In obit of a tight spot

September 20, 2012

Meet the busted attorney who faked his own death

Photo: Shutterstock


On July 17th, Indiana lawyer Jon A. Criss phoned 911, suspecting a heart attack.

When paramedics and police arrived, they found a cocktail of drugs, including methamphetamines, marijuana and a ‘synthetic drug’. After the discovery of this Bonhamesque stash, the lawyer was promptly arrested.

What makes the story notable is the cunning plan Criss devised to escape this sticky situation. On July 18th, local paper KPC News received the obituary of a ‘Mr John Chris’. In court, Criss claimed to have written the obituary as a ploy to keep people away from his house, as they kept stealing things. The Noble County Prosecutor, on the other hand, saw this as an attempt to flee the area.

At the epilogue, we are cautious to pass judgement, but we know which rationale we believe.

The cannier amongst you will note that Mr Criss’ name is spelt different in the obituary. This means one of two things: either this was deliberate, and part of the cunning plan, or the lawyer managed to misspell his own name, is his own obituary. The jury’s still out on that, but neither exactly cast him in a positive light.

At the time of writing, Jon A Criss is due in for sentencing. Let’s hope his defence is more solid than his spelling. TS

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