Do it! Do it! CriminalSearches.com your ex!
MSNBC, Helen A.S. Popkin, July 23, 2008
“Do you really know who people are?” That’s the slogan for pay site PeopleFinders.com's
freshly launched (and totally free!) companion site, CriminalSearches.com. Do you want
to know? Everybody has something to hide — so the cliché goes. That’s where
CriminalSearches.com comes in.
Totally free and possibly the most intuitive Web site of its sort, CriminalSearches.com
painstakingly culled and standardized the disparate record-keeping practices of counties,
municipalities, cities and states to provide an almost-instant snapshot of neighborhoods
and people with criminal records.
Parents may favor the comprehensive Sex Offender section of the site, which includes
photos and details of offenses with its record returns. Meanwhile, privacy advocates are
apoplectic. What’s more, critics decry such sites as yet another attack on America’s
privacy — not to mention potentially disastrous inaccuracies, incorrect or incomplete
information provided by the original record keepers.
Still, nobody’s talking about the totally awesome aspect of this whole criminal record
compilation. Why settle for Google stalking your ex when you can confirm your worst
suspicions by looking them up on CriminalSearches.com? Who wants to read about happy
marriages and job satisfaction on Facebook?
Do it! Do it now! CriminalSearches.com your ex!
That Power Point presentation can wait an extra minute. If you’ve ever questioned for
one second the direction your life’s taken — or even if you haven’t — it may do wonders
for your self-assurance. I myself never doubted ditching that age-inappropriate bad boy
once I finally extracted myself from that unfavorable situation in my late teens. For
years however, I did beat myself up for the length of time it took me to finally see
the light. But two seconds on CriminalSearches.com washed away any remnants of
self-recrimination that may’ve been lurking.
My ex Loser’s name returned almost-immediate confirmation that getting out of that
relationship — not to mention that state — was the right choice, even if it took me
longer than I’d prefer. There, under Loser’s name, corresponding birthday and county
of residence was an early conviction that occurred before we became involved, one of
which I was previously aware.
(Sad to say, at the time, his run-in with Johnny Law was part of the attraction – that's
before I wised up and started finding my dates in music magazine classifieds, under
In the years since I ended my acquaintance with Loser, there were a couple of shocking
additions to Loser's record — most appalling, a record of child abuse/neglect accompanied
on the same date with a creepily oblique “O” offense for “Other.” (CriminalSearches.com
conveniently color codes offenses with letters for quick reference: Red “S” for sex
offense, purple “V” for Violent, etc.)
My inner Sherlock piqued but stomach nauseous, I chose not to pay the $40 to get further
details from the affiliated PeopleFinders.com. Instead, I called a friend and insisted
she do the same. Always game for a good Internet scavenger hunt, she inserted the name
of a former beau she knew for a fact had some sort of police record related to owning
a pet wolf that mauled some dude — and fully expected to see his name pop up with the
specified “O” icon.
So I turned to my sister. Seeing as we share a genetic predisposition for bad seeds, I
felt certain she’d get some positive returns in the ex department. Instead, she decided
to search for herself.
What she found was a woman of a similar name living in an entirely different state and
a list of that woman’s traffic offenses — yet no acknowledgement of my sister’s identity
let alone her own speeding ticket legacy. Disappointed, she made what some might consider
a risky move and looked up her husband — fully expecting to find his own collection of
So she tried Charles Manson and came up with many — but none that appeared to be THE
Charles Manson. So she tried some more recent notorious criminals of somewhat less renown,
(who, along with Charles Manson, she never, ever dated) and found their records straight
Then she was on to her ex-husband, a man we lovingly refer to as “Wingnut.” Alas, nothing.
A search for our other sister’s husband also proved an exercise in futility as we’re unsure
of his birthday and he shares a ridiculously common name. She then moved on to her neighbor,
of whom she’d heard rumors of a youthful indiscretion. But again, there were so many people
who shared his name, the search was inconclusive.
My sister reasoned that she could probably find out his birthday and search again, but by
then, she was bored. What’s more, he's good guy and also a friend so she wasn’t so sure she
really wanted to know what he did in his younger years. Which, given omissions and
possibilities of incorrect or misinterpreted information, is probably the best policy when
using such sites. Consider it like your horoscope — for entertainment value only.
Like my friend, who we’ll call “Grumpy.” He checked up on each member of his family just
for giggles and learned that his buttoned-down uncle got busted for drug possession in 1979.
“Wow!” Grumpy reported. “I love this Web site.”