This is an extended version of our interview with Ron Fabiani that we featured in the February 2010 issue of the Legends and Lore of Illinois. Download the entire issue by clicking here.
Ron Fabiani, otherwise known as “Fabs,” is the founder of the Chicago Paranormal Detectives and has been a police officer in the Chicagoland area for over two decades. The Chicago Paranormal Detectives are now featured in the new A&E series Paranormal Cops, which premiered on January 19, 2010.
When did you and the other members of Chicago Paranormal Detectives become interested in not only studying the paranormal, but also in conducting private paranormal investigations?
I started a police staffed paranormal investigative organization in 2003 and changed the name to the Chicago Paranormal detectives in 2006. The 2003 creation was initiated from an on duty call I handled which was reported paranormal activity. A business man in the community reported to me that he had been seeing apparitions among other things and didnt know where else to turn. He was apprehensive and somewhat reluctant but had enough. I returned the next day off duty with a camcorder to satisfy him, (and myself). I was confident I would record nothing but to my amazement I recorded a black 3D mass which moved for a significant amount of time. Being unable to explain this, I showed some other cops and I subsequently formed this group. We are no non sense, common sense reasonable thinking guys.
What advantages does being in law enforcement bring to the table when it comes to investigating the paranormal?
First, let me ask you a question. If you needed brain surgery, would you choose someone who runs a hardware store Monday through Friday but dabbles in medicine on the weekends as a “Hobby-Doctor”? Or, would you choose a real surgeon? Even if the self proclaimed hobbyist is good, who would you choose? There is no certification, licensing or standard in the paranormal world for investigators. Just wake up tomorrow, claim to be a paranormal investigator and guess what…..you are. We have extensive training, certification, experience, responsibility, accountability and high call volumes. We are held at a higher level of accountability than the rest of society. We are professional, articulate investigators who’s primary careers rely on us maintaining our credibility and integrity. We apply common sense crime scene preservation tactics and insure there is no tampering or contamination.
This is what we do for a living. Additionally, a lot of people like to provoke and we do it to (at times). However, when I am interviewing an offender and I want a signed voluntary statement or a confession, I will begin to build a rapport with the subject. I will minimize the crime, say things which lead the subject to believe I see things the way he might, talk calmly, etc. Once I have a rapport, it is likely that I will get much farther than screaming. Often times, I will say nothing to a suspect and just sit there. The discomfort of silence usually prompts someone to speak. Since I want it to be him, it most certainty isn’t going to be me. There are countless interview skills, evidence standards and security measures along with a host of other things that set us apart.
Have you ever encountered anything on an investigation that you felt you weren’t prepared to handle?
No, not at all.
What would you say has been the most unusual case Chicago Paranormal Detectives has tackled?
We have had many. For me, I was “apparently” singled out during an investigation at the former Casa Madrid in Melrose Park Illinois. It is in episode #1.
How did the premise for the show Paranormal Cops come about? How do you think the show will be received?
As I stated, our group was up and running when I received a call from Tom Froelich one day. Tom was always interested in the paranormal and had been a cop for quite awhile. He had an idea to construct a group of cops interested in the paranormal,… until he found our group… Tom felt that people would find the techniques cops use which crossover to the field of the paranormal quite interesting. Tom and I met, he presented his idea, he joined our group and we pursued his concept together.
How can our readers contact you if they have any questions?
Mike, your fans may contact through our website at www.chicagoparanormaldetectives.com. We are also on facebook and people are invited to join the Chicago Paranormal Detectives group on facebook as well. We conduct investigations in Chicagoland by request if there is some form of urgency. Mere curiosity is not a factor for which we would work a case.
We cannot work outside locations, apartments, condos or townhouses. We require all pets and occupants be relocated with the exception of 1 household member on standby. The Chicago Paranormal Detectives is a 7 member private organization.
Tune in to, “Paranormal Cops” on A&E starting January 19th.
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