Lori Ruff Identified as Kimberly McLean of PA

Brainy

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A lot of people have very significant issues but very few go to such extremes as to change their identity and leave behind all that they knew. The motive to me still remains very interesting, but I am very inclined to believe (with the obvious and given all the fact that we know) that it wasn’t a decision of a healthy person, so the motive itself might have not been as significant as Lori made it to be. Well, I also understand that it’s all very relative. Whatever the majority may regard as “insignificant” the issue may still appear as extremely significant for somebody who has a lot to contend with.
 

CD82

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All the observations from you all that I read are quite thoughtful, just wanted to jump in to say that it appears that much of her behavior seems consistent throughout her life. I just have the impression that whatever she contended with didn't appear overnight. There were major issues that were very possibly lifelong. It still doesn't explain why she left home and never came back, and why her going away was so unexpected for her family. Also, it seems like that Lori's divorce also played a major role in her mental breakdown. Perhaps she felt that her marriage was one of the things in her life that was keeping it together...

I agree. There are so many what-ifs and I think that's such a large reason we are all so intrigued by her. I know I've been ticked off at my family more than a handful of times, but to actually vanish and cut ties with them is not something I'd ever seriously consider. Maybe someday a family member or a close friend from before she left will find this forum and say "Hey, I knew Kimberly, and this is why she left..." but we can't rely on that. Personally, I don't think we will ever know the truth.

Her case is so dang complicated! Although the circumstances of her disappearance and eventual change in identity seem rather drab, it really is just as complex as you can get. Many of us saw the lengths she took to avoid being found by her past, and it was enough to seem like she had some crazy reason why. But now we see she just wanted a new life.
 

Sillybilly

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Folks ... there is a reason we do not allow discussion of social media posts by people claiming to be associated. Anyone can say they are somebody and say anything. I could post as The Kryptonite Kid on social media and claim to be Superman's first born, but that does not make it so.

Posts sourced with info from commenters on social media or based on rumor (step-brother? Huntingdon Disease, Baskin and Robbins) have been removed. Please don't continue to discuss them.


:tyou:
 

kbns625

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I have seen records that the father died in 1984 NOT 1987. Why would (Tom Cassidy) the uncle who is quoted in the article not say that the death of Kimberleys father impacted her - not just trying to put on her not being able to follow rules and whatnot?
 

LkjAndersen

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It's kind of funny. We had all these theories, we were sure that she must have been fleeing something, nobody goes through those hoops for fun, and that she must have been several years older than she claimed, but in the end, she was just a girl who left home and never looked back. She was not even a year older than Becky Sue. If I had read a page for Kimberly on Charleyproject, I am not sure I would have given it a second thought, it wouldn't have fitted with what we thought we knew about Lori.

I assume she moved to KoP right after graduation from highschool. Close to home, so maybe she didn't plan to cut off connections just yet? Maybe to work, maybe she was supposed to attend Penn State, who I think has or had a campus in town, pretty sure they had in 1986*. But then, months later, she calls her mother and tells her that she is going away and don't try to look for her. So what happened over the months in KoP? What happened over the next two years, as she travelled up and down the US? And why did she feel it necessary to take a new identity? These may be questions that we will never be able to answer.



*if I read correctly, in 1986 Penn State had the School of Graduate Professional Studies in KoP, which, currently, I don't know if they did in 1986, offers MBA Management classes. Lori would later graduate with a degree in business administration. I don't know if that means anything.
 

Laughing

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Now that we have her real name, it's time to go back to track the two missing years that we could not find for Lori. Guess she was still using her name Kimberly.

Some of you who are such great sleuthers should find this interesting so the pieces can be completed in Lori-Kim's puzzle. I don't have the knowledge or access that a few of you do who amaze me with the information you come up with.

I can't find it, but didn't S/S1988 indicate LEKR was using a different alias at that point? No longer using Kimberly, not yet Lori Erica?

:seeya:
 

NickandNora4ever

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I found the maternal aunts obit online Thursday. I'm 100% sure it's Kim's aunt. I've been waiting days before my account was activated on here. I had posted that I found the obitutary on a Facebook page dedicated to Lori/Kim and didn't get any response. It seems those sort of pages aren't getting many visitors now that case has been solved for all intents and purposes. There's still lots of questions, but we have our answer to a big one:her true identity.

There's some interesting info in that obit. None relating directly to Kim. But some family info that links the aunt 100% to Kim.

The obit comes with a pic and folks, the resemblance is amazing. Same nose! Same smile, eyes, and even hair.

Edited to add:there's NO mention anywhere in this aunts obit that she died from Huntington's Disease. None. I don't know where that rumor came from. It wasn't from me. I gave no further information in my initial Facebook posting other than I had found an aunts obit. No name or any specifics. Just that the picture in the funeral home obit of the aunt bore a remarkable resemblence to Kim.
 

dexter75

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I'm going to say this about her leaving home:
I left home at 16 myself. To everyone who knew my family, including other family members, we looked picture perfect. We were not. Thirty plus years later, I've been back to that town once, and it was for my mother's funeral. She wasn't even in the ground before I was gone again. I still talk to a couple of close family members, but most of the rest didn't want to hear what I had to say. I feel where Kimberly/Lori was coming from. Many times the little frame house with the cute shutters and picket fence is a house of horrors. I'm glad she finally found her peace.

*All statements are that of my own opinion unless otherwise specified. *

:hug:
Been there.
RIP LEK/KM ( Hope you've found peace too, Queen:wink: )
 

MzOpinion8d

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I agree. There are so many what-ifs and I think that's such a large reason we are all so intrigued by her. I know I've been ticked off at my family more than a handful of times, but to actually vanish and cut ties with them is not something I'd ever seriously consider. Maybe someday a family member or a close friend from before she left will find this forum and say "Hey, I knew Kimberly, and this is why she left..." but we can't rely on that. Personally, I don't think we will ever know the truth.

Her case is so dang complicated! Although the circumstances of her disappearance and eventual change in identity seem rather drab, it really is just as complex as you can get. Many of us saw the lengths she took to avoid being found by her past, and it was enough to seem like she had some crazy reason why. But now we see she just wanted a new life.

I've only followed this case on the periphery, but to me it seems obvious that the "reason" she left her first life is the same as the reason she left the second life: mental illness. Possibly undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or untreated or under-treated.

It's not the norm for one to completely cut ties with everyone, everything, every place they've ever known and create a whole new identity. And it's not the norm to kill yourself in your in-law's driveway.

I think she must have felt like an outsider her whole life and just couldn't face life after a divorce.
 

Hank36

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I've only followed this case on the periphery, but to me it seems obvious that the "reason" she left her first life is the same as the reason she left the second life: mental illness. Possibly undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or untreated or under-treated.

It's not the norm for one to completely cut ties with everyone, everything, every place they've ever known and create a whole new identity. And it's not the norm to kill yourself in your in-law's driveway.

I think she must have felt like an outsider her whole life and just couldn't face life after a divorce.
"Normal" is just a setting on a dryer.
 

Owutatangledweb

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So...... I have just one burning question. ...... Are the a McLeans related to Chris McCandless? :bricks:

There are still questions and they probably won't be answered.

Did she marry anyone under any other identity?
Where did she live from 1986 to 1988?
Where did she live after her name change? If you recall. That's always been debated.
Was there something traumatic that happened TO KIM that prompted the name change? We still don't know what prompted it. If nobody looked for her for two years, then Why would she change it?

There are alot of people that leave their families behind, but they don't change their names.

There are a lot of people who are mentally ill that take off never to be heard from again. It's very likely that Kim's family didn't know she was mentally ill at that time. Often, a stressful situation can trigger latent mental illness. That is why a lot of kids are diagnosed with bipolar when they go away to college. In Kim's case, maybe her parents divorce was a triggering stress.
 

milkymama

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So...... I have just one burning question. ...... Are the a McLeans related to Chris McCandless? :bricks:

There are still questions and they probably won't be answered.

Did she marry anyone under any other identity?
Where did she live from 1986 to 1988?
Where did she live after her name change? If you recall. That's always been debated.
Was there something traumatic that happened TO KIM that prompted the name change? We still don't know what prompted it. If nobody looked for her for two years, then Why would she change it?

There are alot of people that leave their families behind, but they don't change their names.

There are a lot of people who are mentally ill that take off never to be heard from again. It's very likely that Kim's family didn't know she was mentally ill at that time. Often, a stressful situation can trigger latent mental illness. That is why a lot of kids are diagnosed with bipolar when they go away to college. In Kim's case, maybe her parents divorce was a triggering stress.

Something caused her to leave Pennsylvania in 1986 and go to, most likely, California. Something else caused her to leave California in 88 and change her name. My opinion is that those were two separate things. The general coping mechanism may have been the same (running away/avoidance) but the causes imo were probably two separate reasons. The avoidance coping mechanism may also account for sleeping at the in laws (of course she could have just been a tired new mom).
 

Owutatangledweb

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Something caused her to leave Pennsylvania in 1986 and go to, most likely, California. Something else caused her to leave California in 88 and change her name. My opinion is that those were two separate things. The general coping mechanism may have been the same (running away/avoidance) but the causes imo were probably two separate reasons. The avoidance coping mechanism may also account for sleeping at the in laws (of course she could have just been a tired new mom).

I 100 percent agree.
 

1&2&3

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We need to pause a minute and think - her mother knows exactly why she left!

Even though the mother is 80, in today's world that does not mean she is old, ill, has dementia, or does not remember things. She is not talking, plain and simple!

I remember reading about a sister, I believe? Who knows if she was ever told the truth about Kim's leaving?
 

dexter75

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So...... I have just one burning question. ...... Are the a McLeans related to Chris McCandless? :bricks:

There are still questions and they probably won't be answered.

Did she marry anyone under any other identity?
Where did she live from 1986 to 1988?
Where did she live after her name change? If you recall. That's always been debated.
Was there something traumatic that happened TO KIM that prompted the name change? We still don't know what prompted it. If nobody looked for her for two years, then Why would she change it?

There are alot of people that leave their families behind, but they don't change their names.

There are a lot of people who are mentally ill that take off never to be heard from again. It's very likely that Kim's family didn't know she was mentally ill at that time. Often, a stressful situation can trigger latent mental illness. That is why a lot of kids are diagnosed with bipolar when they go away to college. In Kim's case, maybe her parents divorce was a triggering stress.

Agree re the mental illness
With all that has been discussed I keep coming back to this.
MY reason for being stuck HERE
MY GIRLS.

I could write chapters from my life that would make a person wonder how I am even here. :notgood:
It's one thing to be young, pissed & hurt. ( scarred actually )
I couldn't agree with you more, Owutatangledweb. To steal an identity of a deceased 2 year old child. Not change identity once, but twice?
And for what?

I can't help but to revisit post #48 NancyHogan posted about her daughters battle with schizophrenia.

This BRAIN disorder affects how a person sees the world. It is also harder to recognize in children, so maybe her family wouldn't have noticed much.? ( keeping in mind, each child's symptoms are unique, obviously )

The LENGTHS this woman went to.:thinking: any confirmation she was ever a HAND MODEL? ( Among other things she was known to have talked about, this could have been another lie, or whatever, due to her illness )
Going over some of the symptoms of this awful & mysterious illness in my head, ( NancyHogan covered MUCH of them already ) comparing symptoms to what we know or has been observed by others. The hands, the suspected ADD, ( was this ever confirmed? ) saying her family was dead. ( ashamed? bad childhood? was this also a hallucination? ) Dressing up for TEA. Do we know why? The Oven? Etc..

The disease typically progresses as one gets older.

Thinking of our girl, maybe she did coast along ok, until, as you mentioned " the divorce " ( could this have been the break from reality? from this point on the illness took over and there truly is no rhyme or reason for her life's events after? she did the best she could, when she was able? )

Schizophrenia also has periods of remission ( for some ) where she would have been able to do her schooling, get married, etc.
IF/WHEN a " relapse " occurred, well, it would explain a lot. IMO

What pulls me so strongly toward this direction? The fact she MUST have been so mentally ill, it either CONSUMED her ( perhaps she was in denial? ) or went UNTREATED?

HER CHILD.

Lori/Kim, had a little girl. ( What was she, 3? )
How many parents here?
As I said earlier, I could write a mini series and get great ratings. So could many of you, for sure. Even now, present day, we ALL have our moments, and we have our MOMENTS. I would be a LIAR if I said I didn't envy the folks ( every now & again ) who don't have to play this rat race of a game called life.
Then I get off of my pity pot, pull up the big girl panties & smile, because like many of YOU, I have children. Whether they depend on you or are adults, or if you have grand children, THIS ALONE for MANY ( myself included ) keeps us going on our BAD days & through TERRIBLE times.( EVEN the mentally ill.)
( Not ALL who are mentally ill, attempt/commit suicide, either. ) Makes me wonder if she were diagnosed ever? With anything specific?

I just have a hard time with it I suppose. Mothers/Suicide. I just think " that person had to be SO DESPERATE, SO.." I don't even know the right word. I was asked what my " worse fear " was just the other day, in a poll via FB. I read many " snakes, clowns, flying & drowning " I was surprised to see I was the only response
" My worse fear is dying before my youngest daughter is grown and able to take care of herself " As a mother, I couldn't imagine leaving my daughter with my suicide to wonder about.
I'd like to think the only explanation for this is she truly was a very sick person.
JMO
 

SavetheQueen

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Agree re the mental illness
With all that has been discussed I keep coming back to this.
MY reason for being stuck HERE
MY GIRLS.

I could write chapters from my life that would make a person wonder how I am even here. :notgood:
It's one thing to be young, pissed & hurt. ( scarred actually )
I couldn't agree with you more, Owutatangledweb. To steal an identity of a deceased 2 year old child. Not change identity once, but twice?
And for what?

I can't help but to revisit post #48 NancyHogan posted about her daughters battle with schizophrenia.

This BRAIN disorder affects how a person sees the world. It is also harder to recognize in children, so maybe her family wouldn't have noticed much.? ( keeping in mind, each child's symptoms are unique, obviously )

The LENGTHS this woman went to.:thinking: any confirmation she was ever a HAND MODEL? ( Among other things she was known to have talked about, this could have been another lie, or whatever, due to her illness )
Going over some of the symptoms of this awful & mysterious illness in my head, ( NancyHogan covered MUCH of them already ) comparing symptoms to what we know or has been observed by others. The hands, the suspected ADD, ( was this ever confirmed? ) saying her family was dead. ( ashamed? bad childhood? was this also a hallucination? ) Dressing up for TEA. Do we know why? The Oven? Etc..

The disease typically progresses as one gets older.

Thinking of our girl, maybe she did coast along ok, until, as you mentioned " the divorce " ( could this have been the break from reality? from this point on the illness took over and there truly is no rhyme or reason for her life's events after? she did the best she could, when she was able? )

Schizophrenia also has periods of remission ( for some ) where she would have been able to do her schooling, get married, etc.
IF/WHEN a " relapse " occurred, well, it would explain a lot. IMO

What pulls me so strongly toward this direction? The fact she MUST have been so mentally ill, it either CONSUMED her ( perhaps she was in denial? ) or went UNTREATED?

HER CHILD.

Lori/Kim, had a little girl. ( What was she, 3? )
How many parents here?
As I said earlier, I could write a mini series and get great ratings. So could many of you, for sure. Even now, present day, we ALL have our moments, and we have our MOMENTS. I would be a LIAR if I said I didn't envy the folks ( every now & again ) who don't have to play this rat race of a game called life.
Then I get off of my pity pot, pull up the big girl panties & smile, because like many of YOU, I have children. Whether they depend on you or are adults, or if you have grand children, THIS ALONE for MANY ( myself included ) keeps us going on our BAD days & through TERRIBLE times.( EVEN the mentally ill.)
( Not ALL who are mentally ill, attempt/commit suicide, either. ) Makes me wonder if she were diagnosed ever? With anything specific?

I just have a hard time with it I suppose. Mothers/Suicide. I just think " that person had to be SO DESPERATE, SO.." I don't even know the right word. I was asked what my " worse fear " was just the other day, in a poll via FB. I read many " snakes, clowns, flying & drowning " I was surprised to see I was the only response
" My worse fear is dying before my youngest daughter is grown and able to take care of herself " As a mother, I couldn't imagine leaving my daughter with my suicide to wonder about.
I'd like to think the only explanation for this is she truly was a very sick person.
JMO
THIS. ^^^^^ On so many levels that I'm choking up.

*All statements are that of my own opinion unless otherwise specified.*
 

BigCityAccountant

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Really? She had the same letter? Now that is a clue. Are you about the same age, same area of the country as Kimberly? Where did your friend get the letter? Was it past around your school?

LOL...Mr. Seeker~~Yes, I am the same age as Lori and my friend is as well. If I didn't know that my friend still lives in another state~~I would have guessed Lori/Kim was her. Their lives have taken the same turns at almost the same times~~except my friend did not commit suicide, thankfully. We grew up in the Midwest. I'm not sure where my friend got the letter~~I remember her showing it to me when we met up years later and I inquired about where she had been all these years and how the heck she made it. No, it was not passed around my school...LOL
 

Linda9681

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I 100 percent agree.

Hell yes. I don't understand why people are not getting this... there were TWO years between the first and second event. Lots of bad things can happen in two long years.


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