The world of Hollywood has suffered a great loss with the passing of Scott Ross, the ‘go-to’ private investigator for the industry’s elite. Ross died on May 2 at the age of 66, Your Content can tragically report.
Ross was an accomplished private investigator who played key roles in a host of notable cases involving celebrities such as Robert Blake, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Sylvester Stallone, Danny Masterson, and Bill Cosby.
The celebrity investigator is well known in his own right. Whenever high-profile figures sought an investigator, their choice was often Ross, who was well-regarded and respected within the entertainment industry. His dynamic personality and the esteemed company he kept only amplified his reputation.
Thomas Mesereau Remembers Scott Ross
Famed Los Angeles attorney Thomas Mesereau expressed his admiration and respect for the late Scott Ross, Hollywood’s leading private investigator. He recounts meeting Ross during his defense of actor Robert Blake, who was charged with the murder of his wife.
“I met Scott Ross when I was defending actor Robert Blake who was accused of murdering his wife.” Mesereau told Your Content. “Scott Ross had been the prior lawyer’s investigator. When I entered the case I had a lot of meetings with Scott about what work he had done and I was extremely impressed. He was very detailed, meticulous, organized, and well connected.”
It became routine for Mesereau to consult Ross due to his noteworthy skills, which surpassed those of his contemporaries.
“He had a lot of common sense. I had my own set of investigators and I kept comparing them to Scott Ross and he was way superior. I would often call Scott and run things by him and he was far superior than the others.”
When Mesereau was selected as counsel for Michael Jackson during the infamous child molestation case, he chose Ross as his investigator, attributing his decision to Ross’s exceptional expertise and the confidence he had in his capabilities.
“When I got into the Michael Jackson case, I wanted Scott Ross.” Mesereau continued. “When I became Mr. Jackson’s counsel I had to pick a very good investigator and Scott Ross was my choice.”
“When I got into the Michael Jackson case, I wanted Scott Ross. When I became Mr. Jackson’s counsel I had to pick a very good investigator and Scott Ross was my choice.”Tom Mesereau
“He was very dedicated to what he did. Very careful. He had a lot of contacts in government and law enforcement. He was just a great investigator.”
Harland Braun Remembers Scott Ross
Harland Braun, another distinguished attorney based in Los Angeles, praised Ross’s unwavering dedication to each case and client, emphasizing that Ross never let financial constraints interfere with his exhaustive investigations. Braun also recalled their personal relationship fondly, noting Ross’s attendance at his daughter’s wedding in South Carolina and the many ways he assisted Braun’s family.
“Scott Ross was an investigator who worked on many cases over my career.” Braun told Your Content. “Scott was very devoted to each client and never cut a corner or allowed financial concerns to short circuit an investigation. Scott took our relationship as personal as well as professional. He came to my daughter’s wedding in South Carolina and assisted my family in many different ways.”
Braun’s impressive legal career includes high-profile cases defending notable individuals. His clients have ranged from film director Roman Polanski and Erik Menendez, one of the infamous Menendez brothers, to actor Robert Blake. Braun also represented Dr. Richard Boggs in a high-profile murder case, former U.S. Congressman Gary Condit during a significant political scandal, and musician Sean “Puffy” Combs in a case related to gun possession and bribery.
Braun further underlined Ross’s unique qualifications as an investigator, one of which was his lack of a former career as a peace officer. This allowed Ross to approach each case neutrally, thereby gaining the trust of witnesses who might otherwise be distrustful of ex-cops.
“One of Scott’s clear qualifications is that he was never a police officer. He did not have a pro police bias as he investigated each case. He started from a neutral position which is difficult for a former police officer to maintain if he has served 20 to 30 years as a cop.” Braun continued. “Scott never had to rely on a badge to get cooperation so he was able to get many witnesses who were suspicious of former cops to talk.”
Braun likened having Ross as an investigator to having co-counsel, highlighting Ross’s ability to analyze cases from both an investigative and legal perspective. Braun expressed that he would deeply miss Ross’s presence.
“Having Scott as an investigator was like having co-counsel.” Braun told Your Content. “He analyzed each case from both an investigation perspective as well as a legal perspective. I will definitely miss Scott.”
“Having Scott as an investigator was like having co-counsel. He analyzed each case from both an investigation perspective as well as a legal perspective. I will definitely miss Scott.”Harland Braun
In a poignant reminiscence, Braun recounted a personal incident involving his mentally ill mother, found near death in a heavily cluttered home. Braun and Ross spent nearly a week cleaning the house, an act of kindness Braun would never forget, further underlining his deep sense of loss at Ross’s passing.
“I have a mother with severe mental illness. We had to stop communicating with her to protect our children. The police found her almost dead in her home. Her home was a mess which is hard to explain. Let’s say it was filled with maggots which took Scott and I almost a week to clean up. That is a favor that I will never forget Scott’s help. Again I will miss Scott!”
Karen Morrison Remembers Scott Ross’ Pro Bono Work
Karen G. Morrison, the founder and president of Fighting 4 Freedom, has praised the late Scott Ross as an invaluable mentor and team member to their nonprofit organization. Ross’s expertise and guidance significantly enhanced the group’s ability to effectively handle cases and consider evidence from a more factual viewpoint rather than merely emotional, Morrison stated.
“Scott Ross was more than a private investigator to us at Fighting 4 Freedom—he was a mentor, a guide, and a valued team member. He didn’t just help us with cases, he taught us how to look at them differently, to focus on hard facts instead of just emotions.” Morrison said. “Scott understood the rules of the game, and he helped us navigate between Constitutional and Due Process Rights, giving us an edge we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
According to Morrison, Ross’s decision to contribute to their organization on a pro bono basis was a significant turning point, enabling them to draw on additional pro bono resources and take on complex cases that were previously beyond their capability.
“His generous spirit shone through when he began helping our non-profit pro bono. His expertise was a game-changer, bringing in other pro bono attorneys and helping us take on cases we previously couldn’t due to lack of experience.” Morrison told Your Content.
“Scott’s work was transformative, shifting our perspectives and helping us better advocate for individuals seeking clemency. He helped us understand complex matters like DNA evidence lifespan, the felony murder rule, and witness misidentification. This wisdom wasn’t just shared – it was instrumental in our successes.”
She remembered Ross as an extraordinary individual whose dedication was apparent in every case he worked on. His influence continues to inspire their work, and Morrison expressed deep gratitude for his contributions to justice and their organization.
“Scott Ross was an extraordinary man. His dedication was felt in every case he touched, and his influence remains a driving force in our organization.” Morrison continued. “We’re grateful for his time, his expertise, and most importantly, his heartfelt commitment to justice. He was an asset.”
Scott Ross’ Career & Cell Tower Breakthrough
Scott Ross, revered as one of California’s leading private investigators, embarked on his career in 1979 as an intern. He obtained his license in the state of California in May 1983, and subsequently established Scott Ross Private Investigations in April 1986. Over the years, Ross tackled an array of criminal cases, ranging from serious felonies and violent crimes to capital death penalty and murder cases, as well as less severe charges like DUIs. His clientele spanned attorneys from across the country. In 2008, his career evolved to incorporate the development of cellular site technology, necessitating mastery of this area where required.
During a murder case in Palo Alto, California, Scott Ross and the involved attorneys realized the need for a cellular site expert. With no readily available resources, Ross took the initiative to learn about cell towers and cell sites. As he dove deeper into the subject, he discovered the crucial role this information could play in various cases, and its potential for both use and misuse.
With federal directives passed in 2010 mandating GPS capability in all cell phones, the significance of cellular information escalated, making it more important than ever. After several years of study and practice, Ross was recognized as an expert in cellular analysis by the State of California Superior Court. He conducted cellular analysis in twelve different states, testifying in both California and Missouri. Notably, his expertise also extended to assisting law enforcement in interpreting cell site data.
Ross, a native of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, received his education at Los Angeles Valley College and Loyola Marymount University. His career kick-started in 1979 under the mentorship of retired U.S. Marshall, Angelo “Chick” Canzoneri. Upon receiving his license in 1983, Ross went on to form a partnership with Ted Gunderson, a retired FBI Special Agent in Charge, in June 1986. This collaboration led to his involvement in high-profile cases such as the McMarten Pre-School child molestation case and the re-investigation of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, conducted for Geraldo Rivera’s 25th-anniversary special commemoration of Senator Kennedy’s death.