At this point in my career, it was now going on 27 years since I began working as a private detective over 10,000 days. A private investigator’s work is an ongoing affair – short days, long nights, and extended weekends. If not most days, some routinely stretch into nights that frequently intermingle from one day onto the next day. This is perhaps why three out of my four marriages have failed spectacularly – not many women will tolerate these kinds of irregular hours.
These hours are actually similar to those of firefighters, police, and other public service fields, precisely how some private detectives kind of see themselves – as public servants. One memorable file comes to mind. I came to refer to it as “The Psychic Mistress.” The client was a sultry island girl from Barbados who had fallen in love/lust with a prominent businessman. She regarded him as being as her man after a year or so of passionate lovemaking that took place up and down the eastern seaboard, in hotels, the back seats of taxi cabs, and wherever else their desire flared.
I initiated the case with a character workup of the paramour. This guy was a virile man who had married early and had two loving children. Professionally, he had come into his own life; he was wealthy and much sought after in his line of work. I’d come to recognize his type as the “married-bachelor.” At home, he was solidly married and devoted to his wife of many years. They had met in high school, where he was a decent student and athlete. He could have married any of the girls from high school and actually had dated quite a few.
But he had internal issues due to the abusive nature that his father had treated him. His father was the overbearing type, and he was made to feel like he would never amount to anything. As it was, he married the most boring of women, Jane of all the women available to him – she was one of the few he dated who refused to sleep with him unless they were married. The sex was underwhelming and did not welcome fulfillment in their marriage.
Later as life progressed – and his financial success grew – so did the occasion of opportunities for new and exciting sexcapades. At one interval in time, he was juggling multiple mistresses with a fling in the various small towns he would visit in his work. But now my client had become his mistress – or psychic mistress, as we had come to refer to her – and he could barely muster enough strength to conquer anything beyond her and the occasional reluctant encounter with his estranged wife. The psychic mistress was hot on him in more realms than one.
She had enlisted the consultation of three telephone psychics. These lifeline psychics were regularly supplying her with updates, at the rate of several hundred dollars a week. That her lover was married to a woman who was cheating on him. If we (my firm, the client, and the psychics) could prove the wife was cheating and somehow clue him in, he would surely divorce his wife and marry my client.
At first, I derived the belief that this client was more than a little strange. However, I would sometimes drift back in time to recall similar stories my mother had told me about curses and omens and spells, and I considered the possibility that this was, well … possible.
My family had immigrated from the Carbo Verde Islands (now known as Cape Verde), a former Portuguese colon off Africa’s coast now known as the West African Islands. I remembered the stories my mother would share of spells and curses, and I suppose I somehow believed in psychics.
However, as a private investigator, I must adhere to facts and tangible evidence. This episode seemed far-fetched and weird – but alas, it paid well. My assignments on this file began with short four-or five-hour surveillance shifts, always when the client’s sources – those three psychics – would direct her that the wife was about to encounter her illicit lover. The assignments progressed to 14.5-hour surveillance – the most extended shift of my career. Fourteen hours and 30 uninterrupted minutes of nonstop surveillance on a Sunday while it poured buckets of steady rain. ( Since the writing of this story, I had a new record set, 23.5 hours of non-=stop surveillance).
The randy husband was out of town, and the subject (his wife) was to meet and rendezvous with her mystery lover and spend the day with him – so the psychics had foretold my client. I was subsequently informed the wife would be leaving the house and not be returning until later in the day. I sat perched in my trusty vehicle parked up along the street from their marital home . . . and waited. The subject – Ms. Plain Jane – left home to attend church services, yet returned straight away, but never did leave the premises again throughout the rest of the day.
My demanding client swore the lonely wife had someone else with her that she had brought home, surreptitiously hidden in the back of her minivan. After all, when you stop to ponder the possibility, not all three psychics could have gotten this one wrong jointly. I thought, “Why not?” Hundreds of dollars in investigators fees and possibly thousands of dollars spent on psychics they all had been wrong again and again so far – after several thousands of dollars allocated for my costs and thousands of dollars misappropriated for the psychics’ fees. With all of the man-hours invested, I was never able to catch the wife compromised by cheating.
In the inevitable end, my high-maintenance client was tossed aside like a used banana peel for another new model mistress who was less demanding. Today, many years later, whenever I spy an advert for a “psychic network,” I chuckle and think it may, in fact, be a con network. Maybe the unreliable madame psychics had networked together via their psychic hotline and conspired to convince my gullible client into believing that her wayward lover wasn’t the only one cheating.
As far as a denouement to this sordid liaison after this case was closed, I later learned through osmosis that the husband had been charged, prosecuted, and convicted of tax evasion concerning his success, or would it be questionable business practices. I am not sure if the moniker ‘once a cheater always a cheater’ applies here, but certainly, he finally got caught for cheating by spurning the wrong entity. This story’s moral is that crime doesn’t pay, and partners should remain faithful to their vows and each other.
John B. Lopes is the president and chief investigator/owner of The Agency, Inc., https://www.theagencyinc.net