Fact Check: The Military Did NOT Execute Tom Hanks

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: The Military Did NOT Execute Tom Hanks Spoof Website

Did a military tribunal find Tom Hanks guilty of pedophilia and child endangerment, and then execute him because of it? No, that's not true: A Pentagon duty officer confirmed to Lead Stories that the claim was "completely false." The originator of the claim has a disclaimer on its website to alert readers that it is not a real news source.

The story originated in an article published by Real Raw News on July 27, 2021, titled "Military Executes Tom Hanks" (archived here) which opened with this line:

Actor Tom Hanks has left the earth, put to death by a military tribunal that found him guilty of pedophilia and child endangerment.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Military Executes Tom Hanks - Real Raw News

Actor Tom Hanks has left the earth, put to death by a military tribunal that found him guilty of pedophilia and child endangerment. On June 12, the U.S. military apprehended Hanks after a plane he had chartered in Greece, where he holds dual citizenship, landed at Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy, where Hanks had been [...]

The fabricated story continues:

On June 12, the U.S. military apprehended Hanks after a plane he had chartered in Greece...Ten days later, Hanks had his day in court, with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps presenting proof connecting Hanks to a child trafficking ring that, the military alleged, had worked in the shadows for 30 years. It presented into evidence many electronic devices--laptops and cellphones--that held photographs and videos of Hanks engaged in sexual intercourse with male children who were obviously below the age of consent.

Lead Stories emailed the Pentagon inquiring about the validity of this story on August 2, 2021.

A duty officer responded the same day with:

Completely false.

Real Raw News has a disclaimer on its "About Us" page that says, quoted here with boldface words as they appear on the site:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Lead Stories has debunked multiple stories written by Real Raw News; some examples include a military tribunal for Bill Clinton, a hanging of Hillary Clinton, and a false James Comey arrest.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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