Monday, February 26, 2001


Most all of us are aware that DNA from a suspect can be identified by a blood sample. This blood sample, taken by a Technician from the M.E. Office, is NOT, however, the ONLY way a DNA sample can be obtained.
A less intrusive manner, and one more readily available to an investigator, can be performed by the detective in the field. It requires NO third-party involvement for the collecting of the sample, either. The use of a Cotton-Swab in the collection of a DNA sample is easily performed by any investigator on a willing subject.

* Use a cotton swab, and collect at least 2-3 samples.
* Swab the inside of the subjects mouth with the cotton-swab.
* Allow it to air dry, then
* Place in a brown paper bag (NEVER use plastic).
* Then hand-deliver the package to the M.E. Lab for exam.

The blood sample may be an easier method for typing, however, the inclusion of a 3rd party to the process, subject to their scheduling, etc, may turn a willing subject into an unwilling one. This simple method was used many times by the Brooklyn North Homicide Squad in their recent DNA-Homicide pattern cases.


The cell-phone industry has established a 24x7 telephone inquiry desk to assist law enforcement with cell phone issues. Should the assistance of TARU be unavailable, this is another avenue of assistance to us. By contacting this desk you may be able to identify the cell phone service provider, the first step in obtaining subpoena�s and call information. This number is:


Remember, the caller ID device that so many people now utilize can be a valuable tool to law enforcement., providing key information on calls made into a location. These devices may contain telephone and subscriber information very valuable to your investigation, but you must keep in mind that:
* Interruption of the power supply to the device may cause a loss of data if there is not a backup batter supply
* Document all stored data prior to seizure or removal of power, or loss of this data may occur.

FROM THE ROLODEX (OK, it�s really from my PalmPilot, but you get the idea)�.

A very wise Detective Sergeant (Thomas Burke, ret.) once said �A good detective doesn�t need to know everything, he (she) just needs to know where to find it�.
Along these lines, I will be including some contacts I have found that may prove helpful one day. A detective�s telephone book of contacts should be his/her most valuable tool; never stop building your sources of information. �If you don�t know � ASK�.

TARU Det. John Ross (718) 352-1409
(If you find a telephone book and this phone number is NOT in it, you can bet the book DOESN�T belong to a detective! The help that John, and TARU, can provide a detective in the area of telephones, cell phones, pagers, etc. is phenomenal! Thanks, John, for all your help on behalf of ALL of us out in the field!!!)

FBI-NY Extortion/Money Laundering
S/A Darrin Kibel (212) 384-4517

This agent has been involved in several money-laundering cases, including the cashing of forged checks by check-cashing institutions, and can be very helpful in an investigation of this matter.

Noel Barreto, Investigator � Corp. Security (212) 384-4517
Gene McNulty, Investigator � Corp Security (718) 793-5597


The last posting noted the 4-Items That Solve Homicides, according to Lt. Dan Kelly (ret. CO, Queens Homicide) as related by Phil Panzarella. The Minister would be remiss if he didn�t note that the Minister-Father worked for Dan Kelly along with Sundance, and often noted that Kelly was the �premier� in Homicide Squad Commanders.
In regards to the �Interview� process : It should not be new to anyone that the �secret� to good detective work is to talk to enough people, ask enough questions, and eventually someone will tell you who did the crime. Sometimes not as direct as that sounds, but the idea that you have to be out there � talking to people � is the key. The next part of that, though, is what you do with the information when you get it! Promptly acting on information can often be the key : When someone tells you the guy who did the murder is on the corner of Utica and St. Johns right now, then you better get yourself to Utica and St. Johns NOW, not later. (My addition to Sundance�s theory � and really just another way of phrasing Captain Willemse�s �Hit the Iron While It�s Hot� theory).

Thursday, February 22, 2001


In the book THE DETECTIVES, which discusses the toughest cases of a handful of NYPD Detectives, Lt. Phil Panzarella notes the following. (Phil is currently with the Queens Cold Case Squad; he was the C.O. of the Queens Homicide Squad prior to that, and worked as a Squad Commander, Sergeant, and Detective in the Bureau as well.)
Phil states that Lt. DAN KELLY, Retired CO of the Queens Homicide Squad, (and one of the finest Squad Commanders around!) preached that Four Items Solve Homicides:
* Crime Scene
* Interviews
* Records
* Surveillance
Crime Scene: The recovery of evidence and review of the scene is crucial
Interviews: Talking to people; canvassing the area; gathering background info on the
Victim; and the Interview of the Suspect
Records: Background checks on all people, suspects, etc.
Surveillance: Getting out into the field to observe, look for and apprehend the suspect


If I may quote Philly again :


The August 1948 issue of SPRING3100 notes that the Mass. State Police will undergo a full-fledged courtesy program where every member will be taught how to deal with the public. It was believed that this was the first time a project of this type had been launched anywhere by any law enforcement agency. (The forefather of CPR???)


Sonny Grosso was the narcotics detective who, in the early 1960�s, was known as the department�s narcotics master. (At the time the Narcotics Division was a part of the Detective Bureau.) Grosso has the distinction of attaining First Grade Detective in the fastest time on the job. He was known as a master of disguise, and in 1962 he teamed up with Det. Eddie Egan to take down an international drug ring that became known as the �French Connection�. The haul included 112 pounds of heroin worth over $32 million. They also uncovered 50 kilos of heroin secreted in a car, which was adequately depicted in the movie �The French Connection�. After retiring, Grosso took up acting and performing as a technical advisor to numerous motion pictures. He had a part in the Academy Award winning picture �The Godfather�, playing the role of one of the �hitmen� who killed �Sonny Corleone� at the famous Jones Beach toll-booth scene.


Here is another site to Verify a SSN.

This site is a full featured internet web site that allows attorneys, their
clients, pro se parties, and other interested members of the public to
search, manage and monitor active cases, dockets and court calendars in the
New York trial courts.
Users are able to locate cases of interest, register them for future
e-mail alerts of important court dates, decisions, orders and notices; view
individual IAS dockets, retrieve copies of any filed court documents from
anywhere at any time. Check it out.

This is a great source for skiptracing.

General Forensic Science explained




From the Lynbrook PBA�s page:

Check them out !

Thursday, February 15, 2001

Remember.... To Contact the Minister, e-mail.......


Who are the Texas Rangers? (No, not the baseball team). The Texas Rangers, one of the oldest law enforcement organizations on the North American continent, are the investigative branch of the Texas Department of Public Safety. They assist local law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations, investigate public corruption, and provide security for the Governor of Texas.
The Rangers are comprised of a total of 107 commissioned members, and divided among six (6) Field Company�s spread out over the 254 counties of Texas. Each Ranger has responsibility for a minimum of two to three COUNTIES, some with even larger areas! In 1996, the Rangers caseload consisted of 3,680 investigations, and they made 601 felony arrests and 157 misdemeanor arrests.
They were originally formed in 1823 as a citizen-militia to defend the frontier, similar to the Revolutionary Minutemen. Over time they became a bona-fide full time law enforcement agency.
The Ranger�s are chosen from the ranks of the Dept. of Public Safety Troopers. They are required to have at least 8 years experience as a law enforcement officer, with at least 4 years with Texas DPS. All Ranger�s below the rank of Lieutenant hold the rank of Sergeant in the Texas DPS. The Rangers themselves are supervised by a Senior Captain, six field Captains, and seven Lieutenants.
Each Ranger is furnished with a semi-automatic pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and Ruger Mini-14 or Colt AR15 semi-automatic rifle. They are also issued a crime scene kit for evidence gathering.
So � what about the hats??? The Rangers do not wear a uniform. They are issued a silver 5-pointed star that is emblazoned with �TEXAS RANGER�, which they wear on their outer garment when necessary. The one item that is as close to a uniform, however, is their Stetson hat � Ranger�s wear either a white or a pearl grey Stetson hat, and NEVER a black hat. (Which is the one part of the TV show WALKER-TEXAS RANGER that the Ranger�s take exception to � NEVER a black hat!).
The Ranger�s Motto: �ONE RIOT � ONE RANGER�
The Ranger Creed: �No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that�s in the right and keeps on a-comin�.


� All my life I�ve wanted to be somebody. I realize now maybe I should have been more specific�

� I can only please one person a day. Today�s not your day; tomorrow doesn�t look good either�


The two major methods of obtaining fingerprints from plastic bags are the �Super Glue� method (sano acrolyte) and the Vaccuum Metal Deposition method.

The �Super glue� method is readily used by the department�s Lab and by Crime Scene Unit. However, the Vaccuum-Metal Deposition Method is a special process that was not utilized by the Department Lab � it required shipment to another Lab source. The US Secret Service Lab was one of the locations using this method; this was utilized during the Amy Watkins investigation. At that time (one year ago), this was the closest Lab, in Washington DC. The method has been expanding, however, and may be more readily available at this time. If you have a plastic bag you wish to search for Latent Prints, check first with the Department Lab regarding the processing.

The use of the �Vacco-Metal� method may preclude the �super glue� test, but �super glue� will not ruin a vacco-metal procedure from being done.

The results are 50/50 for each method, but the processing of the item in the proper manner is important if results are expected to be obtained.


For Explosives is 1,000 feet. Set up the perimeter a safe distance away!


Drummer ��� A burglar who breaks into homes
Screw Jack��.. A safe cracker
Yardie ���� A British term for a detective (Scotland Yard)



In 1857 the Metropolitan police District was established to replace the inadequate Municipal Police Force. The Metropolitan Police District comprised the counties of New York, Kings, Westchester and Richmond, and the towns of Newtown, Flushing, and Jamaica, in the county of Queens. Police Headquarters was occupied at 300 Mulberry Street from 1863 until 1909, when it then moved to 240 Centre Street. The June 1965 issue of SPRING notes that plans for a new police headquarters (current 1PP) are back on the drawing board.


In November 1970 the department a program called the Anti-Crime Patrol. With a large increase in violent crime against persons (18% increase in 1970), this experimental program was put into place under the command of the Precinct C.O. Plainclothes patrol had been in existence in specialized circumstances on a limited basis prior to 1970, however the scope of plainclothes anti-crime patrol expanded with this program. It was originally established under the Division command, with each precinct supplying 1 patrolman for plainclothes duty, and the Division Commander assigning them to a particular precinct to address conditions. In 1970 this concept was expanded to allow each precinct to assign two men to this plainclothes program for assignment within their own command. The emphasis was on felony level, violent street crimes.

Friday, February 09, 2001

To Contact the Minister of Investigations, e-mail to


In an earlier posting noting 1963 salaries of NYPD MOS, it was interesting to note the following regarding Detectives and Detective Grades.
In 1963 there were a total of 2,481 Detectives (all grades). Of this number, 1,011 of them had Grade � 2nd or 1st. This is a reflection of 41% of the total number of detectives having Grade. Second Grade Detectives, 742 of them, numbered 30% of the total number of Detectives, while 1st Grades � 269 � was 11% of the Detective force. How do these numbers stack up against today�s figures? (Check future posting for a comparison. Sorry � those numbers are at my finger tips. Calls to DB-HQ and the DEA provided no information.)
It should be noted further, though, that not all MOS performing detective investigator assignment were at the detective ran. Remember, white shield�s were placed into detective investigator assignments, and sometimes remained there for YEARS before receiving the gold shield. It wasn�t until the 1980�s that the 18-month investigative rule came into effect.


Allan Pinkerton, the first of the great modern detectives, founded a detective dynasty that has been around since the Civil War. The Pinkerton Agency was contracted by the federal government for numerous investigations during the Civil War, including the protection of the President. The motto of Pinkerton�s Detectives was: �WE NEVER SLEEP�, and his agency�s symbol � a wide open eye � ultimately introduced the term �Private Eye� to the American language.


In 1880, a squad of 2 detectives was created by Thomas Byrnes, the Chief of Detectives (see earlier postings), to protect the Wall Street Financial District. Working out of a small room at Wall and Broad Streets, the 2 detectives were tasked with �expelling crooks from the area and seeing that they did not return�. They arrested any suspicious characters found in the financial district, hauled them off to their office, and made to explain their presence thereat. If they didn�t have a reasonable explanation they were slapped into a jail cell for the night, then released with a warning not to show their face on Wall Street again. Crime in the Wall Street area plummeted to non-existent levels after the detectives were put in place!


Thomas Byrnes, appointed Chief of Detectives in 1880, was the �father of detectives�. He was asked about his affinity to talk with thieves in an effort to gain information (CI�s), and noted �I make it a point to meet some of these criminals in their resorts, and learn from them the whereabouts of their friends and what they are doing. In this way I keep posted, and know in what part of the country all the sharp men are. In the long run the honest officer is a match for the smartest thief�. Byrnes is the person who created the catalog of photographs of criminals, adding the term �Rogues Gallery� to the law enforcement dictionary.


Check out the following :
It has many links and some good info.


1855: Theodore Roosevelt appointed President of the Police Board
1937: 2-way radios introduced into the Police Cars
1972: Height requirement eliminated; Police Officer title replaces Patrolman/Policewoman


Who was the only NYPD member to be killed in the line of duty on foreign soil? And where? (Answer in future posting)


In the current issue of CIGAR AFFICIONADO, an article regarding counterfeit cigars features a sting operation and arrests made by the NYPD�s Special Frauds Unit. Several hundred-thousand dollars of counterfeit �Padron� cigars were seized from a person who claimed to be a cigar retailer. The cigars were reportedly being sold as �Vintage� aged cigars, but were actually mediocre cigars with counterfeit wrappers and boxes. It is noted in the article that much expense was made in the maufacture of the counterfeit boxes, to make them appear to be what they weren�t. So often those in the �numbered-squads� are heard to claim that those �alphabet-squads� are nothing more than grey smoke and mirrors; in this case, it appears the smoke was blue! Nice work, Special Frauds, and Det. Richard Dillon who was involved in the case.

Thursday, February 08, 2001


The Minister of Investigations has a vast array of true-crime books in his library, and readily makes them available to anyone who wants to borrow them. Note : Borrow means to return after used. If anyone has borrowed any books for a length of time, please try to have these books make their way back to the bookcase. In particular: "ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF MURDER" was borrowed by a member of an outside command, and is still outstanding. Please return this!


It is noted that the Minister is always looking for old copies of SPRING 3100. Anyone cleaning out a basement and looking to discard these, let me know - either calling the 77 Squad or e-mail at
Selling old copies? Let me know........


The following items in some old SPRING3100 I found of particular interest:

April 1965: The Department was beginning a campaign to urge the public to use a newly established emergency telephone number: 440-1234 � to report emergencies. This number was the originator of the 911 concept.


Tiny hip radios are being introduced to give the man on post a direct link to his command. Ptl are able to keep in touch with the stationhouse, as well as the supervisor�s car. The radios cost $650 a piece, with the first 20 put into use by members of the TPF. It�s noted that 12 more are on order, with another 200 scheduled for the next years budget.


The Chief Inspector � now known as the Chief of Department � was the highest paid member of the department, earning $22,918. The Chief of Detectives earned 17,518. There were 70 Lieutenant � CDS, earning 10,180 to 10,545. Sergeant � SDS earned 9,426 to 9,791. There were 269 Detective First Grades, earning 9,426 to 9,791. There were 742 Detective Second Grades earning 8,405 to 8,770. Third Grade Detectives, of which there were 1,470, earned $7,943 to $8,052.

Wednesday, February 07, 2001

Coming Up in Future Postings........
Why do Texas Rangers wear white hats? How do you obtain DNA samples for testing? And more investigative sites on the web and NYPD lore............. from the Minister of Investigations


Captain Willemse in "Behind the Green Lights" writes about his early days on patrol in the late 1800's, and recounts tales of avoiding the Roundsmen checking up on the troops. As long as there has been a Police Department, there have been those sent out from HQ to check up on the men in the field. Shoo-Flies were the term originally applied to Roundsmen (Sergeants) who swept into a Precinct to look after the men, and to make �complaints� against them. These complaints were called �Didos�, and resulted in disciplinary action taken at Department Trials. Interesting enough, these trials all took place on Thursday�s � which was usually regarded as a day the men could count on having little supervision if their respective Roundsmen had been busy giving out �didos� in the past.


According to Cornelius Willemse, it was important for the detective to �Hit the Iron While It�s Hot�. �This is critical for solving a murder case. Time is an element always favoring the killer and piling up odds against the police. The case that�s cold is almost always impossible to break.� This was his teaching to new detectives in 1931, at a time when murder occurred in this city at the rate of 1 per DAY. Sounds a lot like the "24-72 Rule of Homicide Investigations" : Find out what your victim was doing for the 24 hours prior to his/her death, and the steps you take in the first 72 hours of the investigation, will be the key to solving your homicide case !


The Chicago Police Dept puts their "Comstat" map on the Web, making it accessible to anyone who logs onto it. Considering the NYPD started COMSTAT, you have to wonder why its so hard for the NYPD Squad people to get a look at a crime map while in the field! Anyway, check it out....

Chicago PD Comstat Map

Here is a great site with lots (and I mean lots) of links
for the Investigative World. It will take you awhile to
research each and every one but it there are some that are
worth it. Great site with many links!!!

Thursday, February 01, 2001


This book, �Behind the Green Lights�, is an autobiography written by Capt. Cornelius Willemse, appointed to the department in 1899, and written in 1931 after his retirement. Referring to the green lights in front of every police precinct, this is an exceptional book for anyone interested in the history of this department. Recounting his deeds as a newly appointed officer on November 7, 1899, it continues through his exploits as a Homicide Detective and Commander, up until his retirement in 1931. As much as things change, many things remain the same! I will recount some of these exploits in future postings.


In 1931, the biggest complaint of the detectives was that they needed more people and more equipment. �The Homicide Bureau was almost hopelessly handicapped by the lack of men and equipment with which to combat the growing murder rate�. At the same time, Capt. Willemse, the commander of the Homicide Bureau, complains of a lack of automobiles on hand to the detectives working on cases, while cars were parked outside of Headquarters unused. He talks admirably of taking one of those cars for his men to use, and returning it several weeks later to its original parking spot, unbeknownst to those at HQ. So it seems that the problem of manpower and cars is NOT a new one!


�Uh, you still using AOL? Basically, and everything, I found a new way to go online for free, and everything. Not only that, but basically they pay you and everything. It�s real easy to do, and uh generally and everything you can drop whatchamacallit AOL and basically do it for free. Uh, it�s real easy. Generally, if you use whatchamacallit Netscape you can download from the mega site and basically it reverts the frames into ram bytes. So, basically after you log onto the site and everything, you download whatchamacallit and then save it to the file on the J drive, and basically it runs in the stratologger, unless you want to defrag it directly to the Bunsen driver. Generally, it�s better to do it that way, unless basically you�re not running the newer version of the whatchamacallit net scapper drive hammer. After basically reinstalling the drives from the CD, you basically run it the way the trammer digit shows, unless that�s full and everything. It�s real easy, uh, and basically they pay you. Want me to show you? Basically and everything uh I�ll show you, as long as your globedybob is running on basically maximum harpwarp drive, you know, and everything. Grfgyths hythgs uhfklird nudfghrt ghwe regthye and everything, nmow ebr and basically nmghe wnjuia the whatchamacallit nghwerty and everything.�

�Let me take a polygram test�
�My mother has very close veins and she can�t climb up the stairs�
�He has six cell anemia�
�The judge gave him an old tomato� (ultimatum?)
�He was having an athletic fit�