Resurrecting Peter Lorre

In 1964, police managed to thwart the dastardly scheme of the "Covenant of the 73rd Demon" (a group of teenage boys) to resurrect Peter Lorre. The actor had died on March 23, 1964, and the boys' plan was found out three months later.

Police Chief Sid Wilson said at least two of the cult members were "real serious" about witchcraft.
Wilson said an "order" signed by one of the boys and passed on to other cult members indicated the cult planned to exhume Lorre's body and restore life to it. Lorre was one of the cult's idols, the officer said.
The "order" did not explain how the boys planned to restore life, and the youths would not tell officers about it.

The Lawton Constitution - June 25, 1964

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 20, 2018
     Category: Celebrities | Death | 1960s


While it makes the story far weirder, you migh want to add the "4" to the death year--196 really was a long time ago.
Posted by crc on 06/20/18 at 06:56 AM
crc -- thanks for the heads up! Though, for the record, I'm the one to blame, not Paul.
Posted by Alex on 06/20/18 at 07:15 AM
But then again, if he did die in 196 it would prove that he already had been resurrected at least once.
But then again, "prove" may be the wrong word.
He may be an 'Immortal Zombie' that still walks among us.
Posted by BMN on 06/20/18 at 08:42 AM
A prudent immortal begins planning their next identity as soon as they settle into a new persona. Bribing someone to file a birth certificate for a nonexistent son/nephew, creating school records for the child and getting them planted, creating a company to handle their assets and slowly transferring their wealth to the 'next generation, ' etc.. After living in the town 20-25 years (when the "you never seem to age" remarks start having suspicious inflections), move to a new town as the son/nephew. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

It's foolish for an immortal to become famous. You can stretch out your time a bit because of the assumption you're taking special care of yourself, say to 30-35 years, but unless you're willing to regularly undergo plastic surgery, you're still facing a physical limit. And then you have to go to all the trouble of staging a fake death, which means bribing not just a coroner for a death certificate but a detective, doctor, nurses, mortician, etc. to attest to the 'facts' and then arrange for a burial. You'll then forever have hanging over your head the possibility some detective, court, historian, or other authority will want to exhume 'you' for examination.
Posted by Phideaux on 06/20/18 at 12:34 PM
Something you needed to get of your chest Phideaux?

You've given this some thought.
Posted by crc on 06/20/18 at 02:49 PM
@crc -- I write science fiction and fantasy short stories, so I've given 'some thought' to an incredible number of situations/conditions/events. This was on the surface because a recent discussion in a movie forum about changing standards for handsomeness/beauty evolved into "modern actor greatly resembles silent-era star" photo comparisons. Naturally, I thought of how vain an immortal would have to be to try to break into the movies a second time, or third . . .
Posted by Phideaux on 06/20/18 at 04:38 PM
At the same time, you don't even have to bribe a coroner to fake your own death nowadays. You just have to stop anything showbiz-related. Then, after the first wave of "what happened to whatchamacallit?", you dust the old spambot and you create a rumor about your death. Then you move all of your assets and yourself to a country that doesn't have any agreement with your home country about sending people back. Then you send another wave of rumors about your death. After the alternative fact about your death in that foreign hellhole is widely believed to be true, you move back under a fake name, but as a migrant. Rinse, repeat.
Posted by Yudith on 06/21/18 at 05:48 AM
Digital biometric everything is making this much harder. This article from 2012 sums up the problems the CIA has been facing since 9/11. Being the CIA they may well have a workaround, but for a private citizen the obsticles would be much harder.
Posted by crc on 06/21/18 at 06:55 AM
And I thought all the crazy people lived with me in California!

The boys apparently were not aware that Lorre had been cremated and interred in a Hollywood cemetery.
Posted by KDP on 06/21/18 at 06:22 PM
@Yudith -- Not having an actual death certificate can be a problem if you have a particular piece of property you want to keep. Your new identity can't inherit it until you're legally dead.

@crc -- The landscape is constantly changing. Even before personal documents became prevalent, moving and taking on a new identity had many pitfalls.

There were enormous problems when trying to move in 9th Century England. If you'd gained a noble title, you had to leave it behind because no one in a new city would accept you as your son because no such son served your lord as a teen, and people relied on memory and personal knowledge rather than on paperwork you might forge. If you adopted the guise of a peasant, you weren't allowed to settle anywhere because it was assumed you ran away from/were driven out of your village, probably for robbery or murder. A merchant or even an artisan settling in a new area was expected to bring an entourage of family, servants, and workers. Arriving alone as good as shouted you were up to no good.

No matter how clever your new identity, if you came with any money at all, the local bishop would write to the bishop of where you said you used to live so he could learn how generous you are, your weak spots so he might weasel more money out of you, and any secrets you might pay to keep secret. This was bad at the best of times, but if the Bishop of Sherborne got a whiff of something fishy, you were lucky to only lose all your money.

Your only reasonable move was to go to Italy, shedding your identity along the way and appearing in Firenze or Bologna as your nephew (sons of wealthy foreigners were expected to have resources/influence. Nephews were accepted as standalone incarnates who might be respectable but were given a grubstake and sent away just to prevent any future inheritance disputes). You did your next identity in Egypt or Turkey before it was safe to return to England.

The extreme stratification of society from the 8th to the 17th Centuries meant a delicate balancing act -- being important enough to live comfortably without being important enough for anyone to independently investigate your past or take in interest in your 'heirs.'

18th, 19th, and 20th Century America were the golden times. Mobility, both physical and social, was high. Anyone with money was welcome wherever they wanted to live, and the necessary documents were easy to forge/plant/create.

But there were always new dangers/problems cropping up. Passports for common people, photographs, fingerprints being cataloged and filed, banks requiring signature cards, draft records, and a host of national databases for everything from credit and education to health and crime.

Biometrics are just one more thing to be overcome or sidestepped. I personally don't think it's a serious concern right now. Get a passport in the name of John Doe, use vasal constrictors to alter you iris patterns slightly while you lose twenty pounds, and get a passport as your son Steve Doe (providing you've prepared the normal paperwork and 'verifiable' background for 'him') . When you claim to be one or the other, the system will compare what it has on file under the name you give them with the readings they take at the checkpoint. Since human bodies are constantly changing, and readings are never very exact, you'll pass. You'd have to be entering an area with high security or extreme paranoia before you'll encounter a system that'll go to the time and expense of checking its entire database for all possible matches. Even then, having a supposed father/son with features which match abnormally closely might be waved off due to family traits.
Posted by Phideaux on 06/21/18 at 08:00 PM
Gosh, Phideaux, you really have given this some thought. Thanks, I had no idea that the stratification of feudal societies had such requirements on social mobility.

crc, I read over the biometrics article. In my travels I have yet to come across any border checks beyond the usual passport and baggage screening. Perhaps I don't come across as a nefarious person.
Posted by KDP on 06/22/18 at 04:16 PM
@KDP -- There's overlap -- immortals face the same problems as time travelers trying to blend in.

In feudal societies, there were people who work, people who pray, and people who fight. Peasants viewed strangers with mistrust because no hard-working, honest fellow would leave his family/manor. The church, both the lay and religious sides, didn't like competition for contributions. The number of nobles was quite small, and while they didn't all know each other, there were enough battles and tournaments where they met that it would be freakish to have someone who was totally unknown. The merchant/artisan/craftsmen class were the most mobile, but anyone new was competition and subject to close scrutiny.

After plague or war, there would be a few years when dislocated people could integrate with few problems, but things would quickly settle back into old routines.
Posted by Phideaux on 06/22/18 at 09:04 PM
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