Who Was Lori Ruff: DNA Evidence Sheds Light on Texas Mystery Woman

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When Lori Erica Kennedy Ruff took her own life on Christmas Eve, 2010 in Longview, Texas, she took with her all of the secrets of her true identity. These secrets Lori Ruff had kept from even her husband, Blake Ruff, and his family. Theirs was a strange marriage due to Lori Ruff’s secretive tendencies, mental instability, and her extreme overprotectiveness of the couple’s only daughter. In the months and years following Ruff’s death, her husband’s family began to put together the pieces of the puzzle of her life and her false identities. However, it wasn’t until several years after her death that a former nuclear scientist, turned forensic genealogist used tools such as and to finally crack the case and uncover the true identity of Lori Ruff.

A Tortured Life of Secrets and Lies

Who Was Lori Ruff: DNA Evidence Sheds Light on Texas Mystery Woman

Photo: Facebook/The Seattle Times

After Lori Ruff committed suicide in the driveway of her in-laws home in 2010, Blake Ruff and his family were driven to finally try to figure out who this woman really was. Lori Ruff had spent her entire marriage dodging questions about her past and maintaining a vague and ever-changing narrative about her childhood. Upon her death, the Ruff family finally felt free to begin uncovering the truth.

Among the closely guarded secrets of Ruff’s past was a lockbox that she kept in a closet in the couple’s home. Blake Ruff had been told by his wife to never, under any circumstances open the lockbox. Shortly after her funeral, the lockbox was pried open. Inside, the Ruff family found pages upon pages of strange scribblings and phone numbers as well as the documentation of her various identities. Among the identities the Ruff family discovered that Lori had assumed was Becky Sue Turner, a two year old from Washington, who died in a house fire in 1971. After obtaining that identity, Lori Ruff was able to legally change her name to Lori Erica Kennedy in 1988. With Lori Ruff now deceased, this left the Ruff family clamoring for answers about the true identity of this woman who was the mother of the Ruff’s granddaughter.

DNA Sample Finally Cracks The Case

Who Was Lori Ruff: DNA Evidence Sheds Light on Texas Mystery Woman
Photo: Flickr/Pelle Sten

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