Dame Agatha Christie has been celebrated as one of the most popular mystery authors ever. One incident in her personal life is still considered her greatest unsolved mystery.
On December 3, 1926, Miss Christie left the town of Surrey in her car on an unknown trip. Shortly thereafter, her car was found a short distance from her home. It was teetering precariously on the edge of a cliff, with the author’s body nowhere near. While police assumed she had been in an accident, Agatha Christie had vanished without either a trace, a clue or an explanation. Over a thousand police officers and volunteers were mobilized to search for her, but she had vanished in thin air.
Further research has unveiled the facts around Agatha Christie’s disappearance. Her marriage to her first husband Archibald Christie was starting to dissolve. On that night, the Christies quarreled with Archie then leaving their house to go spend the weekend with his mistress. That same evening, around 9:45 pm, Christie also left her home. She wrote a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. Her car, a Morris Cowley, was later found at Newlands Corner, by a lake near Guildford, with an expired driver’s license and all her clothes left inside. After eleven days of concern and panic, Agatha Christie was then found safe at the Swan Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire. She had registered as Mrs. Teresa Neele from Cape Town, which was the surname of her husband’s lover.
Since that day, Agatha Christie rarely spoke or wrote about what happened, why she disappeared, and why the events happened in such a way which would suggest that she might have lead people to believe she had been killed. Christie’s own autobiography makes no reference to her disappearance. Although two doctors diagnosed her as suffering from amnesia, opinion still remains divided as to why she disappeared. Some believe she was in a depressed state from overwork, her mother’s death earlier that year and her husband’s infidelity. Public reaction at the time was largely negative, supposing a publicity stunt or attempt to frame her husband for murder.
Still the specific events surrounding December 3, 1926 remain Agatha Christie’s greatest unsolved mystery.