Episode 59: You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone

Where do people go when they disappear? The idea that a person can just vanish is inarguably mysterious, and that element of mystery seems to capture the public imagination each time such an event is reported. One line of conjecture that inevitably arises in the wake of a person going missing is, ‘maybe they just left to start a new life.’ This idea seems to be something of an urban legend. In fact, there are many urban legends surrounding these mysterious missing persons cases. From alleged amnesia, to falsified ransom notes, there are many ways in which people who wish to start over justify their absences. Though the stories of missing persons are as varied as they are numerous, statistically speaking; these disappearances are much more likely to be the results of foul play or accidents, than carefully orchestrated schemes to start over somewhere new. Can a person just walk away from his or her life? Is such a thing even possible, especially in this day and age? This week we will examine the difficulty of leaving behind a well established life without a trace. We will explore the recent case of someone who seems to have successfully hit the reset button, and left the world guessing at her reasons and methods, Lori Erica Ruff. We will also take a look at some extraordinary stories of historical incidents of staged kidnappings and high profile disappearances (and reappearances). We’ll conclude with a discussion of the very strange case of mystery author, Agatha Christie.

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Sources:

Dissociative Fugue: The Mystery of Agatha Christie – Psychology Today

When A Brain Forgets Where Memory Is – NYT

Dissociative Fugue Case Studies

Hunted: How To Disappear Without A Trace

Is It Possible To Disappear Completely? – National Geographic

Frank Ahearn: The Digital Hit Man Who Can Help You Disappear – Wired

How To Pull Off A Vanishing Act – NYT

Desperate Divorcee Faked His Own Kidnapping Before Bombing His Ex-wife’s House In A Bid To Get Her Attention

Fake Kidnapping Nets Edmonton Woman House Arrest – Edmonton Sun

The Incredible Disappearing Evangelist

Christie’s most famous mystery solved at last | UK news | The Guardian

Lady Vanishes: The Mysterious Agatha Christie Disappearance | The Lineup

11 missing days: Agatha Christie’s greatest mystery | History Extra

Authorities struggle to ID mystery woman – NY Daily News

Solved: The Mystery of Identity Thief Lori Erica Ruff

The Strange Life and Death of Lori Erica Ruff

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