The road from KHQA reporter to private investigator

Amy Drescher videotapes herself as a makeup artists preps her for the Anderson Cooper show.

It takes lying and deception to flush out a liar and a cheat. It also takes perseverance ... and it helps tremendously to have a background as a news reporter.

It was during her ten years of

reporting and anchoring for KHQA

in the early '90s that

Amy Holm Drescher

learned the skills she uses every day as a private investigator.

â??My best training was my previous experience as a news reporter,â?? she said. â??There are very strong parallels between a news reporter and a private investigator.â??

Both jobs require strong, objective, accurate writing skills. Amy writes reports that often have to stand up in court. â??It's like writing a news story,â?? Amy told me. â??I totally enjoy writing a report.â?? Most P.I.'s. don't approach that aspect of the job with nearly as much enthusiasm.

Operating video equipment is vital. Amy doesn't carry a weapon, but she has an arsenal of video surveillance equipment.

A P.I. and a good reporter know where to go to get information. They know which records are available through the Sunshine Laws in each state. They understand how levels of government operate. They know how to research.

Interviewing skills play a huge role in a reporter's job, but they also apply to a private investigator's work. The main difference is that the person Amy talks to may not realize he or she is being interviewed. Amy has to find creative ways to glean information from a neighbor or a hotel desk clerk.

It's no surprise at all to me that when Amy left Quincy, got married and moved to the Nashville area that she went on to earn her private investigator's license. It's a natural fit for her. Some reporters prefer the easy road of covering events or writing features. Amy always chose the tough assignments. She thrived on those â??gotchaâ?? moments that a tough reporter can reveal.

Amy's fascination with police work as a reporter serves her well as a P.I. As a child, she'd sit by the scanner and memorize police call-out codes. I remember her in the newsroom hearing a scanner reports â??10-50 with injuriesâ?? and she'd grab a camera and be the first on the scene of an accident. She also enjoyed the intrigue of a trial. She'd sit through hours of the most mundane testimony to pick out the nuggets of information that could turn a news report into a mini-novel that read like a thriller.

It was a reporter's story on Amy's life as a P.I. that drew the attention of

CNN's Anderson Cooper

. She recently appeared on his daytime talk show in a segment called â??Lies and Deception.â?? More than 12,000 people have watched the

feature by a local reporter that was posted on youTube

. When Cooper's producers saw it, they decided Amy was the person they needed for their show.

Amy's niche in the world of private investigating is infidelity and child custody cases. She often draws cases from her husband's clients. Jay Drescher, who also comes from our area, is a divorce attorney. They recently combined resources to become the offices of Drescher and Drescher. Amy has a staff of four investigators she can call on to help with her caseload. When it comes to cheating spouses, there's no shortage of work.

In my next column, Amy reveals the three signs that your spouse is cheating.