How to Disappear Part 2 – Faking your Own Death

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So I assume you’ve already made preparations to disappear, and are ready to move on to the next step. You may think faking your own death is unnecessary, but let me try to convince you otherwise. One of the keys to eluding a follower is to confuse them. A staged death will keep them scratching their heads at the very least. At best, it can create closure. If you’re declared dead, the authorities will have completely forgotten that you exist, allowing you to start a new life in near freedom. As an added bonus, life insurance policies can be paid to your family if you’ve experienced an untimely death.

In order to convincingly fake your own death, you must put your self in a situation that makes a body nearly impossible to locate, yet death as the obvious outcome.  This leaves only a few viable options that will convincingly make your pursuers believe you are actually dead. Here a are few ground rules worth mentioning.

First, be prepared to start on the journey to your new destination as soon as the deed is done.  If investigators find out your death is faked, they will be coming after you in hurry. Every second counts. Have all preparations made for money, travel, disguise, and documentation completely finalized. Second, plan every detail of your death. Investigators are trained to know the most minute details of any crime scene. Whatever method you choose, do some serious research beforehand.

Below I will provide three effective methods from which you can draw inspiration to fake your own death.

2.1 Faked Accident

If you live near the coast, or even a lake, a boating accident is a very effective way to leave no trace of a body. Hundreds of people are killed every year for failing to wear a life jacket. The US Coast Guard will search for a few days, then call off the search when finding a survivor is hopeless. This is exactly how I faked by own death before disappearing permanently.  In my case, I was an experienced recreational sailor, so it was a realistic tragedy.

The Only Method I Know Works, My Method

Charter a Sailboat (or better yet, own one). Plan on taking a multiple-day solo fishing trip or pleasure cruise somewhere along the coast. A longer trip will give you more time to exit the country before suspicion is raised. Leave your sail plan with a friend or family member.

Before your trip, acquire an inflatable kayak that can get you back to shore safely. Buy the inflatable anonymously from Craigslist or a swap meet, paying cash of course. The reason I recommend that it’s inflatable is because nobody will be able to see it aboard your boat when you leave the harbor.  You can inflate it when you’re sure you are alone.

Absolutely nothing that links you to your old identity can be in your possession. Your only possession should be a backpack with the following items:

  • Money. Cash and Precious Metals.
  • Identification.
  • Two Outfits
  • A Head Flashlight. (Needed for Night Kayaking).

Sail to a secluded spot, but remain close enough to comfortably paddle your kayak back to shore.  After nightfall, set your boat on a course towards the middle of the ocean (having an autopilot will help).  Create false clues that you have fallen overboard, such as a broken lifeline or tangled line on the low side of the boat. Leave food on the table and a spilled bottle of wine on the floor to make it look like some issue interrupted your dinner. When the coast guard eventually finds your ghost ship, they will try to determine the cause of the “accident”. Try to make their job a no brainer.

Exit the boat with your kayak and paddle to shore, being careful not to draw the attention of other boats. If you are questioned for whatever reason, you were just out night kayaking. Once you have made it ashore, deflate your kayak and throw it into a marina dumpster. Be on the lookout for security cameras. The deflated kayak will just look like a heap of garbage, so it shouldn’t create any suspicion.

You now have at least 10 hours before anyone notices your distressed ship. In fact, it’s possible the boat will take weeks to find if she drifts sufficiently far.

Change into one of your new outfits and figure out a way to get to the airport. It’s advised to never take a taxi when you’re on the run. Taxi drivers are notorious for remembering faces and picking fleeing criminals out of police lineups. A better option is to take the public bus. Just try to tailor your outfit to fit in with the late night public bus clientele. People will remember your face if you’re dressed in nice business attire riding the bus at 1AM.

When you arrive at the airport, you should already know which airline you want to fly. Head to the ticket counter and tell the attendant, “I need to be on the next flight to location XYZ to visit my dying grandma”. Hopefully, they there will be availability on the next flight. Using the Airline Voucher or gift card you purchased in section 1.5, you will be able to purchase the ticket with the need for a credit card and without raising suspicion.

2.2 Faked Suicide

Suicide is a frequently used method to fake your own death, but making the body undiscoverable is the tricky part. There are only a handful of realistic methods that I am aware of.  It is also important to stage the incident in a way that looks realistic, so pay attention to the minute details.

Jumping off a Bridge. Many people have committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco without ever having a body discovered. Park your car a secluded bridge at night. The bridge must have a powerful body of water below, such as a river or bay. Leave behind evidence in the car that supports your suicide, such as an empty whisky bottle, prescription pills, and of course a suicide note. Drop a few pieces of identifiable artifacts over the bridge, such as a shoe, wallet, glasses, necklace, etc. Now get the hell out of there, but don’t leave any tracks. If the authorities see evidence of you leaving alive, your whole operation will backfire and they will be even more motivated to capture you.

2.3 Faked Murder

The best way to get away with murder is to make sure the body is never found. If you have many enemies, a faked murder could be the most realistic scenario.

Create a murder scene.  Envision an enemy in your head and how they would most likely kill you. Answer these questions…. How did they get inside your house? What type of weapon was used? Was there a struggle? Always use gloves when handling anything that is being staged as the murderer’s work.

Spill Blood. You only get one chance at this, so be careful! You will need to inflict a wound upon yourself that creates enough blood show evidence of an attack.

Create Spatter. Blood spatter is used extensively to analyze crime scenes. If you can create blood spatter that correlates with your attack, you will have made a huge stride towards convincing crime scene investigators. On the other hand, if your blood spatter looks staged, it won’t take long for them to figure out that you staged this murder scene.

Clean Up. Now that you’ve created the murder scene, you have to clean it up. Don’t worry, your hard work is not going to waste. Traces of blood are impossible to get out completely. Investigators will use luminal find cleaned up traces of blood.

Dispose of the Murder Weapon. Throw it in a place where it is hidden, but has a decent potential for being found. Drive to a bad part of town and toss it in a dumpster, field on the side of the road, or near an abandoned building.

Leave. Your car should remain at the crime scene. Plan on leaving on foot or bicycle, being careful not be spotted by nosey neighbors. When you are a considerable distance from the crime scene. Catch the city bus towards the airport of your departure.

Summary

Let’s face it, you will most likely not be succeed at faking your own death. You will probably just reinforce the authorities belief that you have unlawfully fled prosecution for your crimes. Despite my meticulous planning and perfect execution, I was disappointed to find that I was not declared dead over 1 year later. No sir, my case was left opened and I was still a fugitive at large. However, if you are successful, you will have put yourself on the fast track to freedom with a new identity. At the very least, you will confuse the authorities, forcing them to exhaust valuable resources towards your pursuit.