FACT CHECK: What About Father Bob?, Part 1

Keith Johnson

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A recent YouTube video by Rock Mason, entitled What About Father Bob?, Part 1, suggests that verbal and written statements made by the senior pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church contradict official timelines of autopsies and notifications made to the parents of those slain at the Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES).

Let’s see how the CLAIMS in this video hold up to the FACTS.

CLAIM: In the first video clip, Monsignor Robert Weiss, aka Father Bob, tells ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos, on 12/15/12, that he and police notified parents, in their homes, on Saturday morning. Even though he claims to have spent the night with them at the firehouse, which implies they already knew, before Saturday.

FACT: In the clip, it is George Stephanopoulos who claims that Weiss spent the night at the firehouse:

“I know you spent the night with a lot of the families in that firehouse,” Stephanopoulos said. “How are they doing?”

Monsignor Weiss corrects him:

“We actually went to their homes early this morning to confirm the death of their children and it was just horrible,” replied Monsignor Weiss.

CLAIM: In the second video clip from the annual meeting of Chief Administrators of Catholic Education, in October 2013, Robert Weiss talks about the Friday night mass held on Friday, 12/14/12, which was attended by Governor Malloy and says that after that mass, he and police showed pictures of victims to their parents. He says the victims were already made “presentable” by funeral directors and plastic surgeons. This contradicts official timeline of autopsies. And it contradicts Father Bob’s claim parents were told on Saturday morning.

FACT: Monsignor Weiss never said that “the victims were already made ‘presentable’ by funeral directors and plastic surgeons.”

Compare what Rock Mason claims to what the Monsignor actually said and it is clear that his words have been taken completely out of context.

After that mass I then went with the police to notify the families that their children were in fact lost,”
Monsignor Weiss stated from the podium. “We showed them photographs of the child they have [unintelligible word]… You have to remember some of these children had as many as 13 bullets in them…it was just…ravaged. And we give so much credit to the funeral directors and plastic surgeons of our state who were able to try and make these children presentable to their parents the first time they had to see them. Sometimes we forget about the work those people have to do. They were heroes as well that day.”

When Weiss made this statement in October 2013, he was almost certainly reflecting back on those who were called upon to prepare the SHES children for burial–not photographs–and extending compliments for making those bodies presentable for that first family viewing at the funeral home, which is the “place” Chief Medical Examiner (CME) Wayne Carver was referring to when he stated during a press conference that “there is a time and place for the up close and personal in the grieving process.”

At this point in the video, Rock Mason asks this question: “So, when were the parents actually told, Bob? Friday, after the mass? Or Saturday morning, at their homes?

Well, actually both. Considering that the mass began at 7:30 PM on Friday evening, that leaves 4 ½ hours before the beginning of Saturday morning. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that Monsignor Weiss left the church sometime late Friday night, met with police for briefing and orientation and then began visits sometime around midnight.

Rock Mason apparently assumes that Saturday morning refers to daylight hours. Weiss, however, specifically states that his work began “early this morning,” which means that he could have started precisely at or soon after 12:00 AM.

We now know that death notifications and identifications were made at ALL hours of the day and night on Friday and Saturday, as documented in Book 1 of the Final Report. Want proof? Here are some links to notifications made in the midnight hour of 12/15/2012:

0020 0030 0035 0040 0045 0045 0050

CLAIM: In the third video clip, Wayne Carver gives his timeline of the autopsies. Father Bob’s story contradicts Carver’s and the official story. Father Bob claims the bodies were removed from SHES, on Friday, prior to his leaving the firehouse and returning to St. Rose to plan the 7:30 pm mass, which was attended by Governor Malloy. In the Foreword to the book “Newtown,” by Matthew Lysiak, Weiss wrote on page xiii, “Evil had visited our town. If for only a moment, we saw evil face-to-face as the lifeless bodies of twenty children and six committed educators were removed from a building that had been violated by one senseless action. The community was called together to be present for one another. As I left the firehouse to return to the church and plan a vigil service, I was mobbed by the media.”

FACT: Monsignor Weiss never claimed that the bodies were removed from SHES. He specifically said that they “were removed from a building.” Where did they go from there? The answer is in the very clip Rock Mason provides us. At the 2:09 mark, CME Carver states:

We were here until approximately 12:30 last night. We thank the emergency services who built us a temporary facility in the parking lot. And we took identification photographs and did preliminary identification on all the victims and had everybody transported back to Farmington by about 1 in the morning.

That’s right; this “temporary facility” is where the bodies were taken to after they were removed from the “building.” Those bodies, however, didn’t leave SHES until after midnight, which is probably around the same time Weiss began his visits to the parents.

Keith Johnson

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