Whopper of the Week: Hesham Mohamed Hadayet

Lying about his birth date was the least of his offenses, but he did that, too.

April 7, 1961

—Birth date listed on a California driver’s license for Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, the Egyptian limousine driver who went on a deadly shooting rampage yesterday at the El Al ticket counter at Los AngelesInternationalAirport. Hadayet killed two people and wounded several others before he was shot and killed by an El Al guard. The FBI says that so far they have no evidence of involvement by any terrorist group. Various Israeli officials, including Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, say they assume it was a terrorist attack. The Los Angeles Times reports that Peres’ granddaughter was in a different part of the terminal at the time.

July 4, 1961

—Birth date listed on a second California driver’s license belonging to Hadayet. This birth date is the correct one, according to Hadayet’s uncle by marriage, Hassan Mostafa Mahfouz. That means Hadayet’s killing spree occurred on his 41st birthday.

[Correction, 2:15 p.m.: Several readers point out that the likely reason for the two different birth dates was confusion about whether “July 4, 1961,” should be designated as “7/4/61” or “4/7/61.” That doesn’t explain why there were two driver’s licenses, but perhaps one had expired, or perhaps one was a corrected version of the other. Chatterbox retracts his accusation that Hadayet was a liar while noting that it remains irrefutable that Hadayet was a killer.]

Got a whopper? Send it to To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.

Whopper Archive:
June 28, 2002: WorldCom
June 21, 2002: Terry Lynn Barton
June 14, 2002: Tom Ridge
June 7, 2002: Former FBI Deputy Director Weldon Kennedy
May 31, 2002: Ari Fleischer
May 23, 2002: Condoleezza Rice
May 17, 2002: Robert Mueller
May 9, 2002: Karl Rove
May 3, 2002: Gen. Richard Myers
April 25, 2002: Donald Rumsfeld
April 18, 2002: George W. Bush  
April 11, 2002: The Rev. Robert J. Banks, archdiocese of Boston
April 5, 2002: George W. Bush  
March 29, 2002: Major League Baseball
March 21, 2002: Billy Graham
March 14, 2002: INS commissioner James W. Ziglar
March 8, 2002: Robert Zoellick and the U.S. steel industry
Feb. 28, 2002: Al Sharpton
Feb. 22, 2002: Olympic skating judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne
Feb. 14, 2002: Kenneth Lay
Feb. 8, 2002: Enron spokeswoman Peggy Mahoney
Jan. 31, 2002: Monsanto
Jan. 24, 2002: Linda Chavez
Jan. 17, 2002: George W. Bush
Jan. 10, 2002: Simon & Schuster
Jan. 4, 2002: The Associated Press

(Click  here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)