In 1926, Agatha Christie had an episode of amnesia while under a great deal of stress.
Her beloved mother had recently passed away, and her husband was in the middle of having a very open and outrageous affair with a woman named Nancy Neele.
In December; Colonel Archibald Christie decided to tell his wife that he was leaving her to many Neele.
Over the course of the next week or so, Christie wrote several conflicting letters.
To her brother-in-law, she wrote that she would be vacationing in Yorkshire; to the local chief constable, she wrote a note talking about fearing for her life.
When her abandoned car was found at the bottom of a chalk pit, with no driver in sight and her fur coat left on the seat, foul play was instantly suspected.
The colonel became a prime suspect, particularly after confessing that he had announced his engagement to Neele at a dinner party the night his wife disappeared.
He added that his wife had called the party and threatened to come and make a scene. As a result, he had sped off to their family home an hour away, only to find no one there, and so returned to the dinner party.
Colonel Christie, with no solid alibi for two hours in a case that looked like murder, was told not to leave town, and the police began tailing him everywhere he went.
Meanwhile, Christie, true to her word to her brother-in-law, really did go to Yorkshire, where she checked into a hotel under the name Theresa Neele, the same surname as her husband’s lover.
She hid out as police launched a nationwide search for her and, when recognized, denied any ties to the famous missing author. She was discovered by police 11 days after she disappeared, thanks to a tip from hotel employees.
Her husband was brought in to identify her.
Both Christies claimed amnesia on Agatha’s part over those 11 days.
Not even in her autobiography did she mention the ordeal, and to her death she claimed she never had any memory of what had actually taken place.
The press accused her of a publicity stunt to sell her stories that cost taxpayers thousands of pounds. And still others think she may have been deliberately hoping her husband would be framed for her murder.
Instead, the two divorced and Agatha eventually remarried.