We’ve all dreamt of getting away with a crime as children. Some adults still do – but most won’t act on those thoughts. You’d hope.
My recurrent dream is quite simple: how I would evade capture if I was on the show Hunted.
Of course, this is the fantasy and surrealist side of my brain talking; if I were to actually be on the show, or ever in a position where I was on the run, I would probably be found within a day or two, so.
But I have a plan, anyway.
Now this first stage would have to occur over a period of time before going on the run; emptying my bank account. As much as I could, so I could survive as long as I could without having to use digital (aka traceable) currency. That means withdrawing cash each day/week so that I had a sizeable lump that was ready to go.
I wouldn’t completely empty the account, though; if you’ve seen Gone Girl, then you know what can happen when you run out of cash (or how you can run out of cash). I would, however, make sure any card transactions/cash withdrawals are done on my last day in that area.
In one episode I watched, the contestant being hunted implemented a great strategy that I would use – asking members of the public to transport me legs of the journey – hitchhiking, effectively. I wouldn’t have followed exactly his example, however – he was asking for transport to Bristol, and, naturally, when the Hunters came around asking – the members of the public ratted him out.
So how would I differ? Red herrings.
Think of it like this scene from The Office:
Yeah, I might ask people to drop me off at Bristol, or ask them when the next bus/train to Bristol is, but I won’t be going to Bristol. It’s a red herring. I’d be going somewhere else. Edinburgh. Leeds. Manchester.
And I would definitely go by bus – a train seems too risky; too many cameras, too much potential to be collared and cornered at a station or in a carriage.
I would also have to alter my appearance significantly; although I am small in height, I can stand out – especially if you were looking for me. My piercings would have to be removed. I’d maybe invest in more makeup – get a Castfish appearance situation on the go so that I don’t match up to how I normally present myself. My hair would change too – not so drastic that it sticks out, but I would try my best to become a Plain Jane. Dye it all one, natural looking colour, give it a cut so that the style/length is different.
But, Paige, where would you sleep?
Now, I like the outdoors, but I am by no-means a qualified outdoors person. I wouldn’t make it if I were to wild camp – as soon as my socks got wet I’d just hand myself in. So that leaves me with limited options – it is against Airbnb policy to accept cash, so I couldn’t utilise that app. Most hotels require a card for deposit – and whilst they say the card won’t be charge, it’s always a risk.
Still, I’m confident that, in a city, I would find either a B&B or a hostel that I could stay at. Buy a pay-as-you go phone/sim card and utilise WiFi in as many places as possible, and stay on the move – never in one city for too long, in fear of becoming a sitting duck.
I don’t have enough savings to live this way indefinitely, so I would have to pick up cash-in-hand jobs wherever possible.
I can’t say for definite how long I would manage to last without getting caught, either – the world is a small place, and if people were legitimately hunting me, they would find a way I’m sure…
What would you do if you were featured on an episode of Hunted?
Also, if you’re interested in ways to help with the Ukraine crisis through AirBnB, check out this news story.