Myth: Oda stated a crew member will die!
Fact: Possibly one of the most famous forum rumors. Back in 2003, Oda was claimed to have given verbal word that a member of the Straw Hats will die. At the time, the series was still in Skypiea.
The story goes (as often told by long-term fans) that later on when this did not happen, Oda said sorry as things had not gone as planned. The member of the crew that was suppose to die in 2003 is said to have been the Going Merry, which was originally planned to go down then. When Skypiea played out for too long, the death of the Going Merry was delayed for 3 years while Oda finished the other arcs before it and (eventually) led the storyline up to the end of the Going Merry at the end of the Enies Lobby arc.