Unsolved mystery: Can you identify this woman?

The woman pictured above (on the left in the early 2000s, on the right in a 1990 passport photo) committed suicide in 2010. When she died, she took with her the knowledge of who she actually was — the private detective hired by her ex-husband's family is now calling her Jane Doe.

When she married, in 2004, she was known as Lori Erica Kennedy. After her death, her ex-husband discovered a lock box containing documents that showed she had changed her name to that from Becky Sue Turner. But here's the twist. She wasn't actually Becky Sue Turner, either. The real Becky Sue Turner had died in a house fire in 1971, at age 2, and her family had never seen this woman before.

So who is Jane Doe? That's what her ex-husband and his family are trying to figure out. When she died, she left behind a young daughter, who is going to want answers someday. Meanwhile, the mystery is seriously curiosity provoking. As far as anyone can tell, her trail goes dead in 1988. Her entire life before then is a great big blank.

The Seattle Times has the full story, including copies of documents and photos found in the lockbox and a timeline of what we do know about Jane Doe.

Notable Replies

  1. She's a person, not an interesting summer puzzle for the internet. Let well enough alone.

  2. I agree that she's not a fun puzzle, but a person. Still, I understand why her family wants to cast a wide net on this one. Her daughter will want answers, and maybe there's someone else out there who will finally get resolution knowing what happened to her.

  3. It would take a very unusual person not to want to dig into this and get some answers, especially after the tragedy of a suicide. I don't think it is disrespectful, as the family has clearly reached out for assistance in trying to solve the mystery.

    Sometimes I wonder how many Don Drapers are out there, even as it gets harder to avoid leaving a trail.

  4. There's a good chance she read "Day of the Jackal" at some point; taking on the identity of a child who died young is right out of that book. The Jackal takes visits a cemetery in gets the the name of a random male child who died in infancy who was born roughly when he was, requests a copy of the birth and death certificate from the local records office, and eventually escalates the birth certificate into a passport. You could still get away with that in the 1980s if you were careful, which it seems she was.

    Why she'd do that, and why she'd take on another name afterwards is anyone's guess.

  5. Hey guys, thanks for pointing out that the ill-advised joke I made about the Internet's sleuthing powers here was ill-advised, given the circumstances. I've removed it.

    As for why I chose to post this, it's because the family was asking for assistance. If this had been my wife, I would have liked to have known who she was. If she were my mother, I would want to know even more, especially because that information could someday help the little girl get some closure on her mother's death. (And I imagine the reality probably isn't nearly as scandalous as what some of her father's relatives are going to speculate it as being.)

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