I’m thinking of joining the Magic Circle as I have finally become a full fledged magician, although not my favourite trick by any means, I have by years and years of practice perfected the disappearing money trick. For those of you not familiar with the trick, let me explain. I receive money into my bank account and virtually the same second it coincides with a bill which requires payment and disappears in an instant.
My membership to the magic circle may not be as easy as I would like as this is the only trick I have perfected, the one where I can do this trick in reverse and produce huge quantities of money from a top hat is still some considerable way away from my grasp.
On the same subject there have been quite a few celebrity disappearances where for some reason or another the need to disappear has occurred. My thoughts, straightaway turned to Lord Lucan who murdered the family nanny in mistake for his wife and fled the country to who knows where? There were many suggestions, he was alive and well and in hiding in South Africa assisted by his well off chums, or that it all ended tragically the night he fled when he threw himself off the ferry to France. I suspect we shall never know.
The story of Robert Maxwell, the owner of the Daily Mirror newspaper who was embezzling the company pension fund and once again took to the seas in his boat and flung himself into the raging seas below, I suppose as his body was found it could only be termed a brief disappearance.
Another famous disappearance was that of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, who was part of the gang that robbed the mail train and escaped with 2.6 million pounds which was an absolute fortune in those days. The gang including Biggs, who actually only played a small part in the raid were soon captured and imprisoned. Biggs escaped and fled to France and then Australia and finally to Brazil having spent a vast proportion of his haul from the robbery to aid his disappearance. He was in Brazil from 1970 but was free from arrest as he had fathered a child whilst there and chose to come home in 2001 with 28 years of his sentence still to serve. Upon his return to the UK he was imprisoned and was finally released in 2009 with failing health and entered a nursing home and died in 2013.
Finally, the story of John Stonehouse who was at on time Postmaster General under a Labour Government, who fell upon hard times with his companies and was forced into creative accounting, which I think is otherwise known as fraud. He faked his own death by leaving his clothes on a Miami where it was assumed he had drowned or been eaten by a shark, when in fact he had disappeared to Australia to start a new life with his mistress and secretary Sheila Buckley.
He was finally caught as it was thought that he was in fact the disappeared Lord Lucan and the police were called to arrest him. Having served three years of a seven year sentence he was released on good behaviour and as he had suffered three heart attacks.
I seem to have digressed slightly from my original topic, that of magic and the lack of sufficient funds for my lavish lifestyle, however having seen the previous four examples I am fairly certain I shall not be turning to a life of crime to make up the shortfall.