P.I.’s Dilemma


A private investigator knows how to find somebody, and he did. Sheila Bellush, now married with quadruplets with her current husband, and two daughters by her former husband Allen Blackthorne.

According to court testimony, Blackthorne wanted custody of the two daughters they had when they were married, and was willing to do almost anything to get them.

Blackthorne hired a private investigator in Florida, and he found Sheila Bellush in Sarasota, Florida, info that the private investigator passed onto Blackthorne.

Her killer, hired by Blackthorne, shot Sheila in the face, and then slit her throat, all in front of her two-year old quads. One of her daughters by her marriage to Blackthorne found Sheila when the daughter returned from school. This occurred on 11/7/97.

I’m sure the private investigator regrets it to this day, passing along Sheila’s location to Blackthorne, and I won’t use his name, but I think he was short on due diligence.

To me a red flag would have gone up when an ex-husband wanted to find his former wife after eight years. Oh sure he used the ruse that he (the ex) was afraid his former wife was abusing the children, but I’m not sure I would have bought that.

I would have been inclined to think if there was abuse, it had to be the ex and not his wife.

I’ve been around this writing game long enough to tell when someone is lying. It’s easier in person, but I can still tell if they’re lying over the phone, and it’s an odds-on bet I can tell they are lying in e-mail exchanges. How you ask? I’m not about to tell you that.

A private investigator is trained in lies 101, if not he will not be a successful private investigator. Occasionally he may get the truth, and might have trouble recognizing it. He should have extensively questioned Blackthorne, who had become wealthy from selling medical devices.

There are ethics involved, and they lay beyond his client. In this case Blackthorne was paying the private investigator’s bill, but before I turned that info over to Blackthorne, I would have contacted Shiela Bellush and her husband, and asked that I have a few minutes of their time at their Sarasota home one night.

Chances are the girls from Sheila’s previous marriage to Blackthorne would have been there, and I think I would have been fast aware of the quads, and it would have immediately struck me that Blackthorne was lying about Sheila abusing children. What else was he lying about? Super red flag. Also I would have found out that Sheila had legal custody of the two daughters, and Blackthorne had given up all rights. Another super red flag.

I would have told Sheila and her husband that Blackthorne was trying to find her, and asked her why did she think he was looking for her? I have to believe there would have been an immediate fear factor in her eyes, and she would have expressed exactly what he would do when he found her, although the only one who knows that for sure is Sheila, and she is dead. Bellush, her husband, if questioned now, could possibly shed some light on it.

I think I would have determined there was no way that I would give Blackthorne the info about exactly where she was. I would have had her out of the country in some remote Mexican village that was impossible to trace unless Blackthorne went there.

I would have cashed Blackthorne’s check, and when he called me to tell me he went to that Mexican village, and she was never there, I would have told him apparently he never talked to the right people. I would have then asked him if he knew where she was then, which he would not have known. If he threatened me with a lawsuit for taking his money under false pretense, I would have told him I thought I would go to the police, and let them find out why he was really looking for his ex-wife. I would have gotten on the phone to the private investigators Florida association, and told them to pass along info to other private investigators in Florida that I thought he was trying to find her to kill her. I would have also contacted the national private investigators association and told them the same thing. RED ALERT to both associations.

The four men involved in Sheila’s death were prosecuted, and will spend the rest of their lives in prison. Blackthorne has already spent the rest of his life in prison, because he died in 2014 in an Indiana prison. He was convicted in San Antonio. How he wound up in an Indiana prison, I doubt if anyone cares. No cause of death was listed, but I hope it was slow and painful. The man who actually killed Sheila apologized in court for what he did. If I had been her current husband Bellush, I would have told him to shut up.

Some people are inherently evil. The four men that participated in Shelia’s murder are a prime example of that.

How many times have you hugged your children and told them you love them over the last eighteen years. Shelia couldn’t do that with her six children, now adults, could she?


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