Carol King-Eckersley talks about her long lost son, Kenneth Bissett, who was killed in the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. She learned that he was one of those who perished twenty-five years later.
An Oregon woman’s search for the son she gave up for adoption ended in heartbreak when she learned he was killed in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
Carol King Eckersley, 65, gave away her newborn son, Kenneth Bissett, when she was 19 years old.
But after the death of her husband earlier this year, Eckersley launched a search for her boy that led her to a website honoring the 35 Syracuse University students killed in the crash.
One face stood out. After she checked the student’s birthday, she realized it was her Kenneth.
But Eckersley didn’t initially realize the page was an online memorial.
“I looked and I said, ‘My God, it’s him,’ ” Eckersley recounted in a BBC documentary marking the 25th anniversary of the bombing.
King Eckersley gave up her newborn son for adoption shortly after he was born on Dec. 19, 1967.
“It was his birth date. He looked just like my dad. I looked in the mirror and I said, ‘He looks like me.’ ”
Beside his birth date, there was another date — Dec. 21, 1988.
Eckersley called her sister and wondered aloud why “they are only showing part of his life.”
“And it finally dawned on me that it was right and I just said ‘My God, my baby’s dead,’ ” Eckersley said.
“I realized that it was the Lockerbie Pan Am 103 remembrance page and I said, ‘My God, he was on that plane.’ ”
“Two hundred and seventy people died in that tragedy and one of those happened to be the only child I ever had.”
Syracuse University student Ken Bissett was among the 270 persons killed on board Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded in a terrorist bombing over Locherbie, Scotland in 1988. He was in seat 31J.
Bissett, like the other Syracuse students, was killed while returning home from a semester in London.
Pan Am Flight 103 blew apart in midair as it flew from New York to London, killing all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground.
Libyan agent Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was the only person convicted in the terror plot. He died in 2012 — nearly three years after he was freed from a Scottish prison because doctors swore he only had three months to live.
Eckersley had been told her son was adopted, but he never met his birth mother — a school principal’s daughter who felt too ashamed at having given birth so young to keep her child.
She vowed never to try to get in contact with him.
“There was always the hope and dream that some day there would come a knock on the door,” Eckersley says, “and I would open it and there would be this tall, handsome gentleman saying, ‘Hi, I guess you’re my mom.’ ”