Faking your death—both as a concept and as an act people attempt with surprising frequency — first occurred to me over dinner with a friend at a cheap Vietnamese restaurant. I had just enrolled in a graduate program, and had taken out a brand new batch of student loans to heap upon a hefty debt from college.
As I bitched about the financial mess I’d gotten myself into, and how I feared I might never get out of it, I fantasized about finding a sun-bleached country with a rickety government and no extradition policy and just slipping through the cracks, disappearing without a trace.
“Or you could fake your own death,” my friend offered.
That conversation sent me on a years-long quest tracking down people who have faked their own deaths and interviewing experts in the art of disappearance. Along the way I picked up a few Dos and Don’ts. Whatever your motive and wherever you plant your umbrella, here are some considerations for planning your untimely demise.