Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Curious Jr.: Meet a Private Investigator

Danielle Sarah Storch

Detectives and private investigators aren’t just fictional characters. Private investigator David J. Cohen tells us about his job and what a private investigator really does

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Photo: Shutterstock


Can you describe what a private investigator does?

The job of a private investigator includes helping people locate various things and finding out information about people. For example, someone might call me to find a missing brother or sister or a relative they haven’t seen in years. Someone might call me to do a background check about someone they’re thinking about hiring, like a cleaning lady, to find out if they’ve ever committed a crime. If someone has a court case against someone, and they need to know what cars the person owns or what accounts they have, I can find that information for them. Insurance companies hire private investigators because people sometimes say they have a disability, maybe they pretend they need a wheelchair, to get money from their insurance company. I’m hired to follow them to see if they’re telling the truth.

What is the most satisfying job you ever did?

I always love helping people. The Torah tells us that just like we need to learn Torah with people, or help with a minyan, we also need to help out others in the community. I had a case once where someone had given up their daughter for adoption 36 years before. They hired me to find their daughter for them. It took a bit of searching, but baruch Hashem, I found their daughter for them. That made me feel great.

Photo: Shutterstock

What skills does someone need to be an investigator?

Private investigators must be able to work well with others. We’re always gathering information, and we need to cooperate with many different people. For example, many times we must work together with the police department to gather information. We may have to speak to a rabbi. Sometimes we need to find someone in a school and speak to teachers who taught them. We may have to work with people who might not be so nice, but we have to work together to accomplish our goal. Sometimes we might need to work with another investigator who has a difficult personality. It’s important to always try our best to work together.

Related Stories

The Write Stuff

Rochel Burstyn

What on earth is graphology?! Good question. Graphology is the process of analyzing handwriting — no...

How to Make a Friend

Yael Mermelstein

The hot oil splashed into the air. SIZZLE! Droplets scattered all over the place. Rafi ran for his l...

Starting Over

Izzy Gold

Shloima’s heart fell as he heard this news. He and Nossi had been best friends forever and had alway...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you