Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:30:26 +0000
In less than two months, it will be the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre — the shootings on December 14, 2012 by alleged killer Adam Lanza of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
And yet we don’t know any more about the killings than we did six months ago.
Because the authorities are determined to keep the massacre enshrouded in secrecy.
In the United States, death certificates — like birth and marriage certificates — are public domain documents that serve as a mechanism for upholding the integrity of information in which there is a public interest. As an example, death certificates can be and are used to maintain voting integrity by removing dead people from registered voter lists.
But Newtown’s town clerk Debbie Aurelia — with the support of the Connecticut state legislature — refused to release the death records of those killed in Sandy Hook, despite Freedom of Information requests from the New York Post, the Connecticut Post, the Associated Press, the Hartford Courant, and other media. The ostensible reason is to protect the “feelings” of the parents of the child victims.
Of course, what Aurelia and the Connecticut state legislature wouldn’t explain is how and why the “feelings” of the parents would be “hurt” by the release of the death records of alleged mass murderer Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy Lanza.
Adam Lanza’s death records are especially important because Social Security Death Index initially had his date-of-death (DoD) as December 13, 2012 — one day before Lanza’s alleged shooting rampage. When bloggers discovered this curious fact, SSDI quickly changed Lanza’s DoD to December 14, 2013. See:
- “SSDI says Adam Lanza died a day before Sandy Hook massacre,” Jan. 20, 2013.
- “Dec. 14 was date of death for every Sandy Hook massacre victim, except Adam Lanza,” Feb. 2, 2013.
- “SSDI changed Adam Lanza’s date-of-death from Dec. 13 to Dec. 14, 2012 !!!,” Feb. 2, 2013.
Now the same excuse is given for gagging the workers and contractors who are tearing down the Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES), allegedly because of asbestos contamination. (The school had been empty since the shooting, its students and faculty were moved to a school building renamed SHES about seven miles away in neighboring town Monroe.)
The Associated Press reports (via Fox News), Oct. 15, 2013, that contractors demolishing Sandy Hook Elementary School are being required to sign confidentiality agreements forbidding public discussion of the site, photographs or disclosure of any information about the building where 26 people were fatally shot last December.
Selectman William Rodgers said officials want to protect the Newtown school where the 20 children and six educators were killed because “It’s a very sensitive topic” and “We want it to be handled in a respectful way,” The News-Times reported. “We don’t really want those who are there somehow releasing information or recounting impressions of the site, given we are trying to move on, so to speak.”
Project manager Consigli Construction has barricaded the property and intends to screen the perimeter to prevent onlookers from taking photographs. Full-time security guards will ensure the site is not disturbed.
Families of the victims and school staff visited the site, but public access is barred.
The precautions exceed those at other construction sites, town officials said.
Jim Juliano, a member of the Public Building and Site Commission, said he believes extra vigilance is needed to shield Sandy Hook families and the community from exploitation, and to prevent the infliction of more pain on the community.
Demolition is set to begin next week and be finished before the Dec. 14 anniversary of the shootings. A new school is expected to open by December 2016. Town voters last month accepted a state grant of $49.3 million to demolish the school and build a new one.
- On October 20, 2013, citizen journalist Brendan Hunt went to Newtown and took raw footage of the outside of Sandy Hook Elementary School. See “Citizen journalist’s raw footage of Sandy Hook school,” Oct. 22, 2013.
- Re. Newtown Selectman William Rodgers: He’s one of the town’s three-member Board of Selectmen who comprise the city government. (Newtown doesn’t have a mayor.) See his home’s strange $0 purchase price and date in my post “The strange purchase date and price of Sandy Hook homes.”
Update (Aug. 21, 2015):
For the construction of a new $50 million replacement school, also by the same Consigli Construction, go here. See also “Was Sandy Hook Elementary School already abandoned before the massacre?”