One conspiracy that has begun to circulate revolves around left wing activist David Hogg and mass shooter of the Sandy Hook Massacre Adam Lanza. The theory suggests that the two are in fact the same person. That's a pretty bold claim, so we took a look at the evidence to see if the theory could be true. Here is what we found. Make your own decision.
David Miles Hogg was born April 12th, 2000 in Los Angeles, California. He attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida which would become the scene of a mass shooting on February 14, 2018. Fourteen students and three staff members were killed, and seventeen others were injured by shooter Nikolas Cruz. The shooting lasted six minutes and Cruz was able to escape into the crowd of students who were fleeing the building. He would visit a local Walmart and McDonald's before being apprehended in the nearby neighborhood of Coral Springs without resisting arrest.
The local sheriff's office received several tips in 2016 and 2017 about threats Cruz had made about carrying out a school shooting. Cruz had also posted a YouTube message with a similar threat in September of 2017, but authorities were unable to identify the commenter at the time.
After surviving the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, David Hogg became a vocal supporter and advocate of gun control. He was a founding member of Never Again MSD, a gun control advocacy group led by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) students. Hogg has also lead several high-profile protests, marches, and boycotts, and authored a book titled #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line that made the New York Times bestseller list.
Adam Lanza was the shooter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that occurred on December 14th, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Lanza shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home before driving to the school where he fatally shot 20 children who were between six and seven years old. Six adult staff members were also killed before Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head as first responders arrived at the scene.
On January 21, 2015, the Newtown Legislative Council voted unanimously to demolish the house where Nancy and Adam Lanza lived, choosing to keep the land as open space. In July 2016, a new Sandy Hook Elementary School was unveiled on the same site of the original building where the shooting took place. The school was rebuilt with a state grant of approximately $50 million.
Lanza was 20 years old at the time of the shooting. He had Asperger's syndrome and as a teenager suffered from depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but a report issued by the Office of the Child Advocate concluded that none of the issues caused his murder spree, then seemed to contradict itself later in the report by stating that "his severe and deteriorating internalized mental health problems... combined with an atypical preoccupation with violence... (and) access to deadly weapons... proved a recipe for mass murder".
An autopsy of Adam Lanza on the day of the shooting revealed that Lanza was 6 feet tall and weighed 112 pounds. His weight suggests that he may have suffered from anorexia as a teenager. According to the report issued by the Office of the Child Advocate "anorexia can produce cognitive impairment and it is likely that anorexia combined with an autism spectrum disorder and OCD compounded Lanza's risk for suicide" further noting that Lanza was anorexic to the point of malnutrition and resultant brain damage.
David Hogg is believed to stand about 5'10" tall and has been the subject of memes noting his rather thin and frail frame. Though not as emaciated as Adam Lanza, his frame is notably small and nonathletic. That doesn't mean Hogg is Lanza, especially given the height difference, but poor posture and bone loss due to undernourishment - such as seen in old people - could shrink Lanza down an inch or two to reach Hogg's height. That made us wonder if anorexia could cause height loss - helping the conspiracy theory that David Hogg is Adam Lanza.
In a study of the Effects of Anorexia Nervosa on Final Height it was found that final height was correlated to BMI and weight in anorexia sufferers. Final height was most impaired when the anorexia sufferer was 13 years old or younger when seeking treatment. Those who sought treatment later in development, meaning that the start of their growth spurt was not impaired, had better final outcomes and were better able to have "catch up growth" to come close to attaining their full height. That doesn't help the conspiracy since we would need to see Lanza shrink down from six feet to stand at Hogg's 5'-10".
There is real evidence to show that eating disorders and bone loss are related: a person who has suffered with an eating disorder can develop severe bone loss which leads to osteoporosis, though it is more prevalent in women. The negative result of anorexia will occur regardless of age and is not fully reversible even after a positive weight is attained. Height loss of 3 or more inches is possible as the spinal column collapses. This tends to be a result over time, rather than immediate. So that means if Adam Lanza is alive and well, posing as David Hogg, he would need to hunch down some to appear smaller.
A side by side of their faces does reveal some similarities. Adam Lanza and David Hogg share a similar chin shape, ear height, forehead size, and overall bone structure. With a different hairstyle and maybe a little weight gain to fill in Lanza's face a bit - the above photo is pretty convincing. Even so, when we look at the two boys our first thought isn't "wow, they're the same person". It's a close match but not enough for us to buy into this conspiracy theory.
Also, we can't overcome the timeline of events: Adam Lanza is just too old to be David Hogg. Let's say he didn't commit suicide, which we cant find any proof of, he would have been 26 years old when David Hogg appeared in the public spotlight. No one has come forth to suggest Hogg didn't previously exist. Lanza can't be two people at once, so he would need to replace the real David Hogg. Unless this conspiracy runs really deep and Lanza was cryogenically frozen by the government to reappear years later as someone else, it just doesn't add up.
There is one conspiracy we need to investigate about David Hogg. He looks an awful lot like television host and political commentator Rachel Maddow who is 5'11' tall ...