Let's Perpetrate a Hoax!
Our Urban Legend is "DNA Testing: Be careful what you ask for"

You have all received ridiculous "forwards" from friends and family that contain morality tales, pleas for help from suffering children, chain letters, and other falsities (e.g., "Mel Gibson's Face," and "Dying Child Collects Business Cards").  It's amazing that people want to believe them so badly as to ignore their apocryphal nature.

As for me, I've always wondered why I wasn't the author of an unbelievable urban myth. Well now I am, and you can help.  My wife gave me the germ of the story, and a long drive back from a bad day in court finalized the details.  The story is totally false.  The names and details are entirely fictional. 

In this little social experiment, I ask that you, dear reader, forward this tale to the people most likely to forward it again.  Then let's wait and see when it comes back around.  If someone forwards this story to you, please forward it to webmaster@seeuinhell.com with all the headers intact.  Any details as to where it went and how it got there will help.

I was going to offer a SeeUinHell t-shirt to the first person who got the story forwarded to them.  But, well ... anyone who would participate in such a hoax would probably be lying.  So, you have to buy your own t-shirt.

Thanks for your help.  This oughta be fun.

Skeeky Webo, Jr.
May 5, 2001

In the meantime, two good urban myth sites are www.snopes.com and www.truthorfiction.com.

Here's the story:

In its regular column "Weird News," the Village Viewpoint recently ran this story:

DNA testing: Be careful what you ask for.

Tim O’Neill was abandoned as an infant and throughout his childhood was shuttled from foster home to foster home. As a teenager, he got into some trouble, but nothing of any serious note. He finally hit the big time when he was arrested for grand theft auto, felony hit-and-run, and vehicular manslaughter, after stealing a car and running over a teenager.

O’Neill was convicted on only circumstantial evidence and questionable testimony from eye-witnesses. He was sent to a minimum security state prison near San Diego. From the time of his arrest he vehemently denied any involvement in the crime.

As the millennium came to a close and DNA testing became more prevalent, O’Neill – a model prisoner – requested a DNA test of the evidence in the crime. The D.A. approved the request after determining that a DNA test could ultimately exonerate him.

Unfortunately, the result was not what O’Neill had hoped for – the DNA was a match. To make matters worse, O’Neill’s DNA matched the DNA evidence in an unsolved rape and murder that had taken place previous to his arrest. O’Neill was subsequently indicted and sent to trial for rape and murder.

O’Neill was transported from the state prison to downtown San Diego County lockup for the trial. However, during the transport, the Sheriff’s vehicle was blasted in an intersection by large sedan that had run a red light and caused a multiple-vehicle collision. In the ensuing confusion, O’Neill car-jacked the sedan and escaped.

O’Neill and the stolen vehicle were found the next day in east San Diego County. He was suffering from head trauma and extensive blood loss. He did not deny stealing the vehicle, but insisted that his name was not O’Neill, and denied any knowledge of the events leading to his arrest. The trial was set back pending resolution of his mental capacity to stand trial. But prior to the capacity hearing, O’Neill confessed not only to the rape/murder, but to the vehicular manslaughter he had for so long denied. The DNA evidence proved sufficient to overcome any question regarding the veracity of his confession, and he plea-bargained a life sentence.

That should have been the end of the story, but an enterprising investigator at the City Attorney’s office found O’Neill’s sealed juvenile court record, and had it opened through the court. The investigator discovered that O’Neill had been convicted of petty larceny during his youth, and had spent six weeks in a youth outreach program in Colorado – during the time that the rape/murder had taken place. O’Neill had the perfect alibi.

Further investigation revealed that O’Neill had a twin brother named Michael Decker who was also abandoned as an infant, and who had been adopted and lived a normal life in suburbs of north San Diego County. Decker’s fate, however, found perpendicular synchronicity the day he got drunk, stole a large sedan, and ran a red light in east San Diego, colliding with a Sheriff’s vehicle and then fleeing the scene. It seems O’Neill had not jacked the other vehicle at all, and had simply escaped during the crash. Decker could not have known that the Sheriff’s car was transporting his twin brother to trial for a crime he had committed. He could not have known that he would be mistaken for O’Neill, who had done so much time for his crimes. He could not have known that his confession would both seal his fate and exonerate the brother he never knew he had.

O’Neill has yet to be found. San Diego Sheriffs are still looking for him, but this time to tell him he is free.

Tim O’Neill is a 31 year-old white male with brown hair and eyes, medium build, 5'10'’, about 160 pounds. If you have any information as to Tim O’Neill’s whereabouts, please e-mail findoneill@hotmail.com



Copyright 2001, SeeUinHell.
Thou shalt not lie.