By Ralph Thomas


This month a legend and good friend of private investigators, Edmund J. Pankau passed away. I have to tell you that I have known Ed Pankau for 30 years. Mr. Pankau had a profound impression on me as both an individual and a professional perhaps more so than anyone else I have known. His dogged determination, grit and inspiration was a motivating force like nothing else I have experienced. As a young rookie investigator in the 1970's, I first had the pleasure of coming to know Ed Pankau at a seminar of the National Association Of Legal Investigators in Orlando Florida where Pankau had spoke on how to obtain public records. Things where very different then because in those days, there were no computers for online searching, no modems, cell phones nor even fax machines. Investigators did stuff the old fashioned way by hand searching public records and beating the streets. Ed Pankau was one of the best at it and I, along with thousands of others; learned a lot from him.

Pankau Consulting and its predecessor Intertect Inc. had conducted investigations for attorneys and businesses for over 30 years. Pankau had investigated many of the nations most publicized cases and had been an investigative contractor to several US Government regulatory agencies. He had taught thousands of government and private investigators and auditors how to investigate fraud and white-collar crime. In the late 1980's and 1990's Intertect, Inc. was one of the most successful private investigative agenices in America.

Edmund J. Pankau, was an internationally recognized security expert, author and financial investigator. He has been featured in such publications as Business Week, Time, Kiplinger's, USA Today, BBC London, CFO Magazine and the New York Times. Mr. Pankau has been highlighted on CNN, Fox TV, ABC and MSNBC as an expert in the field of investigation. He has authored numerous articles for the investigative industry and has contributed substantially to the development of the investigative industry.

Pankau Consulting had the ability and experience to resolve the most demanding investigative needs. Mr. Pankau specialized in the conduct of due diligence examinations, business and financial investigations, the location of hidden assets and the tracing of money, both domestically and internationally. He also provided security consulting and expert witness testimony on security and investigation related issues.

Mr. Pankau has helped thousands of investigators throughout the nation. He was one of those rare individuals who always took the time to help another fellow investigator no matter who that investigator was or how busy he was. Pankau was one of the most popular speakers at NAIS investigative conferences and other conferences in the 1980s and 1990s. Mr. Pankau has received numerous awards recognizing his professional skills and accomplishments in this profession, to include the following:

Speaker Of The Year- NAIS
Investigator of the Year – National Association of Investigative Specialists
Top 25 Investigators of the Century, NAIS One of the Nation’s Top P.I.’s – P.I. Magazine
State Pistol Aggregate Class Winner – Texas State Pistol Championship
Five (5) Certificates of Appreciation – U.S. Justice Department
Editor Publisher Award – (Second Place) National Association of Legal Investigators

Mr. Pankau was one of the original members and leaders within The National Association Of Investigative Specialists. He was a Certified Legal Investigator, A Certified Protection Professional of the American Society for Industrial, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Examiners. He was also past associate editor of PI Magazine. You can still read some of his articles by clicking here.

Ed Pankau is author of books and articles for professional and business publications to include:

Check It Out: Everyone’s Guide to Investigation
Hide Your Assets and Disappear
How to make $100,000 a Year as a Private Investigator
The Investigator’s Guidebook
American Banker
PERF (Police Executive Research Foundation)
Credit Union Executive Society
P. I. Magazine
DBA Magazine
Security Management Magazine
Encyclopedia of Security Management
Federal Financial Institution Examination Council
Houston Investment Journal
U.S. Justice Department

His professional experience included:

SECURITY CONSULTANT / PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR Pankau Consulting, Houston, TX (1996 to Present)
Intertect Inc., Houston, TX (1974 – 1995) Responsibilities – Security Consultant and Director of national security consulting and private investigation firm

Space Commerce Corp., Houston, TX [1986 – 1996] Consulting Basis Responsibilities – Corporate security consulting, risk management, emergency planning and executive protection

Citadel Computer Systems, Houston, TX [1996 - 1997] Consulting Basis Responsibilities – Corporate security, risk management and company spokesperson

Joske’s Department Stores, Houston, TX [1973 – 1974] Responsibilities – Manager of retail clothing chain, security and loss prevention department

U. S. Treasury Intelligence; Top Secret Clearance [1970 – 1972] Responsibilities – Investigation of Federal Financial Crimes

If a man's accomplishment in life is measured by leaving a profession much better than he found it in then surely God is now telling Edmund Pankau that his job was very well done. We will miss him greatly.

Ralph Thomas