David Fechheimer, a budding flower child of the 1960s and aspiring English professor who was spurred overnight by the fictional gumshoe Sam Spade to switch careers and become one of the nation’s leading private investigators, died on Tuesday in Redwood City, Calif. He was 76.
His son Zachary, also a private investigator, said the cause was complications of open-heart surgery.
By dint of personality and practice, Mr. Fechheimer was inconspicuous compared with many of his colleagues and most of his clients. He handled cases involving the Black Panthers, Kobe Bryant, Angela Davis, Robert Durst, John Gotti, Daniel Ellsberg, Patty Hearst, Timothy McVeigh, Roman Polanski and Martha Stewart, among others.
In 2000, he won million for four children sired by Larry Hillblom, a founder of DHL, the shipping company, in a disputed estate case. He established paternity through DNA after sitting behind Mr. Hillblom’s reclusive mother at church, placing in the collection plate and, feigning Parkinson’s disease, asking her to lick the envelope for him.
In 2002, Mr. Fechheimer (pronounced FETCH-high-mer), whose nickname was Fetch, went from cave to cave on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in search of witnesses to support John Walker Lindh’s claim that he had provided only minor support to terrorists. (By the time Mr. Fechheimer returned, the case had been settled. Mr. Lindh, an American citizen, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for providing his services as a soldier to the Taliban.)
He also investigated several cases without fee for the Innocence Project, leading to the exoneration of inmates facing the death penalty in Alabama and Mississippi.
His clients notwithstanding, Mr. Fechheimer was not an ideologue, Peter Neufeld, a founder of the Innocence Project, said in a telephone interview. “He was political in that he cared so much about people and had progressive values about race and war and the human condition,” Mr. Neufeld said.
Whether his clients were guileful or guiltless, victims or victors, Mr. Fechheimer said his goal was to ferret out the facts. It did not matter how secret or convoluted those facts were.
“Once asked whether a defendant was motivated by money,” the journalist Seth Rosenfeld recalled in an email, Mr. Fechheimer replied, “No, the reasons were more Shakespearean.”
He redefined the stereotype of a plainclothesman for hire, long painted as a cocksure New York ex-cop sitting at a desk and calling a few former colleagues for the latest scuttlebutt.
Unlike some of his contemporaries and literary counterparts, he didn’t own a trench coat, smoke (he gave up Raleighs for nicotine gum) or even pack a gun. “I don’t look mean enough,” he once said. “Besides, personally I’m a pacifist.”
Replete with a beard, shaggy gray hair and rimless granny glasses, he looked more like Jerry Garcia than Humphrey Bogart, who played Sam Spade in John Huston’s famous film version of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon.”
“The mythical detective is a bad detective,” Mr. Fechheimer told Esquire magazine in 1984. “Any time you find yourself diving through a plate-glass window, you know you’ve made a serious error.”
He was more likely to listen earnestly to witnesses and suspects than to lunge at them.
“He could get anyone to talk because he intimidated no one,” Mr. Neufeld recalled. “He would say, ‘If you really want to get someone to talk, talk to them about what matters to them most.’ ”
David Fechheimer was born David Burgess Bissinger on April 30, 1942, in Cincinnati to Karl Bissinger, who became a fashion and portrait photographer in New York and later a peace advocate, and Juliet (Esselborn) Bissinger. After his parents divorced, his mother married Paul R. Fechheimer, an engineer who ran a factory that made packing machinery, in 1945.
As a young man, Mr. Fechheimer traveled across Africa and lived in Europe. After returning to the United States, he hitchhiked to California, where he received a bachelor’s degree in English from San Francisco State College (now University) in 1964.
He began a master’s thesis on Dashiell Hammett, but left school before he finished.
Hammett was jailed in the early 1950s for refusing to testify in federal court about the Civil Rights Congress, which investigators identified as a Communist front organization. Mr. Fechheimer later wrote that Hammett “squandered his talents and broke his own spirit long before the government intervened with its malicious prosecution.”
Living hand-to-mouth as a student, needing a job and with time on his hands because of a student strike, Mr. Fechheimer picked up “The Maltese Falcon” and became enthralled, he told The Dallas Morning News in 1994.
The next morning, he applied to the Pinkerton detective agency, where Hammett had worked before embarking on his writing career. He was hired and began working there for an hour.
“I called Pinkerton and asked if they needed someone who had no experience and a beard,” Mr. Fechheimer said. “To my surprise, they said they needed someone with a beard that day. I thought I would do it a couple of weeks as a goof. It looked like fun, being Sam Spade. Pinkerton put me under cover on the docks, and I was hooked. I never went back to school.”
His first marriage ended in divorce. In addition to his son Zachary, he is survived by his wife, Dianne Roxas; another son, Samuel, a professional chef; two granddaughters; and a sister, Ann Neff.
Mr. Fechheimer followed in Hammett’s footsteps in other ways.
“Like Hammett, he began to learn the city around him right down to its bones,” Nathan Ward wrote in “Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett” (2015) — although, he added, Mr. Fechheimer’s appearance today “might suggest a professor of American studies, perhaps, or constitutional law.”
He later joined the practice of the celebrated private eye Hal Lipset (famous for secreting a microphone in a martini olive) and opened his own office in 1976.
He soon developed a reputation as a different breed of investigator.
“He would make suggestions of volumes of poetry I should read to better understand the human condition of clients I represented,” Mr. Neufeld of the Innocence Project said.
Lowell Bergman, a journalism professor and an investigative reporter who has worked for The New York Times, characterized Mr. Fechheimer as a Zelig-like figure distinguished by his humility.
“His biggest investigative technique was knocking on doors,” Mr. Bergman said, “because he didn’t believe anything unless he could see it.”
Unlike Sam Spade, Mr. Fechheimer was licensed not only as a private eye but also as a wine wholesaler. He owned a tiny vineyard where he named his cabernet sauvignon Red Harvest, after an early Hammett novel.
He differentiated himself from his fictional predecessor in other ways. “Sam Spade may be the best detective in literature, but he’s still a lousy detective,” he told Esquire. “He never gets paid. He sleeps with his clients, and he winds up poor.”
Instead of working from a cheap office, Mr. Fechheimer operated from his four-bedroom home in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco, where an oil painting over the couch depicted the scene from “The Maltese Falcon” in which Spade tells his client Brigid O’Shaughnessy (portrayed by Mary Astor), “I won’t play the sap for you.”
The next scene — the final one in the screenplay and the novel, although it is not in the movie — takes place in Spade’s office the next morning. His secretary, Effie (played onscreen by Lee Patrick), is agape at a newspaper headline that says Spade turned O’Shaughnessy over to the police for the murder of his partner.
“You did that, Sam, to her?” the secretary says incredulously.
“Your Sam’s a detective,” Spade proudly replies.B:
排列5彩票开奖结果查绚【苏】【长】【夜】【的】【带】【来】【给】【整】【个】【小】【石】【村】【都】【带】【来】【了】【巨】【大】【的】【变】【化】，【最】【明】【显】【的】【就】【是】【大】【多】【数】【人】【都】【已】【经】【成】【为】【了】【神】【海】【境】。 【而】【朱】【零】【悦】【还】【只】【是】【宗】【师】【巅】【峰】，【当】【然】【了】，【虽】【然】【境】【界】【还】【只】【是】【宗】【师】【巅】【峰】，【但】【她】【的】【实】【力】【却】【不】【是】【一】【般】【神】【海】【境】【能】【比】【的】。 【现】【在】【朱】【零】【悦】【已】【经】【掌】【握】【了】【分】【身】【术】，【鲸】【吞】【九】【变】【的】【技】【能】【书】【也】【给】【了】【她】，【所】【以】【真】【要】【说】【她】【的】【实】【力】【已】【经】【很】【强】【大】。 【而】【苏】
【狼】【啸】【等】【很】【多】【妖】【兽】，【在】【进】【阶】【成】【为】【妖】【兽】【后】，【根】【本】【就】【没】【有】【时】【间】【去】【巩】【固】，【直】【接】【就】【被】【昆】【仑】【妖】【兽】【派】【去】【和】【人】【类】【战】【斗】。 【那】【时】【别】【说】【是】【保】【证】【自】【己】【不】【受】【伤】【了】，【就】【连】【保】【证】【自】【己】【能】【活】【下】【来】【就】【很】【困】【难】。 “【可】【恨】【的】【昆】【仑】【妖】【兽】，【它】【们】【肯】【定】【也】【知】【道】【这】【一】【点】，【但】【它】【们】【还】【是】【让】【我】【们】【去】【和】【人】【类】【战】【斗】，【摆】【明】【了】【就】【从】【来】【没】【有】【把】【我】【们】【放】【在】【眼】【中】。” 【进】【阶】【成】【为】【妖】【兽】
“【好】【的】。”【叶】【清】【吟】【道】。 【叶】【清】【吟】【看】【着】【灯】【光】【下】【的】【粉】【尘】，【扇】【了】【扇】【风】，【心】【里】【吐】【槽】【道】“【天】【哪】，【清】【逸】【这】【是】【多】【久】【没】【来】【了】。” 【叶】【清】【吟】【摸】【了】【一】【把】【架】【子】【上】【的】【灰】，“【咦】，【这】【么】【厚】【的】【灰】【尘】。” “【苏】【怀】【谦】，【你】【确】【定】【这】【上】【面】【的】【药】【瓶】【还】【可】【以】【用】【吗】?”【叶】【清】【吟】【拿】【起】【一】【瓶】【药】，【看】【了】【看】，【不】【禁】【怀】【疑】【道】。 “【咳】【咳】【咳】，【只】【要】【是】【密】【封】【的】【都】【可】【以】。”【苏】【怀】排列5彩票开奖结果查绚【向】【明】【诚】【一】【直】【注】【意】【着】【丁】【理】【全】，【现】【在】【更】【加】【觉】【得】【这】【个】【丁】【理】【全】【有】【问】【题】【了】。 【不】【过】【向】【明】【诚】【安】【排】【了】【后】【手】，【如】【果】【这】【个】【丁】【理】【全】【真】【的】【耍】【什】【么】【小】【手】【段】，【那】【他】【就】【死】【定】【了】！ 【牛】【兴】【修】【的】【部】【队】【是】【一】【支】【后】【勤】【部】【队】，【武】【器】【都】【是】【冷】【兵】【器】【不】【说】，【铠】【甲】【也】【没】【有】【一】【件】。 【所】【有】【的】【官】【兵】【都】【是】【穿】【的】【是】【灰】【色】【的】【布】【衣】【布】【裤】。 【不】【过】【这】【也】【正】【常】，【大】【多】【数】【国】【家】【的】【军】【队】【中】【后】
“【你】【什】【么】【意】【思】？” “【很】【简】【单】？【你】【希】【望】【谁】【来】【救】【你】？【我】【还】【是】……”**【秦】【故】【意】【地】【拖】【长】【声】【音】【看】【着】【强】【忍】【住】【药】【效】【的】【李】【紫】【新】【早】【就】【已】【经】【神】【志】【不】【清】【了】。“【还】【是】【尉】【迟】【拓】【野】？” “【我】【不】【会】【让】【你】【得】【逞】【的】！”【李】【紫】【新】【使】【出】【全】【身】【仅】【存】【的】【力】【气】【将】【桌】【旁】【的】【水】【杯】【杂】【碎】，【以】【迅】【雷】【不】【及】【掩】【耳】【之】【势】【冲】【着】【自】【己】【白】【里】【透】【红】【的】【胳】【膊】【划】【去】，【刚】【刚】【才】【划】【出】【一】【个】【小】【口】【子】【就】