Friday, April 27, 2012

Top 10 People Who Faked Their Deaths

Faking one’s death is not new to the world. We’ve seen it every where - In literature with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, on TV with shows like 24. But, in real life It's not a usual thing. This list looks at ten famous people who committed pseudocide, pulled a Reggie Perrin, or, in other words, faked their death for one reason or another. This list is not arranged in particular order. Take a look...

10. John Darwin

John and Anne Darwin, a couple who lived beyond their means, had acquired debt of tens of thousands of pounds. They decided to escape their debt by faking John’s death and collecting the insurance money. On March 12, 2002, John left in his canoe and disappeared. A large search ensued and, on March 22, 2002, John’s wrecked canoe was found. In February, 2003, he was declared legally dead, allowing his wife to cash in on the insurance policy and pay off their debt. This left enough money to start a new life that, eventually, took them to Panama.

On December 1, 2007, John turned himself in to the police, claiming to have no memory of what happened and believing he was a missing person. The police had started looking into his disappearance three months before he turned himself in, and the ruse was uncovered when it was proven he had been with Anne the whole time.

9. Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey was an American author best known for his book, “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” He joined the CIA’s experimental program on the effects of LSD. After publishing his book, he continued using drugs, eventually getting involved with Timothy Leary. In 1965, Ken was arrested for possession of marijuana. This led to the idea of escaping jail time by faking his death.

Ken, with the help of his merry pranksters left his truck on a cliff near Eureka with an elaborate suicide note. His friends then smuggled him to Mexico where he remained for eight months. On his return to the United States, he was arrested and sent to jail for five months.

8. Lord Timothy Dexter

Timothy Dexter was a self-proclaimed Lord, born in Massachusetts in 1748. He was a prime example of a self-made man, having little to no education and accomplishing so much. He became an author, publishing his book with no punctuation and horrible spelling. Originally, he had to give it away, but it immediately became popular and went to the eighth edition printing. His second book included an extra thirteen pages of punctuation, with a note saying, “place it as you please.”

Timothy decided he wanted to know what people would say about him if he were dead, so he faked his own death and made plans for a funeral. Three thousand people attended the wake and, because his own wife didn’t cry for him, he decided not to reveal himself. Later, he caned his wife for not showing sympathy and crying. He officially died on October 26, 1806.

7. Bennie Wint

Bennie Wint led a troubled life, deeply into drugs and involved with a South Carolina drug ring. He decided he needed to start a new and better life. He felt the only way he could do this was if everyone thought he was dead. While on vacation with his fiancée, in September, 1989, he swam out past the breakers at Daytona Beach and disappeared.

He left behind his fiancée and a four-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. Bennie made a new life in North Carolina, under the name of Bill Sweet. He acquired a common-law wife and had a son. Neither knew anything about his identity until he was stopped for a traffic violation, in January, 2009. His fingerprints came back as belonging to a dead man, so he came clean and told his story.

6. John Stonehouse

John Stonehouse was a British politician who got in over his head during his business affairs. He started cooking the books and got wind that the Department of Trade and Industry was looking into his affairs. He started moving money and set up a new identity as Joseph Markham. On November 20, 1974, he faked his own suicide by leaving a pile of clothes on a beach, making it appear that he drowned. He was, instead, on his way to Australia to make a new life with his mistress.

John was caught in Australia by an astute banker who caught on to the fact that he was moving money under more than one name. Police first thought he was the fugitive, Lord Lucan, who, two weeks before Stonehouse, was believed to have faked his own death as well. John was identified by a photo of himself on a list of the recently deceased and was arrested on December 24, 1974.

5. Alexander “Ace” Baker

Ace Baker is an American composer and keyboardist. He played with the Supremes, Iron Butterfly and Reo Speedwagon. Ace is also a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. His theory is based on the Hutchison effect, and claims that the planes in the video were faked. Ace was doing a radio program, The Real Deal, with host Jim Feltzer, with other members of the 9/11 truth movement when Ace felt that he was receiving unfair treatment. He then made references to his deceased parents and asked for forgiveness from his wife and children. Shortly after, he left the phone line and gun shots were heard. Ace later called it performance art.

4. Friedrich Gulda

Friedrich Gulda was an Austrian pianist in both classical and jazz fields. Gulda is most famous for his Beethoven interpretations, though Mozart was his idol. Gulda had a strong dislike of authorities, and declined the honor of receiving the Beethoven Ring for his performance.

Gulda is perceived as one of the twentieth century’s outstanding pianists. His unorthodox styles of mixing jazz and classical earned him the nickname of “terrorist pianist”. Cementing his nickname, Gulda faked his death in 1999, and reigned as enfant terrible among pianists. Gulda also expressed a wish to die on his hero, Mozart’s, birthday. On January 27, 2000, he did just that.

3. Philip Sessarago

Philip Sessarago was a military man in The Royal Artillery with aspirations of joining the SAS. He failed to be accepted twice by the SAS. He saw himself as a James Bond type and was disappointed not to be a part of the SAS. In 1993, he faked his death by claiming to detonate a landmine in Bosnia. He changed his name to Tom Carew and a penned the book, Jihad!

The book was on its way to being a best seller after being serialized in the New York Times. Jihad! was released in paperback the day before the 9/11 attacks. The book’s timing was perfect as he claimed to be an expert on the tactics used by the terrorists, which led to many interviews. In a 2001 interview his deception came to light when he was recognized by his children.

2. Arthur Bennett

Arthur Bennett was a Marine Staff Sergeant. He was accused of sexual assault charges in 1994, and allowed to go free. On February 3, 1994, the trailer he was living in was found burned to the ground with a badly charred body inside. The body was believed to be Arthur’s and was cremated and buried with full military honors.

Arthur assumed the name of Joe Benson and, with the help of his family, moved to Hurricane, Utah. To cover his identity he dyed his hair red and wore blue contacts over his brown eyes. Arthur was found out when he was accused of molesting his daughters and a neighborhood child. Fingerprints proved he was really Arthur Bennett. He was arrested October 31, 1997, and pled guilty in 1998. He still had a court martial to deal with when he hung himself in his cell, on July 12, 1999. The body found in his trailer has never been identified, and there is no way to identify it as it was cremated.

1. Jenaro Jimenez Hernandez

Jenaro Hernandez went out spear fishing early on April 13, 2008. When he didn’t return home, his wife reported him missing. The Civil Guard found his car and belongings, but his scuba gear and fishing stuff was missing. The only thing they found was his flipper. Jenaro was heavily in debt, which led police to suspect he had faked his death. The family didn’t believe he would do that, as he had a young child at home and another that was due soon. He was found in South America and was extradited back to Spain and arrested.

The Whisky That Cost £100,000 Per Bottle - The Diamond Jubilee Whisky

The £100,000-a-bottle whisky was distilled in 1952  and has been maturing for the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.

Sixty years ago, as the Queen was preparing to accede to the throne, distillers on her Balmoral estate were taking care of preparations of their own. And recently, as Her Majesty celebrated 60 years of her reign, the final touches were put on a whisky especially produced to mark the anniversary.

The blended malt and grain 'Diamond Jubilee' whisky, which was distilled in 1952, was finally bottled at the Royal Lochnagar distiller. Only 60 bottles were made at the distillery on the Balmoral Estate in Ballater, Aberdeenshire. One will be gifted to the Queen and the others will be sold around the world for £100,000 each. All the profits from the sale of the remaining 59 bottles will go to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (Qest), a charity which provides grants and training to craftspeople in the UK.

The whisky was bottled by John Walker & Sons to mark 60 years to the day since The Queen's accession. Jim Beveridge, master blender at John Walker & Sons with one of 60 decanters of Diamond Jubilee produced at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery on the Balmoral Estate. The design of the bottle to mark the anniversary was revealed last June. Each crystal decanter is accompanied by two hand-engraved lead crystal glasses, enclosed in a wooden cabinet made from oak and pine from the Queen’s Sandringham and Balmoral estates.

David Gates, who grants the Royal Warrant for Johnnie Walker, said " Interest among buyers was high."

He Added: 'Apart from people who have a few spare pennies, the kind of people who will be interested in this will want to buy a piece of history. They will be getting something completely unique and very rare. We are talking to people all across the world, whisky lovers and people with an affection for the Royal Family. The level of interest has been quite extraordinary.'

Top 10 Richest People in Africa - 2012

Ever wondered who are the richest people on the Black Continent? Well, before proceeding with the list, there are a few facts that you should know. The 25th year of global wealth checklists from Forbes has brought us two records. There are 1,210 listed people, the greatest number ever reached, with a combined wealth of $4.5 trillion.

The Gross Domestic Product of Germany is lower than this sum, one of the very few countries to have fewer people in this list. The new names that joined Forbes’ Richest People list mainly come from Brazil, Russia, India and China, 108 of the 214 new names. With 16 representatives among the list, Africa features billionaires from Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa. So here are the top 10 African Billionaires...

1. Aliko Dangote

In November 2011 his net worth was evaluated to $10.1 billion, an increase from last year. He made fortunes from interests in flour, sugar, milling and salt processing, cement, real estate, gas and oil. Aged 54 and residing in Lagos, this father of 3 is currently the richest man in Nigeria.

Currently ranked 51st in the world’s richest men list, he witnessed a 557% fortune increase during the last year, due to the Dangote Cement listing. Constituting 25% of the Nigeria Stock Exchange’s total market cap, Benue Cement is the company within which he integrated his investments throughout Africa. His latest purchase we should really mention – a $45 million bombardier aircraft, as a gift to himself on the occasion of his birthday.

2. Nicky Oppenheimer & Family

This South African father of 1 currently owns $6.5 billion, being the richest person in South Africa, as researched in November 2011. Aged 65, he currently lives in Johannesburg. Knowing an increase in net worth, he made this fortune by being named chairman of De Beers diamonds, inherited from his father, plus important interests in the gold-mining company Anglo American plc. He’s also the owner of the largest private game reserve in South Africa, the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve.

3. Nassef Sawiris

The richest man in Egypt, Nassef Sawiris, was listed in November 2011 among the richest men in the world. With a decreasing net worth of $4.75 billion, he is the son of Onsi Sawiris. Owner of Orascom’s construction and fertilizer division since the late 90s he sold the business to Lafarge during 2007. He currently owns part of the company, also being the largest shareholder in Texas Industries. This charismatic figure is aged 50 and resides in Cairo.

4. Johann Rupert & Family

The fourth spot on our board is the second richest person in South Africa. With an increasing net worth of $4.7 billion, this 60 year old businessman currently lives in Stellenbosch, being the father of 3 children. Ranked among the first 500 richest men in the world, his income derives from the Swiss luxury group Richemont, owner of Dunhill, Chloe bags, Cartier and MontBlanc pens.

Their latest acquisition is Net-a-Porter, an online fashion portal, while his holding company in South Africa, Remgro, purchased VenFin at an earlier time during 2010. Other brands under his name are the L’Ormarins wine estates, an exclusive golf club in South Africa and Rupert & Rothschild.

5. Mike Adenuga

Currently ranked second in Nigeria, this owner of $4.3 billion is currently enjoying a marital status. Living in Lagos and aged 57, he made a fortune with Globacom, telecommunication brand that recently launched its 4G network. One of the main investments of the company is the submarine cable that connects Nigeria to the world. He started from scratch, selling Coca-Cola and lace, eventually managing to build military barracks in the late 1980s. He also owns shares in the Equitorial Trust Bank, also being the current chairman of Conoil.

6. Miloud Chaabi

Owner of a “puny” $3 billion, this 82 year old magnate lives in Morocco, being the richest man in the country. Married, he started the climb in 1948 in house developing, meeting an expansion through Ynna Holding into hotels and supermarkets, plus renewable energy. He used to be a member of the Parliament, being named the “red capitalist” after making an alliance with the socialist party.

7. Naguib Sawiris

The eldest son of Onsi Sawiris, and brother with Nassef, Naguib is currently 57 and lives in Cairo. Ranked second in Egypt, he is the father of 4, with a net worth of $2.9 billion, as researched during November 2011. The chairman of Wind Telecom, a mobile service provider in Africa, South Asia, Canada, Middle East and Europe, he attempted to sell the company to MTN group sometime in the past, but with no success.

8. Christoffel Wiese

With an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion, Christoffel is the third richest man in South Africa. Aged 70, he is currently married and father of three. Commonly known as Christo, he made the fortune as head of Shoprite. Furthermore, he owns shares in Pepkor – discount shoes, clothes and textiles store in South Africa -, being also renowned for restoring and remodeling a South African farm estate into a five-star resort. Other acquisitions are the Lourensford Estate wine producer plus a game reserve in the Kalahari.

9. Onsi Sawiris

The father of Nassef and Naguib, Onsi Sawiris is the owner of $2.6 billion. Following his sons, he is the third richest man in Egypt, as ranked in November 2011. Residing in Cairo, he’s the father of three. He made the astonishing fortune by founding and developing the Orascom telecom, plus all sorts of hotels and construction businesses worldwide. While being a teenager, he was pushed from behind towards studying agriculture. He didn’t enjoy the domain, thus opening his personal contracting firm that needed revision after nationalization in the 1960s.

10. Patrice Motsepe

The last on our list is the 4th richest man in South Africa. This father of three currently resides in Johannesburg, with a net worth of $2.5 billion. Aged 49, he made the sum in mining business, by purchasing low-level gold mine shafts in 1994, making them very profitable. Thereon, he has built the African Rainbow Minerals company that’s drawing benefits from South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE); additionally, he also owns shares in Sanlam Financial Services and Investments.

Pencil Vs Camera Art By Ben Heine - Part 3

Ben Heine is a famous Belgian artist who is known for the pencil vs camera series. "Pencil Vs Camera is all about illusion, dream, poetry, magic and simplicity," says Heine.

She added: "The challenge is to create a 3D-like drawing on a piece of paper; the sketch should be connected with the photographic background but it should also say a little story by itself. I always try to give symbolic meaning to my drawings so that the message goes deeper than the photo alone. The combination of drawing and photography is really a powerful way to express ideas. There are no limits because everything is possible; every single illusion can be created on the paper." Here, we have collected some more stunning work of such a great artist. Take a look...