I’ve been wanting to write something on the conspiracy theory of ‘staged violence’ and ‘crisis actors’, but thought I’d have a little pop at this conspiracy fish in a barrel, a four-minute video entitled ‘Virginia Tech Massacre – WHERE are the victims?‘.
It was posted to the Internet Archive (update: on YouTube here) on or near to the seventh anniversary (2014) of the Virginia Tech shootings that were carried out on 16 April 2007, and shows screenshots of an Ancestry.com search for the death records of the 32 victims in Montgomery County, Virginia – where the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is located.
The point of the video is that the researcher finds no mass list of deaths for 16 April 2007 (they actually search from 13 Apr – 27 Apr), just one name appears for the date of the massacre – a person not listed among the victims of the shooting.
As the description for the video states:
“A search for the “victims” of the 2007 Virginia Tech ‘massacre’ in official records yields some shocking results. There aren’t any.”
I think this video is a good reflection of the research skills of the average conspiracy theorist: woefully poor. The video shows them searching the US Social Security Death Index (1935-current), with no name entered, in Montgomery County, Virginia, USA, on the dates of 13 Apr 2007 (eh?) through to 27 Apr 2007.
“Did you see it?”, asks the video, “did you miss the day where 32 people were killed in Montgomery County? Here it is again … and this ONE name is not even in the list of ‘official’ victims”. The official list is shown, then they go on – “SOME of those names do occur in the US Death Master File but NONE from THIS location! WE HAVE BEEN LIED TO”.
So why didn’t this conspiracy genius find 32 names (33 if you include the perpetrator) registered in Montgomery County on 16 April 2007? Because searching the US Social Security Death Index for Montgomery County, Virginia, will only return results for people whose last residence is recorded as Montgomery County, Virginia (you can even plainly see this on the video), and the victims were students and lecturers who were either not residents of the county or who have no data in the ‘last residence’ field.
If you search for the victims by name, you find them, and they are listed under the locations where their social security numbers were issued. Here are four of the victims, picked from a random point part-way down the list:
- Kevin P Granata 29 Dec 1961 – 16 Apr 2007: State (Year) SSN issued: Ohio (1979)
- Matthew G Gwaltney 11 Dec 1982 – 16 Apr 2007: State (Year) SSN issued: Virginia (1988)
- Caitlin M Hammaren 4 May 1987 – 16 Apr 2007: State (Year) SSN issued: New York (1988-1992)
- Jeremy M Herbstritt 6 Nov 1979 – 16 Apr 2007: State (Year) SSN issues: Iowa (1983)
Conspiracy theorists aren’t interested in the truth – they want everything to fit into their fantastical and degenerate world view. Whether they’re aware of it or not, they will bend and break the truth to fit that view, and very often lie about it or even fake material in order to make it ‘real’. The fact that the maker of this video admits he found “some of those names” makes me think this one is most probably in the ‘knowing liar’ category.
For them, no disaster, natural or human, occurs out of the blue. The government, the cabal, or the illuminati is behind everything – Sandy Hook, 9/11, Aurora, Fukushima, The Titanic, Boston, 7/7, Princess Diana, Flight MH370, Senator Giffords, and thousands more, including the Virginia Tech massacre. And the conspiracy theorist, more often than not, believes all of them.
When they accuse the parents of the children murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting of being ‘crisis actors’, when they say the victims of Sandy Hook, or Flight MH370, or Virginia Tech didn’t really die, that it was all staged, they are being disrespectful to the point of abuse.
Just looking up the names of the four victims listed above for this article left me feeling slightly uncomfortable – like I was prying. What emotions must these conspiracy theorists be switching off (or not have in the first place) in order to commit such atrocities in the name of their paranoia?
The victims are real, and the parents, children, grandparents and friends, etc. of those who died, those who are left, are real people with real grief.