The concept of someone faking their own death is so absurd that it almost seems as though it should be exclusive to a John Grisham novel and involve offshore Bahamian bank accounts and maybe the mafia.
In reality, the occurrence of people faking their deaths — or committing pseudocide — is more common than we may realise and now a new Spotify podcast will explore some of the most famous cases of it happening.
Casefiles Presents: Pseudocide is the second of three true-crime series launched exclusively on Spotify in partnership with Australian true-crime podcast Casefile — one of the most successful of its kind in the country.
Hosted by true crime authors Poppy Damon and Alice Fiennes, the podcast will take listeners around the world to tell the stories of incredible pseudocide cases, including two that took place right here in Australia.
In the first episode — The Belrose Bomb — Damon and Fiennes dissect the case of Shopping channel host Roberto de Heredia. In 1999 de Heredia was being investigated by the authorities as they believed he had sent a bomb to “Penthouse Pet” Simone Cheung. The bomb, which was concealed in a shoebox, exploded in the hands of Cheung’s partner and resulted in de Heredia being wanted for attempted murder. For the next 17 years, de Heredia was presumed dead.
In episode three — Politician, spy, deadman — the hosts dive into the case of John Stonehouse, a British MP who was arrested in Melbourne in 1974 after going swimming off a beach in Miami and never coming back.
Pseudocide comes off the back of the success of the first true crime series under Casefiles Presents, The Vanishing of Vivienne Cameron, which launched in November 2020 and explored the Phillip Island murder of Beth Barnard and the disappearance of Vivienne Cameron in 1986.
Casefiles Presents: Pseudocide is available now, exclusively on Spotify.
And if you need even more of a true-crime fix, check out: Fancy Yourself as a Sleuth? Here Are the Crime Documentaries for You.