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February of 2014 Edition

A Message from J.J.,

gradoni-jan-13Another year has flown by concluding our 25th year in business. We enjoyed our highest level of success and bill out during 2013, since our inception in 1988. We had two back to back months (June and July) in which we actually billed out over $100,000 each month. Our success was due to the continued support of our very long term clients and the new clients that they referred.

Needless to say, none of the success we enjoyed during the year could have been accomplished without our competent group of Investigators who provide the day to day effort to assist Cindy Klein and Edna Velez in supervising our clients’ matters.

Another reason for our success last year was the expansion of our family law section that produced hundreds of hours of surveillance work.

I am proud to say that we leave no stone unturned as we pursue our motto,” The Truth Makes a Difference.”


During an interview with another Capital Murder defendant he was asked if there is any mental history issues that might provide mitigating evidence in his defense. The defendant responded by saying that he had been diagnosed as bi-polar and schizophrenic. When asked if he could identify the name of the doctor who provided the evaluation and treatment he responded by saying, “some dude.” When informed that it would be necessary to have more specific information in order to obtain applicable records the defendant stared off into space never answering the question. I’m assuming having one of those “mental moments.”


I’m pleased to announce that George Mendoza, a 27 year Law Enforcement Veteran from California, has recently joined our staff as an Investigator. George worked his entire career at the El Monte Police Department, starting in 1985. He worked as a patrolman, robbery detective and homicide detective. George spent 8 years working in narcotics at the local level and then was assigned to a Federal, multijurisdictional task force with narcotics, gangs, proactive high crime area work throughout the United States and Canada, spending his last 15 years as a member of the task force.

George was a Police Academy instructor, has taught numerous courses on surveillance and counter surveillance techniques, and also served as a Use of Force instructor for his department.

George possesses a Kung Fu black belt and has fought competitively over the years, having placed no lower than 3rd in National competitions. George also served as his Police Officer’s Association President on three different occasions.

George is bi-lingual and in the short time he has been with our firm has displayed the ability to find and interview witnesses, documenting their interviews in a very factual basis. George has also displayed his ability to “think out of the box” to get things done.


The 2014 Harris County and contiguous counties court directories are hot off the press. We are mailing directories to all of our current clients. Should you be in need of additional copies please don’t hesitate to call us.


The Texas Association of Licensed Investigators will have their annual convention in March 2014, offering CLE credits for the attendees. JJ Gradoni will be making a presentation for two hours, to the entire convention, regarding Criminal Defense Investigations.

JJ and Cindy Klein have also authored an article regarding witness interviews that will be published in the Association’s next publication.

The article relates that as Investigators we have an ingrained sense of fair play, of making the legal system work the way it is supposed to. We are about finding the mistakes that have been made on an investigation; the questions not asked, or discrepancies that have gone unacknowledged.

In the article we made mention of a quote by fictional Private Investigator Elvis Cole (created by Robert Crais), “I chase the darkness to make room for the light.”

The really good Investigators actually do just that.


private-eyes-of-texas-logoFor years we have tried to come up with a logo that we could put on t-shirts and promotional information regarding the firm. Our efforts always fell short in coming up with a logo that we felt was unusual and professional. We finally came up with the logo we were seeking, with the assistance of Jennifer Gordon at Absolute All Sports.

Cases Reviewed In This Edition of The Newsletter

  • The Extra-Marital Cocaine Affairs Case
    Attorney Alice J. O’Neill and Attorney Georgann “GiGi” Oglesby represented a father who was seeking custody of his two children. The father alleged that the mother had been involved in an extra-marital affair with a male who was heavily involved in
  • The Case of the Home Improvement Crooks
    Our client in The Woodlands wanted to widen her driveway and add a pool and cabana area outfitted for barbecuing in her back yard. She selected a company who advertised extensively in The Woodlands area as being an expert in those specific areas. The owner of the
  • The Mean Streets of Houston
    How It Really Is On The Street Edna Velez was conducting interviews related to a double homicide. Most of the witnesses had lengthy criminal history and were involved in gangs. During one of the interviews a potential witness made the following comment to Edna when she
  • Houston Man Freed of Post-Marital Bondage
    Attorney Ellen Elkins Grimes represented an individual who had been divorced a number of years. As a condition of the divorce Ellen’s client, a retired doctor, had to pay for the ex-wife’s residence, even though the children were grown and married, unless another
  • The “No Pay Daddy” Child Support Investigation
    Our Client was frustrated by her former husband, who claimed to have no employment and was unable to pay any child support. Our Client believed that her former husband was, in fact, working, based on conversations she had with her children about their weekend visits.
  • Sex Offender Assists in Child Custody Battle
    Attorney Kim Ogg represented a father who was seeking full custody his children. The children’s mother had been previously ordered by the court to not associate with her Registered Sex Offender boyfriend. Gradoni’s Family Detectives Investigate Prior to the
  • The Drive-By Murder Investigation
    Attorney Skip Cornelius represented a Defendant charged with a drive-by retaliation shooting. Detective Cindy Klein Investigates Cindy Klein interviewed a number of the identification witnesses, finding that their identification was far less from positive as stated in
  • Update: Bellville Family Murders
    Attorney Katherine Scardino and Attorney James Rivera represented an individual charged with killing five of his family members in Bellville, Texas. The case received a great deal of publicity, due to the horrific crime scene. (See our previous coverage of the
  • The Accidental Capital Murder Investigation
    Houston, TX based Attorney Katherine Scardino represented an individual charged with the murder of a female during a robbery attempt. The Defendant had admitted to the robbery attempt but had maintained that his weapon went off accidentally. One of the Defendant’s
  • The “Doing A Lick” Murder Investigation
    Attorney Wayne Hill represented a Defendant who was accused, along with a prostitute, of luring an off-duty police officer to a meeting where the police officer was eventually killed during a robbery attempt. Our investigation revealed that the key witness for the
  • Investigators Weigh In, Capital Murder Dismissed
    Attorney Jerald Graber and Attorney Alan Tanner represented an individual who was charged with Capital Murder in connection with a robbery in which a male victim was killed. The State of Texas alleged that 2 female prostitutes lured the victim to the rear of an
  • Promiscuity Defense Spurs Rape Allegations
    Attorney Gregory Glass represented an 18 year old who was charged with raping a 16 year old minor female. After the female’s mother found out about the encounter, the female changed her version of events protect her promiscuity. The sexual assault allegedly took
  • The Identification by Sneaker Investigation
    Attorney Paul St. John represented an individual charged with the aggravated robbery of a cell phone store in Houston, TX. The 3 individuals that robbed the cell phone store had been chased by responding police units. When the vehicle crashed, one of the occupants was
  • Cancer Stricken 78 Year Old Charged with Murder
    Attorney Helen Simotas represented a 78 year old Vietnam Veteran charged with the shooting death of his brother-in-law in Houston, TX. The brother-in-law had been living with the Defendant for 3 months, after his release from prison. The brother-in-law had a lengthy
  • Syrup Sipping Results in Murder Acquittal
    Attorney Stanley Schneider represented an individual who was charged with murder, as a result of a street altercation. The Defendant was arguing with an associate in the middle of the street when the incident occurred. Gunplay Ensues When the associate began to cock
  • Good Samaritan Robbed, Witness Eye Shotgunned
    Attorney Gregory Glass represented an individual who was charged with the aggravated robbery of a good Samaritan in front of his house in Houston, TX. The good Samaritan had given a ride to an individual whose bike was broken. After arriving at the Defendant’s house
  • Capital Murder Suspect Walks Early, Time Served
    Attorney Skip Cornelius represented Clyde Bradford, a Houston, Texas man that was charged with the shooting death of a male at the rear of the victim’s residence. The Witnesses Witnesses told police that the shooter walked back to his vehicle, sat in the driver’s
  • The Ft. Bend County Double Murder Investigation
    Attorney Katherine Scardino and Attorney Stephen Doggett tried a Death Penalty case in Ft. Bend County which lasted three months, ending in June. The Defendant, Cornelius Harper, was charged with the shooting death of his cousin and the stabbing death of his cousin’s
  • The Auto-Robbery Murder Investigation
    Houston, TX based Attorney James Stafford represented an individual charged, along with a co-Defendant, in the killing death of a victim while they were robbing his car. The State did not have any eyewitnesses to the murder, which we verified through our investigation.
  • The “Custody Restriction” Case
    Attorney Kim Ogg represented a father who had temporary custody of his children. The biological mother had been dating a Registered Sex Offender and it had been ordered that the mother not associate with the Sex Offender whatsoever. It was suspected that the mother was



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Houston, TX 77068
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