Monday, January 12, 2009

Faking your own death; Only slightly less stupid than suicide

Marcus Schrenker faked his own death last night, by making a distress call from the cockpit of a plane and bailing out somewhere over Alabama. Schrenker told the tower that his windshield had imploded and he was bleeding from the face. After that, things didn't work quite in his favor. First of all, after receiving the call for help, the tower dispatched military jets to rescue the pilot, but when they got there, they reported that the door was open and the cockpit was dark. Woops, if you're going to try to fake your own death in a plane crash, you usually don't want someone to verify that you're not in the plane when it goes down!

Secondly, the plane landed in a swampy Florida marsh. It may never fly again, but it didn't disintegrate in a fiery explosion, either, leaving plenty of evidence for forensics.

Lastly, he probably didn't account for an astute officer, who noted (after Schrenker claimed to have been in a canoe accident) that he had flight goggles on his head.

All of this made it pretty simple for authorities to get a general location on the man and piece together his story. Investigations are still pending.

Surprisingly, faking one's own death is not as rare of an occurrence as you might think. For instance, in November, a well known music attorney named William Grothe made a call to the emergency room claiming to be someone else, and confessing to the lawyer's murder. He then moved into a bed and breakfast under a fake name.

A couple of months before that, John Sung faked his death in a spearfishing accident to evade felony charges for drug possession and robbery.

In my opinion, faking your own death is a ballsey, but stupid thing to do. On one hand, you have to have a great deal of faith that you can pull it off. On the other hand, you have to be some first-rate coward to fake your own death rather than face the consequences that lead you to that point.

My recommendation, if you're going to pretend to kill yourself, don't call for help first...especially from someone who's going to send it to you!






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