mug brownI concluded the last article with the statement, “the bottom line is, always has been and always will be, the knowledge and skills of the professional tracer who has the natural ability to disseminate the data, separate what is good and bad and then solve the puzzle by putting the right pieces in the right spots.” That statement is the key that unlocks the door which leads to the pathway which draws you one step closer to the golden bullet each professional tracer seeks.

It is my opinion that the elusive golden bullet, which enables and empowers a tracer to find missing people and things, comes from within and must be cultivated by the tracer if they desire success in this very exciting and challenging profession.

It has been alluded to that today’s professional tracers are nothing more than modern day bounty hunters who seek out people and things for payment. With certain reservations I would have to agree with that assessment of our profession. But in today’s environment of cyber tracking, social media and access to huge data mining sources containing consumer information, it requires so much more to be successful than just access to the information. A professional tracer must possess the skills required to massage and manipulate the data to produce the desired results.

This article is dedicated to assisting a tracer develop a standardized procedure to extract the specific data required to locate a person or thing and may be considered a blueprint for establishing your own golden bullet.

Let us begin by understanding the statement “natural ability to disseminate the data.” The first part, “natural ability,” is a characteristic which all people possess in their DNA but do not develop to the extent needed to become a true hunter of people or things. All people are born with a hunter instinct. A baby hunts for the bottle, as we grow older we hunt for knowledge. A trip to the grocery store or automobile dealership is basically a hunt. The hunter instinct will show up in many places, how and what we enjoy for recreation, the sports we enjoy and in the profession, we choose. The true hunter loves the chase of the hunt as it appeals to the basic desire to win. Number one is for the tracer to understand that they possess this genetic trait passed down from their ancestors and find ways to further unleash and develop the skill sets required to be a true hunter.

Now let’s look at the second part of that statement, “disseminate the data.” Disseminate is defined as a verb meaning to scatter or spread. This ability is very important for a tracer because they must develop a very broad vision path rather than a narrow path, which would limit their ability to see the outliers. It is often the outliers, the small bits of information, seemingly unimportant or unrelated, which will provide the vital clues that ensure success when spread, analyzed and then rejoined.

The professional tracer is always on the alert for repetition when viewing the outliers. A few examples would be a person being hunted may frequently use another name. The tracer should research the name and see where it comes from and why that particular name is used. It may be the tracer learns the person being hunted has a particular hobby or frequents a specific restaurant. The outliers must be viewed as parts of a puzzle, separately they may have little meaning or relevance, but when joined together they may provide the clues required to locate the person or thing being hunted.

The next part of the statement is also critical to the tracer’s success, “separate what is good and bad.” There is a lot of good information available from both free data sites and pay data sites on the net. But the tracer must accept and come to terms with just because information is on the Internet or from a confidential informant, relative or employer, does not necessarily verify that it is good and valid data. The net contains so much information that is false and misleading a tracer must always be alert to the fact that anyone can put anything on the net at anytime to mislead and in many cases misdirect the tracer. I would encourage all of those who aspire to be true professional tracers to verify, verify and re-verify all data obtained from all sources.

Now to the final part of this missive, “the knowledge and skills.” The professional tracer must never think they have reached a point where there is nothing left to learn. Knowledge is the power that they possess which sets the professional apart from the amateur, that power which allows them to enjoy success where others have failed in their tracing endeavors. Knowledge is an accumulative factor and the professional must constantly be aware of changes and improvements related to the tracing industry as well as consumer protection statutes. Skills are the tracers tools in trade and the skills required to locate people and things must constantly be used, sharpened and upgraded where required. There are many skill sets a tracer must possess: massaging and manipulating data, persuading informants to provide information and the use of neuro linguistics to extract information from reluctant sources.

The professional tracer, through their knowledge and skills, can become their own “Golden Bullet” and they then will be the key to success.

Until next time… good luck and good hunting.

Ron Brown is a member of the National Association of Fraud Investigators and the author of “MANHUNT: The Book.” Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..