Fred Otash Detective Bureau Ad, November 1960
Fred Otash was a very famous private detective of the 1960's that most of the known Hollywood celebrities used. Upon the death of Marilyn Monroe, Peter Lawford called this man. This is an ad that appeared in November 1960 entertainment magazine section of the newspaper. Note that his name in his trade name is spelled Fred Ostash and not Fred Otash at the bottom of this ad. This is likely a typo and Otash, we are sure, complained about it.

Another ad from the same time period with his agency name spelled correctly

Here is the same ad as the first one at the top of the page with the corrected
typo in the ad! We don't know for sure but I would bet that Otash obtained
this ad for free as a result of the typo that appeared in the first ad. There is one
big problem! This ad also has a typo! It states at the top that "it's important to choose
your investor with as much care as you choose a doctor or lawyer." It should state investigator and not investor.

Yet another Fred Otash ad from the 1960's. Otash did a lot of advertising.

Otash's name pops up in a great deal of published works as footnotes giving or confirming various details on subjects such as underworld activity, illegal bugging, Marilyn Monroe's murder, J Edgar Hoover and the Kennedy assassination. His name is mentioned and referenced as a source in the following published works:

• Davis,J. Mafia Kingfish. 1989 (262)
A book about the mafia and the assassination of JFK
• Giancana,S.& C. Double Cross. 1992 (297, 316)
Another book about the assassination of JFK
• O'Toole,G. The Private Sector. 1978 (223)
A book about private security and investigation
• Scott,P.D. Deep Politics. 1993 (227)
A book about conspiracy in government
• Summers,A. Official and Confidential. 1993 (258)
a book about J Edgar Hoover
• Vankin,J. Whalen,J. The 60 Greatest Conspiracies. 1998 (100)
Another Conspiracy book
• The Monroe Conspiracy
A book about the death of Marilyn Monroe

It is apparent the man was well connected in certain circles. From reading the above referenced books, one will find that Otash had inside knowledge about the mafia, insider workings of "deep " politics, and the bugging of Marilyn Manroe as well as inside knowledge about her death.

Fred Otash was also an FBI informant for a while. In 1961, Otash sent out a flyer advertising The International Directory And Almanac which was a listing directory for private investigators, adjusters, repossessors, collection agencies, credit reporting houses and patrol services. He implied in his advertising that the directory was endorsed by the FBI and had the cooperation of J Edgar Hoover. Below is a copy of the letter that was sent out .


Otash got in a slew of trouble with the FBI and the federal government for false advertising, using the FBI director's name and using the name United Nations. His status with the FBI as an FBI informant was dropped. His California license was revoked and he then moved to New York. He has, of course, his own extensive FBI files regarding these matters and others. You can read his FBI files made public by clicking here. You can also read his appeal for the the issue concerning his California license been revolked by clicking here.

A Photo Of Fred Otash From 1976 And His Book That Was Published In 1976

In 1976 his book, Investigation Hollywood: Memoirs Of Hollywood's Top Private Detective was published by Henry Regnery Company. Otash is rumored to have been one of the investigators who keep a physical and electronic surveillance on Marilyn Monroe in the months before her death. However, his book does not reveal anything about it. He does claim in his book, that after Kennedy became President, the FBI confiscated files he had on the Kennedys. His book has revealing information on many stars from his case files including, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Avalon, Errol Flynn, Judy Garland and many others.

From The Ralph D. Thomas PI Vintage Collection
P O Box 82148, Austin, Texas 78708
Showroom: 9513 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78758
Phone 512.719.3595 Fax 512.719.3594

What's New Books Equipment Software Links
NAIS Find A PI Certifications Resources Clothing
Badges ID Cards Cop Shop Members Our Staff
PI News PI Daily PI Radio Show Gift Ideas Become A PI

Return To The Spy And PI Vintage Pages

Copyright: 2006, Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Thomas Investigative Publications, Trademark, 1981.
National Association Of Investigative Specialists, Inc, Trademark, 1986.
Spy Exchange, Trademark, 1999