I Was Framed – “Burn Pile”

I Was Framed – “Burn Pile”

Everyone’s got a story.  Some candidates like to voluntarily tell us theirs.  Like a confessional, the process of being fingerprinted can sometimes encourage people “to tell all.”  Is it a guilty conscience or a need for empathy?  We are not sure but whatever the reason, we hear some real doozies.  “I Was Framed – Burn Pile” Story 7  is inspired by a true story behind the scenes at Cluso, a Texas licensed Private Investigation Company.



The Real Story 

The scenario happens time and again.  We have a person submitting to fingerprinting or providing us background check release paperwork and the person pulls us aside like an old friend.   “Burn Pile” Stories are always told at a whisper.  Scheduling a fingerprinting is performed with telephone automation or internet navigation.  No one is there to answer questions or listen.  The mysterious process behind the scenes for fingerprinting may be a little scary.  After all it is the government poking around into your background.  What are they doing behind the curtain (like Wizard of Oz)?  The process can make you feel vulnerable.  Who doesn’t have at least one skeleton in their closet?

When a candidate shows up for the fingerprinting, they are usually Early.  It’s like “going on the record” and maybe tardiness is noted, right?  The fingerprint specialist humanizes the experience for the first time.  When life happens and events unfold, the event is personal.  There are emotions, reasons, and whys.  When a person is charged with a crime, a complex set of actions resolves into fitting or not fitting into one or more charges/offenses.  The charges have specific legal definitions.

Read More  Of The Real Story  

So a person stays up all night because of disturbing news the day before, drinks coffee and blacks out on the way to work.  Crash.  They awake immediately and realize they hurt another person.  The person may be a volunteer at the church or helps out their sick relatives.  Not at all what you think of when you think “criminal”.  The police arrive and listen to the circumstances and if the person broke the law, he or she is charged.  Maybe the charges are dropped but just going through the process brings on anxiety and regret when a company mentions a background check.  A few years later the person applies to be a teacher and a background check with fingerprints is required.  Our fingerprint person is the first opportunity to ask all the burning questions.  Questions like  will I be disqualified from this job opportunity.  In order to ask those burning questions, it makes sense to tell the story before asking the question.  Unfortunately we only take the fingerprints and they are electronically transmitted to the concerned agencies.

Every agency has disqualification criteria   If you find you are applying for a job requiring fingerprints and have some incident in the past, ask for the regulation.  Unfortunately, no matter how unfair or heartbreaking the stories or circumstances may be, the legal system boils down the incident to whether a case should be filed (or not), specific charges are listed (or not), and a judgment (or not) will be recorded.  By the time the fingerprinting happens there is nothing we can do to sway the final outcome.  The decision makers are applying the law based on the facts of every case or arrest, and we are not able to “put in a good word.”  


Background check company’s report the facts.  If a charge says “Terroristic Threat” we have to report it that way.  You should look into the penal code of the state and make sure you understand a charge and don’t make assumptions.  A Terroristic Threat is usually a misdemeanor and is definitely NOT the same act as flying an airplane into a building.


Automated technology has removed the human element  in making the decision about whether a person is a threat or not.  This is similar to how banking has changed over the last 100 years.  In the past the banker making the loan knew the person and the family.  Now the bank has you fill an online credit application and the answer is just yes or no (even if the local bank has had you as a customer for 10 years.) I can’t help but wonder if we are leaving too many final decisions up to a computer when computers do not understand how chaotic and random life can be.


I Was Framed : Episode 1 – “Identity Theft

I Was Framed : Episode 2 – “Seven Year Background Check

I Was Framed : Episode 3 – “Already in Prison”

I Was Framed : Episode 4 – “Jon Smith”

I Was Framed : Episode 5 – “Good News, Bad News” 

I Was Framed: Episode 6 – “Career Criminal


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