Wednesday, March 27, 2002

�The Recipe for proficiency in the military art is to study and reflect upon the campaigns of the great Captains�.


Often we seek the analysis of hair for DNA to assist in an ongoing investigation.

It is important to remember that partial hair is tested differently from hair that contains a root.

Partial hair cannot be tested for DNA by the NYC Medical Examiner. Partial hairs require a MITOCHONDRIAL DNA TEST. This test presently needs to be performed by a commercial forensic laboratory. The Police Lab cannot perform the test either.

The ME�s Office is capable of testing hair that includes the root. This type of test is known as a NUCLEAR DNA TEST.

The ME�s Office is in the process of constructing a state-of-the-art laboratory that will give it the capability to perform tests on partial hairs, but as of now this lab is not in service. Should you require testing of partial hair, the Police Lab can provide a commercial laboratory best suited for this purpose.

It should be noted, however, that even though the Police Lab will refer you to a commercial lab for testing it is still important to get the appropriate approvals from the Chief of Detective�s Office. This will avoid administrative issues in the future.

More to come on DNA and Hair & Fiber testing in future postings.


Some new books have been or are about to be released that are sure to be of interest to True Crime buffs. Some of them are mentioned here.

MOB OVER MIAMI This soon to be released book by MICHELLE MCPHEE, a reporter for the NY Daily News, is the true story of Chris Paciello and his journey from Staten Island to South Beach Club King and eventually to a witness against the Mob. This book is being released this April. I�ve already reserved a spot on my book shelf for it!

ZODIAC UNMASKED: The Identity of American's Most Elusive Serial Killer Revealed" By Robert Graysmith. This is about the California Zodiac, not the NY Zodiac, but a marvelous story nonetheless. Sure to be on Porkchop�s bookshelf as well as mine, it recounts the intriguing tale of the killer known as Zodiac, who terrorized the Bay Area starting in 1969, taunting the police and the public, and who was never apprehended.

THE OUTFIT: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America"
By Gus Russo. If you remember from an earlier posting, in New York it�s the Mafia, in some places simply The Mob, but in Chicago it�s The Outfit.


The Minister would like to extend Holiday wishes to all: Happy Passover, and Happy Easter, depending on your beliefs. Hope all enjoy their holiday.


You may contact me at my e-mail address noted below. Always interested in hearing from readers; please contribute items you think may be of interest to others as well.

Friday, March 22, 2002


An interesting article in the recent American Bar Association Journal highlighted a recent decision by a Connecticut court concerning the search of pharmacy records. While this is binding in Connecticut only, it was interesting to see the legal thinking behind such a decision from a neighboring state.

In the ruling it was decided that police do not need a warrant to search pharmacy records for evidence in a criminal investigation.

�There is no expectation of privacy in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry�, the court concluded. �Although an individual legitimately may expect that his records of prescriptions for controlled substances will not be disclosed to the general public,� that same individual cannot reasonably expect that certain government officials responsible for safeguarding public health and safety will be permitted to review those records while other government officials with the same responsibility will not�.

It should be noted that this decision has civil rights advocates and many in the medical community up in arms. The rationale the court gives is that because regulatory officials have access to the records then there is no privacy interest in those records.

The ruling allows law enforcement to review such records without appealing to a court for a warrant. It is not expected that such an action will take place anytime soon in New York State.


In the April 2002 issue of Cigar Aficionado, the Editor & Publisher, Marvin Shanken, should be recognized for his brilliantly worded editorial in support of Police and Fire officers.

The issue features a tribute to the cops, firemen and EMS workers of NYC for all of our actions following September 11.

The editorial notes a quote that is attributed to Firefighter John Whalen of Engine 291, in which he stated �It�s strange the way our society treats athletes and celebrities. What are they doing? Hitting a baseball for a living. And every year they demand more millions. We will die for you without thinking about it, and for us to get a 3% raise is like pulling teeth�.

�He�s absolutely right�, adds Shanken. They put their lives on the line and can�t get a $1,000 or $2,000 a year raise, but shortstops who have never even been to the World Series make $25 million a year.

Thanks for your support, Mr. Shanken. Here�s hoping it doesn�t fall on deaf ears.


If you haven�t visited yet, you should stop in to what is probably the only �Cigar Lounge� in Brooklyn North.

Located at # 312A Graham Ave, between Ainslie and Devoe (in the 90 Pct), the Little Cigar Factory has a a well stocked humidor of their very own hand made cigars.

This is a franchise outlet, with the original location in Amityville. A recent newspaper story on this outlet stated that the owner was a retired police detective (of course!).

Prices are good, and the atmosphere is nice. If in the area, stop by and check it out. And grab an espresso while there as well!


Four score and thirteen years ago, in the Piazza Marina, Palermo, Sicily, on March 12th 1909, Lieutenant JOSEPH PETROSINO was assassinated. He was on a mission to uncover records which he believed would result in the deportation of "Black Hand" members from America. Lieutenant Petrosino remains the only on-duty NYPD member ever killed in the Line-of-Duty in a foreign country.

Monday, March 18, 2002


If you�re not familiar with the term, as an investigator you should be.

This is the term that is used by those in the private sector that has to do with the process of finding out everything you can about a particular person, company, etc. Investigations, in other words.

The act of due diligence is what many retired investigators find themselves involved in when they leave this job for the private sector. The act of finding out everything you can about an employee, a company you plan on doing business with, etc. requires an investigative task. Sometimes this is performed by a companies compliance department, sometimes through their legal department, and very often through a private contractor - a corporate private investigator for lack of a better term.

At a recent seminar on �Money Laundering� that I attended, which was sponsored by Control Risks Group (CRG), a leading international corporate investigations firm. It was this act of �due diligence� that was stressed over and over by each speaker. This briefing, chaired by Control Risks NY Director Bill Daly, featured presentations by the Manhattan DA Office Deputy Chief of Rackets, an attorney who specializes in economic crimes (a former KDA by the way) and by the CRG�s National Director of Investigations, Vice President Elaine Carey.

It was Ms. Carey that struck on the point known all to well by any experienced investigator. When all is said and done, after all the research it is the actual field work - talking to people, asking the right questions to the right person at the right time - that makes for an effective �due diligence� investigation as it relates to money laundering issues, and any other type of corporate investigation. (No different from the criminal investigation, in that respect).

These same tactics that Ms. Carey stressed - talking to people, at the right time and with the right questions (based on prior research) - are the very tactics each of uses each and every day here in Brooklyn North investigating crimes. It may not have the same panache as sipping espresso at a Paris bistro with a contact, but buying �a cold one� for your CI while standing in the back of a bodega has often produced the same result - information!

Bet you didn�t know we were actually performing a form of �due diligence�!


As I have previously mentioned in this column, Money Laundering is a major issue throughout the world, and especially so in this country. The fact is that the United States is responsible for more money laundering than any other country in the world. As Willie Sutton once said, �That�s where the money is�, well that�s why we are responsible. The money is here.

Money laundering involves the attempt to conceal the evidence; the evidence being the money derived from illegal enterprises. Drug dealing produces large sums of money; we have all seen this first hand. How do you �wash� the money so as to conceal it from legal entities that want to take it from you? You launder it; you pass it through different hands using fictitious names, businesses, etc. until you can get it to the point of final usage - usually NOT the street corner drug dealer, but the actual �source�.

Banks are often thought of as victims of money laundering. The largest money laundering area, however, is becoming the securities field. The volume and ease which money can be washed in securities transactions make them a likely target for this type of crime.

An interesting laundering tactic I learned concerns the purchase and sale of �penny� stocks. This can be used to pay back a debt in a seemingly legal manner. How is this accomplished? One of the easier methods involves large volume trading that raises the price of a stock in a short period of time; if no one is complaining, the act can go virtually unnoticed by legal watchdogs. Buy large volumes of a very low priced stock; do it over a short period and drive the price up as you do so. Perhaps you buy with options, etc. Now sell the stock at the inflated price to a debtor; in a seemingly legal transaction you have made a large sum of money from a stock trader, which actually is used to conceal the transfer of illegally derived funds.

We all know the valid maxim, while investigating violent crime, to �Find the baby�s mother� when looking for your fugitive. Well, in the corporate world of due diligence, that is changed to �Find the Money�.

As previously noted on this site, if you�d like to read more on money laundering and financial crimes you should check out the following site:

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network


One story to leave you chuckling, the other to leave you shaking your head�

While parked in their department auto waiting to meet a complainant, the detectives were jolted when a passing van sideswiped them, getting caught on their front bumper and started to drag them a short distance. On top of that, the van fled the scene, taking the detectives on a short chase, but not after the van struck - and left the scene - of another vehicle waiting at a light. The van came to an abrupt stop when it struck the iron pillar of the elevated subway. Nowhere to run, the driver was swiftly apprehended.

On the dashboard of the van was a laminated placard prominently stating: �PASTOR ON DUTY�.

You can�t make this stuff up.

(That was the chuckle story; this one is everything less than funny).

It was widely reported in all the newspapers on March 13 that the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service recently sent a letter to a Florida flight school authorizing the travel visa of Mohammed Atta - the mastermind and leader of the World Trade Center attack!

Obviously red-faced INS officials will be tryhing to explain this gaffe for some time.

The really troubling fact is that, after all the talk of increased awareness and heightened security over the past six months, that no one at INS caught this!

If there was such a thing (as I have written to Mr. Tom Ridge) as a �Federal Compstat�, I�d like to be there when INS is called to the podium on this matter.

If I may take a little editorial license� Elected Officials In Washington: Please Wake Up! Please do something that will make us feel safe! While this was reported on page 6 of the NY Post it should certainly ring very, very loud in all of our heads. Channel your thoughts to your elected officials, and let them know how you feel.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002


In My quest to find out about the origin of the DD forms (you remember: what were the DD1-DD4? If we only know about DD5�s?) I am still left in the dark.

I had the help of Ret. Det John Reilly, who came into the Bureau in the late 50�s, retiring in the 70�s. He does not ever remember any DD form with a lower number than a DD5. The DD5, he recalls, was a blue sheet that was used � the same as now � to report follow-up investigative steps.

He remembers a DD24, however. This was a Criminal History Record, which was commonly known as the �Yellow Sheets�. These were the record of arrests for a criminal, that was printed on yellow paper. This was a very convenient way for detectives to follow up on arrest info. The �Yellow Sheets� were prepared by the department�s Criminal Records, and contained such info as the arresting officer and command. It was common for a detective to call the arresting officer up for additional info on a person he arrested at one point, much as we do now, but before computerized records this was very often the most info you would get without some old-fashioned gumshoe work. John recalls that you could often get this info, from BCI at Broome Street, in less than 45 minutes � and a cup of coffee for the staff could cut back that time as well!

When the print cards started being sent to Albany (computerized record keeping/NYSID system) this time frame was extended to a 24 hour period.


A recent web-posting had to do with the homicide �Commando� team started in Manhattan as a pilot project in the 70�s. This was the re-birth of the Homicide Task Force, which had been in existence off and on for many years.

Homicide investigations have generally always been the responsibility of the precinct detective squads, for as far back as can be found. There were Borough Homicide Squads (in the 50�s they were Manhattan East and Manhattan West, Brooklyn East and Brooklyn West), changing to the �North� �South� geography sometime in the 60�s. (Why? Who knows!).

Even then, the Borough Squad acted as a �Task Force�, coming only if the squad commander requested their assistance or were directed by the Borough Detective Commander. They would assist the precinct squad with their expertise and added manpower, as needed.

Once again calling on my good friend Ret. Det. John Reilly, I learned that on July 1, 1971 detective squad specialization was going into effect, taking precinct detectives and placing everyone into a �specialized� squad � Burglary, Robbery-Larceny, Homicide-Assault � within the Detective Zones.

At one time each Detective Borough also had a Vehicle Homicide Squad, which were replaced when the Accident Investigation Squad was formed as part of the Traffic Division-Highway Patrol.


I found it interesting to review the Detective 1st Grade pay from past years.

In 1895, 1st Grade Detectives earned $2,000. per year.
In 1913, 1st Grade Detectives earned $2,500. per year.

Pay scale eff. Jan. 1, 1963 is listed as follows:

Patrolman after 3 years $7,631.00

Detective 3rd (1,470 male and 35 female) $7,943 to $8,052

Detective 2nd (742 male and 10 female) $8,405 to $8,770

Detective 1st(269 male and 4 female) $9,426 to $9,791

Sgt. Supv. of Det. Sq (90) $9,426 to $9,791

Lt. Cmd. of Det. Sq (70) $10,180 to $10,545

Thursday, March 07, 2002


With some help from Retired 1st Gr. Det John Reilly, I recently learned of what was referred to as the �Detective 3X�.

Back in 1955, when John Reilly came on the job, Detective 3rd Grade received the same pay as a Patrolman. It was only the 1st Grade and 2nd Grade Detectives who received an increase in pay. Some time around the mid 1950�s it was decided to give some of the 3rd Grades extra money, and the Detective 3rd Grade Extra-Compensation (known as 3X) was established. It was not much money, about $275. per year. John relates further how at the time when he was on patrol he recalls a detective who gave back his Detective shield to back into uniform because the pay didn�t make up for the amount of extra time (without overtime) he had to put in.

At the time that John retired in 1974 the pay of a 1st Grade Detective (the same as a Lieutenant) was $21,500 per year.


Right next door to the Castle Harbour Restaurant in the Bronx, a place most of us have been to at one time or another for an Honor Legion Meeting or Retirement Bash, is a building that was the scene of the first mass murder by a serial killer to be investigated by the NYPD.

In the German Odd Fellows Home (not the present building, but the old one), the NYPD�s Homicide Squad investigated a case back in 1914-1915 involving a serial murderer.

From August 9, 1914 to January 4, 1915 seventeen patients of the German Odd Fellows Home met their fate at the hands of Friedrich Menarik, a combination male nurse-cleaner/porter. Originally from Vienna, Austria, he went by the name of Frederick Mors.

While believed responsible for the death of 17 people, he actually admitted to killing 8.

The investigation was conducted by the detectives of the 69th Precinct, which was located on Main Street, Westchester Square (Bronx) at the time along with members of the Homicide Squad that came from 240 Centre Street, Manhattan. Mors admitted to killing the patients because �they were nuisances�. He further admitted that �I freed their souls from suffering�.

Mors explained his reasons for killing these people �just to put them out of their misery, and, besides, they really area a nuisance to everyone around them�. He explained about his first murder, Christian Higgers, saying �I had to change bedclothes several times a day and I got tired of it. So I said to Hitgers: I�m not going to change any more bedclothes. I gave him a glass of beer which contained arsenic. I should have known better. He got convulsions and then became paralyzed. It was several days before he died. I made up my mind that the next one would not cause that much trouble�. He then changed his M.O. to chloroform, which was �easier and less noticeable�.

(Thanks to Retired Det.1st John Reilly for his contribution to this piece).


NATIONAL INSURANCE CRIME BUREAU - The National Insurance Crime Bureau is a not-for-profit organization that partners with insurers and law enforcement agencies to facilitate the identification, detection and prosecution of insurance criminals.

INTERNET FRAUD COMPLAINT CENTER - IFCC's mission is to address fraud committed over the Internet. For victims of Internet fraud, IFCC provides a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of a suspected criminal or
civil violation.


Major League Baseball�s security chief, Kevin Hallinan, is taking major league security steps.

After the events of Sept. 11, security of the players and fans will continue to be heightened this season. Hallinan spoke to the players about such issues as identity theft, which is of growing concern among all professional athletes. He also talked about their personal home security and their security at the ballpark. Each player is provided with what Hallinan called a ''don't leave home without it,'' card, which contains police contact numbers for every major-league team. Players also received a brochure on ways to prevent identity theft. Hallinan and local police conducted several workshops with stadium managers of the spring training sites. He brought in the FBI and other local authorities to discuss each team's particular situations. Hallinan said he didn't want security upgrades to negatively impact the fans' experience, but at the same time, he wants to protect both them and the players.

For more information on this, cut and paste the following:


Lacrosse Season has started once again!

Keep your eyes on the Manhattanville Valiants, tearing up D-III in the Knickerbocker Conference, while Villanova Women�s Lax takes a starring role in D-I this year. The Lynbrook Owls have also moved from Nassau County High School's Conference C to Conference B, and will face a serious challenge by rivals Garden City and Wantagh. Fun, fun, fun�

Once again, you can always contact the Minister of Investigations at:

Saturday, March 02, 2002


With some help from Mike Bosak, a short history of the Detective�s of NYPD can be outlined, as follows. This includes a look at the �Chief of Detectives� position, and its origin.

The original detective system of the city was divided into two branches, the Headquarters Detectives and the Ward Detectives.

The Headquarters Detective force consisted of about 25 men and was under the command of a Captain, up until January, 1875. The duties of the Headquarters Detectives were the investigation of special crimes
assigned to them by the Superintendent. (The letter squads).

The Ward Detectives were about two in number in each precinct although this actual number varied according to the precinct; sometimes only one, and sometimes three or four to a precinct. The duties of the
Ward Detectives were also the investigation of crime in the precincts, and in this respect they and their Captains at times clashed with the Headquarters Detectives.

The pay of the detectives was precisely the same as that of the Patrolman, $1,200 a year, and no increased compensation was given even to the oldest and most experienced officer among them except when he was
allowed by the grace of the Board to receive some portion of the reward paid for the recovery of stolen property. The rank and in salary the oldest detective stood merely on a par with the newest Patrolman who walked his beat.

Pay increased to that of Sergeant when the �Central Office Bureau of Detectives� was established in 1882
and increased the detectives to not more than forty detectives. There were also 10 Patrolmen assigned to the Central Office Bureau of Detectives.


If you recall from an earlier posting, the Detective Force was classified as the �25th Precinct�. The Commanding Officer of the 25th Pct was essentially the �Chief of Detectives�, yet at the time did not hold the rank of �Chief�.

The following is a listing of the early commanders of the Detective Force, for both the Metropolitan Police [State Agency] and what later became known as the NYPD:

1857 Sergeant William A. Lefferts (Assistant Chief of Detectives � Acting Chief)
1858 to 1860 Capt. George W. Walling (Chief of Detectives)
1860 to 1867 Capt. John Young do
1867 to Oct. 17, 1870 Capt. James J. Kelso do
Oct. 17, 1870 to 1875 Capt. James Irving do
1876 to March 12, 1880 Capt. James Kealy do
March 12,1880 Capt. Thomas Byrnes (Capt.7-1-1870, later promoted to
Inspector April 23,1880)
April 12, 1892 Inspector Henry Steer

Note that the Assistant Chief of Detectives was a Sergeant, which is equivalent to today�s rank of Lieutenant. The �Chief of Detectives� held the rank of Captain until Thomas Byrnes was promoted to the rank of Inspector on 4-23-1880.

The title of the police officer performing duty, as a �detective� was �Detective Officer�

In 1857 the Board of Police gave the Deputy Superintendent the power to detail to his office 20 Policemen, to be designated �Detectives�. They were attached to the office of George W. Matsell.

In 1859 the Detective Force was expanded to 40 Detectives, with the Brooklyn Detective under the direct command of the Deputy Superintendent, but the force in New York City reported to the Captain of the 25th Precinct (Detective Force).

On March 12, 1880 a detective office was established at 17 Wall Street with 10 men working 0900x1600 hrs. It was know as the �Wall Street Sub-Detective Bureau�. This is the very same day that Byrnes took command. But there still wasn�t a �Detective Bureau� and Byrnes held the official NYPD rank of Captain.

On May 17, 1882 legislation was enacted that authorized the Board of Police to establish a Bureau, which should be called the �Central Office Bureau of Detectives�, not to exceed forty detectives, who were entitled to receive the same pay as the Sergeant of Police [$1,600].

On May 25, 1882 the Detective Bureau was formally created by legislation. It was officially known as �The Central Office Bureau of Detectives.�

On May 8, 1883 all the Ward Detectives were consolidated under the jurisdiction of Inspector Byrnes. This idea did not work out and the detectives were eventually sent back to their precinct commands. It went back to the way it was before Byrnes.


Every squad has their own coffee club, and the detective that makes sure it keeps running. You know, buying the coffee, keeping filters on stock, etc. A thankless job for sure! Chasing detectives around every two weeks to collect $5. is a certain adventure. �What do you mean you want $5? What do I get for that�? �You just asked me for money� (yea, two weeks ago, and it took a week and a half to collect!). Of course, you can never do the job the way everyone wants it done (but no one else wants to take it over either). �Why do we keep getting Folgers coffee? That coffee sucks� (sure to be spoken by a real coffee connoisseur who hasn�t paid more than $3.50 for a pound of coffee in his entire life!).

Anyway, we all know it�s a thankless job, a very necessary one (ever try starting off a day tour without coffee?), but when done properly is a real godsend.

My only question is this. If you can get 50 pounds of pretzels (on sale at Costco, of course), 1200 coffee filters, 24,000 stirrers, 50-5 pound cans of (Folgers) Coffee, then why can�t I at least find one pint of half & half when I open the fridge?? Am I asking too much?

(There we go; complaining again. �If you want to do the job, then here � take the book and you do it�!!!). Never mind.