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10 People Who Faked Their Own Suicides

by Simon Griffin
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Suicide is a tragic reality that will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Those of us who have already had experience with suicide often struggle to understand how it reached that point, but we also know how Earth-shattering and devastating it can be for those left behind. But as difficult as it can be, people will usually come to terms with what their friend or loved one decided to do.

What may be more incomprehensible, and something that many people would find totally unforgivable, is the use of such a tragedy for selfish reasons and personal gain. Whether it was to save or end a relationship, to seek revenge, or to escape the law, here are ten people who faked their own suicides.

10 Coleman Martin

At 10:00 AM on April 25, 2017, police officer Coleman Martin of Texas told his wife he needed to go out for a while to clear his head. 15 minutes later, he texted her a photo of his suicide note, in which he claimed he was about to drown himself. Martin’s wife immediately called the police, and an enormous manhunt ensued.

Martin’s car was found the following day by Lake Amistad on the US-Mexico border. Nearby, they discovered an inflatable raft, which had been scratched by a cinder block that had allegedly been pushed over the side.[1] As police continued their investigation, they spoke with a woman who was described only as “having a close relationship” with Martin, who revealed that she had received an e-mail from him after the alleged suicide. In it, Martin described how his ruse had been a success and that he had in fact cycled from the lake, tossed the bike, and taken a taxi to the border, where he boarded a bus. The IP address the e-mail was sent from was confirmed to be in Mexico.

Then, on May 3, Martin flew back to Texas and was arrested at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Facing charges of making a false report, Martins was allowed to return to work on restricted duty, but he resigned on September 6. There is still no explanation as to why he decided to fake his own suicide.

9 Prem Singh

On November 20, 2016, villagers in the Rajgarh district in India discovered a large man-made fire burning. Beside it was a box of tobacco, a ring, a suicide note, and Prem Singh’s voter ID card. His brother, Hindu Singh, contacted the police to let them know what had been found, and an investigation began.

In the suicide note, Singh pointed the finger at four locals who he claimed drove him to take his own life. But when police arrived, they were suspicious about what remained of the fire.[2] Firstly, the amount of ash left behind was less than would be expected, and secondly, the bones “looked different,” according to one officer on the case. When the bones were sent off to be examined, the results showed that they belonged to an animal.

It turns out that Prem had been in love with the wife of one of the men he blamed in his suicide note, and just a few days before the alleged suicide, the community had imposed an infidelity fine on the woman’s father. Hoping to save his would-be father-in-law from the fine, Prem concocted a fake suicide, eloped with the already married woman, and fled. The investigation then became a missing persons case and has not been updated since.

8 Vishnu

Photo credit: Seny P

On a calm Tuesday afternoon in March 2017, a traffic warden working a bridge in Kochi, India, was approached by a concerned pedestrian, who told the warden that he had just witnessed a man jump to his death. There was a bag at the edge of the bridge where the alleged suicide had occurred, and a search immediately ensued.[3] Over the next 24 hours, the river would be searched by the police, fire department, coast guard, and even the Navy.

At the same time, a family had reported that one of their members, Vishnu, was missing. As the suicide investigation progressed the following day, police discovered Vishnu’s mobile phone and driver’s license in the bag. A neighbor then confirmed that Vishnu had called to say he was alive.

When taken into police custody, Vishnu first claimed that he had jumped in and had been saved before coming to during the ambulance ride to the hospital. This story was easily proven to be false, and it soon emerged that not only had Vishnu never jumped, but he was the man who had alerted the traffic warden in the first place. Vishnu had recently lost his job and had his motorcycle repossessed, which led to his suicidal thoughts.

7 Robert Andronyk

On November 30, 2016, on an isolated bridge over a river in North Saskatchewan, Canada, police found an abandoned car with a suicide note inside.The note was addressed to a Ms. Andronyk from her 70-year-old father, who said that he was taking his own life due to the fears brought on by his recent legal battle.

Robert Andronyk was facing extradition to the US based on more than a dozen allegations that he had lured minors for sexual exploitation. Although many of the cases were thrown out, it was looking increasingly likely that Andronyk would face charges when he decided to flee. His daughter claimed that she found a number of his important personal possessions at home, including a list of songs he wished to be played at his funeral. But when police found out that he had recently gifted her a considerable amount of money as well as attempted to get a passport in his brother’s name but with his photo, they began to suspect that he may not have killed himself after all.

After reviewing this evidence, the judge overseeing the case threw out any challenge Andronyk had made regarding extradition and issued a warrant for his arrest. The judge described the whole scenario as “B-movie quality,” and Andronyk was soon arrested during a routine traffic stop. As a result of the fact that he fled, Andronyk must take his battle to the Supreme Court of Canada if he hopes to avoid being sent back to the US to face the charges of child molestation.[4]

6 Suicide Pact

On March 14, 2017, Katrina Goss found her 11-year-old son hanging in his room. He was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead that day. Goss struggled to understand what had happened, as less than an hour before his death, Tysen seemed to be acting normally.

It was soon revealed that in that short window of time, Tysen had received a number of texts and social media messages from his girlfriend.[5] The messages purported to be from the girl’s friends, who claimed that she had killed herself. When he saw the messages, Tysen said he was going to take his own life as well. And he did.

Of course, Tysen’s 13-year-old girlfriend was fine. The whole thing turned out to be a prank orchestrated by her and some friends. According to a mutual friend, Tysen’s girlfriend wanted to see if he really loved her and would be sufficiently distraught at hearing of her death. Because of their ages, the identities of these teenagers cannot be revealed, although they are facing charges of malicious use of telecommunication services as well as using a computer to commit a crime. The girlfriend could face up to 18 months in a juvenile detention center.

5 Zhang

A woman by the name of Wu living in Taiyuan in China’s Shanxi province had concluded that her relationship with her boyfriend wasn’t working and that it was time to end it. For whatever reason, Wu decided to do this over the Internet. She and her boyfriend Zhang were in the middle of a long conversation when she received a photo from him out of nowhere.[6] The photo showed Zhang foaming at the mouth, followed by the message, “See you in the next life.”

Naturally, Wu feared that Zhang had poisoned himself and immediately tried contacting him any way she could. When her messages received no response and her calls went unanswered, Wu decided she had to call the police. Officers arrived at Zhang’s residence, where they found him lying motionless. Asleep.

Apparently, Zhang thought that if he faked his own suicide, using toothpaste to create a foam effect, he would be able to convince his girlfriend not to break up with him. Instead, he was arrested for five days for disturbing the peace.

4 Tucker Blandford

Alex Lanchester had some pretty good things going on in her life in 2012. The 23-year-old British woman was studying abroad at the University of Connecticut, where she met a young man by the name of Tucker Blandford. With their whirlwind romance set to end when Alex returned to Britain, Blandford got caught up in the moment and proposed. The two were set to marry on August 15, 2014.

Alex returned to the UK, but the two continued their relationship and started planning for the wedding long-distance. But while Alex was excited, Tucker was having second thoughts. He decided that he couldn’t go ahead with the wedding, so he plucked up all the courage he could muster and called Alex . . . pretending to be his father. Apparently, Tucker thought it would be easier if Alex just thought he had jumped into the path of a moving vehicle.

The only problem is that, like any bride-to-be who loses her betrothed, Alex called Tucker’s mom to offer her condolences. Needless to say, the mother was quite surprised to hear of her son’s death. The whole convoluted story immediately unraveled and became public. Tucker has stated that he knows he is a “terrible, awful person,” but that he “didn’t know what else to do.”[7]

3 Terricka Cason Cromartie

Photo credit: The Source

Antonio Cromartie is a football player from Florida who was playing for the New York Jets in 2012. Around that time, he was expecting his 11th and 12th children, as his wife Terricka was pregnant with twins. Two of his existing ten children were with Terricka, with the remaining eight kids being spread across seven other women. With a Christmas list like that, it’s not too surprising that Terricka feared Antonio was having an affair behind her back.

While Antonio was away in Florida, Terricka, who was seven months pregnant with his twins, texted her husband to say, “God forgive me, I don’t want to die. What have I done?” and “I cut my wrists. I took those pills.”[8] Needless to say, Antonio panicked and called the cops, who broke into his home using axes and sledgehammers. There, they found Terricka and her two kids asleep, where she admitted to texting both Antonio and the woman she thought he was cheating with. Terricka said she never had any intention of committing suicide but claimed it was her first amendment right to say whatever she wanted.

Antonio and Terricka remain married and recently welcomed his 13th and 14th children.

2 Femida

India is known to have its issues with women’s rights, so the first half of this case might seem very standard. A 28-year-old woman from Ramgarh in Uttar Pradesh wanted to separate from her husband but knew that in her village, that wasn’t just a case of calling the divorce lawyer. So when her husband went away to Delhi, the woman, named only as Femida, decided to stage her own suicide. But to make it as convincing as possible, she was going to fake it with a real-life murder.[9]

All Femida needed to do to pull this off was lure in a victim. She chose an 80-year-old homeless woman from the village, whom she lured with the promise of food. Once the homeless woman was in her house, Femida strangled her to death, switched her clothes, left a suicide note, and lit the body on fire before fleeing the scene.

Everything was going well (for Femida, at least). She had made it out, the fire didn’t lose control, and everyone, including the police, seemed to take the situation at face value. It was only when Femida returned the next day, after realizing that she hadn’t disposed of the homeless woman’s clothes, that she was spotted, arrested, and the truth came out.

1 ‘Olivia’

EVE Online is one of the biggest massive multiplayer online role-playing games in the world. Compared to other MMORPGs, EVE Online offers players a lot more freedom in terms of what you’re allowed to do and what your limits are, with the answers being basically anything and none, respectively. Scamming and cheating are not just tolerated but expected.

Online games in general can be a breeding ground for bullies, but being one of the largest and and most lawless games tends to draw in a certain type of crowd, which is how the game has earned such a brutal and ruthless reputation. While that brutality is usually what makes the game so fun, it can cross the line every so often. This happened when an unnamed boy wrote on an EVE Facebook page, stating that his friend Olivia had been hospitalized after attempting suicide as a result of the relentless bullying she had received on the game. This story was soon corroborated by Olivia’s sister.

As word spread, a movement entitled “Her name is Olivia” sprang up, with players donating both in-game and in real life to Olivia’s cause. People gave money to a GoFundMe and even started to raise money in the game to build her a Citadel, which would require about 300 billion of the game’s money, which would be worth $6,000 in real life.

As you can see, people take this game very seriously, so when they heard about Olivia, they wanted justice. They started investigating with a view to administering revenge on those who had almost killed Olivia. But nobody in her tribe had actually heard of her. And Jackson Thrane, the leader, refused to release the chat logs he allegedly had. Jackson also declined to explain why he was holding on to the money and spaceship that had been donated to Olivia.

A little reverse image searching later, and it became clear that Thrane was Olivia. He had stolen pictures of random girls and had made the whole thing up. Sadly, there is no great comeuppance or revenge to finish the story. Everything was deleted as soon as the truth came out. The only solace gamers can take is that even if he is still lurking somewhere in the depths of space, Jackson Thrane did have to delete his main character and start over.[10]

fact checked by Jamie Frater