MIAMI — An unhinged Florida conspiracy theorist who believes the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax has been indicted on charges that she threatened the parent of a child killed in the tragedy.
Lucy Richards, 57, who lives in Tampa, allegedly phoned the grieving father of one of the 20 small children and six adults killed in a Newtown, Connecticut school in 2012 and told him, “you gonna die, death is coming to you real soon.”
Federal prosecutors described Richards as a so-called “truther” who believes the school shooting was staged as part of an elaborate plot to impose draconian gun control laws in the United States.
The bunk conspiracy theory has taken firm root in the darker corners of the internet among people who frequent conspiracy driven websites that peddle the theories as news. Most troubling is that some believers of such sham theories have taken to harassing relatives of children slain that day and accusing them of being “crisis actors” pretending to be grieving parents.
While prosecutors did not name the parent who had Richards had targeted, the Tampa Bay Times identified him as Lenny Pozner whose 6-year-old son Noah was killed that day. Pozner has since moved to Florida.
“It was hard knowing this darkness is out there,” he told the paper. “I get so much hate on a weekly basis.”
Richards was charged with our counts of transmitting threats in interstate commerce and faces up to five years in prison for each count. She was released on $25,000 bond. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Pizzo called the alleged conduct “particularly disturbing,” but determined that Richards is unlikely to be a flight risk, given that she claims to have agoraphobia and uses a walker, the paper reported.
Her sister told the paper that Richards has struggled with mental illness.