In the dark and shadowy world of Internet bloggers and conspiracy theorists, Norwalk's Christopher Rodia is a mystery man connected to last month's school shooting in Newtown. But police say that's just not true.
Still, that hasn't stopped the postings and hasn't stopped Rodia from receiving death threats.
Sites like USAHitman, "a conspiracy and alternative news site," say the black Honda confiscated at the scene of the Dec. 14 mass murders belonged to Rodia, based on a policeman's call to dispatch on an audiotape posted by Radioman911TV.
On the tape, Rodia's name can be heard shortly after a police officer calls in the license plate, 872-YEO, as the "possible suspect vehicle."
But while Rodia admits to run-ins with the law, including several pending larceny, forgery and narcotics cases, he said he wasn't anywhere near the school on the day of the shootings that left 26 dead, including 20 first-graders.
"That was such a heinous crime, I don't want to be connected to it in any way," Rodia, 43, said.
He said he was miles away in Greenwich, getting a warning for illegally parking in a fire zone.
"I was with my niece driving my mother's sage green Nissan," Rodia said.
Greenwich Detective Vincent O'Banner remembers pulling Rodia over in that city around the time of the Newtown shootings. "I do remember that," he said. "I gave him a verbal warning."
"We aren't looking for anybody else -- for any other person," Vance said, adding he has never heard of Rodia.
The car confiscated at the scene, the black Honda with that license plate, belongs to a relative of Lanza's and not to Rodia, Vance said. But that's hasn't eased Rodia's fears, the result of numerous death threats he has received due to the Internet postings.
"A guy in one of the calls starts swearing at me, then says he'll kill me and burn down my house while I'm sleeping," he said.
"I'm a big boy and can take care of myself," he said, but added his 72-year-old mother, Diane, is afraid to have her young grandchildren come to visit because of the threats.
"We shouldn't have to be worrying about this," his mother said.
Norwalk police have been called, Rodia said.
"We were there on Dec. 27 about a posting on YouTube," Norwalk Police Lt. Praveen John said. A complaint was filed, but it didn't include concerns about any threats, he said, adding that particular post has been taken down.
Other postings, including those by USAHitman, and others like Godlike Productions, a site for conspiracy theorists as well as those interested in UFOs and the lunatic fringe, remain on the Internet.
The headline on one USAHitman posting reads: "Adam Lanza's car registered to Christopher Rodia: The conspiracy begins."
That site is run by Jim, a New Jersey resident who declined to give his last name. He calls himself a blogger and said posting stories like the one about Rodia is his "hobby."
He said he didn't verify the information he reposts from other sites to see if it's accurate.
"I have a full-time job and don't have time to research the stories," he said. "I like to post things I find interesting. I update the stories when more stuff comes out."
"That's the problem," Norwalk police Lt. John said. "Some things are posted, but not verified."
However, "Spitfire list," a website of blogs by anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory, has updated its information concerning Rodia, saying he "appears to be innocent and only coincidentally caught up in this event" and not driving the "possible suspect vehicle" mentioned on the tape.
"This is a reminder of why we must maintain the stance of really believing these individuals that get swept up in the post-tragedy aftermath are innocent until proven guilty, especially early on when minimal info is available," according to a posting on that site. "The guy (Rodia) didn't deserve this so if you meet him, buy him a beer (assuming you're 21+)."
As for Rodia's pending criminal cases, he said they're related to a problem he had with pain killers, the result of taking medication for an injury he sustained about a year ago.
He said he's been in drug counseling and has been "clean since July."