While everyone's response to any stressful situation is either flight or fight, there are some who choose to take the flight option quite literally, opting to temporarily wipe themselves out of the face of the earth just to avoid coming face to face with their problems. And while this is quite a stretch in handling potential threats to one's normal state of calm, those who choose to fake their own deaths almost always never succeed in staying out of sight.
Faking a death certificate
A death certificate is such a crucial document, allowing one to benefit from debt forgiveness, acquire life insurance or even evade arrest in criminal matters, and therefore some people have tried to outsmart the system just to acquire these merits.
Such a case is a man named Corey Taylor from Chicago,United States who faked his own death certificate to avoid paying his phone bill upon knowledge that his service provider Verizon cancelled phone contracts of deceased customers. It did not take long for the company's billing department to calculate his expenditure 'post death' that uncovered his plot, compelling him to pay his bill.
Another incident was in 2010, where one Lenin Carballido from Mexico who was wanted by the police for his involvement in criminal activity in the city. His family presented a fake death certificate claiming that he died in a diabetic coma, and the police dropped the charges against him.
Three years later there was an mayoral election in his hometown, in which he contested and emerged victorious which blew his cover. He was promptly arrested and faced the charges against him.
Faking a funeral
There are other people who go all the way and organize a whole ceremony in their honour just to convince their community that indeed they are out of the picture. Alison Matera of Florida was feeling trapped and wanted out of her social group which was composed of local church goers, and she organized her funeral after lying that she was dying of cancer. She called her friends disguised as a hospice nurse updating them of her condition which never seemed to get better until the day she 'died'.
She was not smart enough to see the plan through as she attended the funeral, claiming to her sister but everyone had already seen through her lies.
A man named Tucker Bladford from the United States impersonated his father during a phone call to his fiancé Alex Lancaster from the United Kingdom telling her that they could not be married as he had just passed away. Frantic and upset, Lancaster called Bladford's mother to offer her condolences and was shocked to hear that her fiance was still alive, but had gotten cold feet and did not want to proceed with the wedding.
In 1995, a broke Takashi Mori of Japan noticed a dead body wash up along the shores of Manilla Bay in the Phillipines. Instead of alerting the authorities to retrieve the body, he instead saw an money making opportunity in his hands. He did call the police and bribed them to fake the autopsy and death certificate and put it in his name.
He then organized a hasty cremation of the other body as his family made their way back to Japan with an urn of Mori's supposed ashes. Mori went on to apply for life insurance but police were quick to piece together incriminating evidence against him. He and his family were charged with insurance fraud and were jailed.
Faking a suicide note
While suicide should not be taken lightly as one of the leading causes of the high mortality rate in the world, some people have used this tactic to fake their deaths, putting out a morbid farewell notes to be found by anyone out there looking for them. Samuel Israel III from the United States is among those who are unapologetic for their use of the tactic, as in the late 90s, he planned to fake his demise after he defrauded $450million from companies through ponzi schemes.
He was handed a 20 year jail sentence for fraud among other crimes.
However just before he was about to be taken to prison, he disappeared and left a disturbing message scribbled on his car believing that he had shaken the police off his tail. The police continued their search for him and after a few years, he could not run anymore and chose to turn himself in. This was after his life took a turn for the worse, leaving out of a tent and plunged into drug addiction and to make matters worse, he was on the most wanted list with a bounty for his whereabouts offered by the police.
It is indeed true that one can run but cannot hide as karma always catches up with them even if they try to outwit the laws of nature.