Written by Misty Cahal
July 4, 2012
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the importance of conducting thorough background research on not only a property, but your potential client(s) as well. If anyone can learn from our groups recent experience then great!
We were recently contacted to perform an investigation for a family and since their home was so new, the property background research gave us limited information. It was an area of town that I was personally familiar with since I’d lived there for several years and in addition to the construction of the home, I also knew there had been Indian burial grounds there prior to the housing development so the possibility of a haunting was very real.
I conducted my initial phone interview and the client indicated they had used a Ouija board in the past but it had been some years. They were afraid something was actually following them from place to place and they were wondering if their use of the Ouija board. Nothing else was indicated during the phone interview other than the activity seemed to center around one child in particular.
After the phone interview I began background research on the client and found something of interest; there was an order of protection was filed for with one of the Phoenix courts in late 2011; this would mean the order should still be in effect if it was granted. Since I only knew her name I left it at that because it may have not even been her, but upon arriving on scene I learned it was her husband that she’d filed the order against. We were also informed that she’d used the Ouija board much more recently than she’d indicated on the phone interview.
Certain things that showed up in our evidence had that issue of the order of protection nagging at me so I did a little more digging; I was shocked by what I uncovered. There were allegations against the husband for child molestation of the child that the activity was centered around. I wasn’t very surprised after finding this information based on some things we’d found during our investigation but the client continued to insist this must have something to do with the Ouija board. Though it was incredibly difficult, I was forced to confront them head on with the information I had and advised her that counseling may be more in order than a house blessing.
As investigators, it’s our duty to make sure we research not only the property but the people as well. I have a plethora of tools that I use and they are all free. I will provide a list of the best tools I use at the end of this article but I implore you to make sure you do a complete background check of your potential clients before going to their home. This had the potential to be much worse but it was a great learning experience for our team.
Background research tools:
Maricopa County Recorder document look up
Maricopa County Assesor’s website
Arizona Supreme Court case look up
Maricopa Superior Court case look up