The Life Of A Cult Investigator

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David Sullivan. (Courtesy of Eric Brown)
David Sullivan. (Courtesy of Eric Brown)

A private investigator from San Francisco is being remembered for his unusual life. His obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle reads, in part:

David Sullivan dropped out of high school to manage a rock band in Mexico City and hung out on a Sioux reservation with a medicine man named Crow Dog. He built military radar in Gaddhafi’s Libya and stared down a notorious Brazilian drug lord in the slums of Rio. And he castrated bulls in Bolivia. He was perhaps more well-known as a San Francisco private investigator with an expertise in infiltrating cults.

David Sullivan died suddenly last month, just a day after a profile about him was published in Harper’s. The author of the profile, as well as a former colleague of Sullivan's, join Here & Now's Robin Young.


  • Nathaniel Rich, novelist and journalist who wrote a profile on David Sullivan. He tweets @NathanielRich.
  • Jennifer Stalvey, private investigator who often worked with David Sullivan.

This segment aired on November 1, 2013.


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