Lieutenant W.M. Idebski was the legendary De Beers' diamond detective whose spectre loomed large over Kimberley. Tales of his exploits in catching illicit diamond buyers can be found in several South African biographies, for example Douglas Blackburn's Secret Service in South Africa and Sir Lionel Phillips' Some Reminiscences. At the end of the Boer War Idebski was charged with setting up the Transvaal Police C.I.D. His biography appears in Men of the Times:
'Mr. William Martin Idebski was born in the year 1850 in Glasgow, Scotland and is son of the late Major Charles Idebski, who was a Polish nobleman and a distinguished Polish Officer.
He was educated privately in Devonshire, England and arrived in South Africa in the year 1873, proceeding to Kimberley as a digger, but shortly afterwards joined the Griqualand West Constabulary (1874), being for many years in charge of the mounted police in Kimberley, and also attached to the Diamond detective department, of which he eventually became chief, retaining this position until the occupation of Johannesburg in the year 1902 [sic], when he received the appointment of Chief Detective Inspector of Johannesburg with the relative rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police for the Transvaal, which important position he holds at the present time.
Mr. Idebski is a Justice of the Peace for the Witswatersrand and a member of the Kimberley Association in Johannesburg. This gentleman's experience of South African crime and criminals is unique, and could he only be induced some day to narrate his experiences for the world's benefit and amusement, the volume would not only be largely read but would no doubt provide some startling disclosures.'