FACT CHECK: Was Tom Hanks Executed After A Military Tribunal?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims actor Tom Hanks was “put to death by a military tribunal that found him guilty of pedophilia and child endangerment.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Hanks has been arrested, convicted or executed for such crimes. The claim stems from a website that says it publishes “humor, parody, and satire.”

Fact Check:

The lengthy Facebook post alleges Hanks was found guilty of the two crimes via military tribunal days after members of Interpol and the 173rd Airborne Brigade arrested him June 12 in Italy. A “3-officer panel” reached the verdict after reviewing supposed video evidence and sentenced him to death, a punishment that was “carried out expeditiously,” the post further claims.

There is, however, no evidence to support the post’s claims about Hanks. Interpol and the Department of Defense have not put out any announcements about the actor being arrested, convicted or executed for crimes against children. If Hanks had been apprehended at an Italian airport and later executed, major media outlets would have reported it, given that he’s a well-known celebrity.

“That story is a complete fabrication, and there is no truth to the claims,” said a Department of Defense spokesperson in an email to Check Your Fact. (RELATED: Did BBC News Publish A Story About Tom Hanks Being Arrested For Child Pornography Possession?)

While the post attempts to suggest Hanks was arrested on June 12, he has seemingly been active since that date. He did the voiceover for a video released July 23 announcing the new name of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, now called the Cleveland Guardians. His wife, Rita Wilson, shared a picture of him on her Instagram account July 9 to commemorate his birthday.

A keyword search revealed this particular claim about Hanks originated from Real Raw News, a website that says it publishes “humor, parody, and satire.” The Facebook post appears to have lifted the text of a July 27 Real Raw News story titled “Military Executes Tom Hanks,” but it failed to include the website’s satire disclaimer.

Check Your Fact has previously debunked viral Facebook posts making baseless allegations about Hanks being arrested for child-related crimes.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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