The 10 Weirdest Cases Of People Faking Their Own Deaths

sam israelSamuel Israel III

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Raymond Roth, an unemployed telecommunications manager, faked his own drowning on July 28 only to be stopped for speeding in South Carolina.He certainly isn’t the first to try this admittedly drastic way of escaping from the daily grind.

So, we thought we’d take a look at other professionals who faked their own deaths. The culprits span from a British lawmaker to a Colombian doctor.

Marcus Schrenker used a plane crash to fake his death.

Schrenker, a financial adviser from Indiana, was caught up in of legal, financial, and marital problems when he decided to fake his own death, according to The New York Times.

Investors told a judge in 2009 Schrenker had illicitly taken money from accounts, charged outrageous fees, and forged signatures on investment documents, The Associated Press reported at the time.

In January 2011, Schrenker took off in his plane from an Indiana airport en route to Florida.

While flying over Alabama, law enforcement determined Schrenker parachuted from the plane after they found cut lines in tree branches and a parachute that was traced back to Schrenker, CNN reported in 2009.

Police eventually found Schrenker hiding out at a campground in Florida. Schrenker ultimately admitted he called in a fake distress message to air traffic control and had planned for the plane to crash.

He pleaded guilt to destruction of an aircraft and causing the Coast Guard to respond when he didn't help and was sentenced to 51 months in prison, according to CNN.

Hedge fund manager Samuel Israel III faked suicide and quoted the theme from MASH.

Israel was riding high in the 1990s when his company Bayou Funds capitalised on rising technology stocks.

However, Israel lost millions in investor money. To hide the failure, he created a bogus accounting firm to audit the company's financials.

Israel ultimately became addicted to painkillers and turned to shadowy figures who advised him to break the law. He was finally sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty to his frauds.

Rather than serve his prison sentence, Israel faked his own suicide, writing the words 'Suicide is Painless,' on his car, which he left parked at Bear Mountain.

In 2008 he ultimately turned himself after setting off an international manhunt, The New York Times reported at the time.

For more on Israel, check out: The Crazy Story of Samuel Israel, The Ponzi Schemer Who Faked His Own Suicide And Sparked An International Manhunt >

Gandaruban Subramaniam was on the lam for 20 years before getting caught.

Gandaruban Subramaniam, a 60-year-old Singaporean businessman, was being hounded by creditors after his car-rental business failed in 1987.

To escape, his family claimed he was killed by Tamil Tiger rebels. Renuga Devi Sinnaduray, his wife, said he died without leaving a will, allowing her to cash in on three life-insurance policies, the Brisbane Times reported in 2008.

Subramaniam fled to Sri Lanka where he hid for more than 20 years. He was captured when he tried to re-enter Singapore using a fake passport.

Gandaruban pleaded guilty to insurance fraud. Renuga was charged with conspiracy to cheat and served a year behind bars, according to the Brisbane Times.

A Tennessee lawyer reportedly faked his own murder and then posed as his murderer.

A Colombian doctor didn't fake his own death but he did allegedly help three drug lords fake theirs.

Police narrowed in on Dr. Augusto Gallego after a man he allegedly declared dead was found alive and well on an island in the Caribbean, law enforcement announced in August 2012.

In addition to helping drug king Camilo Torrez Martinez fake his own death, Gallego provided death certificates for Carlos Mario Jimenez, a former leader of the United Self-defence Forces of Colombia, according to In Sight, a group that monitors organised crime in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Gallego reportedly forged death certificates for two of Jimenez's lieutenants as well.

However, Gallego has claimed he has been framed by a funeral home employee, according to In Sight.

He's able to continuing practicing medicine until a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

A man faked his own cremation only to get caught after he remarried his wife.

Alfredo Sanchez was so overwhelmed by his loans and credit card debts that he faked his own death.

Sanchez, who changed his name to Hugo Jose Sanchez, had his wife call his employer in England and claim he died from a heart attack while in Ecuador and had been cremated, The Mirror reported in May.

Mrs. Sanchez began collecting insurance claims and pension payments but an investigator hired by one of the companies making payments discovered Sanchez's friends believed he was alive and living in Costa Rica.

Investigators ultimately discovered that Sanchez was living in Australia. He had married his wife again using his new name but made the mistake of going by his old name while at work, according to The Mirror.

He ultimately pleaded guilty to 12 counts of fraud.

A man declared dead after an apparent drowning resurfaced five years later.

John and Anne Darwin became famous in the UK after John disappeared while kayaking in March 2002.

The couple was facing possible bankruptcy proceedings over mortgage repayments on a handful of properties, CNN reported in 2008.

Air and sea rescue teams found his kayak paddle within 24 hours and found his kayak two months later.

The problem was, John Darwin called Anne to drop him off at a train station before she called police to report him missing.

The couple made off with thousands in insurance payments before John Darwin walked into a police station in London in 2007.

He claimed he thought he was a missing person, The Guardian reported in 2008.

He pleaded guilty to seven counts of deception and one count of making false statements when getting a passport, according to The Guardian.

A British Labour Party politician pretended to drown in Miami in the 1970s.

John Stonehouse, a former member of UK's Parliament, pretended to drown in 1974 so he could start a new life with his mistress after a series of fraudulent businesses he established collapsed, BBC News reported in 2005.

Police picked Stonehouse up in Australia and found he was operating under the name Joseph Markham, the dead husband of a constituent.

Stonehouse eventually returned to Britain in 1975 and was sentenced to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of 18 counts of fraud, according to BBC News.

He was released after three years and promptly married his mistress. Stonehouse died in 1988.

In 2009, the first official history of Britain's Security Service revealed Stonehouse was a Communist spy, the Daily Mail reported at the time.

A 27-year-old woman in Florida claimed she faked her death to gently drive away her friends.

Allison Matera reportedly told her church choir she was dying of cancer back in 2006.

Near the end of the year she said she was entering hospice and choir members began receiving from calls from a woman they believed to be a hospice nurse giving them updates on Matera's condition, the Tampa Bay Times reported in 2007.

The problem? The nurse sounded an awful like Matera, according to choir members. And when the call came in that Matera had died, the caller also sounded suspiciously like Matera.

The icing on the cake was a when a woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Matera came to the woman's funeral.

When confronted by police, Matera admitted she faked her death because 'she has attachment problems rooted in childhood trauma,' and wanted to drive her choir friends away, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Matera was never arrested because, according to the sheriff's office, she didn't commit a crime.

A woman in Britain reportedly texted her lover posing as her brother to let him know she died.

Dianne Craven was dating Stuart Shortland back in 2009 when she reportedly told him she had given birth to his daughter.

Stuart, who was living in Portugal at the time, flew to the UK to see Craven and their daughter, who actually did not exist, The Sun reported in 2010.

After he arrived in the UK, Stuart told The Sun he received text messages from a person pretending to be Craven's brother claiming she had died of a brain hemorrhage.

But then The Sun reportedly found a picture of Craven online three months after she had supposedly perished.

In some cases, tragedy strikes too close to home.

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