Woman mourns ‘murdered’ ex — until she busts him working at restaurant
No one likes an unexpected encounter with their ex. But nothing tops how one Australian woman felt when she bumped into her supposedly dead former lover at a local restaurant.
When Rachel found out her ex-boyfriend, dubbed Alistair, had been murdered by a biker gang — according to his own mother — she didn’t ask any questions.
“It sounds stupid in retrospect, but you don’t have any reason to question it,” said Rachel, whose last name was withheld by ABC News Australia.
But two years later, Rachel was sitting in a local restaurant with a friend when she remembered that Alistair’s brother worked there and asked for a waiter to tell him to stop by their table. “I went, ‘I haven’t seen him in ages, and I’d like to say hi,’ ” she said.
The restaurant employee told her he wasn’t in that day, but informed her his brother — his only brother — was.
“I just went into shock,” she said, though she wasted no time in asking the waiter to bring him over instead. But he never came.
“Next thing I know, manager’s over [to ask], ‘Is there a problem here?’ ” said Rachel, who along with her friend was asked to leave the restaurant.
They did, but Rachel couldn’t let the mystery go: She had a financial stake, too, in Alistair’s resurrection.
Rachel met 21-year-old Alistair when she was just 18 while working together at a local bar. “He was really attentive, nice, like really not odd,” she said of her ex. “I think that’s what’s relevant.”
But she says about three months into their courtship, Alistair came to her one night with a broken hand, claiming he’d been pulled into a fight he didn’t start. Since he wouldn’t be able to work, Rachel let him borrow $1,000 to get by.
Then they broke up.
“It was not like anyone cheated or anything; there was nothing catastrophic,” she said.
He paid back $300, but soon cut off contact with her. Stranger still, Alistair’s friends revealed that his “furniture was gone, bed was gone, everything was gone” from his home, she said.
“The initial story was he’d gone to rehab in Queensland,” she said, adding that she hadn’t known him to be a drug user. That’s when she began to dig into his past.
It turns out he owed his friends a collective $2,200.
“The moment we went, ‘OK, he owes everyone money,’ the anxiety and urgency of the situation ramped up,” she said. “The story was falling apart really, really quickly.”
That was when Alistair’s mom claimed he was killed, saying he owed some bike thugs money. The cash she had been owed seemed petty now, and Rachel went on with her life.
But after the restaurant incident two years later, Rachel decided to go to the police, who seemed unbothered.
“I was basically told by the police that it was my word against his that I’d ever even given him money,” she said.
Rachel even tried to call her audacious ex at the restaurant, but was told no one with his name worked there. That led to her receiving a text from Alistair’s mom, who accused Rachel of causing a “scene” and getting her son fired.
‘We made eye contact, and you could see he recognized me.’
Rachel again decided to let the matter drop — until a few years later, when she actually ran into Alistair at another restaurant in town.
“We made eye contact, and you could see he recognized me,” she said, adding that she bravely told him, “Long time no see!” According to her, Alistair responded, “Oh, yeah, it has been a long time.”
She got straight to the point by asking about her money, but he denied everything. Their chance meeting ended too quickly for her to ask for an explanation.
“If I’d sat down with him properly, yeah, I would have had questions,” she said. “One or two.”
Rachel wouldn’t be alone in seeking answers from someone who has chosen to disappear — an act that is not easy to accomplish, according to experts.
Steve Wallis, director of SWA Recovery and Investigation Group in Australia, told ABC it’s more difficult to vanish these days, thanks to advanced tracking technologies. But folks who are determined use myriad ways to fake their own deaths.
Some people will pay “six figures” to have a new identity manufactured, Wallis said. Others have engaged in foul play to be able to steal someone else’s identity. Many, such as Alistair, will simply disappear slowly over time in hopes no one goes looking for them.
“If someone is very serious about disappearing, the one thing they’ve got to be is patient, and they’ve got to be very, very committed to it,” Wallis said.
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