7Investigates: Missing Mass. birth certificate uncovers family secret

(WHDH) — “It’s been driving me crazy, so much stress.”

Bill Mandozzi uncovered a long-hidden family secret while doing a pretty boring errand.

He went to get his license renewed, and the RMV asked for his birth certificate.

“In 2017, I lost my wallet,” said Mandozzi. His birth certificate was in that wallet.

“I can’t produce one,” he says.

So the 68-year-old went to the City of Boston’s website to request a copy of his birth certificate.

“I got an email about a week later, saying that they have no record, me being born in Boston,” says Mandozzi.

Bill thought that was strange.

He has a baptism certificate saying he was born in the city.

“I was baptized in Wellesley, but it says I was born in Boston,” says Mandozzi.

Bill called the state agency in charge of birth certificates and that’s when things got really confusing.

“They said no record has been found,” says Mandozzi. “I collect social security, I went through the Framingham school system, from first grade through high school. I’ve had my license with the registry since 1968. I don’t know what to do. It’s very stressful and I don’t know what I’ll do without a license, I really don’t.”

7 Investigates reached out to representatives at the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records on Bill’s behalf. We asked them to do a search using his mother’s maiden name.

That’s when they found something interesting.

“There was a son born to my mother on July of 52, which is my birthday,” says Mandozzi. “There’s no first name, there’s no middle name. There’s just a last name, Ryan.”

Bill was shocked.

He has always been William Mandozzi, named after the man who was married to his mom and who he believed was his dad.

But the newly discovered state records show his mother was married to someone else when he was born.

That man’s last name was Ryan.

“I look just like my father, you know. My sister looks just like me. I kind of figured it out that I was born to my dad and my mom and this guy Mr. Ryan got upset and that ruined their marriage,” says Mandozzi.

What about the birth certificate he lost in 2017? The state says it was most likely altered.

“I always thought it was funny because where the name was, it was white out. And then it was written Billy,” says Mandozzi.

Now Bill had answers, but still didn’t have a driver’s license.

To get that, he had to legally change his name to the one he has been using for more than sixty years.

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