“Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”
By: Sterling Harwood
This chapter kicks off with lyrics from Bob Dylan’s “Every Grain Of Sand”, which is an… interesting choice.
“Carver said one can control the situation better by using instead photographs of the dead to identify the victims, depending on the photographer. Snopes.com said that what Carver meant was that one can use a photograph of the face to identify the victim without showing wounds to the body of a child. This, however, hardly depends on the photographer; this depends instead on the shooter and where he shot the child. If the shooter shot the child in the face or even shot the identifying features of the child’s face off, then the photographer wouldn’t matter one little bit.” pg. 188
Much of this is totally irrelevant as there’s no indication that Adam Lanza shot anyone’s “identifying features” off. Not that it would matter all that much as there are other ways of identifying a body. As explained in CFS 1200704597, 00118939.pdf:
The victims were first identified by assigning them a numeric number 3 thru 26. ([Redacted] and number 27 was assigned to the shooter). Then an assigned “OCME number” was written on a tag with their previously assigned numeric and was placed on each victim. Photographic and written scene documentation was completed capturing clothing worn, location of victim, and assigned “OCME number” with identifying photographs of the victim. (NOTE: Prior to processing, the victims were observed to have “triage tags” previously laid upon their bodies by EMS personnel denoting their deceased status).
Once documentation was complete, the victims were placed into a body bag with their associated OCME case number written on the bag while their OCME tag was left on the ground in the place the victim was found. Each victim was carried out of the school and into a large military-style portable tent location within the north parking lot of the school in close proximity to the front lobby. Each victim was then processed by the OCME in an effort to make a positive identification of each victim, using school photographs and clothing descriptions provided by the parents of the children yet to be accounted for.“
“Suspiciously convenient, if not implausible, is Dr. Carver’s role in changing the law about a year before the Sandy Hook massacre to allow keeping the names of murdered minors secret. The names of the murdered minors did come out within about a day or two anyway, but why have such a law except to give the authorities unneeded time to get their story straight?” pg. 188
First of all, the entire premise of this book is that what occurred on December 14th, 2012 was actually a drill that had been in the works for at least four years. So why would police need an extra twenty-four hours to “get their story straight”? Is Harwood suggesting that, in those four years, they were unable to come up with a scant twenty names? And he wants to talk about implausibility?
The truth is that the victims’ names were released by Connecticut State Police (who we know were handling the case) on Saturday – the next day – and not two days later. And they were not immediately released because the victims needed to be positively identified and notifications needed to be made. This is standard procedure and understood by anyone who has ever read about a murder or a fatal car accident in a newspaper, for example. From the Huffington Post:
Police knew the names of the victims Friday, but officials said they were pending positive identification by the state medical examiner’s office.
As far as any laws that may have been changed in 2011, I can only assume (since he didn’t provide any further information) that Harwood is referring to the following statutes, which prevent the names of the minor victims from showing up anywhere in the final report:
- CGS § 1‐210(b)(3)(B): Identity of minor witnesses
- CGS § 1‐210(b)(11): Names/addresses of students enrolled in public school
- CGS § 1‐210(b)(2): Personnel/medical/similar files, invasion of personal privacy
- US/CT Constitutions: Right to privacy (US Const. Amend. 14) and/or Victim Rights (CT Const. Art. 1 Sec 8b)
Statutes CGS § 1‐210(b)(3)(B), CGS § 1‐210(b)(11), and CGS § 1‐210(b)(2) are Freedom of Information Act exemptions. After thirty to forty minutes of searching online, I couldn’t find any information regarding when they were enacted. Connecticut Constitution Article 1 Sec 8b was adopted on November 27th, 1996.
“Dr. Carver is worth additional investigation if only due to his cryptic remark that he hopes future disclosures don’t come crashing down on the heads of the people of Newtown (search YouTube.com with the key words of Carver’s name and “crashing down on the heads of the people of Newtown”). Over what disclosure could there possibly be negative consequences crashing down on the heads of the people of Newtown? No investigation or piece of journalism has yet pinned Dr. Carver down on that.” pg. 189
Except that’s not really what he said. Here’s a partial transcript, with some much-needed context (gasp!) provided:
Question: “Sir, obviously by the nature of your job, you deal with horrible things at times. Is this one over the top? Is this one a bit different than the things you’ve dealt with before, sir?”
Carver: “Did everybody hear the question?”
Unidentified Man: “No.”
Carver: “It was given what I deal with all the time, is this one over the top. I’ve been at this for a third of a century. And it’s my sensibilities may not be the average man. But this probably is the worst I have seen or the worst that I know of any of my colleagues having seen. And that all the more makes me proud and grateful to our staff who to a man have just behaved most professionally and strongly and I hope they and I hope the people of Newtown don’t have it crash on their head later.“
I think it’s pretty clear that Carver – who is undoubtedly exhausted and conducting his first press conference ever – is hoping everyone continues to behave “professionally and strongly”, for the sake of all involved parties. And if the idea that Carver is publicly warning the people of Newtown as well as his staff about the possibility of their elaborate hoax crashing “on their head later” wasn’t ludicrous enough, why would he do so mere seconds after proclaiming the scene the worst he’s seen in thirty years? If it’s all a hoax, and nobody was killed, then how is it the worst anything he’s ever seen?
Furthermore, why instruct your readers to do a YouTube search rather than provide them with an actual transcript? That seems incredibly lazy at best and downright deceptive (as performing a YouTube search on something he never said will only return conspiracy videos as a result) at worst. Unfortunately this seems to be par for the course throughout this total sham of a book.
“Snopes.com does a great job of plausible denial by diversion to a related issue. The main issue is why Rosen and a bus driver would babysit six children traumatized by seeing their teacher shot dead in front of them without calling the police to take custody of the children immediately.” “Again, would you sit idle for half an hour if six children and a bus driver wandered into your yard and told you a tale of a murder going on, or would you immediately dial 911?” pg. 189
The idea that Gene Rosen sat “idle” for half an hour is not only ridiculous, but patently false. Sadly, flat-out lies such as this follow a pattern of ugly libel leveled at a good Samaritan who has had to endure over three years of continuous, brutal harassment from deniers.
According to the bus driver’s statement (CFS 1200704559, 00003250.pdf):
All of the children wanted to contact their parents or have [redacted] drive them home, and that along with the man’s [Rosen’s] help, they asked the children for their phone numbers.
Rosen was able to elaborate a bit further in his statement (CFS 1200704559, 00257146.pdf):
Rosen stated he and [redacted] tried to call a few of the telephone numbers that some of the children verbally gave them to contact their parents, but that he believed many were home telephone numbers and he wasn’t able to reach anyone. Rosen stated that [redacted] called her supervisor at the bus company and gave the supervisor the names of the children present, and stated that the supervisor was able to contact at least some of the parents, some of whom began arriving at Rosen’s house within 10 to 15 minutes later to collect their children.
Obviously Mr. Rosen couldn’t have been sitting “idle” for “half an hour” if parents began arriving at his house within ten to fifteen minutes. The children that were not picked up by their parents were taken to the fire station next door and turned over to State Troopers who were already on the scene.
While there appears to be no indication that Gene Rosen personally called 911, so what? How is that indicative of a drill? The fact of the matter is that plenty of people did call 911, and you can download those calls here.
“Now consider the case of what snopes.com admits is an unidentified man seen with a gun in the woods near the school on the day of the massacre, as reported in the Newtown Bee newspaper. Snopes.com reassures us that a reliable local law enforcement source says that the armed man at or near the scene of the crime was only an off-duty tactical squad police officer from another town. But this so-called (implicitly anyway) innocent explanation raises about 100 more questions than it answers. What was his name? Why can’t we know his name? Why was he armed? Why was he armed when he was off-duty? Why did he decide to spend his off-duty hours prowling the woods where a massacre was to occur or had just occurred?” pg. 189
Why do I have the feeling that even if those 100 questions were truthfully answered, we’d be subjected to 1,000 more?
We’re able to learn a bit more about who this man was and how he ended up at Sandy Hook Elementary School by taking a look at page 17 of the “Report of the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury on the Shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and 36 Yogananda Street, Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012”. The relevant portion reads:
A man from New York who was working in a nearby town and went to SHES after an application on his cell telephone alerted him to the situation at the school. He drove to the firehouse and went up to the school on foot. He was taken from the scene of the school in handcuffs and later to the Newtown Police Department. It was later determined that he did not have a connection to the shooting and had gone to SHES to see what was going on.
While the report makes no mention of a firearm, the Newtown Bee does indeed report that he was carrying a gun:
A man with a gun who was spotted in the woods near the school on the day of the incident was an off-duty tactical squad police officer from another town, according to the source.
If he was in fact armed, I imagine that it was because he’s an off-duty police officer. This doesn’t seem out of the ordinary to me as every officer I know – and I know quite a few – carry when they’re off-duty. But it is strange to me that, in a book that posits the shooting was faked in order to disarm Americans (which of course never happened), that the authors would question why an off-duty police officer of all people would be armed.
Armed or not, if police detained, questioned, and ultimately cleared the man of any wrongdoing, then as far as the public is concerned, that’s the end of it. It may not be sufficient for self-proclaimed researchers like Fetzer and Harwood (what ever is?), but he is an innocent party and therefore has a right to privacy.
Assisting officers from Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection also detained two reporters “in the woods around SHES”, but does anyone need to know their life stories as well?
“Now consider the case of another unidentified man. This time the man was detained, handcuffed, and pinned to the ground. He might have been armed but snopes.com evidently thinks that is so unimportant that it fails to say one way or the other. But don’t worry, snopes.com reassures us that police determined he was just an innocent passerby. Snopes.com gives no citation to any source it has for that reassurance. Snopes.com fails even to rely on the prestigious Newtown Bee here, as it relied on before in trying to reassure us about the mysterious, armed tactical squad officer. Further, snopes.com fails to identify which police officer or officers made that determination that the handcuffed man was just an innocent passerby. Snopes.com also fails to give the handcuffed man’s name or physical description at all.” pg. 190
But Snopes does provide their source for this information, and it’s right there at the bottom of the article (you know, where sources are traditionally found):
The cited article from The Atlantic can be found here. Here’s the relevant bit:
We admit it took a bit of digging to discover that others had figured out that the man in question was most likely Chris Manfredonia, the father of a Sandy Hook student, who attempted to sneak into the school after the shooting started. Police can be heard relaying his name over their radios, but few outlets managed to follow up with that detail.
Now it’s extremely funny to me that anyone who contributed to this garbage book would accuse Snopes of being short on citations. After all, just one page ago, in a chapter completely devoid of footnotes, we had expert researcher Sterling Harwood tell us to search for something on YouTube as their source. Hell, he doesn’t even cite the Snopes article he’s spent an entire chapter bitching about!
“Police do make mistakes, you know. The man’s name should be recorded in a police report anyway if the police were engaged in due diligence and so his name should come out eventually anyway unless the police reports themselves are being sealed because there was some sort of intelligence operation going on at Sandy Hook around the time of the massacre. Fortunately, The Los Angeles Times on December 14, 2012 reported the man’s name as Chris Manfredonia.” pg. 190
Although redacted, Manfredonia’s name was recorded, in Captain Jose Rios’s interview. From Book 6, 00043911.pdf:
He arrived with Chief Kehoe’s vehicle and responded to the left side (when looking at the front of the school) of the building where he heard that Officer McGowan and Sgt. Kullgren were out with a male “suspect”, later identified as a parent, [redacted]. Rios took custody of [redacted] and turned him over to an Oxford Constable Ramirez.
The entire Chris Manfredonia incident is well-documented throughout Book 4, 00184096.pdf:
09:39:34 Officer McGowan encounters [redacted] running along the east side of SHES. (Newtown radio)
Officer McGowan: “Yea we got him… they’re coming at me down Crestwood.”
09:40:46 First indication that Officer McGowan has [redacted] in custody on the east side of the school near the playground. (Newtown radio)
Officer McGowan: “67 to S6, do you know if this guy I got here is involved?”
09:41:24: Officer McGowan has [redacted] prone out on the playground of SHES. First time that information is relayed that there is possibly a second shooter (Newtown radio)
09:41:24 Officer McGowan: “I need a unit up here, on the playground side, to secure this party.”
09:41:30 Newtown Sgt Kullgren: “Do you have that person yes, no?”
09:41:34 Officer McGowan: “I don’t know, I’ve got a party on the side, I have him prone out now.”
09:41:39 Newtown Sgt Kullgren: “Roger that, units be aware that we could have a secondary unit.”
Officer McGowan’s transmission draws the attention of the Newtown officers on scene. Officers Chapman and Smith respond from the south side (rear) of the school. Newtown Sgt Kullgren responds from the north side (front) of the school. Newtown Chief Kehoe and Newtown Captain Rios respond from Crestwood Drive. Officer Seabrook responds to the east side of the school upon arrival. (Dash videos and Statements of the officers)
09:44:33 Officer Chapman and Officer Smith complete a check of the perimeter (west and south side) of the school. Officer Smith stated that he and Officer Chapman made eye contact with Officer McGowan at the rear of the school, where Officer McGowan had [redacted] prone out on the ground. Upon realizing that [redacted] was not a threat, they both returned back to the front door (Statements of Officers Chapman and Smith)
09:44:33 Officer Chapman: “Myself and 92 (Officer Smith) checked the perimeter of the school. That party in custody 4901 (Newtown police radio code for unfounded)… we will continue checking.” (Newtown radio)
At this time, Officer McGowan has turned over custody of [redacted] to Newtown Captain Rios. (Newtown radio)
09:48:40 Newtown Captain Rios with (parent) in custody walking from the playground area. (Officer Seabrook’s video) [see below]
09:49:01 Newtown Captain Rios approaches the rear driver’s side of TFC McGeever’s vehicle with (parent) in handcuffs. Newtown Captain Rios walks back to the front of TFC McGeever’s vehicle. (Lt Davis’ video)
09:50:20 Newtown Captain Rios turns custody of [redacted] over to Oxford Constable Ramirez. (Officer Seabrook’s video)
09:51:35 Oxford Constable Ramirez is seen taking handcuffs off [redacted] (TFC McGeever’s video)
09:51:51 Oxford Constable Ramirez escorts [redacted] toward the Sandy Hook firehouse. (Lt Davis’ video)
And while he is unnamed, Manfredonia is discussed again in Book 6, 00044171.pdf; Book 6, 00167449.pdf; and Book 6, 00260187.pdf. Finally, his own statement to police can be found in Book 5, 00014498.pdf.
“There are, however, two more suspicious facts: 1) Manfredonia was wearing camouflaged clothes when spotted in the woods behind the school; and 2) Manfredonia’s home address is ‘directly behind’ the other murder scene, the home of Adam Lanza.” pg. 191
Almost none of this is true. Potentially none of it! Christopher Manfredonia was never in the woods, and he was not wearing camouflage pants. He was wearing khakis (as well as loafers), a fact that is not only corroborated by multiple eyewitnesses, but by Officer Seabrook’s dashcam video:
And while I’m unable to confirm Manfredonia’s address (some sites do have him residing at the listed address, though these sites are not infallible), I’m not sure what his proximity to the Lanza household has to do with anything. Adam Lanza attended Sandy Hook Elementary School as did at least one of Christopher Manfredonia’s children. Obviously they would live fairly close to one another as they’re in the same school district. That’s how it works.
The claim that the address commonly associated with Manfredonia is “directly behind” 36 Yogananda is a bit of a stretch, as you can see on the map below. It’s not too far off, but to say that it’s directly behind it is not technically accurate:
Of course it’s never explained what role if any these mystery men and their brief detainment by police could possibly play in the “it was just a drill” scenario. I doubt anyone got that far.
“Further, it isn’t just Mr. Parker’s laugh: he also takes a deep breath and seems to right himself the way actors do before starting a scene.” pg. 191
Sterling Harwood: full-time attorney, part-time acting coach.
Hey, it’s almost like taking a deep breath is an incredibly common way of calming yourself down.
“It is incredibly weak of snopes.com merely to say that no crisis actor has yet been identified. I would expect snopes.com also at least to say that it has picked up the damn phone and obtained denials from all of the crisis actor firms that any of their actors were working in Newtown on the day of the massacre.” pg. 191
Because surely James Fetzer and Sterling Harwood would accept said denials.
Seriously, can you believe that this is a practicing lawyer saying this? So much for the burden of proof. “Sure, there’s absolutely zero evidence that these people are crisis actors, and it’s a ludicrous idea, but they definitely are crisis actors, so prove that they’re not.” Maybe this is why Harwood’s Avvo rating is only 6.4 out of 10.
By the way, Harwood Sterling dances for nickels in YMCA locker rooms. Now it’s up to Harwood Sterling to call every YMCA in the country and obtain denials.
“Finally on this point, snopes.com suggests that maybe the two parents of Sandy Hook victims laughing so soon on video after the respective murders might just be having a crazy reaction. That’s possible, but given how these two parents, Mr. Parker and Ms. Lynn McDonnell, were in the rest of their statements to the media, it surely is implausible. They simply don’t appear crazy yet they laugh, smile broadly, and shed no tears.” pg. 191
Yup, nothing but laughter and smiles from Lynn McDonnell:
“Now I want to turn to puzzling issues that the 15-page entry on snopes.com for Sandy Hook fails to answer at all as far as I can see. Another liquid missing from the scene, besides the tears of any parent, is blood.” pg. 191
Obviously the bloodiest photos have been redacted. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, especially when you consider that A) such photos are extremely likely to also depict at least one homicide victim, thus making them exempt from FOIA disclosure (CGS §1‐210(b)(27)) and B) they’re presumably fucking awful, and serve no public good. The only people disputing that are deniers and nobody really gives a shit about them anyway.
However, as previously discussed, blood from inside of the school can still be seen in Walkley’s scene photos, on pages 71, 73, 365, 386, 392, 393, 428, 457, 473, 622-624, 626, 627, 636, 643, 663, and 665. I can only assume I’ve overlooked some. I’d hope eighteen pictures would be enough to dispel this zombie myth, but here we are.
“Plenty of blood from, for example, the Manson murders, the OJ murders, Columbine and other murder scenes seems to come out but none at all come out from Sandy Hook.” pg. 192
Some perspective here: There are incredibly bloody photos from the scene of the Boston Marathon bombing (feel free to Google it if you have a strong stomach), but this didn’t stop James Fetzer from writing yet another piece of shit book claiming the entire event was – you guessed it – an elaborate fake. And let’s remember that when confronted with a pool of blood on Nancy Lanza’s bedding, it was also proclaimed to be phony. So let’s not pretend for a second that any amount of blood would satiate any of these ghouls.
For the record, there are precisely three bloody photos from the Columbine attack (compared to eighteen from Walkley’s Sandy Hook crime scene photos) that I could successfully locate: one showing a bit of blood on the sidewalk outside as paramedics work on victims, another of Patrick Ireland being pulled from the library window, and of course the infamous photo of the attackers’ suicide in the library (which was illegally leaked and never officially released by authorities). Others showed no blood or could not be verified as originating from Columbine.
“Snopes.com also has no answer I have seen so far for the fact that there are gaps in the Internet and email usage at the school that suggest the school was not in use regularly but was used only for a drill.” pg. 192
The “Internet usage” claim is an old one that A) proves old people don’t know anything about the Internet as web presence (which is what Sterling is actually talking about here) is not the same as “Internet usage”, B) has already been thoroughly debunked, and C) is incredibly stupid. The claim that there was a gap in “email usage” is new to this chapter and – not at all that surprisingly – lacks even a single source. It’s also bullshit. The Sandy Hook Tragedy: Focus On Facts Facebook page has an incredible number of documents, including e-mails, that prove this point to be absolute twaddle.
“Speaking of Internet usage, another implausible fact, if the Sandy Hook massacre is totally un-staged rather than any sort of psychological operation or drill, isn’t it implausible for there to have been Internet donation pages set up for some of the victims so soon after the murders of the particular victims were confirmed?” pg. 192
Another old claim, also debunked. Also stupid.
“Ask yourself if you would set up such a page asking for money in honor of your dead child in the wake of the violent murder of your child or whether that would be an implausible use of your time so soon after learning of your child’s violent murder at the hands of a madman?” pg. 192
Ask yourself this: who are these parents? Again, Harwood does not provide a single source or example and while the claim regarding oddly-timed donation pages is nothing new, previous examples (at least in this book) do not involve any of the victims’ parents.
“Snopes.com also has no answer yet for a young boy interviewed by Dr. Oz on the Dr. Oz show (see the fascinating YouTube.com clip from Dr. Oz’s show) who says that the Sandy Hook emergency was only a drill. Dr. Oz changes the subject immediately instead of doing the more plausible and straightforward thing and asking the boy why he thought it was only a drill or who told him that it was only a drill. I find Dr. Oz’s changing of the subject so fast downright suspicious but maybe Dr. Oz just lacks an enquiring mind or was just obeying a producer’s shout into Dr. Oz’s earpiece to move along to another subject. Maybe a producer shouted into Dr. Oz’s earpiece: Don’t pay any attention to the man behind the curtain or the Sandy Hook victim who said it was a drill, Dr. Oz.” pg. 193
Yikes. A “Wizard Of Oz” joke? Jesus Christ, how long were you sitting on that one, Sterling? Fuck.
Dr. Oz’s show is not aired live; shows are taped in advance. Hell, even shows that are aired “live” are on a tape delay. So the idea that someone on Dr. Oz’s show could slip-up, say something that they weren’t supposed to say, and then have it actually make it to air, is absolutely absurd. Furthermore, how incriminating can the clip really be if it is still available on Dr. Oz’s website?
The interview in question is with Sandy Hook third-grader Louis, his mother Lindsay, and grandmother Cathy. Dr. Oz asks Louis – at the child’s request – what he remembers from that day. Struggling quite a bit, Louis replies:
I remember that a lot, a lot of policemen were in the um school. Um. [Big exhale] Well, a lot. I was like [big exhale] like (I’m under/I remember) when it, when we were having a drill, we were hiding under like…
Louis again exhales deeply (which is something only actors do, according to Sterling Harwood) and then pauses. Clearly picking up on the fact that his guest is having a very difficult time re-telling this story, and attempting to keep the show running, Dr. Oz tells him to take his time and then asks him a much easier question: “Let me ask you: what would you like to say to your teachers about Friday?” Louis continues to struggle – because he’s a child – as is partially coached through his answers by Dr. Oz as well as his mother. His answer regarding his teacher is also cut a bit short as he’s a child and, as such, not a particularly gifted storyteller.
Since Louis says “when we were having a drill”, I think it’s likely he’s remembering an actual drill from a different day and attempting to relate it to this experience. Or maybe his teacher went into lockdown and told their students that it was only a drill in order to prevent them from panicking, which is exactly what library clerk Mary Anne Jacobs did with the fifteen students she and two co-workers huddled into a storage closet. From a story published in the Washington Post:
They were children in a place built for children, and the teachers didn’t know how to answer them. They told them to close their eyes and to keep quiet. They helped move an old bookshelf in front of the door to act as a makeshift barricade. They wondered: How do you explain unimaginable horror to the most innocent?
“It’s a drill,” said a library clerk named Mary Anne Jacobs.
Drills they knew. Drills they understood.
Other teachers read to their students (which is part of their lockdown procedure, as documented in Book 5, 00002236.pdf; Book 5, 00039513.pdf; Book 5, 00256442.pdf; Book 5, 00258279.pdf) or played games with them (Book 5, 00006236.pdf; Book 5, 00260314.pdf) in order to keep them calm. Or maybe Louis was explicitly told that they were in a lockdown and conflated that with a drill. Who knows? It’s tough to tell exactly because (again) he’s a young kid, and he’s obviously distressed.