Part VIII: Kathleen McBroom Missing Person

With the new developments in the Kathleen “Beany” McBroom missing person case, I wanted to post an update.

I’ll have Part III on the disappearance of Beau Ramsey ready for next week.


Case Summary:

Kathleen McBroom has not been seen since October 27, 2008 near her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. Four days later, family members discovered her abandoned truck on a highway south of Anchorage. The vehicle contained her cell phone and other personal items, but offered no sign of Kathleen.

Prior to disappearing, Mrs. McBroom was an avid writer and her online journal can be viewed here.


Update #1: Ms. McBroom Was/Will Be Listed in Two Directories

Previously, I discussed how discouraged I was that Ms. McBroom’s case had not been well publicized.

In contrast to the other active disappearance investigations that I have written about on this blog (Ray Gricar, Brianna Maitland, Morgan Nick, and Susan Powell), Ms. McBroom was not listed in the applicable state and national databases.

My argument: It is very difficult to find someone who has disappeared if the public has no clue that he or she is missing.

I am happy to announce that after sending a request to the Anchorage Police Department, Ms. McBroom’s missing person information is now listed in the US Department of Justice’s NamUs database and is in the process of being added to on the State of Alaska’s missing persons website.

Thanks to personnel in Anchorage for taking the time to publicize Kathleen’s disappearance—-hopefully, I was not too much of an annoyance.

Update #2: Ms. McBroom Was Evidently Declared Legally Dead

Also, I was told by a reliable source, but have been unable to verify, that Ms. McBroom’s family had her legally declared dead around January of 2009.

Why have the missing woman declared dead after three months?

Would using a court-appointed guardian to manage her affairs in the short term be a more reasonable approach? (Note: Credit crime blogger JJ in Phila for this insight)

I am trying to get a legal opinion on this issue, and will provide an update when I have a more informed answer.

In researching what legally declared dead in terms of Alaska law meant, I noted this:

--A missing person can be declared legally dead in Alaska if a report has been filed and clear and convincing evidence, which can include circumstantial evidence, exists to support such a conclusion (paraphrased).

--Without clear and convincing evidence, a missing person is assumed dead if he or she has been “absent” for five years (paraphrased).

How often are missing persons declared legally dead and what is the usual time frame?

This is a great question that, unfortunately, I was unable to convincingly answer.

In general, it appears that legally dead labels are not typically assigned to missing persons until years after they have disappeared.

Since it was only three months or so between the time that Ms. McBroom vanished and then was declared legally dead, I believe this indicates two things:

1) The family believes and has some type of evidence that Ms. McBroom died near where her truck was recovered.

2) Since the family is convinced that Ms. McBroom is deceased, then it answers why investigators have, in my opinion, not aggressively promoted her case.
The squeaky wheel...
Previous posts in this series can be accessed by clicking "Kathleen McBroom" on the right margin of the home page or a list of historical posts is here.

*Photo was used from here.


Sue said...

"...and clear and convincing evidence, which can include circumstantial evidence, exists..."

That's disturbing and sad to hear. :-(

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
I am very glad you got her on the missing persons list. I'm sure that took quite a bit of time on your part, too.

One thing that this points out--and I almost hate to point it out--sometimes the most impersonal government list stands better for an individual than the family does. I find this second development so disturbing.

Without your advocacy, Kathleen McBroom would not be listed, and the family would--what? What judge would have gone for this?

I don't know. Something is known and has not been shared. Her disappearance continues to make a hole in the world.

Ann T.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

This is just my two cents from watching way too much television but maybe they declared her dea so quickly because of insurance or something?

Javajune said...

I never hear about these missing people on the news. Perhaps they should spend more time getting the word out on important isssue and less time talking about celebrity gossip or the dreaded economy.
You are providing an important service that may some day lead to the recovery of a missing individual or the arrest of a perp. Keep it up.

suzicate said...

I always find it so sad when people are missing...sometimes they wait so long for closure, most times is bad news, and sometimes the answer never comes. The heartache must be unbearable. I don't get why they'd have her declared dead after three months. That just sounds weird.

Holly said...

It is a crazy world. It seem very odd that a family would be so quick to have a love done declared dead. I cannot only imagine if I had a relative that was missing I would keep looking. I suppose your conclusion s right, they must have some other piece of evidence or info.

Zuzanna said...

Nice blog. I have never heart about those people.

Cameron said...

Kudos to you for getting her on the missing person list. It is unsettling though that the family is convinced she is dead but that nobody has been arrested / or are they pursuing suspects? Maybe it was a family member and they are keeping it out of the media? I'm new to your blog, but I really like what you are doing. Will be following regularly.


terri said...

I can't believe they would have her declared legally dead after three months! I can't imagine giving up that quickly. This is such a sad case.

Slamdunk said...

@ Ann T.: It does seem that there is much more that was presented to the judge versus what is available to the public.

@ My Husband's Watching TV: Though I don't know for sure in this case, it is standard practice for detectives to look at all possibilities to explain a disappearance. Examining the missing's financial situation would most certainly be done.

 ALH said...

I'm really glad to see that you did some work to get her case publicized. Not only are you a great journalist but also a great activist for these missing people! I'm saddened by the fact that her family has already declared her dead, this does seem to indicate that they have clear evidence that she died otherwise it seems too soon to have stopped searching?

Thanks for commenting on my recent post. I think you analyzed it well although I think I was more showing that she didn't need anyone's approval anymore. She wasn't searching for anything anymore, finally she just had something to say and didn't care who heard it, but hopefully a person who needed it like she did would find it in the same way.

Have a great day :)

malone8 said...

The family declared her dead after three months? What is wrong with this picture?

Wendster said...

Thank you Sue for making me aware of Slamdunk's blog and this information.

Slamdunk, I was a close "bloggie" friend of Kathleen's.

I have many letters from her that discussed her frustrations. They might be valuable to you?

I am going to write to you, if I may?

Wendy in California (Wendster)

Personally ... I am most curious to know why the family (daughter) shared SO openly with her feelings and troubles as she first searched for her mother, and then everyone seems to have just "stopped talking" ... DID they find evidence that they presented to the judge that convinced the judge that Beany IS deceased? If yes, WHY did they not share it wiht the public, when they know that there are 300+ comments on Beany's daughter's post, searching for her mother? While it seems possible that this information was too painful to share at that moment, it seems that time would have provided some healing and made it possible to at least share enough information to put the minds of all of the concerned blog friends at rest. It doesn't make sense. Something seems off.

I'm writing you, Slamdunk.

Thanks for your hard work.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Thank you Slamdunk, I'm a friend of Beany's too. I couldn't believe it at first when her daughter posted that plea. My first thought was that is was a joke-- then I immediately got suspicious. If I were to vanish, none of my readers would know because no one could log into my accounts. I also found the timing very strange because we had chatted about how excited she was to be having a night out with her girls to see Twilight. She was counting down to it. This wasn't a woman walking away from it all and yet no one seemed to think this was worth investigating until blog friends started shouting.
Thank you for delving into this.

Slamdunk said...

@ Wendster and Imbeingheldhostage: I appreciate your comments and questions--they are relevant.

I am not in contact with the family of the missing woman--only online friends of Beany and representatives of law enforcement.

This sad case has many aspects that just don't make sense.

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aleese said...

My name is Aleese, her oldest daughter. If you have questions or concerns keep them that way do not make assumptions on what you do not know. My mom was my best friend and you know nothing. Seeing some one the things on here make me sick. Such ignorance, how dare you. Haven't we suffered enough? Since you people like others information so much, how about how I tell you that my oldest brother committed suicide a year ago. So thanx for upsetting me.

Sue said...


I am reaching out to you as I have in the past. I was unaware that you and your sister had other siblings to begin with, so I am sorry for your loss.

I am also a little confused as to what has upset you so much about our comments. Most of us were close friends of your mothers and are mourning her loss as you are. We are trying to make sense of a sudden loss that we have experienced with little answers.

Not one of us made comments with ill intentions to hurt you or your family, so please accept my apologies. I have missed your mother sorely and still cherish some of the gifts she sent to me.

It is hard for us to have closure on the loss of a dear friend when we do not understand what happened.

Also, these comments are all 2-3 years old, so none of us intended to increase your family's suffering.

I am sorry.

Aleesey chan said...

Sorry I was upset when I read this and skimmed it looked like people were making assumptions. I'm currently doing my own research into mom's case as I have found some strange information.

Aleesey chan said...

Sorry I skimmed the comments and it upset me felt like people were making assumptions I'm curently doung my own research into Mom's case.