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Selling Out to the Darkside; The LEO's Dilemma or
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," saying:

". . . 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 play.

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.

Click 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 HERE

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 HERE.

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."


Bill 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.

Oracle International maintains a web site at http://www.OracleInternational.com.

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