Tag Archives: Adam Lanza’s death certificate

Sandy Hook: The curious case of Adam Lanza’s ex-con funeral director

Adam Lanza

Adam Lanza

Adam Lanza was the 20-year-old alleged mass murderer of Sandy Hook who, on December 14, 2012, first killed his mother, Nancy, with four shots to her face in their family home, then drove a short distance to Sandy Hook Elementary School. There, in the space of 11 minutes, he shot to death 20 first-graders and 6 adults, before killing himself with a shot to the lower back of his head.

Among the many curiosities about Lanza, such as not leaving any online footprints despite being a computer wiz, is the fact that genealogy websites, e.g., Ancestry.com, initially had Lanza’s date of death, according to the Social Security Death Index, as a day before the massacre, on December 13, 2012. It was only after the curious date had been discovered by bloggers, did the websites revise it to the day of the massacre. (See “SSDI changed Adam Lanza’s date-of-death from Dec. 13 to Dec. 14, 2012 !!!” and “Sandy Hook: Adam Lanza’s strange Dec. 13 date-of-death just won’t go away”)

This post is about another Adam Lanza oddity: The funeral home and director who cremated his body.

Adam Lanza’s Death Certificate

On Dec. 23, 2012, the UK’s Mirror reported that Lanza was to be cremated in secret “to stop hater mobs targeting his remains”. On Dec. 31, 2012, ABCNews reported that Lanza’s “body” (presumably his ashes) had been claimed by his father, Peter, whose divorce from Nancy was finalized in 2010, and that the funeral home wanted to remain anonymous.

It turns out there is good reason for the funeral home to “remain anonymous”.

The alleged death certificate for Adam Lanza, published by the Sandy Hook skeptics-bashing SandyHookFacts.com, identifies two businesses that were involved in Lanza’s funeral arrangements:

  1. Linwood Crematory as the business in charge of “Disposition” of Lanza’s body (see Box #29 of death certificate).
  2. Hartford Trade Service as the “Funeral Facility” (Box #33), next to which is an illegible scribble as the “Signature of Funeral Director” (Box #34), whose license number is 2698 (Box #35).

⇓ Click image to enlarge ⇓

Adam Lanza death certificate

Linwood Cemetery and Crematory is at 41 John Ward Ave., Haverhill, MA 01830. Why Linwood was chosen is a mystery because it is located in Massachusetts — not Newtown, Connecticut, where Lanza killed himself; nor Stamford, Connecticut, where Peter Lanza resides; nor Kingston, New Hampshire, where Nancy Lanza was buried. (See Daily Mail)

To add to the confusion, a blogger has “A Statement of Death” for Adam Lanza by a funeral director at an entirely different funeral homeBrookside Chapel and Funeral Home in Plaistow, New Hampshire. (See my post, “Sandy Hook: Adam Lanza’s strange Dec. 13 date-of-death just won’t go away”.) Stranger still, that “Statement of Death” initially also had Lanza’s date of death as 12/13/2012 – a day before the alleged massacre. Nine days later, on 1/24/2013, Brookside made an amended “Statement of Death” with Lanza’s date of death changed to 12/14/2012. 

Hartford Trade Service & the ex-con funeral director kevin riley

That leaves Hartford Trade Service as the “Funeral Facility” for Adam Lanza’s body, and its funeral director who had signed Lanza’s death certificate with an illegible scribble, and whose license number is 2698.

Hartford Trade Service

We did an Internet search for Hartford Trade Service and found several news reports on HTS’s crooked funeral director Kevin Riley.

Kevin Riley, director of Hartford Trade Service

Kevin Riley, director of Hartford Trade Service

According to Hartford Courant, on January 25, 2011, Kevin Riley, 54, funeral director and owner of Hartford Trade Service, was sentenced to eight months in prison for using “a body-removal contract with the state medical examiner’s office to gain access to the estates of people who had died and stole assets from some of them,” and for double-billing state agencies for body removal. 

Prosecutors said Riley had himself appointed administrator of the estates of people with no relatives, giving him access to money and property with little or no scrutiny. Riley and his co-conspirator, Yolande Faulkner, who also was charged with larceny, would then steal money, jewelry and paintings and sell some of them through an auction house where Faulkner also was the bookkeeper. All told, Riley, through Hartford Trade Service, billed the Department of Social Services and the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner more than $25,000. In many of those cases, Riley also charged the state $1,800 in burial fees — while also charging the person’s estate that same amount.

Riley surrendered his funeral director and embalming licenses to the state Department of Public Health and agreed to repay the estates he stole from as well as two state agencies that he had double-billed. Additionally, he must perform 50 hours of community service during each of 3 years of probation once he is released from prison.

Below are the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health‘s notification of Riley’s voluntary surrender of his license, and the discipline citations against him and Hartford Trade Service:

State of Connecticut Dept of Public Health citation against Kevin RileyState of Connecticut discipline citation against HTS and Kevin RileyThe Phonecall

We looked up Hartford Trade Service (HTS) on Legacy.com and found its address and phone number:

Hartford Trade Service: 623 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108, (860) 282-4500

We called that number, and had an interesting and cordial conversation with HTS’s owner, Kevin.

After 4-5 rings, a man answered. We asked if Hartford Trade Service is a funeral home. He paused, then answered hesitantly, “Yes,” and explained that HTS is a “non-traditional” funeral service because it:

  • Only does cremation; and
  • Does not deal with the public but works “behind the scenes” as a subcontractor to (regular) funeral homes.

He said HTS does not have a website and that his name is “Kevin.” He said HTS is still in business, despite some accounts that it had closed in 2011. Kevin also confirmed that some employee at HTS was in legal trouble a few years ago. He said he’s been HTS’s owner since 2010.

From the phone conversation, in all likelihood “Kevin” is Kevin Riley, funeral director of Hartford Trade Service, who in 2011 was convicted and sentenced to 8-months in prison for overbilling the State of Connecticut (for which HTS must have served as a subcontractor); and for stealing from the homes of deceased, then selling the stolen goods to antiques dealers.

Hartford Trade Service on Google Map

Zillow says Hartford Trade Service’s address, 623 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108, is a single-family home (lot 5.6 acres), last sold in Jan. 2011 for $280,000. YellowPages.com has HTS as “Open Now”, M-F 8am-5pm.

But when we searched for 623 Main St., East Hartford, CT on Google Map, the building is identified as River Bend Funeral Home Crematorium! Below are two pics we took of the building at 623 Main St.. Curiously, as you can see for yourself, the building carries a sign identifying it as River Bend Funeral Home, not Hartford Trade Service.

River Bend, front copy Signage, River Bend copyIndeed, Funeral Home Resource and AgingCare.com both say River Bend Funeral Home & Crematory is at 623 Main St., (860) 282-4500 — the same address and phone number as Hartford Trade Service’s.

The Visit: Who’s Kevin Davidson?

An in-person visit to 623 Main St. confirms that the building carries only a sign that says “River Bend Funeral Home”. No where is there any indication that the building also houses Hartford Trade Service.

Kevin wasn’t there, but a male assistant “Joe” was, who  said that River Bend Funeral Home’s owner is Kevin Davidson (not Kevin Riley)Here’s Kevin Davidson’s business card, identifying him as the owner of Hartford Trade Service:

Kevin's Business Card copyCuriously, Joe scribbled on the back of Kevin Davidson’s business card the name “yolande” and a phone number (860) 268-2991. According to EmailFinder, that number is the cell phone number of Yolande Faulkner — Kevin Riley’s convicted co-conspirator and partner-in-crime. 

Back of card with Yolande's p.n. copyThe only problem is this: The website ConnecticutCorps: Company Profiles of Connecticut, has Kevin Riley as the owner of River Bend Funeral Home, 623 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108 — which means the assistant lied. More disturbing still is what ConnecticutCorps says about River Bend’s “Company Overview”:

RIVER BEND FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORIUM, LLC is a Domestic Limited Liability Company in Connecticut and its company number is 0901394. RIVER BEND FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORIUM, LLC was registered on May 29, 2007. The company’s status is listed as Dissolved.

As proof, here’s a screenshot of ConnecticutCorps page on River Bend, with the time and date (4/27/2016) when the screenshot was taken:

 ⇓ Click image to enlarge ⇓

ConnecticutCorps on River Bend Funeral Home

The Search for Licenses

We then went on the State of Connecticut’s eLicensing website to search for the licenses of Hartford Trade Service, funeral director Kevin Riley, River Bend Funeral Home & Crematory, and funeral director Kevin Davidson. Alas, we came up empty-handed on all four:

  • We searched for Hartford Trade Service and got this: license expired 1/5/2011.
  • We searched for River Bend Funeral Home and got this: license expired 1/4/2011.
  • We searched for Kevin Riley, funeral director of HTS, and got this: No records found for the criteria entered.
  • We searched for Kevin Riley, funeral director of River Bend Funeral Home, and got this: No records found.
  • We searched for Kevin Davidson of River Bend Funeral Home, and got this: No records found.

Below are screenshots of the search results:

Hartford Trade Service inactive license1Kevin Riley on elicense.ct.govRiver Bend Funeral Home inactive license1

eLicensing search result for Riven Bend Kevin RileyeLicensing search result for River Bend Kevin Davidson

That the State of Connecticut’s eLicensing has no records for funeral home Hartford Trade Service is also confirmed by an anonymous tipster to Professor James Fetzer. In an email, the tipster wrote:

Hartford Trade Service’s business expired 1.5.2011! This is very big as Hartford Trade Service not in business when Sandy Hook occurred! Closed for almost 2 years!

Hartford Trade Service
License type: funeral home
Licence no: 467
Expiration date: 1/05/2011
Granted date: 6/1/1989
License status: Inactive

Conclusion

To summarize, our investigations — online, by phone, in person — found that:

  • The funeral home for Adam Lanza was Hartford Trade Service, which has an expired license, but its owner said on the phone it is in business.
  • Though in business, the building that houses Hartford Trade Service does not identify itself as HTS, but as River Bend Funeral Home & Crematorium instead.
  • The funeral director of Hartford Trade Service, Kevin Riley, is a convicted felon, whom an employee claims to be Kevin Davidson.
  • But a website on company profiles in Connecticut identifies Kevin Riley, not Kevin Davidson, as the owner of River Bend Funeral Home.
  • The State of Connecticut eLicensing website has no records for funeral homes Hartford Trade Service or River Bend Funeral Home, or for funeral directors Kevin Riley or Kevin Davidson.

However, if the Sandy Hook massacre never took place, and Adam Lanza never died (or, as some say, never even existed), then an unlicensed funeral home with an unlicensed funeral director who’s an ex-convict would be the perfect candidate to pose as the “funeral facility” for a non-existent corpse.

See also “A retrospective in crime,” on the checkered “career” path of Kevin Riley.

~Eowyn and Cinderella’s Broom

For the links to all the posts Fellowship of the Minds has published on the Sandy Hook hoax, see our “Sandy Hook Massacre” page.

For a free copy of the Amazon.com-banned book, Nobody Died at Sandy Hook,  click here. To buy a hard copy of the book, sure to be a collector’s item, click here.

Update (April 29, 2016):

A reader, Kelley, of Prof. James Tracy’s Memory Hole Blog called River Bend Funeral Home and spoke to a man who identified himself as Kevin Davidson, the owner of River Bend. He denied that Kevin Riley and Kevin Davidson are the same person, and when Kelley read this post to him, he called my post “shoddy reporting”.

Alas, as I stated in my post, the website ConnecticutCorps: Company Profiles of Connecticut, has Kevin Riley as the owner of River Bend Funeral Home, and that the status of River Bend is “dissolved”. In other words, “Kevin Davidson” lied to Kelley.

Someone should really ask the State of Connecticut why:

  • River Bend, a “dissolved” funeral home whose license, according to the State of Connecticut’s own eLicensing website says has expired, is still in business.
  • Hartford Trade Service, also with an expired license, somehow managed to be the “funeral facility” for Adam Lanza’s corpse.

~Eowyn 

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Sandy Hook: Adam Lanza’s strange Dec. 13 date-of-death just won’t go away

In a post on June 5, 2014, C. W. Wade of SandyHookFacts.com announced that the website and that of Lenny Pozner (father of alleged child victim Noah Pozner), LenPoz.com, were releasing the death certificate of Adam Lanza, the alleged mass murderer of 20 first-graders and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.

Below is the image of Adam Lanza’s death certificate, dated 1/3/2013. I circled in red the 12/14/2012 date of death and the peculiar skewed signature of Newtown town clerk Debbie Aurelia (why is her signature sprawled out of the box?).

↓click image to enlarge↓

Adam Lanza death certificate

Aurelia had refused Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from media and other sources seeking copies of the death certificates of Lanza and his victims, although death certificates are considered vital public records and historically available for public scrutiny. Aurelia justified her denial on the grounds of preventing identity theft and protecting the privacy of the deceased and their families.

On June 18, 2013, the death certificates were released in a belated response to a Freedom of Information request filed by The New York Post

The Post explains that the State of Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission “sided with The Post, maintaining the documents were public record.” In spite of efforts by Aurelia and the state legislature to pass bills to block the release of the death certificates, the bills “never made it to a vote in the Legislature, paving the way for the release of the documents.” (One bill was passed, banning the release of photos and videos of murder victims.)

But neither The Post nor other newspapers that reported on the release published any of the death certificates, not one. Thus far, only two certificates have been published:

  1. That of Noah Pozner, released by his father Lenny, and published by C. W. Wade on SandyHookFacts.com on May 12, 2013.
  2. Adam Lanza’s death certificate, also published on SandyHookFacts.com.

In other words, the public have not seen the remaining 26 death certificates — those of Nancy Lanza and the 19 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

C. W. Wade claimed that since Lanza’s death certificate lists his date of death as December 14, 2012, and was certified by Aurelia, who filed the certificate on January 3, 2013, this refutes the “gimmick” of  “the hoaxer community” (Sandy Hook skeptics) who claimed there is a discrepancy because the Social Security Death Index had listed Lanza as having died on December 13, 2012.

What Wade derisively calls a “gimmick” of “the hoaxer community” is no gimmick, nor is it something contrived by Sandy Hook skeptics. As I had reported in a post, on January 20, 2013, I went on GenealogyBank.com and confirmed a net rumor that Adam Lanza’s Social Security Death Index was listed as December 13, 2012 — a day before the massacre. Here’s a screenshot I took of the SSDI record on GenealogyBank.com, as proof in case the site scrubs the page.

↓click image to enlarge↓

Adam Lanza died 12-13-2012

Note that:

  • I took the screenshot at 2:29 pm, 1/20/2013 (see bottom right of image).
  • SSDI says “Confirmation” is “Proven.”

The information of Lanza’s strange 12/13/2012 SSDI went viral.

13 days later, on Feb. 2, 2013, I discovered that GenealogyBank.com had changed Adam Lanza’s SSDI to December 14, 2012. (See “SSDI changed Adam Lanza’s date-of-death from Dec. 13 to Dec. 14, 2012 !!!.”)

However, another genealogy website, Ancestry.com, was slower on the take and still had Lanza’s SSDI as Dec. 13, 2012, days after GenealogyBank.com had made the change to Dec. 14. (See “Ancestry.com still has Adam Lanza’s date-of-death as a day before the Sandy Hook massacre”)

Despite Adam Lanza’s 12/14/2012 death date on his alleged death certificate, the matter is not settled.

John Greenewald, Jr., of the website The Black Vault, obtained a Statement of Death by the Funeral Director for Adam Lanza, which shows his date-of-death as Dec. 13, 2012. Greenewald explains:

As part of the research effort, The Black Vault filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all documents relating to Adam P. Lanza, his death, and the social security record. Almost two months later, a response was received.

The Social Security Administration sent Greenewald two pages, both statements of death for Lanza by the funeral director.

The first, dated 1/15/13, showed Adam P. Lanza’s death occurred on 12/13/12; the day prior to the shooting.The second document, dated 1/24/13, showed Lanza’s death as 12/14/12, with a handwritten statement at the top, “Amended 1/24/13” and the initials “SMO.”

Below are:

  • A letter to Greenewald from Social Security Administration’s FOI officer, Dawn S. Wiggins, dated March 18, 2013 — 3 months before the New York Post received the death certificates of Adam Lanza and his victims.
  • A Statement of Death by Funeral Director for Adam Lanza, dated 1/15/2013, showing Lanza’s date of death as 12/13/2012. The funeral director is listed as Suzanne M. Ouellette of Brookside Chapel and Funeral Home, 116 Main St., Plaistow, NH 03865. (Brookside’s “About Us” web page, however, says its funeral director is Mr.  Francis J. Berube, Jr.  Suzanne Ouellette is identified on LinkedIn as a secretary at Brookside.)
  • An amended Statement of Death by Funeral Director for Adam Lanza, dated 1/24/2013, with Lanza’s date of death changed to 12/14/2012. This document was also signed by Ouellette.

You can also view the documents for yourself here.

reponse to Greenewald FOI requestAdam Lanza Statement of Death by Funeral Director1Adam Lanza Statement of Death by Funeral Director2

From the beginning, nothing about Sandy Hook is transparent or straight-forward. Instead, everything about this alleged massacre has been complicated, convoluted, secretive and shadowy.

So, which document should we believe? —

  1. The original Statement of Death by Funeral Director for Adam Lanza, dated January 15, 2013, which listed Lanza’s date of death as Dec. 13, 2012, or
  2. Adam Lanza’s death certificate, signed by town clerk Debbie Aurelia on January 3, 2013 — with her signature sprawling out of the box (who signs an official document like that?) — which lists Lanza’s date of death as Dec. 14, 2012.

What do you think?

For the links to all the posts FOTM has published on Sandy Hook, go to our “Sandy Hook Massacre” page.

Update:

A reader Auntie Lulu asked a very good question about whether Debbie Aurelia’s home also was acquired for $0, with a sale date of December 25, 2009 when all government offices were closed, like the homes of Sandy Hook victims and those of the town’s three selectmen and non-victims Gene Rosen, the Phelps, and the Wasiks who made themselves readily available for TV interviews. (See “The strange purchase date and price of Sandy Hook homes” and “Sandy Hook: The girl who doesn’t exist and her parents’ $0 home”).

So I found Aurelia’s address and looked it up on Vision Government Solutions, which says her home at 23 Cherry St., Sandy Hook, CT, are co-owned by William Halstead, Sr. & Debbie Aurelia Halstead. There are two sale dates:

  • 12/25/2009: no price listed
  • 10/02/2014: sale price $0

Here’s the screenshot I took of the Vision Government Solutions page. In the lower right corner are the date and time when I took the screenshot. I painted the red boxes and the red arrow.

↓Click image below to enlarge↓

Debbie Aurelia home at 23 Cherry St on Vision Govt Solutions

~Éowyn