How well can you truly know someone? Even after years of marriage or living under the same roof as another person, sometimes people simply change. And sometimes, they can reveal themselves to be very different than the person you thought you knew so well.
After Blake said “I do” to his wife Lori, he thought he was marrying the love of his life and planned on spending forever with her. Yet just a few short years later, something changed and the secrets that were revealed had him wondering who he’d been sleeping next to every night…
A Perfect Match
Blake was instantly smitten when he met 32-year-old Lori Erica Kennedy at a Bible study class in 2003. He was the son of a well-established family in East Texas and she was a shy, introverted woman from Arizona who didn’t know anyone in the area yet.
She’s All Alone
Lori was quiet about her past and made it clear she had been through a lot. Both her parents passed away and her father, a failed stockbroker, left her with nothing. She had no brothers or sisters or any family in Texas. Blake’s family, on the other hand, had a lot of questions about his aloof new girlfriend, but he paid them no mind…
Despite the Ruff’s hesitations to accept Lori as one of their own, she and Blake married at a private ceremony with only their preacher present in 2004. They decided to get away from Blake’s family and move to Leonard, Texas, where they hoped to start a family together.
Unfortunately, starting a family wouldn’t be so simple. The Ruff’s tried for several years and suffered multiple miscarriages, perhaps due in part to Lori’s age. Finally, the couple tried in vitro fertilization and became pregnant with a little girl. This was their chance to finally be happy, or so they thought…
Finally a Family
After the birth of her daughter in 2008, Lori became, even more, private and distant. Her little girl was everything to her, but her overprotective behavior became increasingly upsetting to the Ruffs. She wouldn’t let anyone else hold her daughter, not even the baby’s own grandmother.
To everyone around them, the Ruff’s seemed completely normal, but Blake’s family had a bad feeling that something wasn’t right with his peculiar wife. She even became obsessed with learning about the Ruff’s family history, which was especially strange since she refused to talk about her own…
When Lori banned Blake’s parents from seeing their granddaughter, it was the last straw. Tensions had grown higher between Blake’s wife and his family and it put a great strain on their marriage. Lori was extremely depressed and could barely take care of their little girl anymore.
One Last Attempt
In 2010, Blake and Lori tried marriage counseling as a last attempt at saving their crumbling union. Unfortunately, it was already too late and Lori was not the same woman Blake had married. He finally listened to his family and moved back home with them, filing for divorce that Spring…
In Bad Shape
Lori’s condition continued to deteriorate and she lost a ton of weight in the months that followed. She sought help at a local church and would manically ramble on to the pastor about how she didn’t understand why her life had fallen apart. She would repeat herself over and over and constantly fidget with her hands.
Her Heartbreaking Plan
By December 2010, Lori’s undiagnosed mental illness and the pain from the separation of her husband and loss of her daughter had completely ruined her. On Christmas Eve, Lori drove to the Ruff’s family home with a shotgun in tow and parked her black Tahoe outside. She never made it to the front door…
Lori committed suicide in her car, leaving Blake’s father to discover her lifeless body along with two letters. One was addressed to Blake and the second to their two-year-old daughter, which included directions to be opened on her 18th birthday. Unfortunately, the notes left them with nothing but more incoherent rambling.
A Troubled Past
Blake was completely devastated and his family was shocked. They knew Lori was disturbed, but no one suspected she was suicidal. It wasn’t until Blake was sorting through Lori’s things that he realized she wasn’t just a very sick woman, but that her family had been right all along: She was hiding some very dark secrets…
Box of Secrets
While searching the home they once shared together, Blake found a sealed lunch box in the back of her closet. Lori was always very adamant about her husband never touching the private safe of sorts and he never even questioned it. Now it was time to learn the truth.
A police officer cracked open the box and pulled out various documents, including several different ID’s, all with different names from different states. There was also a birth certificate with a name he had never heard before and a document of a legal name change from when “Lori” would have been just 17 years old…
The document revealed Becky Sue Turner legally changed her name to Lori Erica Kennedy in 1988, but a little digging on the bizarre tragedy revealed something even more shocking. Becky Sue Turner and her siblings died of asphyxiation in a house fire in Washington state in 1971, when she was just two years old.
Lori Ruff was now “Jane Doe” and investigators started to piece together the strange puzzle of this mystery woman’s life. The only thing that was clear was that Lori went to great lengths to keep her true identity a secret. Because Becky Sue died in a different state than she was born, “Lori” knew she was less likely to be caught taking over her life…
Investigations also found that she obtained a state ID and social security card as Lori Erica Kennedy in Idaho and got her GED and a degree in business from the University of Texas. Yet when investigators ran her her fingerprints and face through databases, there were no matches. She was linked to several disappearing women, but none of them led anywhere.
Who is She
An old acquaintance said she had worked as a stripper in the early 90s, but there was nothing linked to her before 1988. Social Security investigator Joe Velling, along with plenty of internet sleuths, hopelessly tried to uncover the truth for years following her death. Many people speculated she was in a witness protection program or was running from a tragic past, but why?!
It wasn’t until genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick learned of Lori’s bizarre case in 2013 and took a saliva sample from her young daughter to try and find a DNA connection. She was matched with many distant relatives around the world, the closest being Michael Cassidy who lived in Pennsylvania. She informed the now-retired Joe Velling who jumped on a plane to question Cassidy’s relatives.
Immediately, a family member recognized the face on the ID cards as Kimberly McLean. In 1986, 17-year-old Kimberly disappeared from her Pennsylvania home after her mother remarried a man she didn’t care for. She told her mother to never look for her and was never heard from again. Although Lori Erica Huff’s true identity was finally discovered after many years, there are still time periods that her whereabouts are unknown. Any other secrets this woman was undoubtedly hiding had been taken with her to the grave.
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