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The camo pants coincidence in Newtown, CT, part 2: the mystery is solved except it isn’t

See impor­tant updates below and see fol­lowup post on Mr. Rodia and how he does not appear to have any involve­ment in the event

In our last post on this tragic topic, we addressed the pos­si­bil­ity that the New­town, CT shooter had help. In par­tic­u­lar, the ques­tion of the iden­tity and poten­tial involve­ment of a man in “camo pants” and a dark jacket that was taken into the cus­tody. Another local report stated that police took a man into cus­tody that was seen leav­ing the school in order to deter­mine of he had any role in the shoot­ing or was just coin­ci­den­tally walk­ing into the school at the same time. Com­pelling ques­tions, yes?

Well, it turns out that some of these ques­tions have already been answered. Or, to put it another way, it turns out that some of these ques­tions have already been answered:

New­town Sec­ond Shooter, LIBOR Con­nec­tion Enthralls Web Con­spir­acists
The Inquisitr
Posted: Decem­ber 20, 2012

The school shoot­ing that left 20 stu­dents and six edu­ca­tors dead at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary on Fri­day was one of the most trau­matic inci­dents in mod­ern mem­ory for Amer­i­cans, and in the fren­zied hours after the mur­ders, report­ing on the inci­dent was spotty for some very good rea­sons — unfor­tu­nately, this cir­cum­stance has given rise to a num­ber of New­town con­spir­acy the­o­ries on the web includ­ing that of a sec­ond shooter at Sandy Hook as well as a con­nec­tion to the global LIBOR scandal.

Before the inter­net, the hor­ri­ble inci­dent at Sandy Hook would have been reported and processed far dif­fer­ently — and therein lies a rea­son for the ini­tial ambi­gu­ity. As we reported on the tragedy Fri­day, it imme­di­ately became clear that press knowl­edge of the events that day was actively being sup­pressed by first respon­ders. The rea­son why seemed to become heart­break­ingly dis­cern­able between one and two PM that after­noon when the num­ber of vic­tims was first reported — and around this time, reports of a sec­ond shooter in New­town began to “fall off” from main­stream news sites.

Sev­eral hours after reports of a shoot­ing at Sandy Hook mate­ri­al­ized on the web, we learned that 20 chil­dren had been killed in the mas­sacre. And it all slid into place as the scope of the grief to come became vis­i­ble. For those 20 chil­dren, 40 par­ents had to be gath­ered and assem­bled — and it seems this cor­rect mea­sure taken to pro­tect the fam­i­lies has helped give rise to New­town web con­spir­a­cies, at least in part.

For many years, it has been stan­dard law enforce­ment prac­tice to never inform loved ones of deaths or seri­ous acci­dents over the phone. Cops likely knew New­town reports would be quickly spread through other means such as Twit­ter and Face­book, and pre­sum­ably hoped to spare these 40 par­ents as well as the fam­i­lies of the six adult women killed the heartache of learn­ing their child, wife or mother had been bru­tally mur­dered on a social network.

This cau­tious approach spread to all areas of the inves­ti­ga­tion, and media sources report­ing on New­town were sub­se­quently tasked with report­ing a break­ing story in real time with scant infor­ma­tion. Adding to both the con­fu­sion and reports of a sec­ond shooter at Sandy Hook ele­men­tary was the ini­tial chaos at the scene as well as reports Adam Lanza car­ried brother Ryan Lanza’s iden­ti­fi­ca­tion — pos­si­bly lead­ing to the ini­tial misiden­ti­fi­ca­tion of Ryan Lanza as the gunman.

Below, four of the most promi­nent New­town con­spir­acy the­o­ries, and why they don’t wash.

A Sec­ond Shooter At Newtown

Above all, this is the most under­stand­able yet still eas­ily debunked aspects of the Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School con­spir­a­cies. In the hor­ri­ble first hours after the New­town shoot­ings, reports both from eye­wit­nesses as well as aer­ial view cam­eras on the scene seemed to indi­cate that a sec­ond shooter had been chased into the woods near Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary and apprehended.

An eye­wit­ness report is often con­sid­ered irrefutable, but the chaos and con­fu­sion that day is more than enough to account for many reports a sec­ond shooter was involved. Chil­dren who recalled see­ing a man with a gun still patrolling after Adam Lanza died by his own hand could eas­ily have con­fused sim­i­larly clad SWAT team mem­bers for shoot­ers, par­tic­u­larly given the trauma they wit­nessed that day.

Con­spir­acy mer­chants InfoWars posted yes­ter­day when claim­ing a Face­book user was banned for “ques­tion­ing the nar­ra­tive” of the New­town tragedy:

“Ini­tial reports that a ‘sec­ond gun­man’ arrested in the woods behind the school was involved in the mas­sacre were later dropped with­out explanation.”

Sev­eral com­menters on The Inquisitr have also indi­cated sus­pi­cion over these early reports, and the most sim­ple expla­na­tion is that a story of this mag­ni­tude would be impos­si­ble to sup­press. The scene that day was imme­di­ately descended upon by press, first respon­ders, ter­ri­fied school chil­dren and griev­ing parents.

It is in fact a par­ent that is believed to have inad­ver­tently started the rumor about a New­town sec­ond shooter, via actions any par­ent can fully under­stand. The Atlantic comes to the rescue:

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.”

[Edit for clar­ity: The bit of infor­ma­tion was a news­wor­thy adden­dum that was under­stand­ably lost in the mas­sive amount of infor­ma­tion since reported from New­town. The “sec­ond shooter” issue also was not really a focal point for report­ing after we learned there was one shooter, and at this point, the reced­ing atten­tion under­stand­ably given the aspect of the shooting’s time­line serves to “bol­ster” the intrigue about what was actu­ally a very explain­able misunderstanding.

The dis­traught par­ent also explains ini­tial reports the shooter was a par­ent of a Sandy Hook stu­dent. Again, none of these things indi­cate any­thing other than ini­tial report­ing of an incom­plete pic­ture that had emerged, a cir­cum­stance the Con­necti­cut State Police actively tried to pre­vent for this reason.]

Even if the Sandy Hook sec­ond shooter hadn’t been debunked, how would all those in view of the alleged New­town sec­ond shooter be per­suaded to keep quiet about the man who allegedly had a hand in this tragedy? To silence the hun­dreds present would assume none would ever con­fide to press, to a spouse or a close friend that the sec­ond cul­prit was kept secret. The sheer impos­si­bil­ity seems its own defense to the sec­ond shooter at New­town claims.


So was the mys­tery of the “sec­ond shooter” solved? Well...not exactly. At this point it appears every­one is still guess­ing and mak­ing infer­ences, so let’s take a closer look at the accounts of the arrest of the parent.

First, about that man arrested the woods. Was this par­ent that man? Because, if so, than the par­ent was also the man with the “camo pants” and dark jacket because as the tele­vised eye­wit­ness reported, they walked the man in the “camo pants” out from the woods. That would cer­tainly pro­vide some sort of expla­na­tion, although it would be quite a coin­ci­dence that the par­ent was reported to have attempted to enter the build­ing around the same time as the shooter and was seen run­ning from the build­ing also hap­pened to be wear­ing camaou­flage pants and a dark jacket. Coin­ci­dences do hap­pen, though, and it would be inap­pro­pri­ate to rule this out.

Now let’s take a look at the expla­na­tion pro­vided for why this par­ent was near the school and arrested in the first place. It’s a rea­son­able expla­na­tion:

Gun­man kills 20 kids, 6 adults at Con­necti­cut ele­men­tary school
A man shoots and kills 20 chil­dren and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Conn.
Decem­ber 14, 2012|By Richard A. Ser­rano, Alana Semuels and Tina Sus­man, Los Ange­les Times

NEWTOWN, Conn. — A gun­man mas­sa­cred 20 chil­dren and six adults at a sub­ur­ban ele­men­tary school here Fri­day morn­ing before killing him­self in what appeared to be the second-deadliest school shoot­ing in U.S. his­tory, author­i­ties said.

Sources said Adam Lanza, 20, ear­lier killed his mother at home and then drove her Honda to Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School equipped with firearms that were reg­is­tered to one or both of his divorced parents.

Clad in mil­i­tary fatigues and car­ry­ing two semi­au­to­matic pis­tols, he entered the school, argued with some­one in the hall­way and then opened fire on staff mem­bers and chil­dren around 9:30 a.m., a law enforce­ment source said. He focused his gun­fire on two rooms. Chil­dren hud­dled in clos­ets and cor­ners as the car­nage unfolded.

Con­necti­cut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said police searched “every nook and cranny” of the kindergarten-through-fourth-grade cam­pus after receiv­ing a 911 call. He said 18 chil­dren and seven adults were found dead at the school — includ­ing the shooter — and two other chil­dren died at the hos­pi­tal. Vic­tims’ bod­ies remained inside the school into the evening as rel­a­tives were gath­ered at a nearby fire station.

Vance did not offi­cially iden­tify the shooter or any of the dead. He said another adult had been killed else­where in New­town, but he did not say whether it was Lanza’s mother. Police are ques­tion­ing Lanza’s 24-year-old brother, Ryan, of Hobo­ken, N.J., the Asso­ci­ated Press reported.

It was the dead­liest school shoot­ing since 32 were mur­dered in the 2007 Vir­ginia Tech rampage.

“Evil vis­ited this com­mu­nity today,” Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy said Fri­day evening. “It’s too early to speak of recovery.”

Chris Man­fre­do­nia, whose 6-year-old daugh­ter attends the school, was head­ing there Fri­day morn­ing to help make gin­ger­bread houses with first-graders when he heard pop­ping sounds and smelled sulfur.

He ran around the school try­ing to reach his daugh­ter and was briefly hand­cuffed by police. He later found his child, who had been locked in a small room with a teacher.

“The whole rea­son we moved here a year ago is because when you drive down the sub­di­vi­sion, it’s a happy place,” said his wife, Georgeann Man­fre­do­nia. “There’s a ton of chil­dren here and the fam­i­lies are very kind and supportive.”


And accord­ing to the below arti­cle, the parent’s wife was also a vol­un­teer in her 6-yr old’s class­room at the school, mak­ing it real mir­a­cle that her daugh­ter weren’t hurt given the tar­get­ing of two class­rooms of 6 and 7 yr olds. Could the wife of the arrested par­ent have been part of the rea­son there were so many early reports that the shooter’s mother was a vol­un­teer at the school? That would cer­tainly explain a lot of the early confusion.

Also, accord­ing to the wife in the below arti­cle, when her hus­band tried to run around the side of the school to reach his daugh­ter the police were already there and that’s when they stopped him and briefly hand­cuffed him:

Con­necti­cut town tries to cope with shoot­ing mas­sacre at ele­men­tary school
Chicago Tribune

By Michael Muskal, Tina Sus­man and Richard A. Serrano

5:47 p.m. CST, Decem­ber 14, 2012

NEWTOWN, Conn. — A gun­man wear­ing a bullet-proof vest and tot­ing sev­eral weapons stormed through two rooms of a sub­ur­ban Con­necti­cut ele­men­tary school on Fri­day, fir­ing at staffers and pupils and killing at least 20 chil­dren before appar­ently turn­ing a gun on himself.


About 9:30 a.m, the gun­man entered Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School, where sources said he had a con­fronta­tion with a school offi­cial. Then the gun­man opened fire in just one sec­tion of the school, two rooms, police spokesman Vance said at one of his news con­fer­ences later in the day.

A third-grader named Alexis told CNN she looked out the win­dow, spot­ted police offi­cers and heard foot­steps on the school roof. Some of the stu­dents were so upset, she said, “they got a stomachache.”

A fourth-grade boy was in the gym when he heard pops and bangs. “We thought it was the cus­to­dian knock­ing stuff down,” he told CNN. “We heard scream­ing … and then the police came in and said, ‘Is he in here?’”

The chil­dren were herded into a gym closet, the fourth-grader said, and hud­dled there until police told them it was safe to leave.

The first calls went out to police by 9:40 a.m. and hun­dreds of offi­cers from the town police, state police and oth­ers responded, author­i­ties said. They began a painstak­ing search through the build­ing, room by room.


Georgeann Man­fre­do­nia, a vol­un­teer at the school, said she spent part of Thurs­day wrap­ping presents for the teach­ers and the school’s prin­ci­pal. Her 6-year-old daugh­ter attends the Sandy Hook.

“When you walk in there, it’s just a happy, happy place,” she said, in a tele­phone inter­view Fri­day with The Los Ange­les Times. “It’s a won­der­ful school run by an amaz­ing prin­ci­pal. She’s just the most pos­i­tive, ener­getic per­son you’ve ever met.

“You always felt safe here. The last crime that took place was years ago,” Man­fre­do­nia said.

On Fri­day morn­ing, her hus­band, Chris, went to help make gin­ger­bread houses in the first-grade class of the couple’s daugh­ter. As he approached the school, he heard pop­ping sounds, then smelled sulfur.

He attempted to reach his daugh­ter by going around the side of the school. Police had arrived by then, stopped him and briefly hand­cuffed him.

Georgeann found a neighbor’s child and held that child and her own son. A par­ent came run­ning out of the school cradling a lit­tle girl.

“I cov­ered them so they couldn’t see any­thing,” she said. “I couldn’t see if the lit­tle girl was hurt.”

News still had not fil­tered out about the shoot­ing and few par­ents were around. Police and fire­fight­ers began lead­ing the chil­dren from the school to a nearby fire­house.

Now, it’s impor­tant to empha­size again that there is no evi­dence to sug­gest that this arrested par­ent had any­thing to do with the shoot­ing. And if, as described above, the par­ent heard gun­shots as he was approach­ing the build­ing AND the police had already arrived by the time he attempted to go around the build­ing, that sug­gest that this par­ent was NOT the “camo pants” man. First off, would he have dressed in camaou­flage pants and a dark shirt if he was going to his daughter’s first grade class to bake gin­ger­bread cookie houses? Pos­si­bly, if he was just a “camo pants” kind of guy (which is not inconceivable...it’s hunt­ing sea­son). And, as we was saw before, a sec­ond per­son in cus­tody was report­edly seen leav­ing the school and was believed to have been try­ing to coin­ci­den­tally walk­ing into the school when the shoot­ing began. Since the shoot­ings appears to have begun very soon after the shooter gained entry into through the front door, and if the police were already there when this par­ent made his attempt to run around the school, this sequence of event does not sound like the par­ent was “camo pants” man. Instead, he was an extremely for­tu­nate par­ent of a 6 yr old caught in the mid­dle of a tragedy.

Of course, this all raises the obvi­ous ques­tion: if this par­ent wasn’t the “camo pants” man, then who was? And could this par­ent have been mis­taken as one of the shoot­ers in the ini­tial reports. Recall that early reports from a teacher included see­ing “two shoot­ers, run­ning past the gym”. But if this par­ent arrived at the school after the police arrived he couldn’t have been one of those two reported “shoot­ers” run­ning past the gym because those reports of two shoot­ers run­ning past the gym hap­pened in the first min­utes of the event before the police were there:

’Call for every­thing’: Police scan­ner record­ing reveals early moments of New­town tragedy

By Tracy Con­nor, NBC News

Police radio traf­fic from the New­town school shoot­ing shows emer­gency respon­ders ini­tially thought there might be two gun­men on the loose and were not aware of the extent of the car­nage inside Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School.

But the scope of the tragedy became more evi­dent minute by minute, until author­i­ties at the scene were heard ask­ing for more help: “Call for every­thing” and “Do you know if any­one brought a mass casu­alty kit?”

Then, an hour after the first call, the hor­ror of the crime was laid bare as an offi­cer at the scene spoke of “vic­tims” in a closet.

“There’s a teacher and 18 kids there,” he said in a grim voice.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tions were not offi­cially released, but were posted on YouTube by a scan­ner mon­i­tor and authen­ti­cated by police.

Some of the dia­logue is encrypted or gar­bled, but the trans­mis­sions that can be heard – with the sound of sirens blar­ing in the back­ground — pro­vide a glimpse of how Friday’s mas­sacre unfolded through the eyes of police and paramedics.

The record­ings begin at 9:35 a.m. with a dis­patcher calmly report­ing a 911 call about “some­body shoot­ing in the build­ing,” fol­lowed two min­utes later by the chill­ing update that a caller was “con­tin­u­ing to hear what he believes to be gunfire.”

One dis­patcher noti­fies respond­ing offi­cers that a teacher reported see­ing “two shoot­ers, run­ning past the gym.”


At 9:49 a.m., an offi­cer described what may have been Lanza shoot­ing him­self with one of his hand­guns as cops swarmed the build­ing.

“Shots were fired about three min­utes ago,” the offi­cer said. “Quiet at the time.”

Four min­utes later came word that Lanza was dead.

“One sus­pect down. The build­ing has now been cleared,” a voice said. Then, a cat­a­logu­ing of Lanza’s arse­nal: “Mul­ti­ple weapons, includ­ing one rifle and handguns.”


The police dis­patcher audio of that day is avail­able here and note that the record­ing was authen­ti­cated by the police accord­ing to the above arti­cle. The ref­er­ence to “a teacher report­ing two shoot­ers run­ning past the gym” hap­pens ~3:30 after the ini­tial emer­gency calls from the school. So if this par­ent was, instead, one of those indi­vid­u­als seen by the teacher and mis­taken as a shooter, he would have had to have arrived very soon after the shoot­ings began, before any police were there, and then waited a few min­utes to begin run­ning around the school at which point the police . And then there’s the ques­tion of two shoot­ers reported by the teacher. All in all, given the reported time­line of events, there are just a num­ber of pieces of info that sug­gest this par­ent was NOT the “camo pants” man.

Another con­fus­ing detail that sug­gest there was a dif­fer­ent man appre­hended is the fact that, on the same police scan­ner record­ing at ~30:25, an offi­cer reports that he has a pos­si­ble sus­pect vehi­cle and lists off the license plate. The name of the man is Christo­pher A. Rodia (he spells out R O D I A, and says he was born in August 1969) and there is, indeed, a Christo­pher A. Rodia in CT that appears to hvbe been born in 1969 accord­ing to the below arti­cle about his arrest for steal­ing cop­per gut­ters from a house under con­struc­tion. The parent’s name is Chris Man­fre­do­nia. Is this the “camo pants” man?:

West­port News
Cou­ple charged with steal­ing cop­per from Stony Brook con­struc­tion site
Updated 7:55 am, Sun­day, July 29, 2012

A Nor­walk man and woman were caught in the act Sat­ur­day night of steal­ing cop­per gut­ters from a house under con­struc­tion on Stony Brook Road, police said.

Police were alerted that a man and woman were on the res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion site at 10 Stony Brook Road shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday.

Offi­cers sent to the scene stopped the pair as they were leav­ing the dri­ve­way. The offi­cers then deter­mined the cop­per found in the pair’s vehi­cle was part of the gut­ter sys­tem for the house, police said.

Both sus­pects were taken into custody.

Christo­pher Rodia, 42, of Vollmer Avenue in Nor­walk was charged with third-degree lar­ceny, third-degree con­spir­acy to com­mit lar­ceny, first-degree crim­i­nal mis­chief, third-degree crim­i­nal tres­pass, pos­ses­sion of nar­cotics and fail­ure to carry pre­scrip­tion drugs in pre­scribed con­tainer. Rodia’s bond was set at $10,000 and he is sched­uled to appear Aug. 7 in Nor­walk Supe­rior Court.

Cas­san­dre Scire, 19, also of Vollmer Avenue in Nor­walk, was charged with third-degree lar­ceny, third-degree con­spir­acy to com­mit lar­ceny and third-degree crim­i­nal tres­pass. Scire’s bond was set at $2,500 and she is sched­uled to appear Aug. 7 in Nor­walk Supe­rior Court.

So we have a Chris Man­fre­do­nia arrested and quickly released AND a pos­si­ble sus­pect vehi­cle belong­ing to a Christo­pher A. Rodia with a recent crim­i­nal past. All things con­sid­ered, there is no rea­son at this point to assume Chris Man­fre­do­nia had any­thing to do with the shoot­ing and even less evi­dence that Christo­pher Rodia was involved.

But, at the end of this, we also still don’t know who was wear­ing the “camo pants” that day. Mys­tery solved? Unfor­tu­nately not. Much con­fu­sion? Oh yes.

See fol­lowup post on Mr. Rodia and how he does not appear to have any involve­ment in the event

Update 12/21/2012
The mys­tery of the “pos­si­ble sus­pect vehi­cle” reg­is­tered to Christo­pher A. Rodia just got a lot more mys­te­ri­ous. First, go here to the police scan­ner audio record­ing and lis­ten at ~30:20 when the offi­cer is list­ing the license plate of the vehi­cle. The audio is clearly “872 YEO”, and about 20 sec­onds later it’s said to be reg­is­tered to Christo­pher A. Rodia. That license plate # is exactly the same plate as the shooter’s vehi­cle accord­ing to the image here. Click on the “Related Images” pic­ture of the shooter’s car. There’s an option to zoom in. The license plate is clearly “872 YEO”.


See fol­lowup post on Mr. Rodia and how he does not appear to have any involve­ment in the event

Update 2 — 12/21/12
There’s another copy of that image of the shooter’s car with a clear shot of the license plate num­ber (so no click­ing is require to zoom in).
Newport shooter's car according to press reports

Again, note that the police scan­ner audio file uploaded to Youtube was ver­i­fied by the police. So, assum­ing there aren’t hoax ver­sion of that audio file already spread­ing around (which is very pos­si­ble), there is a grow­ing num­ber of seri­ous ques­tions that needs to be asked.

Also, note that The Inquisitr arti­cle excerpted above makes the point that bizarre story dis­crep­an­cies just aren’t pos­si­ble given the num­ber of peo­ple involved. So it’s worth not­ing, again, that the offi­cial nar­ra­tive about what hap­pened at Columbine was wrong and never cor­rected for years:

Decem­ber 18, 2012 2:15 PM
“Columbine” author: Media often gets the story wrong

(CBS News) Author Dave Cullen, who spent 10 years research­ing the Col­orado school mas­sacre for his book “Columbine,” said on “CBS This Morn­ing” that often­times in a rush to under­stand a mass shooter, the media and the pub­lic often mis­un­der­stand the killers.

He explained, “After Columbine, three days later, we had it fig­ured out. We, the media, pub­lic, every­one under­stand key things. ...We knew that they were out­cast, loner goths from the trench coat mafia who had been bru­tally bul­lied by jocks and were doing this as a revenge act to get back at the jocks for doing it,” Cullen said. “Every­thing I just said is wrong. Not one sin­gle ele­ment of that is true. Def­i­nitely wasn’t about tar­get­ing any­one. There were bombs try­ing to kill every­one. They were not lon­ers or out­casts. They weren’t at the top of the food chain, but they had quite a few friends and they had a very active social life. You look at their (sched­ule). It’s — they’re com­pletely full. So all these things were wrong.”

How­ever, the orig­i­nal, incor­rect nar­ra­tive has lived on. Cullen said, “I do a lot of high school and dif­fer­ent events and ask peo­ple, ‘What are the main things you know about Columbine?’ And they say all those things. The thing is this week what­ever we leave the pub­lic with is going to be with them for­ever. We’re going to cover this non­stop for a week or two or some­thing. We all know how this goes. And then we go away and some­thing else becomes the story. That clos­ing point what­ever it is, what­ever ideas we left the pub­lic with, they are with us forever.”


So yes, while it is incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to imag­ine how so many wit­nesses to a mass tragedy could col­lec­tively latch on to a nar­ra­tive that doesn’t quite fit the facts, the fact of the mat­ter is it happens.

See fol­lowup post on Mr. Rodia and how he does not appear to have any involve­ment in the event

update 1/14/2013
Well, it turns out that there was a report that sort of clears up the mys­tery of the “camo pants” man. Sort of:

The New­town Bee
As Shoot­ing Probe Pro­gresses
Police Union Seeks Fund­ing For Trauma Treat­ment

By Andrew Gorosko

As police this week con­tin­ued their probe into the Decem­ber 14 inci­dent involv­ing 28 shoot­ing deaths, includ­ing 20 first-graders and six staff mem­bers at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School, the lawyer who rep­re­sents the New­town Police Union is seek­ing help from the town, state, and fed­eral gov­ern­ments to extend pay­checks for “three to five” town police offi­cers who were so trau­ma­tized by the inci­dent that they have not yet been emo­tion­ally able to return to work.


Inves­ti­ga­tion Progresses

As the police probe has pro­gressed, some facts of the case have become clear.

Accord­ing to a reli­able local law enforce­ment source, Adam Lanza attempted to destroy all his com­puter equip­ment to pre­vent any trac­ing of his Inter­net usage and his elec­tronic cor­re­spon­dence. It is thought that “some or most” of the com­puter data will be retrieved from the dam­aged equipment.


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.

Now, it’s pos­si­ble that this is just a bogus report using a mis­lead­ing anony­mous source. Or maybe that report was refer­ring to some­one else entirely and not the detained “camo pants” man. And it’s also not impos­si­ble that an armed off duty swat offi­cer from another town wear­ing camo pants just hap­pened to be nearby enough to hear the gun­shots and ran through the woods towards the school. Other neigh­bors nearby heard the shots too so if this offi­cer was in the area it would make sense that he would approach the school. But the emerg­ing pic­ture here is that at least one per­son was detained on that day in a highly sus­pi­cious man­ner and now we’re learn­ing from an anony­mous source that that the detained man was an armed SWAT team mem­ber from a nearby town. That’s prob­a­bly not going to do much to dis­suade skep­tics so let’s hope there’s more info from inves­ti­ga­tors on this topic in the future.

See fol­lowup post on Mr. Rodia and how he does not appear to have any involve­ment in the event


24 comments for “The camo pants coincidence in Newtown, CT, part 2: the mystery is solved except it isn’t”

  1. Well if you look at columbine many FBI agents and even the Sher­iffs report show that there were 3 shoot­ers (one that pleaded out) and 20 other kids involved in plac­ing bombs and we are still left for the fake story.

    Posted by Grundeswald | December 21, 2012, 5:05 pm
  2. 1) Why do you include with your 12/21 updates the info on media often get­ting story wrong? Shouldn’t that have been part of your orig­i­nal arti­cle? 2) What is your basis for say­ing that crim­i­nal Rodia can­not be camo pants man?

    Posted by FlyLadyFan | December 21, 2012, 9:45 pm
  3. Grun­deswald, get a grip on real­ity, you’re slipping.

    A sheriff’s report is just that, a report of per­sonal expe­ri­ences. A report does not nec­es­sar­ily con­sist of facts, i’m not say­ing ‘lies’, i’m say­ing he prob­a­bly heard from numer­ous offi­cials who heard from numer­ous stu­dents that there were sus­pected of up to 20+ kids caus­ing the car­nage — all that from the confusion.

    Posted by nobody | December 22, 2012, 4:45 am
  4. @FlyLadyFan:
    On the first point, your edi­to­r­ial crit­i­cism is duly noted. It should have been included.

    On the sec­ond point, I did not say that Mr. Rodia could not be the “camo pants” man. I stated that we have min­i­mal evi­dence point­ing in that direc­tion. At least before I was aware of that a car with his license matches the make and model of the shooter’s. And even at this point, we are still left with a mys­tery and min­i­mal evi­dence. I don’t think I’ve seen a ver­i­fi­ca­tion that those plates are really reg­is­tered to him. Sim­i­larly, with a quick web search Mr. Rodia is eas­ily estab­lished as a local indi­vid­ual with a crim­i­nal past. That also makes him a GREAT patsy. If the shooter had pro­fes­sional help (e.g. if this was a fas­cist ter­ror­ist oper­a­tion involv­ing patsy and/or will­ing par­tic­i­pants), we should expect that the plan­ners would expect a legion of fever­ish blog­gers por­ing over every bit of into released.

    Keep in mind that we’re in a media envi­ron­ment filled with ample disinfo/misinfo but almost NO real reported facts, and one of the only pics of the car has a license plate that goes back to a known local crim­i­nal. If there were oth­ers that played a role in plan­ning this event, they may have planned to plant red her­rings. It’s some­thing we have to be extremely mind­ful of in these trau­ma­tiz­ing cir­cum­stances. Until it’s ver­i­fied that this guy had any involve­ment we should con­sider him another poten­tial vic­tim in this tragedy. Once again, he’s just a great obvi­ous patsy given his read­ily avail­able recent crim­i­nal record.

    Sim­i­larly, it’s already going on the inter­webs that Chris Man­dredo­nia basi­cally shares a big wooded back­yard area with the shooter’s house. So the inter­webs is poten­tially on the cusp of trig­ger­ing a national freakout/witchhunt. Folks, we HAVE to remem­ber that coin­ci­dences hap­pens AND pat­sies hap­pen. These peo­ple shouldn’t just be con­sid­ered inno­cent until proven guilty. They should be con­sid­ered inno­cent vic­tims of a pos­si­ble set up or just hor­ren­dous hap­pen­stance until proven guilty. As the nation con­tin­ues to descend into a “spot the future shooter” hys­te­ria, we should strive to make our “spot evi­dence of an accom­plice” efforts a coun­ter­point to that hysteria.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 22, 2012, 2:15 pm
  5. @Grunswald:
    I’ve never seen any­thing sug­gest­ing 20+ kids helped with Columbine. Instead, what we saw in the early days of the inves­ti­ga­tion was a strong sus­pi­cion that the shoot­ers had help due to the enor­mous num­ber of bombs found all over the school. This story from April 24, 1999, is more indica­tive of the what was being reported at the time:

    NY Post

    DAVID K. LI in Lit­tle­ton, Colo.,and TRACY CONNOR in New York
    Last Updated:
    Posted: 12:00 AM, April 24, 1999

    Inves­ti­ga­tors have report­edly iden­ti­fied a third sus­pect in the Columbine HS mas­sacre who says oth­ers helped plan and carry out the attack.

    The NBC report, quot­ing unnamed sources, came amid mount­ing evi­dence that “Trench Coat Mafia” gun­man Eric Har­ris and Dylan Kle­bold, who com­mit­ted sui­cide, had accomplices.

    Inves­ti­ga­tors denied they have iden­ti­fied a third suspect.

    But they said the elab­o­rate scale of Tuesday’s attack — par­tic­u­larly the large num­ber of explo­sive devices found on the cam­pus — indi­cates sev­eral peo­ple were involved.

    “There are back­packs with bombs in there every­where,” Col­orado Gov. Bill Owens said after tour­ing the school.

    “The offi­cers in there are con­vinced there had to be more peo­ple involved. There’s just too much stuff in there.”

    Police were hop­ing sur­veil­lance video in the school would help them iden­tify any­one else who took part in the nation’s dead­liest school shooting.

    School time-lapse secu­rity cam­eras could show whether other mem­bers of the Trench Coat Mafia helped plant the bombs or if Har­ris and Kle­bold smug­gled them in before their shoot­ing spree.

    “Ide­ally, [the videos] would show the move­ment and also the actual place­ment per­haps of some of the explo­sive devices, prior to the inci­dent,” Lt. John Kiek­busch said. “If that’s the case, we have got just very impor­tant evidence.”

    The cam­eras may also have cap­tured some of the car­nage on tape, although there is no video in the library, where most of the bod­ies were found.

    Wit­ness accounts also raised ques­tions about how many peo­ple knew of and helped plan or exe­cute the dead­liest school attack in the nation’s history.

    A con­struc­tion worker told police he saw four stu­dents in one suspect’s black BMW, trailed by a sedan car­ry­ing two other teens, near the school about 40 min­utes before the rampage.

    A Columbine stu­dent told cops he’s cer­tain that as the ambush began, a third teen was with Har­ris and Kle­bold, who later com­mit­ted suicide.

    “The kid in the white T-shirt, he threw what looked like a grenade on top of the school, and then he turned and kind of smiled at the other two guys,” the stu­dent said.

    Author­i­ties recov­ered more than 30 bombs, includ­ing a booby-trapped 20-pound propane tank in the school kitchen.


    Spec­u­la­tion that the Columbine shoot­ers had help plant­ing the bombs sort of died down after that and instead the inves­ti­ga­tion focused on whether or not there addi­tional shoot­ers. Even a month after the event it was clear that they were still look­ing at evi­dence of out­side help because the sheer scale of the attack. Within about a month it appeared that the idea that the shoot­ers acted alone was gelling in inves­ti­ga­tors minds. So yes, wit­nesses did report see­ing some addi­tional peo­ple par­tic­i­pate in the attack, but nowhere near 20+ peo­ple were reported by witnesses.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 22, 2012, 4:19 pm
  6. Sorry ... big fail here.

    The pos­si­ble accom­plice was appre­hended in the woods, run­ning AWAY from the scene, not toward it. So this alleged “father” hears gun­shots inside the school, and runs away, leav­ing his daugh­ter inside?

    Posted by Ray | January 2, 2013, 10:34 am
  7. @Ray: To my knowl­edge there has been no con­fir­ma­tion that the father was the actual indi­vid­ual marched out of the woods. That was merely assumed to be the case in the arti­cle linked to above. There could have been more than one per­son hand­cuffed and released that day. So please don’t call this guy an “alleged” father. That same arti­cle also says the guy “attempted to sneak into the school after the shoot­ing started.” In the arti­cle linked to in this post, it was reported that the police arrested a per­son that was seen leav­ing the school and also seen enter­ing around the time the shoot­ing began. So this guy very well might have tried to enter the school around the back after he heard the shoot­ing begin and that sounds pretty “fatherly” to me. And all the peo­ple in the school were pre­sum­ably hid­ing by that point so what was he sup­posed to do in an empty-seeming school with gun shots echo­ing through the halls? The guy really could have inno­cently entered the school and left. Yeah, it’s not as ‘dra­matic’ as the notion that this really was a sec­ond shooter but it’s a pos­si­bil­ity that we must enter­tain at this point given how lit­tle info we actu­ally have about what tran­spired that day. There’s prob­a­bly secu­rity footage some­where that would help explain this that no one has been allowed to see(for under­stand­able rea­sons given the PTSD it would induce in the sur­vivors and vic­tims fam­i­lies). Per­haps there could be a pri­vate show­ing of that footage to a diverse group of jour­nal­ists to clear this up? Given the griz­zly nature of the crime it’s worth get­ting cre­ative for how we can con­fi­dently make the evi­dence available.

    Also keep in mind that even if there is com­pelling evi­dence that the “camo pants man” had noth­ing to do with the event, that still wouldn’t mean the shooter didn’t have other help that wasn’t any­where in the vicin­ity that day. Don’t for­get that the shooter was appar­ently a recluse for the final years of his life. That may seem like the kind of per­son that would “act alone” but it’s also the descrip­tion of per­son that lived a life that was largely unob­served by almost any­one. So we really aren’t in a posi­tion to say who he could have inter­act­ing with dur­ing those years. It’s just assumed as this point that he was all alone with his mom ‘prep­ping’ for some­thing. That’s all we know. And yet the with all of these unknowns and reports of two shoot­ers and an arrested man in camo pants the inves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded he acted alone on the very same day of the attack. THAT’s the ‘big fail’ here. Even two days later, accord­ing to this Dec. 16 report, author­i­ties were actu­ally look­ing into a pos­si­ble larger con­spir­acy, but some­how that’s just been for­got­ten by vir­tu­ally all the cov­er­age while the national media went on a “blame men­tal ill­ness” binge. What ever hap­pened with that angle of the inves­ti­ga­tion and why has a larger con­spir­acy just been writ­ten off by vir­tu­ally every­one with so lit­tle known about the shooter’s back­ground? Are there fol­lowup reports where inves­ti­ga­tors state that they have con­clu­sively deter­mined there were no oth­ers involved? And if not, shouldn’t the inves­ti­ga­tors be remind­ing the media that a larger con­spir­acy is still being looked into? We need to be ask­ing ques­tions at this point, not pro­vid­ing answers about who did what when so lit­tle is really known.

    So let’s lay off the dad and any other local folks that may have got­ten caught up in this tragedy. Their lives may have been ruined by really bad luck. It hap­pens. Clamp­ing down on any talk of a sec­ond shooter or addi­tional help may have seemed like a good idea at the time, from the author­i­ties’ stand­point, for avoid­ing a larger witch hunt. It obvi­ously wasn’t given the bizarre news reports of a man arrested in “camo pants” and the ini­tial “two shoot­ers ran past the gym” call from the school. Ignor­ing this and act­ing like it didn’t have and wasn’t tele­vised all over and put on the inter­net was just crazy for the inves­ti­ga­tors. Now we’re all left with a gen­eral “WTF?” feel­ing about the entire thing and if the author­i­ties con­tinue ignor­ing this stuff it’s pretty clear that sus­pi­cions are only going to grow. It’s an awful sit­u­a­tion. Let’s call for an expla­na­tion and seri­ous inves­ti­ga­tion but let’s also try to avoid com­pound­ing the awful­ness. There’s plenty of that already.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 2, 2013, 11:10 pm
  8. I have down­loaded a lot of videos about this tragedy and I have a video a boy stat­ing that he seen a man pinned down on the ground in hand­cuffs in between some cars in the park­ing lot as they were being marched out of the school towards the fire depart­ment. This most likely is Chris Man­fre­do­nia.
    This is not the same man they took out of the woods. There is a video of a blond man, which many have seen by now, stat­ing that he wit­nessed a man being taken out of the woods in hand­cuffs wear­ing cam­ou­flage pants and a black jacket and stat­ing ” I didn’t do it“
    I do not believe that this is Chris Man­fre­do­nia that was taken out of the woods in hand­cuffs.
    The video of the boy telling what he saw is titled– Con­necti­cut Shoot­ing
    3 com­bined shooters

    Posted by Snappy Jack | January 4, 2013, 6:00 pm
  9. @Snappy Jack–

    Inter­est­ing IF true.

    You haven’t pro­vided any documentation.


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 4, 2013, 6:59 pm
  10. @Snappy Jack and Dave:
    I’ve seen the videos of the inter­view. It’s a kid rec­ol­lect­ing his expe­ri­ence from the school gym where he’s escorted by police to the fire sta­tion. There he sees a man in hand­cuffs on the ground. There are dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the video tele­vised from dif­fer­ent sta­tions and it’s still avail­able on mul­ti­ple tv sta­tion web­sites. KTLA 5, a Los Ange­les sta­tion, still has it so it’s def­i­nitely real and peo­ple can search for it but let’s try to keep the audio and video on as lit­tle of the inter­webs as pos­si­ble because it’s already gone viral and the kid could be in shock. You can infer the kid’s iden­tity from mul­ti­ple reports (a mom was also inter­viewed recount­ing what her kid expe­ri­enced and it sounds like the mom of the same kid), and one of those reports sug­gest this kid saw a body under a blan­ket as he fled the school. This had to be the worst day of his life so let’s all qui­etly note that the inter­view hap­pened but avoid blan­ket­ing the web with links to it. There would have been a lot of other kids in his class that wit­nessed the same thing.

    Regard­ing the pos­si­bil­ity that there were mul­ti­ple peo­ple detained by the police, an impor­tant piece of info in his account is that the man was clearly appre­hended and hand­cuffed very soon after the police arrived given the time­line described by the young wit­ness. That cor­re­sponds to the sug­gested tim­ing of the appar­ent cap­ture of a man out in the woods as shown in the TV news aer­ial cam­era footage. All the reports from that day state the fire sta­tion was the place where ter­ri­fied par­ents were wait­ing as events unfolded so the par­ent that saw the “camo pants” man “marched out of the woods” was prob­a­bly near the fire sta­tion. In other words, the hand­cuffed man seen by the young eye wit­ness could very eas­ily be the same “camo pants” man marched out of the woods.

    And, once again, there are VERY plau­si­ble rea­sons why some­one wear­ing “camo pants” could be out in the woods. Accord­ing to this CNN tran­script of a press con­fer­ence from the day after the attack, there was a sug­ges­tion that some­one in the woods that was cut­ting wood was detained:


    QUESTION: The mother of the — (INAUDIBLE)

    VANCE: You have to under­stand that after the shoot­ing we did a com­plete and thor­ough search of the area, the neigh­bor­hood, with our local part­ners. Every­thing was exam­ined. If we found any­one that was in the woods cut­ting wood there would be — they would be detained pend­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion. So there were no other arrest asso­ci­ated with this inves­ti­ga­tion that occurred. OK?


    VANCE: I would have you address that with the super­in­ten­dent of schools, OK? We can — she can give you that answer. We will be back. I need to get — if I don’t get here, we’ll be here quite some time. I know you have a lot of ques­tions. I think the peo­ple that we’re bring­ing to speak to you can answer these ques­tions and put a lot of — take a lot of the mys­tery out of what we’ve been deal­ing with for the last 24 hours. OK. We will be back. We will be back.


    So yes, it seems like quite a coin­ci­dence if a man in “camo pants” hap­pened to be chop­ping wood on the day of the attack. Coin­ci­dences hap­pen. And that “cut­ting wood” thing could also be an inten­tional deflec­tion to pro­tect the detained man because the inves­ti­ga­tors may have had com­pelling rea­sons to believe that the guy was totally inno­cent. In other words, we have to keep in mind that the inves­ti­ga­tion could be with­hold­ing info to pro­tect the inno­cent and it just didn’t work out that way due to the swirl of dis­in­for­ma­tion and hoaxes in the cov­er­age of the event. So every­one, yes, the infor­ma­tion avail­able at this point cer­tainly raises a lot of ques­tions, but it’s also the kind of infor­ma­tion we could have if there was a hor­rific tragedy that involved gen­uinely inno­cent peo­ple that were caught in trag­i­cally sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances in the imme­di­ate after­math. If the shooter had no out­side help/influences (and that’s still an extremely plau­si­ble sce­nario even when you fac­tor in all the sur­round­ing infor­ma­tion mess), the inves­ti­ga­tors faced a dou­bly hor­rific sit­u­a­tion of a grue­some crime scene AND inno­cent peo­ple that could eas­ily have their lives destroyed. It would be a lose/lose sit­u­a­tion no mat­ter what info they did or didn’t make public.

    A final point regard­ing the detained father: If the shooter did indeed have out­side help/influence and it involved sophis­ti­cated plan­ning, the fact that the father lived near the shooter, had a daugh­ter at the school and wife that vol­un­teered there also makes him a GREAT patsy, espe­cially if he’s a “camo pants” kind of guy. His fam­ily could have been under sur­veil­lance and the tim­ing of the whole thing could have been set to coin­cide with a planned gin­ger­bread house event. Who knows. The point being, the guy could have been detained under non-coincidental cir­cum­stances and still be com­pletely inno­cent. And the meta-point being that the data avail­able is con­sis­tent with a num­ber of very dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios. One thing we do know for sure is that a really tragic school shoot­ing took place that day and any unwar­ranted accu­sa­tions are only going to add to the tragedy.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 5, 2013, 5:20 pm
  11. Who­ever said i was slip­ping. You are wrong. I had this con­firmed by the Ser­aph group that does var­i­ous con­sult­ing con­tracts for gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions. This group is made up of for­mer FBI agents and such. There was another shooter that was pleaded out in order to get the rest of the gang involved.

    Posted by Grundeswald | January 7, 2013, 4:16 pm
  12. First off great research. Sec­ond, there are a few things that still dont make sense...

    1-If this Chris Rodia was pulled over for “speed­ing in the area” why is his car described as “a sus­pect vehi­cle” and also why is it being towed ? Also if he was caught for speed­ing, who took that pic­ture of the car and why? I mean first its speed­ing , then there is a media pic­ture of this towed car? That makes no sense.

    2– There are still a lot of other prob­lems out there, one is the nurse inter­view with USA today reporter claim­ing she knew Nancy Lanza and was the best kindger­gar­den teacher you would ever want. Then there is the con­flict­ing story on “prin­ci­pal buzzing Adam in ” the “argu­ment the day before” and who broke the glass (Adam or Police).

    Lots of issues.

    Some gun issues as well...


    Posted by Marty | January 7, 2013, 7:04 pm
  13. @Marty:
    On point 1: Please see the update about Mr. Rodia...he’s inno­cent and the descrip­tion of him as the dri­ver of the “pos­si­ble sus­pect vehi­cle” was due to that Youtube audio record­ing con­tain­ing radio feeds from areas around New­town. He was in Green­wich get­ting pulled over for ille­gal park­ing and the part of that traf­fic stop where his name was read off coin­ci­den­tally over­lapped with the read­ing of the license plate on the shooter’s car.

    On point 2: The lat­est reports I’ve seen indi­cate that there was never an alter­ca­tion. Regard­ing the nurse claim­ing she knew his mom and she was a great kinder­garten teacher, the nurse was a 15 year employee of the school and saw the shooter on the day of the attack, so yeah, that’s def­i­nitely one of the odder report­ing anom­alies out there since it includes an eye­wit­ness to the actual shoot­ing. Incor­rect infor­ma­tion is com­mon for this kind of event and maybe the nurse was just com­pletely con­fused about the shooter’s iden­tity. Note above that the wife of the father that was detained did vol­un­teer for her daughter’s kinder­garten class so it’s pos­si­ble that early report­ing involved peo­ple that were con­fus­ing the shooter’s fam­ily with the father’s fam­ily. The last reports on the shooter’s ties to the school indi­cated that he was there in 2002 while in the 5th grade (it was later con­verted to a k-4 school). Who knows how to explain that nurse’s report but I cer­tainly can’t remem­ber the last time there was an inci­dent like this where so many spe­cific, yet mutu­ally exclu­sive, pieces of info emerged in that first week of fren­zied reporting.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 7, 2013, 8:24 pm
  14. Three ques­tions: #1 The man hand­cuffed was the par­ent (Chris Man­fre­do­nia) who was there for the gin­ger­bread house day. He may have been out­side the school or nearby or “run­ning out­side the school”. Cer­tainly not in the woods run­ning away, that was clearly some­one else. THAT per­son was caught and brought back in handcuffs....that guy was in camo pants and dark jacket. We know the car belonged to Christo­pher A. Rodia and a recent pic­ture of him shows him as a big guy with a big belly....could NOT be the dude being chased in the woods. So who was the man appre­hended from the woods if it was NOT Rodia and NOT Man­fre­do­nia? Ques­tion 2: What about the Pur­ple Van with two peo­ple inside (one or both dressed as a nun) speed­ing away? Ques­tion 3: Shoot­ing sus­pect was described in two ways....1) a mask on and a util­ity vest on and 2) a priest out­fit. Which one was it?

    Posted by dmhennen | January 11, 2013, 8:11 am
  15. @dmhennen:
    Regard­ing #1: Yes, the timeline/data regard­ing the par­ent is ambigu­ous and leaves open the pos­si­bil­ity that mul­ti­ple peo­ple were detained. Also, the shooter’s car was NOT Rodia’s car (that was a screw up). He appears to be com­pletely inno­cent. The iden­tity of the detained camo pants man remains an open question.

    On #2: The pur­ple van mys­tery is another one of those “WTF?” details. I haven’t been able to find news reports indi­cat­ing ski masks and nun out­fits, but there are def­i­nitely reports dis­cussing the pur­ple van. For exam­ple:

    News Times
    911 Sandy Hook call shows early con­fu­sion
    Libor Jany
    Updated 10:18 pm, Tues­day, Decem­ber 18, 2012

    NEWTOWN — In the fran­tic moments after a gun­man stormed into Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School on Fri­day and gunned down 26 peo­ple, most of them chil­dren, author­i­ties expected to encounter a sec­ond shooter as they con­verged on the build­ing, accord­ing to a record­ing of a 911 tape that was inde­pen­dently ver­i­fied by Hearst Con­necti­cut News­pa­pers on Tuesday.

    “I have reports of two shoot­ers run­ning past the build­ing, past the gym, which would be rear,” a dis­patcher said on the tape, before trail­ing off. Shortly after­ward, the oper­a­tor told a State Police trooper who was rac­ing to the scene from the nearby Troop A bar­racks in South­bury to “make sure you have your vest on.”

    A review of the record­ing sug­gests that author­i­ties were unaware of the grisly scene they were walk­ing into.

    Con­fu­sion reigned among author­i­ties as SWAT team mem­bers and other offi­cers swept the build­ing for sev­eral hours, trig­ger­ing a wave of erro­neous media reports.

    At one point, sev­eral major net­works, includ­ing CNN, Fox News and The Asso­ci­ated Press, were report­ing that the shooter was Ryan Lanza, 24, cit­ing a law enforce­ment source famil­iar with the inves­ti­ga­tion. A num­ber of news out­lets also raised the pos­si­bil­ity that there was a sec­ond gunman.

    Inves­ti­ga­tors cast a drag­net over the town and neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ties to try to catch the phan­tom gunman.

    By the end of the day Fri­day, inves­ti­ga­tors said they were con­fi­dent that the sus­pected shooter was Ryan Lanza’s 20-year-old brother, Adam, and that he acted alone. Any reports that another sus­pect fled the scene in a pur­ple van were unfounded, they said.

    The two-hour-long record­ing, which was authen­ti­cated Tues­day by sev­eral cur­rent and for­mer emer­gency dis­patch­ers, sur­faced on YouTube. It cap­tures the after­math of the shoot­ing that ended only after 26 peo­ple — 20 of whom were chil­dren, none older than 7 — were killed in a fusil­lade of bullets.


    In this report, from the day of the event, we learn that police sur­rounded a pur­ple van, so it def­i­nitely appears to have taken place:

    The Daily Voice
    Shoot­ing At Newtown’s Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School
    by Staff Report Police & Fire 12/14/12

    This story was updated at 1:40 p.m. NEWTOWN, Conn. — Twenty-seven peo­ple, includ­ing at least 18 chil­dren, were killed dur­ing a shoot­ing at the Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, accord­ing to reports.

    Author­i­ties on the scene told The Daily Voice Fri­day after­noon that the school had been cleared Fri­day morn­ing and par­ents were tak­ing their chil­dren home.

    Police were first called to Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School at about 9:40 a.m. Some reports say the shooter has been killed and CNN reported that two weapons were recov­ered from his body. Another report said police sur­rounded a pur­ple van at 33 Crosby St. in Dan­bury that may be con­nected to New­town school shoot­ing.


    So yes, a pur­ple van was sur­rounded by police so it was clearly sus­pi­cious to author­i­ties in some man­ner on that day. And yes, there was no expla­na­tion given as to what the police found after sur­round­ing the van. Maybe it had noth­ing to do with the event? And the rea­sons for ques­tions about two vs three weapons are also self-evident from that above excerpt, although an early mis­re­port­ing on num­ber of weapons used seems like one of the more under­stand­able report­ing anom­alies from that day.

    On #3: I haven’t seen any­thing that sug­gested the shooter was dressed like a priest. I’ve seen inter­net mur­murs that sug­gested that the man “cut­ting wood” that may have been detained was a priest so maybe that’s where the idea came from but I haven’t seen any­thing from main­stream news sources to sug­gest a priest or nuns or any­thing like that was observed (although there could very well be those reports out there that I missed and the TV reports are dif­fi­cult to search with­out text). Ini­tial reports sug­gested the shooter was wear­ing a bul­let­proof vest, but that was later cor­rected to a util­ity vest. In this Dec 20th report, they actu­ally describe him as wear­ing a util­ity vest and then go on to dis­cuss the dan­gers of pub­licly avail­able body armor. It’s clearly a mess.

    So, those were all inter­est­ing ques­tions. I have no idea what the answers are but let’s just keep remind­ing our­selves that the detained par­ent (and any­one else that gets swept up in this mess) should be con­sid­ered com­pletely inno­cent until proven oth­er­wise and maybe even framed as a distraction.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 11, 2013, 11:43 am
  16. Here’s the only thing I’ve got con­cern­ing the shooter dressed as a priest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyrRf_dHcvk

    Posted by dmhennen | January 11, 2013, 2:29 pm
  17. @DMHENNEN: Given the strange edit­ing and over­all look of that youtube video I’m going to strongly encour­age peo­ple to pre­sume that the video could be a hoax until proven otherwise.

    Also, there are a num­ber of videos on the side bar of that video that are push­ing the “this whole event was a hoax using actors” meme. Please don’t fall for that crap. It’s stu­pid and cruel.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 11, 2013, 7:18 pm
  18. @Dmhennen: Fol­low­ing up in the mys­tery of the pur­ple van and the nun out­fits, there is indeed police scan­ner audio footage that describes such a sce­nario: masked occu­pants in a van where one appears to be wear­ing a nun outfit.

    First, go here to the Radioman911 audio file. At ~1:41:20 you’ll hear an offi­cer “Last seen on Stony Hill by exit 8, mul­ti­ple peo­ple in a van with masks on, one appears to be dressed in a nun out­fit”. You’ll also hear ref­er­ences to a pur­ple van ~30 sec­onds later.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 15, 2013, 7:07 pm
  19. Chris Man­fre­do­nia has stated emphat­i­cally that he was NOT wear­ing camo pants that day, did not run around the gym side of the build­ing but ran around the OTHER side, was NEVER in the woods, and was never put into a police car.

    So the camo pants man was def­i­nitely not CM.

    The day of the shoot­ing, a reporter wrote on the examiner.com site that a man wear­ing cam­ou­flage was seen on sur­veil­lance video approach­ing the office after the shoot­ing started. Adam Lanza was reported to be wear­ing black pants.

    Fur­ther, wit­nesses saw police swarm St Rose of Lima Catholic Church THE DAY OF THE SHOOTING, and reports cir­cu­lated that they had in cus­tody ANOTHER sus­pect in the SH shoot­ings. This report from New­bury­port (MA) News of Dec 14.

    Posted by alan alda's sleeve | February 26, 2013, 10:47 pm
  20. @Alan Alda’s Sleeve–

    You have a great deal of faith in Mr. Manfredonia’s word.


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | February 27, 2013, 11:40 am
  21. I have just the right amount of faith in his word, based upon who he is.

    Mr. Man­fre­do­nia is the Ath­letic Direc­tor at Fair­field Warde High School in Fair­field, CT, his daugh­ter was attend­ing SH, his wife was a parent-volunteer there, and they live in New­town. He was at the school that day to help the kids in his daughter’s class make gin­ger­bread houses for the hol­i­days, just as the LA Times reported.

    There is absolutely no rea­son what­so­ever not to take him at his word. He was an inno­cent wit­ness within steps of being caught in the cross­fire at the scene, whose own daugh­ter he feared was in grave dan­ger. He was briefly detained by police, ID’d, and released to wait at the fire­house for his child to be escorted out of the building.

    Do you doubt him?

    Posted by alan alda's sleeve | February 27, 2013, 12:59 pm
  22. @Mr. Sleeve–

    Seri­ous research demands more than hearsay and asser­tions by indi­vid­u­als about their motives. He may well be inno­cent, sub­se­quent posts have pointed in that direction.

    Do YOU know him?

    I have a num­ber of ques­tions about New­town and have fol­lowed the school shoot­ings since the late ’80’s.

    One of the most impor­tant things about the entire phe­nom­e­non is the extent to which it has dom­i­nated the news cycle, eclips­ing much more impor­tant events and topics.

    I’d like to know what was on the wrecked hard drive and what web­sites and chat groups the guy was visiting.



    Posted by Dave Emory | February 27, 2013, 1:18 pm
  23. A sim­ple inter­net search proves CM is the cur­rent AD at Fair­field Warde. An ordi­nary semi-public fig­ure in the community.

    He called me from his office at the school and I spoke to him per­son­ally and he stated quite gen­uinely and matter-of-factly the infor­ma­tion I relayed above.

    If one can­not believe the first per­son account of an eye­wit­ness with good repute and no sus­pect motive, what can one believe?

    As for hard dri­ves and inter­net trails, all of that is in the hands of law enforce­ment. No one else is get­ting it. Ever. So ordi­nary folks with their first per­son eye­wit­ness accounts are all we have to go on at this point. But there is still a lot there.

    Such as par­ent Bar­bara Sibley’s tele­vised account of see­ing all the doors of the black Honda wide open while the shoot­ing was still in progress.

    What does that piece of evi­dence sug­gest? Espe­cially in light of all the other eye­wit­ness accounts of mul­ti­ple per­sons being lit­er­ally chased by police...

    Posted by alan alda's sleeve | February 27, 2013, 3:29 pm
  24. Accord­ing to New­town police, later, the man in the woods was an uncle of one of the stu­dents who had “gone to get his niece.”


    Prob­lem is, this “uncle,” along with Chris Man­fre­do­nia, were bar­rel­ing on foot *away* from the school.

    The idea the “uncle” was com­ing thru the woods tak­ing a short­cut, and that Chris was “run­ning around the out­side of the school” to get his daugh­ter, doesn’t jive with the fact that police audio record them rac­ing together down Crest­wood (again, away from the school). Chris gets proned out, and “uncle” goes into the woods only to be brought out again and labeled “an off-duty police offi­cer from another town.”

    Posted by Sapphire | April 16, 2013, 10:04 am

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