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The Man with no name

In a somewhat unusual request I was recently asked to find a man-with-no-name for a NZ based client. I thought there was about 1.5 million adult men in New Zealand, how hard could it be? I was then advised by the client that the man-with-no-name had never been to New Zealand and had no connections to our country. At this point it was disclosed that the man-with-no-name was thought to be an American! How hard can it be – finding a man-with-no-name in a country of 300million people!


Before Veritas took on this job I needed to find out two things: One, the reason for my client’s request – is there a legitimate reason for my client to enquire into this person’s identity. Two, is there a reasonable chance of a successful outcome to this request.

In discussing the request with the NZ client I soon formed the opinion that there was a legitimate reason for the request which potentially involved an estate. This gave me further information on which to base my enquiries. The man-with-no-name in America was connected to a third party, who had previously been connected with my client. This third party also had no connections back to NZ.


Before taking on the case, I wanted to assure both myself and the client there was a reasonable prospect of success. In my estimation, having the name of the third party increased the prospect of success to greater than 50%.

Locating people in a big village like New Zealand can be achieved with greater than 90% success. Given the plethora of social media and other data bases available to private investigators we achieve over 90% success in finding named people in NZ. Finding a man with no name, probably in America posed a much greater challenge, however I did have a starting point being the connected third party’s name.

In all private investigation work, the old adage of 90% perspiration, 10% inspiration holds true. Locating people with no names requires tenacity, investigative skills, intuition and more importantly a dose of luck – to look down the right avenues or alternatively know when the wrong avenues are being taken.

In identifying the third party, I saw that person used social media, at this point I became more confident of achieving the goal of locating the man-with-no-name in America and advised the client accordingly. At this point Veritas Investigations took on the job of finding the man-with-no-name

Unfortunately the man-with-no-name had no visible social media connections with the identified third party – bad luck. This made the job quite a bit harder and required big doses of tenacity and a little good luck in order to keep searching.

Eventually it was a mixture of investigative skills in reviewing social media and intuition which gave the breakthrough. The third party had identifiable friends who had connections with America. Further open source social media pages were reviewed and a friend of the third party was identified as living in America. These social media reviews threw up a multitude of avenues of enquiry. This is where good old fashioned intuition or gut instinct was put to good use. Two American families with large numbers of connections were found and reviewed. By cross checking each individual against connections back to the third party’s country I was able to narrow down a group of connected persons including a photograph of the man-with-no-name.

Once that was achieved it was a process of elimination and tenacity that gave me the name of the man who until this point, was the man-with-no-name. In further consultation with my client I engaged the services of a professional private investigator in America who was able to obtain information that was geo-locked to American sources only. This information included the man’s address, work, and more importantly marriage certificate which proved his connection to the third party.

To ensure the confidentially of the man-with-no-name Veritas only supplied an email address to the New Zealand based client, no other personal information was sought nor disclosed. The client further requested a letter to be delivered to the man-with-no-name personally. This was achieved through the licensed private investigator who was based in the city where the man-with-no-name lived.

Lessons learnt. In today’s interconnected world it is very hard to be completely anonymous, even a man-with-no-name can be found in America! Old fashioned investigative skills of tenacity and intuition are just as relevant today as they were 40 years ago when I first started in policing. Finally engaging with clients and understanding their motivations assists immeasurably with successful outcomes.




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