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Letter 04   06-Aug-2002   Top 25 Investigators of the Century Hoax
"Well, the one I'm most proud of, I was named one of the 25 best investigators of the century by the the last century, I guess, by the National Association of Investigative Specialists, which is 5,000 investigators." Steven Rambam

The morning following the posting of my letter below, the evidence that I was citing began to evaporate.  Take one example I claimed that the statement that NAIS membership was a lowly 1,750 was to be found at www.pimall.com/thomas/pim.html, but go there now, and you'll find nothing of the sort!  At first, I wondered if I hadn't made some mistake, but then I looked up the Google cached version of that URL, which is at http://216.239.35.100/search?q=cache:y4sd3bHCAmYC:www.pimall.com/thomas/pim.html+mollison+pi+magazine&hl=en&ie=UTF-8, and there it still sits the statement that NAIS membership totals 1,750!  So, if some of the URLs below don't produce what they are supposed to, you might examine the Google cached version of what was just recently at that URL, which will inform you whether my citations are sloppy or whether a cover-up is in progress.

GOOGLE Search Engine
How to get at the cached version? Simply copy (highlight, then CTRL+C) and paste (place mouse arrow, then CTRL+V) the URL you are interested in inspecting an undoctored version of not into the address box of your browser, but into the search box of Google!  One reason that I show most of the URLs below is to make such copying and pasting possible.  You can get to Google by clicking on the accompanying Google logo.  Any verifying you want to do, do it now, as sooner or later the cached versions get updated to whatever is currently sitting at the URL.  And whenever you find a document of value, don't count on it staying around forever save it (click FILE, then SAVE AS, and so on).  (07-Aug-2002)

  06 August 2002
Steven Rambam
Pallorium, Inc
PO Box 155 Midwood Station
Brooklyn, New York
USA      11230


Steven Rambam:

On 25-Jul-2002, I was delighted to receive by mail from your lawyer, Gary Kurtz, a copy of some of the documents that you have been submitting to the Los Angeles Superior Court with respect to case BC271433.


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You Don't Deny Your Two Great Frauds

In those documents that I received from Gary Kurtz, I discovered the first indication of what it is that you object to in my writing and was I surprised!  Let me explain by way of an analogy.

Suppose that I published statements that John Doe was a serial killer, and that he didn't pay his parking tickets, and suppose that John Doe decided to sue me for defamation in some inconvenient forum say in a court in Tajikistan and suppose, finally, that I eventually discovered that John Doe was not suing me for calling him a serial killer, but only for my accusing him of not paying his parking tickets.  What would this mean?

One fair inference would be that John Doe hoped I might fail to prove that he didn't pay his parking tickets, but knew that I could prove that he was a serial killer.  John Doe's law suit would amount to a confession that he was in fact a serial killer.  His motive in bringing his law suit would seem to be to win a suppression of everything that I had published about him primarily because it contained the severely damaging accusation and only secondarily because it contained the trivially-damaging one.

Your behavior is similar.  I accuse you of basing your career as private investigator and Nazi hunter on two gigantic frauds the Fifty-Confessions Hoax and the Jewish Show Trial of Julius Viel and your law suit complains of neither of these grave accusations, but only of my repeating biographical material already in wide circulation (as in the writing of Robert I. Friedman), none of which is nearly as damaging to your professional standing as my two accusations of fraud.


Top   Frauds   Claim   NAIS   Award   Professionals   Winners   You   Appearance   Bottom
You Claim to be
"One of the 25 Best Investigators of the Century"!

In the remainder of my present letter, I will restrict my attention to only one of the documents that I received from Gary Kurtz your Exhibit 1 whose purpose appears to be to demonstrate your expertise and high standing in the field of private investigation.

From what I can tell, Exhibit 1 is a copy of pp. 6-16 from a transcript of you testifying to your credentials in an earlier case before the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles, BC154006.  What your testimony tells me is that your credentials rely heavily on the notoriety you received from the two above-mentioned frauds, and that what remains after subtracting the frauds tends to be vague and unverifiable.

Among the remaining things that you do say, though, one does stand out for having two noteworthy qualities it refers to the highest recognition that you have ever achieved, and it is concrete enough to be susceptible to verification:

Q    HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY PROFESSIONAL AWARDS?

A    YEAH.

Q    WILL YOU TELL ME ABOUT THOSE?

A    WELL, THE ONE I'M MOST PROUD OF, I WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 25 BEST INVESTIGATORS OF THE CENTURY BY THE THE LAST CENTURY, I GUESS, BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INVESTIGATIVE SPECIALISTS, WHICH IS 5,000 INVESTIGATORS.
Questions by Gary Kurtz, answers by Steven Rambam, in Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles, BC154006, p. 12.

To have a large professional organization identify you as one of the 25 best investigators of the century would indeed be a high honor, and would indeed support the conclusions that you were a man of integrity, and that you have a professional reputation capable of being damaged that is, such conclusions would follow if your claim were true.  However, I made an attempt to learn more about this NAIS Top 25 Investigators of the Century Award, and discovered that although it does exist, and although you are among the 25 individuals listed, it is less than it seems.


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What I Learned About NAIS

I started by taking a look at the National Association of Investigative Specialists.

NAIS does not have a membership of "5,000 investigators"

The National Association of Investigative Specialists (NAIS) itself does not claim a membership of 5,000, but only "well over 3,000":

NAIS is The Largest Trade Association with well over 3,000 members!
NAIS web site at www.pimall.com/nais/nais.j.html

Sometimes, an even lower figure is proposed:

Ralph Thomas is the president of NAIS, the 1,750 plus member National Association Of Investigative Specialists, and is also the CEO of Thomas Investigative Publications.
David A. Mollison, A national leader: A profile of Ralph D. Thomas, As Appeared in PI Magazine www.pimall.com/thomas/pim.html

One explanation for the discrepancy between 3,000 and 1,750 might be that the lower figure is an estimate of the number of private investigators in the NAIS membership, and the higher figure is an estimate of total NAIS membership, many of whom are not private investigators.  Thus, on the "Join NAIS" page at www.pimall.com/nais/nais.j.html, I find the invitation, "If You Are Not A Practing ["Practing" is what it says!] Private Investigator, NAIS Still Has A Place For You: Click Here", which takes the visitor to the information that at least the 18 occupations listed are eligible for membership:

NON-PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR MEMBERSHIP

If you have an interest in investigation but do not practice as a private investigator and do not have a private investigator's license, there is still a place for you in NAIS.  You can join with the same benefits BUT will not be listed as a practicing private investigator in the NAIS membership directory.  Your listing could include:

Private Investigators, Police Officers, Insurance Fraud Examiners, Law Enforcement, Security Professionals, Bail Enforcement Officers, Attorneys, Information Brokers, Auto Repossessors, Corporate Security, Collection Agencies, Insurance Adjusters, Process Servers, Forensic Examiners, Accident Reconstructionists, Executive Protection Specialists, Criminologists And Computer Security And Information Security Professionals

Please note that your directory listing MUST state your area of specialization or expertise and you MUST have a license (if required by law) or be a sworn law enforcement officer.
National Association of Investigative Specialists at www.pimall.com/nais/nonnais.html

The question of the actual number of qualified private investigators in the NAIS membership is clouded by some jurisdictions not requiring a license, and by our not knowing what steps NAIS takes to verify the application information that it receives.  The NAIS web site does not present the same image of an organization interested in excluding the unqualified as do other organizations, as for example the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts whose rules for Suspension, Expulsion and Reinstatement at www.ialeia.org/meminfo.html find no parallel on the NAIS web site.

Ultimately, our trust in even the lower figure of an NAIS membership of 1,750 private investigators depends on our confidence in the integrity of the NAIS.  If our confidence is shaken, it becomes possible to imagine that 1,750 is an inflated estimate of total membership, and that the number of authentic private investigators is considerably lower.  NAIS director Ralph Thomas could quiet all suspicion on this score simply by placing an alphabetized and numbered membership list on a single page on the NAIS web site.

Private Investigators Rarely Join NAIS

To answer the question of what percentage of all private investigators in the United States belong to NAIS, we would have to know the total number of private investigators in the United States a number which I have been unable to locate.  I am, however, able to generate a ball-park estimate which starts with the following information:

Statistics Canada indicates that in 1996 there were about 59,000 police officers in Canada and about 82,000 private security personnel (about 12,200 private investigators and 69,800 guards). Between 1991 and 1996, the number of private investigators increased from about 8,200 to 12,200, or 49 percent, some of them probably part-time employees.
www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/domino/reports.nsf/html/0204ce.html

If the number of private investigators increased from 8,200 to 12,200 in five years, that was an annual growth of 8.27%, and if continued over the next six years, would produce 19,652 private investigators in Canada in 2002.  Multiplying by the USA population (278 058 881) and dividing by the Canadian population (31 592 805), gives an estimate of 172,967 private investigators in the USA today admittedly just a guess, but probably a guess that is in the right ball park, and that will lead to exactly the same conclusions that a more accurate estimate would lead to.

So, then, if NAIS has 1,750 private investigators, and the U.S. has 172,967, that would make 1.01%, which is to say, out of every hundred private investigators, only one would belong to NAIS.  Even if NAIS had 3,000 private investigators, which it does not, that would make for only 1.73 NAIS members out of every hundred private investigators in the United State, which goes to demonstrating that as long as figures remain in the same ball park, shuffling them is not going to budge the conclusion which in this case is that the overwhelming majority of American private investigators choose not to belong to NAIS.

NAIS Is Not An Association of "Specialists"

Right off the bat, one cannot help noticing that "Investigative Specialists" implies that the investigators in this organization have higher qualifications than those possessed by lowly run-of-the-mill private investigators who have not taken the trouble to qualify as specialists, which perception is undermined however by the recollection that in NAIS eyes, one is considered worthy of membership merely by being an auto repossessor or a process server or merely by working for a collection agency; or even I myself could qualify under the exceedingly broad heading "Computer Security And Information Security Professionals" for my once having written on security concerns relating to keyboard dynamics and encryption, although it is possible that no such minimal display of participation would be necessary, and that my no more than claiming that I worked in the area of computer security would be enough to get me an NAIS membership.  Come to think of it, I likely qualify for membership many times over, having written also on forged photographs, and on evidence of forgery in the notorious Trawniki Identification Card.  As "NAIS Membership is Dirt Cheap coming out to only $3.55 per month!" (www.pimall.com/nais/nais.j.html) very little stands in the way of just about anybody becoming an NAIS member.

NAIS Is Not The "Largest Trade Association"

On top of NAIS's misleading reference to "Investigative Specialists," we have seen above the equally misleading NAIS claim that "NAIS is The Largest Trade Association."  Perhaps this may be true according to some narrow interpretation of "Trade Association," but that NAIS is the largest organization of private investigators might be challenged by other organizations, such as:

Don't forget it's "NAIS Inc"

NAIS is NAIS Incorporated.  It is a for-profit company.  NAIS Inc makes money not only from membership fees, but also from web site hosting and from selling books, equipment, and advertising space.  A sampling of new products being offered can be found at www.pimall.com/nais/new.html.  NAIS Inc generates profits, and the profits go into the pockets of its owners, in view of which prudence demands that any statement it issues must be suspected of being promotion or advertising.

A clearer understanding of NAIS

Your claim that the National Association of Investigative Specialists has a membership of "5,000 investigators" is an exaggeration which undermines your credibility, and paints a false picture.  A truer picture might be that NAIS is a business among whose customers are 1,750 private investigators, which constitutes something like one out of every hundred in the United States.  As organizations of private investigators go, this is not particularly large, and the suggestion in its name that NAIS restricts its membership to "specialists" is false.


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What I Learned About The NAIS Inc
Top 25 Investigators Of The Century Award

The NAIS web page announcing the Award is at www.pimall.com/nais/n.top25.html, but as there is some chance that it will get changed as a result of my present letter, or will be removed altogether, I have put a copy at NAIS Inc Top 25 Award page.  So, then, everything I have to say about this NAIS web page will be found to apply to that copy.

Low production values

One look at this NAIS Inc Top 25 Award page, and it becomes evident that this is not a high-class project.  The image at the top of the page is missing.  The wallpaper is vulgar, and interferes with the ability to read the text.  The layout is primitive.

Four of the 25 Award-recipient surnames are misspelled

Misspelled Name on Top-25 List Correctly Spelled Full Name
Jay J. Arms
Nick Beltante
Pat Beltante
Norman Pearl
Jay J. Armes
Nicholas R. Beltrante
Patricia Beltrante
Norman Perle

The above misspellings call to mind the opening and closing paragraphs of David Perry's critique of something Ralph Thomas wrote concerning the JFK assassination, and which critique I allude to here not for its convincing demonstration of the Ralph Thomas capacity for muddled thinking and bumbled investigation, but only for its demonstration of what may be a Thomas-family failing casual spelling:

Rosco Who?

by David B. Perry

In issue number 9 of Probable Cause, there appeared an article by Ralph D. Thomas entitled "The Strange Story of Rosco White Information, Disinformation or Misinformation."  What is intriguing about the piece is that includes all three aspects of the White saga.  That is, there is some information, some disinformation and lots of misinformation.

[...]

Ralph Thomas indicates he conducted his "own independent investigation and verification of this account."  I'm sorry but I find it impossible to accept the opinions and conclusions of a researcher who can't spell the name of the subject of his investigation, Roscoe White, correctly.
Probable Cause Australia, A Continuing Inquiry into the JFK Assassination www.flash.net/~dperry2/thomas.html (blue emphasis added)

By the way, some background information on Ralph Thomas (Email: [email protected]) can be found at the following locations:
www.fabjob.com/private-investigator-authors.html
www.pimall.com/thomas/rdt-2.html
www.megasuccess.com/n.rdt.html
www.pimall.com/thomas/rdtin.html
www.pimall.com/thomas/suc.html
www.pimall.com/nais/bt-a.html

NAIS Inc fails to deliver sixteen promised biographical profiles

The NAIS Inc Top-25 web page promises a biographical profile for each of the Award winners within a time frame of weeks, but in fact the NAIS web site appears to deliver a biographical profile for only 9/25 of them you being among those excluded which is a remarkable demonstration of neglect given that a single NAIS writer might have been able to churn out all 25 profiles in a day or two largely by quoting published material.

The nine Award winners for whom NAIS does deliver a profile (or obituary), and the URL where it can be found, are as follows:

Nicholas R. Beltrante   www.pimall.com/nais/n.nick.html
Patricia Beltrante   www.pimall.com/nais/n.nick.html
Joseph Culligan   www.pimall.com/nais/n.culligan.html
William C. Dear   www.pimall.com/nais/n.dear.html
Bill Kizorek   www.pimall.com/nais/n.kizorek.html
Hal Lipset   www.pimall.com/nais/n.lipset.html  (deceased)
Norman Perle   www.pimall.com/nais/n.perl.html  (deceased)
Kelly Riddle   www.pimall.com/nais/n.riddle.html
Joseph Seanor   www.pimall.com/nais/n.seanor.html

Furthermore, in not a single one of these nine NAIS profiles is acknowledgement made of the Top-25 Award, which seems incongruous if the Award really is an objective and recognized mark of distinction, then one would expect it to be mentioned in any profile or obituary, and if it is not mentioned, then that suggests that the writer of the profile does not recognize the Award, which in this case is doubly peculiar, as the writer of each of these profiles is Ralph D. Thomas, Director of NAIS, bestower of the Award.

On top of that, the NAIS Awards web page promises that the NAIS profiles will come "with photographs," but only five of the nine NAIS profiles come with photographs:

Nicholas R. Beltrante
Joseph Culligan
William C. Dear
Norman Perle
Joseph Seanor

In contrast, I managed to dig 17 photographs out of the Internet, as I demonstrate below.

NAIS Inc fails to deliver the promised book

Barbara Maikell-Thomas, wife of NAIS director Ralph D. Thomas, promised a book on the NAIS web site:

We will be submitting short biographical sketches on the Internet weekly, later to be extended, with photographs, and more information to [be] published in book form.
Barbara Maikell-Thomas, Top Twenty Five Investigators of The Century, NAIS web site at www.pimall.com/nais/n.top25.html, or check my 06-Aug-2002 copy of that page.

Wherever one looks, by the way, one is reminded of the carelessness with which this project was thrown together as is evidenced once again in the omission of the word "be" above.

And then you on your Pallorium web site go so far as to claim (and no one else does) that the promised book has been published:

"The 25 Best Investigators", a new book by Ms. Barbara Michael, names Steven Rambam, Pallorium's Senior Director, as one of the 25 best investigators.
www.pallorium.com/homegifs/News.html


Barbara Maikell-Thomas
Barbara Michael? Come on, you know better than that!  The author you want happens to be the wife of your good friend, Ralph Thomas.  Her name is Barbara Maikell-Thomas, or if you want to go by maiden name alone, it would be Barbara Maikell.  Here's her picture now do you remember?

However, a search on both the Amazon and the Barnes and Noble web sites for the following strings failed to turn up the book you refer to:

You might try asking Barbara Maikell how her work is going I did, but she didn't answer: [email protected]

My best guess is that the NAIS Inc Top-25 project initially envisioned the writing of a book, but that the project never got beyond the beginning of the corresponding web page, and the book was never written, in which case your claim that the book was written is false and further lowers your credibility.

Only Seven of the Award Recipients Take Credit

Of the 25 recipients of the Top-25 Award, only seven can be found taking credit for the Award, the seven whose names appear in bold red both in the listing immediately below, and in bold red again in the full listing of all 25 Award recipients further below:

Nicholas R. BELTRANTE
Julius "Buddy" BOMBET
Jane M. CRACRAFT
Gary A. HYATT
Edmund J. PANKAU
Steven RAMBAM
Kelly RIDDLE

The failure of 18 of the recipients of the Top-25 Award to take credit for it again suggests that they (or those writing their obituaries) do not find the Award credible, and do not feel that taking credit for it will enhance their standing.

Of the "Century"?

The Top-25 Award includes the expansive claim that these 25 are not just the best contemporary investigators, but the best of the century, meaning the 20th century.

And yet every one of the 25 investigators selected for the Award is either alive, or recently deceased.  Thus, we are forced to conclude either that no truly great investigators existed before our own time, or else that NAIS Inc incautiously threw in "of the century" as hype.

Ralph Thomas strongly favored NAIS members in handing out his Award

Of the Top-25-Award recipients who are still alive (22 of them), 13/22 = 59% are NAIS members:

Nicholas R. Beltrante
Patricia Beltrante
Julius "Buddy" Bombet
Joseph Culligan
William C. Dear
Gary A. Hyatt
Bill Kizorek
Harvey E. Morse
Jack Murray
Edmund J. Pankau
Steven Rambam
Kelly Riddle
Joseph Seanor

The seven names above that are in bold also had biographical profiles written on the NAIS web site by Ralph Thomas.  Presumably, the three deceased Award winners (Hal Lipset, Norman Perle, and Virginia Hudgins) had any memberships cancelled upon dying, so that at present it is not evident whether they had been members or not; nevertheless, the first two of the deceased do have NAIS profiles.  Thus, the nine investigators who got NAIS profiles are shown in bold in this section.

From the above data emerges the following revealing conclusion.

Since for three deceased Award winners, NAIS membership could not be established, attention is restricted to the remaining 22 Award winners for whom NAIS membership could be established.  To see if NAIS membership increases the chances of Ralph Thomas handing out an Award, we plug values from above into the following fourfold table:

    NAIS MEMBER  
    No Yes  
A
W
A
R
D
Yes       9      13      22
No 171,208   1,737 172,945
    171,217   1,750 172,967

The powerful relationship in the above table is revealed by comparing two percentages:

A similar comparison would have been to note that whereas only 1750/172967 = 1% of all private investigators are NAIS members, 13/22 = 59% of Award winners are NAIS members.

Thus, Ralph Thomas is 59 times as likely to give his Award to an NAIS member as to a non-NAIS member or to an American investigator picked at random.  Two possible explanations: (1) the very best private investigators in America hold NAIS membership; (2) Ralph Thomas favored NAIS members in making his Award.

Ralph Thomas strongly favored NAIS members in writing his biographical profiles

We again restrict attention to the 22 surviving Award winners, because they are the only ones on whom we have NAIS membership information, and again we plug values we have already come across above into a fourfold table, this time to answer the question of whether Ralph Thomas was more likely to write a biographical profile for NAIS members who won the Award than for non-NAIS members who won the Award:

    NAIS MEMBER  
    No Yes  
P
R
O
F
I
L
E
Yes  0  7  7
No  9  6 15
     9 13 22

Again, we compare two percentages calculated from the above table:

One way of looking at the above correlation Ralph Thomas mustered the energy to write promised biographical profiles for about half of the Award winners who were NAIS members; for Award winners who weren't NAIS members, he couldn't be bothered writing even a single profile.  It could be that Ralph Thomas tried to use the Award as an inducement to get prominent private investigators to purchase NAIS membership, and immediately lost interest in those who took the Award but refused to sign up.

Ralph Thomas strongly favored those living close to him in handing out his Award

Texas has something like 7% of the United States population, yet 5/22 = 23% of Award winners appear to be based in Texas.  The six southern states of Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida hold something like 20% of the United States population, yet 14/22 = 64% of Award winners appear to be based in these southern states.

Two possible interpretations: (1) The southern states are where the great private investigators happen to congregate; (2) Ralph Thomas found it convenient to bestow his Award on his neighbors.

NAIS methodology was inadequate

Before claiming that it was NAIS itself (and not an individual or two within NAIS) that has bestowed an award, certain conditions should have been met.  In the first place, NAIS members should have been polled for nominations as to who they thought were the top investigators of the century.  Credibility would have been enhanced further if criminologists, crime writers, heads of leading government investigative agencies, and prominent investigators not associated with NAIS had been polled as well.  Following that, NAIS members should have been issued biographical profiles of the nominees, and a vote taken.  If that had been done, or something like it, then you might have been justified in saying that it was the NAIS that had chosen you as one of the Top 25 Investigators of the Century.

However, the NAIS web page announcing the Award gives no indication that nominations were solicited or that a vote was taken.  What is said about the manner of Award allocation is brief and vague, and in its final sentence degenerates into silliness:

There are numerous reason these investigators have been named.  Some named for the contributions to the betterment of the field, some for world wide attention gained, some for their flamboyant nature.

[...]

They were all picked through a very tedious process.  Last not being first and first not being last.

It appears that the selection process was so "tedious" that NAIS did not wish to suffer still more tedium by describing it.  Particularly, one must object to the Award being bestowed for "world wide attention" unless some attempt is made to exclude "world wide attention for successful hoaxes."  One must object also to the Award being bestowed for "flamboyant nature," as the relationship between flamboyance and the professional delivery of services is not obvious, and in some situations flamboyance might interfere with the professional delivery of services.


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What Some Professionals Say

I emailed a query concerning the NAIS-Top-25-Award to several private investigators.  Those who were not themselves on the Top-25 list tended to respond negatively, as for example in the half-dozen instances below.  As I did not ask these investigators to speak on the record, I conceal their identities:

They left out "Bo Dietl"  They cant be legitimate!

Based upon what I know of these individuals it may not have anything to do with their investigative ability but upon their ability to obtain publicity.

The list is issued by an organization that pimps itself and admits ANYONE, licensed or unlicensed, who is willing to pay the 'membership' fee.  That same organization issues certificates and/or diplomas to those people who buy their books.  The list amounts to NOTHING.

I would SERIOUSLY doubt there is any relavancy to this list.  I personaly met the "top investigator of the year" for an international organization, and I can tell you without reservation, he wasn't.  I suspect this is just more wasted time and energy and to many unsuspecting and unknowing people the title sounds impressive.  They may be very, very good and perhaps excellent.  The idea they are the top 25?  Right.

All I can say is that it is a for profit organization that is owned by a book publisher (Ralph Thomas).  Liddy is a disgrace, convicted felon who can not hold a license, Betrante went on national T.V. and gave the public a lesson on how to invade the public's privacy.  Kizorek, says he his the most "famous" pi of all and Riddle lectures on his books and claims to have "personally conducted 8,500 investigations" in something like 12 years.  Lipset, Reed, Armes are the real McCoy's, to my knowledge.  The others I do not know, [name of PI on the list of 25] is an ok guy, does nothing exciting in the way of international or out of [name of State] work, but a true professional.  So I do not know what qualifies any of them for the title, other than to use the publisher and write stories that are self promoting.  Further, the war stories are usually others.  I will not print the list in the [publication name], obviously the caliber of investigators is overstated.

Call if I can help further,

Don't be fooled by trash advertising.  Some investigators are listed because they advertise in a publication.  I suggest you do some in-depth digging on the names.  [Investigator name] was a close personal friend of mine, we worked some cases together.  She was good as gold.  She would turn over in her grave if she knew her name was listed on the same page as some of the others.  Like any other profession there are good and bad.  But let me assure you there is no actual top twenty five private investigators.  I guess it's a good ego trip to pay for a advertising article to be written on yourself.  You will find like in all professions some are all mouth and some do a good job for their clients get paid well and stay in the business being professional and dedicated.  I suggest you go to [URL].  You will find some good folks there.

The low regard in which the NAIS-Top-25-Award appears to be held in the profession at large (the epithet "trash advertising" lingers) reinforces my own conclusions that the Award was nothing better than an ill-conceived, hastily-throw-together, and never-brought-to-maturity publicity stunt.


Top   Frauds   Claim   NAIS   Award   Professionals   Winners   You   Appearance   Bottom
The NAIS Inc Top 25 Investigators of the Century

Whether these are the top 25 investigators of the century is very far from having been established.  In fact, if a broad and impartial poll were conducted, it is likely that professional reaction to the NAIS Inc Top-25 Award would tend to be the one of incredulity and hostility that we saw just above.

Nevertheless, from the material available on the Internet, it does appear that many of these 25 investigators are accomplished and distinguished.  Concerning a small number of other cases, little or no information is available on the Internet, and so it does not seem plausible that investigators so obscure can at the same time be among the Top 25 of the Century.  And perhaps in a small number of other cases, the investigator clearly does not belong on the list.

One views with distaste the incestuous nature of the relationship between many Top-25 Award winners and Ralph Thomas.  Ralph Thomas gives Top-25 Award winners the NAIS Speaker of the Year Award, the NAIS Investigator of the Year Award, and the NAIS Book of the Year Award.  Ralph Thomas has Top-25 Award winners also giving talks and conducting seminars.  The Top-25 Award winners purchase advertisements on the NAIS web site, they buy web hosting services, they write books which Ralph Thomas publishes.  No commendation for merit which passes between people enjoying such close business ties can be credible.

The state abbreviation at the bottom of each of the twenty-five investigators below is my guess as to where their current home base is.


  1. Jay J. ARMES
    Jay J. ARMES
    Marlon Brando with
    Jay J. Armes
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  unknown
    Links:
    www.spymall.com/investigators/photo_gallety.html
    www.spymall.com/investigators/action_figures.html
    Jay. J. Armes gets a lot of coverage, as for example in the photo on the right where he is shown after returning Marlon Brando's kidnapped son, Christian.
    TX

  2. Nicholas R. BELTRANTE  Takes credit for Top-25 Award www.beltrante.com/about.html
    Nicholas R. BELTRANTE
    Nicholas R. Beltrante
    NAIS membership: Expert Certified Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-dc.html
    and Life Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-md-b.html
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    www.secretsoftopprivateeyes.com/experts.htm
    DC

  3. Patricia BELTRANTE
    Patricia BELTRANTE
    Patricia Beltrante
    NAIS membership: Expert Certified Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-dc.html
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    www.beltrante.com/about.html
    www.secretsoftopprivateeyes.com/experts.htm
    Patricia Beltrante shares the same web page with husband Nicholas R. Beltrante, but despite being one of the Top 25 Private Investigators of the Century doesn't get a photograph on that page whereas her husband does, and doesn't get a mention of her Award whereas her husband does!  Is this sexist of her husband, or is it perhaps that the Beltrante's are aware that the Award is a hoax, and know that if they claim it together, its credibility will suffer, especially as Mrs. Beltrante may tend more to managing than to sleuthing: "She has an extensive administrative and management background in the private investigative profession."  Husband Nicholas is clearly the senior of the two, as in some listings of their firm, his name appears without Patricia's: www.pimall.com/nais/d-md-b.html
    DC

  4. Julius "Buddy" BOMBET:  Takes credit for Top-25 Award www.intersurf.com/~lizcabom
    NAIS membership: Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-la.html
    Email:  [email protected] or [email protected]
    Links:
    www.pimall.com/bombet/Default.htm#organization
    www.intersurf.com/~lizcabom/bomresume.htm
    LA

  5. Leroy E. COOK:
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  unknown
    Links:
    www.pihome.com/piinformation/lc.asp
    www.fabjob.com/private-investigator-authors.html
    AZ

  6. Jane M. CRACRAFT:  Takes credit for Top-25 Award www.denbar.org/docket/2002/april/bries.htm
    Jane M. CRACRAFT
    Jane M. Cracraft
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    www.nalionline.org/currentnews.html
    www.oracleinternational.com/articles/rapp.htm
    It should be noted that Jane Cracraft did not herself explicitly take credit for the Top-25 Award; rather, writer Karen Bries mentioned it in her article, which information may have been supplied by Cracraft, or discovered independently by Bries and published without approval from Cracraft.
    CO

  7. Joseph CULLIGAN
    Joseph CULLIGAN
    Joseph Culligan
    NAIS membership: Expert Certified Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-fl.html
    Email:  unknown
    Links:
    www.josephculligan.com
    pimall.com/nais/n.culligan.html
    FL

  8. William C. DEAR
    William C. DEAR
    William C. Dear demonstrating
    how never to hold a pistol.
    NAIS membership: Life Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-tx-b.html
    Email:  unknown
    Links:
    www.pimall.com/dear/Default.htm
    www.pimall.com/nais/n.dear.html
    TX

  9. Anthony GOLIC
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  unknown
    Absent from the Internet.

  10. James W. HARBERT
    James W. HARBERT
    James W. Harbert
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    www.jwharbert.com/default.htm
    www.jwharbert.com/bio.htm
    AL

  11. Gary A. HYATT:  Takes credit for Top-25 Award www.fortunecity.com/business/bull/521/id20.htm
    Gary A. HYATT
    Gary A. Hyatt
    NAIS membership: Expert Certified Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-la.html
    and Life Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-la-b.html
    Email:  [email protected]
    LA

  12. Virginia HUDGINS
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  unknown
    Deceased.  No mention of her on the Internet.

  13. Bill KIZOREK
    Bill KIZOREK
    Bill Kizorek
    NAIS membership: Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-il-b.html
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    www.pimall.com/nais/n.kizorek.html
    www.inphoto.com/bk.html
    IL

  14. G. Gordon LIDDY
    G. Gordon LIDDY
    G. Gordon Liddy
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    At the moment, Liddy is making more money selling soft porn and homeopathic remedies, and chartering cruises, than he is investigating, as an examination of his web site reveals:
    www.liddyshow.us
    www.liddyletter.com
    www.liddyshow.us/biography.php

  15. Hal LIPSET
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  unknown
    Deceased.  Links:
    www.pimall.com/nais/n.lipset.html
    CA

  16. Harvey E. MORSE
    Harvey E. MORSE
    Harvey E. Morse
    NAIS membership: Expert Certified Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-fl.html
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    www.probate.com
    FL

  17. Jack MURRAY
    NAIS membership: Life Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-tx-b.html
    Email:  [email protected]
    Can't find a web site or a profile.
    TX

  18. Edmund J. PANKAU  Takes credit for Top-25 Award www.pankau.com/cur.cfm
    Edmund J. PANKAU
    Edmund J. Pankau
    NAIS membership: Life Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-tx-c.html
    and Expert Certified Member
    www.pimall.com/nais/d-tx.html
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    www.pankau.com
    www.fsu.edu/~FSUAlum/distinguished/PankauEdmund.html
    TX

  19. Norman PERLE
    Norman PERLE
    Norman Perle
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  unknown
    Deceased.  Links:
    www.pimall.com/nais/n.perl.html
    www.pimall.com/nais/news/perld.html
    CA

  20. Steven RAMBAM:  Takes credit for Top-25 Award www.pallorium.com/News.html
    Steven RAMBAM
    Steven Rambam
    NAIS membership: Life Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-ny.html
    Email:  [email protected]
    With a view to enhancing the credibility of what must seem to be an obviously preposterous claim, Steven Rambam has the good sense to omit "of the century" on his web site: "The 25 Best Investigators", a new book by Ms. Barbara Michael, names Steven Rambam, Pallorium's Senior Director, as one of the 25 best investigators.
    Links:
    www.pallorium.com
    NY

  21. Jack H. REED.
    NAIS membership: None evident
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    www.search.org/conferences/1999symposium/Bios/Bio-Reed.htm
    FL

  22. Kelly RIDDLE:  Takes credit for Top-25 Award www.kelmarpi.com
    Kelly RIDDLE
    Kelly Riddle
    NAIS membership: Expert Certified Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-tx.html
    Email:  [email protected]
    Links:
    www.fabjob.com/private-investigator-authors.html
    Kelly Riddle is president of the Association of Christian investigators at
    www.a-c-i.org/membership.html
    TX

  23. Joseph SEANOR
    Joseph SEANOR
    Joseph Seanor
    NAIS membership:  Expert Certified Member and Life Member www.pimall.com/nais/d-va.html
    Email:  [email protected] or [email protected]
    Links:
    www.pimall.com/nais/n.seanor.html
    www.cibir.net/js.htm
    Also listed as "Joseph Seanor (Official N.A.I.S. Webmaster)" at
    www.pimall.com/nais/d-tx.html
    VA

  24. Joan T. (STENSRUD) Jordahl
    NAIS membership:  None evident
    Email:  [email protected]
    Retired.  Link:
    www.nalionline.org/searchresults.cgi?J
    AZ

  25. Dr. Cyril WECHT
    Dr. Cyril WECHT
    Dr. Cyril Wecht
    NAIS membership:  None evident
    Email:  [email protected]
    Frequent guest on talk shows covering prominent crime cases like those of OJ Simpson or JonBenet Ramsey.
    Links:
    www.annonline.com/interviews/961106/biography.html
    www.county.allegheny.pa.us/coroner/about.asp
    PA



Top   Frauds   Claim   NAIS   Award   Professionals   Winners   You   Appearance   Bottom
How Did You Get on the List?

If, as appears to be the case, you stand out as the person least deserving to be on the Top-25 list, then the question arises of how you managed to get on it.  The answer may be that you have a special relationship with Ralph Thomas.

The clues which suggest that Ralph Thomas views you with special favor are as follows:


Top   Frauds   Claim   NAIS   Award   Professionals   Winners   You   Appearance   Bottom
Here's How It Looks To Me

It is of some significance that NAIS makes no mention of an Award ceremony.  No banquet honoring the winners.  No speeches by dignitaries.  No plaques or certificates or cups handed out.  No press in attendance, no newspaper photographs of the winners receiving their awards, no television interviews.  Nothing like that degree of planning and execution in evidence.

An award-presentation banquet would at least have served to demonstrate that the 25 winners valued the prize enough to come pick it up; in the absence of a banquet, we are left wondering how many would have bothered to attend, and how many would have been too embarrassed.  So, in the absence of a formal ceremony, all that testifies to this grandiose Award is the one pathetic NAIS Inc web page, capable of being thrown together in a few hours by a single rushed and careless writer.

What this NAIS Inc Award amounts to, then, is something in the order of a Thomas-family ambition to write a book hyped as the Top 25 Investigators of the Century, but which restricts attention to only contemporary investigators who tend to be NAIS members and who tend to live in southern states.  Several investigators with impressive credentials seem to have been persuaded to allow themselves to be included, though these may have been in short supply, as a few unknowns had to be thrown in, and even a few misfits.  I can see that from the publicity that the Canadian Jewish Congress generated for your Fifty-Confessions Hoax, that you might deserve to be included under the category "world wide attention gained," and for your being featured in Robert I. Friedman's Village Voice article Oy Vey, Make My Day as a violence-prone psychopath and head breaker, you might have qualified also under the criterion of "flamboyant nature"; however, I would have expected that the fraudulent nature of your work would have disqualified you from any award because of the necessity of giving just a little bit of weight to the consideration of "contributions to the betterment of the field" where your outstanding contributions have been to the disgrace of the field.

In any case, the flash of Thomas-family ambition to write a book did not sustain follow-through, and the project sits abandoned on the NAIS Inc web site, with promised profiles still unwritten and promised photographs still uncollected, and with what little has been written still not proof-read or spell-checked.  So bereft is that web page of interest or attention that nobody bothers to revive the banner at the head of the page which has gone missing.  I found the banner, learned that it was not displaying because its file had been damaged, repaired it, and here it is the jewel that should have been shining on the forehead of the NAIS Top-25 web page.  Ralph Thomas did initially think enough of the project to take a few minutes to create the banner; when the project crashed without ever having left the ground, however, he didn't think it worth a few more minutes to make sure the banner remained on display.

Of the possibly 172,967 or so private investigators in the USA today, there may be not more than a handful (composed of your particular friends, or of those who have been misled by your false claims) who would consider you one of the Top 25 Investigators of the Century, and there are possibly close to 172,967 others who would recommend your being removed from the list.

In your law suit for defamation against me in the Los Angeles Superior Court, BC271433, your Exhibit 1 (in which you testify to your high standing in your profession) can be seen for what it is take away everything connected with the Fifty-Confessions Hoax and with the Jewish Show Trial of Julius Viel, and then take away also the empty claim of your being among the 25 Best Investigators of the Century, and you are left with as unimpressive a résumé as expert witness ever boasted.



Lubomyr Prytulak


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