Going on the Run
October 9, 2015 1:16 AM   Subscribe

What are the best strategies for being on the lam?

If you are being pursued by the authorities, how should you avoid detection? Make money?

Assuming you're the sort of person that knows this is a possibility, how does one prepare?

Should you constantly move? Or is better to be established somewhere?

Should you lose yourself in the wilderness or in a big city?

I've been watching Hunted on Ch4, and it's really gotten my imagination going, I imagine that just jumping headfirst into being a vagrant is harder than it looks. What are the realities of an undertaking like this? Assuming that you're only of moderate interest to the police, does it make sense just to pack up to the next state?
posted by Trifling to Society & Culture (38 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I have been watching this show too and having some fun and interesting conversations about how we would beat the system:

- Don't call home! Just don't. So far for everyone who has gotten caught, calling home was a pivotal mistake. Don't do it!

- If you must call people, use burner phones on both ends and change the often. Have none of these people seen The Wire? Send burner phones to who you want to contact to their work, not home, address.

- Leave the country asap. I believe this is a restriction placed on the participants, but I imagine leaving the country really ties them up for tracking you. They can't rely on the crazy cctv and license plate tracking network.

- If you have to stay in the country, start making friends in small towns. Preferably small towns with poor mobile signals. I would start making friends with people in Shetland - but don't become Facebook friends with them, never email them, don't add them to your contact list, call them from someone else's phone when you go on the run.

- Leave false trails: There were those brothers (who got caught but for other mistakes) who got the police on a bit of a wild goose chase because they planted some fake emails implying they were going to the coast when they actually headed up north. And then Ricky Allen having them come to the bothy, but he shouldn't have watched - that was his ego. He should have been hightailing out in the opposite direction to buy him some more time and distance. So, if you make those friends in Shetland, call them a lot, Facebook message them, email them and then don't go there.

- The most difficult thing seems to be money. Those two girls seem to be getting away with doing odd jobs for people, but I'm not sure how successful that would be in real life. I think the people who helped them had a bit of good will because the girls are being escorted by two cameras and it's obviously fake for a show. I don't know if people would be so helpful in real life if you're being suspicious. You could plant money in different locations prior to your escape, but this assumes a lot of premeditation. This wouldn't work if you had to drop everything and suddenly go, which was the premise of this show.

- The other difficult things seems to be the pressure. I think Ricky Allen eventually got caught because he was just mentally worn down and got sloppy. This is much more difficult to prepare for or prevent.
posted by like_neon at 1:49 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Do what this guy did. Of course Bulger earned all of his money before he went on the lam - which is something you might want to work into your plans too.
posted by three blind mice at 1:58 AM on October 9, 2015

Stephen King's short story "The Running Man" had some really good tips. Basically, stick to your own. That does not mean your family and friends, but to the types of people you can quickly and discreetly blend in with. Larger cites, I would think, are best because anonymity is easier, then in smaller communities where everyone knows everyone else. Note: I have never watched this show, I have only seen the advertisements for the premise.
posted by alchemist at 2:54 AM on October 9, 2015

No phone calls. No emails. Get paid under the table. If you're not convicted of a violent crime, you can fly under the radar. Move a lot. Keep your license, registration, insurance current. Don't drive impaired and follow all traffic rules. Realistically, go to the judge in your district and explain your circumstances and they will be more helpful than you think about timing fines and substituting community service. Hopefully, that is an option in your location. Turning yourself in can open some avenues if you get a sympathetic judge. Lawyers, even cheap lawyers know which judges are sympathetic. Don't try to run from this. It will catch up with you at some point.
posted by kamikazegopher at 3:06 AM on October 9, 2015

I just thought of other things around disguising your look.

- Wear a hat with a brim so it makes it harder to pick up your face on the cctv cameras.
- Cut and dye your hair, something really different from what you have now but doesn't stand out ie don't dye it pink but go brunette if you're blonde. If you're a man that is clean shaven, grow a beard asap. If you have a beard, shave it all off.
posted by like_neon at 3:09 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

1. Ditch all electronics that might have a GPS in them or can be tracked - cars, phones, bank cards, anything.
2. Do not contact anyone you know, ever.
3. Change your look. If you are clean shaven, grow a beard. If you are natural wear make-up and get your hair coloured.
4. Drop all usual pursuits. If you always to breakfast in a coffee shop, stop going to coffee shops. If you eat eggs for breakfast, stop eating eggs and switch to cereal. If you go jogging, stop jogging.
5. Hit up the line at the food bank to get a support network- this is where you will find people who will allow you to use their phone for a small fee, will maybe know somewhere you can crash for a small fee in cash, and most importantly, will let you borrow their identity for a small fee. Ideally you want to find someone who is unemployable who is roughly your age and is your gender and basic racial type. Provide them with incentives so that you can use their SIN card and medicare card.
(This is standard in Food Bank land. You can only get one weeks of groceries from the food bank in your area every month and it requires a medicare card. Therefore you find three people who are sympathetic who will let you take their medicare card to a different are bank and you end up with enough food to get through the month. Of course you have to find people who don't need to use their medicare card at the food bank themself.)
6. Become blandly normal and average.
posted by Jane the Brown at 4:14 AM on October 9, 2015 [7 favorites]

7. Do not do anything that would attract the attention of the police. Do not jaywalk, get into arguments in public, murder anyone, hitchhike etc.
8. A good explanation for having no ID is that you lost them all, either because left your boyfriend and he kept them and all your stuff, or that your girlfriend left you and took everything you owned with you. This is common in real life for people who end up with no ID and yet don't report them stolen. It will also engender sympathy without require you to go into detail.
9. The biggest difficulty with sleeping rough is that you end up with chronic severe sleep deprivation. Therefore finding a warm, dry and un-disturbed to place to sleep must be a priority.
10. Best place to be is in a fairly large city in your own country. It should be a big enough city that the cops don't learn to recognize you in the multitude. It should have lots of resources - malls to go into to get out of the weather, under the table jobs, food banks, wifi areas.
11. Find places that do not require ID where your demographic can go. If you are student age, try the local schools. If you are senior age, try the local churches, etc. There should be washroom facilities, places you can stash things, unattended first aid kits, stationery and other resources to be used. Do not rob this place. Take only the gauze and tape you need from the first aid kit.
12. If you can find a place where multitudes are fed you can probably ease in enough to get fed as well. Rather than asking for food, ask to help. An ideal example is in the kitchen, helping prepare sandwiches for the Church supper - it means you are not asking for charity, and yet you will get fed, and you are not being asked for an ID.
13. Stay clean. If you are dirty you will stand out. If you are dirty your moral and mental health will tank.
14. Find a boyfriend or girlfriend to support you. Support the relationship enough that you are not taking advantage of them. Eg. Take care of their kids so that they can work and they are happy to have you live in the apartment and to feed you. Do the housework.
posted by Jane the Brown at 4:36 AM on October 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

Get a job with a fake ssn, be the best low key employee, run again when they submit taxes for the year.
posted by sammyo at 5:02 AM on October 9, 2015

I was thinking that the US would probably be an easier place to do this (versus the UK). There are still parts of the US, I think, that understand that some people come there to "get lost" or get away from things. Alaska, parts of the Southwest, etc. I would just think that more rural areas of the UK would have doubts about someone just showing up out of nowhere to live on a cash basis?
posted by kuanes at 5:04 AM on October 9, 2015

Thomas Perry's Jane Whitefield books feature a heroine who teaches people how to disappear.

I've never seen the show mentioned.
posted by mareli at 5:17 AM on October 9, 2015

Best answer: Related anecdote: at least ten years ago, I read an interesting news story. I don't remember the details, but it went something like this:

Jim died under mysterious circumstances, leading his family to think he'd faked his own death; or maybe he just flat-out vanished.

In either case, his family set up a "help us find Jim" website.

A look at the web server logs showed that it had been visited about once a month from a library computer in a small village in Argentina.

Guess where Jim was living?
posted by Hatashran at 6:00 AM on October 9, 2015 [21 favorites]

I would think that, if you are preparing, you'd gather as much money as you could and keep it somewhere physically (medium-sized bills you can travel with), then move to a warm climate with woods or something where you could set up a camp for yourself and only go into civilization for supplies. Keep yourself neat and tidy (be near water, I guess?) and thus you're just that person who shows up once in a while to pick things up.
posted by xingcat at 6:06 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's often relationships that do people in. I'm not talking about romantic relationships, but connecting with people. You shouldn't call your family or friends, don't tell them where you are or have been. In your new place, don't form deep and meaningful relationships. Be friendly, but always a little distanced. Don't date, and if you do, don't tell them who you really are. Your cover story should seemingly answer questions and not make you seem like your mysterious or have no past.

Everyone you meet is a potential vulnerability in your plan. People have weaknesses you can't always predict. There are lots of solved crimes that only get solved because someone talked, aand they don'mt need to know everything, but one small thing can make the whole endeavour collapse.
posted by Aranquis at 6:24 AM on October 9, 2015

Other case studies would include Abbie Hoffman (lived for 5 years under the name Barry Freed in a small town upstate NY in the 70s; probably the authorities were not looking terribly hard for him) and Bernadine Dohrn who was on the FBI's 10-most wanted list for a portion of her 10 years underground. However, I think in both cases (and others from that era), they were able to do it because of an extensive network of co-conspirators and sympathizers, not as solo acts.
posted by beagle at 6:29 AM on October 9, 2015

It sort of depends on the amount of heat that's on you. If you're like those guys that broke out of the jail in NY, I'm not sure you can really run for very long no matter what you do. Way too much heat and manpower after you. But if you're lower on the radar, here's a few tips. As others have said, the biggest but by far the hardest thing is to cut yourself off from your old life. Completely. Hard to do though. Second, unless you happen to have a false set of ID cards, you'll have to go somewhere you can work completely under the table without attracting attention. I knew a guy who ran to Mexico and did pretty well for a while as a fugitive. The thing in his favor was he went where he wouldn't stick out, in his case a tourist town with lots of other young white guys coming and going. Worked cash jobs, took a new name, eventually got caught through communication with family and friends. It's hard these days to be anonymous, but tourist towns are a decent place to try.
posted by bepe at 6:45 AM on October 9, 2015

As noted, in a small town you might stick out more than in a big city. But if you become a hermit like the Unabomber you can probably get away with it in a small town if (a) you avoid much contact with people and act a little crazy, (b) just work for cash, (c) change your appearance, and (d) don't communicate with anyone from your past. What undid the Unabomber was issuing a manifesto, in which his brother recognized his writing style — so in effect, he wrote home and they turned him in.
posted by beagle at 6:51 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Cathy Wilkerson, who was a member of the Weather Underground, wrote a great memoir that deals with this. One of the things she mentioned about living underground that I was most struck by is that a lot of people, especially other women, were very willing to overlook things like the fact that she was using an assumed name and was vague about her history, tacitly assuming it was because she and her daughter were leaving an abusive situation.
posted by ITheCosmos at 6:54 AM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

This is similar to the case Hatashran is thinking of, but this one got caught because he returned to his wife (again breaking the general advice to cut all ties to your family) and then he tried to return to "legit life" by faking amnesia. Five years is a pretty good run though and probably would have lasted longer if it weren't for the above mistakes.
posted by like_neon at 7:02 AM on October 9, 2015

Best answer: a lot of people, especially other women, were very willing to overlook things like the fact that she was using an assumed name and was vague about her history, tacitly assuming it was because she and her daughter were leaving an abusive situation.

This was my first thought as well. That a woman would have an easier job of doing this than a man, especially if she created a backstory of escaping abuse. I would lie a thousand lies to anyone if someone told me she was on the run from an abusive ex. Oh, Jane? Known her for years, grew up down the street from me. We played softball together in high school.

There's definitely a tendency toward group protection like this among women. There have been a couple times in my life where I've been followed/harassed by some dude and escaped it just by walking into a Starbucks and sitting down at a table of unknown ladies and saying "pretend like we're friends please, there's a creep following me" and it's always been fine. We all know that feeling or know someone who has been in a similar situation and the instinct is generally to protect each other.
posted by phunniemee at 7:09 AM on October 9, 2015 [19 favorites]

About five years ago Wired Magazine did a contest where a reporter tried to make himself vanish and readers tried to find him. You might like reading that.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:16 AM on October 9, 2015 [6 favorites]

This is less of a long term strategy, but... for reasons I won't go into, I listen to a police scanner on a semiregular basis, and I'm often struck by how simple the physical descriptions that pass from dispatch to officers are. Like, "white male red shirt bluejeans medium build." If you can figure a way to quickly change the dominant color of your outfit (like a reversible jacket and maybe put on or take off a hat) you really can change your visual profile to officers who are scanning pedestrians for that description.
posted by werkzeuger at 7:28 AM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

James Hammes went on the lam by hiking up and down the Appalachian Trail for 6 years. He was caught because a fellow thru-hiker recognized him on a t.v. show. There's a MeFi post about it, including some thoughts on how long-distance hiking is advantageous to those on the lam.
posted by barchan at 7:34 AM on October 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

There are still parts of the US, I think, that understand that some people come there to "get lost" or get away from things. Alaska, parts of the Southwest, etc.

Not a great approach. Alaska and other rural areas are tough places to blend in, because the communities are so small no newcomers go unnoticed. My uncle, who lives in Anchorage, tells a story about a part-time postman in some little bush town realizing that one of the guys on the post office's most wanted poster spent every friday evening on the third barstool at the local bar.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:44 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

The hardest thing to me would seem to be money. Yes, there are plenty of cash jobs, but those are generally a) low-paying, and b) lousy. If you knew in advance, you could save some money, but you'd have to carry the cash around with you, which would be dangerous.

This is a cool thought experiment, but in the long run, I'm not sure it's worth it. Just thinking about it casually, I'm getting a little exhausted mentally.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:51 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was acquainted with someone who did this. This guy borrowed about $40K from his fiancee and friends for a business investment and then disappeared with his young daughter. The police were absolutely Not Interested after we told them we knew he had left the state. This was in the early days of internet but between that and going through the trash and from some things he let drop, we were able to piece together quite a lot of his back story (all lies) and to figure out where he was at that moment (a friend in another state). There was some credit agency interested in him because he owed money so we passed on the information but even they were just going to write it off. He was a European national, used made-up social security numbers (pre-9/11) to get loans, had ripped off people in the past and the police said it was a "civil" matter (well, it was a notoriously crappy police department) and the people who lost their money were so shocked and disheartened, they just wanted to forget about it.

So, cross state lines or leave the country after conning a bunch of people out of their money.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:06 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

You really want a community of people who A) don't have contact with the authorities very often and B) don't trust the authorities when they do have contact with them and C) are used to weirdos and folks with bizarre back stories.

Hippies have got your back, I think. Commune, yoga cults, back-to-the-land types, etc. When I think about all the bizarre people that lived in cooperative housing with me over the years, I have a hard time imagining what someone could do to get turned in by their housemates. This lets you maintain contact with humans and lowers your cost of living a LOT. I'd try to eek out my living by being a handyman or something like that. Decent money for relatively skilled work paid in cash.

Once firmly in place in a community of people a little bit closer to society's margins, I'd start to hunt for someone close to my physical description who could disappear without anyone notifying the authorities. Lots of these folks who have cut ties to their parents and family and moved on, particularly in this crowd.

Kill them but stick around for a few months. Then, move on and take their identity. If you wanted to really throw people off, you could do a little gender switcharoo. Get a driver's license, buy a van, live in walmart parking lots for a while and make cash money on tourists somewhere lovely. Maybe as a mountain or rock climbing guide.

Dang, maybe I can make this work.
posted by woof at 8:26 AM on October 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

The book How to Disappear by Frank Ahern and Eileen Horan is an interesting read. It's been a while, but it's all about creating false leads and using variations on names and dates.
posted by banjonaut at 8:29 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

You can look up Eric Rudolph for a maybe-not-the-best-strategy case study. He lived in the North Carolina woods for 5 years before being discovered, despite an intense manhunt. Here's an Outside magazine story about him.
posted by achrise at 8:44 AM on October 9, 2015

Like, "white male red shirt bluejeans medium build." If you can figure a way to quickly change the dominant color of your outfit (like a reversible jacket and maybe put on or take off a hat) you really can change your visual profile to officers who are scanning pedestrians for that description.

Also, change the color and cut of your hair, as drastically as possible (but at the same time, don't do anything crazy enough that you stick out. If you're a man, go clean shaven or not clean shaven, depending on what you looked like before. It's amazing how much facial hair and hair cut/color can affect people's ability to identify someone.

Along those same lines, if you don't wear glasses, get glasses (without prescription lenses, obviously). If you were glasses before, get contacts. Better yet, consider contacts that change your eye color (as long as they do it subtly). Cover up tattoos, and ditch any piercings (aside from the "standard" pierced ear). I would also frequently go to thrift stores to ditch your old clothes and swap them out for cheap new ones.

It seems like avoiding your habits would be helpful. For example, don't go to the same internet cafe or library.

(I was originally coming to link the Wired article, but it looks like that's already been covered. It's definitely worth a read. At the very least, I think it speaks to how stressful this lifestyle would be.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:00 AM on October 9, 2015

This seems obvious, but obey all laws. Pun Plamondon of the White Panther Party was on the run after committing a bombing. "In July 1970, Plamondon was discovered and arrested after being stopped for littering." I think it was for throwing a soda can out of the van he was riding in.
Also, make sure any vehicle you ride in has no equipment violations.
posted by H21 at 9:34 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

It sort of depends on the amount of heat that's on you.

Absolutely. I had an acquaintance who was wanted in one state for something that would land him in prison and basically went to another state and kept a low profile and it worked until someone who was mad at him saw him under an assumed name on Facebook and decided to rat him out. He could have stayed where he was for a long time if he wasn't on social media because the people in his home state didn't care enough (or have enough resources) to beat the bushes for him. The big deal is figuring out who wants to get you and how hard they will try, so a LOT of savvy risk assessment. This will also affect where you want to go. Moving to Alaska to beat a trumped up weed charge in your conservative home state? No one cares. Moving there because you molested a kid or a family member? People will care more. Moving there because you stole something from the government? Expect no mercy and consider moving to another country without an extradition treaty with the US.

The easiest way to do this is with a confidante who is not known to law enforcement so you can get money, intel and have another pass-through person for contacting other people you might need to be in touch with. Stop using all previous phones/bank cards/ID and don't carry them with you. Change your appearance and, if possible do this in a way that affects facial recognition software. Wear a hat. Don't go to large sporting events or other places with a lot of CCTV. Often this may mean small town instead of big city but this is a risky decision you will have to make. Use Tor and encryption for everything and consider not really using email much at all. Understand how your web browsing habits can be tracked (love the library example) and take steps to not engage in habitual patterns. Use a mail drop. Have a PO box or several and it's good, again, if you can piggy back on someone else's.

The big question is if you want to "hide in plain sight" or not and determining this has everything to do with what you are hiding from.
posted by jessamyn at 9:38 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

The thing is to change who you are. If you habitually wear pink, stop wearing it. If you play D & D stop playing it and start playing tennis. If you are a complainer start showing a Pollyanna front.

The reason is because it is a small world. If you leave Denver, go to Boston and join the D & D groups in Boston to replace the group you used to play with in Denver and hang around in the gaming stores, sooner or later you will run into someone who knew you from the Denver gaming scene. So anything that could be used to describe you that you can change has to be changed.

You need to change your appearance if you can. You do this by changing your style.

If you were a healthy gym rat you have to stay away from the gym. If you were a lapsed Catholic who usually managed C & E, you might start fronting as a Pentacostal and only miss church at Christmas on the excuse of visiting your family out of town. But you wouldn't go to any Pentecostal conventions, just keep a very low profile in the community; What you need to be accepted enough to get under the table work and be trusted to borrow an ID or two. And you might prefer to not join any churches at all; the only reason you would join one is to get some connections you need to find employment, and people who will help you hide.

The communities you do join should be very different from the ones you used to belong to. You want small local communities - So the "Waldrun Valley Tenant's Association" is they type of profile you are looking for. The idea is that you will only meet people who live in a small geographical area. It cuts down on the risk of running into someone who will recognize you.

But you also need to keep a very low profile. You do not join social media. You do not join clubs. You do not get your picture taken and put in the newsletter. You do not write letters to the editor, or post on anyone's blog. You do not get a job in retail or in sales. You work in the back office, or the warehouse, not with the public.

You might want to start a business as something like an eBay re-seller, because your income will not require you to see anyone except the clerk at the post office, and you will not get into conversations with people on line that will make them think that you write just like that woman who wrote the Manifesto on Freedom that made her a target of the NSA because your missives will be limited to: "Comes from non-smoking household, Shipping $17.28"

Someone above suggested you find someone suitably like you and kill them to steal their ID. This can backfire, because you could easily run into someone who knows them and will know that you are not them. However there are plenty of people who are not using their identity who can loan it to you so then the only think that will need to be explained is how there could possibly be two people with the same name in the same city. Nobody will have any problem if your name is Catherine Rogers, almost like Cathy Rogers, the girl they went to elementary school with. It's not like they will remember her SIN number from back when they were in grade three. But they will have a problem if you are claiming to be the same Cathy Rogers and they distinctly remember that you had brown eyes then, so why are they blue now?

The ideal person to loan you an ID is someone who, for example, is mostly reclusive due to anxiety or another similar longstanding condition which has not made them eligible for social assistance so they are getting by as a dependent on their family. They can loan you their SIN number and medicare so that you can apply for work. You will pay all the taxes and so on that result from your working, and give them enough money to make it worth their while. They keep the cards and use them whenever they need to.

There are thousands of people like this out there. Many people can't prove they are disabled enough to require help and yet are lucky enough to have family that will look after them. Other people could prove their disability, but feel it would be wrong to accept social assistance. If they are neither working nor collecting government support, your using their ID to get a job won't raise any red flags even if there is some odd discrepancy about the address sometimes being your small apartment and sometimes being her parent's address.
posted by Jane the Brown at 11:43 AM on October 9, 2015

I agree on things like burner phones and only working jobs where cash changes hands directly without paperwork (i.e. "under the table"). If you are going to access your email, your social media accounts, websites you used to frequent all the time, whatever, you would need to use a proxy that would hide your true location.

If this is a long-term thing where you are intent on building a life without people finding the old you, you'd probably have to steal someone's identity and start living as that person. Otherwise, you'll never be able to get a real job or pass a background check for various things -- you would have to do cash jobs, live in crappy places and buy used cars.
posted by AppleTurnover at 3:35 PM on October 9, 2015

Vanishing Point

I read parts of this years ago, and the section that really stuck with me was the instruction to destroy any and all photographs of yourself that you can before you walk out the door. All of them. And get your family to destroy theirs as well. They can't hand something over to the police if it doesn't exist any more. If your pursuers are stuck with old ids, and artist sketches, it's going to help you quite a bit.
posted by instead of three wishes at 3:56 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Finance your flight by stealing silver from a local bishop. Don't worry, if you get caught he will just give you more silver and send you on your way. Tear up your ticket of leave, buy a factory, and become the mayor.

Also, don't get mixed up in any revolutions. That's, like, rookie mistake number one.
posted by Dreadnought at 9:24 AM on October 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

You might be interested in this man who embezzled ~$9 million and hid out on the Appalachian Trail for years, calling himself Bismarck. Besides the custom of trail names giving him anonymity, he apparently did things like work-for-stay at various hostels.
posted by peacheater at 10:41 AM on October 10, 2015

Plan ahead - do your research now, not on the run.

Also if whatever you're planning on doing that will result in you having to go on the run, with nation states as your adversary, consider it very carefully ;)

As you're watching Channel Four I'm presuming you're in the UK, in which case your first step is to leave the country; the UK is arguably too small, technologically advanced, and stable for your plans to work. Making presumptions about your race / language I presume that the United States or Canada would be sufficiently large or bureaucratic that you could succeed there, and you could blend in to the background, presuming that you headed for somewhere isolated and rural.

But getting to mainland America from the UK is relatively difficult, even if the authorities are only moderately interested. Depending on the risk you're under and the skills you have to exchange for goods and services, pick somewhere relatively fraught where tracking citizens isn't a top priority... the Ukraine?

Or get to mainland Europe and from there head for mainland Asia with all the benefits of long borders that are hard to patrol. Presumably Asia gives you a lot more options for countries which are easy to drive or hitch to, and are relatively disorganised, i.e. India has a notoriously poor idea of what population it has where, if I remember correctly.
posted by DancingYear at 1:50 AM on October 11, 2015

There was a story [warning: sexual abuse] on Snap Judgement about a guy who managed 22 years on the run by living in the woods and keeping on the go. It's pretty short on specific details except that he lived on his own, kept on the move, did odd jobs for cash to buy food, and got by with no comforts or conveniences.
posted by peeedro at 2:29 PM on November 2, 2015

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