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Old 19 Mar 2012 , 20:10 PM   #6
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Re: Veterans Today article links

The Hoax – A Fable For Our Times


by Stewart Ogilby

Let’s say that I have it in my heart to make myself some easy, but very illegal, money. If one is to take the risk involved in breaking the law it should be for a worthwhile amount. For the sake of argument, my aim is to acquire a cool $2 million in cash. I begin to carefully make plans, estimating the pay-off date roughly a decade in the future. The plan will cost me more than $300 thousand, but that seems to be a reasonable investment.

For this plan to work, I need what I will call an “agent” because her role will be similar to that of a trained agent working for a sophisticated state intelligence agency. I will put her on my payroll immediately. I will continue her pay after I collect the big bucks because she may be of help to me in the future. Who knows what else a bright guy like me might think of doing?

Good agents are hard to find, but money talks. I find an ambitious young woman and offer her a position working for me with the stipulation that she never reveal either her employer or her job description. Her real name happens to be Susan. Sue was looking at a lifetime secure job with regular pay and a bit of excitement. I even toss in some benefits, including a couple million dollars of term life-insurance. Are you starting to get the picture? Guess who the life-insurance beneficiary will be?

Here are some steps I take to capture my big bucks -

I assign Sue an alias, preferably one that has a bit of internal ambiguity. Sue becomes “Kim Strongman Jones”.

I marry the woman, after putting together some history for her. This is no problem because I have ten years to work with. Starting with a costly but high-quality phony birth certificate, “Kim” gets a Social Security number and a state driver’s license along with other assorted documents.

Kim attends a local community college, graduating in two years with an Associate Degree before our marriage.

I submit paid obituaries, a few years apart, for each of Kim’s phony parents, George and Alice Jones, in a newspaper of a distant city. Of course, Kim Strongman is mentioned as their survivor. On the internet I post some genealogy for George Jones, Alice Jones, and Kim Strongman Jones at and as well as add her name to a few other sites.

You have the picture. I have ten years in which to build a paper trail for Kim, who happens to be my paid spook-like agent. Now comes the hard part. Of course, what I would like to do is to fake an airliner crash after adding Kim to a bogus passenger list. The problem is that I don’t happen to have that sort of clout.
Instead, I buy a 28-foot steel-hulled sailboat. My wife, Kim, and I join a local sailing club and make many friends there. We sail together some of the time. Frequently both she and I sail alone. We often sail many miles from shore, leaving shortly after daybreak and returning to our club’s dock at twilight. We make certain that our marine radio is operating, both for weather reports and for accessing the emergency channel.

We also have a hand-held two-way radio at home with a marine band. We pick a day when the weather is problematical. Kim waves to friends as she sails off. In late afternoon the Coast Guard receives a frantic SOS from Kim. Her boat is taking on water, sinking faster than her electric bilge pump can discharge the water. She thinks that the sea-cock to the raw-water-cooled auxiliary diesel engine has cracked or that the packing in the stearing has failed. Regardless, she is putting on a life jacket; She usually carries a hand-held GPS but today she left it in her locker at the club by mistake. That is true, because that is where it is later found.

However, unlike the GPS, Kim is not found before nightfall and, in fact, is never found. Sharks? Members of the sailing club have a memorial service and vote to name their proposed new clubhouse after her.
What really happened is that “Kim” and I met at an isolated area of the shore just a few miles from where she set sail. We towed a two-man kyack behind our sailboat out to deep water, sank the sailboat, and paddled to shore. Taking care to avoid witnesses, we drove to the airport. Late in the day Kim called in her SOS using the hand-held radio before boarding an airliner for France using her real name and passport. Sue is alive and well and ready for an assignment abroad once I have another job for her. She is professional and reliable. As a grieving widower, I post some stuff about her on the internet but take care to alter photos of her, posting the sort that might make someone who never met her think that she never really existed. The last thing I want is for someone to recognize the face of the deceased victim of a tragic sailing accident.

The above fictional narrative represents only one of several methods logically possible for creating a fake identity and then killing it off. The reality of the matter is that it is very difficult to obtain life-insurance benefits without a body. The companies have excellent investigators. This little game would probably land me in jail. However, in the absence of a professional investigation some people might get away with – can we say murder?

Last edited by Phil Jayhan; 19 Mar 2012 at 21:47 PM.
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