Breaking news right now: Sam Israel, the fugitive hedge fund manager, has surrendered this morning to police in Southwick, Mass. after being on the run for almost a month.

As we reported previously, Sammy Boy was convicted of defrauding several investors out of oodles of money after they trusted him to manage ‘the Bayou hedge fund’.

The day before he was supposed to report to prison, Israel planned a fake suicide by parking his truck near a cliff above the Hudson river. The message ‘Suicide is Painless’ was scrawled in dirt on the windshield, which turns out to be the theme song from the tv show M*A*S*H and centers around a ‘fake suicide’ in the show’s first movie. Not a very clever ‘fake suicide’. Why would he leave so many clues and implications that he was faking?

According to a Channel 7 news report, after it was first tentatively reported that it appeared Israel had committed suicide, “Ross Intelisano, an attorney for 20 such investors [defrauded by Israel’s fund], said his clients were saying, “Show me the body, I’ll believe it when I see the body.”

Obviously not a very trust-worthy guy. And now after being on the lam since June 9th, Sam the Man turns himself in to some local Mass. police station two hours south of Boston. Federal officials are currently in route to pick up the perp near the Connecticut border.

A really disappointing end to this story for me. I would have assumed he would at least be able to flee the country. If not Namibia, ‘refuge for the Wanted’, then at least head to Mexico or something, man! And he just ‘turns himself in’?! Where’s the slow-speed scooter highway chase ending in a shootout that we anxiously predicted in our last report?

Very disappointing, but what else do you want from an old guy with a bad back, I guess. Maybe in some sort of brilliant symblolic tribute we could give a round of applause to Israel? (who also traveled under the alleged alias ‘David S. Clapp’. Hopefully the new trial will unveil the reasons, gonorrhea related or otherwise, for why he selected that dubious name.)

ABC7: Financial fugitive Israel now in custody, July 2, 2008

CNBC: Fugitive Hedge Fund Manager Israel in custody, July 2, 2008

WSF: When You Fake Your Death, They Arrest Your Girlfriend, June 20, 2008