10 Insane Reasons People Faked Their Own Death

From escaping drug dealers to cancelling cell phone contracts...

Fake Death In 1995 author Doug Richmond published the book How To Disappear Completely And Never Be Found, subtitled "Planning a disappearance, arranging for new identification, finding work, establishing credit, pseudocide (creating the impression you're dead), and more". A wholly practical guide, the book claimed to give the most thorough and foolproof steps to follow in order to fake your own death successfully. Besides inspiring a Radiohead song of the same name we're not sure how successful the book was in helping people commit pseudocide, although perhaps the fact we've never heard any testimonials from people it's worked for is a testimony in itself...? The fact that journalist Richmond was able to travel around the world and collect enough stories about people faking their deaths to literally write the book on it suggests that it happens a lot more often than you'd expect. It's not just a hilarious thing to suggest whenever a friend finds themselves in a tricky situation (try it, it's always brilliant), it's something that happens on a regular basis, although usually for such boring reasons as people trying to escape debt, or as a life insurance scam. Sometimes, though, people play dead for much more inventive/crazy reasons. Or the people involved are crazy. Or the aftermath was particularly nutty. Or all of the above. Each makes a glorious appearance in this list of ten insane reasons people faked their own death; we didn't come across anyone who'd opted for mortality over paying an overdue library bill, though, so if you fancy appearing in the sequel....
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Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/