byronbalesportrait_d ` title_about

I was born in St. Louis in 1942. At 15, I dropped out of school and worked various jobs, one being a spotter for detectives conducting surveillance's. In those late days of the 1950's, surveillance were low-tech indeed and in certain situations, where no photograph or other identification was available, it was preferable in low population areas for one operative to first 'spot' and plot a subject's movement pattern and then point him/her out for another detective or team to follow. Easy enough for an inconspicuous youngster to avoid suspicion.

In those days of conscription, the Army would have scooped up a dropout in no time, so at 17 I enlisted in the Marine Corps. Following Boot Camp in San Diego, I was posted a mere two miles away at the Naval Station right there in Dago handling base and brig security with the Marine Detachment. Eventually, I got what I'd requested in Boot Camp, a transfer to the First Marine Division's FMF-Fleet Marine Force. A fancy name for floating infantry. I picked up a secret clearance along the way and in addition to infantry duties (crew-served weapons; the old 3.5 rocket launcher), I served at various times as an interrogator. It was with an element of the 9th Marines (E-2-9) where I traveled around Asia, and later, during the Cuban Missile Crisis with the 5th Marines, I bounced across the Caribbean and Central America as a courier.

Discharged in 1963, I headed for New York City and gained an inspector's position in a retail credit organization. That led to my own P.I. license after the prescribed time. I handled every manner of criminal case; private and indigent (court-appointed defendants), surveillance's, industrial undercover, bounty and repo work before specializing in insurance investigations, particularly locates and bogus death claims. After working solo for 10 years, I formed a company in 1979 specializing in international claims work, particularly homicide, fraudulent death claims and disappearances. I began writing fifteen years ago, but didn't publish anything until 2003, with The Family Business, by Asia Books. I'm retired, but I handle an occasional assignment, providing it's in Asia or Pacifica.