"There was a lot of confusion, people running and screaming. And then there was one woman yelling at the top of her lungs: 'Oh my god! Oh my god! Look what he did to my car!'Well, that was the end of that conversation." Child-abuse and custody cases are among the most emotionally trying for Ginsberg.

dio license at age 15, then spent his late teens knocking on the doors of New York radio and TV stations. Eventually he earned degrees in electrical engineering from City College of New York and went to work for a military contractor. Later, he turned a side business he'd developed building and maintaining recording studios into a full-time occupation. It was in 1974 that Ginsberg got a surprise call from a U.S. attorney in Newark. The government had a case against the officials of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for taking kickbacks from a developer in return for issuing building variances. The prosecutors had some noisy undercover tapes, and someone thought Ginsberg might help. At first he resisted, but the prosecutor called back and convinced him to come in for a chat. Once he arrived they shoved a contract in his face. "I looked at the numbers," he recalls, "and said, 'Would you just give me a minute to call my wife and tell her I'm in a new business?' "Ginsberg began offering audio enhancement -- which refers to clarifying a tape and stripping away its noise as' opposed to altering its content -- as well as transcription and cassette-duplication services to provide copies of evidence to all the parties in a case. His reputation grew, and he was soon getting calls not just
from prosecutors but also from defense attorneys and, eventually, plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases. It's been a rewarding but demanding life, and not just because of the technical aspects. "These tapes, by their nature, are gut-wrenching:' Ginsberg says. "In effect, you're the fly on the wall -- you're able to go back to when the crime or event was being planned or committed." So when he says that he's "heard it all, from birth to death and everything in between:' he means it literally. The birth was part of a case in which an expectant couple had a tape recorder in the delivery room to record the event for posterity. "Unfortunately there was a problem, and the tape was later used as evidence in a malpractice case," Ginserg recalls. "That was a very difficult tape to listen to." The death Ginsberg heard on tape involved a case in which some individuals were scheming to comer the market for New York City taxi medallions -- the licenses that allow cabs to operate. An undercover agent with a wired sedan was sent in to catch one of the crooks on tape. The agent parked the car on a street and had just gotten the suspect talking when, suddenly, there was a loud crash. "It turns out that somebody had decided to commit suicide and jumped from a building, landing on the car right in front of them," Ginsberg recounts with a sly grin.
"It's easy to know who the good guys and the bad guys are when there's a container of white powder and the agents are at one table and the defendants at another:' he says, "but where kids are involved, it's more difficult." In the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow custody case, for instance, Ginsberg was asked by Allen's attprmey to authenticate a videotape Farrow made of her daughter Dylan describing Allen's alleged abuse. Ginsberg testified at the trial that the tape comprised about a dozen segments recorded at different times, leaving open the possibility that the child had been coached. Ultimately, Allen cleared his name, but in Ginsberg's view it was a no-win situation. "In one scenario the child had been molested by Woody, and in the other she'd been pretty much brainwashed into testifying. So there was no scenario in which the child had not been abused. That was really troublesome." Even more troublesome was the tape of Kathleen Weinstein, a 45-year-old special-education teacher and mother. In March 1996, she was car-jacked in a store parking lot in Toms River, New Jersey, and subsequently smothered by her kidnapper, a young man who wanted her Toyota Camry as a "present" for his seven-teenth birthday. Weinstein managed to secretly record her assailant with a

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