View Full Version : How can I go about researching criminals on the web?

12-25-2006, 01:38 AM
I'm writing a scene where my character (who is in a wheelchair) is curious about a recent crime. I need to have him be able to find information to help solve the case without doing too much "footwork."

Specifically, how can I find out about a current investigation? Not just in the papers/online papers, but what the police are actually doing. How about someone with a past criminal history? Are their mugshots online now? Is other information about them online? How do private investigators find out information online? Anything else that would contribute to finding out information, too.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-25-2006, 02:00 AM
I don't know about other areas of the country, but here in Oklahoma, if you know the criminal's name (and sometimes if you know the alias he/she uses) you can find lots of info. Here's a link:


Look up a common name and just put in the last name, leaving all the other settings at 'default'. That'll show you what's online in at least one area of the country. Be sure to click on the links within the search once you get there... you'll be able to get documents, pictures, descriptions, court records... lots of goodies. ;) These include perfectly ordinary citizens' records, too - divorce, child custody, traffic tickets, bankruptcies, etc.

There are also sites that list sexual predators that include pics and addresses. It's amazing what can be found online now.

Good luck!

Soccer Mom
12-28-2006, 09:57 PM
It depends on the type of offense, but sites like Public Data dot com and others of that can provide criminal background information. Most states publicize their sex offender registries.

Private investigators are usually licensed by the state and have access to data bases that the average person can't reach. Most of the internal stuff that police and DA offices use would have to be hacked. It's heavily protected.