Elizabeth Ann Pfeifer’s troubling start in life

Elizabeth Ann Pfeifer’s life was troubled from the start. Shortly after she was born on December 10, 1965, she was given up for adoption. The Pfeifer family had already adopted Laura, also from birth.

As you can immediately tell, we have a DNA problem here. If we ever find items that may hold biological materials that could be tested for DNA, even human remains, we need to find Elizabeth’s birth family.

Nobody in the Pfeifer family is blood related to either Elizabeth or Laura. Capt. Gay Dickerson of the Katy Police Department, Texas, managed to unseal Elizabeth’s original birth records in Harris County. She is trying to find Elizabeth’s birth mother. Dickerson managed to track her down until her divorce but after that the trail seems to grow cold.

Laura recalls that her parents told her that they had adopted Elizabeth to prevent Laura from becoming a spoiled only child. Laura’s mother apparently could conceive but not carry a child to full term hence the adoptions. According to Laura’s notes on the web, Mrs. Pfeifer liked to blame Elizabeth’s birth mother for Elizabeth’s physical and mental problems. This is what Laura says she remembers her mother saying about the birth mother: “She was a 14-16 year old, unmarried girl in the wards of Houston. We think she was Italian. She evidently was an alcoholic and from a bad family.”

According to Laura, Elizabeth was a high school dropout. She thinks that Elizabeth might only have a 10th grade education. She had learning disabilities but Laura does not specify them. Confusingly, she mentions on one website that Elizabeth won “so many trophies and awards.” She said her mother did not pay attention to Elizabeth’s needs and struggles. Elizabeth attended Katy Elementary School and apparently that school had suggested medication for Elizabeth combined with special education tutoring. According to Laura on various websites, her mother refused. She remembers that her parents were far more concerned with their social status and reputation than their child’s emotional and physical needs.

Online, Laura gives examples of this behaviour: “My parents and Elizabeth had a volatile relationship because Elizabeth was a pain. This attitude was prevalent when my parents were building their retirement home – what to do with Elizabeth? They had asked if she could just come live with me…they had left her in jail when she got a DUI so they could go on a vacation and Elizabeth not get into more trouble.

They had been told, when Elizabeth was 18, by a psychiatrist, that Elizabeth needed to be committed to an institution but my parents would not do that because “the family would find out” and what would they say then?

So, they did not know what to do with her. She was spending more time in jail (for DWI’s and DUI’s in Harris County); she had mental problems and basically had to be watched, constantly. She was unemployable and yes, a pain. She would stay up all night, drinking and sleep all day. She had an eating disorder. She would easily fight you or become unhinged if the alcohol was taken away. She was probably in the end stages of her disease…how much longer could she have lasted like that?

She was very hard to live with and I know she caused my parents MUCH distress because they were always worried about her. The central theme was, “What will we do with Elizabeth when we move?

What is not clear here is whether Laura suspects that aside from mental disabilities Elizabeth suffered from another disease. At the same time, Laura writes that “My parents and Elizabeth were totally at odds, but yet my parents did nothing to help Elizabeth get out on her own. It’s rather like they needed her to be there, dependent and helpless.” But that would have been contrary to what was said before. If Elizabeth was needy and dependent, the community would find out and according to Laura that was something that her parents tried to avoid at all costs.

We will keep digging for information about this case.