Threats to griev­ing dad

A crime hor­ri­fied the world, and sheer cru­elty fol­lowed

Chat - - Come On In! -

A ll that the par­ents of lit­tle Noah Pozner – mur­dered in the worst mass shoot­ing in US his­tory – wanted was to grieve in peace. Yet they faced sick claims from con­spir­acy the­o­rists, then death threats… THE STORY

On the morn­ing of Fri­day 14 De­cem­ber 2012, Lenny Pozner dropped his three kids at Sandy Hook pri­mary school in New­town, Con­necti­cut. ‘Have a great day,’ Lenny called as 6-year-old Noah jumped out, wear­ing his Bat­man jumper and Spi­der-man train­ers, fol­lowed by his twin sis­ter Arielle, and big sis­ter Sophia, 7. But, just 30 min­utes later, lit­tle Noah was dead. Adam Lanza, 20, had burst into the school, gunned down 20 chil­dren, all aged 6 and 7, and six staff be­fore shoot­ing him­self. Hear­ing the news, Lenny and his wife Veronique raced to the school. To their relief, Noah’s sis­ters, who’d been in dif­fer­ent class­rooms, were alive. But Noah had been shot 11 times, his jaw and left hand blown off, his Bat­man top soaked in blood. Noah had only re­cently turned 6, had just lost his first tooth. He had a cheer­ful smile, big brown eyes, and his teacher de­scribed him as bright, in­quis­i­tive. For the Pozn­ers, the loss of their lit­tle boy was un­bear­able.

Just days later, the world was still reel­ing.

The fam­ily, still in ut­ter shock, thought they’d seen the worst of hu­man­ity.

But then a band of wicked con­spir­acy the­o­rists crawled out of the wood­work – so-called Sandy Hook ‘truthers’ who al­leged the mas­sacre had never hap­pened.

They claimed Noah and the other vic­tims had never ex­isted.

Be­fore they’d even buried their son, the Pozn­ers were ac­cused of be­ing paid ac­tors who were part of a huge gov­ern­ment hoax staged to build sup­port for gun con­trol.

At Noah’s funeral, Veronique in­sisted on an open cas­ket, a blan­ket cover­ing his cat­a­strophic in­juries.

‘I want the world to see what they did to my baby,’ she wept.

Gun con­trol quickly be­came a hotly de­bated topic.

Mean­while, the con­spir­acy the­o­rists cre­ated web­sites, tar­geted griev­ing fam­i­lies.

It wasn’t enough that the Pozn­ers had lost their son. Now they had to de­fend them­selves.

Some sick ‘truthers’ in­sisted that they and other Sandy Hook par­ents ex­hume the bod­ies of their chil­dren to prove they ex­isted.

They de­manded birth cer­tifi­cates.

De­ter­mined to de­bunk these wild the­o­ries, Lenny Pozner con­fronted the con­spir­acy the­o­rists over e-mail, phone and so­cial me­dia.

He up­loaded Noah’s birth cer­tifi­cate, re­port card, even his death cer­tifi­cate.

But In­ter­net trolls didn’t care about Noah’s teacher’s kind words or if he’d been born a healthy 7lb 2oz.

‘They’d find a typo or spell­ing er­ror and pick it apart,’ Lenny told the Press.

So, in 2015, he set up Honr Net­work (www.honr.com) – an or­gan­i­sa­tion that took le­gal

‘Truthers’ claimed Noah had never ex­isted

ac­tion against ha­rassers of Sandy Hook sur­vivors and their fam­i­lies.

That De­cem­ber, the Pozn­ers wrote an open let­ter to a US news web­site.

The heartache of bury­ing a child is a sor­row we would not wish upon any­one. Yet, to our

hor­ror, we have found that there are some in this so­ci­ety who lack em­pa­thy for the

suf­fer­ing of oth­ers, they wrote. But, a month later, in Jan­uary of last year, Lenny, then liv­ing in Palm Beach County, Florida, re­ceived voice­mails and e-mails from

a woman. Death threats.

‘You gonna die, death is com­ing to you real soon,’ she said in one.

‘Look be­hind you, it is death!’ she screamed in an­other.

Also, ‘There’s noth­ing you can do about it.’ Be­yond cruel.

De­tec­tives tracked the voice­mails to a woman called Lucy Richards.

And, days be­fore the fourth an­niver­sary of the Sandy Hook mas­sacre, she was ar­rested for four felony counts of trans­mit­ting threats.

Lucy Richards, 57, from Tampa, Florida, ap­peared at Fort Lauderdale fed­eral court wear­ing furry slip­pers and us­ing a walker.

She pleaded not guilty, and was bailed.

But, in March, she failed to show at court. A war­rant was is­sued, she was ar­rested and held on re­mand.

Fi­nally, in June, Richards pleaded guilty to in­ter­state trans­mis­sion of a threat to in­jure in com­mu­ni­ca­tions with Lenny Pozner.

The court heard she’d made four voice­mail and e-mail threats af­ter view­ing In­ter­net sites claim­ing the shoot­ing was a hoax aimed at build­ing a case for gun con­trol.

One ar­ti­cle had in­cluded Lenny’s phone num­ber.

Richards’ de­fence team at­tested that she suf­fered from ago­ra­pho­bia, OCD and anx­i­ety dis­or­der.

‘I don’t know where my heart and head were that day, but they were not in the right place. It was the worst mis­take of my life and I am truly sorry,’ Richards said in a state­ment.

Yet Dis­trict Judge James Cohn said she couldn’t blame her be­hav­iour on men­tal ill­ness.

‘Your words were cruel and in­sen­si­tive. This is re­al­ity, and there is no fic­tion. I’m sure he [Lenny] wishes this was false, and he could em­brace Noah, hear Noah’s heart­beat and hear Noah say, “I love you, Dad”,’ Judge Cohn said. Richards was jailed for five months, and given a fur­ther five months’ house de­ten­tion and three years’ su­per­vi­sion.

She was also barred from ac­cess­ing a list of con­spir­acy the­ory web­sites.

Lenny has vowed to con­tinue his fight against the evil con­spir­acy the­o­rists.

As he says, it’s the only way to pro­tect the mem­ory of his beloved son.

She couldn’t blame her be­hav­iour on men­tal ill­ness

Lenny with Noah

Scene of the atroc­ity

Ra­dio host Alex Jones Lucy richards

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.