- "Might also be a reference to Spencer Reed of Criminal Minds, who finds criminals for a living."
I doubt this, as 1) the name is spelled differently, 2) Spenser for Hire is the title of the show, whereas Spencer is one of a large ensemble cast, and 3) Spenser for Hire is older and more famous.
- If I had to guess, I'd say it's more likely that Spencer from Criminal Minds is also a reference to Spenser for Hire. - No one in particular
I was under the impression that Spenser for Hire was named after Edmund Spenser, the poet. If we are looking for the oldest, most famous, original reference then it may be him.
- Was Edmund Spenser known for finding things? Most people are named after someone, and many fictional characters are based on someone. But it's the combination of name, fame, and main skill that makes Spenser for Hire the clear choice.
I've never heard of Spenser for Hire, but I just figured that they typoed the name. Ironically, I typoed it when I wrote it in the first place.