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Friday, March 24, 2006

Man Steals Ancestor's Identity

A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]
Daniel Haines was arrested Wednesday at his home in Hallowell, Maine, and charged with stealing the identity of his ancestor, Benjamin F. Haines. The elder Haines was a veteran of the Civil War, and died in 1881 from acute chappedness of the lips.

District Attorney Janet Coulombe described the case as "the worst I've ever seen," and called for new restrictions on access to vital records in the state.

"This man was able to walk into the State Archives, look at some microfilm, and find out Benjamin Haines' date of birth, his marriage date—even his mother's maiden name! We have to do a better job of protecting the identities of our citizens."

According to Coulombe, Daniel Haines made no attempt to hide his crime, and even appeared at his son's elementary school dressed in the uniform of his victim. Haines asked to be called "Benjamin" during the school visit, never once revealing to the children his true identity as "Caleb's dad."

"We also have evidence of paramilitary activity," says Coulombe. "Haines and several dozen co-conspirators routinely disguised themselves and carried out weapons-training exercises at what they called 'encampments.' God only knows what they were planning."

Police have rounded up most of the identity-theft ring, but one member is still at large. The DA is asking for the public's help in apprehending the leader—a man they call "the Colonel."

"Please do not approach him, as he is known to carry a sidearm and sword," she warns. "Anyone spotting 'Joshua Chamberlain' should call the Maine State Police immediately. Don't be a hero."

Anonymous

I had trouble believing that any one would use the identity of someone who died in 1881 so I checked some of the story out. Janet Coulombe is not the District Attorney for Kennebec County, where Hallowell is located. The District Attorney is Evert Fowle and he also covers Somerset County in the district approach Maine uses. It is possible that Janet Coulombe could be an assistant D.A. I would be interested in more on this story because open records are important

Chris

That's the last time I hire a fact-checker who speaks only Farsi.

Anonymous

There is no listing for any Haines in Hollowell at Switchboard.com.

Anonymous

A week from now I'd have assumed this was an April Fool's joke!

Chris

It's not April first? I guess my calendar is running fast.

Anonymous

This is OBVIOUSLY being written tongue-in-cheek. DON'T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY, folks!

Anonymous

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