Dad's Double Life

Leaving Behind One Life. . .

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.

As Elizabeth and her sons struggled through years of financial hardships and emotional upheavals, Welsh had successfully transformed himself into Kingsbury and lived for ten years with Ann Anderson, a woman from a prominent Galveston family. He spearheaded civic endeavors, was appointed president of the prestigious Galveston Historical Society, and became an integral part of Galveston society. As Elizabeth said, "While the boys and I were eating macaroni and cheese, Pat's been drinking margaritas."

Elizabeth Welsh's View
What does Elizabeth Welsh think of her former husband? In 1999, she talked to CBSNews.com.
Pleading no contest to charges of non-support and insurance fraud, and found guilty of all 12 counts, Welsh was sentenced to four years in prison. He claimed to be sorry, but has not made any attempt to contact his wife or his two sons, both of whom are still hurt and confused by his decision to leave them.

On top of this, it turns out that many people in Galveston knew that "Tim Kingsbury" was leading a double life. In 1996, Patrick Welsh was arrested in Galveston and convicted on a felony charge of forgery. The District Attorney discovered his previous identity, but did not reveal it publicly. In fact, Kinsgbury's assimilation into the town's ierarchy was apparently so complete that he was allowed to continue his masquerade. This poses the disturbing question: is a community responsible only to itself, or to outsiders as well?

Patrick Welsh was released from prison after spending only a year behind bars. He is on probation now, living with his girlfriend back in Galveston. Welsh has a job at a public relations firm, but is still very much in debt.


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