Who hasn’t imagined successfully staging your own death, showing up at your funeral to see how many people are there mourning, and then soaking up all the love and relief that will inevitably come when you reveal that you are not, in fact, dead? Anyone? Everyone?
Well, a woman named Noela Rukundo sort of lived out a horrifying version of that fantasy. It involved a husband who wanted her dead, actually fearing for her life, and, luckily for her, justice.
Here’s her tale: Rukondo, who lives in Melbourne, went back home to Burundi to attend a funeral. That night, she was at home, on the phone with her husband unpacking the events of the difficult day she’d had, when he told her to go outside and get some air. She took his weird suggestion, but it was a setup — a man held her up at gunpoint, put her in a car, and took her to a second location where a group of men told her that her husband had paid $7,000 to have her killed. And just in case she didn’t believe them, they called up her husband and were like, “Dude, what did you want us to do with your wife again?”
His answer was “Kill her,” reports the Washington Post, and then he went around telling everyone back home she had died in a “tragic accident.”
But, a twist! Because these men knew her brother and also didn’t believe in killing women, they let her go with a cell phone and all the evidence she would need to get revenge (recordings of phone calls, a receipt for payment).
Rukundo then contacted the Kenyan embassies and her pastor in Melbourne, who helped her get home, and five days later, showed up at her own funeral just in time to see how much the community mourned her death (a lot!) and also to walk up to her husband and say, “Surprise, I’m still alive!” like a boss. A ghost boss. And then she turned her husband over to the authorities.
He will serve nine years in prison and definitely shouldn’t expect a refund from those hit men.