit Mirror, then the New York Daily News and then the Chicago Tribune. Creator, Chester Gould, ran the strip until his retirement in 1977.

According to Smithsonian Magazine writer, Erin Blakemore, Dick Tracy was being referenced in tech commercials since shortly after its comic book debut.
It wasn’t until1946, however, the comic detective’s creator, Chester Gould, introduced Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist radio. To introduce the watch, Gould initially broke the comic strip’s forth wall and entered the his own comic strip to hand the two way wrist radio over to his protagonist to get him out of a jam. The nonplussed editors at Chicago Tribune, however vetoed the Brechtian frames and that strip never ran. According to Michael Daly’s Daily Beast article, “How Dick Tracy Invented the Apple Watch.”

It was replaced by a strip where a young inventor named Brilliant (based on the real life inventor, Al Gross) handed the watch over to Tracy. Brilliant eventually got killed off but the wildly popular watch stuck around and in the early 1960s it captured the imagination of the five-year-old Tim Cook.

Fast forward to March of 2015. A world news clip shows Apple’s exuberant CEO saying, — More—

More money needed for ancillary services like experts and investigators according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

According to a study by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) lawyers for the poor need resources like experts and investigators in their camp as well as in their budgets.

According to an NPR report by Carrie Johnson, judges now control the access defense attorneys have to funds. This includes — More—

Labor Day and Private Investigators

By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

Over a hundred years ago, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency served as a private militia to industrialists. Benjamin Welton’s January 2015 article in The Atlantic details how this agency –with its robust database of newspaper clippings, mugshots and measurements, filled in where the federal and local law enforcement of the time fell short.

Ultimately the Pinkerton’s explicitly violent, anti-union stance overwhelmed them with negative press thereby alienating the literate middle class.

One of their leading detectives, Sam Hammett “left the Pinkertons because of their hard line stance against the Unions,” according to Welton. Sam Hammett went on to become Dashiell Hammett and create the — More—

National Association of Legal Investigators conference happening next month in Las Vegas

The National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI) will be hosting an online social media and open source investigators summit in Las Vegas from October 12 -14, 2015. Cost is $450 for the two day sessions and will include expert trainers from all over the country. You can also opt to pay for post conference sessions.

Particularly intriguing is — More—