Berlin: The City Of Spies Never Dies | Patrick Kurtz's Interview with the American Radio Station NPR

Recently, Patrick Kurtz, CEO of our Detective Agency in Berlin, Germany, gave an interview to Tony Andrews from Radio NPR. It was our chief investigator's first ever English interview. The two of them discussed private investigations in Berlin and in Germany in general and talked about a very special case containing a missing person and highly specialised man-trailing dogs. The following extract is taken from the original radio broadcast:

Preconditions for Private Investigations in Germany

Tony Andrews: "Berlin has a long history of being at the epicenter of espionage. And not only during the Cold War: Just this year construction on the new BND (Bundesnachrichten Dienst) spy headquarters was completed in the city. But what is less well-known is that Berlin also has the highest number of private detectives of any German city."


Patrick Kurtz: "I’ve always been a great fan of Sherlock Holmes, cliché I know."


Tony Andrews: "That’s private investigator Patrick Kurtz. Because he doesn’t have a license to kill, when a potential client approaches him, he has to first figure out whether the person has a right to the information they’re seeking."


Patrick Kurtz: "Is there a legal interest or at least a legitimate interest for the investigation?"


Tony Andrews: "Someone has a legal interest if money is involved: Debtors, employees, that kind of thing. A legitimate interest refers to family or people who live together. Wanting information about a stranger is technically called:"


Patrick Kurtz: "Some kind of stalking." 

Detective Agency Germany, Private Investigator Germany, Investigations Berlin
Being by far the biggest city in Germany, Berlin accordingly contains the highest number of private investigators, but the Kurtz Detective Agency is among the few of them which offer their services in English.

Case Example: Missing Person from Baden-Württemberg

Tony Andrews: "Private investigations tend to be about unfaithfulness, alimony, and – sometimes – missing persons. Patrick tells me about this one case he can’t forget. A couple from Baden-Württemberg called him one day because their autistic son had disappeared."


Patrick Kurtz: "They told me that they are missing their son. He’s been missing for I think it was four days."


Tony Andrews: "The boy left a letter in which he explained that he was running away because he couldn’t cope with school."


Patrick Kurtz: "In that letter he also told his family that he is going to kill himself."


Tony Andrews: "Patrick started the search at the boy’s last known location."


Patrick Kurtz: "He used a credit card and got money from cash machines so we knew he must have been in Düsseldorf." 

Chasing the Trace: Man-trailing dogs in Germany

Tony Andrews: "Then he brought in some dogs. Some man-trailing dogs to sniff some of the missing boy’s clothes to find the trail."


Patrick Kurtz: "They immediately know the trace no matter how many other smells you have around."


Tony Andrews: "That blew my mind. These dogs can identify your smell at a public place, among hundreds, even thousands of other smells."


Patrick Kurtz: "After days, weeks, and even after months."

A Study in Blood

Tony Andrews: "Anyway, so they followed the trail to a nearby hotel."


Patrick Kurtz: "We explained the situation to them [the hotel employees] and they were helping us."


Tony Andrews: "The dogs led them up to one of the rooms."


Patrick Kurtz: "Then we knocked at the door. No-one answered."


Tony Andrews: "Hotel staff used the master key to open the door and then they walked in."


Patrick Kurtz: "We saw the son that we were looking for and he was lying head down on the bed with blood all over."


Tony Andrews: "He didn’t react."


Patrick Kurtz: "But then we tested to see if he’s still alive and he was alive, gladly. We saw that he had tried to kill himself by cutting himself. After some time we got him to some kind of consciousness."

The satisfying feeling of solving a case

Tony Andrews: "The team got to him on time. I asked Patrick how that made him feel. He just said:"


Patrick Kurtz: "It’s a good feeling to save a life of course."


Tony Andrews: "What he may have meant to say was:"


"Elementary, my dear Watson."

Are you looking for a Private Investigator in Germany?

Should you as a private person or as an accountable employee be in need of private or commercial investigations in Germany, Kurtz Investigations Berlin will gladly help you with their widespread network of qualified investigators all over the country: +49 30 5557 8641-0 or

Kurtz Investigations Berlin, Germany

Rykestraße 26

D-10405 Berlin

Tel.: 030 555 786 41-0

Fax: 030 555 786 41-9



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