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vO’CONNOR continued from page 3 a valuable member of the Investigative Services team. “He has a great interest in this line of work but I don’t think I want to push him into it. He wants to be a Marine Biologist or a police officer. Leaning towards Marine Biologist. He loves science and is smart as can be. He studies everything.” As we move past the reception area into Marty’s personal office he offers me a seat. This room is calm and serene and within it are items and pictures commemorating his public service. He is a professional through and through, but he is also a man proud of the accomplishments he has achieved throughout his career. Behind him I see a shovel and a hard-hat fastened to the wall. I ask him what those two items represent. “The shovel on the wall was given to me as I was one of the individuals to perform the groundbreaking for the Highway 81 Bridge joining South Dakota and Nebraska. The white hard hat to the right of the shovel was given to me by the largest windmill project at the time in Nebraska as one of the groundbreaking members of that project along with Governor Heineman of Nebraska.” I am anxious to hear some of Marty’s experiences, the exciting cases, the exotic locations, the high-speed car chases with exchanges of gunfire, and all the other things my Hollywood and fiction story influenced mind has me believing is the true life of an Investigator. Yes, there have been a few harrowing experiences in Marty O’Connor’s career, but once again I am reminded that what I believe to be true is not. What I fail to see is that there is a real and dangerous dark side to humanity that many do not see or have experienced, myself included. All the movies, television shows and dime-store novels can never capture that dangerous and often menacing reality. Marty has seen it and experienced it first-hand on many occasions. However, it is his devotion to public service and justice that compels him to continue to seek the truth no matter how dismal the circumstances may be. Marty tells me of a fellow police officer and partner in his past whose life was taken by another police officer that both the victim and Marty trusted. The assailant was sworn to uphold the duties of the law and to protect, but in reality, he was a man who became desperate enough to commit murder. Marty has a memorial for the fallen officer who was not only a comrade but also a dear friend. That memorial of pictures keeps Officer Dan in Marty’s thoughts daily and Marty named his son in honor of Officer Dan whose presence is still strongly missed to this day. Losing his friend and comrade made Marty decide that a change needed to be made. He did not want to raise a family in a place that he felt was not a good environment. The Midwest is now where Marty and his family call home. Now a licensed Investigator with 31 years of experience, Marty has been involved in a wide array of investigative cases. He points out that although he can be obtained for private investigating services, he is also a Court Appointed Investigator for the District and Federal Courts and is a member of the National Association of Investigative Specialists. Marty has also done a stint on television for the Discovery Channel 4vHISVOICEvSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 and shares with me the photos of that experience. Marty’s passion for finding truth in cases that have for whatever reasons gone cold led him to be cast on a Discovery Channel’s “who dunnit” program entitled Discovery ID in 2014. It is evident that he is very proud of that accomplishment but tells me that it was a very intense experience. “I enjoyed that and it was interesting but to be honest it was a lot of pressure. It’s Hollywood and they want you to say things that may not be true and they want to spice it up and make it sound more appealing to the viewer and I wouldn’t do that.” Through the course of my conversation with Marty I can see and hear the honesty and integrity he possesses. He is serious about what he does and does not elude from that fact. I have known others who have that same conviction and dedication to their crafts as Marty has for his and I admire all of them. Marty tells me much of his strength comes from his spirituality and faith in Christianity. He, along with his family carry a strong belief in the Christian faith and it is that belief that helps him continue to do what is right and just for mankind. Outside of the Investigative Service business, Marty shares his love in God by spending time in a place he and some other folks founded called Discovery Church. Located downtown across from O’Malley’s at 205 West 3rd Street, the Discovery Church is a gathering place for people who share a belief in God and life. “We have been there over 4 years. We have a great interim pastor, Pastor Barry, and at Discovery we enjoy music and fellowship.” The Discovery Church is where the concept of Worship Night in Yankton was conceived which is a Christian music concert with a Gospel message that is scheduled to take place in Yankton this September. It is a complete stage production that is free to the public. “What it is is a coalition of 4 churches from 2 different states that collectively came together. A partner and I picked band members and singers from these four churches to make a band. We did this in February at the Yankton Summit Center and it was a huge success with almost 700 people coming. Now on September 19, again at the Yankton Summit Center at 6:30 pm, we will have another concert and we are expecting 800 to 900 people to come.” That is very impressive and Marty tells me that it will not only be entertaining but visually appealing as well. And it is free to the public. “We have a company that comes in that does the lights, the fog, the sound and the whole thing and that will be a very cool night. It is a non-profit situation and we don’t charge people to get in.” Sharing his belief in God with those of the Discovery Church and beyond is not the only way Marty spends his time. He is also involved vO’CONNOR continued on page 5

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