The school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. never happened. It was a conspiracy perpetrated by the media. That's at least what one professor is claiming in a diatribe on his personal blog sure to spark outrage following the tragedy that left 20 children and six adults dead just weeks ago.
James Tracy, a tenured history professor at Florida Atlantic University, is the man responsible for propagating the conspiracy theory. The academic wrote a lengthy post on his blog saying the Sandy Hook school shooting may not have happened, and even if it did, it didn't happen the way it was reported. Tracy's claim is solely based on the early conflicting, erroneous reports from the crime scene in Newtown. The professor uses the mass confusion as proof that the truth regarding the shooting has not been reported.
"While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place -- at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation's news media have described," Tracy writes on his blog.
The conflicting reports Tracy references as evidence of conspiracy claimed police were either searching for or had two suspects in custody. The story then progressed to Ryan Lanza being the lone gunman in the shooting, but Ryan, the brother of actual shooter Adam Lanza, was found at his Hoboken, N.J. home, two states away from the unfurling tragedy.
For its part, FAU quickly distanced itself from Tracy following his antagonizing screed.
"James Tracy does not speak for the university. The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way," school spokesman Lisa Metcalf said to the Sun Sentinel.
Tracy claims part of the Sandy Hook conspiracy was political in nature.
"As documents relating to the Sandy Hook shooting continue to be assessed and interpreted by independent researchers, there is a growing awareness that the media coverage of the massacre of 26 children and adults was intended primarily for public consumption to further larger political ends," he wrote.
He goes on to argue that Senator Dianne Feinstein was already in the middle of trying to rework an assault weapons ban she co-sponsored in the 90s, and that the shooting gave her the leverage she needed to move it through the legislative process.
The morning of Dec. 14, 20-year-old Adam Lanza reportedly shot his mother Nancy four times as she lay in bed, packed at least three of her guns, and then drove her car to the Connecticut K-4 elementary school, opening fire in two classrooms around 9:30 a.m., fatally shooting 20 children and six adults, police said. Police are still searching for a motive; witnesses said the shooter didn't utter a word. The attack was the second-deadliest shooting ever by a single gunman in U.S. history.
According to police, the three guns used in the shooting were legally purchased and registered to his mother. Lanza reportedly primarily used a military-style Bushmaster .223 assault rifle during the shootings.
Authorities reportedly questioned Lanza's older brother, 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, of Hoboken, N.J., for hours the day of the shooting Dec. 14 and searched his computers and phone records, but he told law enforcement he had not been in touch with his brother since about 2010. Police say he is not a suspect in the case.
According to authorities, Adam Lanza hadn't spoken to his brother or father in almost two years. He had no criminal record, authorities said.
Adam Lanza's DNA is currently being studied by geneticists, a spokeswoman for the University of Connecticut Health Center said last week, according to CNN. State medical examiner's office spokeswoman Carolyn Pennington said there is no specific genetic marker the team is looking for, and lab results and a complete analysis of the DNA "are not expected for several weeks ... probably the end of January."