PUBLIC EYE, PRIVATE EYE

changes As he squinted with 20-20 hindsight back into the cold twilight of his first career, the day he traded in his
golden throat for a badge and an office, the freelance gumshoe’s only regret was that he didn’t do it sooner,
shweethaht.

In fact, CHARLES DUNCAN, the award-winning investigative reporter who was red-lined out of Channel 8’s budget
in December 1989, is taking to the world of the private eye like Mickey Spillane took to waterfront dives. He was a
little nervous at first, but six months later, the career change has far exceeded his expectations.

“I really wasn’t expecting things to take off like they did,” Duncan says. “But after 13 years of doing investigative
reporting in Texas, well, the name helped very definitely.” Duncan says he’s doing “about as well” moolah-wise as he
was with Channel 8, and he says the thrill of handing more than 400,000 viewers some hot new dirt is easily matched by
the satisfaction of helping an individual with a divorce or a child custody case.

Duncan wouldn’t name names, but he was willing to broad-brush a scenario or two. Just suppose, for instance, that Pop
has custody of the kid, and Pop’s supposed to be in the gold exchange business. Only he’s not, unless it’s the gold in
the teeth of the gals in the porno movies he’s selling outta his skin shops. And the kiddo, who’s seven, is in and
outta these places like a cool breeze. So Mom, who wants custody, hires a certain P.I. to go in with a little camera.
He takes some pictures of tapes, buys a few, and snaps Junior checkin’ it all out. So now maybe Mom gets a hearing.

Duncan also says there’s a lucrative business for P.I.s doing background checks for suspicious singles who’ve met
somebody new and want to be sure it’s not Mr. Wrong. Fearing AIDS or rip-offs, they hire investigators to delve into
the health, dating, and business backgrounds of their new friends.

State law won’t let Duncan pack a heater, and there’s no bottle of cheap bourbon in the desk of his Northwest Highway
office. And so far, he’s got no snap-brim fedora. “I’m thinking about it,” Duncan says. “Just might get me one.”

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