How to best be on the lam?

(inspired by finishing a re-watch of Breaking Bad)

Let’s say you are wanted nationally for some serious shit - your name and photo are everywhere and there is a weapons-grade manhunt going on with your name on it. You don’t want to get caught and you have to lay low successfully for a few months.

You have USD50,000 in cash, but no-one in the world you can rely on and you can assume that all of your other assets have been seized or are a liability.

What now?

Dont need answer fast :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

AirBnB or cheap motel with a microwave and cable that will take cash and not look at your drivers licence too closely and you buy a shipload of frozen food and oats to last a few weeks…

This is probably better suited for IMHO, because what would work for one won’t work for another.

This is so broad it’s better suited to IMHO than GQ.

Let’s avoid, however, explicit advice on how to break the law (subsequent to the original hypothesized crime).

General Questions Moderator

That was my first thought as well (the motel). In addition to having food delivered, you’d probably want to change your appearance. So, new clothes, new hair etc.

The problem these days is that between everyone having a camera and everyone having facebook, you may get found fairly fast. Even on my city’s town hall facebook page, from time to time someone will post a picture of someone they saw asking if it’s some wanted person.
From that, I’m not sure if you’d be better off in a small town away from the big cities, or hiding in plain sight in a major metropolitan area.

We had a man who walked into the woods of Maine in 1986 and survived with no human contact until he was finally caught in 2013. He committed over 1000 burglaries over the years for his camping supplies. Best to be the hardy, outdoorsy type for this method, though.

Also, if you can grow a beard, do so before you go on the lam, then shave it off. You might use collodion to make a vivid fake facial scar to distract people, before or after. Then settle in for 3 months of Gilligan’s Island and frozen pizza…hey, if you can’t do the time…

You will have to be alone. Any human contact will compromise your cover.
A very rural place. Few inhabitants. Don’t stay in one place too long.

Even Walt’s hideout in New Hampshire wouldn’t have worked once the snow melted. Eventually somebody would have strolled up to the cabin and noticed it was occupied, or noticed periodic visits by Ed to bring supplies or medicine.

I would:

  1. Avoid repeating the acts that caused my trouble.
  2. Alter my appearance.
  3. Pack a small valise, with cash carefully stashed.
  4. Cautiously make my way south.
  5. Walk across the Arizona-Sonora border at Naco.
  6. See a guy about phony ID.
  7. Catch first-class buses to Xela, Guatemala.
  8. Enroll in a live-in Mayan language school.
  9. Marry a cute Ixil Or Qiché girl.
  10. Avoid repeating the acts that caused my trouble.

I know places back in the mountains not all that far away where even the kinfolk who know my habits would have a hard time tracking me down for several months; Uncle Sugar would need years. Even those not at my level don’t have a bad track record around there.

(Especially relevant because a movie titled “Richard Jewell” is about to be released)

Eric Rudolph, who committed the Olympic Park bombing in 1996 and some abortion clinic bombings around the same time, successfully hid for more than 5 years in the Appalachian forest, although he did have collaborators who helped him out.

Are you joking? Rural places are known for nosy neighbors.

I have no neighbors.

This was my thought as well. Newcomers stand out in such environs.

Of course if you can retreat far enough into the outback and have the necessary survival skills you can hold out quite awhile. Most people lack such capability.

That’s exactly what I meant by very rural. No people.

Bin Laden hid out in a city near a military base. So you don’t need to be rural, as long as you don’t leave the house.

The issue is getting a home. You can buy food with cash, but getting an apartment or home isn’t easy w/o documentation and paperwork. Same with getting utilities turned on.

Because of that, you may have to buy a used RV with cash and live in that out in the middle of nowhere. You could buy solar panels and batteries for energy.

Whenever you go out make sure you wear a beard, moustache and sunglasses.

First rule, Don’t Be Stupid.

The feds routinely stash witness protection clients in the multitude of small, well tiny really, some are barely big enough to have a stop sign at the cross roads they happen to drift up around, towns here abouts. It isn’t unusual for said witness protected clients to be found suspiciously dead with the cause mostly being found that they were being Stupid and Gave Themselves Away to the people that wanted them to no longer require the services of the US Marshal’s Service.

So if some goons can find a person who is being hidden by the federal government because they were Stupid, think about your odds of doing it on your own.

Don’t Be Stupid

The choice is either to rely on your ability to live off the land and go off into the woods/jungle, or to rely on your ability to blend into a crowd and go to a big city.

My dog has no nose.

Sorry – I thought we were starting
a) a Monty Python reference
b) a bad sign/countersign sequence