As I was watching the finale of Sherlock last night, a fun little thought experiment popped into my head and I thought you folks would be the perfect lab to try it out in. I hemmed and hawed for a little while over whether this was too hard or too easy--which is probably a good sign. So. On to one of the more overused tropes in any genre!
How would you go about faking your own death?
Like any good story, there have to be some restrictions, of course.
1. You must appear to die in front of witnesses. No simply sending a mass email from a fake account. The method of death, however, is up to you. You must appear credibly dead for at least a brief period of time.
2. You cannot use anything or anyone you do not actually have access to in your real life. If you don't know someone who is amazing at Hollywood-level makeup and could keep your secret, or aren't besties with a coroner, you can't manifest them out of thin air for this scenario. (If you do, however, knock yourself out.)
Oddly enough, this has come up in my family. The minute I mentioned that I was thinking of asking Charlie's commenters to fake their own deaths, my husband said: Oh, we kind of had to do that back in Russia! He may actually be the child of some kind of Soviet superhero breeding program, given how often he busts out these kinds of stories.
Turns out, in order to immigrate to the United States, Dmitri's father, despite being in his 40s, had to secure either his father's permission or his father's death certificate. They did not have either. Why? Because apparently, "his father's disappearance was a mystery." I'm quoting directly so you will know how very like the beginning of a Holmes story this sounded.
Thus, the family had to bureaucratically fake a death which none of them could be sure had actually occurred and produce a death certificate out of nothing.
Obviously, I'm asking you for a slightly tougher task, with a pesky body to swap or mangle or vanish. But do consider to whom you will be faking your death: who in your life would have to believe you are beyond this mortal coil in order for you to be effectively deceased? Who would keep your secret? This is where the too hard/too easy thing comes in. People are really more likely to believe anything they're told or see that's remotely plausible, I think, than kids in murder mystery shows. But at the same time, if a death is too flashy, in the real world there's usually an investigation, which would sink you unless you were very good.
But I have faith in you! The game is afoot!
Edit: Please be as elaborate as possible--that's part of the fun. Also, no more boating scenarios, we're full up. And as the conversation has evolved, feel free consider how one lives in the world post-death.