On December 3, 1926, the author was enjoying the success of her latest murder mystery when her husband, Archie, dropped a bomb. He was leaving her for another woman. Like, right then. He had his bags packed and everything. So he takes off and leaves her alone with their child. Then she does the same. The kid just hangs out in bed by herself.
"Looks like it's time for 'The Case of the Dog in the Gas Oven.'"
The next day, Agatha's car was found at an embankment by a lake, which was eerily named Silent Pool, because she knew her stuff. In it was a small suitcase with her belongings, her coat -- remember it's December in England, which Dickens taught us is very cold -- and her driver's license. Things did not look good for Ms. Christie. The lake was promptly dredged, and no fewer than 15,000 volunteers began the 11-day hunt to find her.
We should have also mentioned that her mother had died only a few months before. So there were two big fears: a) she killed herself or b) her husband did the killing for her. Why else would this otherwise successful, famous, rich woman abandon her child and disappear?
"Screw that, I'm young and rich. Why wouldn't I?"
It was the stuff of a murder novel -- if only a detective could come in and crack the case.
There was no need for a detective. A banjo player, of all people, said he knew exactly where she was -- at a spa 200 miles away. Sure enough, there she was, registered under the name "Teresa Neele," which happened to be the last name of her husband's lover. While there, she danced the Charleston, played bridge with new friends and quietly enjoyed crossword puzzles, and when asked if she was the famous writer, she politely chuckled that she wasn't.
Banjo player? Waaait a second, what kind of mustache was he rocking?
So maybe she was in some kind of fugue state? Between her mother's death and her husband's abandonment, maybe she had suffered a nervous breakdown? Some researchers claim that yes, that's it. Agatha Christie, the world's most famous murder novelist, who weaves intricate plots of mystery and intrigue, just happened to suffer from a sort of amnesia that just happened to frame her husband for murder.
We say, sure, if you're enrolled in Fat Chance Academy. Ms. Christie took a train to that spa, which she was able to afford because she was wearing a money belt swollen with wads of cash. The whole thing was a clumsy attempt to embarrass her husband for leaving her, maybe even frame him for murder, but it was the crappiest framing ever made. And her fans and the police were livid with her when they found out she'd been chilling at a spa the whole time they were looking for her. In their eyes, it was a publicity stunt to promote her latest novel -- one that worked, because the whole country talked of nothing else but Ms. Christie's disappearance for 11 days.
Not the perfect cover.
And as a footnote, not only did Agatha Christie go on to write 60 more novels after her disappearance, she also eventually remarried, to a man 15 years her junior. She was never investigated, and everyone kind of forgot about that time she abandoned her 7-year-old kid. Which was a pretty neat trick, when you think about it.
For more terrible responses to problems, check out 6 People Who Faked Their Own Death (For Ridiculous Reasons). Or learn about the 6 People Who Just Fucking Disappeared.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn which columnist faked his death to get out of marrying his girlfriend (now wife).
And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get sexy, sexy jokes sent straight to your news feed.
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!