Jack Palladino, the flamboyant private investigator whose shoppers ranged from presidents and company whistleblowers to scandal-plagued celebrities, Hollywood moguls and typically suspected drug traffickers, died Monday. He was 76.

Palladino suffered a devastating mind damage Thursday after a pair of would-be robbers tried to seize his digicam outside his home in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. He held on to the digicam however fell and struck his head, and the pictures he took earlier than his attackers fled have been utilized by police to trace down two suspects. They have been charged with assault with a lethal weapon and different crimes.

Private Investigator Jack Palladino, August 12, 1982 

Photo by Eric Luse/San Francisco Chronicle by way of Getty Images


“He would have loved knowing that,” his spouse, Sandra Sutherland, informed The Associated Press on Monday. She added that she had informed her husband whereas he lay unconscious within the hospital: “Guess what, Jack, they got the bastards, and it was all your doing.”

In a profession spanning greater than 40 years, Palladino labored for a who’s who of the well-known and the typically notorious, alternately hailed as a hero or denounced as a villain, relying on who his consumer was on the time.

He was employed by Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential marketing campaign to place a lid on girls who have been coming ahead to say that they had had intercourse with the longer term president.

He was additionally the investigator for the household of a 14-year-old boy who received a multimillion-dollar settlement from Michael Jackson after accusing the entertainer of molesting him. Jackson was by no means charged with a criminal offense in that case.

Two of his most distinguished shoppers have been former tobacco firm government and whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand and former automotive government John DeLorean.

In the Wigand case, Palladino uncovered a deliberate marketing campaign by Big Tobacco to smear the previous government for Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. after his allegations turned public that tobacco merchandise have been spiked with chemical substances to make them extra addictive. Palladino additionally went on to play himself in “The Insider,” the 1999 movie in regards to the case.

For DeLorean, he found that the previous General Motors government had been arrange by authorities, who had charged him with trafficking tens of millions of {dollars} in cocaine in what they mentioned was a failed effort to prop up his failing DeLorean Motor Co. DeLorean was acquitted.

“Jack was a pillar of the legal and professional community. He was a firm believer in due process, First Amendment rights, particularly freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” Palladino’s lawyer, Mel Honowitz, mentioned in an emotional assertion confirming Palladino’s dying.

Obit-Famed Private Eye
This 2007 picture offered by Matt Latella reveals San Francisco private eye Jack Palladino in Toronto.

Matt Latella / AP


Although he nonetheless took the occasional case, Palladino had largely retired a 12 months in the past, his spouse mentioned, including that the 2 have been trying ahead to touring and pursuing images, which was a ardour for each of them.

The couple married in 1977, the identical 12 months they based Palladino & Sutherland Investigations.

While many of their enterprise hold a low profile, they did something however. They publicly took on high-profile circumstances whereas the media typically in contrast them to Nick and Nora Charles, the fictional, wisecracking, high-society husband-and-wife detective staff within the Dashiell Hammett potboiler, “The Thin Man.”

Their shoppers included everybody from the Black Panthers and Hells Angels to celebrities like Courtney Love, Robin Williams and Kevin Costner. They as soon as recovered a truckload of stolen gear for the Grateful Dead, and Palladino spent years investigating the mass suicide of the Jonestown cult in Guyana.

Some movie star shoppers, like Williams and Costner, have been the targets of fan or tabloid abuse. In Love’s case, she was being linked to unfounded allegations that she performed a task within the suicide of her husband, Kurt Cobain.

“I am somebody you call in when the house is on fire, not when there’s smoke in the kitchen,” Palladino informed the San Francisco Examiner in 1999. “You ask me to deal with that fire, to save you, to do whatever has to be done to the fire – where did it come from, where is it going, is it ever going to happen again?”

Over the years, some folks, together with the ladies who introduced accusations towards Clinton, complained that Palladino typically threatened and harassed them, their households and pals.

Although he would acknowledge he wasn’t afraid to ask robust questions, Palladino denied ever crossing the road both ethically or legally.

All he was ever after was the reality, he mentioned, including that he was higher at getting it than most different private eyes.

“I’m not a self-effacing individual,” he informed the Examiner. “I am a driven, arrogant person who holds himself and everyone around him to incredibly high standards.”

John Arthur Palladino was born in Boston on July 9, 1944, the son of a pipe fitter.

After graduating from Cornell University with a level in English, he studied regulation on the University of California, Berkeley, passing the state Bar examination in 1978. But by then, he had already discovered that his true ardour was investigations.

While nonetheless a pupil in 1971, he had himself incarcerated in New York’s Nassau County as a part of an undercover operation exposing rampant crime within the county’s jails. In 1974, the household of newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst employed him to assist examine members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the ragtag band of younger revolutionaries that had kidnapped her.

“I was planning to be a lawyer,” he as soon as informed People journal of his regulation college years. “I didn’t know in those days that investigations would make everything else seem dull, unchallenging and uninvolving.”