Billion Dollar Baby

By Regan Jarvis, Features Editor

Photo courtesy of

In one corner of the ring stands notorious conspiracy theorist and radio show host, Alex Jones. His opponents? The bereaved families of the victims of a tragic mass murder. After filing three separate defamation lawsuits and enduring four years of litigation, the families have secured over one billion dollars in judgments against Jones.[1] However, several bankruptcies of shell corporations owned by Jones,[2] as well as an appeal of the damages leave the grieving families wondering how long they will have to wait for justice.[3]

Only days before Christmas of 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza entered a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school and shot and killed 20 children and six adults before committing suicide.[4] As the story of the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School unfolded in the news, it was not long before it was picked up by Infowars, a conspiracy theory website owned by Jones.[5] Infowars and Jones have been heavily criticized for perpetuating dangerous conspiracies, including claims that certain mass shootings were “staged false flag operations,”[6] as well as QAnon conspiracies such as “Pizzagate.”[7]  In fact, Jones’s rhetoric is believed to have partially fueled the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, as he broadcast a video that morning claiming that the insurrection was “the most important call to action on domestic soil since Paul Revere and his ride in 1776.”[8]

In April 2013, four months after the Sandy Hook shooting, Jones claimed that the elementary school massacre was a “government operation” with “inside job written all over it,” on an Infowars’ broadcast.[9] This statement was one of at least a dozen in which Jones and other Infowars contributors made false allegations about incidents surrounding the shooting.[10] For example, in July 2015, Infowars published an article titled, “MEGA MASSIVE COVER UP: RETIRED FBI AGENT INVESTIGATES SANDY HOOK.”[11] Additionally, on April 22, 2017, Jones broadcast a video titled “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed” in which he claimed the parents of Sandy Hook victims were paid actors and accused them of fraud.[12]

As a result of the misinformation spread by Jones and Infowars, family members of the victims began receiving death threats from angry fans of Infowars.[13] In 2017, 57-year-old Lucy Richards, an Infowars listener, was sentenced to five months in prison after sending threatening messages to Lenny Pozner, the father of a six-year-old Sandy Hook victim.[14] Other victims’ family members endured years of threats and harassment because of the defamatory content broadcasted on Infowars as well.[15]

On April 16, 2018, three parents of Sandy Hook victims filed suit against Defendants Jones, Infowars, and Free Speech Systems, LLC, in Travis County, Texas claiming defamation per se and conspiracy.[16] Free Speech Systems, LLC is the parent company of Infowars.[17] Subsequently, another 13 family members of Sandy Hook victims, in addition to an FBI agent, filed a second lawsuit against Jones in Connecticut on May 23, 2018.[18] Finally, another Sandy Hook parent filed a third lawsuit against Jones in Texas state court.[19]

Amid the storm of lawsuits, Jones continuously failed to comply with court orders, resulting in two separate default judgments, one in Connecticut and one in Texas.[20] In response to the findings of liability, five of Jones’s shell corporations filed for bankruptcy in Texas and one other entity filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut.[21] Jones’s Texas bankruptcy case was dismissed in April 2022, after Sandy Hook parents intervened with claims that the bankruptcies were a stalling tactic.[22] After the dismissal of Jones’s Texas bankruptcy case, he faced a two-week trial to determine damages ending in a $49.3 million jury award.[23]

Jones eventually agreed to stand trial in Connecticut as well, despite the second outstanding bankruptcy case.[24] In October 2022, a jury awarded Sandy Hook families a shocking $965 million award.[25] Although Jones’s various business ventures were raking in over $50 million per year,[26] few believe that he has assets to satisfy the defamation judgments.[27] However, he has yet to file for individual bankruptcy.[28]

Even more recently, on November 10, 2022, Jones was ordered to pay another $473 million, bringing the grand total to $1.44 billion in compensatory and punitive damages.[29] As the 10th anniversary approaches, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School remains one of the deadliest school shootings in United States history.[30] However, with predictions of appeals by Jones, it seems that the victims’ families are still far from peace. 










[10] Id.


[12] Id.  

[13] Id.





[18] Id.

[19] Id.

[20] Id.

[21] Id.


[23] Id.

[24] Id.







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