- C. ROBERT BROWN
- The Investigator of Faith
NAIS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: 1997
- By Ralph Thomas
- He could never be mistaken for Jim Rockford! He's a mild mannered,
well-dressed private eye who says grace over his
- meals in restaurants and he's more likely to be mistaken for a preacher
or accountant than for his real profession.
- After serving in public law enforcement for seven years as a patrolman
with the Florida Highway Patrol and with the Orange County Sheriff's Department,
Brown decided to become a private investigator. He has been a private detective
for more than 26 years in the Central Florida area, with each year enhancing
both his reputation and his income. His
- agency, Brown and Associates Inc., occupies a nicely furnished suite
of offices in Orlando, Florida (5227 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida
32807, phone (407) 275-1104), where he has eight full-time investigators.
- Brown's years of practice have brought him cabinet files full of solved
cases ranging from missing persons, fraud, domestics, criminal cases and
murder. He says that half of his cases are domestic in nature, usually
involving a spouse who wants information on a mate. But while a heavy load
of marital discord cases can prove to be quite financially rewarding, Brown
is happiest when a couple eventually gets back together. In fact, Brown
is trained in marriage counseling. He believes that through counseling
a couple can often salvage a marriage, and he's helped save many in his
more that 27 years of Christian-based counseling.
- Brown is a born-again Christian who says he was worried about how his
faith would affect his job and career as a private investigator, a career
often filled with grey areas of ethics and deception. However, things have
appeared to go well for Brown and Associates. He says he has become a better
Christian by ministering to clients as a counselor. "When a person
is down, I try to build up spiritual stability". In an age of ministerial
quackery, you know that Brown is speaking from the very bottom of his heart
when he talks about this subject.
- Like most full-service investigative agencies, Brown and Associates
does its share of domestic surveillance, which usually involves cheating
spouses. Brown separates himself from other investigators after the evidence
is brought back confirming the spouse's suspicion. Brown offers both counseling
and spiritual guidance in hopes of reconciliation in the marriage, particularly
when the straying spouse recognizes the error. His efforts are paying off.
About 40% of the time, Brown's counseling and spiritual guidance leads
to the couple giving their marriage another go. Brown says, "To get
people back together, that's the ultimate satisfaction."
- His office walls are completely covered with degrees, certificates
and commendations from everywhere. One wall plaque says, "God Is Greater
Than Any Problem I Have." The door going into the office has a sign
reading, "When You Must Know For Peace of Mind."
- Brown's personal secretary, Maddie Brown, has worked for the agency
for more than a decade. She says she has come to respect her boss not only
as an individual but as an expert in his field. She says, "He's the
kind of person who makes
- people nervous when they have something to hide. He has a way of moving
about undetected, finding keys to old locked
- closets and turning up bones that some people prefer remained buried.
Moreover, there are many who are behind bars
- because of his special ability and many who have been forced to stay
on the run for fear of being caught. Brown is not one that you would want
on your trail because he has a bad habit of not letting go."
- Brown was featured in a book written by Karen Kingsbury called The
Snake And The Sprider for his work on one of his murder cases. The Central
Florida Business Section of the Sentinel Star, a regional newspaper, billed
him as "The
- Investigator of Faith" in a profile in August, 1987. In July,
1988 WFTV, Channel Nine News, asked Brown to participate in a special report
they were airing concerning the privacy act. On the air, Brown was given
the name of a person picked at random to complete a background investigation.
The volunteer who was picked as Brown's target was astonished at what Brown
found out. Not only was his personal history developed while living in
Florida, but Brown had traced the subject back to his college days in Indiana
and provided a complete list of all the jobs he had worked, the rate of
pay he received and other personal information about the subject that even
surprised the news station. He continues to do numerous media interviews.
- The religious devotion Brown carries inspired a screenplay about one
of his cases in 1978 that involved the abduction and murder of Daryl Barber,
19, and James Boucher, 17, from Daytona Beach. The screenplay, "My
Son Is Missing,"
- portrays Brown as an investigator in which religion helps him search
for two young men. The screenplay was written by Tony Sheperd of Winter
Park. A movie production of the case is in preproduction.
- Barber and Boucher died of carbon dioxide poisoning in the trunk of
Boucher's car, which had been fitted with a hose
- from the exhaust pipe. The bodies were later thrown into a Volusia
County swamp. Brown started his investigation and
- obtained clues by paying informants for information. As a result of
Brown's investigation, Earl L. Smith was convicted of murder and sentenced
to death. One John Cox was also convicted with a life sentence. Brown said
he repeatedly looked toward religion for guidance in the case. He says
most of his direction came from prayer. In fact, Brown says, "My faith
has always been my guide."
- In a business in which many people are in it for the fast buck, Brown
stands out. In a business in which many
- investigators do their cases and submit their findings with a bill,
Brown is one of the few who asks the question, "What's going to happen
to the client once the information is turned over." Brown has taken
the world of private investigation a step further with his words of wisdom
and counseling. He's one of those rare caring persons who is pioneering
the use of pastoral and professional counseling after the evidence is developed.
He's saving marriages and bringing people back into the mainstream of American
life. He's really helping people.
- His work goes above and beyond the call of duty of even a very ethical
private investigator. (If you are a private
- investigator, think about this story the next time you are revealing
evidence to a spouse on a domestic case.) Remember
- Brown, the Orlando investigator of faith, who is putting the basic
human institution, a family and marriage, back together. Do not just report
your findings. You are dealing with people's lives. Ask yourself the question
concerning whether the marriage can be saved and if you are not trained
in this sort of thing, find someone who is so you can refer your clients
to them. If more lawyers and more private investigators would do this like
Brown, it would be a much better America in which we live.
- In all the reviews I have done on private investigators, in the hundreds
of private investigators I have talked with, and in
- the hundreds of investigators I have studied, C. Robert Brown has that
certain something about him that has impressed me more than anyone else.
You can tell he is not in this business for the money, the glory or the
fame. He just likes to help people. It's as simple as that.
- Don't think Brown's an easy business man. I can tell you from experience
that anyone in the private eye business has got
- to be a hard and fast-on-his-feet business person. But Brown has turned
the sometimes seedy image of the private eye into a professional person
who's contributing to society as a whole instead of just snooping around
for a fee and being a keeper of the dirt.
- In all the years of doing private investigations, Brown has worked
one of the broadest range of cases of just about any
- private investigator in the country. He has located missing persons
and missing dogs. His agency has done cases
- involving industrial espionage. His name appears on scores of loss
prevention reports, criminal and civil investigations,
- background checks and electronic debugging checks. Brown does not turn
away from people because of their financial
- limitations. He treats all his clients the same in both time and respect.
Brown feels that his success comes from both prayer and years of street-wise
experience. We can all learn from such a man who seems so rare in the private
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