An Open Letter To Whoever Stole a Sandy Hook Victim’s Memorial Sign

FILED TO: Headline Articles

You Know Who You Are,

I have a five-year-old daughter. She has blond hair that falls in little ringlets and a smile that feels as if it radiates warm sunshine against my soul. She remembers anything she’s ever said to me that I laughed at and every once in a while she’ll remind me of it, never worrying that the joke might have gotten old, maybe because she understands that it never has and never will. If she makes herself laugh, I laugh.

When she’s with me I go to sleep each night content in the knowledge that in the morning her bedroom door will open and she’ll quietly shuffle out in her Hello Kitty pajamas — her purple blanket clutched in her hands and pulled up to her face, her eyes still glossy with receding sleep — and then rest her head against me as I make her breakfast. She’s the center of my universe. My sine qua non. I can’t even begin to imagine how I could find the strength and the will to go on if anything happened to her.

Lynn and Chris McDonnell without question felt the same way about their own daughter, Gracie. She was the light of their lives, a little girl who always wore pink bows in her hair, who loved to draw and paint, and whom they considered an inspiring force within their small family. But Grace McDonnell was taken from them, from the parents who loved her and who hoped to always be able to protect her. She was taken in an almost unfathomable act of violence, along with 19 of her young classmates and six of their caregivers at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. She was killed in cold blood by a madman armed with an assault rifle and driven by a headful of demons that had long since put asunder any better angels of his nature.

This is a fact. It isn’t up for debate. It isn’t up for discussion. There’s no controversy in stating it. It is the truth — pure, simple and exquisite. But you don’t believe that, do you? You don’t believe that the Sandy Hook shooting ever actually happened. You deny the existence of provable reality, setting aside all that your eyes try to show you and your ears allow you to hear in favor of submitting to the relentless chaos of the paranoid fantasy world you inhabit. You believe you’re privy to some great secret the rest of us can’t or won’t see and that this makes you better than everyone. But it doesn’t make you better. It just makes you crazy.

This wouldn’t be a problem were it not for the fact that you aren’t locked safely away from enlightened society. You’re free not only to believe things for which you have no proof — spinning entire worlds out of the illusions you’re convinced are real — but to use modern technology to commune with, find strength in, and be further influenced by those who are equally arrogant and equally deluded. You’ve found people just like you and you realize you’re not alone anymore. Perhaps even this wouldn’t be a problem, except that you’re also free to act on this insanity, to do what the Sandy Hook killer himself did and force your paranoid hallucinations on the rest of us, regardless of the cost in human suffering.

And that’s what you did to the parents of Grace McDonnell. When you stole the sign marking their murdered child’s memorial playground and then callously called them and told them that it didn’t matter because they never had a daughter in the first place — because the Sandy Hook massacre never happened and what we all witnessed was nothing more than an elaborate hoax — you brought your personal insanity to their doorstep. You tortured them, even more than they’ve already been tortured. And that makes you something well beyond crazy, something much less forgivable. That makes you a fucking monster.

My default position is to mercilessly mock people like you, to laugh in their faces because there’s little doubt that attempting to reason with them will only be an exercise in futility and frustration. You can’t reason with someone without a common frame of reference that you can both agree upon. But you and I have none. I live in the real world, while you live within a detailed, self-constructed hallucination that you’ve convinced yourself is real. I want to mock you, but I can’t. I want to feel sorry for you, but I won’t. Because, again, you’re a fucking monster. A impenitent sociopath perhaps deserving of being put down like a rabid dog.

What you’ve done to the McDonnell family and to the memory of Grace McDonnell, and why you’ve done it, fills me with the kind of rage decent society wisely doesn’t condone. I want to see violence and terror visited upon you like none you could ever conceive. I want you to experience what Grace McDonnell experienced in the final moments of her young life. That, I think, would be a fitting punishment for the anguish you so blithely caused a family that can’t take one more drop of anguish, a family that’s suffered enough due to an act you claim never occurred.

But save for that, there’s little anyone can do. Asking, “Have you no shame?” is worthless, because of course you don’t. Asking, “Have you no soul?” is equally worthless, because you don’t have that either. Appealing to humanity and decency where there is none — where there’s nothing more than laughably misplaced intellectual certitude — will get people like me nowhere. There’s so little I or anyone else can do with mere words and that in and of itself is infuriating given that, if I could, I would utter whatever magic incantation would cause either the psychosis to leave you once and for all or you — and those like you — to just vanish from the face of the earth.

But what I suppose I can say to you is this: show yourself, you coward. If you believe so strongly that the truth about the Sandy Hook massacre is that there was no Sandy Hook massacre, and you can prove this, then you have nothing to fear, right? If you have hard evidence that there was no Grace McDonnell, then surely your transgression will be vastly outweighed by one of the most insidious crimes and cover-ups in American history, right? Sure, except that you can’t. Because you have no proof. You have nothing other than the crazed cacophony on the internet that you’ve immersed yourself in and allowed to fuel the virulent madness that now consumes you. You have nothing for the simple reason that the Sandy Hook massacre happened. Grace McDonnell died in it. Her parents live with that every day of their lives. And you just made their agony worse.

Because you’re a fucking monster.

I say that as a parent. And as a human being. I can’t imagine you’re the former. I know you’re not the latter.

With Unrestrained Fury,



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    The sandy Hook shooting was a hoax and so is this story. How convenient it turns out that the alleged thief came forward after this bullshit article.

  • Jeff Kelly

    I agree with this except for the repeating of the industrial insanity of the mental illness system and its generally false pronouncements and labelling languange, reinforced with your phrases culled therefrom, which continue to villify the one representing all those diagnosed with autism with the ridiculous phrases you use(yes, whether you like it or not), to simply “default to the media position generally” in your psychobabble crapola on here, which only adds to the true violence of the entire subject. It is you, Chez, who are the monster adding monstrosity to the discussion. It is you, Chez, who are adding never ending FUEL to the fire of the inherent insanity of the mental illness system, and it is you, Chez, who are adding meaningless discontent to a discussion that ought more to be about the necessity for greater gun control than the villification of people so that Big Pharma, Big Hospital Corporations, and all the ancillary winners in the mental illness system lobby(which destroy human rights daily but that’s also “not up for discussion” because the media won’t put it up for discussion)than simply throwing more insanity around the merry-go-round “where ’round and ’round we go, where we wind up, nobody can know….”

  • SalliBaby SeventyThree

    I’ve 1 thing to say about this hoax –

    • SalliBaby SeventyThree

      and BRAVO SIGN STEALER . . . BRAVO!!!!

  • give me a break

    This dude has wayyyy too much free time. First off if that article had contained any more pathos I was gonna blow my own brains out. I’ve always been taught that the more persuasion and imagery you try to use in an argument, is an attempt to strengthen a weak comment. Every parent loves their kid more than life it’s self. You don’t have to suffocate us with your over dramatic description of your love for your daughter… Second off. There will always be someone doing crazy things. We can’t stop that! What we can do is not parade around like sum self righteous dick who thinks a couple powerful words and a way too long ramble will fix anything. You let them win when you show how much it bothers you. So shut the fuck up already

    • LeShan Jones

      Do us all a favor and follow your own advice to blow your own brains out then.

    • Mickey Bitsko

      There’s something seriously wrong with you.

    • Jeff Kelly

      Amen. Well said.

  • Team Grace

    Great article. It breaks my heart to see all the parents cry in all those interviews. I cant imagine what they were going through. I mean, they just lost their child. Then they are interviewing the next day? Very brave. They couldnt even smile, sobbing tremendously. Grace was my favorite..Im glad they built that park for her. Shes the only important one. I just wish they couldve found the rifle that was used sooner. Couldve saved lives. But who wouldve thought it would be left in the trunk. Oh well. $teamgrace

  • Kevin Barrett

    If you want to protect children, read Nick Bryant’s The Franklin Scandal…or start by feeding “Finders of Lost Children CIA” into a search engine. We are governed by monsters. Face that fact, then get ready to help us change it.

  • Thomas Oriz

    Bravo Chez! I feel like hunting this SOB down and just pound his empty skull, I’m against violence but this ashole apparently is broken and can’t be fixed. Ignorance is dangerous. bad we just can’t put these mother fuckers DOWN!

  • A Mother

    Thank You for writing what many of us were thinking.

  • Gyrosplater

    I’m just waiting for the so called “truthers” to coment in here and call people sheeple, use threats of violence towards the author and have every sentence end in “FUCKING MORON”.

  • belaglik

    This is the first I’ve heard of this. I hope they catch that POS!

  • Lawrence Geller

    I will be forwarding this to all of my friends. Like millions of other people I am not ashamed to say that I wept after the sensesless slaughter at Sandy Hook. I am likewise not ashamed to say that I hope this cowardly monster is shunned by every decent human being.. My friends from around the word still cannot comprehend how the gun nuts of America have highjacked society with their bleatings about their “right” to terrorize the rest of us.My seven year old son recently started school in the U.S. I never thought that I would have to worry that a madman with a gun might take his life with an assault weapon. Thailand where I work may be a “less developed” country than America, and it certainly is not a real democracy…..still the last thing parents have to worry about here is a crazy person with a gun going on a rampage in their children’s school! Wayne La Pierre and the NRA have blood on their hands that will never wash away.

    • Jeff Kelly

      Amen. Well, well said!!

  • Christopher Foxx

    When hearing about a tragedy like Sandy Hook I try to imagine what it must be like for the parents. To imagine what it must be like to imagine what it was like for your child, to imagine her calling out to you because you’re the one who was always there to take care of her and her not understanding why you’re not there this time.

    And even from that two or three times removed perspective I can’t begin to see it. My mind slides off the thought like two repelling magnets refusing to come together. I cannot begin to conceive how it actually is for the McDonnells or any of the other hundreds of people directly affected by this or other all to common similar assaults.

    My mind won’t go there either when I try to conceive of the delusion and hate and utter lack of any compassion or empathy that would lead someone to actually call the McDonnells to inflict them with such bile.

    You’re absolutely right that society wisely condemns the individual actions we fantasize about taking against such a person. But that doesn’t mean we wish it would happen any less.

  • donzaloog

    That was amazing. Great job.

  • P Gustaf

    Well done, sir.

  • HelloKittyKat

    Stunning. Shattering. If it weren’t for the subject matter, I would blather on about how beautifully written this is but due to the fact that a person like this exists on our planet, I can only join you in your anger and astonishment. To the McDonnell’s: Please know you are held in the hearts and minds of MILLIONS of people who continue to grieve with you.

  • chrysanthemum

    It’s truly disturbing how prevalent and insane conspiracy theories have become in the last decade.

  • Amtram

    Amazingly well-written. You’ve said everything that needed to be said.

  • Brookmyre

    Truly awesome piece Chez

  • Sean Jungian

    I have to wonder, if truthers – like these Sandy Hook truthers, or the 9/11 truthers – I have to wonder if the reality is just too awful for them to contend with. This kind of thing, it almost seems to me like an extreme form of denial against something too horrible for them to even contemplate as being real.

    • Sean Richardson

      I think there is an element of that sometimes. I think that people whose self-identity is strongly tied to guns would have reason to be more inclined to believe that this is all fake (and to take away guns) rather than actually examining the culture as a whole with regard to guns.

      But I also think there’s an element of it where these people are so beaten down that they need *something* to point to to make them feel superior. For some people, it’s racism. For some people, it’s religion. And for some people, it’s bizarre conspiracy theories. The more you disagree with them, the better these people feel about themselves being smart.

      • Sean Jungian

        I looked into this a little further after posting yesterday, and, incredibly, my theory that the reality is too awful for truthers to contemplate is actually the argument used by TRUTHERS to explain why people who DO believe the official stories can’t contemplate the conspiracy theories.

        Totally went through the looking-glass. I had to stop researching, it was just too crazy.

  • Kataphractos

    Unfortunately, I personally know an Alex Jones worshiper, just like the chucklehead that stole the sign and mocked the deceased’s parents. He never, ever questions the crap that is spewed by Alex Jones because “He does research!”, and thus could never, ever be wrong. He believes that the contrails produced by jet engines in high altitude flight are actually “chemtrails” and that chlorinated water is a form of mind control. His entire outlook on the world is negative, and getting worse by the month, so much so that I can no longer stand to be in the same room with him, much less talk to him on the phone.

    Whenever I try to interact with him, he ends up lecturing me as if I were a 3 year old because I don’t see shadows around every corner like he does. Whenever I ask him what his solutions would be for the myriad of problems that he whines about, he responds that the solution is to tell everybody about the problem, yet has no solutions. All he wants to do is spew back the garbage he heard on Jones’s show verbatim as if they were his own thoughts. And lately, his voice has changed into that gravelly. scratchy voice that Alex Jones has, and has also put on a whole bunch of weight. I swear, he is starting to transform himself into the spitting image of that tubby Texan conspiracy theorist.

    I suspect that the piece of garbage who had the nerve to mock the girl’s parents to their face is just like my former friend. People like that deserve to be ignored and locked up in a mental hospital before they can do any more damage to the people who are unfortunate enough to have to be around them.

    • Jeff Kelly

      Well, no they do not. That would only add more insanity to the insanity system. What people like the conspiracy mongers deserve is simply to be ignored. What adds fuel to their fire is that too many people BELIEVE them. Fight the good fight THERE. Don’t hate other people, even these trolls. For in so doing, you only BECOME LIKE THEM YOURSELVES.

  • Jim

    As a new father my perspective is constantly being shifted on so many topics. A couple of months ago, this would not have affected me as much as it did.

    Thank you for writing it.

  • Joseph

    My default position on people like this is to find them and hit them with a five iron. This is not eloquent as Chez wrote but it has the advantage of being personally satisfying and reducing the population of ass lice.

  • Mark

    Excellent piece. As a father, I feel your visceral contempt for this beast. Thanks for calling this craven bastard out. Because he is a coward, he will remain invisible. I pray that the psychotic words from his disembodied voice fades from the memories of Lynn and Chris McConnell.

  • muselet

    Thank you for this, Chez.


  • Grizzle

    Each and every one of these conspiracy loons needs to be beaten over the head repeatedly with a piece of heavy shale fracking equipment…

    • Adam S. Riggleman

      If you believe the official story then it would be you who is the conspiracy loon.

  • Lulu Grandiron

    Excellent letter, Chez.

  • Joseph Cavallaro

    Have not read anything else of yours; nor do I know your Political leanings. Doesn’t matter…very well said and written.

  • Lauren


  • kevin o’neill

    This story makes me sick and angry and frustrated and scared. But Mr. Pazienza, you put amazing and thoughtful words to my raw emotions.

  • debhock

    How eloquently written, I can only hope that the pain this person caused is returned. I usually do not wish bad things on “people” but in this case how can you not?

  • Dad

    It is more than what and how you write…..It is how you feel that makes me proud!

    • Chez Pazienza

      I know I’ve done something right for a change when Pop steps in and comments. Thank you, sir. You’re a better influence than some of my usual nonsense may indicate.

  • nolaredhead

    You’re right Chez. This asshole IS a monster. And just like Frankenstein, this asshole has a creator. Alex Jones and his insane website “InfoWars” encourages this kind of cruel behavior towards the SH victims.

    So take a bow Dr, Jonesenstein. Your “creation” has done you proud…

  • Scopedog

    Bravo, Chez. This asshole who did this deserves no sympathy–only scorn (and if possible, a couple of left-rights).

  • Michael

    Excellent piece. I am surrounded in my office with pictures of my daughter at that age and can’t even imagine how I would get past the initial horror, much less the insanity you discuss.

  • Jason E

    This “person” will be caught. This should be handled as a hate crime and should result in federal time. This “person” or “people” are going to brag about what they did to a larger community of “people” who share in their twisted delusions. This should be a national story, we need to shine light on this population of mentally disturbed “people”.

  • disqus_Njs8lVnwOT

    The person who did this is the disease. We must become the cure. Do not feel sorry for a monster like this one, any more than you would feel sorry for the smallpox virus or cancer. Abject fear has so twisted them mentally that they believe that if they don’t have a gun or guns in their possession every second, or that their precious ability to dispense vigilante justice and death for any perceived transgression, large or small is threatened, that they will be the next victim. Instead of acknowledging the problem and saying ‘what must we do to stop the carnage?’, they react like terrified little girls and clutch their guns even tighter and say ‘from my cold dead hand!’ They aren’t deniers because of any potential threat to their constitutional rights. They’re deniers because without their guns they can’t see themselves as Rambo or Jack Bauer anymore. They become vulnerable. The NRA and the conservative media play upon this fear and use it to increase sales. As long as the NRA is a lobby group in Washington, enjoying unlimited funding with which to buy congressmen, the situation can only get worse. The answer is to re-amend the second amendment and clarify it, and abolish the NRA completely. You must CUT OUT the cancer or no healing can ever take place. The first step is to ABOLISH THE NRA!

    • Timmy Soupmanson

      While were at it, let’s re-amend the 1st Amendment and a few others. Fuck you for trying to blame everybody but the shitbag shooter that caused this tradgedy. And fuck you for blaming guns for peoples actions.

      • JozefAL

        In case you’re not aware of this fact, but the First Amendment is NOT completely without limits. For instance, you CANNOT falsely yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Also, you CANNOT perform human sacrifice as a part of your religious freedom (even animal sacrifice must be properly regulated).

        In fact, the Second Amendment contains a definite restriction in that introductory phrase “A well-regulated militia.” Of course, the NRA and the rest of the gun lobby has managed to convince the Supreme Court to corrupt the Second Amendment to go along with the NRA’s viewpoint–even if it does completely turn the “original intent” of the Founding Fathers on its head.

        And you need to face this unpleasant fact: If the “shitbag shooter” (note YOU used the word “shooter”) hadn’t had such easy access to guns–and his mother wasn’t a gun nut herself–would he have had as easy a time in committing all those murders? Guns are intended to do one thing–kill from a distance. (Granted, so are bows and arrows but I’ve yet to see a bow that shoots multiple arrows without manual reloading.) Knives require up-close-and-personal (yes, they can be thrown but their efficacy is greatly reduced without a LOT of practice).

      • Sean Richardson

        I don’t think the shooter is to blame for the fact that there are a bunch of loons who are convinced that the shooting didn’t happen. I mean, not to be entirely glib, but the shooter did about as much as he possibly could to convince them that it did.

      • Jeff Kelly

        And fuck you for absolving guns in such a way. People WITH guns do such damage. DUH!!

    • Christopher Foxx

      They aren’t deniers because of any potential threat to their constitutional rights. They’re deniers because without their guns they can’t see themselves as Rambo or Jack Bauer anymore.


  • GlassHalfFull

    Wow Chez, that was some seriously inspired writing there! Just amazing!

  • bettycracker


  • TimJ

    Thanks for this post, well done.

    If I’m the cops, I’m looking at one of the characters in this video:

    Includes Dan Bidondi.

    • MikeH

      I’m confused. That guy in the blue and tan getup, isn’t he missing something?

      • Victor_the_Crab

        Yeah, his marbles.

      • Joseph

        Well, maybe musket but it could be more. I would guess he has not seen his genitals in 5-6 years.

    • David L.

      So Bidondi is a gun owner. Surprise, surprise. “Honest Gun-‘merican citizuns.” Just great.

  • Ben Cisco

    Well said. That is all.

  • Draxiar

    Chez, you’ve put down in words what I felt but had no actual words for. I salute you.

  • David L.

    Wow. No one could have done this better. Thanks.

  • HilaryB

    Beautifully written. You have an amazing gift, Chez.

  • Vivian Lee

    Wow, this article is nothing but a babbling hysteria piece. Is there a point to all this?

    • Temmere

      If you to have to ask you’ll never understand.

    • JozefAL

      You were the one who stole the sign, weren’t you? Confess.

    • Hagbard Celine

      Only to people with heart.

    • MikeH

      Yes, there is, and you just proved his point..

    • sealiagh

      Yes but as the same kind of monster Chez righteously rages against you would never ever understand

    • Jezzer

      I was wondering when the Alex Jones Brain Tumor Squad was going to hit the comments. Go away, Vivian. Go far away.

      Not just from here, but from society.

    • Lady Willpower

      “Liberals are extremely racist. They are too uneducated to understand that they are racist. Most have such poor educations.”

      I have to assume you say such things with a straight face. That is hilarious.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Well said, Chez.

  • Scott

    What you’ve done[…] fills me with the kind of rage decent society wisely doesn’t condone

    And that just adds to the reasons I hate people like this, and various other monsters in our body politic- because they make me hate too much, to reach down into the dark chasms in my soul where thoughts like “fuck the rule of law, this is a problem best solved by a bullet to the back of the head” live. I don’t like it there, and I have no patience for the humanoid monsters that send me there.

  • Benthedailybanter

    Blimey. Not sure what to say about this one Chez. It’s pretty special.

    • Scopedog

      It certainly is–I have no children myself, but my niece (and goddaughter) is the closest thing I have, and honestly, what this…person…did–well, they deserve no mercy, only shame and derision (and if possible, a few left-rights to the head).

      • MightyMad

        Scopedog, you obviously have a very generous heart to even dignify that heinous human trask as a person.

        Seriously, that little fact made me know without question that you are truly a decent person.

  • D_C_Wilson

    I have nothing to add this article. Bravo, Chez.

  • QuadCityPat

    Other than your book, Dead Star Twilight, this column is the best thing you have written IMO. You love Inara, like I love Bailee and Rowan. Your anger is raw, as is mine. Only a fucking monster abuses the memory of dead children. It made me cry with anger and burn you with fury. Truly brilliant work.”

  • Guest

    Other than your book, Dead Star Twilight, this column is the best thing you have written IMO. You love Inara, like I love Bailee and Rowan. Your anger is raw, as is mine. Only a fucking monster abuses the memory of dead children. It made me cry me cry with anger and burn you with fury. Truly brilliant work.”

    • Jeff Kelly

      Truly reckless work. See above.

  • nothingsmonstered

    I want to start spreading the rumor that Sandy Hook truthers are all on Mike Bloomberg’s payroll. They are making the worst of gun nuts look even worse, and it’s almost impossible to believe that anyone could sincerely be so stupid and mean.

    • That River Gal

      Bloomberg? Really?

      • nothingsmonstered

        It’s a joke, but it’s the only thing I can think to say that might actually prick these numbskulls’ bubbles. They may end up being a boon to gun control advocates – the NRA’s Westboro Baptist Church.

  • That River Gal

    This is by far the greatest thing you have ever written Chez. As a parent, I want you to know that I both wept and cheered while reading it.


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