Do Online Background Checks Work?

The man accused of killing Aggie brother and sister, Travis and Rachel Joiner, had a criminal past.

In 2001, John Thuesen was convicted of driving under the influence in Austin County.

In 2002, he was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Walker County.

In 2007, Thuesen was convicted of public intoxication in Waller County.

He was also arrested for stalking in Waller County back in 2007.

However, according to that county's district attorney's office, the family of the victim asked that the charge be dropped so Thuesen could get his life back on track. Instead, he was charged with criminal trespassing.

So just how hard it is to find out someone's past?

If you do an online search of criminal background checks, literally hundreds of search companies pop up.

Using John Thuesen, News Three decided to put several Internet background checks to the test.

We thought the Department of Pubic Safety would be the most reliable source.
After registering and paying about $4 for one search, DPS only turned up Thuesen's driving while intoxicated conviction out of Huntsville's Walker County.

Another well known source is, which costs $29.95 a year.
It also only turned up the DWI conviction in Walker County.

Then we tried
It cost $24.95 for one search and finally told us about Thuesen's criminal trespassing charge out of Waller County.
But it did not reveal any of the alcohol-related charges.
However, for $59.95, we could have done a more extensive search, but it would have taken 7 to 10 business days to get the results.

The best search we found was through a company called
For about $12, we discovered that Thuesen was convicted of DWI out of Walker County and charged with criminal trespassing in Waller County.

The reason some of his offenses didn't show up, is probably because Thuesen was just 17 when he got the DUI, and public intoxication is considered a class C misdemeanor.

As for Thuesen's most recent charge of capital murder, which happened on Friday -- we can only speculate that it's just too recent to show up on these websites.

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