Jury Orders Alex Jones to Pay Sandy Hook Families Nearly $1 Billion

The conspiracy theorist profited off of his defamatory statements.

Briana Sanchez/Pool/Zuma

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Alex Jones and Free Speech Systems, InfoWars’ parent company, have been found liable for Jones’ Sandy Hook lies—to the tune of nearly $1 billion.

The conspiracy theorist had spent years claiming that the deadliest elementary school shooting in US history was a “giant hoax” and accusing victims’ family members of being “crisis actors.” (As I’ve reported previously, Jones eventually recanted, referring to his behavior as a “form of psychosis.”)

After a 17-day trial in which grieving families of eight Sandy Hook victims shared stories of enduring relentless harassment, including death and rape threats, from Jones’ legions of fans, a jury ordered Jones and Free Speech Systems to pay those families—and FBI agent William Aldenberg, whom Jones also targeted—$965 million.

Many people familiar with the case were surprised by the size of the damages. Several of Jones’ companies have filed for bankruptcy, but victims say the moves were an attempt to keep Jones from having to pay. It’s unclear how much money he actually has or what the judgment will mean for InfoWars.

Despite the huge financial hit, Jones doesn’t appear inclined to stop his efforts to make money off of the tragedy and the legal proceedings—nor does he seem to feel any remorse. In a live-reaction video to the judgment announcement, Jones referred to the proceedings as a “show trial” and insisted that he didn’t know the victims.

“I don’t have any money,” he said, “so it’s all a big joke.”

I’m sure the victims’ families would disagree.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate