An American Missionary in Africa Faces Possible Murder Charges and Hanging Because of a Traffic Accident-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Mike Hutchinson, an American missionary in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, is caught in his car by an angry Moslem mob.  A 16 year old boy is struck by the missionary’s car and the missionary is now on trial for his life and with the threat of immediate execution by hanging.  Some versions say the missionary is from a church in Long Beach, Mississippi.

The Truth:

According to Mike Hutchinson’s father-in-law, Jimmie Wood, there was an accident and a 16 year old boy did lose his life.

It was in the West African country of Senegal, however, and there was no angry Moslem crowd and no danger of Mike Hutchinson being executed.

According to Wood, the boy walked into the path of Mike’s car without looking.  Mike rushed him to a hospital, but the boy died on the way.  Mike then went to the police and volunteered a report.  Fellow missionaries went to the family of the boy to comfort them in their loss.  Under Senegalese law, a hearing about the matter was required and Mike was had to stay in Senegal until that hearing, but he was never arrested, jailed, or threatened and the authorities classed the event as an accident and treated Mike with respect.  Wood says he has no idea where the subject of hanging came from.  It was never a part of the picture.  There was no Christian-Moslem conflict and, in fact, one of the missionaries was invited to participate in the boy’s funeral.

Last updated 8/21/00

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

DEAR FRIENDS,

MIKE HUTCHINSON AND HIS FAMILY, IMB (International Mission Board-formerly Foreign Mission Board) MISSIONARIES IN GUINEA-BISSAU, WEST AFRICA, NEED OUR PRAYERS. HIS CAR WAS SURROUNDED BY MUSLIMS AS HE AND HIS FAMILY DROVE HOME. AFTER PATIENTLY WAITING AND ASKING THEM TO MOVE, THEY FINALLY PULLED AWAY FROM HIS CAR. AS MIKE STARTED TO DRIVE AWAY, A 16-YEAR OLD MUSLIM JUMPED (OR WAS PUSHED) IN FRONT OF MIKE’S CAR AND WAS KILLED.

THE MUSLIMS ARRESTED MIKE (TOOK HIS PASSPORT) AND ARE PLACING HIM ON TRIAL FOR MURDER. IF CONVICTED, HE WILL BE HANGED IMMEDIATELY. HIS WIFE, LYNN, AND HIS CHILDREN (12,10,9) ARE STAYING WITH ANOTHER MISSIONARY FAMILY.

PLEASE PRAY FOR GOD’S INTERVENTION. PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR CHURCH PRAYER CHAIN, EMAIL LIST, AND ANYONE ELSE YOU KNOW WHO WILL PRAY FOR THIS MISSIONARY.

PLEASE stop and pray NOW for this family….even before you send this to your list of friends and family to be praying for them!

THANK YOU!!!!!!!