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Private Investigators Divulge Their Most Interesting Cases

Private Investigators Divulge Their Most Interesting Cases

Private Investigators don't usually have the glamorous jobs that they are portrayed to have in TV and film.

Most of the time, P.I.s are investigating the affairs of someone's personal life: are they cheating on their spouse, are they hiding money from somebody they owe it to, etc.

But sometimes PIs do get really interesting cases.

u/glena92 asked:

Private Investigators of Reddit/Redditors who have employed Private Investigators, what are your best stories or most interesting findings?

Here were some of those answers.

Keeping The Stalkers At Bay

my s/o had a stalker who would send him flowers, we would come out to our front garden to find notes or gifts (it was a secured area), and once got a glassine envelope left at the front door with what appeared to be cocaine in it (i guess the reasoning for this was my s/o is a musician and we all know how messed up THEY are and all the drugs they do). Then crazy letters started getting sent to neighbors about how i was a murderer, a thief, a prostitute.

this went on for a couple of months so we hired a guy who came highly recommended by our attorney. BOOM. caught 'em. it turned out to be a married woman who had a bad crush on my husband. We didn't press charges but we had the attorney scared the living crap out of her. and that was the end of it. I'm sure this wasn't the most difficult case he ever had but he was so quick with the result - mind blowing that our life was put back right so quickly.


Insurance Fraud

I've hired multiple of them for my job. I'm a work comp adjuster so putting surveillance on people that you think may be faking it or not sticking within their restrictions is not unheard of. Not used nearly as much as you'd think and you rarely if ever get the reports you'd imagine. The best ones you'd find would be people claiming they have terrible back injuries and unable to do anything and then find them out doing manual yard labor or whatever. But the most interesting one was a guy who had an alleged shoulder injury. Every time he was about to be placed at MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement) his alleged pain would increase substantially.

The way he injured the shoulder was questionable as he claimed it was from lifting a 5# box. We put surveillance on him but never found anything. Then randomly one day the department of insurance got an anonymous letter with pictures of this guy claiming he was doing home renovations and had pictures to prove it all. It looked like the work of a PI but it was all anonymous and got so much more than what the professional did. Our guess was it was a pissed off co-worker of the claimants because this same claimant had a prior claim with an altercation with another co-worker.


Cartwheels And Spiderwebs

I'm a private fire investigator.

I found a hogtied elmo covered in white paint in the basement of a vacant building in a terrible part of town. I'll find the pictures in a minute.

Just so much porn from everyone. Little old ladies, dudes living around, middle age moms. Everyone has so much porn.

I once had a guy admit to setting his house on fire just because I was nice to him. I mean it was super obvious and he knew I'd figured it out, but I just talked to him about football and all that and right before I left he just flat out admitted to it.

I had a fish tank shatter next to a power strip starting a fire and put the fire out. Family couldn't figure out why it was so hot in their house since the fire started in the basement and they never saw it.

Had a guy tell me that the church across the street would gather in the street and pray his house burned down. Turns out the tenant who was staying there's boyfriend actually did the burning and not Jesus as one church member claimed.

One girl offered to watch her roommate's dog for the weekend then got annoyed by its' barking so set it on fire. She is the only truly evil person I've ever seen.

I had a gun pulled on me on a fire scene that made me sh!t diamonds. Guy was complaining outside the house that some girl had told the police he had set it while I was standing inside the house unable to move for fear of letting them know I was there. I waited for a car to drive by to provide some noise cover then hauled it out the front door. He came around the front of the house pistol drawn and aimed it at my truck as I finally got it to go. Called the police and they told me to just not go back. Which is suuuuuuper helpful.

Being in dark rooms tends to make your imagination do some crazy things. Especially with fatalities.

I'm sure there are more I can't think of.

Edit: Elmo photos



Woman I know had to get one as part of her divorce. The husband had been cheating but in order to get infidelity as part of the divorce hearing there needed to be a witness that saw him go to the other woman's house after 10pm and there for at least an hour (or something like that).

She said the strangest thing was that the PI was like a 50 year old woman that you would never guess was a PI.


Truant Officer

Not a PI, but the subject of a PI, thanks to u/Horsefrend for this comment as a reminder:

I know an investigator that dresses like a stereotypical PI with the long coat and fedora. His job is to investigate and verify that kids actually live in the county of the school that they are attending.

I didn't realize this was a thing, but for most of my grade school/middle school tenure I lived in a different district than what I attended. All my siblings had attended this district ahead of me, and we always used my dad's company address as our bus pick-up/drop-off. Sometime around 8th grade we sold the shop and moved to yet another house/district but had no intentions of moving schools, when one day I get called to the principal's office and notified that they "received a tip" and thus hired a PI to follow me home. They let me finish the semester, but then I switched to the proper district after that. Looking back, I have no idea why there was such a resistance to switching schools...


You Gotta Go, Bro

Not a PI, but have a short story about one. I live at the end of a cul-de-sac. From the edge of the circle there is a spillway that lets water drain out to the main street, which runs perpendicular to my house. No one parks on the main street because it is walled off to enter the complex.

One day this dude pulls up in a black car, parks across the street from the spillway and just sits there. FOR HOURS. Since this is not normal activity in the neighborhood everyone is immediately suspicious. He eventually leaves after doing nothing but sitting in his car all day so we all just forget about it until the next day he comes back and does the same damn thing. Someone finally called the cops and they came to suss out what he was up to. Turns out he was a PI casing someone in the complex. Cops told him to move it along he was making the residents nervous. Dude was not very good at his job since his arrival and subsequent non-activity only served to make him extremely conspicuous.


Unfairness Personified

I used to do background checks for employment. The funniest one was a guy who was working for a large provincial hydro company. He relied solely on GPS. He had to drive to a remote site a few hundred kilometers away. The next day, the crew were waiting on him. Finally the foreman (the person giving the reference) calls to see when he would arrive. The applicant answered, sleepily and said his GPS signal stopped about 250 km in and he just turned around and went home. Didn't call anyone, use a map, just went home. He also used to take a little boat pretending to survey sites. Several times he was caught sleeping, just floating around in the boat.

The most surprising thing: he got the promotion he was seeking.


A Complete Misfire

I know someone who was a junior detective. apparently, as fiction as it sounds, the guy had been cheating on the wife with her brother. but she said she didn't have a brother at all, and grew up as an only child. so naturally, they were really curious to find out who this "brother" of hers was. when they questioned the husband, he said that the guy who claimed to be his wife's "brother" said that "we've known each other for so long" and "i grew up with her" and all that jazz.

at first they assumed it was probably a long lost brother or something, but then when the husband was asked to describe the guy, he described the wife's father. according to the wife, her father wasn't there during her wedding and was replaced with her uncle instead. i'm not sure if this was interesting, but i somehow found it fun.


Roller Coaster Of Emotion

My dad caused a car accident when I was little (rear ended a guy stopped around a blind curve). The guy claimed back injury and sued for some crazy amount, like $300k or something. Not sure if my dad hired a PI or did it himself (I was 5ish?). But got the dude on film lifting 50lb boxes at his workplace. He died of unrelated causes shortly after and the lawsuit got thrown out.


Easy Exposure

I've hired a few for insurance fraud. This one guy was amazing because he was one of those adults who looks like he's 18 up until he's 35.

One claimant was running a window tinting business out of his garage while off work for his injury. PI hired him to tint his car windows, and told him "My camera's acting up, so I'm going to sit over here and try to fix it while you tint the windows." Footage was amazing.

Another time he followed a claimant to a local festival, and saw him dancing around. He went over and told him he was filming people for a high school class project and asked if he could get video of him dancing. The guy happily agreed.


People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.