When someone wants to disappear they would never want to become a household name. But that is exactly what Lawrence Bader did in 1957.

Lawrence a salesman from Akron, Ohio went boating on Lake Erie despite a severe storm warning. Soon after, his boat was discovered damaged and missing an oar. But Lawrence was nowhere to be found. Authorities assumed that he had fallen overboard in the storm.

Lawrence’s pregnant wife and three children received a $40,000 life insurance payment, a hefty sum for the time. This was a much needed blessing for the heavily indebted family. But was Lawrence really dead?

In 1965, a friend of Lawrence’s traveled to Chicago. While there he met Lawrence Bader’s doppelganger, John “Fritz” Johnson. Fritz was Lawrence’s exact double. But how was this possible? Fritz was a well-known radio and television personality in Omaha, Nebraska. He was also known for his archery skills which was also a hobby of Lawrence’s.

Fritz claimed he was an orphan who served in the Navy prior to moving to Omaha, Nebraska. Besides that he had a wife and two kids.

In a bizarre twist of events… Fritz was so convinced he was not Lawrence that he allowed himself to be fingerprinted. Fritz and Lawrence were an exact match. He was amazed and had no idea how this could be possible.

This destroyed the man’s life. His current wife left him and the television station fired him immediately. The past also caught up with him, the insurance company wanted their money back.

John “Fritz” Johnson, the man formerly known as Lawrence Bader, died soon after from liver cancer. His family believed he suffered from mental illness, but it was never proven, or is it somehow possible two people can have the same fingerprint?

 

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