Top 6 people who have kept their identities secret the longest

Do you know Guy Joao? And bah Guy Joao, he’s a great guy: a 9-fingered retiree who spends his holidays in Scotland and who had been hiding from his family for years that he was Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès because he had been redone the face and… Wait, isn’t that actually him? Ah. Ok. But the people in this top are true identity chameleons.

1. David Galletti – 19 years as Luis Gonzalez

On May 10, 1976, a woman was shot dead in Brooklyn. The suspect is quickly identified: it is a man with curly hair who wears sideburns. Quickly identified, but never found, at least not until a certain day in 1995, when David Galletti, manager of a factory in a tiny town in South Carolina, was picked up outside his office. In 20 years, Galletti had completely changed and it was only a combination of circumstances that made it possible to identify him thanks to his fingerprints (not like Dupont de Ligonnès): the twenty-something junkie had become a very clean guy , father of two children and responding to the name of Luis Gonzalez. For 20 years, he had concealed his true identity from his family. After denying the murder for a few days, the fake Gonzalez and real Galletti admitted to committing the crime, even expressing a little relief: “I knew it would happen someday.”

2. Robert Ivan Nichols – 20 years under an assumed name

In 2002, Joseph Newton Chandler III committed suicide in Ohio, USA. We find her body a week later and we try to contact the family but… It is impossible to find her. Weird. We get information from his former colleagues, and we discover the profile of a very, very, very weird guy who has no friends or frequenting, lives like a hermit and seems trained in electrical engineering. Ah: and he was hospitalized in 2000 after trying to insert his penis into a vacuum cleaner. Quite quickly, we realize that Joseph Newton Chandler is not his true identity. This is the name of a child who died in a road accident in Texas in 1945. The false Chandler would have recovered this identity by asking for a security card in 1978. Therefore, it is impossible to identify the dead. We speculate: an engineer guilty of murder? A former Nazi criminal? Worse: The Zodiac Killer?

It was finally in 2018 that open DNA databases made it possible to identify the usurper: his name was Robert Ivan Nichols. Investigators believe it may have a connection to the unexplained murder of Amy Mihaljevic, a 10-year-old girl murdered in 1989.

3. The Bourbon Kid, author of the Unnamed Book

The identity of the author of nameless book, a major publishing success in Europe in 2010, is the subject of endless speculation. The name of Quentin Tarantino was even mentioned because of the similarities between the universe of the trilogy and that of the director. Revealed on the Internet, the author has never met his successive publishers; only its very first publisher is informed of its identity. It is probably a stranger who has felt the blow, but who knows.

4. Banksy – anonymous since the late 1990s

Until further notice and since we have heard of the artist, since 1998, we still do not know who Banksy is. On the other hand, we know that his name is very probably Robert, that he is from Stoke in England and that he is friends with the singer of Massive Attack, even, but it remains to be proven, the singer of Massive Attack himself. What is certain is that Banksy has still not made the choice to reveal his identity. More than 20 years of keeping his secret, it forges respect.

5. Frank Freshwaters – 40 years under a false identity

In 2015, Frank Freshwaters was arrested in the United States after 56 years on the run. In the 1950s, he intentionally ran over a pedestrian in Ohio and escaped during a prison transfer. After changing his name, Freshwaters worked as a truck driver and then retired to Florida. Confused by his fingerprints, he claimed “not to have seen this man for a very long time” when the investigators presented him with a photo of him at the age of his arrest.

6. Pasquale Scotti – 28 years old under a false identity

Former leader of the Camorra in Naples, Pasquale Scotti managed to escape to the city of Recife, Brazil, in 1986. Since then, the Italian police have been on his trail, but it took until 2015 for them to put him hand on it. Since the late 1980s, Scotti had been living under a false identity with his wife and two daughters, ages 13 and 15. He claimed to be an entrepreneur and no one around him or his family suspected the truth. Scotti claimed to have fled Italy for fear of being murdered.

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