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10 people who faked their own death

Many people dream of leaving everything behind and starting over again. For most, this is just a dream. Some may leave home, work, and even their families and make drastic changes in life, but for a few people this is not enough. They decide that in order to start all over again, they have to kill the person they once were.

Mostly, these "pseudo-suicides" are due to debts, imminent arrest or to collect life insurance, but people committed "died" for alien reasons. One man even faked his death to prove to his grieving friend how much she loved him. He staged a car accident and while crying at the scene, he jumped out with balloons and an engagement ring to suggest to the "happy" girl. [1

] (Surprisingly, she accepted his suggestion.)

Here are ten people who feigned their own death for less ridiculous reasons.

10 The spy who had caught malaria

Juan Pujol Garcia had fought in the Spanish Civil War. After the outbreak of World War II, he was determined to continue his fight against totalitarianism and to become a spy for the British government. Spanish official in Madrid, where he met Nazi officials and offered to spy on them for the British. Then he began to send them false information allegedly from London, undermining the Nazi war effort.

By 1942 he felt he had built up a sufficient reputation and turned again to MI5. This time he was officially accepted to do the work he already did. The Germans never discovered that he was a double agent. They believed that Pujol had recruited a whole network of spies, all of whom were actually imaginary. [2]

It is known that Pujol told the Nazis that they had heard of a planned rumor. The invasion of Normandy was a forgery, and this information contributed significantly to the fact that the Germans were not on the D-Day prepared. The success of the plan, however, was challenged by Juan's wife, who was not happy.

She threatened to expose her husband as a double agent so that the Nazis could no longer use him and she would be allowed to return to Spain. To protect her "good", the British government deceived her that Pujol had been arrested and detained because of her threats, and she finally gave in.

After the war, Pujol decided not to go home straight away, but to feign his own death in the case of "Nazi reprisals" and drive to Venezuela. He left a trail of information pointing out that he died of malaria in Angola, and was officially declared dead a year later. His secret remained undiscovered for almost 40 years until he was discovered by a British writer.

Would he have been really afraid of National Socialist retribution all along, or was there someone else he was trying to avoid?

9 The drowned politician

John Stonehouse was a British MP and as such a pillar of society. When he was reported missing in Miami off the coast of Miami in 1974, presumably drowned, all sorts of evidence emerged that showed Stonehouse was in a completely different light.

Stonehouse had just left a pile of clothes on the beach to indicate that he had gone swimming, hoping that he would be drowned or eaten by a shark. Originally, he was considered dead.

The subsequent investigation, however, led to all sorts of allegations, and there were allegations that Stonehouse had even been a spy of Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. Questions were asked in the Houses of Parliament. Then it turned out that there were disagreements in the reports of a charity he was involved in, and that his finances were completely confused. Suddenly, the disappearance of Stonehouse and the presumed death seemed far too comfortable. [3]

John Stonehouse was discovered on Christmas Eve 1974 in Australia, where he fled with his secretary. He lived under the name of a deceased member whose identity he had stolen. Eventually, he was returned to the UK for fraud.

During his disappearance and pre-trial detention, Stonehouse was still an acting deputy, and when he was on bail, he even went to parliament to make a statement about his "bizarre behavior and his psychiatric suicide". During his trial, he decided to defend himself and was subsequently sentenced to seven years in prison. Only then did he resign as a Member.

Later it became known that Stonehouse had actually been a Czech spy.

8 The author who jumped off a cliff.

Ken Kesey, the Famous The Author and Author of One Flyed Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Beat Generation may not have thought clearly when he faked his own death. Known for his wild parties, an intoxicating mix of LSD, Hell's Angels and some peace and love, Kesey may have had too many psychedelic experiences with the group of friends he called the Merry Pranksters.

Kesey was arrested for possession of marijuana and had a great idea to beat the rap. He parked his car near a cliff and left a poetic farewell letter on the seat in the hope that the authorities would decide he had jumped. Then he got into a friend's car and drove to Mexico.

According to plan, it was not the best. After all, Kesey was a well-known writer and would probably have to continue to write and be known in the future. [4]

While the media ran with history, the authorities did not buy it. They spent eight months looking for him. Kesey eventually returned to California, where he was sentenced to six months in prison.

7 The Shopkeeper With Mad Cow Disease

In 2013, Jose Salvador Lantigua told his wife the dreadful news that he had been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or, as is well known, mad cow disease.

It seemed Lantigua could not take a break. He was once the owner of a large furniture store, but his business had failed. He also tried to get $ 2 million in fraudulent documents. He allegedly had only six months to live. But there is a glimmer of hope.

Doctors told him about a surgical procedure that could save his life. It would mean flying to Colombia, the well-known center for medical innovation. Lantigua kept the story up until he confessed to his wife shortly before his scheduled departure that he actually had no mad cow disease at all. Honestly to her, he explained that he was being chased by a fraudulent CIA agent because he had been used in the past as a special agent in a covert military unit. In addition, he had killed the leader of a drug cartel during his service and was now being blackmailed. [5]


He convinced his wife that the solution to her problems was to feign his own death, so in April 2013 he flew to Venezuela and obtained a fake death certificate and fake cremation. Then he persuaded his wife to apply for a "death certificate abroad" and to collect the seven life insurance policies he had bought thoughtfully before his disappearance.

In the meantime, Lantigua paid $ 5,000 to be smuggled back to the US a fishing boat, and he adopted a new identity. He was caught trying to get a legitimate passport with his forged documents. Although both were arrested, the court accepted that Lantigua's wife acted in the belief that her life was in danger and that she was more a victim than an offender. She was sentenced to five years' probation while Lantigua was sentenced to 14 years in prison for fraud.

6 The Rogue Jumping from a Bridge

Samuel Israel looked every inch in the 1990s like a successful businessman. He spent 20 years building a career on Wall Street, and at first glance he lived a great life. At some point he even rented a luxurious house from Donald Trump. His hedge funds, however, were based on lies and fraudulent transactions and are said to have stolen more than $ 400 million from investors.

Israel was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment, but on the day he was to begin his detention sentence, he faked his death by suicide. He wrote "suicide is painless" on the dust on the hood of his SUV, which, it was obvious, he placed on a bridge, in the hope that it was assumed that he had jumped to his death.

It is likely that Israel underestimated how cocky its investors were, for they would never have given up following him without a body. Wanted posters were issued, and the investigation began. The authorities monitored border crossings and airports and stowed away the offices of his acquaintances.

Samuel Israel must have realized that it would never work, and he surrendered to the police to start sentencing a few weeks later. [6]

5 The Psychologist Who Was Just Dead

Stephen Kellaway was a psychologist who made his living from his consulting business and real estate empire. Obviously, however, he felt that you could never have enough money and supplemented your income by falsely claiming benefits.

He used the extra money to bring his third wife to Moscow for a breast augmentation operation. However, when he was in Russia, he feared that the authorities would expose his fraud and took the opportunity to feign his own death.

He bravely left his wife to return home alone and report his death. She brought along a fake death certificate and an urn that apparently contained his ashes. Kellaway had bribed a mortician with a bottle of vodka to match a deceased with his passport details and issue a death certificate with vague information about the cause. The plan to collect the 1.7 million pound life insurance was abandoned after investigators began investigating the case.

Kellaway was finally found to be rough near an airport in Bangkok after his stepmother announced he was quietly alive. He had a false passport with him, but since it was a deceased seven-year-old boy, it was not foolproof camouflage. He was deported back to the UK, where he was sentenced to 32 months in prison. His wife was sentenced to probation after the judge assumed that she was forced. [7]

4 The mayor in diabetic coma

Sometimes when you are dead, it is better to stay dead. In 2010, Lenin Caraballido was accused of having participated in a gang rape six years earlier. His relatives, however, presented a death certificate stating that he had died of a diabetic coma, and the matter was dropped.

And this would have been the end of the story if he had not decided to run for mayor of San Agustin Amatengo, Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2013. He had advertising photos taken and posters posted all over the city. Caraballido narrowly won the election, and then his world broke apart.

Any interested citizen or rival could have looked up Lenin Caraballido and found nothing out of the ordinary. Actually nothing. There was however a Leninguer Caraballido. , ,

It soon became clear that the death certificate was fake. Suddenly the elected mayor became camera-shy and stopped receiving calls from the press. Caraballido was arrested and charged with false statements. The case was reopened. [8]

3 The Businessman in a Canoe

John Darwin was missing on a canoe trip in London The North Sea in 2002 left behind a wife and two sons.

In fact, he hid on a property that he and his wife owned, not far from the family home. He had convinced his wife, Anne, that the way out of the growing debt caused by his failed business was to claim life insurance. He assured her that he would have to hide only for a few weeks until the insurance was paid out, but he eventually remained in hiding for four years. All the while, his wife pretended to friends, neighbors and their two sons that her husband was dead. [9]

In 2006, Darwin had a new plan. He applied for a passport in the name of a dead child and planned a new life for them in Panama. And again Anne did. The two were even photographed in Panama (see above). But in 2007, Darwin decided that he wanted to go home. He returned to England, where he suddenly reappeared and pretended to be suffering from amnesia.

This left his wife in a small hole. Their delusion soon dissolved and they were both charged with fraud. Despite Anne's marriage plea, both John Darwin and his wife were convicted of fraud and imprisoned. Anne was sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence for her non-guilty confession.

2 The Commodities Trader Who Washed Up On The Shore

Some people go to extraordinary lengths to fake their own deaths. And some people are just lazy.

In 1994, when a body was dredged from Manila Bay, Takashi Mori simply paid officials from the Philippine Murder Division to produce a death certificate and an autopsy report confirming that the body was his. The remains were immediately cremated and the ashes returned to Japan, where Mori's son claimed a $ 6.5 million life insurance claim. Easy peasant.

However, the speed of the cremation sparked suspicion from the Japanese embassy, ​​especially as it was carried out by the family before it had informed the embassy and received permission. After a rather brief investigation, the police found that Mori had been hiding in his daughter-in-law's house in the Philippines. [10] He was charged with insurance fraud and his wife and son were deported to the Philippines.

1 The Preacher Abducted for Ransom

Aimee Semple McPherson was an American evangelist in the 1920s and a celebrity. Their sermons attracted a large crowd and resembled Broadway theatrical productions rather than the services of worshiping costumes and a full orchestra.

When she disappeared in 1926 when swimming on the beach of Santa Monica, her disappearance made headlines. Weeks passed. Their congregation held vigils and prayed for their safe return. The Coast Guard searched the sea and coast for their remains.

When people wondered if it was a publicity stunt, McPherson was found crawling across the bay. Mexican desert. She claimed that after swimming she had met a couple who asked her to come and pray for her baby, who, she said, was desperately ill. When she got into her car, she was chloroformed and tied to a chair in a hut in Mexico. She was told she would be held for a $ 500,000 ransom and that she would be sold into slavery if the church did not pay.

The church did indeed receive dozens of ransom notes. and they were all dismissed as dizziness. [11]

Oh dear.

McPherson then claimed that she had managed to free herself from the ropes and flee. Around 50,000 people welcomed them home, but the authorities smelled a rat. Several people claimed to have seen her alive and healthy while she was allegedly held captive, and it was suspected that her disappearance was related to that of a married man, an employee of McPherson's church, who had disappeared at the same time and who came back shortly afterwards. He later admitted having had an extramarital affair, but declined to name the lady.

Aimee McPherson was charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice, although the charges were later dropped. It was thought that the "kidnapping" was actually an attempt to fake their own death so that the couple would be together and one of them would later get cold feet. Whether that was before or after the Church's refusal to pay, who can say that?

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