Rumors, misunderstandings, and conspiracy theories abound about the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Some Sandy Hook Elementary "truthers" even insist there's now "absolute proof" the shooting didn’t happen at all.
Conspiracy theories quickly sprang up after the Dec. 14 shooting and have peaked with perhaps the most well-known one from a Florida conspiracy professor who says that Newtown was staged for various
The latest theory-rumor claims that 6-year-old Emile Parker — one of the Sandy Hook students who was shot multiple times and killed — is still alive. Conspiracy theorists then stretch that theory to determine that the other victims are also still alive.
The Emile Parker conspiracy theorists say the little girl was not one of the 20 children killed because she doesn't appear in class photos and that she appeared in a photo with President Barack Obama when he visited Newtown shortly after the shooting occurred.
In a video that already has more than 100,000 views, the narrator points out that the girl in the photo with Obama — actually Emile's sister — is wearing the same dress that Emile wore in a family photo. The video was made by the producers of a popular 9/11 truther film.
As Salon points out, the first Google result for "Emile Parker" is a website that mocks the girl's father for crying at a press conference following the shootings.
"The supporting details to the hoax theory explanation are reminiscent of the arcana of any well-developed conspiracy theory," Alex Seitz-Wald writes at Salon
. "What about the car? What about the rifle? Why does someone off camera allegedly tell Parker's father to 'read the card' (as in a cue card) before he goes on CNN? […] All of these questions have simple explanations, but in each case, the theorists have sided more with less likely, but more nefarious possibilities."
Tenured Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy has been taking heat all week for his conspiracy theory that says the Newtown killings
may have been staged or perhaps didn't happen at all. On Thursday, he refused to back down from claims that the entire event might have been shaped by authorities to redirect public discourse around a discussion of gun control.
Tracy suggests there were multiple shooters at the school, despite reports to the contrary, and that trained "crisis" actors may have been employed by the U.S. government.
Another rumor is that the father of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza and the father of the shooter in the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., were set to testify before the Senate about the Libor interest-rate fixing scandal.
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