Fact #4: Some Trash can be Important for Private Investigators

Private investigators aren’t afraid to dig through trash for evidence, and depending on the laws in each province, it could be completely legal to take something from the garbage can. Discarded items can provide valuable evidence, such as muddy shoes or signs of drug abuse, which can assist in building a strong case.

Private investigator Bill Pavelic – the investigation into the O.J. Simpson murder trial (October, 1995)


Bill Pavelic, PI (photo from CourtTV.com)


O.J. Simpson (photo by Reuters)

One well-known case is the investigation into the O.J. Simpson murder trial (October, 1995). Bill Pavelic was a private investigator who worked on the trial. He was hired by the defense team to investigate the backgrounds of witnesses and help locate potential defense witnesses. Pavelic also conducted surveillance on some of the prosecution’s key witnesses. He collected evidence from Simpson’s trash, including a bloody bandage and a glove that matched the one found at the crime scene. This evidence helped to build the case against Simpson.

Private investigator Paul Ciolino in case of Amanda Knox (2007)


PI Paul Ciolino (photo from legalschnauzer.blogspot.com)

Investigation-Hotline-Private-Investigator-Toronto Amanda Knox in court

Amanda Knox in court (photo by Reuters)

Another example is the case of Amanda Knox, who was accused of murdering her roommate in Italy. Private investigator Paul Ciolino collected evidence from Knox’s trash, including a box of condoms and a piece of toilet paper with a bloodstain. This evidence was used to support the prosecution’s case against Knox. Luckily for Amanda, in 2007, Rudy Gede’s fingerprints were found at the scene. He was charged and convicted of murder. Amanda was acquitted.

In addition, private investigators have also used discarded items to uncover corporate espionage and financial fraud. For example, investigators may sift through a company’s trash to find documents that have been shredded or thrown away, which can provide valuable evidence in a fraud investigation.

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