He sits at nightfall in his home office in the San Fernando Valley, a dimly lighted room except for the glow emanating from his computer, his flat-screen television, and a half-dozen other state-of-the-art gadgets. He is showing off a little: not just his high-tech toys, but the quality of his information.What's really sad is that these people's lives revolve around getting a candid photo of...Alyssa Milano? Anyways, why can't the local paper get entertainment reporting like this?
"That's the thing that's valuable," Mr. Griffin says, explaining how his cash payoffs to tipsters can come to $100,000 a year. "The best ones are the ones who do it for pure greed. Because nothing else colors their judgment."
He opens a drawer, pulls out a few stacks of paper. Here, he says, are this week's scheduled movements of every famous passenger of a major limousine company in Los Angeles. He has an employee of the limo company on retainer, with bonuses "if there's results."
Here, too, are what Mr. Griffin describes as the passenger manifests of every coast-to-coast flight on American Airlines, the biggest carrier at Los Angeles International Airport. "I get the full printout," he says. "If they fly any coastal flight, I know. I can also find anybody in the world within 24 hours, I guarantee it. If they don't mask the tail number on a private plane, I'll find it." He says he has law-enforcement officers on his payroll, too, and can have a license plate checked in an hour on weekdays, 20 minutes on weekends.
He pulls out a photocopy of what he says are the transcribed notes of a top film actress's examination by her doctor, and points to a reference to her breast implants.
July 19, 2005
Terrific NY Times piece, on the type of person who becomes a paparazzo: