Who Is She?

 Corruption comes home.

A multi-part series.

Palm Beach Florida is just about the other end of the country for us. I was surprised when my editor asked me to look into a group of politicians embroiled in what she described as "gang warfare" there.

"How does this effect Oregon?" I wanted to know.

"Crackheads and liar loans."

"We already have plenty." I said.

"But not like this one." She handed me a printout of a blond in front of Air Force One. At this hour I require hard copy.

"Who is she?" I asked.

"Got someplace to go? It will be a while." I had a feeling it was going to be one of those.

Meet Laurel Bennett. Or Laurel Saracco. Or Laurel Zeitz, or well, Laurel has about thirty different aliases. Her husband is suing her in their divorce in Florida, a crazy story that made it on the news in Dubai, of all places.

Bennett is close with just about everybody in Florida politics, and if you look into Hooley for Congress records here in Oswego, you will find her name tied to big Democrats as well.

As I culled through real estate records I noticed a fair share of politicians always seem to be involved in lawsuits over mortgages. Bennett's Oregon debacle centers around a $799,000 property and claims of stolen identity. Same in Florida.

Is this the classic 80-20 scam, or is Laurel Bennett a modern day Jackal? Is it possible that a person with a questionable identity could get so close to people of influence? A facebook post reveals Bennett participating in international diplomacy in Korea in 2018.

More fascinating however are the obituaries. Bennett claims to be the daughter of Phyllis Saracco, a deceased Oregonian. She also claims to be the widow of Cuthbert Joel Bennett, who was also married to a few other women named Bennett... Or were they actors for the banks?

"What bothers me" I explained to my editor "is that the mother, Phyllis, and the husband, Cuthbert, have these unusual online obituaries and not much else to go on and Cuthbert, or Joel as Bennett calls him, he appears to be a Washington State man who died a long time ago. Right around the time Bennett married her Joel."

"Looks like you have a mystery to solve." She said.

"Looks like I have a series."

What I want to know... Is why were these people out here...

Next week:

Big brother: Benjamin Bennett, convicted drug dealer wants to be Sheriff of Florida city.

Boat trips and campaign cash: Is this the root of the scam?

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