Stepping From the Shadows

Private eye Max Caulfield's mysterious past includes a stint in the federal Witness Protection Program. After more than a decade of intrigue and paranoia, he's going public.

It's a clear, sunny summer morning in a cul-de-sac in a middle-class section of Pompano Beach. Kids are quiet. Everybody is quiet, except the hired workers who trim trees and cut grass. Shiny cars sit in driveways. Suburban perfection -- nothing out of place... except that black, heavily tinted pickup truck with the camper shell. It's sitting on the side of a street next to some bushes. Nobody seems to really notice it, even though the truck's engine is running.

The man inside is Max Caulfield, private investigator and full-time shadow dweller. Beside him is his partner, Christine Caulfield, also his wife. They smoke Dunhill menthols while their radio scanner beeps and crackles. A compact Canon video camera sits in Christine Caulfield's lap. A cell phone is rigged to the dashboard. Binoculars lie within reach. The truck itself is a private investigator's capsule, like a very small minivan with no back seat. In back are several briefcases full of tape recorders, an electronic voice-changer, a frequency tester, a pair of brass knuckles, guns, and other weapons he doesn't expect to use.

"The rule when you're in trouble is evacuate, evacuate, evacuate," he says. "Run away and live to run another day. And don't touch the fucking brakes. Never touch the fucking brakes."

After 20 minutes, a black sport-utility vehicle pulls out of a driveway roughly 100 yards in the distance.

"That him?" asks Christine, brushing aside her long black hair and peering through the Canon.

Caulfield nails the gas pedal and the private investigator's capsule screams down the residential street. "That's him."

Now up to 50 mph, Caulfield blows through a stop sign and makes a hard right turn. Then he veers left into oncoming lanes and makes a screeching left-hand turn in the face of approaching traffic a good four seconds after the light's turned red.

"So, that's how you do that," Caulfield says, jamming on the gas to get positioning on his target. "We could have lost him right there."

It's a controlled chaos. Caulfield has gone to some of the best driving schools in the nation -- the same ones used by federal agents and other professional pursuers -- for precisely these situations.

Caulfield was paid to follow the man because a business partner suspects he's stealing. Soon, they're on I-95. At speeds up to 80 mph, Caulfield slides from lane to lane, dangerously close to cars and semitrailers, jockeying among them to keep abreast of his subject's movements. Other drivers must wonder: "Who is that?"

It's not Max Caulfield. His birth certificate, social security card and driver's license say so, but it's all federal fiction. The government erased his real name back in 1985.

His identity may be fake, but Caulfield is the genuine article. It's full-blown summer in Florida, yet his face is pale. That's because he's been in the shadows, in the bushes, in the blind spots. He's something between a cop and a crook. He's a hero and a menace, a protector and a predator, a valuable friend and a very frightening enemy.

Caulfield is sometimes troubled, sometimes desperate. He's struggling to overcome his dark, fascinating, and paradoxical past, a history sundered by several key events:

When the Chicago native was 13 years old, he wiretapped his own family phone. It was supposed to be an experiment. Instead it led his parents to divorce. Nastily. Call it his first case.

In his early 20s, Caulfield and his first wife, their two kids, and two dogs were inducted into the most famous of shadowlands, the federal Witness Protection Program, a result of his decision to testify against members of the Chicago Mob, which had employed him. Hence the federal make-believe.

Caulfield was then booted from the program for breaching his own security. He went from the Witness Protection Program to the welfare program and is still looking for an apology from the U.S. Marshals Service. He's an expert in many things, and holding a grudge, a.k.a. a vendetta, is one of them.

If he thought the ground between the Mafia and the federal government was treacherous, he found the world of private detection to be even meaner -- and he fit right in.

One of his closest partners turned out to be more than just a crooked schemer. He was a mass murderer. Strangled his girlfriend and slaughtered half of another family. Caulfield was especially sickened about the girlfriend, because he took pride in stopping deranged bastards from doing what was done to her.

He and Christine came to Fort Lauderdale in 1994. They chose it for the two C's, climate and crime, the latter a boost for business. He was then employed by a private eye who also happened to be a crack addict and stalker. This time Caulfield, at his own expense, protected the stalked woman. He watched over that vast dark space -- a place anyone ever seriously stalked can describe -- between the police and the courts. Caulfield has been credited with possibly saving the woman's life and helping to put the stalker in prison.

It was a shining moment in the midst of some very bad times. Financially strapped, he and Christine move from place to place, struggling to pay bills. Among the valuables they've pawned away was her wedding ring. He was stripped of his private investigator's license two years ago. A former partner, Rick Filauro, complained to the state that Caulfield had taken a cellular phone from him. Filauro says Caulfield is a "con man who likes to throw around his past to get what he wants."

Caulfield says he has proof the cell phone was his in the first place, but freely admits he failed to pay back money he owed Filauro. Filauro was paid in kind, Caulfield says, in that he "got to go to the 'Max Caulfield How-to-Be-Cool School.' And he didn't even graduate."

Some call it arrogance. Caulfield calls it cool. Caulfield, understand, is always right, even when he's wrong.

Acting in defiance of the state, Caulfield continues to investigate and doesn't care who knows it. He'll get his license back at a hearing in October, he says, after he shows the state once and for all who's right.

And now he wants to be in the light.
He says he's tired of the mystery surrounding his identity, and he's sick of hiding from the Mob. He wants people to know his life story -- the good and the bad. He says he's hit a point of desperation where he just plain doesn't give a damn any more. (And besides, his disclosure might be good for business.)

Max Caulfield is emerging from the shadows.

He was four years old when President Kennedy was killed, and he vividly remembers the first time he saw the footage. As a youth he studied the assassination. Not the conspiracy theories so much as the action. His first hero was Clint Hill, the only agent who actually tried to shield the President from the shots.

The Secret Service, to this kid, wasn't just a federal agency, it was a shining ideal, the pinnacle of life. Protecting not just the Presidents -- they came and went -- but the presidency, which would last as long as the United States exists, was the highest calling.

To be a great protector, one has to know the mind of the assassin and he delved into the criminal mind with a vengeance while he was still getting kicked out of private elementary schools. He knew details about every Chicago mobster by heart. He hasn't stopped studying and has an encyclopedic knowledge of American criminal history. He's fascinated with the borderline personality, with the twisted folk who wind up on the front pages. Get him going, and he'll transport himself into an emotional and dark state where he has strange dialogues with the likes of Squeaky Fromme, Mark David Chapman, Timothy McVeigh.

"I studied the same book he makes you think he studied," he says, referring to an amorphous, collective assassin. "I worked longer and harder to be a bigger crazy than he is."

His mother, Rose Cleveland, remembers her only child as incredibly self-reliant from kindergarten on. His imagination, full of all those criminals and G-men, was fertile. For instance, he wouldn't sit in public unless he could find a place with his back to the wall.

"I used to get so perplexed," she says. "I'm talking to a little kid who is talking like an adult. I would say, 'You're ten years old -- who would want to gun you down?'

"He'd look up and say, 'Well, you never know who your enemies are.'"
Turned out, she was looking at one.
One day, in the family's apartment on the 55th floor of the John Hancock Center in Chicago, Caulfield approached his mother with a "gleam in his eye," she recalls.

"He had me right where he wanted me," she says.
Seems the boy had a tape in his hand that proved Mom was cheating on Dad. Either buy the tape, he told her, or he'd give it to his adoptive father, an attorney for the City of Chicago.

All he had to do was cut the phone cord, attach an alligator clip, and produce an additional line, which he ran to a tape recorder.

"I wasn't real thrilled with him," Cleveland, now age 66, remembers. "I looked upon him as a real little traitor at the time."

The plan backfired when he gave his dad the tape.
"I thought he'd yell at her and that would be the end of it," Caulfield says. "But when I played the tape, all hell broke loose. They got divorced. I didn't mean for that to happen, because at that time you couldn't be a Secret Service agent if you came from a broken home. I thought my life was over."

It was actually a beginning, his unofficial first case as a private investigator.

"I was appalled," his mother says. "He must have had a love-hate thing that kids have for their mothers. When he was young, he was always jealous of any man in my life, though he tried not to show it."

Caulfield clarifies, in his wry way, that it was more like a "hate-love" thing. He resented the fact that she was married so many times. He was five years old the last time he saw his biological father, who his mother says was an alcoholic bus-driver. Don't bring up Freud. Caulfield doesn't like the subject and insists he has no complexes, including the short-man's. (He happens to be five-foot-six, with a barrel chest.)

Caulfield, however, seems always to have been looking for a father. "Daddies come and go," he says, a self-proclaimed idealist dripping with cynicism.

His next artificial daddy was a Chicago mobster.
Caulfield dropped out of school at age 15 and ran away to Las Vegas at 17. Then he got a call from his old girlfriend. She was pregnant in Chicago. He didn't really want to, but he returned and married her. At 18, he was a married father. (He's now 39 and a grandfather.)

At age 21 he was training police dogs and doing some security work in Indiana, across the Illinois border. Then a mobster named Phil (his last name, at Caulfield's request, won't be printed in this article) bought an attack dog from Caulfield. Impressed with the kid, Phil offered him a job.

The new gig was running a pornographic bookstore, which came complete with coin-operated peepshow booths. It was in the same building as a "health spa," which he says was actually a whorehouse. He claims he had nothing to do with the whorehouse, though he knew Phil owned it. "I wasn't a prude," he explains.

Part of his job was driving the bookstore proceeds to Phil. Caulfield established his honesty, so Phil bought him a used van and some furniture and helped him get into a house. He even gave his bagman a proper nickname: "Dog Boy."

For a young man with a wife and two kids to support, the job was a godsend. Caulfield says he was convinced that Phil and his men weren't real mobsters, just "wannabes."

His mother, when she heard where her son was working, had no illusion. "I told him the Mob was probably involved," she recalls. "But he said, 'Oh no, he loves me. He's like a father to me.'"

Soon enough Caulfield started feeling uncomfortable, and Phil started noticing that Dog Boy was getting skittish. The mobster made it clear that his employee wasn't going nowhere. He showed Caulfield a ledger of all the things he'd bought for him -- plus the interest, of course. Phil set the total bill at about $7000. It'd have to be paid, or else.

"I'm not having much fun now," Caulfield says of that day. It went downhill from there.

Caulfield left in the van Phil gave him. After hearing some threats, Caulfield says he took the offensive, or what he terms "preemptive self-defense." Others might call it a death wish. He called Phil and told him he'd better watch his back, "because I might walk up behind you and, kapow, blow your brains all over the street."

"That's a pretty good twist isn't it?" Caulfield says, loving the concept. "Dog Boy kills Mob guy."

Caulfield went into hiding but resurfaced for another dose of aggressive self-defense. He says he got into Phil's house and killed both of the attack dogs he'd trained for him. The brutal act was the worst thing he's ever done in his life, he says, but he still feels it was necessary. Caulfield decided that the only way to save his own life was to put the fear of God into the mobster.

He laid low for several months until the day FBI agent Ivan G. Harris knocked on his door. Harris had been investigating the Mob, and Caulfield's name had come up. Harris questioned him, then told him he was free to go.

But they wanted him to give testimony about Phil's business and payoffs to dirty cops.

Caulfield agreed to do it.
Harris says Caulfield, with whom he still keeps in touch, earned his admiration back then and continues to earn it. He considers his willingness to testify heroic.

"He was a very young man at the time, and he was one of the many pawns [the Mob] was using," says Harris, now the organized-crime supervisor for the FBI's Chicago office. "I have a lot of respect for him. He did what he did at great risk to his own safety and made a tremendous sacrifice."

His mother got a call after Caulfield made his decision.
"Mom, I'm in trouble," Rose recalls him saying. "I'm going to the Witness Protection Program."

It isn't easy to erase a life. Caulfield and his family had to move to a federal safe house for a time, with all of their belongings put in storage. Caulfield, of course, lost his job. He and his family had to close all their accounts and find all the documents that had their real names on them -- including personal letters -- and give them to the federal government, never to see them again.

Uncle Sam was Caulfield's new daddy.
For Caulfield's mother, Rose, it was tragic. She was essentially losing her only son and her two precious grandchildren.

The first name her son chose for himself was "Jack Walsh." Shuttled from airport to airport, he had no idea where he would live until he got there. His first home was Roanoke, Virginia. He was given $3000 and a stipend of $1600 a month. He got a job with a security company, and his cover was blown. It's a complicated story. He blamed the marshals and the marshals blamed him. Bottom line: He wasn't going to be Jack Walsh any more.

The family wound up in a Holiday Inn in Delaware. Another glitch. It was realized that they were located too close to members of his wife's family.

He'd have to be moved again. But first he had to wait in the Holiday Inn for his new name, which would be Maxwell Alexander Caulfield. The family and their two dogs -- an adult Saint Bernard and a growing rottweiler puppy -- stayed cooped up in the room for ten weeks, Caulfield says.

"You learn what you're made of under those circumstances," he says.
The stress got to him. One night, while ordering a pizza for his family, he broke down and cried after failing to remember the fake name.

His real mother, meanwhile, felt tortured. After she was denied visitation, she wrote Pres. Ronald Reagan a Mailgram on January 6, 1986. "Unless you intervene on our behalf," she wrote, "we will never see our grandchildren, age 8 and 3, again.... You are my only hope."

A month later she got a response. She'd be allowed a visit in Minneapolis. Caulfield -- who really was Caulfield now -- had been relocated again, this time to Bremerton, Washington.

More letters to Reagan followed, and the U.S. Marshals Service agreed to allow a visit every six months. Rose admits that her letter-writing campaign to the President didn't sit well with the marshals.

"I had what they call 'dropped a dime on them' and gone over their heads to the President," she says. "They treat the criminals better than the straight people in that program, because, I think, they are kind of scared of them, and there's a kind of celebrity status."

In Bremerton, Caulfield applied for a concealed weapons permit and had to be fingerprinted. The marshals later claimed that he had been warned not to do this. A fingerprint check would, in effect, alert Bremerton police that Max Caulfield was a protected witness. Caulfield says he was never told not to run a fingerprint check and that he had already had one run when he got a gun permit in Roanoke -- with the marshals' help.

He was unceremoniously dropped from the program for what marshals deemed "complete defiance." Caulfield says he was stunned, hurt, disillusioned -- and extremely paranoid.

Forced into welfare, he says he spent his nights with an assault rifle and night-vision goggles in a tree near his tiny camper in Washington state, waiting for hit men to come for him. He waited for seven months, but they never came. In his mind, however, he knew what they looked like, what they smelled like. He knew they had fat bellies and gas from the greasy food they ate.

"I was the assassin they were fantasizing they were," he says. "They thought they were the director and producer of the movie, only they didn't know the movie was already in the can."

If that sounds a little spooky, it is. Max Caulfield has lived too long in the shadows not to pick up some scary skills. He knows about all kinds of obscure explosives. He can handle burglary tools with the best of them. He's read just about every weird, mercenary-type book ever published.

Highly intelligent, he can kick into alter egos at the drop of a hat. One second he's Max Caulfield, private eye, the next he's playing the role of a twisted killer. It can be startling.

"Sometimes I get a little too far into character," he says.
His education in the criminal mind was just beginning.

The camera focuses on a crummy home out in a wooded field, with a reporter's voice-over:

"We found them in a tiny remote rental trailer literally holed up, worried that the next person at the door would be a Mafia hit man."

The camera goes to a man, identified only as "Max," sitting at a little kitchen table. His face is never shown. Instead, the focus is on his hands, which gesture nervously. Smoke wafts from cigarettes. His first wife, identified as "Liz," sits nearby.

"We can't afford to hire our own private army, so we are all going to have to learn to be our own soldiers," Caulfield says.

This was aired on a Seattle TV news station in 1986. Caulfield went to an investigative-TV producer in Seattle named John Sandifer with his story, seeking some revenge on the marshals.

"A marshal called and yelled at me for 45 minutes straight," Caulfield says at the table, hands still gesticulating. "He told me I wasn't a man, that I was a sniveling, cowardly little wimp and a crybaby and a mama's boy."

The gist of the story was that they were thrown out of the program because of the grandparent's letters to the President, not because Caulfield applied for a gun permit.

Roughly two years later, Caulfield, without benefit of the Witness Protection Program, testified against Phil, some of his cohorts, and a few dirty cops, all of whom were convicted.

He says he did it because it was the right thing to do (and, of course, for revenge against his old nemesis, Phil).

Caulfield divorced and moved to Seattle, where he worked jobs as a store detective. He met record-store manager Christina Garcia, who had also grown up with a dream of being a Secret Service agent. Garcia, eight years younger than Caulfield, was first struck by his work ethic. Caulfield was drawn to her as well, not only because he realized she'd make a great PI partner, but also because she was quite attractive.

One day Caulfield called Suggs Investigations, the detective agency with the biggest ad in the Seattle phone book. Caulfield immediately developed an intrinsic respect for Robert Suggs, a former reserve police officer who'd trained at an academy run by a famous shadow man, G. Gordon Liddy, and had, like Caulfield, gone to several respectable schools that taught things like counterterrorism and "Advanced Combat Shotgun."

Here's how author Rod Lurie described the first meeting between Caulfield and Suggs in his book Once Upon a Time in Hollywood:

The first thing Suggs noticed was that there were guns and weapons in every corner of Caulfield's apartment. He also noticed a couple of children running around.... Caulfield immediately hit Suggs with a bombshell.

The bombshell was the story of the Witness Protection Program.
"The Suggs Thugs, as they liked to call themselves, were entranced. Goddamn it all if this Caulfield character wasn't one of their own," Lurie wrote.

Suggs usually didn't do any work. Instead he pocketed his clients' advance money and went home to watch TV. Lurie wrote that "something odd happened" when Caulfield began working for Suggs: "Max Caulfield began to meet with clients and, through his charm and professional demeanor, increased business by almost 200 percent."

With Christine's help Caulfield was slowly legitimizing Suggs' business. Together the couple would work many sensational cases, from getting proof -- in the form of some X-rated surveillance tape -- of men cheating on their wives, to finding missing children, to protecting women from stalkers.

As they built the company, Suggs -- who Caulfield sometimes called "Daddy" -- started losing his grip. The boss went on long gambling trips and squandered the company's money. Then he disbanded the company altogether to go to Hollywood, California to work for a film producer named Roland Jon Emr.

Emr was a con man. He needed Suggs to guard him against the people he'd scammed. Emr claimed he was trying to put together a movie on the life of James Dean and promised Suggs a credit as associate producer. By the time he realized he was being conned, Suggs was flat broke.

Caulfield recalls a desperate Suggs phoning him and asking if he'd help in a job that included kidnapping children for a parent. Caulfield refused. Suggs said he had something else in mind for him, but wouldn't ask. If he wouldn't do the kidnapping, he wouldn't do the other thing.

In hindsight Caulfield is convinced Suggs was going to ask him to help him murder Emr's family. "I turned to Christine and said I thought he was going to whack somebody."

Whack Suggs did. He murdered Emr's father in Arizona, then gunned down Emr and his son on a street outside Hollywood in Culver City. Suggs also strangled his girlfriend, Susan Calkins, with a leather belt during sex, using a hammer to tighten the belt around her neck. Her body would later be found on the edge of the Mojave Desert, near the bones of Suggs, who killed himself, and Suggs' German shepherd, another victim.

Caulfield took the murder of Calkins personally. Caulfield, after all, was a stalker of stalkers of women. He helped put them in jail. Suggs, who he wishes he could "wake up and kill again," had murdered an innocent woman under his nose.

"This ripped the insides out of me," he says. "To kill her in the sick way he did made me want to be a lifelong stalker-stopper."

Before the bodies in the desert were found, a manhunt ensued for Suggs. Calkins' relatives made pleas on national TV for her safe return. Caulfield searched for Calkins and volunteered information to investigators to help with the case. Articles on the murders ran in newspapers around the country, and segments appeared on America's Most Wanted, Inside Edition, Hard Copy and Larry King Live. Caulfield refused to appear on TV and asked for anonymity when he gave them information on Suggs. All obliged him.

Except Rod Lurie, Caulfield claims.
Caulfield gave Lurie extensive help in his research for the book and thus became a major character in it. Caulfield claims that Lurie promised either to give him a pseudonym or leave out the part about the Witness Protection Program, which he says Lurie found out from other sources. Lurie put his name in the book and mentioned his participation in the program. The only thing missing, thankfully, was his picture.

Random House, which published Lurie's book, claimed in subsequent letters to Caulfield's attorney, Rose Robbins of West Palm Beach, that Lurie never made any promises and that Caulfield himself told Lurie about the program. Caulfield's threatened lawsuit has never been filed, but another major grudge was born.

The murders and the book sent the Caulfields into a tailspin. He and Christine went to Hawaii, then to Las Vegas, where they worked at the famed Palomino strip club. Caulfield worked security and Christine stripped, which Caulfield rather liked. After all, he's no prude.

After a year there, he and Christine decided to come to Fort Lauderdale, where the two C's awaited them.

Maybe Caulfield should have known better, but he looked for employment in the Fort Lauderdale Yellow Pages. He found Scott Mathews, a Brooklyn-born private investigator and dead ringer for Rodney Dangerfield. Mathews had what appeared to be a strong business in South Florida, making lots of money and owning his own airplane.

Mathews hired Caulfield, and they soon were a duo, working numerous jobs together, one of the more notable being an attempt in 1995 to serve a subpoena on reclusive millionaire Sara Habie, mother of Joey Habie, a textile magnate living in Guatemala who had kidnapped his own children.

While conducting surveillance for that job, Caulfield says he walked up to Mathews' car in the posh and exclusive Palm Beach County town of Gulf Stream, where Sara Habie lived. He noticed Mathews furtively tossing some kind of glass object into the ashtray. He saw a puff of white smoke.

Caulfield demanded to know what was going on. Mathews told him he had a problem. It was his crack pipe, he said.

Caulfield says he told Mathews that if he wanted to be a "drug addict, please die quickly and leave us all out of it. If you want help, we're here."

Mathews didn't take to help. Instead he took to stalking his ex-wife and former partner in the agency, Shari Mathews. Fearing for her life, she'd already filed an injunction for protection against him. He was breaking the court order but avoiding the police.

Caulfield went where law enforcement didn't. He kept an eye on her and escorted her to work. He and Christine also kept an eye on Scott Mathews, who was now so addled by drugs and mental problems that he was calling other women -- Christine among them -- "Shari." They helped Shari Mathews for weeks and were paid a grand total of $300 for expenses.

He says it was the memory of Calkins that drove him to do it.
"I'd been down this road before, and I wasn't about to go down it again," he says.

Caulfield helped bring the police into it, and on July 19, 1996, Scott Mathews was charged with aggravated stalking. Plantation police Lt. Larry Massey wrote a letter on Caulfield's behalf, crediting him with protecting Shari Mathews and ensuring her ex-husband's arrest, ending it with this line: "I thank him for his assistance in bringing successful closure to this investigation."

The arrest was more a beginning than an end.
Mathews was released and put into a residential drug-treatment program. One condition was that he have no contact with Shari Mathews. It didn't take him long to violate that order, and on December 16 he was arrested for doing so. A month later at a court hearing, Shari Mathews told Judge Geoffrey D. Cohen why she wanted him either "banned" from the state of Florida or imprisoned.

"I'm afraid to leave my home," she told the judge. "I get escorted to work and live like a prisoner."

Despite her pleas, Scott Mathews was released again. He'd now gone from a prospering private eye to a kitchen helper at his new home, the Salvation Army. His own attorney attributed Mathews' downfall to drugs and bipolar disorder and at one time argued he was insane. Mathews was rearrested, released, and arrested yet again.

"I couldn't believe they kept letting this guy out," Caulfield says. "I was more frustrated with that than I was with fucking Mathews."

Finally, last July, Mathews was sentenced to state prison. He's now in the middle of a two-year term.

Shari Mathews says Caulfield was with her every step of the way, there to protect her when police couldn't.

"He gave me emotional support, too," she said in a phone conversation from an undisclosed location. She's still in fear.

"That was the greatest thing he did for me. He stayed close by. He was my backup. What he does comes from the heart. If he doesn't believe in it, he won't do it. If he does believe in it, he'll do it, whether he gets money for it or not."

But at the same time he was engaged in these heroics, Filauro was accusing him of stealing the cell phone.

Caulfield lost his license after he failed to respond to the complaint within the time allotted by the state. At one point Filauro withdrew his complaint, but he says he still doesn't want Caulfield working in the state of Florida.

When told that Caulfield says he has proof the cell phone was his, Filauro, who is 47 years old and came into the PI game at the age of 40, says, "I don't think so, not that I know of, anyway.

"He never paid me back money he owed me, and I don't think that's very good ethics," he continues. "He likes to intimidate people, but as far as I'm concerned, he's nothing but a punk."

Caulfield, ever the master of the art of the grudge, says Filauro is next on his list. He says though he failed to pay in money, he more than compensated Filauro in the expertise he showed him and equipment he let him use.

"Rick doesn't know shit from shinola, in PI work or anything else," Caulfield says.

The only thing he owes Filauro now is a "fast hollow-point in his forehead and another one in the chest." That's a joke, he says, scary as it sounds. It's not a joke when he says he plans to ruin Filauro's life. Caulfield has a fresh vendetta.

Caulfield does have a little leverage when it comes to investigating people -- he works on criminal cases from time to time for a few federal agencies. As with most everything else he's done, he has the documents to prove it.

On the rare occasions these days that he has the means, Caulfield likes to drink an occasional Jack Daniel's and Coke at the Bimini Boatyard Bar and Grill. He slicks his dark hair straight back and usually has some form of a graying, patchy beard. His eyes are often bloodshot, because, no matter what time of day it is, he might have just gotten up, or maybe he didn't sleep at all. At times like this, he's actually laid back.

Caulfield is glad people are going to hear about his strange, and at times catastrophic, life. He doesn't know if the Mob is still after him or not, but he says if they come he'll be ready.

He wants to get out of the private eye business and become a full-time bodyguard. Ideally, he says, he would have a business dedicated to protecting women from stalkers. He's thought of calling the business "Stalker Stopper."

He likes to talk about good guys and bad guys. When asked on which side he falls, Caulfield, with a kink in his expressive and rather striking blue eyes, says, "I'm a bad good guy."

It seems like a fair assessment.
Caulfield also considers himself a survivor. Indeed, he's survived the Mob, the Witness Protection Program, Robert Suggs, Scott Mathews, and a list of stalkers, kidnappers, and other bad actors too long to name.

"But do you know what I've really survived? Do you know what the truth is?" he asks, excited that he has the answer. "I've survived myself.

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