Is it still possible to start over?

You ever have one of those days when the prospect of faking your death and starting life over sounds good? But in this world of real-life CSI and globally-connected computers is it still possible? Would one need to leave the US to do it?

Not actually making any REAL plans. Just mildly curious, is all. And it’s a pleasant conceit to get me through the day.

One can always join the French Foreign Legion. Although it is my understanding that nowadays one’s real name must be supplied upon enlistment, a person is free to choose a new name. After three years of service, a soldier can request to become a French citizen.

That won’t wipe your fingerprints from the FBI central computer, but it pretty much gives someone a fresh start.

You might wish to see the movie Seconds before making your final decision… :wink:

There’s a book that’s been around for a couple years that has all the in’s and out’s of disappearing. But you have to leave the good parts of your life as well, which is a pretty good deterrent for all but the most criminally active of our ranks.

There’s a book that’s been around for a couple years that has all the in’s and out’s of disappearing. But you have to leave the good parts of your life as well, which is a pretty good deterrent for all but the most criminally active of our ranks. has some info, but this isn’t the book I was thinking of.

The technique used to be: You’d search through newspaper archive obituaries for someone who was born around the time you were, and died as a young child. Then you would claim to be them, and get a copy of their birth certificate. With that, you’d get a driver’s license, etc.

I shouldn’t admit this, but when I was 17 and getting a driver’s license, I thought it would be cool to have a second identity “just in case”, and went to the effort of attempting to do this. It turned out that things were computerized enough to foil this technique: The people who kept birth certificates kept track of death certificates as well, and tracked one against the other.

That was almost 25 years ago, so I’m sure things are far more computerized and far tighter now.

Interesting link, Kalhoun! And BillH, that’s about what I would expect.

Sill, it’s fun to think about.

I wonder. You know how, from time to time, there might be a small news item to the effect that some unidentifiable person suffering form amnesia is, perhaps,in xxx hospital or whatever, and appeals are made for anyone who can help identify said amnesiac?

Suppose you were first to go to some town where no-one knows you, make sure that you go out without carrying any identification at all, no an Oscar-winning pretence of having NO idea who you are, whence you came and so on… I assume, in such cases, it must be possible to acquire another social security number and whatever ID you need to be an officiallly existing person, and get a job etc. Bureaucratically maddenig, I shoudl think, but it has to be possible somehow. Hmm. There is bound to be a serious flaw, or sev eral, in that plan, but, tee hee - you’re right - is is rather a fun game to get through the day/night .:slight_smile: (Of course, you would no longer have any qualifications or provable work experience:( )

Um, will you drop by the SDMB and say goodbye before you depart? Oops - perhaps best not. :slight_smile:

Hide Your Assets and Disappear: A Step-by Step Guide to Vanishing Without a Trace

Aren’t these mutually exclusive? If someone can find you then you haven’t “successfully got away”.

Heh…now that you mention it. I suspect it’s to find someone who has successfully gotten away so far. He used to track down people who did this for a living (spouses who absconded with their joint assets rather than lose them in a divorce, etc). It finally occurred to him that not all people who want to get away are the bad guys. Sometimes it’s the people that they’re trying to get away from. Hence, his decision to write the book for people on the other side of the coin.

There was an article on the news about how a large number of people are registered to vote and actually do vote in both New York and Florida. One reason this happens is that there is not a computer hookup between the two states to check on this.

:smiley: [sup]So much for the globally-connected computers.[/sup]

That is exactly the book that I was thinking of when I opened this thread. I have it right beside me right now on the bookshelf. I think that I may reread it tonight. I bought it when, um, things weren’t looking that good.

I can think of a way, if you have a young-looking face and an 18-year lead time. It would probably also help to be a woman. Babysit a very young baby, bring that baby to the local Department of Health, register it as your newborn child (has to be done within 5-90 days in all the places I googled), use the birth certificate to get a Social Security number for your “baby”, wait 18 years.

I wonder if anyone has ever done that, or if it’s just not worth the wait time to most criminals. I though of it because of all the home births I’ve been reading about, especially the ones attended only by family or perhaps a doula.