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A Case of Foul Play

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It was a tough spot, but if anyone could talk his way out of it, it was Richard Carl Post. Two men posing as Mexican cops kidnapped Post in front of a Tijuana pharmacy on a summer day in 1998. They took him to an abandoned house and duct-taped him to a chair in a shower stall.

Post was one of San Diego’s most notorious private investigators—52 years old, tall and thin, with dark hair and eyes. Handsome, in a rugged, manly sort of way, Post looked like a private investigator. Like Magnum, P.I., without the mustache.

“He could talk a broad out of her skivvies in Main Street,” another private investigator says of Post.

But on this day, one of Post’s former girlfriends allegedly was also one of his kidnappers. An affidavit filed in the case by an FBI agent identifies her as Janet Fleming, and describes what happened next.

“She used pliers and squeezed Post’s fingers as a form of torture,” the affidavit says. “Then one of the other kidnappers took the pliers, and pinched Post’s fingernails.” Post screamed in pain through the duct tape and then was allowed to appeal to Fleming.

“Post asked her why she was doing this to him, and was inquiring if it was because of the other women. Fleming advised that was not the reason, but it was simply because he had stolen money from her.”

No one has seen Post since then. His body has never been found. Many doubt it ever will be. One source believes Post was killed “Mexican style” and parted out like a stolen car. “He was chopped up, and they weren’t worried about anybody ever finding him.”

With no body, police at first considered Post just another missing person. His family filed the usual report to open a case with San Diego Police. But they also had some evidence: love letters from Fleming to Post.

“‘I’m just so deeply in love with you ... you’re all I can think of,’” a source quotes from the letters. “She was really ... obsessed with him,” the source says. “But she found out that he really wasn’t romancing her. He was going after her wallet.”

Post’s attorney, Joseph Dicks, did not respond to interview requests.

Those who knew Post say they’re not surprised he disappeared mysteriously. “He was pretty well known for being a sleaze guy, hanging around with the wrong crowd,” says a San Diego lawyer. “I just can’t imagine him coming to a good end anywhere in life.”

Post’s story offers a different view of San Diego, one that doesn’t show up in the picture postcards. It’s a story of sex, scams and shady characters. It’s a story with famous and infamous names: Dr. Deepak Chopra, the world-renowned author and lecturer from La Jolla, and Svetlana Orgorodnikova, a convicted Russian spy.

While most private investigators work their cases quietly—they’re private investigators, after all—Post was always drawing attention to himself. That’s how he met Chopra. Or more accurately, Chopra’s lawyers. In court documents, they accuse Post of trying to shake down Chopra. They say Post was behind a sexual harassment lawsuit against Chopra, filed by a woman named Joyce Weaver.

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