The Sandy Hook massacre occurred on December 14, 2012. I could express that sentence a bit differently by saying ” The Sandy Hook massacre allegedly occurred on December 14, 2012.” Not everyone thinks it really happened. I have stated, several times, that I think the massacre really happened. But I am no longer so sure and will look into it.
In the past, I have written about two other massacres — one at Dunblane, Scotland on March 13, 1996 and the other six weeks later on April 28, 1996 at Port Arthur, Australia I have not the slightest doubt that they really occurred and involved many deaths. However, the named gunman in each case — Thomas Hamilton at Dunblane, and Martin Bryant at Port Arthur — appears to me to be erroneous. Someone else did the shooting — and has never faced punishment.
The purpose of both those massacres was to obtain legislation for gun control. Am I saying that people were killed for that reason? Yes. Definitely. Do I think the same of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES)? No, I don’t have enough information.
In this article, I list the court cases that have had something to say about the 2012 SHES event. I note that in the two aforementioned cases — Dunblane and Port Arthur — there were no trials, so no court ever produced jurisprudence on the question of what really happened. Here the situation is better — only a smidgeon better but every smidgeon counts.
I will emphasize some peculiarities of the cases, on the part of the judges, in order to shed light on possible abuse of process by the litigants, and also to remind everyone that even the slightest slip of ethical perfection by a judge can prove enormously costly to society.
We need our courts to do what the law tells them to do, both on points of justice and on points of procedure. If that ethic has been abandoned, we are all dead in the water. Or, to express that more positively, I say “Dear Judges, we need your stalwart attention to both the letter and spirit of the law. Please help us — at whatever cost to yourselves that may entail. ”
Pozner and Soto
Of the 20 children who died at Sandy Hook, the parent who has been most litigious is Leonard Pozner, father of Noah Pozner, age 6. Leonard sued several people, including Alex Jones and James Fetzer, claiming defamation, and he is also one of nine plaintiffs in the Soto case.
The Soto case has been organized by Donna L. Soto, the mother of a teacher, Ms. Victoria Soto, who died at SHES. The other plaintiffs include eight other families of deceased kids. They went to court in 2014 to sue the gun manufacturer Remington Arms, for damages. They have announced their case to be worth $215 million. The case is Soto v Bushmaster (the name of the gun.)
You may be wondering if any criminal charges are pending. At one point, Wolfgang Halbig was arrested in Florida for allegedly harassing the victims, but the prosecutor subsequently dropped that charge. Halbig also was sued in Florida – that case was dropped by Pozner and sued again by Pozner in Connecticut along with his videographer Cory Sklanka — that case is pending.
(Two additional suits against Alex Jones, which won’t be delved into in this article, were filed by aggrieved parents Neil Heslin in Texas and Erica Lafferty in Connecticut. Also, Alex Jones’ colleague Owen Shoyer was included as a defendant in the Texas lawsuit.)
Pozner v Fetzer
I am mainly concerned with the case filed by Pozner against Professor James H. Fetzer, principal editor of the book, Nobody Died at Sandy Hook: It Was a FEMA Drill to Promote Gun Control (2015; 2nd ed., 2016). You may wonder what happened to free speech, if Pozner was able to sue Fetzer for book-writing. The accusation was that Fetzer defamed Pozner by calling him a liar, in effect, by claiming that the child’s death certificate was bogus.
(In the initial filing, two associates of Fetzer were included as defendants: his publisher Moon Rock Books, and his “Nobody Died” co-editor, Michael Palecek. Both settled with Pozner for undisclosed amounts.)
Fetzer is now facing the music alone. A judge in Dane County Circuit Court in Wisconsin, ruled that Mr. Fetzer had defamed Mr. Pozner, and on October 15, 2019 a jury, selected to determine damages, awarded Pozner $450,000.
All individuals in the US can seek justice through the courts if they feel they have been wronged. The cases must be brought where one or more of the defendants reside. For example, Alex Jones was sued in Texas, where he lives, and James Fetzer was sued in Wisconsin, where he lives. (Note: The Sandy Hook cases are all at the state level; those that were removed to US courts have been remanded because Federal law is not involved.)
So here is the gist of the above cases:
1. The plaintiffs want compensation for the loss of a loved one. There is normally a freedom from liability for the maker of weapons. However, there is a Connecticut Supreme Court decision in the Soto case against Remington that interprets the Federal exemption from litigation statute to exclude military-grade assault weapons. In that same decision that court also ruled that one of the Sandy Hook guns, a Bushmaster AR-15, is an assault weapon.
2. As the father of one of the 20 deceased children, Leonard Pozner, sued several persons who had said he had presented a fake death certificate of his son Noah. According to Pozner’s lawyer, Jake Zimmerman, Mr. Pozner supplied Noah’s birth and death records, and a DNA sample that matched Noah’s, “stored as a little drop of blood on a special piece of paper,” at the Connecticut medical examiner’s office.
Status of the Cases as of September 11, 2021
During litigation in Soto v Bushmaster, Remington Arms declared voluntary bankruptcy. They have closed their Bushmaster gun-making business and sold their ammunition-making and other gun-making businesses. They have offered a settlement of $33 million to Soto et al. So far, the nine plaintiffs have not accepted their offers.
Remington is in receivership, with $33 million or more having been set aside by the insurance companies and from the proceeds of sales. The insurance companies have never asked for proof of death of the children. There are also many unsecured creditors of Remington, who have lower priority than Soto. Bushmaster (Remington) could withdraw the settlement offers and demand information about the massacre but have not done so. (That is in spite of repeated requests from one of Fetzer’s attorneys, William Sumner Scott, to do so.)
It would be normal for a defendant, Remington, to question every aspect of the claim made against it by the plaintiff, Soto. But it has appeared to be cooperative with the plaintiffs.
Reeves Wiederman, writing an article entitled “The Sandy Hook Hoax,” in the New York Magazine, says:
“By January [one month after the December 2012 event] a 30-minuteYouTube video, titled ‘The Sandy Hook Shooting — Fully Exposed,’ which asked questions like “Wouldn’t frantic kids be a difficult target to hit?,” had been viewed more than 10 million times.”
Ten million is a huge number, yet the question of the truth of the massacre has not really entered into any of the judicial decisions. On September 10, 2021, Fetzer filed a Motion to Intervene in the Soto v Bushmaster (Remington) case to attempt to raise the hoax question.
The basis on which he can do so is that, when Fetzer appealed his $450,000 Wisconsin judgment (Pozner v Fetzer), the Wisconsin appellate court said that the massacre was not a hoax. The Wisconsin court hadn’t arrived at that conclusion by seeking any evidence of the massacre, but merely by citing the following passage from the Soto Connecticut Supreme Court opinion (that ruled the Bushmaster an assault weapon):
“On December 14, 2012, twenty year old Adam Lanza forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and, during the course of 264 seconds, fatally shot twenty first grade children and six staff members, and wounded two other staff members. Lanza carried out this massacre using a Bushmaster XM15-E2S semiautomatic rifle that was allegedly manufactured, distributed, and ultimately sold to Lanza’s mother by the various defendants in this case. There is no doubt that Lanza was directly and primarily responsible for this appalling series of crimes.” [Emphasis added]
But those words from the Remington case had never been based on any adjudication of the matter either. You might say the reality of the massacre has not been put to any legal test, so far — even though big sums of money have been offered or awarded.
In any case, Professor Fetzer now wants the words from the Soto case removed from the judgment against him in the Wisconsin case (i.e., Pozner’s suit against him, i.e., the $450,000).
Halbig’s Freedom-of-Information Searches
Another issue needs to be raised. Namely, the stubborn refusal by authorities to reply to Freedom of Information requests by a citizen, Wolfgang Halbig. For the aforementioned article in the New York Magazine, Reeves Wiederman interviewed Halbig in his Florida home. He reports:
“Halbig says that, initially, Sandy Hook had horrified him, and he donated $200 to the town of Newtown and the local United Way. ‘The first ten days, they had me hooked,’ Halbig told me…. He had worked in school security for a number of years, and he said that it was only after he was asked to give a presentation to the Florida School Boards Association about preventing such an attack that he began seriously investigating the shooting. “I didn’t have the answers,” Halbig said. “So, I said, ‘I’ll find out.’”
But he has not “found out” and thus neither have the rest of us. Has someone got something to hide?
My Worries and Doubts
Thus far, although I do not claim in any way to have researched the facts on the ground, I see that there are peculiarities happening in court, which to me is a very worrying sign. I am wondering if the Soto people and the Remington people are in cahoots with one another. They could both be pursuing the goal of gun control.
A rather strange goal for an arms manufacturer, you may say? Indeed. But why hasn’t Remington ever seemed to try to avoid paying Soto? Granted, they tried to claim immunity, but the result of that effort was to have the Connecticut Supreme Court tell them they were not immune. They, their insurers, and the unsecured creditors would normally put up a fight, but haven’t.
It also has to be noted, this time as a fault of the Dane County court in Wisconsin, that Professor Fetzer was not allowed to have discovery on the question of “did anyone die?” He should have been able to introduce evidence on his allegation that Nobody Died at Sandy Hook which would axiomatically prove the Noah death certificate was false. He did appeal, to get his right to discovery, but was defeated at the appellate court in Wisconsin.
Currently, Fetzer hopes his case will be accepted for a further appeal at the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This would do a service to the 10 million people who supposedly were suspecting a hoax, while watching the aforementioned video in January 2013! (Personally, I would halve that number to 5 million, given that view counts are often exaggerated and that many people watch a video twice.)
Also, Fetzer had no trouble finding readers for his book Nobody Died at Sandy Hook — but Amazon has banned it and he is under court order not to share it.
Doesn’t it also seem odd that groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union would not jump up and down about the Freedom of Speech aspects of the cases against Fetzer and Alex Jones?
The Disciplining of Angels
One more oddment. Last week, out of the blue, there was an article in The New Yorker by Melissa Chan, reporting that the Remington defendants had sought “the children’s school records and disciplinary records” and that the Soto plaintiffs are asking the court to seal those records.
I smell a fish market. In some lawsuits, there is an effort to determine the damages to be paid by calculating how many years the injured or deceased person would have worked and earned a salary. Surely the kids’ records were not needed for this. I reckon the gesture was intended to arouse public agreement that any “disciplinary records” of little angels now in heaven, ought to be sealed for privacy and dignity. Hence it will now be impossible for Fetzer’s lawyers to see the said proof of the children’s existence.
I consider this whole thing an emergency. Let Fetzer have his discovery. Surely the whole nation is entitled to see the death records of persons killed in a massacre. The way things are going today, everyone is in fear of the government going off the rails. In my new book, “Keep the Republic,” I say: “Act now while we still have a legal system in place. Once we lose it, there won’t be any way to get it back, will there?”
Really, will there?
Fetzer’s Motion to Intervene