Her own investigators have seen it a thousand times. They’ll be driving with her, on the trail of somebody missing, and suddenly she’ll veer in a strange direction. They’ll wonder, naturally, where the hell she’s going.
“But ninety-nine percent of the time,” one of her retired investigators says, Eileen’s flashes “are either right or lead to something.”
BESIDES, EILEEN IS JUSTpure fun. On a recent case, she had to work quickly because a woman got word that her estranged husband, whom she was supporting, was about to marry another woman—despite still being married to her. The client suspected he was living with his about-to-be-second wife, but didn’t know where.
Eileen’s background check revealed the address, in northeastern Pennsylvania. But she needed proof of his illegal marriage. So it was time for the singing telegram. Eileen loves to sing. She sings at church. She acts in local musical theater. Singing and acting are her great release and escape.
The next afternoon, Eileen knocked on the guy’s door holding flowers and a balloon. She was dressed as a bellhop.
“Hello, Mr. X!” Eileen cried when he answered the door. “Singing telegram!”
Naturally, the two-timing Mr. X invited her in. She asked him when the big day was. Saturday—in two days. Was he excited? Very. Where’s the big event? A B&B. The bride-to-be was out getting her hair and nails done, he told her, so Eileen suggested she come back in a couple of hours, when she could perform for both of them—she had learned just enough. She handed him the balloons and flowers and got out of there.
He had mentioned that the wedding would be on a swan deck, so Eileen Googled area B&Bs and swans and, sure enough, found the place when she called around posing as a wedding guest. On Saturday, she snuck into Mr. X’s wedding, dressed as her glorious self, without anyone noticing, since she timed her side-door entrance with the bride’s, and snapped pictures for a minute or two before slipping out. Case closed.
There is gnarlier work. A few years ago, Eileen was hired by an attorney whose client was charged with first-degree murder. He was a drug dealer, known as “R” in Chester, who’d hopped into the back seat of a car occupied by the son of a Mafia kingpin and the son’s cousin, who were looking for coke. When they refused to pay, the dealer drew a gun, and the driver grabbed it; it went off and killed him. The dealer fled.