People often fake their own deaths to get out of trouble, whether they’re escaping a threat, debt, or a prison sentence. Check out these notable cases.

Aimee Semple McPherson

USA Aimee McPherson, New York, USAUSA Aimee McPherson, New York, USAAP/Shutterstock

On May 18, 1926, Canadian-born evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared while swimming at a Los Angeles beach. As rescue teams searched for her, one team member died, and a grief-struck follower of the charismatic religious leader drowned herself in despair. Five weeks passed, and McPherson turned up in Mexico, claiming to have gone off the grid in the course of fleeing would-be kidnappers. The kidnapping story seemed shady and was investigated as a possible fraud. However, it remained unresolved until McPherson’s actual death in 1944.

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley ( 12 October 1875 Oo 1 December 1947) Born Edward Alexander Crowley Was An English Occultist Ceremonial Magician Poet And Mountaineer Who Was Responsible For Founding The Religion Of Thelema. In His Role As The Founder Of The ThelemiAssociated Newspapers/Shutterstock

In September, 1930, Crowley, a self-proclaimed prophet and founder of the religion Thelema, jumped off a cliff near Lisbon, Portugal. Or so he made it seem. Three weeks later, he turned up alive and well in Berlin. Turns out, it was all an elaborate hoax that he’d planned with an acquaintance, the poet Fernando Pessoa. His motives remain unclear, but it’s possible he did it to get away from a woman with whom he’d been traveling and with whom he’d grown bored. Is it any wonder Crowley’s been called “the wickedest man in the world“?

Juan Pujol Garcia

Juan Pujol Garcia Who Was Only Known As The Double Agent Garbo During The Second World War. He Prevented Thousands Of British And American Soldiers From Being Killed On The Normandy Beaches. He Hoodwinked Hitler And The Nazi Generals Into Keeping HugStuart Clarke/Mail On Sunday/Shutterstock

When World War II ended in Europe, British spy Juan Pujol Garcia, with the help of his MI5 handlers, faked his own death by malaria in order to keep a surreptitious eye on Germany. His wife never believed it and wasn’t surprised when he turned up four decades later, having been outed by an investigative reporter, Nigel West. Garcia was nicknamed “Agent Garbo” (because of his esteemed acting skills) and is one of Europe’s most celebrated spies. Read about 16 of the strangest unsolved mysteries of all time.