[Audio] Lawyer who aided ashes return speaks, family too; Humboldt’s last week of news

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week: After the Wagner family in Westhaven was burglarized and had their son’s ashes ransomed back to them for $5,000, the lawyer that made the transaction possible has been criticized in anonymous comments alleging she is protecting the burglars and that she profited in some way from the exchange. The attorney says in reality she’s been acting in full communication with the police and worked free of charge. She mentioned her client told her he did not commit any crimes, wanted to do the right thing, and is afraid to reveal the burglars’ identities for fear of his safety.

“These people don’t know me, and lawyers are not a particularly esteemed group of people,” said attorney Kathleen Bryson after declining to go on camera for Inside Edition. “The only good thing about the banking crisis in my view is that bankers actually made lawyers look good. So I’m used to this. But I got into law to help people and do what’s right… Anonymity and blogs are fun, it’s a way to blow of steam, but at the end of the day people that know me know that I have nothing but good intentions for the family.”

Kathleen Bryson

In the interview the attorney delved into her motivations, the impression her client gave her, and noted that she spoke with her client about revealing the identities of the burglars. She says at the end of the day that decision is her client’s.

“(During the transaction) I did have a fantasy of keeping the money and bringing back the ashes (to return both to the family),” Bryson said. “And a high speed chase away from these people. But I’m not going to put a bullet in my chest. It’s nice to think about.”

Ryan Wagner

Ryan Wagner lost his life in 2011 to cancer at the age of six. His dolphin urn, ashes and courage beads are now back with his family at the price of five grand. His mother Anita Wagner encouraged Bryson’s client to come forward with the burglars’ identities and believes we should not live in a world where criminals can get away with burglary and ransom by having an acquaintance hire a lawyer. But mostly she wanted to thank the community for all of the support her family has received.

“This place holds so much beauty and Humboldt has had our backs since this all happened,” Anita Wagner said. “It’s been uplifting to have that support when we were feeling so heartbroken and so angry at this whole ordeal.”

Here is a link to the donations page for the family as they continue to try and recoup the losses from the burglary of their home in Westhaven and the ransom of Ryan.

The story begins at 4:28.

Also covered: Eureka’s Carl’s Jr. sign losing it’s Carl’s tenure, that $5 million dollar settlement, Ferndale and NORML budding [sic] heads over the Humboldt County Cup, that alleged teenager-punching dad’s arrest warrant, HSU massages on Trump day, movie stars, and more.



  • Extortion!!pretty sad when a lawyer helps the bad guys,she should have locked him up.this is a example why you can’t trust most lawyers!sorry uncle’s not you🖒

    • Sadder yet is your inability to read or empsthsize

      • J. Worthingham Fatback

        G-Ma .. why don’t YOU contact the attorney, and cut an under the radar deal…. She gives you the leads you need to find out the identity of the real scum thieves, and then you can dime them anonymously!

        • so with attorney client privlege lawyers can just get lied to and they have to have there clients back seems pretty messed up

          • sharpen your pencil

            My understanding was that she wasn’t aiding the thieves, but a third party, so there is no attorney client privilege here. How about since the ashes have been safely collected, the lawyer and the third party individual do everything they can to get the family justice?

  • What a hard position to be in, I’m glad she did what she felt was right and got the ashes back, money is easy to come by(compared to the soul in the earn) so at the end of the day the family was together again and we all move forward.

    • oh brother where art thou

      Not good enough. She enabled and hid a criminal at the same time. 5 grand isn’t easy to come by for a lot of families. An obscene felony was committed and what this attorney should be doing is negotiating a 2 year sentence or a 10 year one in court when they present their arguments.

      And she goes on to say “bankers are more trusted than lawyers”? Nice way to deflect, and a perfect example why right there.

      • And the pos that’s supposedly for free went to a lawyer instead of the cops he could have done it anonymously no repercussions even if so fight for what’s right you spineless pice of shit. You could have been a hero! Now you just as bad

        • There would be a risk of repercussions: the criminals would probably be in jail a short time, plus their asshole friends. BUT, a big part of being a real human being, (i.e. real man, real woman, and so on) and not a POS is to do what is right even if there is the risk for repercussions. Hell, if anyone hangs out with people who will seriously harm you for any reason, it is time to get new friends and to start fresh, move if necessary. We also don’t know if the person reporting to the lawyer is the one who stole it, I bet they were. Bottom line that I think we all agree on is that the jerkoffs that stole it in the first place, then ransom it, are POS’s way lower than any F’s we would even consider giving them. Given this, I think we need to cut Bryson some slack, since there is a chance she is telling the truth and the probability that the ashes wouldn’t have gotten back any other way. I don’t think any one of us likes it, and it wasn’t ideal, but the important endpoint of having their loved one back has been reached.

        • that guy is a joke not going to the cops and going to the lawyer instead any good person would of done that i think the lawyer said she knew her client for a minute so I bet he just went to her cuz hes afraid of cops LOL

  • No bullshit here. Straight 100

    And I also think Kathleen Bryson is a crock of shit. She’s definitely helping the wrong side. Who would help somebody that stole ashes of a dead child. Ur a piece of shit too. Hope u get karma for your part in this

    • can you not read or here she said she just wanted to help get the ashes back and get them them to the family and she didnt make any money if thats true and her client is just lieing to her and shes just trying to help [edit]

  • Sick to my stomach

  • My heart goes out to the family and friends. At least they’ll have some peace now. Just a horrible situation. Peace be with you.

  • Scumbag thieves!
    The lawyer was just middle manning, G-mas apparently isnt comprehending that part of the equasion deriving from the first comment up top.
    The lawyer actually did great getting the ashes back to the family…
    Them thieves though are complete scumbags,…

  • Could you imagine having this happen to your child and then this! Those fucking people are going to HELL I just hope worse happens to them here first, condolences to the family I hope in a small way getting his ashes back helps ease some pains even a smigen, a whole community feels for your loss and loves you

  • That particular lawyer is a P.O.S. She will do anything for a buck. Check her record, she has been fired from every law firm in the county for unscrupulous behavior, private practice is her only recourse. No moral compass on that one.

    • i just checked her record and saw she won best attorney of humboldt for the north coast journal in 2015 she must be really awful LOL

    • I happen to know Kathleen Bryson and she is a good person. She was a party used by some not so nice people and if she had not agreed to go along with their unbelievable BS this family would never have gotten the ashes back. So are you saying she should never agreed to this? Look at it this way, she wasn’t helping the sum bags she was helping the hurting family.

  • Too bad for the lawyer, she probably has a hard time finding her way back to her car after leaving her office due to her moral compass being jacked up.
    I was just thinking about having the urne containing my child’s ashes as opposed to a tweeky thief being in possession of it. Im glad for the family they have the urne back, but I’m now wondering about the thiefs knowing exactly where to find it again,… Sad that you seriously have to lock and nail everything down these days, nut I suppose even china is americanizing, for centuries they never even thought of being robbed, wallets would be left where they were lost, but the way of the world is upon us.

  • This situation isn’t anyone’s business but the family’s. The end result is they got back what they wanted and needed. It was their choice to pay for it. Kathleen Bryson does have a nasty reputation but it doesn’t really matter. The end justifies the means. Let it rest. I am happy the family is happy.

    • I imagine the lawyer her self would say the Exact same thing,..

    • Yea..I get your point…..BUT…still…we would really like the lawyer to follow her convictions and not her “oath” and reveal her source.

    • You live in the same community as this family I assume. Therefore it is your business and everyone else’s in this community because if these parasites aren’t dealt with it could be you, me, or anyone else who ends up being their next target.

  • I would just be grateful to have my sons cremated remains back no matter what it involved. These thieves will have much higher consequences when they are caught, from the police to Karma to having to account for their actions before a higher power! I believe this lawyer did a good deed. She stated clearly that her client was doing this in good faith. Quit judging these two people who got this beautiful young mans remains back to his family. It breaks my heart to see what kind of ugly hearted people are in this world. I cannot even imagine what this family has gone through. These thieves will be caught! Keeping all involved and people with good hearts and good intentions in my thoughts and prayers.

    • In my opinion. I believe the attorney needs to drop a note in a court room identifying the thieves. But I’m very Happy the family has thier son back. If sad when attorneys can’t say who did it. But an anonymous note would be nice. Again I’m happy the family has the ashes back.

      • Troy – I really hope something like this happens, then law enforcement could do a random ‘probation check’ or something like that on the property, or at least some other investigations. You share my feelings regarding the ashes, may he rest in peace and best wishes for the family.

      • I would hope the attorney dropped the note while visiting a client… just saying

        • Exactly right on!!! And Kathleen has been in my life for quite a few years and I can say she has always been good to me and my family and friends …. My nick name for Kathleen between me and my wife/friends is ,the local better “Call Saul.” Humboldts very own breaking bad lawyer !!!! Sad story ,and no winners here , these punks will see their karma come full circle ,and one day they will answer to a higher power. “You can replace money , you can’t replace people .”
          R.I.P. Phil nice

    • Amen Vickie. Very well said.

  • Dress it up anyway she wants, she still sucks. She aided in the commission of extortion.

  • She is certainly the bottom of the barrel for lawyers in this area. The local judges are well aware her previous indiscretions so she has zero leverage in court, no one trusts her. Better off representing yourself no matter the charge. This type of thing is the only work left for her at this point.

    • attorney at law what a perfect name you have probably lost cases against her or something with a comment like that jelous much i dont care either way it seems like she made the best out of a bad situation

      • And best attorney for NCJ in 2016 too….

        When was Kathleen fired? I have followed her career. She voluntarily left her minor’s counsel position to move to prosecuting. She then chose to leave her DA position to work in private practice. I believe she parted from her associate’s position when the DA at the time PG but pressure on her boss to let her go.

        No unscrupulous behavior by Bryson, but I think Bossman is right…sounds like “Attorney at Law” is jealous of her success. In this case, she stuck her neck out to get a family back their precious boy. I wish more lawyers had this “Get ‘er Done” attitude.

        As for an anonymous note to law enforcement, that serves no purpose as they cannot prosecute someone based on an anonymous note! Let’s let the Sheriffs do their job and find these horrible thieves but let’s not slam Bryson just because she was in a position to help and did so.

        • No bullshit here. Straight 100

          Ur lawyer friend that u follow knows what’s up and who did it. If she’s so for that family then why not do the rite thing and put the pieces of shit away. Sounds like either u are Kathleen hiding behind another name on here or ur just her buddy trying to make her look good. None of the judges respect her already. Good luck. Keep kissing ass. I’m for the kid and his family

          • You are right. She should physically force her client to reveal the burglars names and then give that information to law enforcement. That way she can lose her license to practice law for breaking attorney/client privilege AND get prosecuted for assault. What a great idea.

  • I’m glad the family got the ashes back.that was such a heartless thing to do.and I’m sorry about the comment about the lawyer it just feels wrong what she did.i meant no disrespect.

    • G-ma I don’t think you owe anyone an apology for your comment. I believe most of us feel the same way as you, at least those of us who stand by our beliefs of being decent humans. Everything about this incident is wrong. It’s great that the family has the ashes back, but it’s wrong that they were ever taken from them in the first place.

  • I don’t care if she did this pro-bono or if she got paid a million dollars she should do what’s morally right and reveal the name of her client to the police, then they should do their job and bust everyone of these shitbags! I personally believe all that should have happened by now. If it hasn’t because she has yet to reveal her clients name then she shouldn’t be publicly defending herself and claiming to be one who does the right thing. If she has revealed the name then what’s the problem officers? Why aren’t these people in jail yet? This whole incident makes me sick! [edit]

    • Agreed but if it takes as many rounds as Epd uses, might blow their budget

      • What does EPD have to do with this? A family had there house broken into in Trinidad and lost there sons ashes.I’m so happy they got them back. The blame is on the thieves and the attorney not EPD. I only hope that the attorney drops a anonymous note to the DA OR HCSO.

  • Well said. . Just a real bad situation. And you spoke your mind. Nothing wrong with that. Your ok in my book. Peace and blessings to you.

  • In my opinion. I believe the attorney needs to drop a note in a court room identifying the thieves. But I’m very Happy the family has thier son back. If sad when attorneys can’t say who did it. But an anonymous note would be nice. Again I’m happy the family has the ashes back.

  • No bullshit here. Straight 100

    Kathleen should let the community know that [edit: until there is some proof, no names are allowed. Give them to the police] were behind this and I don’t care if u don’t post this. I’ll keep trying until u do Kym Thank u

  • No bullshit here. Straight 100

    Why not put the people on blast that did it and make sure they get in trouble and make sure our community knows what type of people they are Thought that’s what kym kemp and outpost was about. Informing the community. Another crock of shit

    • What if someone were to decide to cause you problems and they posted your name? Wouldn’t you want me to ask for proof? If you have proof, I’ll print their names.Until then, I won’t

  • Attorney’s client… aka, friend or family member. Something smells like Ferndale’s finest on a hot day !!! Keep the losers MOOvin right out of this county. Belong in JAIL.

    • No bullshit here. Straight 100

      Funny how [edit] known around the county for robbing stealing scams on Craigslist and everything else in the book.there have been articles on him doing this But for some odd reason u don’t wanna put this one in him and everybody already knows he did it and what are the cops gona do arrest him and let him out to do it again in a day or two. [edit] What am I gona do force him into coming in and telling on himself. Let’s get real. Not trying to start problems. Just want my fellow hard working neighbors and people in my town to know. Didn’t know that was wrong

      • This is the way I run the website. No naming folks without proof. If you do it again, I’ll ban you. I don’t want to. I know you are trying to do the right thing but I would rather that a guilty person avoids trouble than an innocent person gets in trouble.

      • Damn bummed I missed it o well I’m sure it will surface sooner or later I would like to know who’s a d bag either way

        • No bullshit here. Straight 100

          It’s all over Facebook. It’s already surfaced. Ban me for speaking the truth. Just because the cops haven’t caught him and they won’t because of Kathleen Bryson hiding him and his fellow thieves. It’s rediculous

  • The Ostrich Hunter

    Everybody loves to blame lawyers, until they need one.

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