Kidnapping is a serious crime that can be punished with long prison sentences. For the abductee and his relatives, this is usually a time of tension, especially when the kidnappers demand a large ransom and threaten to kill the victim. But what about cases in which the abductee is also the kidnapper?
Fake kidnappings are more common than you think – and they seem to be on the rise. In recent years, people have feigned their own abductions for various reasons, sometimes bizarre. As expected, some even demanded a ransom from their families.
10 Jessica Nordquist
In July 2017, 26-year-old Jessica Nordquist, originally from Alaska, began a relationship with Mark Weeks, an associate at Unruly, a London-based PR firm. The couple broke up soon, but Jessica did not go without a fight. She accused Weeks of rape.
Jessica sent text messages to troubled clients and colleagues, telling them Weeks had raped her and made her pregnant. She also opened at least 20 Instagram accounts to sue Weeks of Rape. She added that the company was aware of the rape, but had swept it under the carpet. To prove that she was really pregnant, Jessica bought a baby bump on Amazon.
Jessica also sent a series of aggressive text messages to Weeks and his close family members. Weeks became so anxious that he was afraid to sleep in his house. Still, Jessica did not get the attention she wanted, so she kidnapped herself.
Jessica, posing as a kidnapper, sent pictures of herself, naked and tied up, to her friends, colleagues, and Week's family. The police visited her home, where she found a note about her kidnapping. The game ended two days later when she slept in a bed and breakfast in Scotland. She was sentenced to four and a half years in prison in 2018. 
9 Mark Salerno
In May 2002, the 45-year-old dr. Mark Salerno in Phoenix, Arizona, kidnapped. Three days later he was found in Pennsylvania in the trunk of his car. The abduction was a nationwide sensation until everyone discovered that he had never been abducted.
Salerno initially told police and FBI agents that some men had stolen his vehicle and forced him into a van. They drove him around before he locked him in his trunk. However, the dizziness was revealed when someone said he saw Salerno trapped in the trunk.
Salerno confessed that he staged the kidnapping over personal and financial issues. His wife and lawyers said he suffered from depression. He claimed that he had attempted suicide at the Hoover Dam before moving to San Diego and finally to Pennsylvania. He took some drugs before locking himself in the trunk where he slept. He awoke and hit the trunk and asked to be let out.
Salerno received a three-year suspended sentence. Joe Arpaio, the then sheriff of Maricopa County, also charged about $ 8,000 for overtime generated by the officials working on his case. Six weeks later he was missing again. He was found in Pittsburgh when a resident called the police after seeing him steal a towel from a clothesline. On October 12, 2018, he was again missing. 
8 Kevin McGeever
On the night of January 29, 2013, Catherine Vallely and her friend Peter Reihill found an unkempt man on a remote Irish road when They drove home from a writing class. The man was 68-year-old Kevin McGeever, an international serial con artist who has been in the con game since he was 29 years old.
After each successful con-plan, McGeever left his expensive vehicles, properties and even his family behind and flees to another country where he started another scam program. In 1973, he parked his expensive Jaguar car at Dublin Airport and just disappeared. He also had an unfinished luxurious house.
In 1985, he parked his expensive vehicle at Sydney Airport and just disappeared. He also left behind a wife, two daughters and a luxurious four-bedroom house. In 2000, he dropped his vehicles and home in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and fled to Ireland when the FBI attacked him for $ 8 million in fraud. He had persuaded several investors to buy some non-existent real estate in Dubai.
At another time, he brought together several investors with over 70 million euros. At the time he was found on January 29, 2013, McGeever claimed to have been kidnapped and held in an underground container for eight months. He had a cell phone with the number of a man named John McNevin. He claimed his kidnappers had given him the phone as they parked him at the roadside.
McGeever ordered Reihill and Vallely to take him to McNevin, but instead they took him to a police station. McGeever was taken to a hospital where the doctors found that his eyesight was good for a person who said he had been kept in complete darkness for months. It soon turned out that McGeever was a wanted serial cheater and had hijacked as part of his thoughtful concept.
Kevin Cooke, one of the businessmen he involved, was also abducted and taken to allegedly abducted McGeever. The kidnappers told Cooke that they would only release McGeever if Cooke paid $ 10 million. It was clear McGeever had deceived the investors and tried to believe that he was already so bankrupt that he could not afford his own ransom. 
7 Alejandro Mario Cortes
On April 17, 2018 a The snowplow driver St. Paul, Minnesota, found a man tied up and gagged with air hose. Identified as 46-year-old Alejandro Mario Cortes, the man claimed he had been kidnapped, forced into a vehicle and thrown into the snow cover where he was found.
The FBI was called and soon revealed the kidnapping as a poor attempt to obtain US citizenship. Cortes was an illegal immigrant from Mexico and was trying to get a United States U-Visa as a crime victim. He was expelled from the USA in 2001 and 2010, but returned both times.
Cortes planned with a nameless accomplice the elaborate kidnapping plan. They tried to give the impression of being taken in Illinois and dumped in St. Paul. In truth, Cortes and the Illinois accomplice had traveled to St. Paul. The accomplice drove him to the spot where he was found and tied him at his request. 
6 Maria Gonzalez
Maria Gonzalez, 32, ran a freight forwarding business in California – until she claimed that she had done so. She was abducted, robbed and sexually assaulted in 2018. Maria said she drove down a street when she stopped for two dogs. Two masked men, one of whom was armed, got into their car and ordered her to drive.
She claimed to have lost consciousness during the robbery and kidnapping, and woke up to find an injury to her head. Her underwear felt wet and made her think she had been raped. She claimed the men had stolen $ 9,000 to pay their workers' salaries.
Investigators became suspicious when they found no strange footprints around Maria's car. The only traces they found belonged to her. The alleged robbers also left other items in their purse intact and only took their money with them, which was suspicious. Maria also found it difficult to explain how she had untied herself and escaped.
Investigators discovered that Maria had forged her abduction and injured her head to prove that she was actually taken. She denied this, but later admitted when the police showed her video about the alleged area where she had been abducted. Maria admitted that she had faked her abduction because she did not have the $ 9,000 to pay her workers. 
5 Jonathon Michael Davis
On February 27, 2018, 34-year-old Jonathon Michael Davis was missing. His family members received messages explaining that he had been abducted and that they would have to pay a $ 375 ransom to secure his freedom. The kidnappers threatened to hurt Davis if his family did not pay the ransom quickly. They even sent a picture of Davis' broken finger promising to break the rest if they did not pay.
The Davis family reported the April 1 abduction to Oklahoma police. The police called the FBI and the US Marshals. That same night, Davis was taken to a casino in Tulsa where he played.
Finding Davis was a walk in the park for the agents. Apparently he had sent the messages to his relatives on his own phone. The agents just had to follow the phone. Davis finger was not broken either. The image he sent was downloaded from Google Images. In fact, the picture was one of the first when agents searched for a "broken finger". 
4 Jason Hillier
In October 2018 in Michigan, 40-year-old Jason Hillier's parents received a telephone call from a man telling them that their son had been abducted. The kidnapper asked Jason's mother for $ 1,000 and Jason's car. He also asked Jason's father for $ 500.
Jason's mother informed the police that she was ordered to pay the $ 1,000 ransom. She dropped it on the spot requested by the kidnapper. However, the police already had surveillance cameras in the area. They watched as the kidnapper arrived in a vehicle, took the ransom and left. They showed the footage Jason's mother, who recognized the person as Jason.
Jason, posing as a kidnapper, asked his mother for another $ 150 ransom. She paid. This time the police beat Jason as he took the ransom. They also arrested 20-year-old Michael Forester, who was involved in the conspiracy. Investigations revealed that Jason staged the elaborate kidnapping to fund his drug addiction. 
3 Rogelio Andaverde
On October 4, 2013, Rogelio Andaverde from Texas was supposed to meet friends to spend a night. He feared, however, that his wife Maria Hernandez would not allow him. So he decided to kidnap himself.
Rogelio was at home with Maria that night when two men broke into her house and took him away. Maria considered it a real kidnapping and called the police. The police formed a search party, in which several officers and helicopters were involved. Rogelio was not found.
Rogelio returned home two days later. He told his wife that the kidnappers had a change of heart and let him go. The police found the story lazy and researched. They found that kidnapping was a complicated trick to have him attend a party with friends. 
2 Rahmell Pettway
In 2013, 36-year-old Rahmell Pettway left his home in Brooklyn for two weeks without informing him about her girlfriend. When he returned, he knew he needed a good explanation for his sudden disappearance. He created one he thought was smart enough. He claimed he had been kidnapped.
However, Pettway could not just return home and say he had been kidnapped. He had to be found. He taped his hands, legs and mouth and hid on a street where a passerby found him. He rubbed a little and complained of a rib pain, so it looked like he had been beaten.
The police sealed the alleged crime scene and took Pettway to the hospital. Pettway told the police that he was abducted by two men on February 19, and that they detained him for two weeks before putting him down where he was found.
The police soon realized that the whole kidnapping story was a ruse. Pettway himself was not wise with the conspiracy. The roll of tape with which he tied himself was right on his wrist. He confessed that he had invented the kidnapping to explain his absence to his girlfriend. 
1 Hillary Black
On September 15, 2018, Hillary Black, a 33-year-old from Georgia, called 911 and claimed that she was robbed and abducted while using an ATM. She said a man with a box tailor approached her while she used the ATM and ordered her back into her vehicle. He forced her to drive to a mall where he robbed her of $ 1,400 and tried to rape her.
The Gwinnett County Police Department investigated the alleged crime. They quickly realized that the mall mentioned by Black did not exist. If that was not enough, watch movies at the ATM showed that no one had ever crashed into or followed the ATM. Her car was also free of objects or body fluids that could have been used for DNA testing.
Black initially insisted that she was really kidnapped, but confessed later after seeing surveillance from herself at the ATM.