Amnesia? Forget about it

From the Daily Telegraph (Missing canoeist arrested on suspicion of fraud)

A canoeist who turned up alive five years after he was thought to have drowned at sea has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

John Darwin was arrested after a picture came to light appearing to show him together with his wife in Panama last year.

Mr Darwin, a 57-year-old married father-of-two from Hartlepool, walked into a police station in London on Saturday claiming to have lost his memory.

He disappeared after paddling out to sea in his canoe in Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, in 2002.

The canoeist’s wife admitted last night that she had claimed on her husband’s life insurance policy after his “death”.

However, Anne Darwin, who emigrated to Panama in Central  America six weeks ago, insisted she had done so “in good faith”.

The guy who bought the house from her reports finding “a selection of teach-yourself Spanish books” in the house and “From the day he moved in, letters addressed to her with Panama postmarks began arriving.”

I asked Mickey for his opinion, and he wrote back:

One of the neurologists leading the residency program that I went through taught us that otherwise normal people claiming not to remember who they are are all making it up.  Every time I see a story of this sort I send it to him, and I’ve seen no counterexamples.

December 5, 2007

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