Real Name: Unknown
Case: Lost Heirs
Location: Portland, Oregon
Details: In 1941, Katherine met a soldier named Gilbert Bennett and they were married six months later. After the war, they moved to Portland, Oregon, where Gilbert worked as a photographer; she was often the subject of his photographs. They would often go fishing in the Pacific Northwest and usually spent all of their free time together.
In 1980, after thirty-eight years of marriage, however, Gilbert passed away. Katherine told his relatives that she had no family members and was raised in an orphanage. Eventually, she lost contact with them as well. She became an eccentric recluse and rarely left her home. In June 1990, she passed away at the age of eighty.
After no biological relatives could be found, representatives for the Department of Oregon went to her house to find anything of value and possibly a will or any heirs. It was in a great state of disrepair, with garbage and other items cluttering it. They found that with social security checks, rare coins, money from bank accounts, and her house, altogether she had an estate of over $125,000. Without a will, it goes to her closest surviving relative.
However, little is certain about her past to determine who her relatives might be. What is known is that she was born in 1910 in Kansas City, Kansas, and that she told her in-laws that she grew up in a Catholic orphanage after the death of her parents. However, a document from 1945 (three years after her marriage) said that her father died before she was born but that her mother, at the time, was still alive and married to someone named "Joseph Fabac". It also stated that she had a brother named Martin Juratovich.
Before her marriage, she went by "Katherine Juratovich" but in Gilbert's family Bible, her maiden name is "Bernard". With all of the conflicting information, it has been difficult for the Department of Oregon to locate any known heirs.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the March 18, 1992 episode.
Results: Solved. A distant relative of Katherine eventually came forward and received half of the money from the estate. No other relatives came forward, so the remaining money went to the Oregon State Treasury.