J.T. Mullen Private Detective Website Background Image
J.T. Mullen Private Detective
J.T. Mullen Private Detective Website Background Image
J. T. Mullen Website Background Image
J.T. Mullen Website Background Image
J. T. Mullen Website Background Image
J.T. Mullen Website Background Image


J. T. Mullen Article in Crains

Glamour, Guns For A Gumshoe


If there is one private investigator who comes close to the popular image, it's Joseph Mullen, the sleuth best known for breaking the yuppie insider trading scandal. Mr. Mullen, president of J.T. Mullen Co., an agency that primarily serves attorneys, may not own a trench coat, but he still packs a gun and has tanned good looks that Magnum might envy.

"If I'm about to interview a witness on Rockaway Boulevard, and he knows that I'm trying to put him into jail, you bet I'm going to pack a gun," Mr. Mullen says.

If this detective's looks are enticing, his cases are even more intriguing. In 1983, he was hired by the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to check out employees who had access to sensitive information on stock trades. Mr. Mullen had his men track the key suspect on motorcycles so they wouldn't lose him in traffic (that scenario became a model for a similar scene played out in the movie, Wall Street). The evidence he gathered helped convict two of Skadden Arps' attorneys.

Over his 40-year career, Mr. Mullen has become the detective to the stars, working on divorce cases for Donald Trump, Judy Garland, and Johnny Carson, and helping John Murphy, the congressman convicted in the Abscam case, figure out that he was under government investigation.

All this glamour has made Mr. Mullen a media darling. (It doesn't hurt that his moll, Suzanne Kramer, is a publicist.) He's been interviewed by David Brinkley and Dianne Sawyer and was profiled in Playboy and A&E.

Although Mr. Mullen employs some of the masterful detective techniques played out in fiction, like slipping change on the ground to slow down a suspect; one thing he and his eight-person staff won't do is go undercover.

"I don't like to put myself or my people in the position where they befriend someone and then turn them in," he says, between calls from politicians and lawyers.

And unlike Sam Spade, who eked out a living, Mr. Mullen bills his time at $200 an hour; the top rate for a private investigator.

His clients seem to think he's worth it. "Look, I've been doing this since I was 20," says Mullen. "If you're an attorney, you trust me." Mullen shakes his head and watches as the millionaire steps into the office building. There's no reason to hang around.

"It's hit or miss, and today was a miss." he says. "But we've already proven what he does. He sees her once or twice a week. After all, he is 71."

Mullen then heads back into the Manhattan morning. Like always, another case waits right around the corner.

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