6 People Who Faked Their Own Death (For Ridiculous Reasons)

#3. Alastair Liddle Has No Idea How To Quit a Job

The Dearly Departed

In 1997, a 43-year-old successful Scottish attorney named Alastair Liddle called his wife on the way to an important meeting to say that he had arrived safely, and then vanished without a trace. For the next year, rumors sprang up that he had been killed in some kind of gangland hit and dumped into one of Scotland's many lochs, which are the nation's leading source of retarded rumors.


Ever heard of it?

The Cause of "Death"

Despite Liddle's apparent O.G. reputation, he hadn't been murdered by the fierce, kilt-sporting, Scottish mafia. In fact, he wasn't even dead. Way back in 1997, after he called his wife to say everything was OK, he tossed his cell phone into a trash can, withdrew some money and escaped to Cornwall, England. Why Cornwall? Well, besides being as far away from Scotland as possible while still in Britain, there is also a large flower growing industry in the county, which is the real reason Liddle fled there. That's right, Alastair Liddle, a wealthy attorney, abandoned his practice and family and faked his own death in order to become a minimum wage, migrant, flower picker.

Unrecognizable from the grossly overweight and downtrodden man he was when he "died," Liddle's old life finally caught up to him a year later when he was forced to give his real name during general police questioning regarding a murder. Since the murder wasn't imaginary, it turned out Liddle had nothing to do with it, but when the police computer returned a hit on an unpaid traffic fine, he was forced away from his dandelion dream back to Scotland where he faced charges of embezzlement. Why he had to embezzle money to become a migrant farm worker is unclear, but after spending 12 sad months in prison without a daffodil in sight, he immediately returned to his floral occupation where he claimed he had never been happier. Why he couldn't just change jobs and move to Cornwall without faking his own death like all the other flower pickers remains a mystery.

#2. Alan Abel Loves Pulling Pranks, Looking Like a Douche

The Dearly Departed

Early in 1980, well known humorist, filmmaker and hoaxter Alan Abel died from a sudden heart attack at the age of 50. He was scouting locations for an upcoming film in the mountains of Utah when the tragedy struck near the Sundance ski lodge. Abel had been skiing at the time, and some reports said he was found in a snow bank with his skis ominously forming a cross, which may or may not be the sinister calling card of the abominable Jesus.

The Cause of "Death"

Well that's what Alan Abel wanted The New York Times to think, anyway. The professional prankster hired a dozen friends to help him carry out his joke, including a fake funeral director who "collected" his belongings; fake witnesses who corroborated the story; and even a woman who posed as his widow when the Times was notified of his death. The plan--which involved 12 people playing different parts that took over six months to plan--was all orchestrated by Abel to see if he could fool one of the biggest newspapers in the world into printing his obituary on what he later called a "slow news day."

And print it they did. Alan woke up the following morning to find his death notice printed in the Times for the world to see, and after a few giggles, he held a press conference to announce that he was still alive and the whole thing had been a scam.


"Mom and Dad are going to think this is hilarious!"

The ultimate joke may have been on Abel in the end. Because of his highly public death, his credit cards were canceled, his bank accounts frozen and even when he showed up at the bank in person, they pointed to the Times obituary as evidence that he was in fact dead. But he probably got to put that obituary clipping up on the wall in his office (hoaxsters have offices right?) which must have been neat. Well, until his landlord kicked him out for being too dead to pay the rent.

#1. Bennie Wint is an Idiot

The Dearly Departed

September, 1989 was supposed to be a great month for 29-year-old, Bennie Wint. He and his fiance had traveled down to Daytona Beach to be married, with their four-year-old daughter in tow. But instead, tragedy struck when Bennie went out into the water, never to be seen again. Bennie was presumed to be either drowned or eaten by Jaws, leaving behind the love of his life and a little girl. And then he was pulled over by police in North Carolina for having a tail light out in January of this year. If you were wondering, no, zombies are not here, and they haven't learned to drive. Still.

The Cause of "Death"

Back in 1989, Bennie Wint found himself in a sticky situation. He believed that he was wanted on drug charges, and so he weighed his options. He could either go ahead and marry his sweetheart and risk prison time, or he could take what he deemed was the only other option and fake his death in order to evade the police. He chose door number two. So imagine his embarrassment when, after having destroyed every last piece of his former identity and living in hiding for the past 20 years, he discovered that he was wanted by the police for precisely jack shit.

That's right, he put his fiance and young daughter through the hell of having thought they'd lost him for what amounts to a whole lot of no reason whatsoever. Wint, naturally, was shocked when the police informed him in January that there were absolutely zero charges pending against him, and that he basically destroyed his own former life for nothing. During that time, he'd fled to Alabama and started a new life, married a new woman and had a new kid. It's kind of weird that, in avoiding crimes that he wasn't even wanted for, he accrued counts of faking his own death, lying to the police, using a fake ID and driving with a broken tail light. So sure was Wint, that he acted like a giant flaming douche by abandoning his old family and lying to his new one, and it's utterly hilarious that the idiot had blown his own notoriety to ridiculously out of whack proportions, but hasn't he suffered enough? We mean seriously. Alabama? Poor bastard. We didn't know you could go to Hell by only fake dying.

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For people who actually faced death and laughed at it, check out 7 People Who Cheated Death (Then Kicked It In The Balls). Or check out the people who faced death and then stupidly stumbled into it, in 6 People Who Died In Order To Prove A (Retarded) Point.

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