Published on May 16th, 2015 | by -swansong-19
Sandy Hook: CT Police Forced To Turn Over Lanza Document Bonanza
In this article titled Sandy Hook: CT Police Forced To Turn Over Lanza Document Bonanza we’ll look at the latest ruling from the Ct FOIC regarding the release of long held personal documents of Adam Lanza.
While the eyes of the Sandy Hook research community have been understandably focused on the valiant efforts of Wolfgang Halbig and his Connecticut Two-Step with the FOI Commission there has been another Sandy Hook related FOI request winding it’s way through government bureaucracy.
Sandy Hook:CT Police Forced To Turn Over Lanza Document Bonanza
The ruling came as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request from The Courant seeking copies of documents mentioned in the state police’s report into the massacre but never made available to the public. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which oversees the state’s police force, has blocked The Courant’s efforts to obtain those documents since January 2014.
William Fish, the attorney representing The Courant, argued that the documents, which include a comic book written by Lanza titled “The Big Book of Granny,” were public records in part because of the state’s great expense related to the investigation and the worldwide media coverage that the shooting triggered.
Yes, that’s right, two and a half years after “The Event” and almost one and a half years after the conclusion of the state police investigation into the events at Sandy Hook Elementary, they have finally been forced to turn over personal documents related to the alleged perpetrator, Adam Lanza.
All documents asked for by the Hartford Courant were seized under warrant by the Ct State Police as part of it’s investigation into the events at Sandy Hook. The above image is the cover of a book Adam Lanza allegedly penned titled The Big Book of Granny. It is one of several documents the Hartford Courant asked for and who’s status as “public” has been confirmed by the Ct FOI Commission.
Should you wish to re-familiarize yourself with the warrant process and what exactly was seized from the Lanza home I would recommend a previous work by our own Kennedy Ray.
Email from gunbroker.com
New York Times clipping dated 2/18/2008 regard school shooting in Northern Illinois University
Birthday card from Nancy Lanza with Bank of America check made out for purchase of C183 firearm
A handwritten “To-do list” for Nancy Lanza dated Dec. 14-Dec.20
Receipts and emails documenting firearm/ ammunition shooting supplies
Other seized items:
Various journals and drawings by Adam Lanza
Various hard drives and cell phones
Three photographs with images of what investigators say appear to be dead bodies covered with plastic and blood
There’s no way of knowing exactly what documents or images the Courant will see fit to release to the public. I, for one, would be interested in seeing the giant “spreadsheet” that Adam Lanza supposedly had prepared documenting his murderous desires. This spreadsheet apparently measured in at approximately 4×7 feet. If this spreadsheet were actually printed out (as we have been led to believe) it would have required a special printer. A printer that shouldn’t be terribly difficult for police to track down in an area the size of Newtown.
I touch on the spreadsheet and other supposed objectives and motives of Adam Lanza in the following video…
Adam Lanza:Mind Over Motive
Now might also be a good time to remind ourselves of the legal contortions Ct went through following the events in Sandy Hook in an effort to keep their little secrets. The following video is a segment from the wildly popular, Independent Media Solidarity produced, documentary We Need to Talk About Sandy Hook. Presented by odinrok it’s titled Access to Records.
As you can see, Connecticut has spared little expense or effort in their attempt to not only concoct, but also keep secret, the details of the Sandy Hook Event.
Sandy Hook:CT Police Forced To Turn Over Lanza Document Bonanza
The entirety of the documents requested by the Hartford Courant have not been made public, however, in the hearing officer’s recommendations, some of the items were noted.
Some of the specific items requested include ” a spiral bound notebook written by the shooter entitled “The Big Book of Granny”, “Class photo of the class of 2002-2003 at SHES”, a yellow folder containing hand drawn comic-style pictures and stories about Pokemon-type characters”, “packet containing educational information from SHES for the shooter, including report cards and IEPs”, “list of problems and requests from the shooter to Nancy”, “Lovebound” – screenplay or script describing a relationship between a 10 year old boy and a 30 year old man” and “spreadsheet ranking mass murderers by name, number killed, number injured, types of weapons used and disposition.”
As you read over the list of items requested you may be asking yourself the same question many of us in the Sandy Hook research community asked, “What’s the big deal?” Why is the state wasting precious tax dollars fighting the release of such innocuous documents?
Coincidentally it’s the same question we ask when we talk about Wolfgang Halbig’s FOIA requests, “What’s the big deal?” Whether you agree or disagree with any of Mr Halbig’s concerns you have to ask yourself, “What’s the big deal?” Just give him the documents. Give us a pic of Adam Lanza’s body at the crime scene. Surely no one’s concerned about besmirching his name or memory. A young man that has been demonized around the world with no evidence presented even placing him at the crime scene.
Curiously, it is essentially this very crutch upon which the state leans in it’s objection to the release of these documents.
In January of 2014 The Hartford Courant contacted the Connecticut State Police requesting copies of the above mentioned documents. Three days later the Courant was contacted by State Police Legal Affairs representatives informing them that the request had been received.
Four months later on May 29th the Courant again contacted state police having not heard word one from them in those 4 months.
June 11th, 2014, the Courant filed with the FOI Commission claiming a violation of the FOIA, having not received the documents which they had requested. Finally, on December 8th 2014, almost a full year after the initial request, the state responded claiming they were in possession of no documents responsive to the request because…
“You have requested access to or copies of…items of evidence that were seized or other wise collected as part of the criminal investigation of the incident. Evidence collected as part of a criminal investigation does not constitute a “public record” under the Connecticut [FOI] act.“
You may again be thinking the same thing many of us were thinking. “That’s insane.”
Judging by the remarks of the hearing officer in her report of recommendations, it’s not hard to infer she may have felt similarly. I’ll provide some of the portions that stood out to me but should you wish to read the entire report you may do so here.
While this is not the final report from the Ct FOI Commission it is expected that the final document will be identical since the hearing officer’s recommendations were approved by the Commission with no changes. If you aren’t aware, the process for these hearings is for the hearing officer to provide recommendations, then a panel of commission members votes on those recommendations. They could vote to modify them, throw them all out, or accept them as is, which is what they chose to do in this case.
As part of the Hearing Officer’s report she described the characteristics required to define something as a “public document”.
16. First the requested documents must be “recorded data or information” that is “handwritten, typed, tape recorded, printed, photostated, photographed, or recorded by any other method.” The respondents did not dispute that each of the requested documents meets this prong of the definition, and it is so found.
17. Next, the requested documents must “relate to the the conduct of the public’s business.” The respondents claimed, in their post-hearing brief, without argument or citing to any legal authority, that the requested documents do not pertain to the conduct of the public’s business,” under 1-200(5), G.S.
The emphasis in the above paragraph is mine. The reason should be clear. The state presented an argument they couldn’t support…so they didn’t even bother trying.
I apologize if this begins to get a bit dry, but I think it’s important to show just how entirely corrupt, or inept, the people arguing against the open dissemination of information related to Sandy Hook really are.
The state continued it’s “throw it at the wall, hope it sticks” form of defense.
The respondents argued that the requested documents are not “public records” because they do not “relate to the conduct of the public’s business” and “because they are evidence under the control of the judicial branch pursuant to a statutory scheme pertaining to search warrants and seized property.”
The second assertion is essentially that the requested documents are not actually under the control of the state police, but are rather under the jurisdiction of the judiciary and that only a judge could release them.
36. With regard to the respondents’ additional claim that the requested documents may not be copied or inspected by the public because the judicial department “controls the seized property”, it is found that, although the statutes make clear that property may be seized and disposed of only pursuant to a court order, there is no language in any of the statutes relied on by the respondents to support the claim that the judicial branch controls the seized property or, more specifically, controls how such property is handled during the time that the respondents retain it.
37. To the contrary, based upon search warrant applications, it is found that the court’s order granting the search warrants in this case specifically require the state police to “find said property to seize the same, take and keep it in custody until further order of the court…” Moreover, it is found that an internal state police policy regarding the chain of custody for seized property (“policy”), offered as evidence by the respondents in this matter, makes it clear that the state police alone have control over the seized property during the time that the property is retained by them.
Yes…you read that right. Not only could they provide no basis for their claims but they actually provided the hearing with a state police policy which refuted that very claim. You folks in Ct paying attention to how your tax dollars are being spent?
They even claimed, based on a “public records retention schedule” technicality, that I’m not completely clear on, the records were not public. So, the hearing officer went to the state’s own website and showed them how the contention was nonsense.
This report is rife with examples like the ones I have already provided and I could go on at some length with this review. But to save some time and to allow you to come to some of your own conclusions regarding this report I will just touch on a couple more.
Sandy Hook:CT Police Forced To Turn Over Lanza Document Bonanza
41. …the respondents further argued, in their post-hearing brief, that disclosure of the requested documents under the FOI Act would constitute an invasion of the shooter’s and/or his mother’s privacy under the Fourth Amendment. The respondents cited no statute or case law to support the necessary preliminary finding that they have standing to raise the privacy rights of the property owners.Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that “Fourth Amendment rights are personal rights which…may not be vicariously asserted.”
And my favorite…
44. Although the respondents were provided the opportunity to offer evidence that the requested documents are exempt from disclosure, the respondents declined to do so. Instead, the respondents offered an affidavit of Christine Plourde, supervisor of the respondent department’s Legal Affair’s unit, in which Attorney Plourde averred that, although she had not looked at the requested documents, she believed that some of the documents might be exempt from disclosure.
Not only did the state not bother to provide any corroborating evidence for their claims but the person on whom they relied as their expert never even bothered to read the documents that had been requested. Regardless, she “believed” that at least some didn’t qualify. She didn’t even read them!
You can watch the entire, embarrassing performance in the following video.
In the end, apart from the embarrassing performance by the state, what I will most takeaway from this FOI Commission hearing is the reinforcement of the hearing officer as to exactly what is…and what is not…deemed “public”.
Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. Any agency rule or regulation, or part thereof, that conflicts with the provisions of this subsection or diminishes or curtails in any way the rights granted by this subsection shall be void.
I think this ruling will provide tremendous support for Wolfgang Halbig’s continuing efforts. His next FOI Commission hearing date is June 3rd, 2015 – 9:30am. We will be watching closely.
Beyond that, it is this writer’s opinion that this ruling spells out, in the plainest English “legalese” can manage, that basically everything collected as evidence from both the Lanza home and SHE (with the exception of photos of victims) that meets the following criteria…“…the requested documents must be “recorded data or information” that is “handwritten, typed, tape recorded, printed, photostated, photographed, or recorded by any other method.”…has now been placed squarely in the field of play.
Despite the clarity with which the hearing officer in the Hartford Courant case defined the terms by which something is regarded as “public”, the state of Ct has shown itself to be exceedingly obstructionist in their dealings with the public in regards to the release of documents related to the events at Sandy Hook. I have no reason to believe this ruling will dissuade them from more of the same.
The world is watching you obstruct and stonewall, Ct. People that had no suspicions before are becoming suspicious now. Suspicion breeds questions. Questions you don’t want to answer. Well, get ready, because this ruling has reminded us that we have every right to ask, and ask, we shall.
Thanks for reading Sandy Hook: CT Police Forced To Turn Over Lanza Document Bonanza. If you have any thoughts on this article we’d enjoy hearing from you. Is there anything you’re hoping to see from the Courant request? Anything you think we’ll never see?