The Sandy Hook Atrocity, JFK, and 154 Magic Bullets (part 2)

Fact based reporting

by Kenneth Jameson Jr.,

research by Amanda Chen,  edited by Rob  Roman

A 4-part series by a Sandy Hook Elementary alumnus on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy. An overview of Newtown from the inside, a description of what is now known about what happened on December 14, 2012 (Including a possible motive), an analysis of  the different sides of the issues, and what the prognosis is for slowing the rate of mass killings and gun violence in America are all discussed.

Part 2: The Killings

Warning: Graphic Content

Running to safety  (click on photo to enlarge)

Adam Lanza regularly played many militaristic and highly realistic video games and violent movies where semi-automatic rifles were used. He became insensitive to the bloody, exploding bodies of the victims.

Here, he learned to change out magazines at the most opportune time, and not to wait until every last round was fired.

The School Shooting Game

This explains what was found later at the school. Lanza had intensely studied prior mass shootings, going so far as to make a chart with over 500 victims from past incidents and exactly what firearms and equipment were used.

Here is a sample of the video game.

Warning: Graphic Violence.

He was clearly going for the body count high score.

Thanks to the State of Connecticut, the full report they promised by the beginning of Summer, 2013, has still not been revealed. Instead, a whitewashed and watered down brief summary was released that is hardly adequate or conducive to understanding or helping to prevent future incidents. The State legislature even passed special legislation to overrule the usual freedom of information act requirements. While this is understandable, not enough information has been allowed out. In fairness, the State has mentioned that a more thorough report from the grossly inadequate November report will be forthcoming.

Connecticut School ShootingIt is very natural to theorize that Adam Lanza was happy at some point as a student at the Sandy Hook School. At some point, he was forced to realize that he was quite different and not quite accepted by the other kids.  It is almost certain that happiness in school ended for Adam sometime while a student of Sandy Hook Elementary School. It seems that smile on his face had disappeared forever.

Illustrating this fact, the latest report refers to Adam Lanza’s thinking about the Sandy Hook School: “A witness interviewed by police said that the Sandy Hook Elementary School “was (Lanza’s) life,” but the warrant does not elaborate”. Did Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mom, volunteer at the Sandy Hook school at some point or not? Yes, she did.

Was Nancy Lanza planning to volunteer at the Sandy Hook school in the future or not?  This is important information that is crucial to understanding why Adam targeted the school. It seems that whether she was planning on volunteering in the future or not, somehow, Adam Lanza  may have had the idea she was going to dump him off at a facility somewhere and spend her time with these children. What purpose is there in classifying this and making it top state secret?

It’s vitally important because we know that Nancy Lanza was seeking some kind of  dormitory type schooling for her son. Were they campus-like private institutions for mentally impaired people, or were they actual, normal colleges and technical universities she was looking at?

There are conflicting reports about whether Nancy was going to stay in Newtown while Adam was sent away to school. The latest report indicates that she may have been planning on going with him, but it seems that the guns and ammo would not. In either case, it seems a change in the new year was planned and Adam Lanza did not approve.

C732-1-WH64Like the John F. Kennedy investigation, key facts were locked up and withheld from the public.  That’s understandable in the JFK investigation, because the killing may have involved other shooters and conspiracies. It may have involved other co-conspirators even if Lee Harvey Oswald was in fact the lone shooter. The so-called “magic bullet” that conspiracy theorists love to talk about was not magic at all. Information that was hidden and secreted away led to misunderstandings that then led to the “magic bullet” conspiracy theory.  More basic and fundamental facts were also hidden which had no actual bearing on the conspiracy issue. These fatcs were withheld also, which led to more controversy, more misunderstandings, and more accusations of cover-up and conspiracy.

Kill-bill-kill-bill-8382808-1810-1175 ltAdam Lanza was interested, almost infatuated with warfare, weapons, and killing. Found in Adam’s home were nine ornate knives, a bayonet, and three samurai swords. Also found in the house was a damaged X-box and a smashed computer hard drive. Did Adam like to watch Kill Bill, Volumes 1 and 2? Are owning many firearms, playing violent video-games, displaying a combat mentality, and watching and re-enacting explicitly violent movies a problem? Maybe not for you and me, but maybe for some people who are not able to interact effectively and for the mentally disturbed. Maybe it’s a problem for an isolated person who finally wants to say “I was here!”.

758ebdb1bab22627440f6a706700beecWindows covered in black figure prominently in this case. In Adam’s bedroom, the windows were covered by black plastic trash bags, and he had a Dracula like aversion to sunlight.  He was highly sensitive to light and to noise. The gun locker was in fact located in Adam’s bedroom. Unlike many earlier reports, he did not break into the locker to get the firearms. Most probably, his mother kept the key on her person.

“The released search warrants of Adam Lanza’s home showed large amounts of ammunition in an open unlocked gun safe in his bedroom, as well as in a closet, a file cabinet, a shoe box and duffle bag. “Police also recovered medical records and journals authored by Adam Lanza and his brother, Ryan Lanza, and a holiday card from his mother with a check made out to Adam for the purchase of a C183 firearm. cz_83There were also receipts for the purchase and transfer of firearms.”

Supporters of the Constitution and especially the 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms, were quick to point out that the “C183” firearm does not exist and that it most likely was a 14 megapixel digital camera manufactured by Kodak. If only that were true! Had Adam been encouraged to take an interest in photography rather than automatic pistols and high powered rifles, this incident may never have happened. The “C183” is most likely a CZ83, which is in fact a small but high caliber handgun manufactured in the Czech Republic.

Why did Adam Lanza want a micro-sized gun, which has the whallop of it’s .38 caliber and holds 15 rounds in the magazine? No doubt, it’s on many people’s Christmas lists.

The estimated 1,400 rounds discovered in Adam Lanza’s home seems like a large amount.  Gun owners scoff at this saying it is not at all an unusual amount, not even enough for a day at the target range.  kipland-kinkel-1-afpAs far as law abiding gun owners, we should listen to them, because they know the gun culture and they know many things about which they speak. In fact, Kip Kinkel had more rounds than that on his person after the school shooting in Springfield, Oregon

The facts we know show that Adam Lanza woke early on the 14th of December, 2012, or may not have slept at all. He either made his bed or it remained made up from the previous day. Nancy Lanza had just returned from another long trip where she was looking at various schools or institutions for Adam in The U.S. as well as England and Canada. Needless to say, we can surmise that if the school was in the UK or Canada, or if the US institution included on campus housing, those firearms were not going to be going with Adam. We can surmise that Adam was keenly aware that ‘the times, they were a-changin’.

Was there a discussion? Was there an argument? Was it before or after the trip or both? We don’t know this, but we do know that Adam shot his mom dead in her bed while she was most likely asleep. In his favorite video game, targets shot only once or twice could remain alive and fire back. Adam shot his mom four times in the head, covered her with plastic, and then took at least three photos. He left the camera and the .22 rifle at home.

ae1b6415baeb2727440f6a70670041ea ltIt’s important to know the facts. Today, November 25, 2013, a CNN reporter was discussing the new report and reported that Adam Lanza killed “20 children and 2 adults”. Actually, it was six adults at the school and twenty children. Reporters, please get the basic facts straight! The 26 doesn’t include his mother killed at his home. There was a definite and purposeful effort to exclude the mother from the 26 other victims. At first glance, this seems to be an innocent omission because the 26 victims were located at the school, and Nancy was not part of the school shooting. But it seems it is more than that.

ar 15 cropped lightNancy indulged Adam with his every desire and did not try to steer his interests into more productive and constructive avenues.  Because Adam responded enthusiastically to his mother’s penchant for collecting and firing weapons, she indulged him in this particular fascination. The school system tried to propose special help for Adam, but she insisted that her son be treated equally with the other children.  By the time Adam was at Newtown High School, she continued fighting the school system, claiming her son was much brighter than the others. She pushed him to enroll at Western Connecticut State University to prove her point, which worked well for a while, thanks to a handful of very understanding and good-hearted students, but this bright idea of Nancy’s ultimately resulted in Adam withdrawing from school altogether.

glockAdam got the key to the gun locker and he took out his babies, a Glock 10 mm handgun, a  9mm Sig Sauer P226 handgun, and a Bushmaster AR-15 high powered semi-automatic rifle and 10, 30-round, high capacity mags fully loaded. Adam loaded this equipment plus more mags for the pistols and a semi-automatic shotgun into his mother’s black sigHonda Civic and began the 5 mile trip to the school. He parked the car against the front brick wall to the right of the main entrance, and pointing towards the driveway entrance. This indicates he may have contemplated a shootout or an escape.

Thanks again to the Connecticut State Police and probably the FBI, there are unconfirmed reports that Adam, in preparation of the attack, had taped the 30-round magazines together for easier and quicker reloading. Were all the mags taped together or just the two? They know, but for some reason, this must be kept a state secret also. The school was equipped with locked doors that can be opened remotely in the office, and there were security cameras at the door and in the hallways.  Adam solved that problem by blasting through the safety glass near the front door with his AR-15 rifle and climbing through. He fired 8 rounds to make the hole in the window.

76f41019bade2727440f6a706700deb7 lt“Principal Dawn Hochsprung, school psychologist Mary Sherlach and lead teacher Natalie Hammond “immediately left the room where there was a morning meeting, and rushed to the source of the sounds. They encountered and confronted Lanza. A faculty member who was at the meeting said the three women called out “Shooter! Stay put!” which alerted their colleagues to the danger and saved their lives. Lanza shot and killed both Hochsprung and Sherlach. He fired 17 rounds in the hallway  as Hammond ran back to the meeting room and pressed her body against the door to keep it closed. Lanza shot Hammond through the door, in her leg and arm. She was later treated at Danbury Hospital”. One teacher was hit in the foot with a ricochet bullet while closing the door to her classroom.” – The Sandy Hook Report

Adam went into the Office, but hte workers were hiding.

A few weeks before, the school had a lock down drill, which included locking the classroom doors and covering the door windows with black paper. The teacher, Ms. Roig,  in this first classroom had not removed the black paper from the door window. In that classroom immediately to the left of the office, Adam could not see inside, and passed the classroom by, sparing the lives of everyone in that room.

Understandably, but tragically, the classroom doors could not be locked from the inside. This is done in many schools to protect children from a teacher or staff member with an evil intent.

970619_379054075546523_369161523_nAdam went into the next room where teachers Victoria Soto and Anne Marie Murphy had already hidden 5 kids in a closet. The other kids were under desks in the rear of the room and trying to get into the bathroom. Ms. Soto had gone to the door to try to lock it. Lanza came in, forgetting in the previous firings that he was low on ammo. He immediately shot Ms. Soto and then probably expressed consternation as the mag was empty. This is when he went to reload and 6 year-old Jesse Lewis yelled to the other kids to “Run!”.  These were the  6 kids that ran out of the school and down the driveway to a nearby home. Ms. Murphy was trying to help 6 year-old special needs student Dylan Hockley and  he died in her arms. Two teachers and 5 students were shot to death. The 5 kids hidden in a closet also survived. Two teachers and five students were killed in that classroom, and Adam had fired 49 rounds.  You do the math.

sandy-hook-demolition-kidsBy the time Lanza got to the third classroom, substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau and her aide, Rachel D’avino,  were already herding the kids into the small bathroom at the rear of the classroom. Adam immediately shot at the adults and this is when bullets went through the window and into some cars in the parking lot. He shot the two educators and then began methodically shooting all the kids, reloading several times. Noah Pozner was shot 11 times and his lower jaw was blasted away(his mom furnished this information so people would have a small idea of what this atrocity was really like).  One little girl in the corner of the room survived by playing dead. The shooter  was a good shot, and this was at very close range. Adam was not looking to leave any wounded survivors.The two teachers and 15 children were shot to death. Lanza fired 80 rounds. You do the math.

223-Ammo-550This is where the victim’s families need to be “brave and bold” for Newtown. The Connecticut State Police and the families need to show a few of the photos. Not any where the victims can be identified. Perhaps a few photos from after the bodies were removed should be released. This Nation needs to confront the reality and the sheer horror of this awful and vile act.

What does a hollow-point bullet travelling at 2,900 feet per second (967 yards per second) (884 meters per second) do to a 6 year old when it explodes on impact and breaks into multiple sharp fragments at super-sonic speed?

sandy-hook-shootingThese hollow point bullets then fragment and the pieces spin and careen through vital organs . Of course they are the ammo of choice for the police and for concealed carriers such as George Zimmerman because these bullets are less likely to exit the body and possibly hit an innocent bystander.

But they are hell to deal with in our nation’s Emergency Rooms. This is also the reason why so many more single gunshot victims now become fatalities. My Vietnam Vet buddy was an avid collector of firearms, a hunter of bear, and a gun enthusiast. This was prior shooting his wife, a nurse, and then himself with a .357 magnum.  Speaking for the higher calibers like .38 and .44, he used to say “In like a dime, out like a pie-plate”. I don’t think he was joking.

We know that some faces were unrecognizable and that limbs were blasted apart. This is the horrible reality. The incredible violence and carnage of this attack cannot be overestimated.  article-sandy-hook-shooting (2)There is no reason why a few photos should not be made public. Photos can be prepared which show the reality of what happened, but do not identify anyone. The incredible damage these bullets can do when victims are hit multiple times at close range with high powered ammo is absolutely shocking. Some people have bad imaginations and, as in the case of Emmett Till, seeing is believing and action was finally taken after his mother released a photograph of what was done to him. Two children still had signs of life and were rushed to the hospital, but nothing could be done to save them. This is a big reason for this to look wrong to conspiracy minded people. The scenes with all the cars and ambulances were long after the children were found.

Here’s a candidate for the Newtown Golden Cock award for February 2013:

Rock Star Ted Nugent

ted nugent guns-0313-de“National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent, 64, relied on a false and outdated report frequently promoted by conspiracy theorists to claim that no assault weapons were used in the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. In fact, Connecticut authorities have stated that all of the Newtown victims were shot with a Bushmaster AR-15 assault weapon, with some victims receiving up to 11 gunshot wounds.

In a February 13 column for birther website WND, Nugent wrote, “No so-called assault weapon was used in the grisly murders of the children and teachers in Newton,” and instead suggested that four handguns were used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“CNN recently promoted Nugent as having a “very firm grasp of the facts” about gun violence. ”

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/02/14/ted-nugent-revives-false-report-to-deny-an-assa/192678

Ted, you do have a “very firm grasp on the facts” about gun violence, and people should listen to what you have to say, but please stick to the facts. Also, you haven’t had a hit song since “Wango Tango” in 1980.

If it’s not really an “assault weapon”, why are people so hell-bent on claiming that it wasn’t used at Sandy Hook?

Here’s another candidate for the Newtown Golden Cock award:

“Facing calls to resign before even taking his seat, a recently elected Connecticut school board member has apologized for saying he would buy friends “a box of ammunition” for each of the “26 Days of Kindness” commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Gregory Beck, a 26-year-old police dispatcher and volunteer firefighter, was elected earlier this month in Brookfield, which borders Newtown, scene of the Dec. 14 elementary school bloodbath.”

http://www.wtnh.com/news/fairfield-cty/brookfield-official-makes-offensive-sandy-hook-comment

article-sandy-hook-shooting (1)The refusal of the authorities to release even a modest amount of concrete information about this attack is a crime in itself.

Some people viewing this attack as a threat to the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, will continue to say this was a hoax perpetrated by the Federal Government as an attack on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This is not unlike actions taken after the Shooting of President Kennedy 50 years ago, where way too many far fetched conspiracy theories and the general distrust of government was spawned and magnified by the refusal of the government to release enough modest information to the public.

Hoaxers even used the fact that all the pieces of the demolished school were disintegrated on site under security as proof of a conspiracy.

Why was this done? It was done so that bricks from the school wouldn’t be sold on e-bay.

Who can blame them? They want to see the proof for themselves. Here is what a conspiracy theorist has to say:

“Deception,Illusion and Propaganda are extensively being used to control the people. This blog is devoted to aid in the discernment of the tactics being used to deceive and manipulate society. “Ye Shall Know The Truth And The Truth Shall Make You Free” –  Christ Jesus”
article-sandyhook-harbus-1214

“I just can’t get it out of my mind as to why we have been shown absolutely no evidence of bodies or any damage that was done inside the school…….or photos of Adam Lanza entering the school….etc…etc. THEN…..TODAY….I couldn’t believe what I was hearing on the news……..
Besides barricading the school grounds and the heavy security presence, while the demolition is taking place…..The demolition contractors were made to sign a confidentiality paper that bans the workers from discussing anything they may come across inside the school…. WHAT??????? That makes absolutely no sense at all. What evidence could there be in the school that the people involved do not want to be made public? Perhaps lack of bullet holes and broken glass or lack of other evidence that shows the events didn’t take place as the official media version claims?

http://conspiracyanalyst.blogspot.com/2013/10/sandy-hook-school-demolition-why.html

If you believe that the Sandy Hook School shooting was a hoax, I understand why you have been made to feel that way, but God help you, there are no magic bullets here. You are wasting your time. Get yourself at least an elementary school education.

images (2)Since we don’t know, we assume that Adam Lanza then heard sirens coming up the school driveway. We do know he spotted a pair of policemen and he went out in the hallway. He then hid from them going back into Ms. Soto’s classroom where he shot himself in the head with his 10 mm Glock pistol.

The entire incident at the school took only 5 minutes.

He brought ten 30-round magazines with him for the AR-15. Three were unused and fully loaded. Seven were used. Of the seven, three magazines were completely empty, and the one in the rifle had 15 rounds left. One had 13 rounds left over. One had 11 rounds left, and one had ten rounds left. Adam Lanza had 301 rounds available, including one round in the chamber to start.

Adam had learned from the game to change magazines at the most opportune moment, rather than when the magazine was completely empty, which accounts for the three magazines with some rounds left over.

During this time, the police spotted and apprehended several people outside on the school grounds. One was a reporter, who picked up the news and headed to the School to observe. One was a parent who had been notified of the attack on his smart phone and came directly to the school. Another was a local looky-loo, who heard of the attack over the internet and came to see what he could see. All these people were taken to jail, as they were still on the lookout for a second shooter and they weren’t taking any chances.

Crime Scene Evidence (Click to enlarge)

As horrible as this was, it could have been much, much worse. All the teachers were heroes and did everything they could to protect the children. At the time that Lanza came in through the hole in the window and fired at the Principal and the school psychologist, two students were walking down the hallway to deliver attendance sheets to the office. A quick thinking teacher saw them walk by her doorway and whisked them into her classroom as bullets whizzed past them down the hallway.

Crime Scene Evidence (click to enlarge)

Thanks to a black piece of paper on the window and 15 kids hiding quietly in a tiny 2′ by 3′ (.61 m x .91 m) bathroom with their teacher, who told them she loved them and meant it, more kids would have died. Kaitlin Roig thought quickly and made the right moves. Many other teachers went to great lengths to protect their children. One teacher even used xylophones to jam the doors closed. Thanks to Sandy Hook and Connecticut for being so up to date with lock-down and other security procedures, for many more would have died. Thanks to the quick response of the police, for Lanza wasn’t going to stop until the police closed in.

Maybe one of those surviving kids who rocketed out of Ms. Soto’s room and down the driveway of the Sandy Hook Elementary School, beat Bruce Jenner’s record for the 100 yard dash that day. I’m sure of it.

http://www.ct.gov/csao/lib/csao/Sandy_Hook_Final_Report.pdf

Please see Part 3: Aftermath

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The Sandy Hook Atrocity, JFK, and 154 Magic Bullets (part 1) ( Dec 1)

Fact based reporting by Kenneth Jameson Jr.

Research by Amanda Chen,    Edited by Rob Roman

A 4-part series by a Sandy Hook Elementary alumnus on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy. An overview of Newtown from the inside, a description of what is now known about what happened on December 14, 2012 (Including a possible motive), an analysis of  the different sides of the issues, and what the prognosis is for slowing the rate of mass killings and gun violence in America are all discussed.

Part 1: Overview

window rounds newNo man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of
thy friend’s or of thine own were.

Any man’s death diminishes me because I am
involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee. . . .

-from Meditation 17 by John Donne

downloadNewtown Connecticut, the home of the Sandy Hook School Elementary School shooting, is a wonderful and magical town in New England. Many nice people proudly call Newtown their hometown and many good people live there today. Here is a nice article on the brighter side of Newtown.

http://restlessromantic.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/this-is-newtown/

There is also a darker side to Newtown, and 6a00d8341c339953ef00e551f70ccf8833-640withat’s what I want to talk about.

This is not a journalistic exercise. For just a few thousand American citizens, this story is intensely personal. To show why, I will tell you this: In the cafeteria of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on the wall by the exit, was a plaque dedicated to John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. This bronze plaque includes a profile bust of Kennedy and the inscribed words “Ask not what your Country can do for You, ask what You can do for your Country”.

A plaque such as this will almost certainly be prominently displayed in the rebuilt school.

old poppy topCountless Cub Scout “pinewood derbies” were held there in the cafeteria and the adjoining hallway. Right at ground zero of the killing zones and right next to the front doors and classrooms was where Cubs built their own small cars out of blocks of balsa wood to see who can come up with the race-winning design. The cars were powered by good old gravity. There were always advanced programs and excellent teachers there, including 3rd graders learning about biology and computers even in the first years of the 1970’s.

The high school mascot used to be the Indians. The Newtown Indians became the Newtown Night Hawks after a misguided campaign of political correctness. The decades long controversy ended in 1996 under High School Principal, Bill Manfredonia. Nearly 20 years earlier, as a high school wrestling coach and teacher, Bill Manfredonia, was rumored to have paralyzed a student and wrestler for life while demonstrating a wrestling hold. This incident was swept under the rug.

_wsb_278x272_Old_School_Indian“In 1705, English colonists purchased the Town site from the Pohtatuck Indians, a branch of the Pasgussett. It was originally known as Quanneapague. Settled by migrants  from Stratford and incorporated in 1711, Newtown residents had many business and trading ties with the English.”.-from Wikipedia

Rumor had it that the Sandy Hook School was built on an ancient Indian burial ground, and three teens were buried alive in the early 70’s while playing in a sandpit right at the edge of the school. Only months out of Sandy Hook school, one very pleasant and studious girl stopped showing up at school. The children at Newtown Middle School were told she had died “in an accident”. The 5th graders later found out she was shot to death by her own brother with a shotgun.

One student in 1972 was standing outside the school right where Adam Lanza’s car was parked when he claimed to see the bricks and mortar of the old chimney and wall actually expanding and contracting as if the entire building was breathing in and out. That student became deathly afraid, and never returned to Sandy Hook School again. That student was me. Also in the 70’s, the High School was closed for a day when the prom king and queen were found dead of CO1 poisoning in the back seat of a car. This was swept under the rug.

Bruce_Jenner_eating_WheatiesNewtown’s claim to fame is Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Olympic track champion who graced the front of Wheaties cereal boxes all over America. Bruce attended the school for a few years, where some of his track and field records still stand. People familiar with the TV show “the Kardashians” know that Bruce Jenner, then a motivational speaker, married Kris, the divorced wife of Robert Kardashian,, one of the lawyers from the OJ Simpson murder trial.

A highly reliable eye witness reported that in high school, Bruce Jenner’s favorite cereal was actually “Fruit Loops”. Newtown named their stadium, really a crater shaped pit lined with cement bunker type seating, “Bruce Jenner Stadium” in honor of their hometown Olympic hero. At the 25th anniversary of the dedication, Bruce Jenner was off in California and he wasn’t interested in returning to Newtown or contributing money to his stadium. Bruce refused to return phone calls from the Principal. The high school leadership angrily responded and Bruce Jenner’s name was removed forever from the stadium.

sandyhook exterior_0 new

Both Newtown high school and Sandy Hook Elementary School are close to Route 34, which travels along Lake Zoar and the Housatonic River to New haven, home of Yale University. Sandy Hook is one district of Newtown, which used to be the poorer section of Newtown and probably still is. One of the most famous events in Sandy Hook was a gunfight in the streets of Sandy Hook center in the 70’s between two rival motorcycle gangs, the Huns and the Hell’s Angels. The son of one of the Huns, who’s dad kept his prize Harley in the living room cordoned off by thick velvet ropes, is the eye-witness who saw Bruce Jenner in the morning munching on Fruit Loops. This son of a Hun’s father later opened up a gentleman’s club in nearby Danbury.

DSC_9175copyDanbury was famous in the 1800’s as a manufacturer of hats. Mercury was used in the production of hats and many workers were poisoned and lost their minds. This is the home of and the original meaning of the term the “Mad Hatter”, from Alice in Wonderland. Bordering Newtown is the town of Bethel, where actress Meg Ryan attended High School. Another district in Newtown is called Dodgingtown. This District was so named because when tax collectors from the town of Newtown came to collect, the border residents said they were residents of Bethel. When Bethel tried to collect, the residents told them they lived in Newtown. Dodging taxes became somewhat of a local sport in this district.

Newtown has always been the home of many writers, bankers, college professors and airline pilots. In the center of town are stone churches and white churches and the most picturesque New England town imaginable, with a town Hall and country store, old colonial and a few Victorian homes lined with beautiful trees, crisp hedges and flower gardens.

download (1)In earlier decades, summer pastimes included jumping off the silver bridge, when it was actually silver (it’s finally being renovated), and swinging from the locally manufactured firehoses attached to high tree branches into the Housatonic river below. Because the General Store had an old fashion Bryer’s ice cream sign, the town center became the focus of a famous Bryer’s commercial. Kids waterskiing and tubing on Lake Zoar became the focus of a famous Mountain Dew commercial

Sometime in the 70’s between Newtown center and Sandy Hook village, near an old overhead train bridge, an ice cream shop, imaginatively named the “Ice Cream Shop” opened and quickly became very popular. images (8)For decades the owners have closed the shop in the wintertime, leaving a sign on the glass doors that simply says “gone fishing”. Decades later, this store is still in existence, looks exactly the same and is still a big hit. From Time to time in the 70’s and 80’s,, a too-tall tractor trailer coming off  I-84, would smoke up the tree lined streets of Route 34, through the tiny village of Sandy Hook, up the hill and past the Ice Cream Shop to the narrow and low overhead railroad bridge, and get wedged under the bridge, its top being all but peeled off. The engineering solution would seem to be to dig the street a few feet deeper or to lift the bridge a few feet higher. But in typical Newtown fashion, nothing was ever done about it and so, of course, the same thing is still happening from time to time, even today.

In the center of town are the crossroads of Route 25, leading to Danbury and Bridgeport and Route 34, leading to New Haven and adjoining both Newtown High and indirectly, the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the center of this crossroads is the iconic and huge flagpole waiving a giant American flag. Near the crossroads is a white colonial meetinghouse topped with the quintessential Newtown icon, the famous golden cock (or rooster). During the Revolutionary War, many residents of Newtown, then a manufacturer of furniture, firehoses, hats, and tea bags, were torries or British loyalists, who supported the British Army. Some of the meetings in that meetinghouse were about how best to help the Redcoats. “Late in the war, French General Rochambeau and his troops encamped there in 1781 during their celebrated march on their way to the siege of YorktownVirginia, which ended the Revolution”.

While encamped at Newtown, some French soldiers who were no friends of the American torries, took over the meetinghouse and used the golden cock for target practice. So the golden cock has three or so bullet holes in it which were later patched with silver. This was very good shooting, by the way.

Town_of_Newtown_seal_SMALL_FOR_WEBSITE_ONLYNovember 19, 1996 is a date known to Newtown residents. On this date, a Danish flight attendant went missing during a severe snowstorm. Later that night, airline pilot Richard Crafts was spotted by a snowplow driver a long way from his home near LakeZoar and the “silver bridge” using a chainsaw and a woodchipper. Small pieces of his wife, Helle Craft’s body were later recovered from the shore and in the lake itself. This was the famous Woodchipper Murder. Helle Crafts was “disappeared” by a woodchipper, but evidence at the home indicates that she was probably murdered with a blunt instrument or gun. It’s the easiest way. Richard then hid his wife in a new freezer and transported her to the lake by means of a rental truck. Newtown couldn’t keep this quiet. This event was just too big to sweep under the rug.

One more thing about Newtown. It’s as different now from the Newtown of the 70’s and 80’s as JFK airport is from Idlewild Airport. Idlewild became JFK airport after the assassination 50 years ago in November, 1963. Newtown is no longer a typical New England town. Newtown is fast becoming one of the richest towns in America.

home3Newtown is located in Fairfield County, one of the wealthiest counties in one of the wealthiest states in one of the richest countries in the world. It is and always was 95% white. The median income is $95,000 per year. The median home price, even in this economy is near $400,000 (the Lanza home is valued at $553,000). There are a large number of homes that are  priced at $700,000 and above. Many people who grew up there cannot afford to live there. Fairfield County abuts New York City directly, and as the surrounding towns to the east developed and filled up, Newtown real estate increased in value exponentially.

home 2It is jammed packed with corporate heads (Mr. Lanza is a Vice President of General Electric), stockbrokers, politicians, bankers military contractors and insurance executives. This is somewhat of a red town in a blue state, there are plenty of conservatives and tea party patriots. When the High School changed its name from the Indians, one of the alternatives could have been the Newtown Golden Cocks. Instead, with many professional residents commuting to the giant military contractors Sikorsky Aircraft (United Technologies) in Stratford and General Dynamics nearby, the Night Hawks was found to be a more apt choice.

But the richness of Newtown doesn’t seem to translate into good school facilities or top-notch high school teachers. Any school student from Newtown will notice something when they go to visit other schools in the surrounding towns. The schools and facilities are much nicer. This may be because some of the more vocal people in Newtown are “fiscally conservative”. This means they are cheap. To be fair, many improvements have been made to the high school over the decades. But for some strange reason, the administration at the high school has always been somewhat obtuse and the majority of the teachers there have always been not so good, while teachers in the lower grades are generally excellent.

Earlier this year, the towns people seemed to be against either building a new school on another site or demolishing and rebuilding a new school on the same site. The majority were calling for refurbishing the old Sandy Hook School, but fortunately, common sense prevailed. Where did these vocal people get this insane idea? Probably from the far right media, where they were squawking about how Newtown would be wasting money by demolishing the school.

Here is the news report”: “Some Newtown residents say the school should be demolished and a memorial built on the property in honor of those killed Dec. 14. Others believe the school should be renovated and the areas where the killings occurred removed. That’s what happened at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., after the 1999 mass shooting.”

“Those appear to be the two prevailing proposals as the community begins discussing the school’s fate. A public meeting on the building’s future drew about 200 people to Newtown High School on Sunday afternoon, with another meeting set for Friday. Town officials also are planning private meetings with the victims’ families to get their input.
Sunday’s meeting was an emotional gathering with many speaking in favor of keeping the school.”
This mirrors the very emotional far right talking heads and posters from around the country concerning the plans for the Sandy Hook School.
So out of the 200 who went to the first meeting, the majority were very vocal about the renovation idea. That’s real nice if YOUR child doesn’t have go the school where the bloodbath occured and sit in the same classrooms where the children urinated and defecated in utter fear as the little bodies were torn apart by fragmented shrapnel fired at 880 meters per second into their little bodies in the second worst school shooting in American History.

Yes Columbine was renovated and re-opened, but Columbine was a newer, more modern school. The Sandy Hook School, which originally was an “L” shape, but has been added onto over the years, was built in 1954.

images (11)

This refurbishing was an option that could never be allowed to happen and just made no sense. Probably out of embarrassment because the whole nation was watching, and with some additional funding of $50 million by the state, the townsfolk finally voted to demolish the school and rebuild on the same site. I believe that was the best solution. The Indians would say “Bad idea, townsfolk. You should have rebuilt on a new site”.

Down route 34 and not far from the Newtown High School and the Sandy Hook school is a large, rambling home right on the route which used to be called the Wheeler house. This was purchased in the late seventies by Starsky and Hutch star, Antonio Fargas, who images (15)played”Huggy Bear” a pimp and informant, a sort of friend and wiseguy nemesis of Starsky and Hutch. Antonio taught theater classes at nearby Western Connecticut State College (now University) in Danbury.

His wife happened to be white. Antonio was a very friendly and hospitable man with a great personality and he had endless hysterical stories to tell. He welcomed and invited many Newtowners to come and talk to him and visit him at his home, and for a brief time he was Newtown’s resident celebrity. Antonio’s father was a garbage man in New York City, and his is a true story of the American dream.

Antonio wasn’t living in Newtown long and he abruptly moved out when a large wooden cross was ignited and burned in his front yard. This history was “disappeared” and swept under the rug.

2009 NFL - Oakland Raiders Minicamp - May 10, 2009One of Antonio’s children, Justin, later became a star of the Oakland Raiders American football team.

So Newtown has it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some things haven’t changed. By listening to the people at the town meeting they held shortly after the shootings, there are still some truly wonderful people there. And, yes, even some dedicated teachers. It’s not really the ideal New England town portrayed in the Bryer’s commercial. That’s the way reality works. It is and it isn’t.  It’s far from the threshold to the gates of hell either. For most past and current residents, it’s as close to heaven on earth as many will get.

newtown nighthawks ltThe Newtown Nighthawks football team, seen wearing the green and white colors of Sandy Hook Elementary in place of their traditional blue and gold, beat Bethel 22-14 at their first home game, and went on to end their regular 2013 season undefeated with a 12-0 record. That’s typical for the football team, which never gives up, works together as a team, often comes back from seeming defeats, and always strives for a victory.

images (9)Of course, everyone knows that on December 14th, 2012, in the halls of Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, the normal sounds of learning, scuffling footsteps and laughter, were suddenly broken by the sounds of shattering glass, riveting fear, smoke, screams and gunfire from a high powered AR-15 semi automatic rifle and seven, 30-round high capacity magazines packed with exploding hollow point rounds.  One mentally ill resident of this quiet bedroom community woke up that morning in a beautiful home stocked with a large variety of guns and ammo. He made his bed very neatly, and then he grabbed several of the weapons in that home and went on to shake the civilized world with a completely senseless and incomprehensible act of violence.

In the USA, since the Sandy Hook shooting, there have been 19 additional school shootings

In the USA, since the Sandy Hook shooting, there have been over 10,800 additional gun deaths.

*     1,676 women have been shot to death.

*     523 teens have been shot to death

*     193 children age 12 and under have been shot to death

*     Over 7,100 children were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/children-gun-injuries_n_4171208.html

*     Another school shooting……Now Coming soon to a killing theater near you?

jfkAsk Not ……

…..for whom the bell tolls,

it tolls for thee.

(Please see Part 2: The Killings)

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

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