Agatha Christie was the bestselling fiction writer of all time, with her mystery novels selling an amazing two billion copies. Speaking of mysteries, one day she just up and fucking disappeared and wasn’t found for 11 days.
--On This Day in History, Shit Went Down: December 3, 1926--
At the time of her disappearance Christie had published six of her eventual 66 detective novels. She wasn’t yet that famous, but the media turned it into a major story because it was something to be sensationalized: the mystery of the missing mystery writer. But why did she disappear?
In April of 1926 Agatha’s mother died, sending the author into a depression. Four months later her cad of a husband said here is a mystery for you, Agatha: Why do I want a divorce? Answer: because I’ve been banging a much younger woman named Nancy. Then, on the evening of December 3, 1926, Agatha kissed her seven-year-old daughter goodnight, and drove away from her home in Berkshire, England. Continues below …
It’s no mystery what I’m using this spot for. It’s to ask for you to become a paying subscriber by clicking the green button.
Media coverage led to political pressure to launch one of the largest manhunts in history, with over a thousand police and 15,000 volunteers. It was also the first time that aircraft were used in a search for a missing person. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle got involved, but rather than “deduce” her location, he gave one of Christie’s gloves to a psychic and said where the fuck she at? Didn’t help.
Agatha’s car was found the next day, the front tires overhanging the edge of a chalk pit, but no sign of the novelist. Some said she took her own life, others said it was a publicity stunt to promote a new book, and some said the husband snuffed her. Because when a wife goes missing, it’s usually the fucking husband, especially if he’s screwing someone else.
On December 14 she was found safe in a fancy spa hotel in the town of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, over 200 miles from her home. Police were all what the fuck, Agatha? To which she replied: dunno. She claimed to have no memory of the previous 11 days. She’d checked into the hotel using the name “Tressa Neele.” Neele, by the way, was the last name of the woman her husband was fucking. A clue!
She hadn’t been hiding. While at the hotel she joined in the hotel’s various entertainments, including dancing. It was a banjo player for the hotel band who recognized Christie and called police. The only thing she said about it was that she’d been suicidal and had attempted to crash her car and received a concussion, so her husband and others proclaimed oh it’s amnesia. Except she’d left letters behind, including one to her brother-in-law that fucking said she was going to a spa in Yorkshire.
It’s surmised that, being she ended up where the letter said she would, this was a ploy to embarrass her husband, but when it snowballed into a media shitnado she lied about memory loss. She divorced her douchebag husband and, in her 1965 autobiography, made no mention of her 1926 disappearance.
Support keeping this daily column free and get access to subscriber only content:
Get the book On This Day in History Sh!t Went Down.