It was 1983. Ohioans Elizabeth and Patrick Welsh seemed to have it all. They were happily married, with two wonderful sons, Chris and Ted. Then Patrick disappeared, leaving behind a suicide note saying that his wife and sons would be better off without him. Chris, Ted and their mother were crushed, but soldiered on, slowly building a new life.
Then, in October 1997, Elizabeth received a letter from the Social Security Administration, demanding that she pay back $56,000 in death benefits. Patrick Welsh was not dead, the letter said: someone was using his social security card. Assuming that someone besides Patrick had been using his social security number, perhaps inadvertently, Elizabeth began investigating. With the help of the Internet, good sleuthing, and some luck, Elizabeth discovered that her dead husband was not dead. He was living in Galveston, Texas under the name Tim Kingsbury.
CBS News 48 Hours explores the devastating impact of this "Kingsbury's" betrayal and the ripples it sent through the community of Galveston.
Aired: 29 Oct 1998