A photo being circulated shows what is claimed to be a “mistake” showing the photo Sandy Hook school shooting victim as one of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.
We are calling this one a hoax.
First, however, let’s take a look at a caption being used with this claim:
Whoa! Government is slipping up! This lady supposedly died in the elementary school shooting & apparently died again in the bombing at Boston. They have to be smarter than this, right?
Other variants have not stated that the woman pictured in the second photo died, but the caption above had nearly 50,000 shares within 24 hours after the bombing.
Who is in the photos?
Both photos are of Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary who was killed in that shooting. These photos were obviously taken at the same time, though the photo on the right has been skewed. Notice the picture frame – and the small name plate on the frame – in relation to the woman’s head.
Below we have produced an overlay of the image being circulated with the original photo of Dawn Hochsprung. We were able to skew the image to match the one on the right.
And here is the original, unaltered photo being used on the right (source):
The news caption reads, “Donna was a few blocks away when bombs exploded.” Thus, even the news caption does not state that the woman in the picture was killed, as some versions of the shared photo claims.
Also note that the two news captions have the same font, and similar borders (the blue caption has lines at the top and bottom, while the red caption has a similar line at the bottom). The news sources are also not identified. This has led some to believe it was merely faked. Were it to show CNN or FoxNews, for example, this erroneous news report would be easy to verify. It is possible that the right-hand picture has the word “FOX” in blue, though this is not the logo used by the national FoxNews channel.
A runner named Donna Bruce from Madison was interviewed by several news outlets that day, and it has been suggested that the photo on the right may include a caption during one of these interviews, and that perhaps photos of the Sandy Hook principal were shown for some reason during the interview. We have yet to verify this, however.
Another theory claims that the current Sandy Hook principal, Donna Page may have been interviewed after the explosion, while an image of her predecessor was shown. Again, we haven’t found any corroborating source for this.
No “Donna” Victims
There were three people killed in the explosion, none of them named Donna.
So far the only evidence of this “mistake” is the sole photo being circulated. Corroborating screen shots or videos have not been produced.
Both photos are of the same woman, but there is no evidence such a news report occurred. Further, no one named Donna was killed at the Boston Marathon, as some versions of the hoax claim.
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Article updated April 18, 2013