Benjaman Kyle is having an identity crisis, literally. While Kyle can remember what activities he did just yesterday, last week, even last month, he cannot remember who he is.
According to AOL News, Benjaman Kyle is not suffering through your typical identity crisis. Kyle has no recollection of key facts that help identify who he is as an individual. Kyle, who is going on 60, said in the telephone interview with AOL that “It’s like having something on the tip of your tongue. You know it is there, but you can’t quite remember.”
How Benjaman Kyle Lost His Identity
Kyle’s story of how he lost his identity began when managers of a Burger King in Richmond Hill, Ga., found him lying on the ground next to a trash container behind the restaurant on Aug. 31, 2004. FBI agent Bill Kirkconnell stated, “He was naked, he had bug bites from red ants, he appeared to have been beaten and he was taken to the hospital. Ever since then, he has had no recollection of who he was.”
Kyle says he has no recollection of how he ended up there that day as well as not knowing why and who beat him up. All of his memories begin when he woke up in the emergency room the following day, where doctors discovered that Kyle was legally blind due to cataracts. “I remember hearing the doctors or nurses making jokes about what they were going to call me because they already had a John Doe and they couldn’t call me that. So there was a joke about calling me Burger King Doe,” Benjaman Kyle recalls.
Because the hospital staff kept pestering him for a name, Kyle came up with Benajaman Kyle as he explained, “I just wanted them to leave me the hell alone. I remembered my first name as being Benjaman, with the spelling weird. For my last name, I picked the only thing I could think of, and that was Kyle. They didn’t care if it was real or not; they just needed something to put on the paperwork.”
The Few Memories Benjaman Kyle Does Have
After Benjaman Kyle was transferred to five different hospitals for various treatments and clinics, he ended up staying in a homeless shelter. While Kyle cannot remember anything specific, he says that vague memories of certain places leads him to believe that at one point he worked in construction or the restaurant industry.
Kyle claims that most of his past life is still a mystery, and yet he can remember certain facts like his birthday and where he was born, “I believe I was born in Indianapolis. Everyone thinks it is really weird, yet it seems so normal to me, [that I was born on] Aug. 29, 1948. The reason I can remember that is Michael Jackson was born 10 years after me, to the day, so it makes sense to me that I wouldn’t forget that.”
The Search for His Identity
Benjaman Kyle was living in a homeless shelter until 2007, when he met nurse Katherine Slater, who has been advocating for him ever since. Slater has been actively helping Kyle find out his true identity. According to Kyle, Slater “started investigating it, and she knew [someone] who knew Congressman Jack Kingston, so we went out and met with his staff, and they actually started the investigation rolling and called the FBI.”
As a favor to Kingston, Kirkconnell took Kyle’s fingerprints and dental records and started to investigate his identity. Unfortunately, no matches were found in the system. “We took his fingerprints and sent them off to our criminal justice information center, where they ran his prints against our automated and our non-automated files. That would be about 60 million criminal fingerprints and over 200 million civil fingerprints … but he’s simply not in our system,” Kirkconnell told reporters.
Well-known genealogy expert Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick became involved with Benajaman Kyle’s unique case of lost identity when numerous people began to contact her and asked if she could help. She told AOL News, “I am pretty well known in the [genealogy] community. People contacted me and said, ‘Do you know this guy, and do you think you can help?’ and I have been part of it ever since.”
So far, Dr. Fitzpatrick has been able to identify that Kyle has ancestry with both the surname Powell and Davidson. However, she has yet to discover his actual name.
While there has been some controversy as to whether Benjaman Kyle is telling the truth, a separate investigation done by FBI agent Harold Copus on behalf of the “Dr. Phil” show found that Kyle is telling the truth. Copus says to those that doubt Kyle’s amnesia “Benjaman may have a record for the longest case of amnesia, but that’s a hell of a record to have. I wouldn’t want it…”
Meanwhile, Benjaman Kyle still lives life without knowing who he was before his accident. While he says how much he hates not having full control of his life, he stated that “Maybe this in some way has made me a better person.”
photo by Wikipedia
Identity Crisis – Benjaman Kyle Has No Identity.