Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A blog for PIs and writers/readers of the PI genre

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Answering Writer’s Question: How Can a Person Stay Hidden?

Posted by Writing PIs on August 15, 2010

Writer’s Question: I have a question about people who disappear. What are some of the more successful ways a person could stay hidden? What are some of the ways people have tried, but haven’t worked?

Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes’s Answer: As to successful ways a person can stay hidden, they cannot use banking/financial institutions they previously used.  Their funds need to be liquid, and preferably kept in an account offshore.  They must ignore creating government records (such as auto registrations, property ownership records, government licenses, bidding/accepting government contracts, and so forth).  A crucial element of staying hidden is for the person who is hiding to change hobbies and similar life patterns.  Recently, a criminal fled our region, established residence in a foreign country, kept his funds liquid, refrained from creating any traceable records (such as a driver’s license), used a forged passport, changed his style of dress and hair, even married a local woman in the foreign country (and essentially “buried” himself underneath her identifiers–meaning, everything was in her name).  But he messed up in one big way: he had a notorious hobby and vocation, which he prominently displayed and advertised in the host country.  A person saw this individual on “America’s Most Wanted” and recognized him from this hobby (the person was either a tourist or local and had seen the advertisements this individual had placed in the area).  This man had done just about everything right to hide his identity and ability to be found, but he failed to abandon his established hobby.

Have a great weekend, Writing PIs

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