My name is Bill Francis. In 2006 my grandmother, Mildred Vanderwerff, passed away and my grandfather, Ken Vanderwerff, passed away in 2010. I am the oldest grandchild of five. We couldn’t have asked for a better set of grandparents. All through our lives, their home was our home and I will never forget them.
Since the passing of my grandfather and to our disbelief, a person who became very close to him and even to us, also became his caretaker in his last year of his life. Without our knowledge, she gained access to everything my grandparents ever owned, including banking accounts, all of our family memorials including thousands of slides and pictures that consisted of our family history, furniture, my grandmother's jewelry, even awards and trophies my grandmother won as a baseball player when she was young, all of my grandfather’s tools, which he taught me how to use, all his coins, computers and thousands of movies that I gave him through his life. My daughter is an artist who gave them original paintings. These also are gone. Two days after his passing, I went into their home and the only thing left was the carpet.
What makes our situation even worse is that we are aware of another family this individual did this to also so there is a pattern. The reason for this website and information is because I believe I was put in this situation for a reason. My grandfather was my role model, hero and even as a teenager he was my best friend who taught me many life lessons. He was very honest and like me, he was too trusting. I know without his influence on my life, marriage and even career, I would not be who I am. Because of his hobbies and what he taught me and with what I do as a profession, it gives me the talent and ability to warn others so they will not go through the pain our family has suffered. We not only have lost my grandparents but everything we have ever known that represented them and our family.
I own the Imagination Company that produces documentaries and television shows. I was an editor and videographer for KSL and KTVX for many years and do work for all the major networks and currently manage two television stations. Since this has happened, I have discovered that this is a huge problem and have now teamed up with Senator Ben McAdams (D, Salt Lake City) as well as an award winning screen writer, well known television anchor and many others that are all volunteering their time to help educate others to not be scammed or taken. Our story will be documented in a full-featured production that already has a lot of interest. Currently, we are looking for others that have similar stories that we may want to include in our documentary.
If by chance you are aware of our situation or any similar situation and have information you would like to share, I will assure you everything will be confidential and we will respect any of your wishes as you tell your story.
* We want educate and get the word out on how bad of problem this really is.
* We want to prevent someone else from going through this.
* We want to get as many stories as we can to help in our production.