People Who Got Caught Faking Their Own Deaths
If you’re Googling how to fake your own death right now, you might want to read this list. There are a few things you should probably know that these people who faked their own deaths learned the hard way. First up, don’t be found alive and well (that's a big one). That's exactly what happened to the people listed here - all of whom were caught faking their own deaths.
You've got to be careful when you’re passing off someone else’s ashes as your own, or whatever it is you're doing to fake your untimely demise. What sorts of things should you avoid and what lessons can you learn from those who haven't succeeded at this strange goal? Definitely don't walk into a police station five years after you fake your own death, pretending you have amnesia. Chances are, the police will think something is up. You also shouldn't fax suicide notes to the authorities if you don’t have a good hiding place. Otherwise, you’ll only be fake dead for a few hours.Take a look at these people who tried to do the Grim Reaper's job for him, whether they wanted to escape their family, friends, or responsibilities.
- Photo: Mainstream Publishing
Bestselling Author Recognized By Children In The Wake Of 9/11Philip Sessarego is one of the most breathtaking examples of faking one's own death and the delusion that can accompany it. Sessarego was formerly in the Royal Artillery and failed twice at making the SAS, a special branch of the British military called The Regiment. He faked his death in 1993 after appearing to die after detonating a landmine in Bosnia.
Sessarego was dead to his family and friends, but he was actually now Tom Carew, a famous author. Sessarego as Carew wrote the book Jihad!, a New York Times bestseller. The book was released the day before the September 11th attacks. His expertise and the book’s popularity landed Sessarego/Carew on many news shows as an expert. In one of the 2001 interviews, Sessarego’s children recognized him. Sessarego, who became a recluse after his outing, died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in 2009.
- Photo: Hamilton County Sheriff's Department
Marcus Schrenker Was Caught After Crashing His Plane To Fake His DeathSchrenker was in a lot of trouble after defrauding three of his own companies in Indiana. He decided to fake his death by placing a mayday call from his small plane, putting it on autopilot, and then parachuting from the craft as it crashed. He was discovered days later at a campsite and sentenced to 10 years for securities fraud.
- Photo: ©2005 Phil Ramey/RameyPix/Corbis
Olivia Newton-John’s Presumed Dead Boyfriend Found Alive 11 Years Later
Olivia Newton-John’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Patrick McDermott decided to be permanently off-again when he disappeared 11 years ago. However, McDermott was spotted alive and well in a remote village in Mexico in March 2016.
Presumably McDermott gave indications that he was dead when he disappeared in 2005 during a fishing trip. A Coast Guard investigation determined that McDermott was lost at sea. New evidence suggests he was living with his girlfriend and wished to be left alone. Newton-John moved on as well; she married John Easterling in 2008.
- Photo: Ken Yuszkus / The Salem News
Michael Rosen Hoped To Escape Forgery Charges, Forged Death Certificate
Michael Rosen wanted to get out of some forgery charges. So what did he do? He forged his own death certificate (listing cardio-respiratory arrest as the cause of death), posed as his own brother, and walked it into a courtroom in 2011.
At first, the judge bought it. He dismissed the charges against Rosen. But a probation officer remembered seeing Rosen in good health and made an inquiry, only to discover Rosen was definitely alive. Rosen faced 10 years for each felony count he was initially trying to dodge.
John Darwin Stages His Own Drowning, Blew His Cover Five Years Later
To escape credit card debt, Darwin made it look at though he drowned while canoeing in the North Sea. He snuck back home and lived there with his wife for five years, collecting life insurance and having their mortgage paid off. But when he couldn’t continue on without seeing his children, he decided to pretend that he had amnesia and walked into a police station.
He and his wife were quickly discovered and he was forced to forfeit his pension funds and pay back the funds he and his wife had obtained.
- Photo: Tim1965 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Japanese Businessman And His Friends Faked His Death To Escape DebtIchiro Ogushi’s trading company was in serious financial debt when he decided to fake his own death for insurance payouts to the tune of $5.8 million. He asked a friend in Thailand to help him fake his death and pass off someone else’s ashes as his remains. The Japanese embassy in Bangkok determined that the death certificate was fake and forensic tests could not conclude that the ashes were Ogushi’s.