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."
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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