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Late Kate Dooley actually an American fugitive wanted for deadly drunk-driving crash

Beloved Yellowknife fireworks expert Kate Dooley was really an American fugitive named Gloria Schulze, according to Scottsdale, Arizona police. Schulze was charged for her role in a 1994 drunk-driving accident that left a 21-year-old woman dead, but fled the country before she was sentenced. Image courtesy of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

Many Yellowknife residents likely remember the name Kate Dooley. The long-time resident, who died of cancer in 2019, was responsible for the city’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display, and also handled the pyrotechnics at events like the opening of the Deh Cho bridge and the Tlicho self-government signing.

She was also organizer for the fireworks displays during the Long John Jamboree, according to Adrian Bell, the festival’s founder.

According to a report from AZFamily on Wednesday, however, the beloved fireworks enthusiast was born with a different name, and was actually an American fugitive wanted in connection for a deadly drunk-driving accident in Arizona.

Dooley’s real name was Gloria Schulze, the police department in her hometown of Scottsdale confirmed to AZFamily. On the night of July 29, 1994, she got behind the wheel after drinking and smoking cannabis, and was involved in a collision that killed a woman named Angela Maher, who was 21 at the time.

Schulze was charged with manslaughter and three counts of endangerment, but later fled the state, and broke contact with all of her family and friends.

Police could not locate her and in 2001, she was tried ‘in absentia,’ meaning the trial was held in her absence. She was convicted on all counts, even if she was not in the courtroom to be sentenced.

Schulze’s case has been reassigned twice since then, first in 2014, and later in 2020, when it became the responsibility of a senior analyst who reportedly received a tip that she had fled to Canada and died of cancer. Investigators then stumbled upon news coverage of Dooley’s death, throughout which she was celebrated for her involvement in the Yellowknife community, and determined she bore a resemblance to Schulze. They then contacted the RCMP, who confirmed that Dooley had been arrested for a DUI in 2009, and that her fingerprints were on file.

It was then finally determined that the names Kate Dooley and Gloria Schulze actually belonged to the same woman.

Scottsdale police confirmed to AZFamily that the 30-year-old case is now closed.

After her death from cancer in 2019, the annual New Year’s Ever fireworks show on Frame Lake paid tribute to her with a few explosives in her memory.

About the Author: Tom Taylor

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