Queens Private Investigator I Am

Believe it or not, I saw the very first Star Wars movie in the movie theater when I was ten years old in 1977.  I never saw any other Star Wars movies, up until a few months ago after my wife and I had started watching the Mandalorian series.  I got hooked on watching Mandalorian and that was what interested me to go back to watch all of the Star Wars movies to date to fill in my “background knowledge” so I could better understand and appreciate the inferences that were often made in the Mandalorian series.

In case you are one of the only people in the world who has not yet seen the Mandalorian (such as my oldest son), the star of the show is a character named “Grogu.”  He appears to be the same species as a character in the old Star Wars series named “Yoda.”  Yoda was, in my opinion, one of the most important characters in the Star Wars series – although you do not understand that until later on.  Yoda is a lot of things, but mainly a wise old teacher of the Jedi.  Without him, there would not be any Jedi, or at least they would not know how to use their “Jedi powers” without Yoda.  I like Yoda, (and I also like Grogu).  Without giving anything away if you do plan to watch the Mandalorian, Grogu definitely steals every scene he is in.

When I was younger, my mother (who just passed away a few years ago) would always try and convince me to become an educator.  She herself was an elementary school teacher and taught in Jamaica Queens at PS 86 on Parsons Boulevard.  Before that she taught in Far Rockaway and also in Brownsville, but she spent most of her career at good old PS 86.  She would say, “You will like it.”  I had no interest.  “Just try it” she would say.  I still had no interest.    My father was a math teacher in Lynbrook and later an assistant principal in Central Islip.  He also would try his best to convince me.  It fell on deaf ears.  Almost my entire family is or was in the Education field.  My grandmother was a Para-educator in Brooklyn and my Aunt was a French teacher in a high school in Kew Gardens. There are plenty more:  a Preschool Teacher in Dix Hills and another in Coram, Special Education Teachers in Virginia and in Arizona and a School bus driver in Glastonbury CT. A school secretary in Manchester CT and another (my mother-in-law) was a secretary at Hofstra University in Hempstead NY.  Almost everyone in my somewhat immediate family was in a career somewhere in education.    Make no mistake, people who choose to be in the education field are a rare breed.  The good ones are very dedicated to it.  I remember when we had a mimeograph machine in our basement (this was pre-Xerox machines) that they would use to print up the class assignments.  (I hated the smell of mimeograph fluid in the morning!)  I was so happy when later on my mom purchased a small Xerox machine and the mimeograph machine was retired to the garage.

I personally had zero interest.    I wasn’t going to enter a field I did not care for just to get the good benefits.  Besides, I saw how hard my parents worked – nights, weekends, holidays – all their free time was consumed by school.  You need to really love that type of work to be motivated enough to do all that.  I was not in that category – not by a long shot.  That made me the career black sheep of the family.

So what did I decide to do?   I blazed my own path.

I got my first real job out of college in the Insurance field (Claims Adjusting to be exact) in a company in Hempstead by the then Nassau Coliseum.  It was here that I discovered I had a passion for investigating and honed my investigative skills.  I worked my way up to outside investigations and then left the Insurance industry to work for a Private Investigation company.  They taught me the rest of what I needed to know in order to own and run my own successful Private Investigative firm.  I truly love what I do.  I’m glad I chose to go on my own path.  Now I am at a point after 30 years of business experience to where I have accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience.  This is what I pass along to every one of my clients.

So, what are some of my favorite areas of investigative work?  While I like most areas, I would say that my favorite is the “Missing Persons” cases.  I always view them as a live version of the kid’s book “Where’s Waldo”.  Each case is a different “Waldo” if you will.  With enough patience and digging (and the right tools) in most cases I usually find who I am looking for.  I have been known to continue looking long after the fact when I am dealing with some of the more difficult or allusive cases.  I recently had a case searching for someone’s birth mother that was finally solved after two years.  But a majority of the time I have been successful in far less time.

What is the area that is the most exciting?  That would be surveillance.  There are many times when nothing is happening for various reasons.  It may be that the time or day the client thought would work does not for whatever reason.  But when the planets align and everything falls into place, it is magic.  For example, if I am working for someone whose spouse suspects them of cheating, as soon as I spot the subject with the “other person” I get all pumped up and ready for the fun to begin.  It is like a game of “cat and mouse” and when you have the experience behind you, the payoff is the prize-winning moment when the “mouse” is caught and the client has the answers they need.

I have felt the need recently to start sharing my knowledge with others who are starting out.  I have been writing articles for places such as Pursuit Magazine and The Investigator’s Toolbox.  These are both Private Investigator trade magazines/websites.  My articles will hopefully help to shed some light on Private Investigating for some of the rookies out there, especially in areas such as surveillance, locating people and even in marketing.

I have also felt a need to share my knowledge with regards to being an entrepreneur.  My son’s girlfriend is just starting to form her own business.  So I have taken on the role of “mentor” for her and share with her all the tricks and knowledge that have gotten me to where I am now.  Maybe being an entrepreneur will be the next area that my family branches into instead of education.  Who knows?

It’s funny to me how when I was young, I had no interest in teaching or sharing knowledge.  Now I have become a teacher (like Yoda) and I actually enjoy this role as well.  I guess it is in my DNA.  I have even enjoyed writing these blogs over the past year because it is a way of sharing my story as well as knowledge on surveillance and missing persons (among other things) with the world.  My goal is to help people after all, whether it is to work on their cases or to guide those that wish to learn more about what I do.

I still continue to learn, grow and evolve into an even better Investigator and Entrepreneur, but I can now see what a lot of my family members saw in educating people.  Even my youngest son enjoys being a coach and counseling his team.  I guess it is in his DNA as well.  The best piece of advice I can give you at this point in my life is that when you find something you love to do, you feel motivated to share your knowledge with the world.  This is what Private Investigations mean to me.  As Yoda would say, “Continue to educate myself I will. Help people I will.  Very good at what I do, I am.”


Investigreat, LLC is a recognized full service Private Investigation Agency that is fully licensed, insured and bonded with offices in Jamaica, Long Island City and Connecticut.  We handle cases in Queens NY, Brooklyn NY, the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island NY and all of Connecticut.  Adam Dornfeld, along with his wife Terri, have been working cases from missing persons and surveillance to worker’s compensation and all general investigation services, together since 1992.

Investigreat LLC | Private Investigators serving Jamaica NY,  Long Island City NY,  Brooklyn NY,  Queens NY, Bronx NY, Manhattan, Westchester County NY, Long Island NY and all of Connecticut.

Connecticut Office: 860-899-1710 | New York Office: 718-412-1845 | Text: 718-309-1269

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