Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Imagine weird music playing:

A financial adviser from Indiana disappeared into the Alabama woods early Monday after faking a distress call and parachuting from a small plane that crashed in Florida.

The police in three states were looking for the pilot, identified as Marcus Schrenker, 38.

No one was hurt in the crash. According to the police in Santa Rosa County in the Florida Panhandle, where the plane went down, Mr. Schrenker turned up safely about 220 miles north of there. And there is evidence that Mr. Schrenker was an experienced pilot who might have been trying to fake his own death.

His life seemed to be unraveling. Court records show that Mr. Schrenker's wife filed for divorce on Dec. 30. A Maryland court recently issued a judgment of more than $500,000 against one of three Indiana companies registered in his name — and all three are being investigated for securities fraud by the Indiana Secretary of State's Office, a spokesman, Jim Gavin, said.

I'm not quite sure why this is something I want to write about. Perhaps because it's a sign of the way some in the financial markets still think of rules as for little people only? Or because the story is just weird? Or because there's something in all (or most) of us that can empathize with the idea of wanting to start all over again, without any of those damned obligations we tend to gather like stones gather lichen and moss? Even when we know that doing so is just not right? But of course we don't actually walk away, for the very reason of those obligations and for the people who depend on us. And we don't usually consider doing so while being suspected of a crime or two.
Speaking of crime, here's another weird story for you.