In 1989, there was a case where a man drowned himself in front of his fiancé to avoid being arrested for being a part of a narcotics network.
A guy faked his own death in 1989 because he thought the police were chasing him for drug charges, but it was later shown that they weren’t.
Bennie Wint lived in secrecy for 20 years after staged his own drowning on a Florida beach in anticipation of being apprehended.
His devastated fiancée, his four-year-old child, and his ex-wife all believed that he had died at the moment he vanished.
In 2009 because of a mismatched license plate, Wint was stopped by traffic police in South Carolina. After an officer did a check, he initially supplied a false name before confessing to everything.
He was shocked to learn that the police had no reason to seek him out.
Police sergeant Stacy Wyatt stated, “He believed he was wanted when he really wasn’t.”
He claimed to have been on the run for 20 years and to have destroyed all traces of his identity.
Wint, 49, orchestrated his own abduction while on vacation in Daytona Beach, Florida, in September 1989, the month of his wedding.
His distraught future bride Patricia Hollingsworth saw him swim in the surf before he disappeared, but a search by lifeguards, boats, and helicopters turned up no corpse; it was therefore presumed that he drowned.
The man’s fiancee was reportedly running up and down the beach in a desperate attempt to find him, according to Captain Scott Petersohn of the Volusia County Beach Patrol.
Wint, however, had already relocated 400 miles away to Alabama, where he married Sonja Jones, started a new life as William Sweet, and had a son who is now 17 and also goes by the name of William James Sweet.
His new family had no idea of his history.
Sgt. Wyatt reported, “He told me he swam to the shore in knee-deep water, walked off, and never looked back.”
Wint’s story only came to light because he was pulled up by police in Asheville, North Carolina, for operating a vehicle without a $1.50 light bulb displayed on its licence plate.
He did not have his name on the police computers, therefore he should have been able to get away with just a traffic fine.
He confessed after realising he was in trouble, saying that he had been a member of a narcotics network in 1989 and had believed the police were pursuing him.
According to Sgt. Wyatt, “He became very emotional because it seemed like he was tired of running and knew that his identity had been discovered and that it was time to just get this over with.”
Wint is charged with giving police a false name and driving without a licence, among other offences.
His tale changed, though, when it was revealed that he had been struck by a car outside of his home. It was unclear who was in charge of the wheel.
The police reported that neither Wint’s current spouse, fiancee, nor either of his previous marriages seemed to be aware of his secretive lifestyle.
Furthermore, it appeared that Hollingsworth is still blind to his presence.
Wint, who runs a flea market booth in Weaverville, North Carolina to support himself, is rumoured to demand cash for television appearances.
His four-year-old daughter Christi McKnight wrote on a website in 2007 that although her 83-year-old grandma was seriously ill, she never gave up hope for her son’s potential survival.
If anyone had any information about him, she wrote, “it would be wonderful for my granny to see her son, her youngest child, who she is still holding on to dearly.”