Jump to content

James Tracy (conspiracy theorist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James Frederick Tracy (born 1965) is an American conspiracy theorist[1] and former professor who has espoused the view that some American mass shootings did not occur and are hoaxes.[2]

Tracy holds a PhD degree, awarded by the University of Iowa[3] in 2002.[4] He was previously a tenured professor of communication[5] at Florida Atlantic University[6] at Boca Raton.[7] He maintains that the Boston Marathon bombing was a false flag operation perpetrated by the United States government,[7] and that the Sandy Hook massacre did not occur[5][8] but was a hoax also perpetrated by the United States government.[9] There is a "Sandy Hook truther" movement founded upon this conspiracy theory.[10][11][12][13]

Tracy demanded that Leonard Pozner, the father of Sandy Hook victim Noah Pozner, provide proof of his son's death.[5][6][9][14] As a result, Florida Atlantic University initiated a procedure to dismiss Tracy, who had tenure, in December 2015.[19] He was dismissed in January 2016, although a statement from his former employer asserted that Tracy was fired for repeatedly neglecting or refusing to file standard paperwork disclosing activities or employment outside his job that might pose conflicts of interest.[16] On April 25, 2016, he filed suit for wrongful termination.[20] On December 12, 2017, Tracy's termination was upheld by a jury.[21]

In 2018, civil rights attorneys for Tracy filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.[22] In November 2020, Tracy lost the appeal,[23] with the Tampa Bay Times reporting, "The opinion said Tracy argued that 'no reasonable juror could have found that his blog speech did not motivate the university to fire him,' but it concluded that he 'cherry-picks' the evidence and that he was fired for insubordination related to not filing reports about his outside activities."[24]

Tracy then appealed to the United States Supreme Court, but in December of 2021 the court declined his appeal without comment.[25]


  1. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (2016-04-26). "Newtown Conspiracy Theorist Sues University That Fired Him". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  2. ^ Williamson, Elizabeth (2022-04-25). "'Crisis Actors'? Where Have I Heard That Before?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  3. ^ "James Tracy". Faculty and Staff. Florida Atlantic University, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, School of Communication and Multimedia Studies. Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  4. ^ James Tracy. "About". Memory Hole. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Scott Timberg (December 18, 2015). "This isn't a free speech case: Professor who calls Sandy Hook killings a hoax deserves to be fired". Salon. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Vishakha Sonawane (December 17, 2015). "Was Sandy Hook Massacre Staged? Florida Atlantic University Sends Termination Notice To Professor Who Claimed 2012 Shooting Was Hoax". Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Scott Travis (April 24, 2013). "James Tracy, Controversial FAU Professor, Says Boston Bombing Is A Government Conspiracy". Sun-Sentinel, via Huffington Post. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Polly Mosendz (December 17, 2015). "FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY TO FIRE PROFESSOR FOR BEING SANDY HOOK TRUTHER". Newsweek. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Ben Collins (December 17, 2015). "This Professor Trolled Sandy Hook Parents—And His University Wants Him Gone". Daily Beast. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Sandy Hook Hero Harassed by Burgeoning Truther Movement". Time. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  11. ^ Aravosis, John (15 January 2013). "Sandy Hook truthers claim the Newtown massacre never happened". Americablog. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  12. ^ Read, Max (15 January 2013). "Behind the 'Sandy Hook Truther' Conspiracy Video That Five Eight Million People Have Watched in One Week". Gawker. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  13. ^ Goodman, Lee-Anne (15 January 2013). "Conspiracy theorists claim Sandy Hook School mass shooting a 'government-sponsored' hoax". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  14. ^ a b Sara Jerde (December 17, 2015). "College Moves To Fire Sandy Hook Truther Who Allegedly Harassed Victim's Family". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  15. ^ Mike McPhate (December 18, 2015). "University In Florida Seeks To Fire Newtown Conspiracy Theorist". New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  16. ^ a b Svrluga, Susan (6 January 2016). "University fires professor who says Sandy Hook was a hoax". Washington Post. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  17. ^ "School seeks to fire prof over Sandy Hook shooting claim". CBS News. December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "Florida Atlantic University issues termination letter to Sandy Hook 'truther', professor James Tracy". News.com.au. December 18, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  19. ^ [15][16][5][6][8][14][17][18]
  20. ^ Blake, Andrew (April 27, 2016). "James Tracy, Sandy Hook 'truther,' sues Florida college for wrongful termination". Washington Times. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Jury rules against fired FAU prof James Tracy in free speech case". 12 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Appeal Filed Challenging Florida Atlantic University's Unconstitutional "Outside Activities" Policy – Florida Civil Rights Coalition, P.L.L.C."
  23. ^ Winston, Hannah (17 November 2020). "Fired FAU professor James Tracy loses appeal over dismissal; called Sandy Hook mass shooting a hoax". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  24. ^ Saunders, Jim (17 November 2020). "Court upholds firing of FAU professor who questioned Sandy Hook". Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  25. ^ News Service of Florida (December 6, 2021). "Fired Florida professor who questioned Sandy Hook denied by Supreme Court". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 16, 2021.

External links[edit]