Sandy Hook and Social Security Death Index

One of the lies the hoaxers like to tell is that the victims didn’t appear in the Social Security Death Index or Death Master File (DMF).  This particular lie appears to have started in a Chemtrails article by Livingonplanetz.  Mr. Planetz claims “Manual search of the Social Security Death master file lists reveals no deaths and no victims in the alleged Sandy Hook murders.”  Planetz goes on to claim that death records available in on-line searchable ancestry databases were compromised and the victim’s death records were nefariously inserted. “It was this variability that led us to perform a search of the unaltered, original archived version of the MASTER file.”

Remember those adjectives.  Unaltered.  Original.

He goes on to claim that “In this document, you will see the results of a painstakingly thorough search of the ORIGINAL Social Security Death Master File.”  Original.

We find a link to a PDF file at the top of the article which, at 107 pages, is the apparent result of the painstakingly thorough search.  And at the bottom of the article, you’ll find he lists two resources:



That’s right, as any good scholar would, he lists his sources.  Since the 107 page PDF document only contains those entries in the DMF of people with names similar to the Sandy Hook victims, and some editorial comment, we know the PDF file isn’t the original, unaltered, DMF.  The two sources Livingon lists must be the original, unaltered, social security death master files, right?

No.  Livingon’s sources are the exact same 107 page PDF file duplicated in two separate files on  Think about that.  He’s worse than a lazy 7th grader who makes up sources.  Both are counting on the fact that fact that the reader will never bother to verify the source, but at least the lazy 7th grader has to make something up that sounds like a source.

Nowhere in Livingon’s article is there a source to the original DMF, just his claim that PDF document is the result of a thorough search of the DMF.  And dozens of sites reblogged it.  And nowhere on any of these websites can I find a link to the original archived version of the DMF file.  I can only find links to the 107 page PDF file.

Let’s take a closer look at this document.  Remember, the hoaxers claim that this document was created after an exhaustive search of the original, unaltered DMF.


page one ssmf

In a brief introduction, the author tells us the “originating website uses a purchased copy” of the Social Security Death Master File.  Nowhere in this document can you find a reference to what that originating website is.  However, on page 107, the author tells us that the 106 pages of “previous results” are from the “intact Master File.”

He also invites you to look for yourself.  But since he gives you no source, the only place he’s suggesting you look is in his very own document.

So let’s take a look at the document and those so-called intact results from the master file:

details ssmf

Now think.  For yourself.   Does this look like it came from an intact, unaltered, original copy of Social Security Administration’s death master file?   Now, I didn’t know exactly what the DMF should look like, so I checked with the US Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service (NTIS, the people who make the DMF download available).  According to NTIS, the DMF “includes the following information on each decedent, if the data are available to the SSA: social security number, name, date of birth, and date of death.”

Did you get that?  Social Security number.  Name.  Date of Birth.  Date of Death.

Now look closer at the purported unaltered DMF results.  We are getting birth information, census information, marriage and childbirth information.  In those first 6 listings on page 1, there is not one iota of death information.  And the hoaxers want you to believe this document was produced after an exhaustive review of the original, unaltered, death master file.

Scanning through the records, you’ll even see multiple entries for a single person who had more than one child. But again, no death information, at least not on these line items.

dupes ssmf

Do you notice anything else that seems amiss?  Those underlined blue words are hyperlinks.  You know, a link on a website or document that takes you to another website or document.  Yeah, the original, unaltered, Social Security Death Master File would not contain hyperlinks.

So what is the source of the information in this PDF file? The answer is a relatively unknown site called   SortedByName, as described by the site creator is “A collection of links to genealogy details mentioned on other websites.” That’s why we see the birth, marriage and census information.  That’s why we have the source hyperlink.  The administrator of this database is aggregating data from multiple sources, including but not limited to the DMF.  

Go ahead and visit Search it yourself and check out your results.  You’ll see they look exactly like those in the PDF file that claims to be the unaltered, original DMF. And if you search this site for the Sandy Hook victims today, you will find them there.

Now, when you search SortedByName for the Sandy Hook victims, the source attributed to the data item will be, because this is how the administrator sources the DMF.  Not to be disparaging, but the site is a little clumsy to use.  If you follow the source link and then look for the link to download the Death Master File, you’ll eventually get to this page the site creator gives links to DMF files dated November 30, 2011.

He also links to a second site, for the more recent May 2013 edition.

The full downloads from 2011 and 2013 are sets of three very large files.  CancelTheseFunerals even has the a links to the monthly updates issued in 2013, including the January 2013 Monthly Update which includes all of the Sandy Hook victims. These, my friends, are the original, unaltered, intact Social Security Death Master files, containing exactly what NTIS said they’d contain: social security number, name, date of birth, and date of death.  How about that?

Sites like SortedByName and other genealogy sites, all use the DMF to keep their records updated.  It’s not known why the Sandy Hook victims weren’t listed on SortedByName at the time the PDF file was produced.  Had the site simply not loaded the most recent updates?  Maybe.  My guess is there was an upload problem which was not immediately detected.  SortedByName warns, “We have found that three of the entries contain stray quotation marks, which can cause problems when they are interpreted by your program as field delimiters.”  As other data geeks know, an extra quotation mark in a quote delimited file would throw off a whole data import.

Interestingly,  at the time the 107 page PDF file was created, the author verifies that other genealogy sites did contain information on the victims.  If you go to page 107, the author actually provides screen shots verifying that he was able to find death records for the victims on another website.  Again, he doesn’t identify the website, but I believe it’s, and here’s his screen shot:altered ssdi

The author claims the results on this database are altered:  “In light of the previous results from the intact Master File, however, the following are now known to be fake.”

Remember, those previous results included census data, marriage records, child birth information, and sometime death information.  By no stretch of the imagination are the records pulled into this PDF file the results of analysis of the “intact Master File.”  If you fell for this, the hoaxers got you again.

Now, by no means am I the first person who has figured this out.  And I hope not to be the last.  Check out these links of other brave souls who have tried to explain this topic to the cognitively challenged:

And for those who prefer video:  Sandy Hook Victims not in Social Security Death Index Debunked

And finally, an interesting little exchange between FOTM and a reader named Amanda, who has access to the DMF using Microsoft’s SQL Server Management Software (SMSS), I’m presuming through her work.  What I find interesting is that FOTM demands proof that the data is really from the DMF.  It’s too bad they don’t apply that same standard to all evidence they review.




About spicemomma

I’m the 40-something mother of three red-headed boys.
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