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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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