Throughout history, people have faked their own deaths for one reason or another. Perhaps it was done to avoid being caught by the law, as a publicity stunt, or to escape the hum-drum of celebrity life. There are even more celebrities, however, who really did die but have multitudes of people believing that they are still alive. Conspiracy theories abound about these ten people who have left this earth for good, or, if you're skeptical, are still living somewhere among us in anonymity. Reading the odd circumstances surrounding some of these deaths might even make you a believer as well.
1. Elvis Presley
Died August 16, 1977
Elvis Presley’s legion of fans mourned on August 16, 1977 when he was found dead in his bathroom by his fiancee, believed to be the result of an overdose. The fans who thought he was really dead, that is. Although Presley was buried at Graceland and millions visit his home and grave every year, there are many people worldwide who claim Presley is still alive. They cite the fact that Presley’s middle name is spelled wrong on his tombstone (Aaron as opposed to Aron) as proof that Presley is not really buried there, but rather, a wax figure was interred. These people claim Elvis faked his own death and is hiding from the Mafia. Elvis sightings have been reported around the world, but mainly in Tennessee.
2. Jim Morrison
Died July 3, 1971
Many Doors fans did not want to believe it when their beloved Lizard King was found dead in a bathtub in Paris, France on July 3, 1971. So, some chose not to believe it at all. No autopsy was performed as there were no signs of foul play, and therefore the cause (or validity) of his death is not known. Morrison was buried in a sealed casket, and his death certificate lists the cause of death as a heart attack. His girlfriend claims his demise was due to a drug overdose, while others say he succumbed to a respiratory infection. Fans who believe he is still alive say Morrison was seen boarding an airplane just before he was found dead, trying to get away from it all. There have been numerous Morrison sightings since then, but no hard evidence that he's actually still alive.
3. Princess Diana of Wales
Died August 31, 1997
At the time of her death on August 31, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales seemed to have it all. Although she had been through a messy divorce with Prince Charles, she seemed to have found happiness with and was reportedly planning to marry Dodi Al-Fayed. That is, until they were both killed in a crash in a Paris tunnel in a car driven by a drunk driver. Even though gruesome crash photos of a dead Diana were published by the international press, some Diana fans can't accept the fact that she died that night. There have reportedly been photos published of someone who looks like a pregnant Diana in a wheelchair. For the 2.5 million who watched her funeral on international television, however, Diana is gone for good.
4. Adolf Hitler
Died April 30, 1945
Adolf Hitler is said to have committed suicide with his wife, Eva Braun, on April 30, 1945 by taking cyanide, vowing not to be captured by Soviet forces at the end of World War II. His body was buried in a secret location in Germany, but was later exhumed and burnt, with his ashes thrown into the Elbe River. Stalin and others claimed that Hitler had escaped, possibly to Spain or to the German underground. To this day, many still think he did not die that day in 1945, and claim to have seen him in numerous places in Europe.
5. Michael Jackson
Died June 25, 2009
The King of Pop’s death on June 25, 2009 remains a mystery, which may explain the fact why many refuse to believe he is truly dead. Although we know he died from a drug overdose, the manner of his death was shocking and the autopsy results inconclusive. Those who believe Jackson still lives says his casket was empty at the time of his funeral, and that his death was faked as a publicity stunt. Just as in the case with Princess Diana, however, death photos have been published in newspapers proving that, in all likelihood, Jackson is really dead.
6. Tupac Shakur
Died September 13, 1996
Killed in a drive-by shooting on September 13, 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur’s life was taken too soon. Because there are many questions and few answers regarding his death, however, many choose to believe Shakur did not die that night. Those who believe he is still alive cite lyrics in posthumously-released albums about a man who was shot and resurrected. Sightings of Shakur have been reported all over the world, and photos published of men who resemble Shakur.
7. Jimmy Hoffa
Disappeared June 30, 1975/Presumed Dead
This former Teamsters union president disappeared from a restaurant parking lot in Detroit on June 30, 1975, presumed to have been killed by the Mafia. His blood and hair were found in the last car he was known to be in, but no body was ever recovered. Hoffa was declared legally dead by the FBI in 1983. Later DNA tests also proved Hoffa had been in the car, but never proved he had died. Some believe Hoffa is in hiding, and one Teamster had said that Hoffa told him he was running off to Brazil with a dancer.
8. Andy Kaufman
Died May 16, 1984
Comedian Andy Kaufman died on May 16, 1984 of lung cancer, and was buried in New York. The validity of his death was not questioned at the time. However, 20 years later, sightings of Kaufman were reported, and someone claiming to be Kaufman supposedly gave an interview to ABC News saying he faked his own death. Photographs of Kaufman were attributed to friend and fellow comedian Bob Zmuda, who often dressed like Kaufman for events. Zmuda claims that Kaufman is dead. Fans disagree, citing the lack of DNA proof that Kaufman is alive or dead, and saying that this type of prank is exactly what Kaufman would pull. They even held a “Welcome Home, Andy” party on the 20th anniversary of Kaufman's death, but he, of course, did not show up.
9. Jimi Hendrix
Died September 18, 1970
Because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, many fans do not believe that guitar legend Jimi Hendrix passed into the Great Beyond on September 18, 1970. Hendrix’s cause of death has never really been explained. Various causes of death have been purported through the years, including choking on his own vomit, heroin overdose, alcohol overdose, suicide, and murder. This has led many fans to believe that Hendrix did not really die on that day in September, 1970. Sightings of him have been reported even though doctors who have examined Hendrix’s dead body verify that he did, indeed, die.
10. Kurt Cobain
Died April 5, 1994
Although Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide on April 5, 1994, some fans believe he’s still alive. Reasons they cite for their belief that Cobain is still alive: the only photo of him dead was taken in a greenhouse and doesn’t show his face; the hand in the photo is not that of a dead person; no autopsy was performed on the body; his lyric ’I swear that I don’t have a gun;’ the list goes on. These fans believe that Cobain staged his own death in order to leave the craziness of the music business, and that his wife Courtney Love was an accomplice. Sightings of Cobain have been reported all over the world, especially in his hometown of Seattle and in Ireland.