Mr and Mrs Allison
Trevor and Loraine
Helen KramerHELEN Kramer caused the affluent Allison family pain and grief for years while she tried to convince them she was their missing relative Loraine who was feared drowned as a 2-year-old on the Titanic. Ms Kramer died in 1992 but her story saw the Kramer and Allison families engage in a bitter argument involving restraining orders and claims of harassment in the years that followed her death.That is, until now.
DNA testing proves that Ms Kramer was no relation to the Canadian Allison family. Her claims of were all part of an elaborate hoax. The Loraine Allison Identification Project website states that mtDNA testing proves Loraine Allison was the only child from first or second class that went down with the ship.
"Testing was completed by DNA Diagnostics Center. The results confirm that Mrs. Kramer was NOT Loraine Allison," the website states.
What happened to the Allison family when the Titanic sank in 1912 has always been a mystery. Loraine's parents Hudson and Bess Allison were travelling with their daughter and other infant son Trevor. There are conflicting stories about what happened to the family. One story states that they stayed on the ship to frantically search for Trevor, not knowing he had already made it to a lifeboat with his nurse.
Another story states that Bess and Loraine were placed on a lifeboat but returned to the Titanic because Bess would not leave her husband. Hudson's body was the only one that was ever recovered.
In 1940 a woman calling herself "Loraine Kramer" appeared on a TV show called We the People searching for her real family. She claimed to be Titanic survivor Loraine Allison, who was spared when her father Hudson put her on a lifeboat with a man called "Mr Hyde", a man she grew up thinking was her father.
According to the Loraine Allison Identification Project, Ms Kramer discovered her "true identity" when she asked Mr Hyde for her birth certificate and he told her the truth about her background. He also claimed to be Thomas Andrews - the man who designed the Titanic.
"Mrs. Kramer pursued her claim for many years, and while some, more distant relations believed her, none of Hudson's immediate family believed her claim," the website states. "
Despite this, they agreed to meet with her, even pay her way to Canada, so that they could investigate her claim. Interestingly, she wrote back to them, refusing. Eventually, she moved to the Western US, and was not heard from by the Allison family again."
In 2012 - 20 years after Ms Kramer's death and 100 years after the sinking of the Titanic a woman called Debrina Woods spoke out claiming to be Ms Kramer's granddaughter. She said she had a suitcase full of letters between her grandmother and a lawyer that proved they were related to the Allisons. She claimed to have DNA evidence and proof from a museum that the documents were legitimate, although she never released the name of the laboratory where her DNA results were done or the name of the museum.
It was only once the Loraine Allison Identification Project carried out its own tests that Ms Kramer's and Ms Woods' claims were proved false. An Allison family member said Loraine's immediate family never believed Ms Kramer's story - but the pain it caused them was real. David Allison, grandson of Loraine's uncle Percy, told The Telegraph: "The Allisons never accepted Mrs. Kramer's claim, but the stress it caused was real. It forced my ancestors to relive painful memories described to me as immeasurable sorrow and unending grief."
His sister Nancy Bergman said the revelation "uncovered a colossal fraud that has haunted my family for years. It was all about the money …. Debrina wants to write a book and no doubt there are others out there who want to profit from our story. It is our story. Leave us in peace."