Hal Lipset And The Bug In The Martini Olive By Ralph Thomas

From The Spy And Pi Museum Inside The Spy Exchange


Hal Lipset started in the days before there were tape recorders as we know them today and video cameras as we know them today and a time in US history when there was no law against wiretapping and bugging. His private investigative practice was opened in 1947 in San Francisco. His book talks about using crimped wire to record audio and huge big and bulky surveillance cameras that made so much noise–the subject of the surveillance could often hear the surveillance camera running in the bushes.

A few years ago, Mr. Lipset has a cover story write up in PI MAGAZINE and has kind’a come to be known as the father of private investigation in of this century. Mr. Lipset had become a legend in his own time for the thousands of cases he had worked, some of them very high profile. He’s perhaps best remembered for his invention Of The Bug In The Martini Olive.

I personally used to talk to Hal on the phone a lot. He was always a great inspiration to me and Hal was quite the talker spilling off this case and that case that he had worked on over the years. I will miss him greatly. Despite his long history and world famous reputation in the private investigative industry, I always found Hal to be just one of the guys and he wanted for himself to be just one of the guys. Hal was often frustrated with the image projection of the private investigator and how the profession is shown by the media and by TV. He once told The Times Newspaper, “It’s not all girls, guns, booze and punching out thugs like Mannix! I don’t even carry a gun!”


Hal was, of course; known world wide and is a former President of The World Association Of Detectives. TheWorld Association Of Detectives (W.A.D.) gives an award every year called The Hal Lipset “Truth in Action” Award. Here is a descrption of it:

Hal Lipset “Truth in Action” Award
This award originated in 1967 when it was introduced by the Officers and Board of W.A.D. as The ‘Truth in Action’ award. It is presented to an individual for service to mankind by outstanding acts of compassion or heroism or leadership or achievement and service outside of W.A.D. in the fields of private investigation, private security, criminal justice, jurisprudence, or technical and scientific expertise. In 1998 the name of the award was changed to the ‘Hal Lipset Memorial Truth in Action Award’ in honor of Past President Hal Lipset. The recipient is normally chosen by the local host, or in their absence by the Conference and Mid-Term Committee with approval by the Awards Committee.

I know that the investigative industry shares the sorrow and the grief of Mr. Lipset’s passing that his family is currently undergoing. Mr. Lipset, despite his controversial nature, will be dearly missed by myself and by thousands of private investigators throughout the free world. The Reverend Bill Grahram recently remarked that there is a certain democracy about death–as it doesn’t matter who you are nor what you become nor what you do on plant earth–we are all mortal and we all must someday face death. I would ask that investigators worldwide take a moment of silence and prayer for the loss of Mr. Lipset.

About securityteknews
Ralph Thomas is author of over 32 books on various aspects of conducting investigations, founder and director of The National Association Of Investigative Specialists,CEO of Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc, The Spy Exchange And Security Center and SpyTek Wholesale Imports. Thomas is a member of the Executive Security Council of Griffith Colson Intelligence Service, a private intelligence agency. Thomas's latest project is NAIStv on the Griffith Media TV Network. He has also developed A Native American Store in Georgetown Texas called Tribal Impressions. You can review his person home page off of: http://www.pimall.com/thomas

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