A private investigator that has access to the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Listserv sent an email out a few days ago (I usually link to folks to give them some Google Juice, but in this case, I’m doing the guy a favor by not doing that):
This is quite interesting, lets you know who and what to watch out for! Try it.
Interesting facts about your neighbors.
PLACE YOUR ADDRESS IN AND SEE THE CRIME IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
ANY OTHER ADDRESS IN THE U.S.A.
The email included a link to felonspy.com, which shows you certain felons living near you and what they were convicted of, when you type in your address.
I’d probably be able to claim that I’m a better person than I am had my interest not been piqued, but it’s kind of like slowing down to watch a car accident – I had to do it.
So after typing in my address, I take a look at some of the crimes felons near me have been convicted of:
- Attempted Gang Assault in the Second Degree
- Course of Sexual Conduct against a Child in the Second Degree
- Attempted Arson in the First Degree
- Attempted Manslaughter in the First Degree
- Aggravated Assault against a Person Less than 11 Years Old
Wow! Not only is my neighborhood crawling with felons, but they are all from out of state – none of these convictions make any sense at all under Texas law. I’m about to fire off an email to the Listserv saying I doubt the veracity of this site, and while writing it, I click back again so I can list off some of the supposed convictions.
Voila. Now living dangerously close to me are folks convicted of:
- Intimidating a Victim in the First Degree
- Attempted Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child
- Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Fourth Degree
- Attempted Sodomy in the First Degree
Well, I’m glad all those bad guys living nearby moved out – and that it only took them 10 minutes or so to do it – but it’s a little odd that more bad guys moved in so quickly.
Just makes you wonder whether or not a credible private investigator might be able to figure out what’s going on here – even if they weren’t intimately familiar with the exact names and degrees of offenses in Texas. (If it need more explanation at this point: FelonSpy just randomly takes peoples names and ages and makes up offenses and ‘degrees’ and superimposes them over some sort of Google Map near your neck of the woods.)
By the time I had amused myself playing around with the site, several people had replied already. Someone pointed out that the site already had a listing on Snopes.com. My favorite comment came from one of the best criminal defense lawyers in Austin, Gerry Morris:
Is there a web site where I can go to make sure I don’t live next to anyone who spends time looking up information about their neighbor’s criminal histories?