How do you know a crime has a fishiness factor to it? You know it when you see it. We can smell its presence when it’s there, recognize its absence when it’s not. When Jack Ruby, a gangster, shoots Lee Oswald at noon in a police station in Dallas after stalking him, you don’t need anyone to tell you that’s fishy. You know it. Why it’s fishy may take a while to figure out, but you know it.
We’re good at these assessments because we know how to make comparisons. How do we know that the fishiness factor at the Boston Marathon bombings is absent? First of all, law enforcement authorities did not trot out a patsy-villain immediately after the crime. They’ve been cautious about everything they say because speculation serves no one. Second, first responders actually did what first responders do in an emergency: they took care of people. They energetically broke down the crowd control barriers that barred them from people who would die if they did not receive help right away. The bombing unfolded chaotically, but police and medical personnel acted as you would expect them to act in an emergency like that.
Now look at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Law enforcement had a patsy-villain for that crime. It was Ryan Lanza. They were in such a hurry to identify the killer, they got the name wrong! Then they got the Nancy Lanza story wrong, the murder weapon wrong, the killer’s car wrong. They even said someone found Ryan’s driver’s license on Adam Lanza’s body. Did you ever see the like? You can say those are the kinds of errors that occur in the confusion after a massacre. Note however that uncertainty about a crime typically makes professionals cautious when they speak about a crime. They’re only eager to finger their suspect quickly when they shrewdly figure people will fall for the first evidence-free fall guy they name.
We can blame the journalists for getting their initial reports wrong on December 14, 2012, but I’m not sure we can lay all the blame on them. They kept saying, “We’re being told… We’re being told…” Would to God they had told us who was telling them! The journalists didn’t tell us afterward who fed them so much garbage, either. They got the story so wrong initially, then it gelled so nicely just a couple of hours later. Did the media leave their reputations and their standards at the door when they went to cover Newtown? Or did the authorities play them especially well, so the journalists didn’t even grasp their participation in fishiness?
I’ve wanted to save the truly fishy thing about Newtown for last. All of the medical first responders were routed to the fire station near the school. We don’t know who told them to go there. We do know that not one victim of the Newtown massacre – not one – had the attention of a medic: not in the school, not outside the school, not in an ambulance, not in a hospital, not in the fire station. All the medics who rushed to the school in response to 911 calls were told to go to the fire station instead. Again, we don’t know who told them to go there. The area around the fire station became a parking lot for ambulances.
Newtown is a small town. The first 911 call went out when the madman who shot those children first blasted his way into the school. We’re told – note the passive voice yet again – we’re told that Adam Lanza shot himself when he heard first responders outside the school. If that’s the sequence, the first ambulances arrived less than five minutes after the gunman shot his last victim. In that space of time, how could anyone – a person with no special medical training because all the people with training are outside the building – order emergency room medics to the fire station because everyone is dead?
Bullets don’t work that way. Sometimes they kill you instantly, but often they don’t. We’re told – who’s telling us this time? – that Adam Lanza fired more than 180 rounds at school children and teachers in less than five minutes, with a gun he borrowed from his mother. Five minutes after that, someone tells medics on the scene to go away while his victims lie dying in the hallway and in two classrooms. Do you think people inside the school let those children bleed to death while emergency help was just a block away?
How surreal is it to have a school massacre that takes twenty-six lives, and the emergency command center sprouts up at the fire station down the block? No emergency medical response teams at all are permitted anywhere near the school’s entrance. The place is so secure that we don’t even have a picture of the front entrance, where the gunman – we’re told – blasted his way through the school’s security system. Odd that we have no video recording of Adam Lanza – or anyone else – walking up to that door. Isn’t that the purpose of a security system – to see who is outside your building before they get inside?
We have not even one audio recording of anything that happened inside the school that morning. I don’t like innuendo that much, and I don’t find it especially persuasive when other people use it. Nevertheless, given all the challenges and skepticism we’ve heard about the official version of the Sandy Hook massacre, you’d expect authorities would bring forth some evidence to support their version. On the contrary, the existence of audio or video recordings from the school’s security system brings only the sound of silence. No one in authority will even acknowledge that such recordings exist.
Let’s return to the truly gruesome evidence inside the school: twenty first graders and six adults lying on the floor, so much blood on the tiles you cannot walk without slipping. The bodies remain in the school for fourteen and a half hours, no one there to help them as they bleed to death, no one to comfort them as their heartbeats subside. Why not? Because they all died instantly! Adam Lanza is so expert with his semi-automatic Bushmaster that he kills each of his victims instantly, without letting one person linger. By the time he’s dead, everyone else is dead, too. We know that because – who told us that again?
It’s not credible. We know that hardened doctors and nurses, who had worked the New York emergency rooms forever, threw up under the shock of the wounded and dead coming into their hospitals on 9/11. Yet shortly after certifying the death of each Sandy Hook victim, the Connecticut medical examiner calmly tells the press on hand what he saw. He’s not distressed by what he has seen – on the contrary, he’s relaxed as he can be. This is my job, man. Let me have your questions.
As you listen carefully, he doesn’t even answer the reporters’ questions. His remarks border on mumbo jumbo, sort of like Eisenhower dressed up like a doctor. He doesn’t really know how many boys and how many girls there were. Ballistics evidence? We have to leave that to the courts. Other evidence about what happened inside the school? Again, we’re going to wait till the full investigation is complete. You wonder why he even bothered to stop by to chat with the press, except it was such a nice day.
Then at three in the morning – the deadest of the dead of night during a cold Connecticut winter – the officials who have managed this whole sorry affair remove the bodies from the school. What did they do between the medical examiner’s visit and their getaway at three in the morning? Play euchre? Texas hold ’em? No one explains why they keep the children’s bodies in the building for so long.
You don’t expect parents on hand at 3:00 am to say goodbye to their children. They’re only allowed to see photographs for identification. Who made up that rule? Who can tell parents they can’t say goodbye to their dead child? The bodies go off to the funeral homes, then into the ground. No one ever sees them. We do have pictures, though, photographs taken on Sandy Hook’s picture day. It’s better to remember them that way.
I have to say, the fishiness factor smells up to high heaven when little first graders can’t get medical attention after they’ve been shot, when people remove their bodies at three in the morning so no one can see them. Is that how we deal with death now? You say goodbye to your little six-year-old at eight o’clock one morning, and nineteen hours later some tight lipped, surreptitious officials carry your baby out of the school building in a body bag, never to be seen again? In between, you’re told that some weirdo with a Bushmaster shot up your daughter’s classroom. Your daughter, you’re told, died instantly along with everyone else. How do we know that, sir? Well, a chummy medical examiner shows up well after the massacre and says that’s what happened. Yes it’s so. You can’t argue with a doctor.
No wonder people said the Newtown massacre had an artificial vibe about it. Artificial vibe is just another word for fishiness factor. People are not stupid. Two bombs go off near the Boston Marathon finish line at 2:50 pm. You don’t see someone fingering a patsy-villain in that case, let alone a patsy-villain where you can’t even get the name right. Adam Lanza shot his mother four times in the face as she slept in her bed. Why did he do that? You don’t need a motive when you have a nut for a patsy. You don’t need evidence when your villain’s a crazy man. You just need him dead. The artificial vibe subsides after that.