Successfully Blocked Prolific Hoaxer from Hiding His Crimes

Wolfgang Halbig

     On December 14, 2012, Noah Pozner became the youngest victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, which ended the lives of twenty 6 and 7-year-old children and six teachers and school educators.

     After his murder, Noah’s family became the targets of Alex Jones, a prolific conspiracy theorist who along with his “InfoWars” news organization broadcast to his millions of subscribers that the school shooting was staged by the government to facilitate a repeal of the Second Amendment, that the families were paid actors, and that Noah and the other victims either didn’t die or never existed at all. Lenny Pozner, Noah’s father, confronted Jones about his lies and the danger to his family. He confronted social media platforms that broadcast and monetized Jones’ attacks. He ultimately established a non-profit, the HONR Network, to combat online abuse and was successful in removing some of Jones’ and InfoWars’ content. In response, Jones targeted Pozner personally. Jones and InfoWars began a campaign that encouraged, funded, and promoted the attacks on Pozner by other conspiracy theorists, including Wolfgang Halbig. Halbig, with the support of Jones and InfoWars, had developed an internet community and network of tens of thousands of Sandy Hook hoaxers, who hunted Pozner and his family mercilessly, forcing them to move a dozen times in less than ten years. In 2020, Halbig was arrested for possessing and disseminating the personal and financial information of Pozner and his family.

     Ironically, Halbig petitioned the court to expunge his arrest record as it violated his privacy. On August 1, 2023, Pozner delivered the victim impact statement which appears below in its entirety. The court denied Halbig’s request and the arrest will remain on his record.

* * *

I would like to thank you for the opportunity you have given me to address the offenses Wolfgang Halbig has committed. For nearly 10 years, Halbig has led a terror campaign harassing families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook school shooting. My son, Noah, was the youngest victim of that massacre and my two daughters — who were only feet away from being murdered — are among the survivors. Halbig has further traumatized my daughters and devastated their mother. His persecution of me has been debilitating, both robbing me of the ability to properly grieve for my baby and preventing me from having peace, even to this day.

I intend to use my full time addressing you today because I have learned there is little legal recourse when people like Halbig, whose numbers are growing every day, target vulnerable people for Internet-driven abuse. Consequently, this is my sole opportunity within the legal system of our state to fully describe the hell Halbig has put us through.

Before I address the impact of this man’s behavior, I want to remind everyone of one thing. Wolfgang Halbig presents himself as a harmless, wide-eyed, senior citizen who is “just asking questions.” But bad people — liars, harassers, thieves, abusers, terrorizers — don’t become virtuous or innocuous as they age. Behind Halbig’s grandfatherly demeanor is a cruel man who continues to this day to harm the memory of my murdered son, endanger the lives of my teenage daughters, and actively recruit and inspire others to seek out and harm my children’s mother and myself. Not because he is confused or because he just wondered what happened in Connecticut, but seems to delight in hurting my family and the other families devastated by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He does this for fame, prestige, and money. His decade-long campaign of harassment has made him infamous among the families, educators, and residents of Newtown, where the state of Connecticut has put a legal stop to his abuse of public records laws, and where his visits are monitored by police.

Not long after the murder of my son and his schoolmates in 2012, Halbig realized he could solicit donations from paranoid and easily misled individuals by spinning a fantasy tale that the shooting never happened. He presents himself as former law enforcement, and a school safety expert, perfectly and uniquely positioned to dig into the case. In fact, he tried to convince Newtown officials to hire him as an investigator. When that effort failed, he changed tactics, accusing the government of staging the shooting to rob Americans of their Second Amendment and falsely promising his investigation would reveal the truth about dark forces manipulating the country. Halbig tells people a story in which I am a government agent. He tells them my son Noah was not real. My ex-wife Veronique was not really my wife. Instead of a grieving father whose son was killed in a horrific tragedy, Halbig made me out to be a criminal traitor and a member of an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world.

For the past 10 years, Halbig has sold his lies wherever he could. He solicited funds and made dozens of appearances on notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s media network, InfoWars, which has an average monthly audience of 10 million. By his own account, Halbig has raised more than $100,000 online to fund his bogus quest for Sandy Hook “truth.” In fact, after one appearance on InfoWars, Halbig raised more than $22,000.

To explain the incredible power of that relationship, I would like to read a portion of a New York Times article entitled “How Alex Jones and Infowars Helped a Florida Man Torment Sandy Hook Families”:

Over several years, Mr. Jones gave Mr. Halbig’s views an audience by inviting him to be a guest on Infowars, his radio and online show. Infowars gave Mr. Halbig a camera crew and a platform for fund-raising, even as Mr. Halbig repeatedly visited Newtown, demanding thousands of pages of public records, including photos of the murder scene, the children’s bodies and receipts for the cleanup of “bodily fluids, brain matter, skull fragments and around 45 to 60 gallons of blood.”

Given practical support and visibility by Mr. Jones, Mr. Halbig hounded families of the victims and other residents of Newtown . . .

Mr. Halbig displays a folksy affect, and frequently says that as soon as his demands for information are met he can “get back to his life with my grandchildren.” But when unsuccessful in getting the information he is seeking, Mr. Halbig publishes the personal information of his targets, spurring torrents of abuse and threats.

That article details just a small fraction of the abuse Halbig has piled up against the families of victims. He has posted photos of living Newtown children online, accusing them of being the murdered children still alive in hiding, and repeatedly named a specific girl, exposing her family to abuse. He has sent thousands of harassing and frightening emails to Sandy Hook victims’ parents, insisting their children are alive and promising to dig up their graves and take their parents to court for lying about their murders. He has made more than two dozen trips to Newtown to personally harass families and residents. The Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport sent him an official letter banning him from the campus of St. Rose of Lima — where seven victims’ funerals were held — after he and an InfoWars camera crew filmed young children leaving the parish school. Sadly, one of the parents of a murdered girl in Newtown who Halbig repeatedly tormented publicly committed suicide.

Today, I would like to address the terror Halbig has caused me, Noah’s mother, and sisters, and the pain and fear he inflicted on us — maliciously and without decency or remorse — as we tried together to pick up the pieces of our shattered family and figure out how to live in a world without Noah.

Thanks in part to Alex Jones and InfoWars’ promotion, funding, and amplification of his hate, Halbig gleefully encouraged the development of an Internet community of tens of thousands of Sandy Hook hoaxers, fueled by Halbig’s claims of a government hoax. Because I spent years working to stop the spread of the ridiculous conspiracy theory about my son’s murder, Halbig directed this warped community’s hate at me.

Initially, I tried to reason with the man, which did not work. I naively hoped that by direct contact, he could ask questions and maybe stop his attacks if he knew there was a real person on the other end of his targeting, and that he was hurting people. In response, I received an email stating he wouldn’t talk to me until I exhumed my son’s body and proved he existed.

When it was clear no amount of logic or reasoning would convince him, I turned to the social media platforms he was using to harass us for help. I complained to tech companies and submitted countless requests to social media companies. I had some limited success, but none of it was stopping him.

This only caused Halbig to fixate on me, carry a vendetta against me, and relentlessly harass and cyberstalk me.

Over the years, Halbig’s fixation became so intense he retaliated against me by having an attorney secure a copy of a comprehensive background report on me and my family — containing my social security number, addresses, financial history, medical history, education, all of my assets, and much more, and the same information for 56 of my relatives — which Halbig then openly disseminated to thousands. Once he had that report, he traded it amongst other conspiracy theorists, passed it out as a bonus for those who would contribute money to his cause, gave it out as a prize to people who he engaged to help him harass me, and posted details online. He provided my private and personal information, and the details of my family, to thousands, some with criminal records, some with a history of violence, and some who were clearly mentally ill. Some of the recipients had active conspiracy theory YouTube channels that spread our personal information further and resulted in death threats. Think about that for a moment. It’s like the plot of a Hollywood psychological horror film, where, after victimizing me for years, Halbig was so angry that I attempted to protect myself and my family, he essentially put out a hit on us, giving other monsters all my and my entire family’s sensitive information.

I have had to go to extraordinary lengths to protect myself from identity theft. I continue to get regular death threats. One of Halbig’s “research assistants” — currently incarcerated for attempted murder — called me and recited my address and social security number, along with his threat. It’s impossible to get my private information back from these people. I can’t protect my family. I’ve had to go to the extreme of being accepted into the Florida State Address Confidentiality Program with the Florida State Attorney General.

The arrest record Halbig seeks to seal is the lone evidence in this jurisdiction of the horrendous actions he has taken against me. The sheer audacity Halbig exhibits now, attempting to seal his record, when for years he purposefully and maliciously exposed mine, is frankly outrageous. I have been forced to move more than a half-dozen times due to Halbig’s intentional release of my personal information, and that of my family. The expense and stress of continually having to move, the dread of his constant harassment and stalking, and the sense of never feeling safe — all while suffering from diagnosed PTSD — have taken a brutal toll on me and my family.

Of course, I tried to do something about Halbig’s lies and harassment. In addition to working with online companies, I started reporting him to police and took him to court. The response of police and prosecutors ranged from apathetic to sympathetic, but they all were confused as to what they could legally do about an online abuser and predator like Halbig.

I was pleased when Lake County took action against Halbig. I understand the Internet and this new world we live in have made these kinds of charges difficult, and I accept that Halbig will not be punished for these crimes, but I do not accept that Halbig’s history with law enforcement would be scrubbed from the public record entirely. Halbig appeals to the Court to seal his arrest and prosecution record. He doesn’t want anyone to know about his personal business, a position I find staggering, considering he has spent the past decade injecting himself into the private pain and private lives of so many victims for fame and fortune.

But this isn’t a man who is remorseful for a momentary lapse in judgment. Halbig’s cruel actions have not ceased. Even today, he routinely sends electronic communications to various law firms, media organizations, government agencies, conspiracy theorists, and many others, and each email is designed to continue his campaign against me and further inflame his followers’ obsession with my life.

For example, on June 16, 2023, he sent an email to more than 30 recipients, including pictures of me, claiming I am an imposter. That was followed by an email on July 5, 2023, that contained more pictures and implied that because I am Jewish, I rape babies. Another email on July 15, 2023, which was sent to more than 70 recipients, argued that I committed a crime by engaging in fraud on the court. All of this and more happened while Halbig is seeking to have his record expunged while claiming to be an innocent senior citizen.

I was hopeful when Halbig was arrested for possessing and disseminating my personal and private information. I felt his disgusting campaign might be coming to an end. But today, I have a new worry: Halbig seeks to have this Court erase any record of the details of his arrest and prosecution. I do not know the legal standards which are applied to this request. Still, after being harassed by this man for over a decade, I do know this: If records of Halbig’s arrest are hidden from public view per his request, he will interpret that outcome as an endorsement of his conduct.

His fixation on me will intensify, as will his belief he can act with impunity.

I beg the Court not to grant this cruel man any indulgences or privileges, especially when such an action is certain to impact my life and the lives of my family, in a severely negative way.

I was once asked by a reporter about my life after my son Noah became the youngest victim of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Noah had just turned six, he was a happy first-grader who had just lost his first tooth, and with his twin sister had had his sixth birthday, the month before his murder. I told the reporter December 14, 2012, was the single worst day of my life, and every day thereafter was a close second. This is a wound that will never heal. Wolfgang Halbig is a cruel, sadistic, malevolent force who has purposefully and maliciously contributed to reopening that wound and making every day after Noah’s murder a close second.

Please send a message to Mr. Halbig and the thousands of predators like him on the Internet.

Please do not conceal what this man has done from public view.

Please do not conceal what this man continues to do.

Leonard Pozner

 

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