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A Professor Becomes a Private Eye

Josiah Thompson taught philosophy and later became a detective while on sabbatical. He relates his work as private investigator to the writing of both Dashiell Hammett and Soren Kierkegaard. Thompson tells Fresh Air host Terry Gross about several of the cases he's worked on. His new book, Gumshoe, details his experiences.


Philosopher and Detective Josiah Thompson.

Detective Josiah Thompson. Thompson was a tenured professor of philosophy at Haverford College when he applied for a job at a San Francisco detective agency. He has since left academia and works full-time as a private eye. He's written an account of his work titled Gumshoe: Reflections in a Private Eye. Thompson's cases run the gamut from recovering money from an attic in a drug case to saving an innocent man from the gas chamber.

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