Found Deceased WI - Kathleen Ryan, adult, teacher, car found burned with body inside, St. Francis, 2 Feb 2019

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by GuyfromCanada, Feb 5, 2019.

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  1. drama_farmer

    drama_farmer "It's never just a mannequin"

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    I'm wondering if the keys were out of the ignition and in her hand? MOO
     
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  2. drama_farmer

    drama_farmer "It's never just a mannequin"

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    Replying to my own post: Sorry, I posted this to the wrong thread. But, how weird is it that my question (about the Vian case) could (sort of) apply to this case as well? MOO
     
  3. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    Good thoughts. The great unknowns are still the answers to the the questions of why she ended up in that driveway, and where she was for those previous hours. I hope for her family's sake, some of those questions can be answered.
     
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  4. Rosiebones

    Rosiebones Well-Known Member

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    ITA. I don't think that is what happened either but on the other hand TOS here do not allow any formulation of theory or discussion to support or not support the idea that she took her own life.
    Every time I am somewhat settled in my opinion, someone here makes some very astute remarks and I am adrift again with no idea what could have happened
     
  5. nyonge

    nyonge Well-Known Member

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    I think that if she did kill herself, the location she chose will turn out to have been in some way meaningful to her - or perhaps she thought the road would lead to the solitude of the forest preserve adjacent to it.
     
  6. kirkassoc

    kirkassoc Well-Known Member

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    I'll be honest, suicide would never have crossed my mind in this case until I read the suggestion on WS. I had no idea there were many other cases of setting oneself on fire as a means to an end.

    I would think her family would have known if she was suffering from depression or was on any kind of medications at the time of her death which may have caused suicidal thoughts (antidepressants, etc.). I would also think her family would have known if there were gas cans missing from the home/garage. If not, I am sure she must have purchased one along the way if she had this plan in mind. "Spontaneous" combustion would indicate an accident. Bringing along a full gas can or stopping to fill one, something else entirely.

    Was she a smoker?

    If it were my Mother, I would call a meeting including Dad and all my siblings, and we would have a discussion to see if she had mentioned being depressed or had made any comments that might have indicated a problem she was having. I'd ask about a gas can, about any relationship problems, about any monetary worries, job worries, health worries, if there was any fear she might have been having (real or imagined). If everyone brings all they have to the table, if everyone would participate fully...perhaps the family could settle in their minds whether or not she may have committed suicide.

    I am sure LE has questioned each member to see what they have to say on her mental state at the time. We know bits and pieces from what we have read. But, her children, husband and family lived with her. They could, I believe, sense any misgivings in her in recent time and just before the fire/death.

    It's hard to imagine suicide in this way for me. But, I know some people do not demonstrate the depths of depression they are suffering. I find it much easier to imagine someone abducting her somehow along the path she was on and murdering her and setting her car on fire to destroy all evidence.

    It's all the DETAILS that complete the story, and I have no clue about the details.

    MOO, some random thoughts on a mystery that haunts me.
     
  7. AnnaGrace

    AnnaGrace Well-Known Member

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    This sounds likely. It would explain why she was in the passenger seat. The off thing is the timing. And why did she pull up in that driveway? Those two things don't really fit for any of the scenarios. So puzzling. I wish there were answers for her family. My thoughts are with them.
     
  8. Rosiebones

    Rosiebones Well-Known Member

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    I believe that whoever was driving that car for whatever reason thought the driveway was a road into the County Forest Preserve. Because, how many time do you know of that a private driveway came out at a light on a busy road like that.
     
  9. Joe Friday

    Joe Friday Well-Known Member

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    Door latches are operated mechanically by a steel rod attached from the interior and exterior door handles to the latch itself. Some door handles (the part you pull to open the door) are made of plastic that would melt during a fire. If this happened the door would no longer open when pulling on the handle. But by the time the door handle melted from heat during a fire the occupant inside the car would have perished and not been able to operate the door handle anyway.

    In other words if the drivers door handle was damaged by a fire to the point it would no longer function, Kathleen would not have been able to climb to the passenger side to try and open that door because she would have already been over come and killed by the smoke, heat and fire.
     
  10. BlueShoe

    BlueShoe Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago my neighbors' entire family (two young children and his wife) died in a tragic accident when their car caught fire. My neighbor was able to quickly unlock his door and get out. The family was trapped and their doors would not unlock. He could not open them, nor could they. I was told that sometimes in a fire, the doors stay locked. This was a while ago, so maybe cars have been improved so this would not happen anymore.
     
  11. Joe Friday

    Joe Friday Well-Known Member

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    When considering the facts about the case there are a few possibilities when it comes to how Kathleen's car got to the secluded driveway where it was found. Some are less likely than others.

    1. Kathleen's car while driving down the roadway started on fire on her way to the game sometime before 4:00 PM on a busy Saturday afternoon in broad daylight. She drove with the car on fire into the secluded driveway where no one would see her or could help her. No motorists noticed Kathleen's car on fire at the time and followed her into the driveway. No motorists called 9111 to report Kathleen's car on fire while she was driving down the road. Somehow Kathleen got herself into the passenger seat while the car was on fire. Kathleen couldn't exit the car and perished in the fire. (Very, very, very unlikely)
    2. Kathleen was abducted by a stranger along her route in broad daylight. The abductor mysteriously parked or made her park only 12 miles from her destination where the car was found. Abductor would have had to have been with Kathleen and the car for several hours due to the fact the car wasn't reported on fire until close to 10:00 PM and a car would have burned itself out in less than two hours IMO. Kathleen was either killed by the abductor or died as a result of the fire. (Not very likely due to time lapse between when she should have arrived at game and when the car was reported on fire, not to mention where the car was found so close to destination)
    3. Kathleen parked in secluded driveway 12 miles from destination to take a nap, car started on fire some five to six hours later, Kathleen perished in the fire. (Pretty unlikely, I think she would have been woke up by smoke and exited the car)
    4. Someone known to Kathleen killed her, parked her car where found, set car on fire to cover up evidence. (Unlikely the husband due to distance from home and would require more than one person to pull this off. Husband also likely has an alibi since he was refereeing a game in home town)(Could Kathleen's sons have done this? One would hope not, but is a possibility depending on when Kathleen actually arrived in the area)
    5. Someone known to Kathleen hired someone to kill her, killer parked her car where found and set car on fire to cover up evidence. (Doubtful. I can't see a hitman driving the car all the way to where it was found. Would be pretty hard to intercept Kathleen in route, pull off the job, find a place to park car where it wouldn't be noticed and wait several hours to start the car on fire)
    6. Kathleen parked in secluded driveway and caused harm to herself, car started on fire on it's own. (Doubtful, odds of car starting on fire on it's own at the same time Kathleen commits suicide are to great)
    7. Kathleen parked in secluded driveway and caused harm to herself by starting the car on fire by some action of Kathleen's (Possibly)
    Anyone have any others?
     
  12. Razz

    Razz Well-Known Member

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    What if Kathleen got a much later start than first thought. On her way there and due to construction and heavy traffic, she's forced to take a detour. Or the car may have been acting up and she got off the highway as soon as she could.

    Not having a good sense of direction she gets lost looking for a gas station.
    She pulls into the driveway where there are no cars and turns off the car.
    The battery on her phone is not working so she's stuck there.

    The car continues to make popping noises and then there's smoke on the drivers side. She jumps to the passenger side to exit but maybe she had the doors locked when she stopped and parked the car. She was overcome by the smoke and perished and after a while, the car caught fire.
     
  13. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    This is such a head-scratcher, rather like a number of other cases here. I hate the thought the answers as to what exactly happened may never be known. It's so hard to try to figure out anything that makes sense, without more public input from those who knew her or LE.
    I also have tended to discount any possibility of suicide, but I discount it less as time goes by. Everything's still on the table IMO. It's none of our beeswax of course, but as has been mentioned here before, if by chance her cancer had returned, that would throw anyone for a loop. I would think her family would have known that by now, if that were the case. There's no factual evidence in public to support that conjecture, so I usually set it aside. I just feel terrible for her family. I feel terrible for Kathleen, most of all :( JMO
     
  14. MyBelle

    MyBelle Well-Known Member

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    That's a question I have had and it seems they deliberately aren't answering. If LE thought this was accidental or suicide, the keys would be with her and they wouldn't be expending resources on further investigation.

    JMO
     
  15. sillybilly

    sillybilly WS Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Please continue discussion of Kathleen's case at Thread #2.

    This thread is now closed.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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