17 June 2017

FORENSIC GENEALOGY?

Forensic Genealogy is the use of genealogy in order to locate missing people and solve crimes, a juicy subject.

I recently attended a lecture by a well regarded and experienced Forensic Genealogist. She told about doing numerous family charts in order to locate someone who might know where a woman who had gone missing might be.  This was not exactly a teenage runaway situation.  There had been a remarriage, a step-parent, and the person intentionally cut off from everyone.  That's difficult to do.  Maybe her reasons wouldn't seem rational to you or me, but the Forensic Genealogist sought to give her family "closure." And they got it.  She had lived for many years but had commit suicide.  She had done what many people do when they want to get lost.  She had assumed the identity of a person who had died who was about her age. Other than assume this identity, and gather together the paperwork she would need to prove who she was and keep her cover, she was never involved in any other "criminal" activity.  I looked at some web sites that tied to the Forensic Genealogist's and some of them started out using the word "Criminal" because of "Identity Theft" on this person who needed to get lost as she saw it, and I sort of cringed. 

While listening to the lecture I thought about Missing Persons.

Tell me, if YOU hated your family, maybe had a terrible childhood, and you wanted to get lost, if you never wanted to hear from them again,what would you do?  Expect the FBI or CIA to create a new ID for you?  Law enforcement does those things for people in Witness Protection Programs sometimes. Tombstone websites would certainly make locating someone your age who died more accessible to you, easier than prowling cemeteries in other towns by yourself!

It turned out that yes, there was ONE person, a distant family member, who had contact with her and kept her secret for many years. That he kept her secret makes me think that she had some good reasons to leave and be in hiding.  My guess, the stepfather molested her.


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