Canoeist’s guide to Faking your Death!

15 12 2007

So we’ve all read about the Canoeist “John Darwin” who 5 years ago faked his death in an “apparent” canoeing accident. He then made a few fatal mistakes which lead to the police discovering he was alive and his wife was in on it.

You see faking your own death takes a lot of planning, care and closemouthedness. First, you need to figure out what kind of death you want to have. For example, suicide, accident, or murder.

Next, you need to figure out how you will fake your own death.

Suicide and Murder are the two easiest to fake, unless you live in a town with an excellent police department, or have a suspicious parent/guardian/spouse who loves/hates you a whole lot and has lots of money to spend.

Accident is more difficult because you need to lead people to the conclusion that you are dead without actually producing a body. John would have done better if he’s lost his teeth in some “nasty accident” and then went to the dentist and sorted himself out with false ones. Then (moral implications aside) he could have found a similar size and age migrant worker to “knock off”… pull all his teeth… and hey presto… the cops have a body… although the best way of disguising it would be accidental fire!

Anyway John chose the easy method….. Suicide can be faked most easily; for example by leaving a suicide note, and jumping off a bridge and not resurfacing while making sure there are plenty of people to see you and not actually managing to drown yourself.

Research is crucial! Make sure you know how to swim well and how to land in water from a high altitude without hurting yourself.

Logistically, you need to have a getaway car secreted in some nearby spot and don’t be stupid and pack up your room. Dead people don’t need their clothes and cds.

Murder is also fairly easy, but this often requires pinning it on someone else, which may cause moral issues and also requires that the patsy have a plausible motive. Being murdered by an anonymous person, like a mugger or a thief, is very unlikely to work since your death is not easily verifiable and they can’t have a plausible motive to work with. Think Double Jeopardy, and Wild Things. Again, the key is not leaving a body, but still making it obvious that you are dead. Smears of blood, teeth and body parts such as fingers are often sufficient identifiers, but use your imagination.

Accident is the hardest to fake successfully without having a body, so the only real way to do it is by the ‘missing and presumed dead’ method. This is the one John Darwin opted for. A climb of a dangerous high mountain, Canoeing on “calm seas”, hiking alone in the forest, or driving somewhere and never making it to your supposed destination and leaving a burnt out car and smears of blood all over the place should work, but again, use your creativity.

The important things to remember however, are

1. Careful planning == greater chances of success

2. Don’t go blabbing to your friends

3. Don’t change your mind at the last minute, as doubts and hesitation at the last minute may cause someone to get hurt or die, for real.

4. Don’t have a picutre of yourself and you “supposed widowed” wife taken at your new holiday home in Panama and then proceed to board the nearest plane back to the UK and check into the cop shop as a missing person….. opps …. rumbled.

If you’re planning on faking your death own death remember convincing people you are dead is the easy part. The tough bit is emerging from your charade as a new person. You’ll need a new National Insurance Number (NIN). You need a birth certificate to receive a NIN. Where do you get a birth certificate? Those sort of records are notoriously hard to find. You’re not likely to get one just by asking. You can’t use just anyone’s either. If you use one from someone who’s still alive, or worse already dead, you’re back to zero and probably incarcerated for Identity Theft.

A popular “film method” is to get a birth certificate for an infant who died shortly after birth because, supposedly, Death Certificates aren’t issued for infant deaths, or some such nonsense.

Guys as the story of John Darwin has tought us… if you’re a complete retard…. don’t try and fake your death




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