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John Kelly,Deborah Aylward
Friday, March 26, 2010; 12:00 PM

Post Metro columnist John Kelly chats about the people and stories that don't make the front pages, plus his latest columns.<p>Today John talked about cheatin' with Deborah Aylward, a private investigator and consulting detective with A Woman-Owned Detective Agency, a company she owns and operates.

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John Kelly: s what I might be doing. t ask how to cheat and get away with it.) on their vehicles. Should we do that here?and a parallel group of black Washingtonians. Whatever became of AOI (Colored)? Do you have any clues?re still rich and famous and all you have to do is flap your gums in front of school groups.Let's get started....

John Kelly:

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Metro, DC: John, an ettiquette question. I was just getting on the metro at Dupont Circle. We had waited almost 10 minutes for a train, so the platform and train were crowded - in a middle of the day sense. Not many seats, and people standing, but you could move between them. I was among the last to the doors and the two women ahead of me were chatting and basically stopped when they got in. I said "please keep moving" and the one said "we are trying!" and then "ignore her" to her friend. They weren't trying - there were people, but room to walk between them. The door chimes were sounding, so I gave the woman in front of me a little push from behind and barely slipped in - the young girl next to me got her purse stuck in the doors. On the way out at the next stop (because I was still steamed) I said "you really have to move out of the way when you get in" and she said "you have no right to push!" Is that true? If the doors are closing and it's 10 minutes 'til the next train? I didn't knock her down, I just moved her six inches so the other girl and I could get in.

John Kelly: This is one of my pet peeves: People who board the train and then stop there, stock still, just inside the doors. You mentioned that the train was sort of crowded, but I see this happen even when there's hardly anyone on. Boom--people become statues once they're safely aboard. It makes it hard for us to do those Indiana Jones-like leaps onto the train just before the doors are closing.Is it okay to push someone? Probably not a good idea, but I can see why you did it. The women should have done the tighten up. We should think of getting on a Metro car as sort of like getting off a D-Day landing craft: keep moving until you find a safe spot on the beach. Otherwise, you--and your buddies clogged up behind you--are gonna get shot to hell by the Nazis.

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Confirming what they already know?: I suspect for most of your clients, if they have reached the stage where they are hiring a PI to investigate their spouse they probably already know (literally or in their hearts) that their spouse is cheating. How often do you investigate a suspected cheater and find out they are clean? I'm guessing 10 percent or less.

Deborah Aylward: Well below 10%, because specialists heavily consider the 'feasibility' of a situation to make sure it has all the correct characteristics first -- we wouldn't want to take money, on a client's whim. However, sometimes, we return good news, giving clients' peace-of-mind.-, such as cases where clinical depression, 'mimicks' that of affair behavior.

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John Kelly: Deborah, how did you end up as a private investigator? What did you do beforehand?

Deborah Aylward: I became a PI, when someone in the business told me I 'could not become a PI" -- so I set out to prove them wrong!

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Mascot brackets: How are your mascot brackets doing?

John Kelly: Awful. My Elite Eight is Spartans, Buckeyes, Seminoles, Gators, Wildcats, Mountaineers, Blue Devils and Fighting Irish. I think I'm in last place among Post VIPs. But I feel we have all learned something here: Don't go by the mascots when filling out your NCAA brackets. I'm happy to have provided this service.

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The Technology Trap: I caught my husband cheating without even trying. I sat down at the computer one morning to find it logged into an email account I didn't know he had (he has been on it the night before and forgotten to log out). He also didn't know that chats are archived unless you turn that feature off.I had suspected him for months and even worked up the courage to confront him a few weeks earlier, only to have him deny everything. But on that morning, there it all was on the screen and now there was no denying it. In retrospect it's amazing to me the lengths he went to cover his tracks, only to be tripped up by forgetting to make a few clicks with the mouse.

Deborah Aylward: For some reason, and as this person experienced, it is thought that 'confronting' is the solution to finding evidence of infidelity. It isn't. and when I say infidelity, I'm talking about 'marital unfaithfulness-- as there is no such thing in non-marital relationships, by legal definition. With significant other relationships, its called 'cheating' and is something professional PIs do not involve themselves with!

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John Kelly: Deborah, I didn't have space in my column to include some of your comments about why men stray. You had some interesting things to say about genetics.

Deborah Aylward: Yup! I'm of the opinion, lately, that it is a genetic thing. I mean after all, we are animals right? <smile> and isn't that what animals do? Go about spreading their seed hither and yond?

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Cold Snap: It is supposed to go well below freezing tonight. Do you know what that does to the cherry blossoms? I've only been in the area for 5 years and I don't remember us ever having a cold snap this close to blooming. The park service says we have reached the puffy white stage as of this morning. Peduncle elongation is supposed to be frost critical. Are the flowers now safe since they are white and puffy?

John Kelly: I'm just going by memory here, but I think the blossoms should be okay. I seem to remember cold snaps close to bloom time with no ill effect. Any experts out there care to confirm or refute?

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John Kelly: Deborah, private investigators are a staple of TV. I used to love "Rockford Files." ("Magnum, PI?" No so much.) Do you ever watch these shows? (I won't hold it against you if the answer is yes.) What do they get right? And what do they get wrong?

Deborah Aylward: I've actually been technical advisor to the Discovery Channel and to local romance novelist, Candice Porch. What they get 'wrong' is -- just about everything! We are not cops, and modern day PIs are not 'dirt diggers'

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PI qualifications: Is there an ideal background for a PI? What about qualities of character/mind?

Deborah Aylward: Ideal background is a keen sense of patience, lots of common sense, resourcefulness and knowing how to follow instructions when you're a rookie!

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John Kelly: Deborah, I noticed that one of the comments on my column came from a reader who basically said, "If I thought that my spouse was cheating, I'd try to get proof myself. It can't be that hard."Are there reasons you think this might be a bad idea, I mean besides the fact that it's your job?

Deborah Aylward: Yes, it can be a bad idea, for too many reasons to list here. But the most important being that if confronting a spouse with so-called evidence that in reality doesn't add up to squat, people have been harmed, even killed, in the confrontation process. Evidence of adultery, is used for legal purposes, for an attorney's use in a divorce case. Anything less is easily defended away and can leave people just as miserable and suspeicious -- as when they started!

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John Kelly: Deborah, when we spoke for my column you mentioned an intriguing idea for how marriage might be. It was about marriage contracts of a set length. Please explain.

Deborah Aylward: Marriage is first a business, and should be run like one! What if there was a marriage contract, reviewed annually for partner performance? And if not up to snuff, they get fired! :-))

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Caught in the act: Do you find that some cheating spouses want to be caught?

Deborah Aylward: Ohhhh...nooooo. I mean, I'm in the business because people try to hide their indescretions....and absolutely don't want to get caught!

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Pittsburgh: What's the point of catching someone in infidelity, in this era of no-fault divorce?

Deborah Aylward: I'm not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice. But depending on state, it may have a bearing on divorce issues. Always consult a good domestic relations attorney to see if having proof of adultery is in your best legal interest.

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Old Blue in Exile: How come the University of California's Oski is never entered in mascot competitions? He's the best mascot EVER!

John Kelly: I don't know what an Oski is. And even after looking at this Web site, I still don't know. Is he a bear? Is he a dog?

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even worse: worse than the people who stop immediately inside the doors of the train are the clueless morons who stop immediately at the end of the escalator. I was at Rosslyn the other day and it was crowded on the lower platform due to train problems. On the way down the escalator the idiot in front of me just stopped at the bottom instead of walking ahead to clear the landing. With a hundred people coming down the moving stairway this was not a good idea. I had to push him a bit to get him to keep moving and managed to slip past him. It's like people think they are the only people in the whole system and don't realize there are so many other people around them.

John Kelly: Yes, escalator pylons are bad, too. For some reason, I haven't noticed them as much. I think they're a bit rarer than door-cloggers.

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For the Metro Pusher: I don't think you should do that OP. I can attest to the fact that some people look perfectly fine but have something wrong inside. After the cast came off my broken leg, it was very weak for months and I used a handicapped permit so I wouldn't have to put too much strain on it. I'm not saying the people in the train had something like that going on, but that you shouldn't just push someone. If you had done that to me in my previous condition, I wouldn't have been able to steady myself and might have rebroken my leg. Then you would have been on the hook for medical bills and possibly some type of assault charge. While it is annoying, realize that life doesn't end for another 10 minute wait. You'd be happier to lose 10 minutes than 10K or 10 months in jail.

John Kelly: train, there seems to be room, and the person in front of you just stopped dead in his or her tracks after getting on. Maybe that person should have waited for the next train.

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Washington: With respect to your clients, what is the breakdown in percentage between men and women?Have you noticed any striking differences between male and female clients - "I need proof so I can take him/her to divorce court" versus "I need to know who the other man/woman is so I can deal with him/her" - or the cheating spouses - where they rendezvous, the lengths they go to to hide their cheating, etc.?

Deborah Aylward: For my company, it's 50/50.....male, female. And yes, there is a difference in various tactics employed by each gender....

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John Kelly: Deborah, take me through a typical case, from the moment a potential client first contacts you, through your surveillence work and up to when you deliver the report to you client. What's the process like?

Deborah Aylward: I actually detail the ENTIRE process in my upcoming e-Book, WHEN INFIDELITY STRIKES, Everything You Must Know About Infidelity Investigation- But Are Afraid to Ask! 'legal merit' for havig the investigation conducted, the investigation is 'planned' like a well-choreographed ballet to go off without a hitch.Usually surveillance is conducted to obtain infidelity evidence (but not always), that can mean hour and hours of tedius surveillance. Once evidence is obtained, a report is compiled, is submitted to an attorney and hopefully, a divorce matter is settled, saving the client enormous money with protracted, expensive litigation.

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know thy spouse: Forgive me for not being sympathetic, but doesn't everyone know if one is marrying someone who will cheat on him or her? For example, there's a big difference between a man who comes home from work and a man who spends half his weeknights hanging out with his "boys".

John Kelly: Do you think Elizabeth Edwards did? The harder thing for me to understand is taking someone back who you know is unfaithful. I mean, how can Mrs. Tiger Woods ever sleep soundly again?

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Cheating wives are harder to catch than cheating husbands, Deborah said: Why?

Deborah Aylward: Women are more craft, sneaky, cunning. Men seem to just be arrogant about it, their sense of entitlement makes it easier for them to catch!

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Unfaithfulness: Uh, why is unfaithfulness only confined to marriage? I've been cheated on and it hurts a lot regardless of whether there is a ring on your finger. I'm surprised by that statement. It seems as though you are casually dismissing the devastation that someone in a long-term committed relationship goes through when cheating is discovered. Btw, I've only heard married people say "My husband is cheating on me" and never that "He is unfaithful to me."

John Kelly: personal level.

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Confirming what they already know? (follow-up): I noticed some discussion of feasibility on your Web site. What does that mean? How do you determine from an initial consultation if the case is feasible? If someone has little proof and just "a bad feeling", do you not take the case? Even if you tell them "This doesn't seem feasible, I don't want to take your money for nothing" and they insist?

Deborah Aylward: Feasibility equals results. No profession who specializes in infidelity invesstigation wants to spend a bunch of money and come back with no results. Determining feasibility is why I sleep well at night. If not feasible, what's the point of spending the money?

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I mean after all, we are animals right? <smile> and isn't that what animals do? Go about spreading their seed hither and yond?: Swans don't.

Deborah Aylward: Really! Thanks, I didn't know that.But this so-called trend we see almost daily on the news. Is it because there is a rise in infidelity or is it because there is mass media coverage?I've been doing this for 15 years myself, and right now, there is a surge in requests for investigation...I don't know if it is fall out from no-fault divorce, or if people just feel entitled to break marriage vows...that seems left at the alter.

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Gaithersburg: I recently discovered that my (soon-to-be-ex-) wife had been sleeping with several of my friends for years. She covered her tracks well, and I only found out when one of my friends got drunk and confessed. I confronted her, and she initially denied it, and then admitted it. She said that she needed "it" more than I could give "it" to her. Amazingly unrepentant. What should I have done to have caught her earlier?

Deborah Aylward: You know, I'm justs not into all this 'Ah ha, Gotcha!' cheating stuff...it's not what professional PIs do.

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Cheating in Divorce Cases: I thought that most states are no-fault for divorce, so cheating doesn't have to be proven. Maybe if there is a pre-nup and one clause said that if the husband cheats, the wife gets X dollars I would understand. Otherwise, why does one need evidence of cheating in court?

Deborah Aylward: Already answers

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Marriage: I read that you're not married. How has your work affected how you approach relationships?

Deborah Aylward: What I do has nothing to do with my marital status. Its a job. I was trained by the best in the business. It involves strategic planning, and yeah, maybe the thrill of the hunt along with plenty of objectivity...I empathize with my clients, of course, but can't allow it to get to me. I want them back in control, and that's where I put them!

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Bored to Death: John, did you ever see the episode of "Bored to Death" where Jason Schwartzman's character is hired by a woman to find out if her boyfriend is cheating on her? Let's just say he's not that subtle in how he snoops around.

John Kelly: I don't think I saw a single episode of "Bored to Death." Was it good? (I still miss "Knights of Prosperity.")A colleague of mine, the late Kevin McManus, always wanted to do a story where his wife hire a PI to investigate him. Then he planned to do all sorts of crazy stuff: leave work early, change into a clown outfit in a rest stop restroom, drive to a hotel--all sorts of stuff that would create a funny report from the PI.

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Train door clogs: I don't "push" as such (no overt use of hands or elbows), but will loudly say, "please keep moving" and just keep walking, usually leading with my shoulder like I'm trying to slip by them -- they can move or not as they please. If they get bumped, wah. BTW, I'm 5'3" on a good day so it isn't like I'm particularly threatening -- at least so they think. The other irritant on the train are the people who lean against the vertical poles so there's no place to hold on. I do anyway, usually making sure my knuckles are in their back. It isn't nice, I don't like doing it, but I don't like being unable to keep my balance either just because somebody (usually a tall, fit, youngish male) doesn't want to stand up.

John Kelly: We have become a nation of sitters and leaners, too weak to just stand on our own two feet.

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It seems as though you are casually dismissing the devastation that someone in a long-term committed relationship goes through when cheating is discovered.: That's not what she said. She said infidelity by definition is between marrieds. Boyfriend/girlfriend she said was cheating.

Deborah Aylward: Hey! Thanks for watching my back! Actually, with significant others, cheating is almost always experienced the same as 'spousal unfaithfulness' however, there are no legal rights to protect between people who are not married, and professional PIs cannot help them, especially when state law and regulations do not address such as regulated duties. That's what's so messed up with the general public's perception of what it is we do -- we don't do 'cheating' because it can be a huge liability!

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John Kelly: Deborah, what sort of proof is required in your investigations? Do you have to get photos of, um, it or what? Are e-mails enough? Do you bug phone calls?

Deborah Aylward: Actually, what you ask I protect as trade secret. A qualified specialist can explain what is needed as far as proof goes. Its a case-by-case thing, and no two cases are alike.

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Capitol Hill, DC: So John, even after last night's loss, you still kicking yourself for failing to realize that Cornell's mascot is not in fact a color, but a GIANT BEAR? As an Ithacan, I was sad to see that you missed that!

John Kelly: I guess there's a difference between a mascot and a team name or nickname. Sometimes the two are the same. Maryland are the Terrapins; the mascot is a turtle. But Georgetown are the Hoyas while the mascot is a bulldog. But a bulldog isn't a Hoya and a Hoya isn't a bulldog. Cornell is the Big Red, but the mascot is a bear. I tried to go by names rather than mascots. I don't think my success rate would have been any better if I'd done it the other way around.

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Cheating Parent: Sorry, I just see all this cheating stuff and everyone spouting off about how the cheater should be dumped/divorced and it makes me a little sad that people are so harsh.

Deborah Aylward: I find that the majority of callers to my company, when asked if evidence of adultery was obtained -- would they want a divorce? Unequivocably, the majority answer 'yes'.

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Real P.I.s: When I worked for a law firm they engaged P.I.s to serve subpoenas. The ones I had occasion to speak to characterized the work as considerably more mundane than it's made out to be on TV.

Deborah Aylward: Mundane? Boring? Hardley....we live for micro rushes of adrenaline, when you are on-point, in an almost constant state of heightened awarness, for hours on end, and the target makes their move -- we strike! And are rewarded with our little adrenaline fix. Our clients are happy too! So, no, this is anything but mundane work.

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Mrs. Tiger Woods ever sleep soundly again?: With the payout she is reportedly receiving, I bet she will sleep very well.

John Kelly: Do you think she'll be the ex-Mrs. Tiger Woods?

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Cheating traits: What universal characteristics do you see in men who cheat on their wives? What can I learn so I can filter out potential cheaters early on in a relationship?

Deborah Aylward: Wow, what an 'astute' question!! If you go by 'facts first -- trust second' meaning you do not accept someone at face value until their claims can be verified as true, before allowing them to get close enought to do harm, you get a good sense of their honesty and integrity.

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John Kelly: I like that: Facts first, trust second. Maybe this gets back to what that person said about "knowing" that a person is going to cheat. If you catch a potential mate in lies--about any topic--that would seem to suggest they might be unfaithful.

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make love not war: whatever happened to open marriages and wouldn't it be best to just bring back all that groovy '70's lovemaking instead of all this infidelity crap ? I mean as long as we all play safe, who get's hurt here ?

John Kelly: Think of the children....I guess if neither party cares, no one else should. The problem comes when the parties aren't on the same page. "Hey babe, we should have an open marriage," is kind of lame after you're already married. So is, "Babe, I thought we had an open marriage."

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A business?: Marriage is most certainly not first and foremost a business, at least mine isn't. What on earth do you mean by that?

Deborah Aylward: Well, let's face it...the marriage has to receive income in order to operate, it has expenditures, there are management decisions to make and the like. Do you not see the correlation? All I'm saying is, if entered into and treated more like a business, where business plans are in place to keep the business on track, I think more marriages would be successful and there would be less disappointment since there would be a 'plan' keeping things on track. I think most marriages are addressed day-by-day, and bound to run in to trouble.

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Old Blue in Exile : Oski is a Golden Bear (Grizzly Bear). Grrrr....

John Kelly: It sounds like a breakfast cereal: New Honeynuet Oat Oski's!

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springfield: would Peduncle Elongation be a good name for a band??

John Kelly: Sounds dirty, doesn't it?

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The benefit of the doubt: One of the unfortunate tendencies of human beings is to treat the behavior of others as determinative of character, while examining our own behavior in the context of our subjective viewpoints. In other words, the guy who cuts me off in traffic is a jerk -- not just that he acted like a jerk, he IS a jerk. If I cut someone off in traffic, I may excuse it as neceesary to my greater ends, or inadvertent, or a rare mistake for which I feel I am entitled to immediate forgiveness. John, your column about the student driver speaks to this tendency. I think Jason Barger would be proud (although I also think he would advise you to apply the same benefit of the doubt to escalator-standers).

John Kelly: I wish I could walk through life in a haze of Zenlike calm. Lord knows I try. But I don't think the "forgiving a rude driver should be he same as forgiving at an escalator blocker" argument makes sense. I'm not saying you should knife an escalator blocker to get them out of the way, jus that it's okay to say, "Excuse me, may I slip past"?

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Pre-nups: Do these routinely contain some clause related to infidelity? What percentage of your cases are from folks who had pre-nups and now want to invoke that clause?

Deborah Aylward: I rarely see pre-nup instigated requests for infidelity investigation. See what I mean? A contract can keep a marriage on track!

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Re: "It's genetic": But it's also genetic, as humans, to create social structures that benefit us. Cheaters should get divorced first, then find a new partner.

Deborah Aylward: Cheaters do not first get divorced because there is usually far too much to lose by divorce. So they want their cake, and want to eat it too.. to the detriment of our society, I think.

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Background checks : Do you also perform background checks on prospective spouses?

Deborah Aylward: Oh, absolutely and highly recommended. But rarely, if ever requested.

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Metro: For people that make bus connections, missing a train and waiting 10 minutes for the next one can easily snowball into a much longer commute if you miss your bus. Especially if you're on a bus line that goes from half-hourly to hourly pickups after a certain time of day.This already happens enough from breakdowns, so it's more annoying when you miss a connection b/c of inconsiderate people - be mindful and make room for people to get on the train.

John Kelly: Right. And I am never more exhausted and demoralized than after I've missed a train after a long day at work and have to wait 17 minutes for the next one.

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wake me up before you GO-GO: wow whoever came up with idea of making these chats have "topics" must be working secretly for your competitors because this pidgeon holed chat is going no where FAST...

John Kelly: So entertain us....

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Cornell is the Big Red, but the mascot is a bear.: Maybe you should combine the name and the mascot. A Big Red Bear versus ...

John Kelly: Clifford the Big Red Dog. I think he'd get mauled.

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Re your quarry: Do any of the people you stake out ever realize AT THE TIME that you're a PI? Or even later do they figure it out? Or do most never know?

Deborah Aylward: They never know. We are 'covert' operators in infidelity surveillance circumstances.

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Rhode Island: Deborah, do you read detective/PI fiction for fun? I'm particularly curious about the female PIs such as VI Warshawsky (SP?) and Kinsey Mulhone (sp?)Thanks!

Deborah Aylward: Yikes! Hate to admit it -- no, I don't. I live the life, and don't need to be reminded of it! :)) But, I do adore The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith, because actually, it is the story of my PI career! I've written an article about this on Hubpages.com if interested.

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Ultimate DC PI Job: Gosh, wouldn't the ultimate DC PI job (local focus not national focus) be to assigned to investigate and sort out the Marion Barry, on-again/off-again, ex/current husband/boyfriend mess? At any given moment, the relationship among the characters would change, inter-party debts would be incurred or erased, lawyers would be dispatched, and classification of wronged and deadbeat would be switched around!!!!! Love it!

John Kelly: That would make a great reality show. And isn't that possibly in the works?

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Old Blue in Exile, starting to get a tad tetchy ;-): Oski's oral history

John Kelly: Thank you. I will check this out as soon as the chat is over.

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Bethesda: What makes someone 'hard to catch?' Is the most of your evidence from surveilance? What exactly do you surveil (i.e. entering of hotel rooms together, kissing on the street?) Do some cheaters actually enter and exit establishments seperately or use other methods of avoiding detection?

Deborah Aylward: Looking for instruction are you? <SMILE>To all of the above,the answer is yes. I had one lady lead me to a food store, she went in and I didn't feel the need to follow her into the store. Boy was I wrong! Ended up she never came out...employees told me she went out the back door and got into a car some guy was driving!!

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Mascots: How about Stanford? They have a fir tree as a mascot, but it's only an "unofficial" mascot. Their name is "The Cardinal" but that's as in red not the bird. It's too weird.

John Kelly: Geez. Stanford. Loser college. Except for the multiple Nobel laureates.

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Marriage as a business: Historically, marriage has been seen as sort of a business--mates were chosen for economic reasons, and often the families had a lot of say in whether a potential mate was good (though generally the woman's family had more control over the bride than the man's family had over the groom). A lot of cultures had this setup, not just Eurocentric ones. The idea of marriage based on love and love alone is a fairly modern one.

John Kelly: I confess I never had much time for psychoanalyzing the Clinton marriage, and it's impossible to know exactly what's going on in someone else's head, but I really sometimes wonder about the dynamic of that relationship: what would have been lost and what would have been gained if the outcome had been different.

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DC: I've been a mistress to one man for many years. Honestly, I think I help their marriage. He's happy, she's unaware and thinks she has a great marriage, so I guess she does. I don't want him to leave her and we're all happy.

John Kelly: The one person you've left out of the equation is you. What do you get out of the relationship?

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re: facts first: I've found that the people who are most accusing and suspicious are cheaters themselves.

Deborah Aylward: The blame game....yes, and I guarantee that if you are snooping on a cheater, they are snooping on you to find out what you know, or don't know.

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Georgetown used to have a rock as their mascot ...: ... but the merchandise wasn't moving.

John Kelly: Badum dum!

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Aside from infidelity...: ...what are some other things you've been hired to check out?

Deborah Aylward: I'm pretty much a high specialist in Family Law matters that includes child custody matters. Other than that, I'm also pretty good at missing children, or parental child abductions with a 98% recovery rate. Other types of investigations and specialized serves are on my website.

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Friendly advice: JohnIt appears you don't seem to have any glass in the glasses you're wearing in your photo at the top of this chat and that might account for your interesting "dressed in the dark" wardrobe. Suggest you see an optometrist as soon as possible.

John Kelly: Wait, let me check if my glasses have lenses. Ouch! I guess not. And now I've scratched my cornea.

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Cheating spouses: To vastly paraphrase, I feel like the 40 percent of men who cheat are making the 60% of us who don't look bad. I am wondering how often is it that a spouse suspects the other is cheating and hires a detective only to discover the suspected cheating spouse is not cheating? Does that happen often, or not?

John Kelly: I think Deborah said that in her case it's a very low percentage who are found to be "clean." But look at it this way: Those 40 percent men make us look good, not bad.

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Legal Ramifications: Just curious about any legal ramifications you could face. If you put trackers on someone's car or go through their office after the maid leaves the door open, aren't you putting yourself into a position for the cheater to sue for invasion of privacy? You aren't law enforcement and aren't deputized. If someone sicced a PI on me, I would definitely investigate all avenues to see if they did something illegal. I just feel uncomfortable with people spying on other people for pay when there isn't a a question of a crime involved. I also feel this way about bounty hunters too.

Deborah Aylward: Your point is precisely why professionals do not engage in 'cheating' scenarios, conduct investigations within legal and professional limits, are licensed, have laws and regulations governing their activities, and so as not to subject ourselves or our clients to any civil liability or criminal conduct accusation.

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I think most marriages are addressed day-by-day, and bound to run in to trouble.: Hmmm, I agree with you although I hate to use the word "business" because it has rather cold connotations. But you're right. People get married and think they don't have to continue tending the relationship.

Deborah Aylward: Yeah, and I just don't get it. There doesn't seem to be any method of accountability. What about a 'report card' system? You either make the grade, or flunk the class.

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The Economy: Do you see people willing to work things out more because of the economy, and the resulting financial consequences of getting a divorce?

Deborah Aylward:

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Do you post on your website: .. your list of successful, happy clients? With ringing endorsements, I suppose.Like - Mrs. Eliot Spitzer, Mrs. John Edwards, Mrs. Tiger Woods, Mrs. Sandra Bullock, Mrs. Bill Clinton, Mrs. David Patterson, Mrs. John Vitter, Mrs. Larry Craig, Mrs. John Ensign, Mrs. Kobe Bryant, Mrs. Alex Rodriguez, Mrs. Everyone Else -- just as recent examples.Thanks.

Deborah Aylward: Uh, no...clients prefer utmost confidentiality...and don't give us testimonials for publication.

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Wash DC: If marriage is like a business, then sometimes one person might need an outside consultant from time to time.

Deborah Aylward: If going to the consult was in violation of agreed upon terms, then I think it is just cause for termination!

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Student Driver: I became terrified of driving after my first driving instructor ironically got into a car accident and lost a leg. After several years, I recently decided to try again, and I can't believe how often I get honked at or yelled at, even though I'm in a car that literally advertises my student driver status. All it does is terrify me all over again. I do wish that people were more understanding! On the other hand, the learning process has made me a much more polite pedestrian!! Not a single jaywalk since I started my lessons!

John Kelly: Here are two stickers people can get for their cars: Student Driver. (Make sure to get magnetized option.) And Student at the Wheel.

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Marriage as a business: The last poster was right, but I would also add reasons of politics/diplomacy -- such as arranged royal marriages designed to expand/join territories, or arranged marriages between villages/tribes/families to create alliances or smooth over disputes. The concept of romantic marriage is actually quite new, relative to the span of history.

John Kelly: And aren't we glad it's finally here? Can I just say, for the record, that I Love My Lovely Wife? (Feel free to barf.)

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Bethesda: No certainly not looking for instructions. Even if I were inclined to infidelity I don't have anywhere close to the energy or the time. I would also be pathetically easy to catch because I couldn't imagine doing anything like what you just described on a regular basis. Way too much horrible karma spending so much time on dishonesty and negativity.

Deborah Aylward: Wow...wish there more like you out there! And there are, cheaters are in the vast minority.

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Stanford mascot: After the Indian was abolished as mascot, the Stanford student body voted in favor of "The Robber Barons" (in honor of the school's founder, railroad-tycoon Leland Stanford), but the school's trustees vetoed it.

John Kelly: It would have been cool if they had accepted it and Stanford had played Vanderbilt, whose mascot is the Commmodore, as in Commodore Vanderbilt. Clash of capitalistic titans!

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PIs: I think if you hire a PI, the marriage is already over, and you really are just gathering info for the property settltment in the divorce (that is where it applies. Husbands get penalized all the time for the "cost" to the marriage of their infidelity. It is actualyl still very sexist in Virginia where women rarely are penalized). If the trust is broken to that extent, the marriage is. Debra, you are a cool lady with a neat job!

Deborah Aylward: You know, you're pretty right on, but in Virginia, I'd see a lawyer to find out if infidelity is relative to any aspects of divorce other than the property settlemen!

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Washington DC, Re: Cheating: Do you use text messages or emails as evidence? Wouldn't privacy laws prohibit you from investigating these avenues?

Deborah Aylward: Well, yes, texts and emails are regulary used as evidence, and the acquisition of these items are usually addressed during the 'discovery' aspect of a divorce matter. They can be acquired by subpeona, and is usually how they are obtained. Forensic services may be needed to find the info,but for admissability, the info must be properly and legally acquired.

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John Kelly: Thanks for stopping by today. And thanks to my guest, Deborah Aylward. The basic point that she made to me when we spoke was that there's a way around infidelity: If you want to cheat, get a divorce. Stunningly simple. Hexagon is a humorous song/dance/revue outfit that's at the new Montgomery College performing arts center in Takoma Park this year.

John Kelly:

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Michelle McGee: When I found out about Jesse James' "other woman", the first thing that went through my mind was that great line from "Seinfeld" where Jerry and George were trapped in the limo, and Jerry yelled at George "she's a Nazi George, a Nazi"!

John Kelly: Some men seem to like that.

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Deborah Aylward: Thanks so much John! Really enjoyed it.

John Kelly: Thanks, Deborah.


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