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Abduction Hoaxes
The Runaway Bride, 2005
Four days before her wedding, Jennifer Wilbanks of Georgia disappeared, sparking a nationwide search for her. She reappeared three days later in Albuquerque, New Mexico claiming she had been kidnapped by a hispanic man and a "heavy set white female" who drove her to Albuquerque before releasing her. But during questioning by the police, Wilbanks eventually admitted that the abduction story was a lie. The truth was that she had fled Georgia, taking a greyhound bus to Albuquerque, "because of the pressures of the wedding" and because "the list of things she needed to get done and no time to do it made her feel overwhelmed." More…
Bride of Bigfoot
Cherie Darvell was a member of a film crew searching for Bigfoot in the woods outside Eureka, California. Unfortunately for her, she found Bigfoot and he abducted her. Or so she claimed. Humboldt County organized a search party to find her, but without success. (Total cost for the search: $11,613. Humboldt County tried to sue Shasta County to make them pay a portion of the cost, but a judge struck down their suit, ruling that the search for Bigfoot had been an "exercise in futility.") A few days later, Darvell walked into a nearby resort, looking none the worse for wear, despite her experience as a Bride of Bigfoot. When reporters tried to... More…
The Kidnapping of Nicole Riche, 1950
At 3 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, April 1, 1950 the 22-year-old French actress Nicole Riche walked into a Paris police station dressed in a flimsy white negligee. She had been missing for over two days. When the police questioned her about where she had been, she spilled forth a bizarre tale about being kidnapped by "Puritans" who kept her in a room without food while they lectured her about the immorality of her life. Finally, she said, her captors abandoned her in the Fontainebleau Forest, where she was found and helped to safety by kindly gypsies. The police believed none of her tale, and rightly so. Her "kidnapping" turned out to have... More…
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  • All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.