Scary -- REALLY scary
The English teacher had a fairly simple lookup: the home phone, and therefore nearly all records, are in the name of her late husband, so it was easy to get everything but an email address. When I tried to get the email address, what I got was a notice that there was an unlisted phone number for her husband, and another unlisted phone number for her, and that if I authorized a charge on a credit card, I could get those numbers. Since all I wanted was an email address, I declined.
The lookup on the fellow journalist was much more troubling. I didn't get anything even remotely referring to an email address. Instead, I got multiple reports that, without giving details, implied she was a delinquent of the highest degree, implicated in drug trafficking. I know that it is utterly impossible that she could possibly be involved -- she was the team mascot, and as such, she had to pass all the same drug tests as the players on the team. Plus, I knew her personally, and I know that she could not possibly have done anything drug-related. But still, the "free previews" of the background-checking companies portrayed her as a dangerous individual. I just wanted to find her email address, but instead, what I find are all sorts of bits of false and/or misleading information about her. And I can't even warn her about all of that false information, because I can't find her real email address.
For some number of dollars, there are Internet companies that will produce sufficient evidence to convict whoever the payer wants to convict -- assuming the person in the gunsights is NOT a septuagenarian retired English teacher, but a young adult with a rebellious background. That's scary.