Man faked his death off Carmel coast to avoid rape charges, police say

Authorities have arrested a Scottish man who they say faked his death off California's Carmel coast. His son had reported that he went missing during a nighttime swim.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A Scottish man who authorities say faked his death off California’s Carmel coast to avoid rape charges back home has been arrested, authorities announced Friday.

Kim Vincent Avis, 55, also known as Ken Gordon-Avis, was arrested in Colorado Springs, Colo., last week and is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service, Cmdr. Kathy Palazzolo with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said. The Associated Press has identified him as Kim Gordon.

For the record:

9:27 p.m. July 28, 2019A previous version of this article misspelled the last name of Monterey County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Kathy Palazzolo.

Kim Vincent Avis, also known as Ken Gordon-Avis, on Friday.
(Monterey County Sheriff / AP)

Gordon’s 17-year-old son reported that his father vanished Feb. 25 after going for a nighttime swim. Searchers found no trace of Gordon at Monastery Beach, sometimes called “Mortuary Beach” because of its deadly reputation.


After three days of searching, detectives began to suspect a hoax.

They say the son’s account lacked crucial details, and he couldn’t explain how the two got to California’s Central Coast after traveling by air from Scotland to Los Angeles.

“There was a lack of detail,” Sheriff’s Capt. John Thornburg said at the time. “The son, who reported it, couldn’t even tell us where he went in under the water.”

Gordon’s son was returned to Scotland with the help of Monterey County child protective services. He did not face charges for filing a false report.