Letters to the Editor

Too much personal information in obituaries can lead to crime

This past September, we came home from my grandfather’s funeral to find our house here on the Island burglarized. The back door had been broken and several thousand dollars in jewelry and small electronics were stolen. My suspicion that it was not a coincidence was confirmed when we learned that my parents’ home (in Bothell) was burglarized during the same time period. Both of our first and last names had been mentioned in an obituary that ran in the Seattle Times three days prior. The obituary provided the time and location of the viewing and funeral.

Ever since then, I cringe every time I see so much personal information in the obituaries published in the Reporter. My grandfather was 96 when he passed away and read the obituaries every day to learn of and attend his friends’ services, so our family did not hesitate to write a lengthy obituary for him and include all of the traditional information. We did not realize until it was too late that it would come at such a cost.

Please encourage your readers to either leave out identifying information, publish their obituaries after the funeral or memorial service has taken place, or consider hiring private security during the service. It would break my heart to hear about this happening to anyone else.

Kristin Rahlfs


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates