The Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) shooting massacre on December 14, 2012, is full of oddities — what former Florida state trooper Wolfgang Halbig calls “things that don’t make sense.” Fellowship of the Minds has chronicled many of those oddities.
Here’s another thing that doesn’t make sense.
Dawn Hochsprung, the 47–year-old principal of SHES, was one of the six adults whom Lanza shot to death on the morning of Friday, December 14, 2012.
As recounted by ABC News’ Katie Kindelan:
Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung devoted her life to helping students as an educator. In her final moments, Hochsprung, 47, reportedly gave her life Friday to save the lives of countless students and teachers when she sprung from a conference room at the sound of gunshots and confronted head-on the armed shooter who had barged into the school.
So it is curious, to say the least, that on the day of the massacre, the local paper, The Newtown Bee, ran an online story, “Shooting Reported Sandy Hook Elementary School,” which quoted the same Hochsprung as a source:
Sandy Hook School Principal Dawn Hochsprung told The Bee that a masked man entered the school with a rifle and started shooting multiple shows [sic] —more than she could count—that went ‘on and on.’
According to blogger swansong of Insanemedia, The Bee retracted the story three days later, but not before swansong had captured a screenshot of the original article, and circled in yellow the sentence referring to Hochsprung.
On December 31, 2012, Newtown Bee published this retraction and apology:
An early online report from the scene at the December 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School quoted a woman who identified herself to our reporter as the principal of the school. The woman was not the school’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in the Friday morning attack. The quote was removed from subsequent online versions of the story, but the original story did remain in our online archive for three days before being deleted.
We apologize for whatever confusion this may have caused our readers and for any pain or anguish it may have cause the Hochsprung family.
Swansong points out that Newtown is a small town of about 27,000 people and that The Newtown Bee is located less than 1½ miles from SHES and had run innumerable stories on the school, many of which featured Dawn Hochsprung. In other words, Hochsprung was well known by The Bee’s reporters.
Even more remarkable is swansong’s discovery that the Bing cache date for The Bee’s original report quoting Hochsprung was December 13, 2012—one day before the massacre. Here’s a screenshot swansong took of the cache:
In a follow-up, Newtown Bee’s editor, Curtiss Clark, told swansong that John Voket was “the reporter” who’d spoken with the woman mistaken for Hochsprung, and that Voket met the woman face to face. Since Voket had worked at The Bee for 8 years as its associate editor and is a radio announcer and active in the community, it strains credibility that Voket had mistaken the woman for Hochsprung. In an email to swansong, Voket attributed his mistake to the chaos and commotion of that day, and to the woman, whose name he would not divulge, having “a number of physical attributes” in common with Hochsprung.