Crime Tech

10 People Who Faked Their Own Kidnappings

10 People Who Faked Their Own Kidnappings

Kidnapping is a grievous offense punishable by lengthy jail phrases. For the abductee and their family members, it’s often a interval of suspense, particularly when the abductors demand some large ransom with the specter of killing the sufferer. However what about situations when the kidnapped can also be the kidnapper?

Pretend abductions are extra widespread than you assume—they usually appear to be on the rise. In recent times, individuals have faked their very own kidnappings for quite a lot of causes, typically weird. As you may anticipate, some even demanded a ransom from their kin.

10 Jessica Nordquist

In July 2017, 26-year-old Jessica Nordquist, initially from Alaska, began a relationship with Mark Weeks, a coworker at Unruly, a London PR agency. The couple quickly broke up, however Jessica was not leaving and not using a struggle. She started accusing Weeks of rape.

Jessica despatched textual content messages to Unruly shoppers and coworkers, telling them Weeks had raped her and gotten her pregnant. She additionally opened at the least 20 Instagram accounts to accuse Weeks of rape. She added that the agency was conscious of the rape however had swept it beneath the carpet. To show she was really pregnant, Jessica purchased a child bump on Amazon.

Jessica additionally despatched collection of aggressive textual content messages to Weeks and his shut relations. Weeks turned so afraid that he was afraid of sleeping in his house. However, Jessica was not getting the eye she needed, so she kidnapped herself.

Posing as a kidnapper, Jessica despatched footage of herself, bare and tied up, to her buddies, coworkers, and Weeks’s household. Police visited her house, the place they discovered a word informing them of her kidnapping. The sport was up two days later once they discovered her sleeping at a mattress and breakfast in Scotland. She acquired a four-and-a-half-year jail sentence in 2018.[1]

9 Dr. Mark Salerno

In Might 2002, 45-year-old Dr. Mark Salerno was kidnapped in Phoenix, Arizona. He was discovered within the trunk of his automotive in Pennsylvania three days later. The kidnapping was a nationwide sensation till everybody found that he was by no means actually kidnapped.

Salerno initially advised police and FBI brokers that some males stole his car and compelled him right into a van. They drove him round earlier than locking him inside his trunk. Nevertheless, the hoax was revealed when any person stated they noticed Salerno lock himself contained in the trunk.

Salerno confessed that he staged the kidnapping over private and monetary points. His spouse and legal professionals stated he was affected by melancholy. He claimed he initially tried suicide at Hoover Dam earlier than leaving for San Diego and eventually Pennsylvania. He took some medicine earlier than locking himself within the trunk, the place he slept. He awoke and began banging on the trunk, asking to be let loose.

Salerno acquired a three-year probation sentence. Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County on the time, additionally billed him about $eight,000 for extra time incurred by officers engaged on his case. Six weeks later, he went lacking once more. He was present in Pittsburgh when a resident referred to as police after watching him steal a towel from a clothesline. On October 12, 2018, he went lacking as soon as once more.[2]

eight Kevin McGeever

On the night time of January 29, 2013, Catherine Vallely and her good friend, Peter Reihill, discovered an unkempt man on a distant street in Eire as they drove residence from a writing class. The person was 68-year-old Kevin McGeever, a world serial con artist who had been within the con recreation since he was 29.

After each profitable con scheme, McGeever would typically depart his costly automobiles, properties, and even household behind and flee to a different nation, the place he began one other con scheme. In 1973, he deserted his costly Jaguar automotive at Dublin Airport and simply disappeared. He additionally had an unfinished luxurious home.

In 1985, he deserted his costly car at Sydney Airport and simply disappeared. He additionally left behind a spouse, two daughters, and an expensive four-bedroom house. In 2000, he deserted his automobiles and residential in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and fled to Eire because the FBI closed in on him over an $eight million fraud. He had conned a number of buyers into shopping for some nonexistent properties in Dubai.

At one other time, he conned a number of buyers out of over €70 million. On the time he was discovered on January 29, 2013, McGeever claimed he was kidnapped and held in an underground container for eight months. He had a cellular phone containing the variety of a person referred to as John McNevin. He claimed his abductors gave him the telephone once they dumped him by the roadside.

McGeever advised Reihill and Vallely to take him to McNevin, however they drove him to a police station as an alternative. McGeever was taken to a hospital, the place docs famous his eyesight was excellent for an individual who claimed he had been held in complete darkness for months. It was quickly found that McGeever was a needed serial con artist and had kidnapped himself as a part of his elaborate con scheme.

Kevin Cooke, one of many businessmen he conned, was additionally kidnapped and brought to the supposedly kidnapped McGeever. The abductors advised Cooke that they might solely launch McGeever if Cooke paid $10 million. It was clear that McGeever had conned the buyers and was making an attempt to make them assume he was already so broke that he couldn’t afford his personal ransom.[3]

7 Alejandro Mario Cortes

On April 17, 2018, a St. Paul, Minnesota, snowplow driver discovered a person tied up and gagged with duct tape. The person, recognized as 46-year-old Alejandro Mario Cortes, claimed he was kidnapped, pressured right into a car, and dumped within the snowbank the place he was discovered.

The FBI was referred to as in, they usually quickly revealed the kidnapping as a poorly executed try and get US citizenship. Cortes was an unlawful immigrant from Mexico and was making an attempt to get a United States U Visa as a criminal offense sufferer. He had been deported from the US in 2001 and 2010 however returned each occasions.

Cortes deliberate the flowery kidnapping plot with an unnamed confederate. They tried to make it look like he was taken in Illinois and dumped in St. Paul. In fact, Cortes and the confederate had traveled from Illinois to St. Paul. The confederate drove him to the spot the place he was discovered and tied him up at his request.[4]

6 Maria Gonzalez

Maria Gonzalez, 32, used to run a trucking enterprise in California—till she claimed she had been kidnapped, robbed, and sexually assaulted in 2018. Maria stated she was driving down a street when she stopped for 2 canine. Two masked males, considered one of whom was armed, entered her automotive and ordered her to drive.

She claimed she misplaced consciousness through the theft and kidnapping and awoke to seek out an damage on her head. Her underwear felt moist, making her assume she had been raped. She claimed the lads stole $9,000 she had deliberate to make use of to pay the salaries of her staff.

Investigators turned suspicious when they didn’t discover any unusual footprints round Maria’s automotive. The one footprints they discovered belonged to her. The alleged robbers additionally left different gadgets in her purse intact and solely took her cash, which was suspicious. Maria additionally discovered it troublesome to elucidate how she’d untied herself and escaped.

Investigators found that Maria faked her kidnapping and injured herself within the head to show she was really taken. She denied this however later confessed when police confirmed her CCTV footage of the supposed space the place she was kidnapped. Maria admitted she faked her kidnapping as a result of she didn’t have the $9,000 to pay her staff.[5]

5 Jonathon Michael Davis

On February 27, 2018, 34-year-old Jonathon Michael Davis went lacking. His family members started receiving messages explaining that he had been kidnapped and that they wanted to pay a ransom of $375 to safe his freedom. The abductors threatened to injure Davis if his household didn’t pay the ransom shortly. They even despatched an image of Davis’s damaged finger with a promise to interrupt the remaining if they didn’t pay.

The Davis household reported the kidnapping to Oklahoma police on March 1. The police referred to as within the FBI and US Marshals. The identical night time, Davis was tracked to a on line casino in Tulsa, the place he was playing.

Discovering Davis was a stroll within the park for the brokers. Apparently, he had been sending the messages to his family members together with his personal telephone. All of the brokers needed to do was monitor the telephone. Davis’s finger was not damaged, both. The image he despatched was downloaded from Google Pictures. In reality, the image was one of many first to seem when brokers looked for “damaged finger.”[6]

four Jason Hillier

In October 2018 in Michigan, 40-year-old Jason Hillier’s mother and father acquired a telephone name from a person informing them that their son had been kidnapped. The kidnapper requested Jason’s mom for $1,000 and Jason’s automotive. He additionally requested Jason’s father for $500.

Jason’s mom knowledgeable the police, who instructed her to pay the $1,000 ransom. She dropped it on the location requested by the kidnapper. Nevertheless, police already had surveillance cameras within the space. They watched the kidnapper arrive in a car, decide up the ransom, and depart. They confirmed the footage to Jason’s mom, who acknowledged the individual as Jason.

Nonetheless posing as a kidnapper, Jason requested his mom for an additional $150 ransom. She paid. However this time, police swooped on Jason as he picked up the ransom cash. Additionally they arrested 20-year-old Michael Forester, who was concerned within the plot. Investigations revealed that Jason staged the flowery kidnapping to fund his drug habit.[7]

three Rogelio Andaverde

On October four, 2013, Rogelio Andaverde of Texas was supposed to satisfy some buddies for an evening out. However he feared his spouse, Maria Hernandez, wouldn’t permit him. So he determined to kidnap himself.

Rogelio was at house with Maria that night time when two males broke into their house and took him away. Maria thought it was an actual kidnapping and referred to as the police. The police shaped a search get together involving a number of officers and helicopters. Rogelio wasn’t discovered.

Rogelio returned residence two days later. He informed his spouse that the abductors had a change of coronary heart and let him go. Police discovered the story fishy and investigated. They found the kidnapping was an elaborate ploy to permit him attend a celebration with associates.[8]

2 Rahmell Pettway


In 2013 in Brooklyn, 36-year-old Rahmell Pettway left his house for 2 weeks with out informing his girlfriend. When he returned, he knew he wanted a very good rationalization for his sudden disappearance. He created one he thought was intelligent sufficient. He claimed he was kidnapped.

Nevertheless, Pettway couldn’t simply return residence and say he was kidnapped. He wanted to be discovered. He sure his arms, legs, and mouth with duct tape and hid on a road, the place a passerby discovered him. He additionally roughed himself up a bit and complained of rib pains in order that it will seem like he had been crushed.

Police sealed the supposed crime scene and took Pettway to the hospital. Pettway advised police he was kidnapped by two males on February 19 and that they held him for 2 weeks earlier than dumping him the place he was discovered.

Police quickly realized the entire kidnapping story was a ruse. Pettway himself was not intelligent with the plot. The roll of duct tape he used to tie himself was proper on his wrist. He confessed that he fabricated the kidnapping to elucidate his absence to his girlfriend.[9]

1 Hillary Black

On September 15, 2018, 33-year-old Hillary Black of Georgia referred to as 911, claiming she had been robbed and kidnapped whereas utilizing an ATM. She stated a person with a field cutter approached her whereas she used the ATM and ordered her again into her car. He pressured her to drive to a shopping mall, the place he robbed her of $1,400 and tried to rape her.

The Gwinnett County Police Division investigated the supposed crime. They shortly realized that the buying middle Black talked about didn’t exist. If that wasn’t sufficient, surveillance footage of the ATM confirmed that no one approached or adopted her from the ATM. Her automotive was additionally freed from any objects or bodily fluids that would have been used for DNA checks.

Black initially insisted she was really kidnapped however later confessed after watching surveillance footage of herself utilizing the ATM.[10]