By Keith Johnson —The loss of a child is a pain few parents can imagine. For those whose children were brutally murdered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, that incalculable grief has been made worse by a group of conspiracy theorists who have accused them of being actors in an elaborately staged hoax. Among the few surviving family members who have spoken out against these accusations is Lenny Pozner, whose son, Noah, was among the 26 women and children killed that fateful morning.
In an exclusive interview with this reporter, Lenny opened up about his ongoing struggle to address the myths and falsehoods surrounding the SHES tragedy, his attempts to meet with the so-called “truth seekers” who have been spreading those lies and the resistance he’s faced at every turn.
“I used to entertain conspiracy theories until I found myself at the center of one,” said Lenny. “That’s when I really woke up and realized that some are more interested in propagating fear than getting at the truth.”
Although these hoax theories primarily flourished on obscure websites and YouTube videos in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, Lenny said they attracted a much larger audience after radio host Alex Jones virtually endorsed them in a video segment posted on his website.
“In the last month and a half, I have not come out and said this was clearly a staged event,” Jones announced on January 27, 2013. “Unfortunately, evidence is beginning to come out that points more and more in that direction.”
Troubled by the position Jones was taking, Lenny decided to contact him.
“My family and I had already been victimized,” he explained. “Items were stolen off our property and people were driving by our house taking pictures and posting them on the Internet along with their weird theories. Alex was now adding fuel to the fire and I was concerned that these intrusions would continue to escalate.”
In an email to Jones, Lenny addressed the growing anger and unwarranted accusations directed at the Newtown families that had lost their children. “Haven’t we had our share of pain and suffering?” Lenny asked. “I used to enjoy listening to your shows prior to 12-14-12. Now I feel that your type of show created these hateful people and they need to be reeled in!” Lenny said he received a prompt reply from Jones’s assistant, Aaron Dykes. “He wrote and said that ‘Alex has no doubt that this was a real tragedy and sympathizes with the victims and their affected loved ones,’ ” Lenny said. “I also received an email from Paul Joseph Watson of [the website] ‘Prison Planet’ who said they had ‘actively distanced’ themselves from the ‘actors thing’ and believed it ‘was a very real tragedy with very real victims.’ ”
Lenny continued: “Although these replies sound sincere, Alex Jones has since had conspiracy theorists Wolfgang Halbig and Florida Professor James Tracy on his program. All of these people are cut from the same cloth. They’ve all been exploiting the Sandy Hook murders and continue to promote the theory that it was a hoax. They’re influencing the minds of gullible kids who basically need a way to cope with distressing events. So I sent emails out to all three. If they were real investigators looking for answers they would have contacted me.”
Lenny went on to say that none of the men replied to his emails. He did, however, contact Halbig through a third party, who reported back that Halbig did not wish to speak with him.
The reluctance of these so-called truth seekers to meet with this accommodating Sandy Hook parent is puzzling to say the least. Of the surviving family members, Lenny has been the most accessible and transparent. Not only does he maintain a website where he shares family photos and personal insights on Noah, he’s also publicly released his son’s birth certificate, report card, death certificate and two pages of an investigative report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner despite these documents being exempt from disclosure under Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act.
“People still aren’t satisfied, though,” Lenny said. “To them, every document is a fake and every witness is part of a grand conspiracy. Now they want to dig up the bodies. They can’t be taken seriously. They’ve become completely detached from reality.” When asked what he hopes his efforts will achieve, Lenny replied: “All we have left are the cherished memories of the children and loved ones we lost on December 14, 2012. They were our flesh and blood. They were real human beings who were robbed of this precious gift of life and the world was robbed of really knowing them. I intend to preserve and protect those memories.”