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Squaring the Strange

Squaring the Strange brings evidence-based analysis and commentary to a wide variety of topics, ranging from the paranormal to the political.


Investigating ghosts. Debunking conspiracies. Dodging chupacabras.

If a claim seems strange, Ben and Pascual will try to square it with the facts.


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Sep 4, 2020

Who would fake their own abduction? It turns out, plenty of people. Whether it's the "runaway bride," who says the stress of wedding planning made her snap, or the McDonald's worker who claimed a maniacal clown kept her from getting to work, hoaxed kidnapping cases end up taking time away from legitimate crimes as well as creating fodder for news and social media. Why do people do it? Some crave attention or simply paint themselves into a corner with one lie leading to another. Others narrate a harrowing tale on Facebook about how they narrowly avoided a kidnapper's grasp. People also lie about kidnapping attempts upon their children--or they invent fictional kidnapped children in order to make their stolen car into a high priority carjacking. Ben has researched kidnapping hoaxes for decades and brings us his thoughts on the patterns and repercussions from these bizarre crimes.