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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 [1]

In our last post [2] 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 [3]:

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 [4] 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 [5] post­ed yes­ter­day when claim­ing a Face­book user was banned for “ques­tion­ing the nar­ra­tive [6]” of the New­town tragedy:

“Ini­tial reports that a ‘sec­ond gun­man [7]’ 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 [8] comes to the res­cue:

We admit it took a bit of dig­ging to dis­cov­er that oth­ers had fig­ured out [9] that the man in ques­tion was most like­ly Chris Man­fre­do­nia [10], 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 [11], 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 [12]. 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 [13], 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 [10]:

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 [14]:

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 [2], 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 [15]:

‘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 [16] 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? [17]:

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 [1]

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 [16] 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 [18]. 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”.

Woah.

See fol­lowup post on Mr. Rodia and how he does not appear to have any involve­ment in the event [1]

Update 2 — 12/21/12
There’s anoth­er copy [19] 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 [20]. 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 [21]:

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 [1]

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 [22]:

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

By Andrew Gorosko
12/27/2012

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 [23] 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 [1]