Sensationalistic stories about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) shooting have spread like wildfire across the Internet and many of these prevailing but grossly inaccurate conspiracy theories have recently spilled onto the pages of the controversial “populist” newspaper American Free Press (AFP).
In a recent AFP article entitled, Sandy Hook: Still Looking for Answers, writer Victor Thorn makes outrageous claims about the SHES tragedy sourced from individuals that clearly don’t have even a basic understanding of the events that transpired that fateful day.
Of course this comes as no surprise to me. As a former AFP contributor, I was often at odds with my colleagues over their unwillingness to fact-check the provocative claims espoused by their many dubious sources on Sandy Hook. In fact, it was precisely this kind of irresponsible journalism that compelled me to end my nearly five year relationship with the newspaper. Having intimate knowledge of how much damage these myths and lies cause to so many people, I found it difficult to remain associated an organization that helps perpetuate them.
Last June I had an opportunity to interview Lenny Pozner, whose son Noah was the youngest child murdered at SHES. It was then that I learned just how extensive the harassment and stalking has been from those who buy into these Sandy Hook conspiracy theories and accuse the parents of being complicit.
More recently, the daughter of slain SHES principal Dawn Hochsprung was among several family members who complained of being constantly harassed after former Atlanta Braves pitcher Chipper Jones took to his twitter account and repeated an oft-cited—yet thoroughly debunked—Sandy Hook hoax claim.
“For more than two years now, my family and the other families of Sandy Hook have been dealing with conspiracy theorists,” Cristina Hassinger, 30, told the New York Daily News. “They harass us, saying it was all a hoax. They accuse us of being in on the hoax a lot of the time. So it’s really so disappointing to see someone who is supposed to be an American role model come out and promote the Sandy Hook hoax theory.”
Although AFP’s article has not managed to elicit this kind of public outrage from the surviving family, it has certainly laid the ground work for inspiring others to adopt the same viewpoints as Chipper Jones. Thorn’s article essentially regurgitates some of the more popular SHES conspiracy theories. What follows is my comprehensive debunking of those claims based on months of intensive research.
Thorn begins by launching into an interview of cable access TV show host Ed Whitney, who is quoted perpetuating these long-debunked myths: “Why were ambulances, first responders and fire trucks forced to park at a firehouse 500 yards away from SHES? Moreover, why were paramedics refused entrance?”
All of these assertions are at the very least misleading if not completely wrong, and the facts contained in the Connecticut State Police (CSP) Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Reports—along with supporting photographic evidence—conclusively bear this out.
Whitney’s suggestion that first-responders were parked too far away to provide an immediate response to the shooting is refuted in Book 6/Document 00184096, where CSP Detective Downs of the Major Crime Squad has compiled a timeline of events based on 911 audio recordings, state and local law enforcement radio transmissions and the statements of first responders and witnesses.
Downs’ timeline clearly shows that the first call about the shooting came into the Newtown Police Department (NPD) at 9:35:39 a.m. (corroborated by publicly released audio). A mere seventeen seconds later, at 9:35:56 a.m., “Newtown Police Officers inside the police department are informed of the shooting at SHES and immediately leave the police department,” as documented by Detective Downs, who made this observation based on an NPD surveillance video.
Both Sergeant Kullgren and Officer Chapman responded from NPD and were the first to arrive at SHES. They made it to the scene in less than 4 minutes. Upon arrival, these very first responders stopped short of the cluster of parked cars in the lot (which could have provided cover for a gunman seeking to ambush arriving officers) and parked in the driveway next to the baseball field, which is a little more than 100 yards (or 350 feet) from the entrance of the school, not 500 yards as Whitney claims.
“As I approached the Dickenson Drive I observed 8-12 young children running east across the front parking lot of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Department,” Sergeant Kullgren wrote in his official statement. “I turned onto Dickenson Drive and stopped my patrol vehicle approx. 350 feet away from the main entrance of the school.”
As the first on scene, Kullgren and Chapman practiced a proper police procedure by not driving directly up to the front door of SHES. For those who might disagree, consider this: “Police cruisers are easy targets that pin the driver into a fixed location behind the wheel.” wrote 32 year police veteran Brian McKenna in a 2011 article for Law Officer Magazine. “As a result they often draw hostile gunfire like a magnet. With this in mind, approach the scene along a route that allows you to remain out of sight as long as possible, and stop before you enter the hot zone. Pick a location with a building or other suitable item of cover between you and the gunman’s location, and then complete your approach on foot, using cover as you move.” Other officers that arrived behind Kullgren and Chapman were then clear to drive much closer to the school.
Whitney’s claim that paramedics were “refused entrance” is yet another inaccuracy. Book 6 of the CSP SHES Shooting Reports contains several documents and sworn statements clearly showing that two Newtown ambulances, consisting of a paramedic and two EMTs each, were dispatched in less than 10 minutes after the initial call of shots fired was phoned in. Those personnel—paramedics R. Velleteri and Bradley and EMTs Burke, Folan, Lerman and L. Velleteri—ultimately provided advanced life support to the two injured children and basic life support to an injured adult both at the scene and en route to the hospital. The report also identifies three medically trained Connecticut State Troopers among the first responders to arrive at the school. Two, Sgt. Cario and Trooper Dragon, were EMTs and another, William Blumenthal, was a registered nurse.
Four people were transported to the hospital by ambulance and the rest were found dead. Paramedic Matthew Cassevechia and two tactical paramedics, John Reed and Bernie Meehan, made the legal presumptions of death under the direction of Dr. Pat Broderick of the Danbury Hospital and they did this by using proper SMART [Simple Medical Assessment And Rapid Treatment] protocols and after performing four separate assessments on each patient.
Though it is true that the staging of ambulances was at the nearby Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Department, this by no means contrary to proper emergency protocol. There’s an abundance of credentialed sources that will verify that ambulances are never allowed to respond directly into an in-progress active-shooter scene, commonly referred to as the “hot zone.” Here’s one:
“Active-shooter incidents rarely go from hot zone to cold zone quickly,” wrote FBI Tactical Paramedic Jim Morrissey in a 2011 article for EMS [Emergency Medical Services] World Magazine. “Law enforcement officers know it is their responsibility to get into the crisis site quickly to distract, engage and hopefully eliminate the threat. EMS, on the other hand, is still waiting for the ‘all clear’ and may be staged for minutes or hours, not willing, able or allowed to get in and start saving lives.”
Whitney goes on to say, “aerial footage showed idling ambulances blocked-in by cars at the firehouse, something that would never transpire under typical emergency protocol procedures.”
The aerial footage Whitney refers to was captured by Connecticut News Chopper 12 between 10:45a.m. and 11:00 a.m., well after the threat had been neutralized and the victims had either been transported out of SHES or declared dead.
During the critical moments, all roads leading to SHES were clear and unobstructed as can be verified by viewing the time-stamped dash cam footage from Trooper First Class (TFC) William Blumenthal, who arrived at SHES just shy of 10 a.m.
Whitney goes on to make these two assertions: 1.) “Presumably, plenty of blood would have been shed in the school, but when asked who cleaned it up, the Board of Education declined to answer” and 2.) “Trauma helicopters were not sent to Sandy Hook. Life Star, the medical helicopter service at Danbury Hospital Trauma Center, was never called.”
As to Whitney’s first, point, it is irrelevant if the Newtown Board of Education scoffed at a random question about cleaning up the blood because the answer has been readily available since late 2013. In Book 2/Document 00198985, we learn that 63 boxes of hazardous waste were removed from the school on January 4, 2013 and that the clean up began on December 31, 2012 by a certified Connecticut company, Clean Harbors.
Concerning trauma helicopters, there is no evidence to support Whitney’s claim that they were “never called.” Though it is true that they did not respond to the scene, it was obvious that ground transportation was deemed a more appropriate means.
Despite perceptions common among Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists, there is no fixed policy mandating the deployment of trauma helicopters to mass casualty incidents (MCI). In 2010, for instance, disgruntled employee Omar Thornton went on a rampage and killed 9 people and critically injured 2 others at a beer distribution plant in Manchester, Connecticut. “Victims were taken to Hartford Hospital by ambulance,” it was later reported in the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. “Life Star helicopter was standing by, but officials decided ambulances would be faster.”
Contrary to Whitney’s claim, there is no Life Star helicopter service stationed out of nearby Danbury Hospital. The closest Life Star is actually based almost 40 miles away in Hartford.
“The injured people were transported by ambulance to Danbury Hospital,” wrote Mick West on his website Metabunk. “Just 11.4 miles away by road, straight down a freeway, accessible in less than 14 minutes. Ambulances were already there. Using an ambulance minimizes the movement of the patient. Calling for a helicopter would take more time. The ambulance was quicker and safer.”
Thorn caps off his interview with Whitney by opining that “CNN’s Anderson Cooper deliberately tried to deceive viewers by airing video footage of seven police officers charging across a parking lot toward a school” and that “[Anderson] passed off these visuals as occurring at SHES, when in actuality they were filmed 1.5 miles away at St. Rose of Lima School during an ‘active shooter drill.’”
Despite what Thorn and Whitney claim, there was no “active shooter drill” at St. Rose of Lima School on the day of the shooting. The officers captured in the aforementioned video footage had responded there in response to reports of suspicious persons. Photos taken of individuals detained at the scene suggest that these were parents that had rushed there to check on their children.
Local news agency Connecticut Post covered the story:
“Police swarmed St. Rose of Lima School on Church Hill Road in Newtown Friday afternoon, hours after the shooting at nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School,” they wrote. “Neil Curry, whose 11-year-old son Kevin is in fifth grade at the school, said the school was put in lock down three times during the day. Curry said a person was found ‘lurking’ outside a kindergarten class room. Later, an ‘agitated’ person was reported inside the St. Rose of Lima Church near the school.”
CNN later used the footage in a montage of events that transpired that day. Most reasonable people who examined this footage would conclude there was no attempt by CNN to portray the incident as having occurred at SHES.
In his next segment, Seeing is Believing, Thorn suggests that the government may be hiding video footage of events that occurred inside SHES because, “[a]ccording to news reports, in 2012 an entire visual monitoring system had been installed at the school with, one would assume, some type of recording apparatus.”
The news reports Thorn refers to are based solely on a poorly-worded, poorly-researched Hartford Courant article posted on the day of the shooting. The title erroneously stated that slain Principal Dawn Hochsprung had just “Outlined New Security Procedures for Sandy Hook Elementary.”
To substantiate their claim, the Courant posted an undated letter they had obtained from the SHES website, which begins: “Our district will be implementing a security system in all elementary schools as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure student safety. As usual, exterior doors will be locked during the day. Every visitor will be required to ring the doorbell at the front entrance and the office staff will use a visual monitoring system to allow entry.”
The letter was addressed to “Members of our Sandy Hook Family” and ends with “Sincerely, Dawn Hochsprung.” Based on this article alone, it has been widely assumed that Hochsprung had written the letter to introduce a newly installed security system, even though the letter mentions nothing about installation of hardware.
After significant online research, this writer—along with significant assistance from Mike Flagg of Sandy Hook Tragedy: Focus on Facts—conclusively determined that Hochsprung, who began working at SHES in 2010, was not the author of this letter and that the letter was actually written in 2006 as an introduction to a security system that was installed at three Newtown Elementary schools that same year.
The exact same letter, for instance, was found on the website of Newtown’s Hawley Elementary School, addressed to “Members of out Hawley Family” and ending with “Sincerely, Jo-Anne Peters,” that school’s principal.
The Wayback Machine, which crawls and then archives publicly accessible Internet WebPages, snapped a screen-shot of this letter on October 5, 2006, long before Hochsprung was employed by the Newtown School District.
Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Wolfgang Halbig has stated publicly that he filed a Connecticut Freedom of Information Act request for documents pertaining to a security system installed prior to December 15, 2012. In a July interview posted on YouTube, Halbig went on to admit that Newtown replied to his request. “Now I got one for 2006,” Halbig stated in an interview on the Truth Paradigm YouTube channel. “It says a door buzzer with a camera with a strike plate on the door for opening the door with monitors on staff’s desk so they can see who is coming. But that was installed in 2006.” Precisely! There was no system installed in 2012. The last time security hardware was installed at SHES was in 2006, which coincides with the creation of the aforementioned security letter.
Furthermore, the cameras did not have a recording feature. They were used exclusively to identify visitors that buzzed in at the front door. That discovery was made on the day of the shooting. At 11:46:14 a.m., NPD Officer Leonard Penna can be heard on his radio saying: “See if you can get a hold of S7 [Officer Santucci] or 4 HQ [Lieutenant Vanghele]. They were inquiring about video cameras at Sandy Hook School. There are no video cameras that record. The only camera they have is to let people in with the call button, which does not record.”
Next, Thorn interviews Whitney’s cable TV show co-host Verne Feurst, who doubts that Lanza was capable of pulling off the attacks. “We’re told that Adam Lanza suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, which causes a loss of motor control,” he says. “How is a frail 20-year-old kid supposed to carry into that school multiple weapons and 400 rounds of ammo, and then handle sophisticated weaponry, reload, and kill 26 people with expert marksmanship when there’s no evidence that he ever trained at a gun range? I don’t think a kid who’s that sick is capable of it.”
To my knowledge, Mr. Feurst is not a credentialed expert on Asperger’s Syndrome and should therefore not be relied upon for medical advice. On the other hand, an individual who is well qualified to speak on these matters is Dr. Michael Linden, a clinical psychologist and director of the Linden Attention Learning Center in California.
In September, 2014 this writer interviewed Dr. Linden and asked if he would be surprised to learn that someone diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome or a profound Autism Spectrum Disorder could carry out such a massacre. Dr. Linden replied with an emphatic “No” and added that some with Asperger’s can actually excel in certain physical activities.
“There are people with Asperger’s that are athletes,” he said “They can be very strong or of any size. Athletes with Asperger’s may be a relief pitcher, a goalie or a field goal kicker. They can have good motor skills and if they obsess and are detailed in certain areas—like shooting and computers—they can develop very good technical skills.”
Though Feurst would have us believe that there’s no proof that the shooter had experience with firearms, there is indisputable evidence that Lanza trained at a minimum of 3 gun ranges. According to Reed Coleman of Sandy Hook Lighthouse, “In the full Sandy Hook Shooting report files disclosed by the Connecticut State Police, Christian Hansen, identified as an ‘NRA Instructor’ who taught firearms certification courses at Fairfield County Indoor Range/Arms and Munitions, in Monroe, Connecticut, provided a sworn statement that: 1.) Both Adam and Nancy Lanza took ‘basic [firearms] safety classes’ from him 4 years before Sandy Hook and 2.) Both Adam and Nancy Lanza returned several times in the following year, and both ‘shot actively.’”
Coleman went on to write: “Another witness interview identifies a second shooting range visited by Adam and Nancy: Wooster Mountain Shooting Range, in roughly 2010, where he witnessed Adam Lanza shooting the AR-15 Bushmaster as well as what he believed to be the Glock Model 19 (both of the weapons fired at Sandy Hook Elementary two years later). The unidentified witness also recalls teaching Adam Lanza how best to operate the AR-15.”
A third facility was identified in the CSP SHES Shooting Reports as “Shooter’s Indoor Pistol Range” located in New Milford, Connecticut. Included in the report is a sign-in sheet with both Nancy and Adam Lanza’s signatures dated February 18, 2011.
As to the issue of Lanza’s marksmanship, Feurst frames his argument from an unrealistic perspective. Lanza was not shooting at fleeing targets from remote vantage points like a water tower. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the shooter’s victims (14 children and 2 adults) were shot multiple times at near-point blank range as they tried to cram themselves into a small bathroom in the corner of Room 8.
“This wasn’t a target shooting session requiring skill or marksmanship,” wrote CW Wade in an analysis of the shooting on his blog Sandy Hook Facts. “It was a matter of pulling the trigger at close range. No one could miss.”
Thorn finishes up his second segment by claiming that, “Lanza had established absolutely no online footprint: no email address, Facebook account, social media interactions, etc. It’s literally impossible for an addicted computer geek to not leave a trace in cyberspace. But that’s what we’re encouraged to accept about Lanza.”
Unfortunately, Thorn hasn’t looked deep enough. In a Sandy Hook Lighthouse article, entitled The Shooter Among Us, Reed Coleman writes: “The perpetrator of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting left an online footprint that has been well-publicized: as I’ve covered before, he edited Wikipedia pages for mass shooters, posted on firearms forums looking for the most lethal weaponry he could legally acquire, and frequented a private forum dedicated to school shootings.”
To substantiate his claims, Coleman has written multiple articles about this online activity complete with screenshots and links to source material. Thorn’s third segment, The Smoking Gun, contains his most egregious errors. Here, Thorn quotes Pete Papaherakles, a fellow AFP reporter who makes one blunder after the other and demonstrates that he has not even made a feeble attempt to fact check his own ridiculous claims.
First, Thorn gives this error-riddled summary of Papaherakles’ contribution: “Lanza supposedly began his rampage at 9:35:53 a.m., yet only three minutes and 13 seconds later, at 9:39:06 a.m., an ABC News helicopter already hovered above SHES. At that time it showed police officers chasing two ‘shadows’ running behind SHES into the woods. As they did so, they passed a shed with an open door.”
Everything about that paragraph is verifiably false. To begin with, it is accepted fact that the first 911 call came into NPD at 9:35:39 a.m., at which time the female caller reported: “Sandy Hook School. I think there’s somebody shooting in here in Sandy Hook School…Somebody’s got a gun. I saw a glimpse of somebody running down the hallway. They’re still around me. There’s still shooting. Sandy Hook School please.”
The report of a shooting—already in progress—was made 14 seconds before Thorn claims Lanza began his rampage.
Next, no helicopter arrived at SHES prior to the 10 a.m. hour and neither Thorn nor Papaherakles have any facts or supporting documentation to substantiate their claim. What they have done is erroneously merged three completely separate incidents: 1.) The footage of officers running into the woods, 2.) Two shadows reportedly running past the gym behind SHES and 3.) The detainment of parent Chris Manfredonia (whom Papaherakles mistakenly identifies as Joe Manfredonia).
The helicopter footage that Thorn refers to was simultaneously captured and broadcast live by WABC News, New York at precisely 12:24 p.m. In the original airing, which is visibly time stamped at 12:24, a reporter verifies that the footage is being broadcast LIVE and is heard saying: “You’re looking now…and I don’t know if you can make it out on your TV as I can make it out…you see some units working…walking in the woods near Sandy Hook Elementary School.”
Later that day, on their website, ABC News released an official timeline of their coverage of events and documented the aforementioned activity as: “12:24 p.m.: Law enforcement agents with weapons drawn seen running into wooded area behind the school.”
Further corroboration of the timeline of this footage can be found in a shadow analysis conducted by Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Pat Jack. Calculating the length and direction of shadows cast from stationary objects in the footage, Pat Jack concludes that this “indicates a time of 12:23 p.m. EST,” which is just one minute shy of the time-stamp on the live WABC news report.
Though Thorn would have us believe that the police were “chasing two ‘shadows,’” viewing the actual footage reveals officers chasing no one. Three officers are seen running up into the woods, away from the school and towards an individual that is running down towards them and towards the school.
The police activity in the woods was later documented in Book 6/Document00024911 of the Final Report, which states: “CT DEEP [Department of Energy and Environmental Protection] Police questioned a male reporter in the woods off the right side of the building (when looking at it from the front). The male was attempting to get closer to the building and was stopped by DEEP Police Officers. He was identified and later released.”
The “two ‘shadows’” referenced by Thorn were actually reported to NPD dispatch by school custodian Rick Thorne at 9:38:57 a.m. In the aforementioned CSP Major Crime Squad timeline (and in publicly released audio), Thorne tells the dispatcher: “Ok, the gym teacher told me they saw shadows going past the gym.”
According to the CSP Major Crime Squad timeline, “The shadows are believed to be the teachers in conference room #20 (west hallway), who escaped out the window and ran to the Subway Restaurant on Church Hill Rd. (Newtown 911).”
The third and completely separate incident inserted into Thorn’s and Papaherakles’ twisted version of events occurred at 9:39:34 a.m., when NPD Officer McGowan encountered SHES parent Chris Manfredonia running towards him on the eastside of the property. By 9:41:21 a.m., Officer McGowan reported that he had Manfredonia in custody and prone out on the playground of SHES. This, of course, is completely inconsistent with Thorn’s and Papaherakles’ claim that this suspect was taken into custody in the woods. Manfredonia was nowhere near the woods when he was stopped and detained by McGowan. It was later discovered that Manfredonia was there that day to assist in a school project. This incident is described in detail by Officer McGowan in Book 6/Document 260187.
Next, Thorn’s confusion as to when two separate pieces of news footage were taken leads to yet another outrageous claim. In the aforementioned WABC footage of police activity in the woods, officers are seen running past an open storage shed. Working from the false premise that this footage was taken at about 9:39 a.m., Thorn tries to make the case that news footage taken later in day showed the door of this shed closed.
“[H]elicopter cameramen filmed six SWAT [Special Weapons And Tactics] team members dressed in military gear searching the SHES grounds for other gunmen,” Thorn wrote. “While doing so, they used a crowbar to bust off the lock and pry open the door of this very same shed.”
In his attempt to prove this alleged anomaly, Thorn cites an article from the UK Daily Mail that marks the arrival of SWAT at 9:45 a.m. He reasons, therefore, that the officers in the WABC footage could not have possibly run past a shed that had not yet been open. “A flagrant error in the timeline of events had reared its ugly head,” wrote Thorn.
Unfortunately, the only ones making a flagrant error in the timeline of events are Thorn and Papaherakles. As we have previously determined, the WABC footage in the woods was taken at 12:24 p.m. So even if SWAT opened the shed precisely at 9:45 a.m., this would not serve as a citable discrepancy. However, based on officer’s statements, 911 audio recordings and photographic evidence, we know that CSP SWAT and a NPD K9 unit opened/inspected the shed just before noon.
In live CNN time-stamped coverage of the SHES massacre, law enforcement officers and a K9 are seen congregating near the closed shed on the eastside of the school at 11:14 a.m. According to the NPD radio transcript (corroborated by publicly released audio), a conversation beginning at 11:30:23 a.m. between Dispatcher Nute, Sergeant Kullgren and Sergeant Bahamonde reveals that CSP SWAT, K9s and others are now in the process of conducting a fourth full sweep of the school grounds.
Assisting in that search was K9 Officer Felicia Figol, who was called in to assist from an off-site location at 10:58:24 a.m. Officer Figol indicates by radio that she has arrived at SHES at 11:11:58 a.m. In the SWAT video footage referenced by Thorn, Officer Figol and her dog can be seen assisting with CSP SWAT as they pry open the door of the shed and inspect the interior. From there, Officer Figol assisted in a search of the wooded area on the eastside of the school and called in clear from Treadwell Park at 11:48:17 a.m. Officer Figol’s statement can be found in Book 6/Document 00038691.
Therefore, the opening of the shed occurred sometime between 11:14 a.m. (when it was last seen closed in live aerial footage captured by CNN) and 11:48 a.m. when Officer Figol’s participation in the search concluded. That means the shed was opened at least 36 minutes before the three officers passed it on their way up into the woods at 12:24 p.m.
Thorn goes on to laud Papaherakles’ “prowess for uncovering details” in relation to the mass evacuation of children from SHES. “[A]fter inspecting footage from three different police cars with dash-cams pointed in every direction of the SHES parking lot, Papaherakles located no evidence of any fleeing children,” Thorn wrote. “Thus, neither the WABC helicopter nor three police dash-cams depicted any type of evacuation whatsoever, nor did they corroborate the photo professed to be taken at 10:09 a.m. by Shannon Hicks, associate editor of The Newtown Bee, in which a line of children were purportedly escaping from SHES. Police dash-cam No. 2 was pointed directly at the parking lot location where the Hicks photo was purportedly taken, but it never revealed one frame of this event ever occurring.”
Here, Thorn and Papaherakles absolutely betray readers by failing to address the fact that CSP Trooper dash cams did capture footage of the evacuation but that it was redacted in accordance with state law. From the CSP Final Report on Sandy Hook:
“CGS § 1‐210 (b) (3) (B): Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of the identity of minor witnesses.”
The evacuation of SHES took place between approximately 10:00 a.m. and 10:33 a.m. and is well documented in the reports of several participating law enforcement officers contained in Books 4 and 6. In addition to the reports, the CSP released footage from three CSP Trooper dash-cams.
Footage of the evacuation itself was redacted from the dash-cams and in place of the footage was a black screen with the words “Content Redacted.” The timeline of the evacuation is outlined in the aforementioned CSP Major Crime Squad report, which describes the activity that has been redacted from each CSP Trooper dash cam. According to the reports, most of the children were evacuated from the northeast corner of the school (left side if looking directly at the front entrance). That footage was captured by the dash-cam of TFC John McGeever.
Although the CSP were relatively thorough in their redactions, one savvy Sandy Hook researcher located vague but unmistakable evacuation footage of several minor children that had been apparently overlooked by the CSP editor(s). In a YouTube video, entitled Sandy Hook—Debunking “The Evacuation Never Happened,” the researcher locates a moving line of children being escorted from the northeast corner of SHES as seen from the dash-cam of TFC McGeever at 10:24:28 a.m.
Upon this discovery, Sandy Hook researcher CW Wade enhanced the footage and was able to locate even more children being evacuated from the northeast corner of SHES. The first time children can be seen from McGeever’s dash-cam is at 10:17:14 a.m. Another group can be seen at 10:17:42 a.m. Then another group is escorted from SHES at 10:33:17 a.m.
Aside from that, photographs of the evacuation taken by private parties have also made their way onto the Internet. At least two of these photographs show several dozen—if not hundreds—of children walking in a line down Dickenson Drive towards the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Department.
In a YouTube video, entitled Sandy Hook—Enhanced Video, CW Wade documents all photographic evidence of the evacuation from both official and private sources.
Thorn ends this third segment by sharing an email correspondence from Papaherakles that is essentially a reiteration of what has just been discussed in reference to the helicopter news footage and evacuation. From this we learn that Papaherakles has relied exclusively on a faulty interpretation of police audio recordings provided in a Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist’s YouTube video. Worse yet, this interpretation of publicly released police audio was made in January 2013, months before the release of the NPD radio transcript found in the CSP Final Report. Had Papaherakles fact checked that transcript against the commentary in the YouTube video, he would have discovered why the timeline of events seemed implausible.
What follows are the actual words spoken in the audio portion of the video referenced by Papaherakles in his email, followed by what Papaherakles’ interpretation of those words are, followed by what those words actually mean.
1st AUDIO: At 9:35:51 (according to the private scanner’s clock*), a male voice is heard saying: “67…Sandy Hook School caller is indicating she thinks there is someone shooting in building.”
PAPAHERAKLES’ INTERPRETAION: “The first officers’ report about the shootings was received at 9:35:51 AM when the first police cars arrived there.”
FACT: Officers were not yet there. The voice on the radio is that of NPD Dispatcher Nute, who is advising unit 67 (Officer McGowan) that the caller he has on the phone thinks there is someone shooting at SHES. McGowan and other officers were inside the NPD when they were alerted about the call 10 seconds earlier.
2nd AUDIO: At 9:36:34 (according to the private scanner’s clock*), a male voice is heard saying: “Units responding, units responding to Sandy Hook school, the front glass has been broken out of the school. They are unsure why.”
PAPAHERAKLES’ INTERPRETAION: “At 9:36:34 AM the first officer reported that he discovered broken glass at front entrance of school.”
FACT: Again, officers were not yet there and the voice on the radio is still that of NPD Dispatcher Nute, who is advising responding officers that the caller he has on the phone indicates that she saw broken glass.
From this faulty interpretation, Papaherakles concludes: “You have to wonder about the timeline of this whole ‘live event.’ The call to the police was made on 9:35:53. By 9:36:34, only 41 seconds later, the police were at the front door of the school. That’s pretty quick!”
As I have previously determined in this report, it took approximately 4 minutes for the very first responding officers to arrive at SHES. Papaherakles could have spared himself all this confusion had he simply cross referenced the audio against the more recent CSP Final Report. Instead, he based all his conclusions on the assumptions and speculations of an anonymous Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist who was making these ill-informed observations in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and without any supporting information to lend context as to who was talking and from where.
(*NOTE: The times listed in the CSP Major Crime Squad Report and the times referenced by Papaherakles are off by 12 seconds. The reason for this is because Papaherakles is going off the clock of a private scanner. The Major Crime Squad Report is going off the clocks of dispatch call center.
The best way to explain the discrepancy is this: If you and your friend agreed to calibrate the hour and minute hand of your watches to begin precisely at 12:00, your seconds hands will still be in different locations. Yours may be at the 20 second mark and your friend’s may be at the 32 second mark, hence the 12 second difference.)
Thorn’s final segment, Was SHES Even a Functional School, relies heavily on claims made by Wolfgang Halbig, a controversial public figure who has raised tens of thousands of dollars to “investigate” what he refers to as the SHES “illusion” and bring lawsuits against those whom he accuses of being complicit in this alleged conspiracy.
“This facility was a deplorable toxic waste dump, not a functioning school for 500 children,” Halbig told Thorn in an interview. “If parents walked to its front entrance, they’d find it full of mold and decaying material.”
First of all, Halbig is a biased source who is financially invested in proving that the school was non-operational. He has never physically inspected SHES and is simply rendering his unqualified opinions based on photographs, media reports and work orders.
Secondly, the condition of this nearly 60 year old school is irrelevant. The fact remains that SHES was an operational school in 2012 and the proof is in the mountains of supporting evidence, such as the minutes of PTA and Newtown Board of Education meetings discussing Sandy Hook related matters, news articles, SHES website activity, enrollment and ranking information on state and federal government websites, city budget proposals and expenditures, student achievements and rankings on academic websites and publicized bus routes to name a few.
I’ll be the first to admit that conspiracies exist and false flags are a historic fact, but that doesn’t mean that every shooting or bombing is a staged event simply because opportunists exploit them as a means to curtail liberties or expand wars.
Unfortunately, American Free Press has failed to discern fact from fiction and reality from hype. The Internet is rife with rumor and speculation that is proffered as proof that the SHES shooting was an elaborate hoax designed to advance gun control legislation. Most of these theories were birthed in the immediate aftermath of the shooting due to sloppy reporting by the mainstream media. Now that the smoke has settled, however, it is clear from my exhaustive research and investigation that the SHES massacre was a very real event.
If there is a conspiracy behind Sandy Hook, it’s being perpetrated by individuals’ intent on discrediting the truth movement and distracting well meaning Americans from more noble pursuits, such as confronting and addressing real, tangible efforts to subvert our basic freedoms through insurmountable debt, an ever expanding police state and a burgeoning surveillance society.
Let’s get our focus back.
by Keith Johnson