For Real: Exploiting Sandy Hook Victims for Profit

In the wake of the Newstown, Connecticut tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, as with most tragic events, opportunists begin to crawl out of the woodwork almost immediately. One example is Facebook page designed to look like memorial pages.

Facebook pages that spring up shortly after major news breaks should be considered suspicious at best. Just because it’s on Facebook and has thousands of followers, does not make it legitimate.

Why would people do something like this? Profit! Plain and simple, profit.

Since hearing of the tragedy, my heart has been so heavy. I’ve experienced every range of emotion – I’ve cried, prayed, cursed, questioned God, cried some more. I tried to sleep, but it was as though I could hear the cries of mothers as a very large part of their soul was being torn from them, when they were told their child would not be coming home.

I’ve wanted to do something – anything – to help those babies and their families. I didn’t know what I could possibly do, from Podunk Indiana – then I saw the fake pages and knew there was something I could do about that.

If there’s one thing I do know – it’s the Internet! I rolled up my sleeves and got busy!

The short version of what happens…

Facebook pages have sprung up for each victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. This is an example of the fake page created in the name of Emilie Parker – at the time of this writing, it is 11:40 PM, Saturday. This page shows it was created 6 hours ago. Moments after the names of all the victims were released.

emilie parker fake facebook page

When the father, Robbie Parker issued his statement to the media, he mentioned the Emilie Parker Fund Facebook page – obviously that is the one the family has authorized and the one I trust.

This is what the Emilie Parker Fund page looks like and the link that takes you directly to that page is just below. The person in charge of this page has shared some adorable pictures of Emilie and her family.  Pay them a visit, leave them a note and donate to the memorial fund if your heart guides you to do so.

emilie parker fund page

Emilie Parker Memorial Fund Facebook Page (Link)

As you happen across pages that are obviously fake, especially in this case, when it’s tiny children that are being exploited – don’t hesitate to report them.

How to report the fake page to Facebook:

In the upper right portion of the page, just under the header picture – you’ll click on the dropdown menu labeled MESSAGE as shown here:

report fake facebook pages

Click on Report Page – to display an option as shown here:

report fake facebook pages - 2

You can choose the option that is most fitting to the report. Click Continue and that’s it.

There may not be a lot we can do – but we can do our best to keep opportunistic asshats from profiting off such tremendous loss.

Do me a favor!

As you make your way around Facebook and find pages or groups that appear to be for Sandy Hook victims or their families, drop a comment below with the link. I intend to keep an updated page with links to the legitimate pages – should people want to visit and get to know the victims and the lives that should have been.

Leave your comments with the fake pages too! Maybe if enough of us report them, they’ll come down quicker.



About Gayla

9 Responses to “For Real: Exploiting Sandy Hook Victims for Profit”

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  1. Léa Bo Béa says:

    My opinion may offend you, but if my child was potentially shot dead, locked down in a building— asking for money and having her images plastered on facebook would NOT be the first thing on my agenda nor would I allow a family friend to orchestrate it. Nonetheless, hardly a full day later, the father of the murdered child capitalized on the attention received from the facebook page and advertised his 'donation fund' during a speech on the news. What is this 'fund' for? "The funds will go to support Robbie and Alissa, in taking time off work to be with family, any medical expenses, in flying to Utah to arrange and plan a funeral." A fund for them. Not for ALL of the victims and their families. This fb page is hardly a memorial for her, it's a page to collect donations. I weep for the child, and her exploitative parents. There is NOTHING sacred, not even your own child's death in cold blood. I hope others have more respect for their murdered sons and daughters in keeping their mourning decent and meaningful- and NOT ABOUT MONEY and the media circus.

    • If your child was shot dead you would be worrying about how you were going to cover a funeral 10k people are going to want to attend, have her body transported out of state, pay for plane fare for your remaining family of 4, hotel, rental car and accommodation for family in Utah etc. Or if you are Lucky you will have a family friend who can handle all of this for you while grieve. This may be a upscale area but our country is struggling out of a recession. And very few people have $25k laying around they can get to within 2 days.

      • Tina says:

        Kym, exactly! I think some of these people have never had to bury ANYONE or plan a funeral themselves or they would know that even though you don’t want to think of it. YOU HAVE TO because again until you come up with the money, your loved one sits in a morgue. sorry but I would beg borrow and steal rather than have my baby sit in the morgue.

    • Thomas Yacko says:

      Yea i think the day after my child was shot, i would be best thinking how i could help the children who lived through it. Emily had two younger siblings. Now if you think the best thing for those two children is for there parents to go right back to work then it shows your level of education. I believe that these parents have the right to stay home for months and mourn the death of there child. Whats more important allowing the parents time to morne with there children, or sending your money to a charity to provide food and build a memorial.

  2. Tina Johnson says:

    You know what, asking for money may not be the first thing you think of but have you ever planned a funeral? you HAVE to think about it and even a simple short viewing and a cremation is 8000 dollars. For most people they have life insurance but WTF has life insurance on a CHILD? without it, parents have to come out of pocket and some may not have this kind of money so what happens to that child? they sit in the morgue until someone can pay for it. I would want my child laid to rest and if that meant asking for financial help from people then so be it.

    • Léa Bo Béa says:

      What are all of the other victims' parents going to do? They aren't asking for money. What about people who have to bury their children from shootings in my city of Chicago? It happens every day. They are on welfare and food stamps. The media kept harping on how this school is located in an 'upper echelon' CT area. If it had been a collective fund for ALL of the victims, that would be very different. This fund is only for this little girl's family. She is now at the center of all of the media during the aftermath. I even saw an image today circulating that has her very large picture in the center, and all of the other victims tiny images as a border around her image. Are they less important because their parents or families didn't go to the press? I think this is highly exploitative and in bad taste- in my opinion.

  3. Gayla says:

    There is a central page set up for all of Sandy Hook victims. Granted, it may seem odd to have a page set up so soon – but I have seen people who have lost loved ones go into a shock state of sorts. That shock state of mind gets them through the earliest stages – allowing them to tend to what needs to be done. Once the funeral is over and things quiet down, that’s when the reality hits.

    I raised my kids as a single mom – I always said I had to remain in control and not panic, until someone responsible enough to help handle the situation was with me – then I would break. It happened twice. When I look back, I don’t know where the strength came from, it just did.

    We can never know what the situation is and the people closest to them may have an understanding of their financial situation better – I’d like to think those people saw the need to ask for help. No one ever thinks about having insurance on a healthy 6-year-old, to help cover expenses like these.

    Just recently someone I know lost his wife suddenly. She was a healthy, late-30s female and while hanging curtains, she fell dead of a stroke. They didn’t have the money to cover a funeral and burial so she didn’t get a proper burial for several weeks.

    Hopefully the page set up for Emilie is not one of profit, but one to help take care of necessary expenses. I can only hope, when all is said and done, that whatever funds remain might be donated to another family in need or to a charity in honor of Emilie.

    In the end, the donation page mentioned by the father was set up by someone who KNEW Emilie – not some random asshat looks to profit off such an incredible loss. At least some love went into it.

  4. I think there might be a fake one for victoria leigh soto making the rounds. I'm not sure if it is or not but it just looks a little fishy (to me anyway). They are asking for donations… If it's real then of course I feel really bad and would to help too, but something about it seems like it might not be. Here's a link…

    also, I really think this one, for ana, is actually real but it would be nice to know for sure.

  5. Dean Johnson says:

    This kind of shit is disgusting. Lea is right on the mark.

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