Friday, June 07, 2013

Now THAT's a surveillance van.. Crocodile Dundee might say, if he were a PI.

Apologies for the laxity in updates but I've been a busy man; busy feeling sorry for myself - which is almost a full-time occupation in itself although, to be fair, not all that rewarding.

Well, you only have yourselves to blame. Apart from the occasional "Winning Lottery" notification, or a very nice email from the Solicitor of some former dead politician in Niger offering me a lot of money, my inbox has been rather quiet of late. You could make an effort to flick me a line, even if just to tell me how crap I am.

It's a two-way thing, you know. Communication.

About that surveillance van in the photograph, though. That harks back to when we PIs were cool and could get a table in any restaurant in town.

Unlike now, apparently.  

Anyway, it belonged to the (in)famous Hollywood gumshoe, Fred Otash, whose exploits you can read about further here.

His files have recently been uncovered after languishing in storage for twenty-plus years and they include plenty of details on the celebrities of the 1950s and '60s.

Things like:

  • Listening in on Marilyn Monroe and President Kennedy's bedroom antics
  • Knowing of Judy Garland's hiding places for her drugs stash
  • Covertly recording Rock Hudson's 'outing' to his wife

Otash once said: "I'll work for anybody but communists. I'll do anything short of murder."

I think he was being a bit hard on the Communists.  In any case, Otash worked as a PI from around 1955 to 1965, when his licence was revoked by the California Bureau of Private Investigators.

Not bad for someone described as "unreliable and unruly".

I'm sure those same words have been uttered about me...

Of course his life didn't end all that well; facedown under his kitchen table, supposedly of a heart attack. Still, I guess it could have been worse.

I wonder if James Ellroy will be writing about me when I'm gone?

Otash and wife, Doris, 1950

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