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Fake plane death businessman left SOS bullet-point list

'Cracked windshield, window imploded, bleeding profusely'

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The US financial advisor who attempted to fake his own death in a light aircraft crash will certainly not be elevated to the pantheon of criminal masterminds, after police yesterday revealed he'd left a bullet-point list of his fake distress call in the plane before bailing out.

Marcus Schrenker, 38, took off from Anderson, Indiana, on 11 January in a Piper PA-46 en route for Destin, Florida. Over Alabama, he sent a distress call saying the aircraft's windscreen had "imploded" and that he was bleeding.

Two F-15 fighters were scrambled to assist, but found the plane flying on autopilot, with its door open and no sign of the pilot. It later crashed in a swamp near East Milton, Florida.

Schrenker actually came to earth near the town of Harpersville, Alabama, and subsequently had to escape law enforcement operatives who rumbled his identity after he obligingly showed them his FAA pilot's licence.

He made his way to a campsite near Quincy, Florida, where he was cuffed having apparently attempted suicide by cutting his wrists.

According to Reuters, a court affadavit says that when rescuers reached his crashed aircraft, they found "evidence including a book of campsites in America missing its pages on Alabama and Florida, and a bullet-point list scribbled on the back of a book that read: 'cracked windshield, window imploded, bleeding profusely'."

Schrenker was on Sunday transferred from a Tallahassee hospital to Escambia County Jail in Pensacola. He faces "federal charges of making a false distress call and purposely crashing a plane".

Three of Schrenker's companies - Heritage Wealth Management, Heritage Insurance Services and Icon Wealth Management - are under investigation by the Indiana Securities Division amid allegations that he "misled consumers who invested money in his wealth management companies and misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars of their money". ®

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