MIAMI IN THE 1980's the time of Miami Vice and Cocaine Cowboys, was where a most unlikely bondsman and private eye got her start...


LAURA LANFIELD is the true-crime author of , BAIL BONDS BABYLON and the upcoming SOUTH BEACH LADY P.I.has been one of the most sought-after and successful female private investigators in the country for over 25 years.

Laura Lanfield Official Website


You miserable bitch!" He said to me, "It's all your fault!"

His name was Henry. Built like a line-backer, he towered over my petite frame like a bullying, intimidating, dark cloud.

The courtroom was packed. Everyone was sweaty. The tension in the air was at a fever pitch. Judge Goodman glowered from high atop the crowd as he admonished the defendant not to raise his cane and hit the bondsman, me.

I was a petite buxom blonde in my early 30s. So naturally, when colossal-sized Henry loomed over me, he looked like he was about to smash an ant. The judge's eyes were blood red with anger. Not in his court would such a thing happen.

The two horrified bailiffs stood close to me as if I were in some sort of protective custody. I guess in a way I was.

Henry, the bastard, was pissed cause he knew his ass was going to jail and he also knew he had me to thank for it.

Not to say he had not warned me before of his violent nature, but I was not going to let this scum bully me like he did others. What the hell was I supposed to do, stand there quietly while this ignorant, rapist smashed my skull as he shouted obscenities about my sex, my race and my occupation? I don't think so. It was his stream of loudly spoken well-delivered phrases that brought the scene to the judge's attention.

I was paralyzed with fear but I wasn't about to let him know it, not for a second. My piercing blue eyes locked on his cold, very dark, menacing eyes. I stepped up in my bright colored platform shoes, or fuck me pumps as we called them in the '70s, and said through gritted teeth, loud enough only for him to hear, "YOU raped them not me. You're going down you miserable bastard."

I knew that was not exactly the language of a lady raised as well as I but when you run across a piece of shit like him, who raped 2 little girls you can tend to get a little hot under the collar. And as the saying goes, "You can wrap a pig in silk but it's still a pig." Or in my case, "you can wrap a lady in rags but she's still a lady."

As a bondsman the court had released my client, Patricia, into my care, custody and control so I was essentially responsible for her. I escorted her and her two young daughters who were trembling with fear into the courtroom with me. My heart breaks just thinking about how he defiled those girls, their hair braided in barrettes, their sad big eyes getting ever so large at the sight of this horrible man who had stolen their innocence and called himself their father. I knew at that moment there was no way in hell I was going to let him get away with it.

I felt confident that now here in the courtroom, Patricia's safety and that of her two daughters was assured. Never dreamed my brains might be bashed in by this lunatic husband of hers. No good deed goes unpunished they say. The shit I had to put up with as a lady bondsman.

Sure, I was a front-runner in the industry, a job born of desperation.

As I stood in the courtroom in that moment, I flashed back on to a few desperate months earlier and what lead up to my being a bondsman in that courtroom.


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