Fake Your Own Death

Whether you're running from the cops, running away from home or simply want to start your life again, sometimes in life you may need to fake your own death to escape. See Step 1 for a few illuminating tips on how to try to fake your own death without arousing too much suspicion.


Disappearing Completely

  1. Decide whether or not you really want to do this. Faking your death is against the law almost everywhere. Does your situation really warrant a death-fake? Can you just move away? Are you being melodramatic? Are there any alternatives? You should only do this if you keep feeling that faking your own death is the only way to start over or escape, and you have no viable alternatives.
    • Understand the implications of faking your own death. You'll be able to have no contact with any friends or relatives. If you decide to let them in on it, they'll most likely call the police or betray you in the end. If you must let anyone know, try an understanding friend who will - for whatever reason - never rat you out to the police, family or general public.
  2. Stop using anything that will be traceable back to you. Understand that you cannot use email accounts, memberships, cell-phones, or any other personal details from your old life, after you have faked your own death. This is probably the trickiest of all things to get sorted before you actually do the deed.
    • Since money is necessary to start your new life, gradually withdraw cash from an account leading up to your fake death, and leave behind things like credit cards and other documents. Clearing it completely may arouse suspicion. However, if you're in a hurry, draw out a massive amount, but leave a little behind to erase suspicion.
  3. Watch out for little things that may give you away. Avoiding acting fishy beforehand. Also, remember not to use personal laptops, computers or mobile phones (unless you can change the sim card) afterwards; these can be used to trace you once you're gone. Plus, people might notice that they're missing.
  4. Decide on a death method. Suicide is probably the easiest bet. While it may be hard for loved ones to stomach, if it's obvious your "death" is a suicide, innocent people won't be accused of your "murder". Also, suicide is a more open and shut case: chances are, people will be less searching of CCTV footage and personal records etc if they know you "killed" yourself, rather than mysteriously disappearing.
    • Pick a "suicide method" that means there is no body to be found, or failing that, where it would be very difficult to find. A common one might include jumping off a bridge, and leaving a note that implies you're about to go through with it. The "body" may not be found easily, were it actually there, so police will be less suspicious when there isn't one.
  5. Do it. Plant a note for your "suicide" before disappearing. Travel out of the city as far as you can, and start again with a new identity. Be free.

Starting Your New Life

  1. Eliminate all contact with people from your old life. Unfortunately, most people who've faked their own deaths screw up this part of the process by cashing in on the insurance check they hoped to get, or getting a speeding ticket. If you want to get away with it, you've got to disappear completely.
    • Start by hiding out for a few weeks somewhere close by, like a cheap flophouse hotel for a few weeks to lay low. Load up on groceries and hide out watching detective shows on TV while the police decide to give up on finding you. When you have to go out, wear a disguise.
    • Eventually, you'll have to start making your way elsewhere so you can go about the process of finding your new life.
  2. Come up with an alternate identity. Who do you want to be, now that the old you is dead? A suave gambler and poet from South Carolina, who decided to forego his family's tuna cannery inheritance and move to Australia to work on cars? A small town bartender who had to move to the bright lights of LA? Decide who you'll want to be, and start working on:
    • Your new name. Practice signing it, saying it, and introducing yourself with your new name. Make it awesome. Jackson Saint-Bloodrock? Pleased to meet you.
    • Your new style. How will you craft your new image? Get clothes that are different from your old way of dressing and that will mask the new you people might see in the old you. Dress in such a way that you'd be able to walk past your own mother on the street, and she'll never notice you. Grow a beard, shave your head, change your hair color, embrace leather, do whatever you need to do to cultivate a completely different style.
    • Your story. What will you tell people about yourself? How will you introduce yourself? How can you get away with masking your old identity when you meet new people?
  3. Make a fake ID. Once you've gotten your new identity hammered out and you're using to introducing yourself as Horace McGillicutty, find or consider crafting your own fake documents that will let you start your new life.
  4. Go somewhere you'll be unknown. Flying will likely be out of the question, unless you've got some great forged documents, but try making your way somewhere far off by hitchhiking safely or taking the bus on the cheap.
  5. Work under the table. Declaring taxes will be difficult, so working under the table and staying on the move will keep you relatively safe. Consider working migrant labors, heading West and checking out farm labor or other contract work that'll be easier get away with under the table. Mushroom picking in Oregon or California can be lucrative, as well as de-tassling in Indiana and peach-picking in Georgia. Move around and see the country.
  6. Lay low. Becoming a public figure probably isn't the best idea. Get ready to live a quiet and simple life, socializing little and maintaining a mysterious mist around yourself. When people start to get to close to you, it's time to move on.
    • Stay away from tourist locations and landmarks; there will be cameras everywhere that may pick up your image. Moreover, there is an increased chance that some of those vacationers once knew you.
    • Wear a hoodie drawn over your forehead if you don't want to be seen clearly.


  • The most crucial thing for this to work out should be for you to acquire a fake passport and move abroad. You could probably get a decent job, not fruit-picking, in a less-than-west standard country. If you don't acquire fake credentials before you stage your fake suicide, or other preferred death, the chances of you getting caught skyrockets. Most hotels e.g. require ID for a room, some motels do too. By choosing a name like Baron Friedrich von Glückenheim you will probably get a lot of unnecessary eyes. Choose a regular name, POB, etc. if the falsifier let's you do this. Otherwise, be happy with what you get. It might be suspicious to be a foreigner working low-level jobs in another country but it doesn't have to be. This should be a parameter to considered though when choosing country to finally reside in, e.g. skin colour, language, dialect, etc.
  • Since you can't just register a "new" grown 30-year old person as a taxpayer out of nowhere, moving abroad will probably make it much easier for you to get a more stimulating job than fruit picking, and of course improve your odds for not getting spotted. Working on a freighter or any larger fishing vessel could be recommended. Although, be aware that for some of these freighters you need certain certificates for transporting chemicals and what not, so this needs to be looked up beforehand. These certificates comes with an ID-tag and this could prove to be a problem for the new you. Never take a job within a government, almost all keep staff records public and easy to come by.
  • It is of utmost importance that you don't do any research from a computer/phone that you're leaving behind, and not from your home internet either since browser history easily can be demanded from your ISP provider. Don't be short minded and use your work computer either. Libraries or other public computers are preferred, not in close vicinity to your home of course. Try spreading out on several of these localities so you don't come to one library or internet cafe 3 times a week for several months. This can, for example, make other frequent visitors curious which only leads to unnecessary attention. Use your fake ID to set up a library card! If you need to make calls regarding matters of your new life to come; use burners! That is prepaid SIM-cards that don't require a name registered to them. Buy these phones with cash, and everything else you plan to use for your new life. Suicide doesn't fit the profile for a lot of people so by not leaving any evidence behind, non-believers won't get much out of poking around in different records.
  • The cash issue is another problem. By taking out small amounts over a longer period of time you could build up enough to last for a while. But for this to work you need to make these withdrawals over a couple of years at least. Because if you start to withdraw 500 dollar/€ more every month your records won't go unnoticed. But by taking out fewer but much larger amount you need to be able to explain these withdrawals with traveling and what not. This could be done by buying plane tickets e.g., but then you need to check in to make it legit. And if you have a family this is out of the question. The small but many withdrawals are probably the better way to go. Start up a new bank account in your new name with your new ID as soon as possible, preferably at a bank in the town that is your new POB. This will strengthen the validity of your new identity. Deposit all cash you withdraw from your old account there, so it isn't possible for anyone to accidentally find your cash in a bag under the bed.
  • To acquire fake credentials, turn to the internet for a regional provider. This should absolutely not be done from anything that can be traced to you, but since you don't have your new identity yet you need to use your old one for this first step. Try to acquire a phone number quickly so that internet browsing is minimal at a public place. Beware that good fakes costs good money. These documents will be the cornerstone of your new life so don't be stingy. This will probably be one of the major expenses for your new life.
  • As you know everything should be planned before your "death". By planning something like a year ahead you'll have a good head start on your new life. Very simple example:
    • Acquire credentials (ID, Passport)
    • Where do you want to start your new life, research methodically and carefully. Don't google "good place to start anew."
    • Plan your escape carefully. Ideally, for a suicide, your note and absence isn't found and noted until a couple of days or a week after your departure. By then you should be in another country or continent with your new credentials and game plan. Boat travel will allow you to move more freely over the oceans than by air. Trains are preferred if the railway network between countries are good. The conductor will only look at your passport, most often no registration of it.
    • Have a job waiting for you, or at least several prospects by the time you arrive at your new home so you can keep yourself afloat for a while.
  • Remember to block all communications with previous contacts. Even if you have a completely new look, they may still recognize you in some way.
  • If you do this as a teenager it is more difficult as you have more family ties/less money to help you.
  • Remember, you'll need to get living accommodation, otherwise you'll end up on the streets.
  • Looking different can help, but you don't need plastic surgery. Something as simple as changing your hair style or colour can help you look unrecognizable.
  • Try not to turn to crime. The police may figure you out, and you will be in even more trouble.
  • Getting a job may be difficult, so if possible (i.e. if your disappearance is low key), legally change your name and get new documentation of your CV, etc.
  • Start new. This is a chance to definitively redefine yourself.
  • It is easier to do this if you have less family and friends to contend with.
  • If you regret your decision, come clean about it. If you try to explain to loved ones they may blame you less, or may even be so happy to see you they don't care.
  • Think about friends and family and how they feel before you do this. If you get caught then they will get pissed. They had to go through all that suffering while you were out living a good life.
  • Use colored contact lenses or wear shades. This will make you less recognizable.


  • Don't do this if it is for the money because this does not work. You will be caught eventually, and will have put your family through a lot for your own personal gain.
  • Phones have tracking devices. Get a new one.
  • If you get caught, there may be serious implications, not least of all from loved ones or family, who will probably not understand your reasons for faking your own death.
  • Don't stand out.

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