Selling Out to the Darkside; The LEO's Dilemma
My Response to William Mullen's Hypocritical Hoopla
By: Bill E. Branscum
© Copyright 2003
Recently, Pittsburgh Assistant Chief William Mullen,
who heads the Investigations Division of his department, was quoted
as deriding former law enforcement officers who work as private
investigators for defense attorneys on the "darkside,"
". . . a few years ago these same people referred
to them as 'scum bags.' Now they refer to them as 'sir.' The difference
is money. It's not unethical, it's not a violation of any law,
but they've sold themselves. They've sold their souls."
While words like, "smug," "small minded," "self-righteous"
and "sanctimonious" immediately come to mind, I personally
find myself wondering who Chief Mullen is trying to fool with this,
"rah, rah, rah, circle jerk the home team" nonsense.
I flatter myself to believe I am a reasonably competent
investigator, but I admit that I have neither magic wand, nor crystal
ball - nor even a pinch of pixie dust to share with the "Darkside."
I don't know what Chief Mullen is pushing in Pittsburgh, but all
I claim to be able to bring to the equation is reality as evidenced
by the truth and truth
has nothing to do with friendship, professional loyalties or team
With regard to criminal prosecution, the ultimate
truth is, the government has all the
advantages. While I suppose it's understandable that they'd prefer
to keep it that way, the truth is, our
society cannot afford to allow the government to tell us who the
good guys are, and what the bad guys are guilty of unless we are
prepared to sacrifice justice in the name of expedience.
I learned that at the federal academy where they use
the federal prosecution of John D. DeLorean to illustrate the point.
I was the Honor Graduate at the federal academy, and
the day I graduated was a proud day for me. The fact that I had
been taught that federal agents had been caught lying, and fabricating
evidence did nothing to diminish that. I felt proud that my government
was capable of scrutinizing itself, and calling things as they saw
them - sometimes anyway.
Now Asst. Chief Mullen, it could be that you like
those rose colored glasses, and I am sure that pious pontification
appeals to you, but like I said, I am a reasonably competent investigator
and I did a little investigating on my own. I have to ask you, "does
the name Edmond Gaudelli ring a bell with you? How about Stacy McDonald."
For those who may not know what I am referring to,
I invite you to read about the efforts of certain members of the
Pittsburgh City PD to fabricate a case, commit perjury and falsify
evidence in support thereof. In reading these fine folk from the
"Bright Side," please note that it isn't as if this is
news to Asst. Chief Mullen -- he was one of the "victims"
of a scheme where members of his department set
out to "frame" him.
here for STORY
Nor was that an isolated example. Here's a simple
test question for you Asst. Chief Mullen, just fill in the blank.
"In 1997, ______________ became the first
U.S. police department to sign a federal order agreeing to court
oversight and independent monitoring."
Need a hint, click HERE.
Here's another simple test question for you Asst.
Chief Mullen, again, just fill in the blank.
"An audit of the __________________ City
Police Department revealed that over a ten year period, 1600 citizens
complaints were investigated by the department and NO disciplinary
action was taken against any of the officers involved."
Got ya stumped, click HERE.
I wouldn't think of putting words in your mouth, but
I suppose your response would be, "that was all in the
past." Here's one final test question for you - just
fill in the year.
"In 200__, the Pittsburgh PD Citizens Review
Board demanded to know why the Chief of the Pittsburgh City Police
Department refused to take disciplinary action and characterized
a report by Cmdr. Regina McDonald as containing blatant misinformation."
Need a clue, click HERE.
There is no magic involved in investigation, this
isn't a team sport, and there is no loyalty issue or esprit de corp
to be considered. It's about justice and the facts, reality and
the truth necessary to make justice happen.
Here's an example of a case I recently worked for
the "Darkside." In this case, Lee County had one prisoner
in their entire jail wearing the armband that designates capital
offenders with nothing to lose and I was responsible for forcing
his release. Assistant Chief Mullen, perhaps you'd like to tell
me where exactly it was that I, "sold out?" Click
In fact, let me share another case with you where
I spent a considerable amount of time on the "Darkside."
It's a case where lying is pervasive, and "cover-up" was
the order of the day. Assistant Chief Mullen, read this case and
tell me whose side you're on. Click HERE
The bottom line is, the fact is . . . the truth
is, neither you, nor I, nor the FBI, nor the CIA, nor Catholic Priests,
nor the Office of the President, can be completely trusted to produce
the truth, the whole truth
and nothing but the truth - not even
the Pittsburgh City Police Department - or any law enforcement organization
for that matter. It is not my intention to single you out, I am
no more tolerant of this sort of nonsense in my backyard. Click
Perhaps you meant for your remarks to be limited to
those who involve themselves in cases where the criminal defendant
is guilty - black hearted, guilty as sin. I'd like to address that
too. I will not be an apologist for those who defend criminals;
in my view, there is nothing to apologize for.
Frankly Chief, law enforcement officers who fear people
like me fear us because they are lazy, incompetent, dishonest or
inept. I believe the reality is that those who condemn us resent
the fact that people like me will force you, and those who work
for you, to do your job the right way - the hard way - or lose.
If you, or those who work for you, cannot put together
a case presentation that will withstand scrutiny, perhaps you should
consider another line of work.
Truth is a sword that knows no master and the blade
cuts both ways; it has an inherent value all its own. Without truth,
there is no justice and without justice, civilized society cannot
exist. That is why our Founding Fathers established the wonderful,
adversary system of justice that makes our Country something special.
Prostitutes who"sold their souls?" I
don't know about that Chief, but I do know that the world is full
of "truth indifferent" whores who'll lay down for any
mutt in a blue uniform, as if they have some sort of monopoly on
the truth, and entitlement to prevail.
Asst. Chief Mullen, at the risk of sounding trite,
I'll quote Jack Nicholsen,
"You can't handle the truth."
Branscum is a licensed Private Investigator and owner of Oracle
International, an investigative agency he established in Naples,
Florida following his career as a federal agent. His experience
includes investigations related to narcotics smuggling, money laundering,
securities fraud, the unlawful exportation of critical technology,
the sexual exploitation of children and contract murder.
International maintains a web site at http://www.OracleInternational.com.
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