I’m going to tell you two things from my experience about doing your own criminal investigation:
1. You get a lead, then another and another… and you get excited chasing this linear progression of events. It’s a bit like a drug. But then you get more leads, they don’t necessarily all add to the same position, so you compromise, you begin to shift positions and realize you have primary information, but also secondary and tertiary info that may lead to other crimes (you may follow up on that when you find the time).
The next thing you know, you’re not following leads, your following strands in a web… and you’re stuck in the middle of it. And no one (least of all yourself) realizes it’s pulling you in.
2. You can get consumed by what Freud and Jung called “The Shadow Self”. I don’t mean to be enigmatic, or dramatic, bu that is what it is. You are looking at this darkness, and in order to interpret it, to master it… you start to thinking a little bit like it. And before you know it you’ve lost your sense of self.
This is one of the reasons I would much prefer approaching this case any further “as a group”; we can watch out for each other, protect each other. When I deal with crime issues now on my own I’d much rather consider large scale policy questions, in the aggregate. It allows me sleep at night.
If you think I’m being silly, or over reacting then you’ve most likely not experienced what I’m describing. If what I say resonates, then you’ve probably stepped a little off the path, and (hopefully) have been able to find your footing again.