Alex Jones’ Sandy Hook lies led to strangers showing up at boy’s home to see if he was dead, father says

Alex Jones’ Sandy Hook lies led to strangers showing up at boy’s home to see if he was dead, father says

Loved ones of Sandy Hook victims took the stand on the sixth day of the second defamation trial of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

David Wheeler testified in a Waterbury, Conn., court on Wednesday, recounting how Internet money driven by Jones’ lies and claims that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax had shown up at his door demanding to see his six-year-old son . who were among 20 children and six teachers killed in the attack.

Jones’ claims that the massacre was a government-orchestrated scheme were broadcast to his millions of viewers. Mr Wheeler said he found out about Jones’ false theories through a family friend, according to the report Insider.

“Someone came to the house and knocked on the door. The person demanded to see Ben, saying “I know he’s here, I know he’s alive,” Wheeler said. “I felt like I was underwater. I didn’t know which way up. To have someone publicly tell the world that it didn’t happen, that you’re a fraud and a fake is incredibly disorienting.”

Erica Lafferty, the daughter of Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was also killed, gave testimony eerily reminiscent of Mr Wheeler’s. Lafferty described how she dealt with threats of violence and rape and people telling her she “should die and be buried next to my fake dead mother” – all while dealing with her grief.

“For 27 years of my life, that woman was my best friend,” said Lafferty, who has had to move five times since the conspiracy theories began. “For people to tell me she didn’t exist, how do you let that happen?”

Mr Wheeler testified how his days were consumed by relentless online messages accusing him of lying, saying Ben never existed and he was going to burn in hell for taking part in the “hoax”.

Video evidence of an Inforwars episode is shown to the jury at the Alex Jones Sandy Hook defamation trial (Hearst Connecticut Media)

Video evidence of an Inforwars episode is shown to the jury at the Alex Jones Sandy Hook defamation trial (Hearst Connecticut Media)

Eventually, his and his wife’s names and photos were posted on fake Twitter accounts. He was again called a liar, a crisis actor.

On two occasions strangers came to his home demanding to see the son he had recently buried and was actively grieving.

The situation became so dire that Mr Wheeler had to sit down with his surviving son, Nate, and have a conversation with him about the reach of the conspiracy theories – his son did not understand how the suffering that was so raw and undeniable to them could be doubted by strangers.

“It was degrading. It felt like being delegitimized in a way. It makes you feel like you don’t matter, like what you went through doesn’t matter,” Mr. Wheeler said.

Although Jones never mentioned him by name, Wheeler said the audience knew who he was referring to when the far-right Inforwar founder referred to “crisis actor”.

“Every time he said the words crisis actor, I know he was talking about me and us,” Wheeler said.

Despite Mr Wheeler’s initial reluctance to beef up his security, he eventually processed the scale of the situation and a Connecticut state trooper was assigned to drive the family.

Alex Jones speaks to the media outside the courthouse, in Waterbury, Conn. (AP)

Alex Jones speaks to the media outside the courthouse, in Waterbury, Conn. (AP)

Lafferty told the court she became aware of Jones’ conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook early on.

“Things would be sent to my house. There were threats of rape, she said, adding that she had tried unsuccessfully to report the threats but was told by the police that nothing could be done about it. “I was told it wasn’t specific enough or they couldn’t track it.”

She began engaging with internet scouts who had cast doubt on the massacre and sent magicians to her mother in a desperate attempt to prove that the 47-year-old devoted headmaster had been real, that she had been violently killed. Lafferty was also called a “crisis actress”.

As the grieving families grappled with the aftermath of the tragedy and were forced to assuage their trauma by conspiracy theorists, Jones’ audience grew exponentially and the company’s revenue increased dramatically, the defense has argued.

Jones has already been found liable for allegations he made in the aftermath of the 2012 massacre. Jurors will now decide how much he should pay the relatives of eight victims and an FBI agent who responded to the scene.

He is expected to testify on Thursday.

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