My wife just pointed out a new article about the disappearance of England’s notorious “missing canoeist,” John Darwin.
Five years ago, Mr. Darwin disappeared after going canoeing in the North Sea. “A paddle was found,” The Guardian reported, “and weeks later the red wreckage of Darwin’s canoe washed up.”
But what happened? Did he drown? Was he abducted? Murdered? Secreted away to a London warehouse and subjected to light and sound torture in a locked room?
[Image: Illustration by Andrew Norfolk for The Times].
No: John Darwin was living in a secret passageway connected to his old master bedroom. That is, before he fled to Panama.
He’d sneak out through a secret door in the back of the closet at night and sleep next to his wife, warm and cuddly. The next day he’d go back into his secret room and read BLDGBLOG.
He had faked his own death, see, to avoid paying bills.
Turns out the unfortunately named Darwins “purchased the adjoining properties [next to their own house], at No 4 and No 3 The Cliff, in Seaton Carew, 15 months before Mr Darwin disappeared.” Thus his disappearing plan could commence: “a 5ft high hole in the wall allowed Mr Darwin to emerge from a room at No 4 The Cliff and slip back into the master bedroom in the couple’s home at No 3. An 18 inch wide connecting passageway was hidden behind a makeshift wardrobe with a false plywood back.”
The new owner of No 3 stumbled upon the secret closet door and said it was “like something from Narnia.”
In any case, John Darwin has now turned himself in: “He had had enough of being dead,” his wife explained to police.