Tuesday, January 29, 2002


After a recent posting concerning the changes taking place concerning lineups, I received an e-mail from MIKE BOSAK. Mike wrote a paper in 1997 concerning the "Courts and the Prosecution of Criminals in the Bronx". He sent me a portion of this paper, which I found to be quite interesting. I'm sure many of you will also.

In the 19th Century, a defendant was generally questioned without his lawyer present. The questioning was ordinarily continued by the judge in court. Although refusal was the defendant's legal right, silence was normally taken as a sign of guilt. Justices sometimes cooperated by not only giving credible weight to the officer's testimony, but also allowed for the defendant's return to a police facility to be questioned some more by the police.

In 1850, New York's Criminal Code Commission recommended that this process be eliminated; the legislature did not enact reforms until 1862. The revised statute specified that prisoners be allowed "a reasonable time to send for and advise with counsel", who could then be present during questioning.

Normally, even though this testimony was not sufficient to establish guilt, justices would allow incarceration of prisoners until further evidence could be obtained, for up to 2 months. Other prisoners would be committed as vagrants until testimony against them could be obtained!

Another common practice was to give the prisoner large amounts of liquor by an officer out of uniform, so the defendant would be more likely to confess in a drunken state. In 1862 the NYS Supreme Court ruled this practice was LEGAL. The theory being that the standard was the confession's truth, not the police techniques, and it was a matter of morality, not law.

We've come a long way!!!!


And as such, most of the NYPD will be involved in one way or the other. I will try to keep postings current; keepingin mind that from January 30 to February 4 most of us in the department will be "flying" somewhere.

The terms "conference" and "forum" have been getting a lot of use recently. Applying these same principles to us in the Detective squads, I guess that when the Squad Commanders get together for a lunch meeting, that's really a "conference". When we open up this meeting to the other supervisors in the squads, like at Christmas (and Normy Horowitz is invited), then that becomes a "forum".

Friday, January 25, 2002


On May 23, 1845, a municipal police force of 800 men was established by the Board of Aldermen in New York City.

While the men wore no uniform, they were equipped with a star-shaped copper badge worn on the left breast of their coats.

They soon came to be called the star police and later �coppers� and �cops�.

The first set of printed rules was issued to the force in 1848. Uniforms were introduced in 1853. In 1857 the state took over the administration of the city�s police. The Metropolitan police District, responsible for the counties of New York, Kings, Richmond and Westchester, replaced the Municipal Police. Three years later, the Metropolitan Police District was extended to include the towns of Newtown, Flushing and Jamaica.

In 1863 the police force surmounted its greatest crisis, putting down the Civil War draft riots, in which 1200 rioters were killed and 7,000 injured.

In 1870 the state legislature ended the Metropolitan Police in New York City and created a Police Department under a Board of Police consisting of 4 Commissioners appointed by the Mayor.


An article in a recent edition of NEWSDAY notes that "identity bandits victimized thousands of people last year". They go on to note that this fast-growing crime accounts for more than 40 percent of consumer-fraud complaints. The number of people victimized by this type of crime could be as high as 750,000 a year!

Periodically I have included items of interest related to "Identity Theft" in this column. Question: Has anyone seen anything put out by this department as it relates to the investigation of these types of crimes? I haven't, and suggestions in this respect have as yet gone unnoticed. If anyone has any other ideas, please let the Minister know.

Note: As I have said in the past, I have put together a very brief overview of this crime as it relates to the investigation from a detective's standpoint; if you would like a copy, drop me a note at my e-mail.


Here�s a good all-around search site; has a little of everything


OCC MONEY LAUNDERING PAGE - Discusses money laundering and its
ramifications. From the site of the Office of the Comptroller of
the Currency (OCC), which charters, regulates, and supervises
all national banks. It also supervises the federal branches and
agencies of foreign banks.


ART ATTACK - The "Why Files" is a site which discusses art theft
and forgery. Learn about new technology to detect fakes and what
people are doing to recover lost and stolen art.


Tuesday, January 22, 2002


By the beginning of the 18th century the city had been divided into wards and constables were appointed in each ward.

In 1730 there were sixteen constables, one to a ward except for the Bowery which had two. In 1731, a main watch house or police headquarters was built at Wall and Broad Streets.

As the population increased, the watch system was expanded. In 1800, the cost to the city was $25,000 in salaries for the year in a budget of $130,000. There were 120 men on the force, each ward being under the command of a Captain.

The first blotter appeared in 1803 when Captains were required to keep a roll of men who performed duty each night. Good arrests were rewarded by appropriation of the Common Council, $23 being paid in 1803 for the capture of a murderer.

The first reference to watchmen as police was in 1812 when 4 police districts were established and a Standing Committee of Police appointed in the Common Council (City Council) to promote police efficiency.

On duty, watchmen wore a varnished leather hat and were called �leatherheads� by the public. Their only weapon was a 33 inch club. In 1844 the state legislature expanded the police force, and the power to prescribe a distinguishing badge and dress was established.


While searching the net for links to public records, found this one.

It seems to have good info (govt, marine, medical)...

Public Record Finder.com has been overhauled and has many more free
public record links. Please check it out.


US Financial Institution Routing Codes


Friday, January 18, 2002


A report in the January 21 issue of TIME magazine reveals a breakthrough in latent fingerprint analysis, developed in a joint effort between U.S. and Israeli scientists, while at the same time noting what may become a major obstacle to forensic sciences as a whole.

Israeli investigators utilized a new chemical for tracing fingerprints.

IMDAMEDIOME is a yellow powder that is dissolved in liquid, and reacts with the amino acids in sweat left by the touch of a finger but invisible to the naked eye.

This chemical was used on a newspaper found in a hotel room occupied by the assasins of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi. Conventional methods to find a latent print on this newspaper would not have worked - but the new chemical helped investigators to track down two accomplices in the killing.

The availability of this substance here in the U.S. was not readily known, but it is advisable to check with our Police Lab, and the FBI Lab if necessary, should such a method be advisable in an investigation you may be conducting.

On The Other Hand,

This same issue of TIME Magazine noted what may turn out to be a major setback in Forensic Science.

A recent court ruling has thrown doubt on the validity of even the most sophisticated fingerprint analysis.

Various defense lawyers (leave it to the lawyers!) had attempted for three years to get fingerprint analysis held to a rigorous standard for expert testimony, set by a 1993 Supreme Court decision. Print matching standards vary widely, they argued, and have never been scientifically proved. A Philadelphia judge finally agreed, and his ruling, while NOT binding in other jurisdictions, is expected to make it more difficult to use fingerprint evidence to prove guilt in court.

It may also call into question other types of forensic testimony, like handwriting analysis and ballistics.

What's next?


A 1948 issue of SPRING 3100 includes the following "Humor" passage:

Man at Police Station: "I want to see the burglar who was arrested for breaking into our house last night"

Desk Sgt: "Why?"

Man: "I want to ask him how he got in without waking my wife".


The Brooklyn North Detective Club gathered recently at Russo's On The Bay to honore our members who have left for retirement, and/or been promoted during the past year. A gathering of a finer, more knowledgeable group of investigators could not have happened anywhere else.

Allow me a moment (because this is my column) to make a special note of some honorees.

The departure of talent that retired this past year can NEVER be replaced. Finer investigators cannot be found in one gathering anywhere else. JAY KOPP, a friend as well as colleague, distinguished himself as the Squad Commander of the 90 Squad. Jay is leaving not entirely on his own, on a disability pension - but after 20 years of working with Jay I know he loved every minute of this job, and put his heart into everything he did. TOMMY MAHER, one of the best homicide detectives around, leaves a void in the 75 Squad. His talent was only matched by the fun he provided for the office; a finer detective you could not want to see at the scene of a homicide.

I know I will be faulted for omission of names, but in the interest of brevity I can say that Brooklyn North Detectives, the Finest of the Greatest Detectives in the World, has lost some Premium talent! Good luck to all of you....

And Congratulations once again to all those promoted during the past year.


"Stick 'Em Up! We're government officers and this is a federal raid" ??


In case you missed this one, the NYS DMV Inspector General can help in locating and securing a copy of a drivers license photo.

NYS DMV Inspector General .. 212-447-1311


Eliot Ness, who began every raid with the "Stick 'Em Up" line, made famous in his book THE UNTOUCHABLES, the basis for the television series starring Robert Stack as the lead character Ness. (Does anyone have tapes of these shows? The Minister wants to know.)


I STILL haven't found out what a DD1 was. Can anyone help me identify what, if anything, this form represented?

REMEMBER You can contact the Minister of Investigation at:


Monday, January 14, 2002


A recent article in the Wall Street Journal describes one of the ways that private industry has been tapped in the fight against terrorism. As we all know, the technology available to private industry often surpasses what we have at our own disposal. This recent advancement reported here has to do with �NORA�: Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness. This is computerized software that performs what we would like our �Intelligence Teams� to do. See how they are perfecting this for industry.

It started in Las Vegas. Fighting corporate fraud, and catching a �cheat�, is a vital necessity for the businesses in Las Vegas. Casinos are the ones that pioneered the bio-technical ability to capture a photo, break it down into vital components, save it in a database, and then scan its customers to find a match, thus discovering the cheat before he gets a chance to enter the casino. (Wouldn�t this technology work in policing?)

Anyway, NORA is a computerized system that has been examined by the federal government to see if it is adaptable to the fight against terrorism. The software company, Systems Research & Development, scans massive amounts of data for hidden connections-much the way detectives do by hand. It looks for connections such as matching telephone numbers or addresses or other hidden links. When these suspicious connections turn up, an investigator can then look further.

NORA draws on disparate sources of information-employment applications, transaction listings, customer listings, and more. It then �cleanses� the data to make comparisons. For example, the program understands that �Richard� and �Rick� are variations of the same name, and it can also find misspelled street names and transposed digits in Social Security numbers.

This sounds an awful lot like a computerized �Intell Team�. The �only� problem we would have here applying this to our own mission would be the various databases that would need to be reviewed. Each one is different and distinct, written in different �computer languages�, and problematic all on its own.

NORA is not touted as being an Intelligence agent, merely a tool for the Intelligence agent. Imagine what its uses could be in the fight against crime!


The Wall Street Journal reported who reported on the private security system being examined by the Federal government to thwart terrorism � NORA � noted the following scenario.

When profits are at stake, and private industry is concerned, it seems that safeguards are enacted rapidly to keep from losing money.

A Hilton Hotel gift shop required the reporter to hand over his drivers license along with his credit card. After signing the receipt, the signature was compared with the ones on the credit card and the one on the drivers license, as well as on a personal ID card.

At the airport, by contrast, he was asked to show one form of ID, but never had to sign a thing, and was never questioned further.


Since September 11, we have all heard much about Osama bin Laden and his terrorist group, Al Qaeda. But what about the other terrorist Islamic organizations, some of whom have US ties? You really need a scorecard, but here�s a concise guide to the Islamic terrorist organizations that we should all be aware of.

AL QAEDA: Headquartered in Afghanistan. Formed by Osama Bin Laden in the late 1980�s among Arabs who fought the Soviets of Afghanistan.

ABU NIDAL: Located in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestinian refugee camps. Also known as FATAH and BLACK SEPTEMBER, they have carried out attacks in 20 countries, including the Pan Am hijacking in Karachi in 1986.

AL-GAMA� AL ISLAMIYYA: aka Islamic Group. Located in Egypt, with presence in Sudan, US, Afghanistan, Austria and Yemen. Staged the 1997 assault at Luxor that killed 58 tourists, but appears now to be split between maintaining a 1999 cease-fire and resuming armed operations.

HAMAS: aka Islamic Resistance Movement. Located in Israel, West Bank and Gaza Strip. Its leader signed Bin Laden�s 1998 fatwa calling for attacks on US interests. They are also linked to the hijacking of an Indian airliner in 2000 to win release of Kashmiri separatist leader.

HIZBALLAH: aka Party of God. Lebanon based organization, also known as ISLAMIC JIHAD. It is often directed by Iran and suspected in the bombing of the US Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983.

AL-JIHAD: Based in Egypt, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Lebanon, and the U.K. A close partner of Bin Laden, its goal is to replace the Egyptian government with an Islamic state.

PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD: Based in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. They are committed to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state. They conduct suicide bombings against Israel and oppose Arab governments considered tainted by secularism.

POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE-GENERAL COMMAND (PFLP-GC). They are based in Syria and Lebanon. They are closely tied to Syria and Iran, carrying out guerilla raids against Israeli targets.

(prepared from material printed in the Wall Street Journal)


From recent newspaper headlines, here are some more true stories that are too unbelievable to make up. Truth is truly stranger than fiction!

In Vernon, Conn. a man attempted to rob a mini-mart, and chose to wear a disguise, as he was a regular customer of the store. His disguise, however, was shaving cream. He walked into the store with his face lathered in shaving cream, believing this would make him unrecognizable. Of course this would only work in Metropolis, on Clark Kent�s face. He was instantly recognized, and ran from the store only to be quickly captured by police. (Did he try to hide by covering his eyes?)

Another criminal in Jackson, Miss. Was apprehended for robbing a restaurant and two banks. Fingerprints? Video tape? No, they just retrieved the credit application that he filled out while waiting for the bank teller�s line to shorten so he could rob her.

In Oklahoma City, a man was arrested after going on a crime spree robbing three businesses by threatening cashiers with an ax. The third store he tried to rob was a Wal-Mart, and he was spotted by an alert security guard who wondered why there was a man walking around the store with an ax in his hand. It should be noted that Security wasn�t the first person to spot him; he was spotted first by an alert employee who spotted the man walking into the store with the ax and, without regard for his own personal safety, he walked up to the man and� put a sticker on the ax to show that the man had the ax when he entered the store!

In Tomahawk, Wis. the Tomahawk Leader reports on a rather unusual story, that must be quoted to really appreciate. �An elderly Merrill woman stated that a bear on a bicycle had vandalized her bird feeder Friday. She suspected that the bear, described as big, had probably fled from a circus because an ordinary bear could not ride a bicycle so well�. (Perhaps the bear should have hid behind some shaving cream!)

Friday, January 11, 2002


The use of DNA as an investigative tool can open doors to an otherwise cold investigation. The use of DNA, the mechanics and logistics of the DNA databank, etc. are really in the infant stages. The general concept of DNA typing and testing is well known to most investigators; the actual practice of getting things done, however, is not a common practice of many.

If anyone has some real-life advice on the use of DNA as an investigative tool, you are urged to contact the Minister. I would like to be able to present a concise, informative info packet for the investigator - what you need, who to contact, how to get it done.

If you can contribute any info on this, please forward it to the Minister at:


(Along these lines, the Minister will be getting a copy of the below named Interpol-created booklet on DNA. I'm not sure how applicable it will be to the everyday-investigator, but I'll report back soon.)


After months of work the Interpol DNA Handbook on DNA Data Exchange and Practice will finally be issued. The first edition of the handbook has been produced and is waiting to be sent to all Interpol member countries. This booklet combines the knowledge of several different authors from all over the world. As the scientific development of DNA techniques continues to advance, Interpol is extremely pleased to present the First Edition. The handbook is primarily addressed at law enforcement officers with the aim of giving them a clearer understanding of DNA techniques and practices.

It is not intended for DNA scientists or DNA experts. DNA profiling has often been characterized as somehow obscure and miraculous by many law enforcement individuals, this is often due to the lack of understanding about DNA.

The handbook is intended to help make this trend-setting investigative technique more understandable. It tries to explain what DNA profiling is and how law enforcement can benefit from this technology.

You can access a copy of this booklet on-line at the Interpol site. You can download PDF-acrobat file copies from this site.



Crime Times Publishing has various links of interest to investigators, including books, software, and other paraphernalia. Of particular interest is a free downloadable "Crime Scene Screensaver", for the real detective buffs! Check it out�(You know the Minister has already downloaded this).


The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering is an international multi-governmental organization that acts as a coordinating council to assist in money laundering issues. You can read more about money laundering and this aspect of international crime on the sites home page:


Here's yet another link that can match a phone number to an address

This site was previously noted, but in the event you missed it it's certainly worth noting again.

The John E. Reid Associates is a training organization that specializes in teaching interrogation and interviewing skills, applicable to the law enforcement professional. They also publish a monthly on-line Tip for Investigators, covering a multitude of topics. They are archived on their site and can be reviewed at any time. They are well worth looking over. (This site is on The Minister's list of "Top Ten" Detective sites:



Rumors previously reported on this site concerning a sighting of Mr. Cincotta in questionable beach-ware seems to be a false rumor, though one never knows�

Thursday, January 10, 2002


Ever since Eliot Ness first published The Untouchables in 1957, the public has fallen in love with the adventures of this authentic American hero. His book was a runaway best seller because it was the exciting true story of a brave and honest lawman pitted against the country's most successful gangster, Al Capone. The television series that followed in the 1950's and the Kevin Costner movie in 1987 built fancifully on the same theme. Then again in 1993, the television series has been remade for yet another generation to watch Eliot Ness battle it out again with the Capone Mob.

Every school child knows what Eliot Ness did for two years in Chicago, but what happened to him afterwards when Al Capone went to jail? Almost nobody knows. Does that mean the young hero retired to a quiet life?

Not by a long shot! With a new group of "Untouchables," Eliot Ness went right on fighting the mob for another decade: staging daring raids on bootleggers and illegal gambling joints, catching criminals with his bare hands, and generally putting organized crime on the run. After Capone, he broadened his crusade to include labor racketeers, crooked cops and the country's most vicious serial killer, the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run.

So why didn't Eliot Ness write about his adventures after Chicago? Actually, he had planned to do just that, but he died of a heart attack just before the publishing of The Untouchables.

Ness's career in law enforcement continued for a decade beyond the Capone years, a decade in which his very considerable talents flowered. At the age of 33 in Cleveland, he faced the challenge of his career when he took over the corrupt and incompetent police force in a city that had become a haven for gangsters.Never one to sit behind a desk and administrate, Eliot took to the street with a new group of trusted confidants, mostly undercover investigators and reporters, until he cleaned up the police force and put the mob chieftains behind bars.Drawing on his master's degree in criminology, he turned the miserable Cleveland police force into one of the most modern, efficient and respected departments in the world. Crime in the city dropped 38 percent after he was on the job just a couple of years!


The Buena Park P. D. is selling blue memorial bracelets with the name of a fallen NYPD P.O. from 9-11 on it. With the exception of $1.50 all proceeds will go to the Widow's and Orphans Fund.



Fraud-Report.org is a non-profit organization for consumers and law enforcement authorities. You can report a fraud, an Internet or telemarketing scam or even a suspected
case through a link on the site.



Is it true he's been last seen in a thong bathing suit on the beaches of St. Johns VI?
If anyone has photo proof of that, The Minister will find out how photos are posted to Blog - guaranteed!

Monday, January 07, 2002


When the English took over in 1664, naming the town New York, the town had fifteen hundred inhabitants. A constable was appointed to supervise the watch.

In 1668, the first street lighting system was introduced, every seventh house being required to put out a candle or lantern on a pole. In 1673, the town was recaptured by the Dutch and named New Orange. The following year the Dutch ceded the territory to England and it became New York again.

The English continued the constable�s watch, equipping him with a staff which he carried in his day time travels about the city. The first uniformed policeman appeared in 1691 - a bellman.


That John Timoney, former First Deputy of NYPD and Commissioner of the Philadelphia PD, has left Philadelphia to take a job back here in NYC. He has left to become the CEO of Beau Dietl and Associates, the private investigation firm headed by Richard �Bo� Dietl - the former NYPD detective who has made quite a name for himself. Dietl is a regular on the Imus radio show - appearing Monday�s with his movie reviews and a voice on current events.


The Wizard of Stats himself, Chris Cincotta, has officially retired!

Chris made his mark as the squad supervisor in the 77 Squad during the �heyday� of activity in Crown Heights, then moved �south� finally commanding the 66 Squad prior to his move into �the building�. He worked for Deputy Commissioner�s Eddie Norris and Garry McCarthy prior to his �pulling the pin�. Chris was a fixture at Compstats (he was the guy in the shirt and tie handing McCarthy/Norris the casefolders!).

Everyone who knows Chris knows how much of a buff he really is - he even gives the Minister a run for his money.

A lot of experience and hands-on know how is lost with the retirement of Chris. People like him can never be replaced.

We wish Chris all the best in his private endeavors - is it true a major brokerage firm is looking for a Compstat wiz?


This site as a link that can match a phone number to an address?

Picture of the Day Sites:

Earth Science Picture of the Day

Photo of the Day @ National Geographic

Weather Picture Of The Day

An excellent news and web search site. Search by many
combinations, words, etc.


Symposium To Focus on Effective Gang-Related
OJJDP will sponsor the National Youth Gang Symposium on June
11-13, 2002, in Orlando, Florida. Innovative and effective
gang-related programs will be highlighted and participants
will receive the latest information on activities and
trends. (OJJDP)
Access full description at: http://www.gangsymposium.org/



If you have any ideas or suggestions for future postings, please drop an e-mail to me.