#3. Faking a Kidnapping to Facilitate an Affair (Is Surprisingly Common)
An unnamed woman took time off from living in Guatemala, the sanctuary of natural beauty and gorgeous people, to vacation in Spain, the other sanctuary of natural beauty and gorgeous people, because beautiful people need someplace to vacation to and the Island of Misfit Sex is not always available. This woman was unhappily married and had taken off for Spain to spend time with a lover she had met on the Internet, because situations like that never end in murder.
Portugal, sure, but not in Spain.
She eventually decided that she wanted to remain in Spain with her lover indefinitely, so clearly the next step was to send her husband in Guatemala numerous text messages telling him that she had been kidnapped and was being sexually assaulted, presumably because she realized her initial plan of texting him "I'm dead" was too suspicious.
Her understandably panic-stricken husband informed the Guatemalan embassy, who communicated with the Spanish police, because that's what you do when people get kidnapped. The police found her immediately, in perfect condition and with no kidnappers anywhere in the vicinity. She originally tried to feed them a story about escaping her captors, but when a medical exam revealed that she had no signs of sexual assault, she broke down and confessed.
"And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky cops and their common sense!"
This was not an isolated incident, by the way -- there must have been a Cosmopolitan article about filing false kidnapping reports at some point. For instance, a different 22-year-old woman told her family that she was kidnapped, only to be discovered at a border station trying to cross over into Mexico with her lover, a person of interest in a homicide case.
In yet another, equally idiotic incident, a woman had organized a blind date that she later regretted, possibly because she was already engaged to another man. Rather than cancel the date, however, she called the guy and told him she had been kidnapped. He immediately called the police, because that is what you do when someone has been kidnapped (see above), leading 60 officers from three different precincts on a desperate search for several hours.
"Dude, if I rescue her? My OkCupid profile will be irresistible."
They eventually found her sitting in her living room, directing the madness from her own cellphone (she had been speaking with police the entire time, pretending she was stuffed in the trunk of a car). Furiously pissed, the cops tossed her in jail for two days, because jail is sort of like being kidnapped and it was only fair.
"Can you blame me, though? Who wears jorts on a first date?"
#2. Staging a Bus Shooting to Collect Worker's Compensation
Nancy Parker, a 53-year-old bus driver, had a pretty freaking good reason to draw worker's compensation. Despite driving a public bus in the middle of the day on one of the busier routes in Boston, a strange man came aboard the empty bus and shot at her. She said that the first bullet passed so close to her that she felt the wind from it ruffle her jacket, and that the man had fired several more times. Parker tried to run to safety, but the man threw her down into the fare box and stole her wallet, wrenching her back in the process.
Dodging bullets is hell on your spine.
She even had the bullet holes to prove it. Cops recovered one bullet that was lodged in the driver's seat, and Parker's jacket bore the grazes of narrowly missed gunfire. Her employers awarded her $7,700 in worker's compensation for both her trauma and her back injury, and were just thankful that she managed to completely evade the storm of lead that had been borne down on her by some random lunatic.
However, Parker, inexplicably displeased with her ironclad story that required no witnesses and minimal evidence and could go on unsolved for eternity without anyone ever doubting her, decided to spice it up a bit.
"... so then I threw the grizzly bear out the window and was like, 'No ticket!'..."
While she originally stated that the shooter was a random maniac she had never seen before, she began telling people that the man was a former lover coming to collect a $5,000 debt (by robbing her in her work clothes on a public transit bus in the middle of the day in the middle of the city). It is unclear who she was trying to entertain with the new version of her story, which was so drastically different that police detectives were pretty much forced to charge her for filing a false report.
The whole story started breaking down from there. Further investigation showed that while there were bullet holes in her jacket, the jacket was far too tight to allow the bullet to hit it without harming Parker, unless she hadn't actually been wearing it when it was shot. Furthermore, they found that Parker had actually faked another attempt to get worker's comp in the past by claiming she had fallen off an elevator.
Falling off an elevator? Wha ... HOW??
This leaves us with a whole lot of questions that we'll almost certainly never have the answer to. Remember how there actually was a bullet in the seat? Did she bring a gun to work and, during the day, shoot at her own seat? Did she hire a guy to do it? Come on, lady, tell us!
#1. Man Severs Foot to Collect Unemployment
An Austrian man named Hans Url was unemployed, and he wanted to stay that way and continue to collect his unemployment check, which in his defense is sort of like a job. He had been claiming to have a bad back, but the local unemployment office (or job center, as it is known in Austria) told him he would have to start working again with whatever job they offered him.
Hey, four euros per armpit ain't bad.
Hans decided he needed to up the stakes on his "disability" a bit, and he intended to tell the unemployment people that he had lost his foot in a terrible accident. Of course, he was savvy enough to know that they would ask for some kind of proof that this had happened. Sure, maybe he could try to find a doctor to fake the report, or maybe buy some pants with an extra-long leg to make it look like the foot was missing. But the lid would surely get blown off of that lie at some point during the time he intended to draw benefits (that is, the rest of his life).
So, he decided that in order to make his "my foot was severed" story convincing, he actually needed to sever his foot. He waited until his wife and son weren't home, went out into the garage and stuck his foot into a miter saw.
Finally, a tool that combines the power of a chainsaw and the safety of a paper slicer.
He cut off the foot, then threw it into the oven so that nobody would be able to reattach it.
As it turns out, this would be the only part of his plan that could be called a success, as doctors were indeed unable to reattach his foot. When Url awoke from the coma he had put himself in, the job center helpfully informed him that removing his foot did not disqualify him from working, and they would just get him a job that didn't require walking.
Dennis is trying to be a good friend, so check out his buddy's Web series.
For more people whose crackers are missing the cheese, check out The 6 Most Insane People to Ever Run for President and 7 "Eccentric" Geniuses Who Were Clearly Just Insane.