PAUL GINSBERG is an audio detective. That's not to say that he hunts down state-of-the-art audio equipment, although his gear is among the best money can buy. Nor does it even mean he's an audiophile, though his ability to listen critically is renowned. No, when we say that Paul Ginsberg is an audio detective, we mean just that: a mild-mannered engineer who turned a childhood love of audio and electronics into a life of fighting crime. Ginsberg, 51, runs Professional Audio Laboratories in Spring Valley, New York, and is perhaps the country's foremost forensic A/V expert. That is, he "enhances" and authenticates surveillance tapes and other audio-and video-related evidence presented in criminal and civil trials.

When the FBI bugged the Branch Davidians during their standoff in Waco, Texas, and the Justice Department needed to tidy up the tapes, they called Ginsberg. When Mia Farrow accused Woody Allen of molesting her daughter and backed it up with videotaped testimony from the child, Allen's attorney called Ginsberg. And when prosecutors in Ocean County, New Jersey, discovered that car-jack victim Kathleen Weinstein had secretly taped the prelude to her own murder, they called Paul Ginsberg. In one prominent trial after another, whether the defendants are organized crime bosses, the World Trade Center bombers, or the Hell's Angels, Ginsberg uncovers evidence buried under background noise and grunge.
Then, after pulling the needle from this electronic haystack, he faces prosecutors and pit-bull defense attorneys to present his evidence to jurors. In 23 years, he has participated in more than 1,500 court cases around the country and has testified in 150. Though Ginsberg arrived at his specialty mostly by luck, his career in electronics was set from the start. As a youngster in Brooklyn,age by the shortwave radio his father kept at his bedside. By the time he was 12 or 13 years old he was experimenting with tape re-corders and constructing circuits from Popular- Electronics. "When most kids were outside playing ball," he says, "this nerdo was building an intercom to wire all my friend's houses together."Ginsberg earned a full ham-ra-

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