As the new ITV drama The Thieves, His Wife and The Canoe chronicles the deception of John and Anne Darwin as they try to get £250,000 in life insurance by committing fraud, the story of the man imitating Anthony McErlean became prominent
A man tried to copy John Darwin’s ‘canoe stunt’ – after faking his death in Honduras.
The intrigue-filled real-life story of John and Anne Darwin swindling their life insurance premiums by faking their deaths using a canoe has been brought back to the spotlight with new ITV drama , The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe.
And with the new TV series now hitting screens, the story of an ‘impersonator’ – a man named Anthony McErlean – has surfaced, as he claims he’s been hit by a car Cabbage truck kills in a dramatic ploy to claim his £520,000 insurance money.
After being suggested by a friend, Anthony decided to fake his death in Honduras – where he was living with his wife at the time, to find a way to secure the huge sum of money by convincing the authorities and insurance company. danger that he died.
In January 2010, documents were filed with an insurance company in Glasgow, Scotland, alleging that Anthony died after being hit by a truck loaded with cabbages as he was shifting on the side of the road in Honduras.
His friend, Ronald F Lodge, explained the supposed disaster of December 2009, as the friend explained: “Anthony offered to change his wheels because he was worried about missing the meeting. I heard a truck approaching but didn’t pay attention because this road was used by agricultural vehicles. I felt a loud bang, the car moved towards me and turned off the engine.”
“The truck kept going without stopping. I could see Anthony lying on the road about 5 yards away. He was completely motionless, and appeared to be severely damaged. It looked like the rear wheel of the truck. The truck ran over him. I was in a panic.”
He added: “I tried to use my cell phone to call for assistance, but there was no signal. I turned back to Anthony but he was clearly hit by the truck. They seemed to be dead. quite defiant with the situation, and loaded the bodies into their trucks.
“Then we went to Santa Rosa De Aguan, a small village on the banks of the Aguan River. The locals took care of the body. I could go back to Trujillo and tell Mrs. McErlean what happened.”
However, when the documents were dropped, the insurance company became suspicious and alarm bells quickly began to ring again when they were unable to retrieve the man’s passport. The police then moved in to investigate, while at this point the man was back in the UK, staying in Petham, Canterbury four months after he was presumed ‘passed away’.
It wasn’t until March 2011, when the scam team got involved, that he was arrested and questioned. He was also rumored when his fingerprints were discovered on his own death certificate.
The man pleaded not guilty but was found guilty by a jury and jailed for five years. His wife Sonya was initially arrested after a fake death, but was released and returned to Honduras.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/canoe-man-copycat-who-tried-26743594 Canoe imitator who tried the same scam as John Darwin - but with a cabbage truck