Hunchly Saved My Bacon

If you’ve never heard of Hunchly, you will thank me after reading this post.  I’m serious.

This Is Hunchly

Hunchly is a brilliant Chrome extension created and developed by Justin Seitz.  I started following Justin on Twitter last year after several of my private investigator colleagues kept mentioning him.  He is a blogger and trainer of open source intelligence techniques, sharp as a tack, and extremely gracious and kind.

Oh, and Justin calls Canada home which, for some reason, makes me like him even more.

I purchased Justin’s Hunchly product nearly one year ago when he first rolled it out of development.  I’ve used it in pretty much every case I’ve worked as a private investigator.

This Is How It Works

It stores live web page captures of every single site I visit.  So every time I start online research for a case, I turn my Hunchly button to “on” and start clicking and scrolling away while Hunchly captures it all.  That’s it.  The simplicity and ease of use is so mind-numbingly easy, I could teach a second grader to use it properly.

As I search for information on a subject, scroll through their social media profiles, and access public information about them online, Hunchly is capturing and storing all of it down to the smallest detail.

Hunchly’s capabilities don’t just stop there.

Before I begin any research on a case, I create a personalized case file in Hunchly that I label with my own internal case number.  I include any notes I want to write up about the case, then enter a list of “selectors” that allow me to list identifiers I want Hunchly to highlight for me as I am skimming through pages.

Some of the selectors I might choose are name, aliases, phone number, address, email address, occupation, username, etc.  Every time Hunchly sees one of those selectors on a web page, it highlights the selector to bring my attention to it.  The time saving component of this feature alone is freaking awesome.

After I’ve conducted all of my research, Hunchly packages it into a nice and tidy report with the click of a button.

So as you might imagine, this kind of tool is gangbusters for private investigators, detectives, analysts, and journalists, among numerous others.  Because how many times have you conducted online research, been sucked into the black hole of skimming page after page, only to forget where you’ve been, what you’ve already researched, and where to go next?  Not to mention those times when you find something totally worthwhile for your case only to discover it’s been deleted when you revisit the same site to capture it.

Hunchly eliminates this problem, keeps track of everything for you, and even packages it nicely with the date and time stamps of your research so you know exactly what day and time you viewed every single photo and piece of text.

Have I mentioned that none of this research is stored on the cloud?  It’s all stored and 100% accessed on your own local machine.

This Is a Lesson In Using Hunchly

If you still don’t quite feel the impact of this awesome product, let me tell you about a case I just completed where Hunchly totally saved my bacon and changed my client’s life.  And his daughter’s.

My client hired me to uncover evidence that his juvenile daughter was still in contact with a convicted child molester even after a “no contact” order was lawfully enacted by a judge.

The child molester is the step father.  My client’s daughter lived with her mother and the new step father.  After the child molester charge was discovered, my client took the mother to court to gain full custody of his daughter.

As a private investigator, I conducted physical surveillance that yielded decent circumstantial evidence that the step father was having regular contact with my client’s juvenile daughter.  But the step father is sneaky.  And careful.  My physical surveillance wouldn’t be good enough by itself.

So I turned Hunchly on and started sifting through social media profiles online.  The mother regularly posted photographs of her daughter and new husband together.  Hunchly captured all of it.

When I revisited the mother’s Facebook profile awhile later, she had tightened up security on her profile and deleted all of the photos.  It didn’t matter.  I had it all on Hunchly.

On court day, my client won full custody of his daughter and successfully removed her from an extremely unsafe situation.  My client’s attorney told me it all came down to the photos I had captured on Hunchly.  That’s what saved the case.

This Is How Much It Costs

One Hunchly license costs $129.99 per year.  You can save 10% on three licenses and 20% on four or more.  You can spend less than $11 per month for a program that might one day save your case.  It saved mine.

Note:  Justin Seitz had nothing to do with my decision to rave about his Hunchly product.  This is just an unsolicited blog post about a rockin resource that every private investigator should look into.