Thursday, December 13, 2007

Interesting Thought

I've been following the John and Anne Darwin story for the last several days. For those that don't know he faked his own death five years ago and last week showed back up at the police station claiming amnesia. Except someone found a picture of him online in Panama for last year...with his wife. Oops!

For some reason the story has caught my attention. Maybe it's the question of why John decided to suddenly resurface. Or the question of why he decided to disappear in the first place. Whatever it is, I've been reading several stories and accounts of their life for the past five years. However, today I read an interesting article that takes the story from another angle.

Anne Applebaum, a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, has an article posted on MSN today which discusses the pseudocide angle - the surprisingly widespread occurrence of faked death. Here's the link: (the article is very good and pretty funny... The Lie, the Switch and the Wardrobe...snicker).

She brings up a great topic - escaping our lives. I don't know about you guys but that's pretty much what I'm doing when I pick up a book (or watch a movie). I need those few minutes or hours to forget about my problems and live through someone else's life - to experience happily ever after and know that if it can happen to them it can happen to me. I kinda get the same experience when I write. however, I don't think I'd ever need to escape so much that I'd leave my entire life behind - including my kids.

That's one theory I've read, that John so missed contact with his sons that he devised a plan to return to the living claiming he had amnesia. Google strikes again. Perhaps he shouldn't have let the real estate agent in Panama post his picture online. Now that was a stupid mistake. James Bond he is not.
Have you been following this story? What's your take on his 'death' and rebirth? Or his wife's roll in it all?


P.S. Lynn Raye Harris and Sassy are the winners from the Be Careful What You Wish For contest. Please email Problem child here to claim your prize.


Rhonda Nelson said...

I've been following the story a bit and it sounds like his kids are so angry over the lie that they're never going to forgive him or the mother. That would be a hard thing to get over, IMO.

Jen said...

I have been following it somewhat. Very odd. It's the utter devestation it would bring to the lives of loved ones not *in* on it -- how could you do that to your children unless they were utterly horrid people.

Smarty Pants said...

I don't understand why he took off in the first place. I understand the whole 'get away' thing, but to fake your own death, you'd think he'd be facing a jail sentence, major debt his life insurance would pay off, something horrible that would justify doing it. And if he just had to, I think it was wrong of him to involve his wife. If she was innocent in it, at least then the kids would have someone to turn to in all this. How do you get over a betrayal like that? I don't know that you can.

Playground Monitor said...

I've only read the headlines so I'm only minimally knowledgeable about it. But I agree that involving his wife was probably a bad idea. And I can understand how his kids could be so angry.

I'm just not sure my life has ever been so bad that I'd want to escape -- either by disappearing or ending it all.

Sassy said...

I find the whole story bizzare. I couldn't imagine how betrayed the children of this couple must feel. Their entire lives are now going to be under a microscope trying to see if the are truly innocent. And then on top of it how ignorant there parents are going to be made out. They are probably embarrassed.

Instigator said...

I agree. If I were their children I'd be so pissed. The mother wasn't apparently involved until he showed back up a year later. I'd have turned his butt in then but I'm guessing she'd probably already spent the insurance money (one story I read mentioned they were in debt). Still, work out a payment plan instead of going to jail. Or never get involved in the first place.

Sassy said...

But since the wife didn't turn him in and work something out with the insurance company it made her out to be just as guilty in the courts, press and those kids eyes as if they concocted this hairbrained scheme at the very beginning. It's just sad. I've heard of people doing this to avoid the authorities, prosecution or to assume a second life with a new love but to get money to start a holiday canoeing business is absurd.

Angel said...

I hadn't heard of this. Of course, I don't watch the news often and must have missed it on MSN.

Very strange, indeed. Some times I wonder if people have any common sense whatsoever.