As the axiom goes “truth is stranger than fiction,” real-life detectives have carried out extraordinary feats in sleuthing that can put the fictional ones to shame.
Raymond C. SchindlerAfter working with the San Francisco Police Department on a graft case that involved high-ranking politicians, he was taken in as a protege by William J. Burns. By the 1910s he was the head of the New York-based Schindler National Detective Agency.
William E. FairbairnAfter serving in the British Royal Marines Fairbairn immigrated to Shanghai where he enlisted in the Shanghai Municipal Police. Nicknamed “Dangerous Dan,” he was an inspiration for the character of Q in Ian Fleming’s James Bond movies.
Ignatius PollakyA Hungarian immigrant, “Paddington Pollaky,” Ignatius Pollaky was one of Victorian England’s first and most popular private detectives. Mixing with the list of Charles Dickens and Jack Whicher, he was detective in his own right.