James Foley's Sister Was Probably Not a Crisis Actor​

America's huddled masses made an interesting discovery: The sister of brutally and publicly murdered photojournalist James Foley, Katie Foley, bears some resemblance to a former classmate of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza. Could the Secret Summer Stock really have used the same crisis actor twice? (Probably not.)

"We're either staring at the same person or a twin. I am just—wow," YouTube Truth-seeker Crusaders2127 told his viewers. "Shoulder: Same. Cheeks: Same. Damn near the same sized mouth."

What's happening here is a sort of compounding madness.

In the frantic aftermath and muddled initial reporting of the Sandy Hook shooting (and subsequently many of America's other senseless murder sprees), a weird, toxic idea emerged that the shooting was, in fact, a staged incident designed to stigmatize gun owners and legitimize legislation restricting gun ownership. An early influential proponent of this idea was a professor at Florida Atlantic University's Communication and Multimedia department named James Tracy.

Much of this idea's persistence and longevity can be ascribed to the fact that "crisis actors" do actually exist; firefighters, local law enforcement, the coast guard, and others actually do employ them in disaster preparedness drills. In 2012, in the best and most hilarious example, HALO corporation (a real company founded by real former U.S. Special Ops and Intelligence personnel) staged a zombie apocalypse at their annual counter-terrorism summit in San Diego. Former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden was there. Halo partnered with a company called Strategic Operations Inc. for the event, a company that "specializes in hyper-realistic tactical and combat trauma training that make use of various special effects and actors performing as role players," according to Gannett's Defense News.

For more than enough people, maybe too many, the very existence of this weird cottage industry is/was enough of a smoking gun unto itself. It quickly became the evidentiary basis for a perversely thrilling home game that anyone with internet access could play: Find two physically similar witnesses to two separate politically charged tragedies and propose that they are the same "crisis actor."

Below are the actual videos of the media interviews with Katie Foley and Lanza's acquaintance Alex Israel. As will become very obvious over the course of viewing these, neither their physical features, voices, nor mannerisms really seem all that similar once you seem them in action:

Part of the confusion here stems from comparing two reasonably alike faces while they both do the "Stan Laurel" grimace, a facial expression that can make a lot of people, crisis actors, and normal actors, look alike.

Good looking out though. We will catch them one day.

[screencaptures, h/t via r/conspiracy]

To contact the author, email matthew.phelan@gawker.com, pgp public key.