Janis McCollom,

Janis McCollom,

A weeklong electronic journal.
June 6 1998 3:30 AM

Janis McCollom,

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       The phone rings early this morning. The defendant who had the two Aggravated Sexual Assault cases is on his way to jail. His wife was with him when he was busted. So my gut feeling was right--she had lied when she said they weren't together. She was willing to cost herself and two other co-sureties $20,000 (the amount of the bail bond) plus other costs. The other co-sureties believed in her and the defendant. The lying isn't unusual, but after 16 years I still don't understand why people jeopardize the people who help them.
       Yesterday was spent doing paperwork: subpoenas, wanted fliers, and 17.19 warrants (a 17.19 warrant gives a licensed private investigator the same rights and responsibilities as law enforcement). The two misdemeanors I ran the night before are problems, and I hope these warrants will help eliminate some of the problems. Phone calls were made on other cases, trying to get those people back into custody.
       I also had to verify the information in the out-of-county felony drug case. The co-surety had informed me that the defendant was in custody. U.S. Customs busted him on Feb. 27 and he was placed in Webb County jail. On May 2, Leon County, where the warrant for the felony charge had been issued, received him. In this case the bondsman is lucky, because it was a $10,000 bond. Now the bondsman will only have to pay court costs, travel expenses, and any interest on the case. It will still be a lot cheaper than $10,000 plus court costs.
       Still no luck on the Theft case. The district attorney's investigators are still working it, since the defendant knows he's being hunted hot and heavy. He'll try to lie low and out of sight. He will slip up, though. They always do, sooner or later.
       I hope that one day the wheels of justice will be turned around and will work for the victims more than for the criminals. The almighty dollar will not be as important as a human life. Until then I will still continue to hunt the wanted, and probably after that day too, because I enjoy my work.

Janis McCollom is a private criminal investigator based in Houston. She locates criminal defendants who have jumped bail. This is her 16th year in practice.