2-71. The Man Who Is No Longer Benjaman Kyle

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Time for an update. (And another below!)

Back in January 2014, the Daily Curio reported on the strange case of Benjaman Kyle, a name chosen by a man with dissociative amnesia.

From that article:

If you ask him his name, he’ll tell you it’s “Ben.” At least he thinks it is, because he doesn’t really know. The man referred to as Benjaman Kyle suffers from dissociative amnesia, also known as “Hollywood amnesia” because it’s so often portrayed in movies and soap operas. In short, though he has some memories, he doesn’t know who he is or where he’s from.

His current story begins in Richmond Hill, GA (where I’m writing this) in 2004. Employees of the local Burger King found a naked, bleeding and possibly dead man behind their dumpsters. They called the police who cared for the man, but when they tried to ID him, they couldn’t. Years later, they still can’t.

Ben can’t get a job or even a library card as he doesn’t have an official ID or Social Security Number. A documentary was made and because of that, he does have some employment and a shack to live in, but he still doesn’t know who he is and still can’t move on with his life.

In case you didn’t catch it, “Benjaman Kyle” has the same initials as “Burger King,” where he was found. The strange spelling of Benjaman with no “i” and two “a’s” was from the man himself.

Fast forward to September, 2015, and Benjaman Kyle believes he has an answer to his identity. From Kyle himself:

MY IDENTITY HAS BEEN FOUND! It is now the start of the eleventh year since this began and I never thought this day would come. A little over two months ago I was informed by CeCe Moore that that they had established my Identity using DNA. Many people have shared their DNA profiles so that they may be compared with mine. Through a process of elimination they determined my ancestral bloodline and who my relatives were. A DNA test taken by a close relative has confirmed that we are related.

So who is he? He won’t tell until he meets his relatives, which will hopefully happen this fall. If we find out, we’ll let you know.

There are those who say that his story is completely made up, and that he simply passed out behind a dumpster and lied about being beaten to hide whatever really happened.

There are a few odd things about the story. The website findingbenjaman.com which was dedicated to the search for his identity expired on September 14, 2015—just before he announced that his identity had been found. At one point in the search, a forensic genealogist doing DNA testing said she was close to finding out who he was, when Kyle stopped communicating with her. Also, given Kyle’s age, it’s very likely that he would have been called for the draft in the Vietnam War, yet there are no records that match his physical characteristics.

What’s the truth? It’s hard to say, but when and if he reveals his true identity, we might learn some more.

UPDATE: Matt Wolfe of the New Republic has published an extensive article that will likely be the last word on Benjamin Kyle. We now know his name, and some of his history. Thanks Matt!

Not Benjaman Kyle (Photo from Georgia Bureau of Investigation)

Not Benjaman Kyle (Photo from Georgia Bureau of Investigation)

 

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