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Henican: The dumb way to fake your death

Evana Roth says her husband's belongings were found

Evana Roth says her husband's belongings were found on the beach where the family believed he had entered the water and drowned. (Aug. 3, 2012) Credit: Ed Betz

No one feels sorry for a dead guy hanging out at a Florida resort.

Even in July.

That might call into question his sanity. Or maybe the drowned speed racer from Massapequa wanted to get caught. No sane person is as dumb is Raymond Roth.

It's not that hard -- really, it isn't -- just to disappear, not if you're willing to cut all your ties with the past and keep your mouth shut. It's a big, wide world out there. There are lots of places to hide.

But Roth, 47, was the worst death-faker who ever lived. At Pretend-to-Drown University, he could teach the How-Not-To course.

He was a telecommunications manager who'd recently lost his job -- his life seemingly spinning out of control. He was reported missing a week ago. He'd been swimming off Jones Beach, his son said, and apparently drowned.

But he forgot a basic rule of disappearing: You have to disappear.

The bank records said he'd made a big withdrawal the day before his drowning, the lawyer for his wife said. His wife said he had recently tripled his insurance. The police down South said he'd been speeding. Then all the texts and emails came out.

That's crazy -- and dumb.

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Steve Webb always skated hard. In his New York Islanders days, the aggressive enforcer delivered open-ice checks to the likes of Ranger Theo Fleury or Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker. Some fans interpreted that last one as payback for Tucker having injured Isles captain Michael Peca. But since retiring in 2004, Webb has really been showing his gentle side. Through his charity,, he's been working with some of LI's top student athletes, trying to connect with socially useful projects. With Bethpage Federal Credit Union, he has launched the Long Island Sports Challenge, an interactive contest for LI athletes from ages 6 to 18, who are now posting short videos of the teams' community giveback. This weekend, the teams with the most (Internet) hits are getting four-figure sports grants. Nice work from a tough guy.

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