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Sorrell

Woody's Request for Sanctuary

Woody's plea for political asylum is entirely absent from Sorrell's report. Interestingly, every single one of the eyewitnesses recalled Woody's request for sanctuary. All but Donna recalled Woody using the word 'sanctuary', Donna recalling his words 'political asylum'.

Eyewitnesses

Adelbert
source:12/2 interview, p.1
That he was in danger and he was in here to ah be in a protected place. Wanted sanctuary in a church.
.
Heidi
source:12/2 written statement
He put his head on the podium, he was very very agitated, ask everyone to stay to offer him sanctuary.
.
Janis
source:12/2 interview
He said he was seeking sanctuary in this sanctuary. He kept repeating it over and over again.
.
Mary H
source:12/2 interview
The minister asked him to leave and he said "no, I want to be in sanctuary" .... He wanted us all to go in and be in sanctuary.
In fact we did have, in the church in the 80s, from about '84 to '94, we were a sanctuary for a husband and wife from El Salvador. They did not stay in the church, we provided a place for them to live, and eventually we had ten refugees from El Salvador. I suspect that he was simply aware that a church was a place you could get sanctuary. It doesn't work that way in this country anymore but it worked that way for generations in England.
.
Norman
source:12/2 written statement
At some point he asked for sanctuary in our church.
.
Michael
source:12/2 handwritten statement
This sanctuary theme was repeated more than once and I think he said something about having visited other U. churches. '
There were times during his verbalizations throughout that he would make statements to the effect that he was an okay person and someone whom we should believe.
.
Clifton
source:12/3 interview, p.1
He said that he needed sanctuary and that somebody was after him and he was expecting that the congregation would allow him, you know, to have sanctuary, to stay at the church. And he demanded that we agree to agree to this and he wanted us as witnesses and he wanted us to tell other Unitarian Churches to do the same for either himself or someone else, I'm not sure.
.
Bob
He read the entire piece, but I'm ... and it sounded, it was making much sense and I'm not sure but it was ... it had something to do with Unitarian churches having a history of being a sanctuary.
.
Sherry
source:12/2 interview
He was definitely unstable because he was stating that the police were after him and there were these stories and he had threats on his life and he had to ... we had to give him sanctuary ..
.
Donna
source:12/3 interview
And this fellow was in turn saying, "I'm here because I need asylum," Some things he just kept repeating which were: "I'm here because I need you to listen to me. I need witness. I'm here because I need political asylum, .."
And then he said he came to the Unitarians because he knew the Unitarians in Connecticut and Massachusetts and he knew this was where he could come for asylum. And he was still going on.
.
Tommy
source:12/2 interview
He started talking and asking for sanctuary in this Unitarian Church because we are known to give sanctuary.
.
Mary T
source:12/2 interview, p.2
... and he was asking us for sanctuary as a Unitarian Church.
source:12/2 interview, p.4
He asked if anyone had a cell phone because he wanted to verify the veracity of his statements and that he really was a good person.
He said he knew other Unitarians and he really felt we were the ones to help him.
.
Robert
source:12/2 interview
He seemed to stress the environment, working for that, but the next breath, and this took over, he said he had been threatened, he received phone calls, the police were after him, going to be tortured, and then he went on and on. He was coming here to the sanctuary for protection.
.
Charles
source:12/2 interview
And what is ... what in general is he saying?
Um ... it ... he's mostly saying he wanted some sort of sanctuary, thta he was um ... he was being threatened and ...
.
Polly
source:12/2 interview
He was here at this church for sanctuary, that people were after him and he wanted the members of the congregation to witness what happened to him.
.
Phyllis
source:12/2 interview
He said he was trying to get all Unitarian churches to give him like amnesty or something. He was trying to take refuge in the Unitarian churches.
.
Jane
source:12/2 interview
.. he said that he had message for us and he handed us .. I have a couple right here, said that he had messages that he wanted to get out to all the people and he was demanding to have sanctuary in a unitarian church ..
.
Ian
source:12/2 interview
.. the man was asking for sanctuary for his life.
.

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