The Last Detective - Nardizzi Inc.

Judge tosses out Raymond Gaines' 1976 murder conviction...

This one came unexpectedly at the end of December, and we are trilled to see Ray Gaines out and about Boston (and shopping at the same hat shop as the owner of this PI firm). Ray's case involves a critical and disturbing juncture of Boston.

Gaines was sentenced to life in prison for the 1974 armed robbery and murder of Peter Sulfaro, the owner of a shoe repair shop in Roxbury. The defense investigation showed the witness identification of Gaines was "...the result of unduly suggestive police procedures". Errors included multiple viewings of photo arrays; police telling a witness he "picked the wrong people" - and then showing the same array with only the new suspects added. Newly discovered Brady material including Boston police records showing Det. Peter O'Malley arrested "drug shooting gallery" operator David Bass even while securing Bass's false affidavit (Bass faced criminal charges even while testifying against Gaines). Bass himself later recanted his testimony against Gaines in 1990. "The Commonwealth did not disclose the Bass affidavit for nearly 30 years--despite its obligation to do so."


Throwing the bolt: When due diligence is too late

What industry is most ignorant about background checks, even for high level hires? For me, it continues to be boutique merchants & restaurants. They love to rely on "insider industry knowledge" when hiring. Even when hiring top level manager, executive chefs, CFOs, they refuse to do a basic background check and look at criminal record, civil litigation, agency hearings, or license violations.

We usually see these kinds of clients paying for post-facto due diligence— defending a lawsuit, sexual harassment cases, fraud, vendor theft, etc. It is like a rancher throwing the bolt on the barn door the morning after a prized horse ran off.


As a business owner, you should consider what signals you are sending to a new employee by not doing background checks. No, it is not "making things easy" for a new hire, even during an economic times where employees are in great demand. You are signaling that taking shortcuts is acceptable in your business. That you accept less than someone's best efforts. Employees accustomed to more professional employers will notice that you are not doing those things. Is that the impression you want to make on your employees?

Protect yourself and show your business.