Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Gene Kiley

Real Name: Eugene "Gene" Kiley Jr.
Occupation: Heir Hunter/Investigator
Place Of Birth: Unrevealed
Date Of Birth: Unrevealed
Location: Boston, Massachusetts


Background: Gene Kiley is the chief inspector of the Massachusetts Treasury Department's Abandoned Property Division. He is an heir hunter who tracks down the rightful owners of unclaimed money. Working from a list of millions of dollars in unclaimed bank accounts, insurance premiums and stocks and bonds, he sifts through city directories, death certificates, phone books and hospital, voting, and immigration records. He has contacted thousands of people and traveled to dozens of countries in order to find rightful heir(s).
Kiley heads a staff of fifty-five people who have handed out more than $30 million. The largest amount he has given away was over $200,000. The smallest was just over $1. In one case, a man refused $5,000 from his mother's bank account because he felt that he wasn't good to her.
Kiley and his staff compete against private heir finders who charge heirs a fee of between 20% and 50% of their inheritance. Since he and the state of Massachusetts charge nothing, he enjoys solving the cases first. In his most satisfying victory, he solved two in one weekend. Each was more than 9000 miles away from Boston.
It all started when private heir finder "Smith" told Kiley that he was going to England over the weekend to visit his girlfriend. Kiley was suspicious and believed that he was going there to try and solve a case. He searched through his files, looking for any cases with connections to England. He found two: the first involved a man named John J. Conroy, who had been born in England but died in Massachusetts, leaving a large unclaimed inheritance. He called the American Consulate in England and learned that Conroy's heirs had filed an inquiry about his estate.
Kiley also found an unclaimed fortune to the heirs of Thomas Costello. He knew that the name "Costello" originated in the Connemara region of Ireland. He also knew an Irish guitar player who played in a Irish band in Boston, the guitarist in the episode was played by Mo O'Connor from Co Cork. The man was originally from Connemara, so he visited him. The man said that his aunt knew Thomas and that they were both from the town of Spiddle. Kiley decided to contact the priest in Spiddle and asked him to make an announcement about the inheritance at Sunday mass. Thanks to one of the parishioners, the priest contacted four of Thomas Costello's relatives.
Kiley contacted the proper authorities in England and Ireland. He later learned that he had beaten his rival, Smith, by just forty-five minutes. Although he is successful in most of his investigations, there are a few of his cases that still remain unsolved.
Case Files:

  • John J. Conroy - he was born in England but died in Massachusetts, leaving behind a large unclaimed inheritance. Kiley contacted the American consulate in England and learned that Conroy's relatives had inquired about the inheritance.
  • Thomas Costello - he was born in Spiddle, Ireland, and had died in Massachusetts. Kiley contacted a priest in Spiddle who helped him locate Costello's relatives.

Walter Phillip White

  • Walter Phillip White - he left behind an estate of $100,000. He was an Aleut Indian born in Sitka, Alaska, in 1896. He died in England in 1972. During World War II, he distinguished himself as a radar expert. After the war, he worked in Massachusetts. When he died, he left no will. However, he did have a sister named Olga who had two children. Kiley has not been able to locate them.
  • Nora DeVine - she was born in Iowa around 1918. As an adult, she lived in Boston and worked as a bookbinder. She has an estate valued at $50,000. Kiley has been unable to locate her or her heirs.

Notes: This case first aired on the October 18, 1989 episode. Some sources spell his last name as "Kiely".