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History of Private Investigation & Famous Cases

For those into unfolding mysteries and finding clues will be well into the history and great stories about private and famous investigations. These date back centuries and the list goes on for years.

Discover more about the most famous and private investigations in history in this history post. 

Mollie Maguire Case by James McParland

The Mollie Maguire’s were a secretive active society based in Ireland, Liverpool, and some areas in America during the late 19th century. Known best for their activism for Irish-Americans, three men and two women of the group were attacked and shot dead by masked men on the night of December 10th, 1876. 

James McParland was the private investigator for the case. James was an American private investigator who worked in New York since 1867. Ten years after his arrival to the world of investigations, he was presented with the Mollie Maguire case and soon took action. 

After much hard work, being chased, and investigating, his case was a success and he found the masked men who killed the vulnerable group. 

Allen Pinkerton and the Pinkerton Agency

Allen Pinkerton was a keen private investigator during the 19th century. He fought in the civil war and due to what he saw, he wanted to help those unlawfully killed. 

His most famous case was for President Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated on April 14th, 1865. Prior to the assassination, Allen Pinkerton had already set up a private investigation group, called the Pinkerton Agency, where he hired professional private investigators to help him find the criminals who committed such crimes. 

During their time, the Pinkerton Agency took great care of the 16th American President and offered him endless duties before his assassination. 

Eugene Francois Vidocq

Eugene Francois Vidocq was the first reported private investigator. There may have been more before him, but no reports have been found. 

Therefore, Eugene is famous for being the first official private investigator. He set up a detective agency in France in 1833 to help unveil criminals that the police did not bother searching for. 

Eugene was an ex-soldier and was very keen to uncover the truths behind secret investigations and crimes. He spent his time shaping the way investigators were carried out for both the world of private investigations the police industry. 

He created investigation techniques such as creating plaster casts of shoes from footprints left at the crime scene. To this day, such methods are used to find out who the criminal is. Methods have advanced, by the famous private investigator, Eugene, paved the way.

Charles Frederick Field

For a UK-based private investigator that was famous for being a friend of Charles Dickens, Charles Frederick set up a private investigation agency upon his retirement from the Metropolitan police in 1852.

During his retirement career, his colleague Ignatius Paul Pollaky became a rival after setting up his own private investigation firm. 

To do this day, Charles is known for his famous stories about his investigations which he wrote alongside his good friend, Charles Dickens. 

Jack Palladino and his interest in New York Prisons

Jack Palladino was a famous private investigator who had a keen interest in investigating abuse in New York prisons. He was born in San Francisco and spent his life as an attorney. Thus, he had a keen interest in the American federal system. 

In 1977 Jack and his wife founded Palladino & Sutherland, a private investigation agency to help witnesses put forward their testimonies in court. He worked closely with people to unveil stories and get to know more about a case so that he and his team could privately investigate and find the abusers in the prison. 

As well as being keen on investigating and finding abusers in New York prisons, Jack’s famous works went further afield. They include the Peoples Temple tragedy that happened in Guyana, where over 900 people died in mass murder. He spent a whole seven years investigating this case privately. At the time, he interviewed over 200 witnesses from the tragedy, most of which were family members. One story and case like this just shows how passionate he was about his work. Thus, his works and passion have famously gone down in history.

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