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Context of 'September 16, 2001: Couple Reported as Killed on 9/11 Flight Turn up Alive'

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A man and his wife who were reported to have died on 9/11 in one of the aircraft that hit the World Trade Center are found to be still alive. (Pompilio 11/2001) Reports stated that on September 11, Jude Larson, 31, and his pregnant wife Natalie, 24, had been en route to the University of California at Los Angeles, where Jude was a student. Some reports said they were on Flight 11, others said Flight 175. (Antone and Altonn 9/12/2001; Vaishnav 9/19/2001) The alleged deaths were first reported in several newspapers in Hawaii, where Jude’s father, Curtis Larson, lives. (Antone and Shapiro 9/13/2001; Lasorsa 12/2003) The Associated Press, which has strict instructions to verify the names of victims independently, reported the deaths on its worldwide wires. The two names were then reported on passenger lists in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and on the websites of CNN and MSNBC. (Vaishnav 9/19/2001) But on this day, Jude Larson—whose real name is in fact Jude Olson—contacts the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and notifies it that he and his wife are still alive. (Kubota 9/18/2001; Lasorsa 12/2003) He is 30, not 31, his wife is not pregnant, and they live in Washington State, not California. His father had told the Maui News about his son and daughter-in-law’s deaths in an interview on September 11, in the hours after the attacks. (Fujimoto 9/18/2001) But Curtis Larson will now say he has been the victim of a hoax. He says someone pretending to be his ex-wife called him on 9/11 to inform him of the deaths. Then someone claiming to be from one of the airlines called him with the same news. (Kubota 9/18/2001) But the American Journalism Review will accuse Larson of having “fabricated almost every detail of his story” about the two deaths. The Associated Press subsequently asks its members to remove the names of Jude and Natalie Larson from its victim list and delete any photographs of them. American newspapers will have corrections columns noting the error. (Pompilio 11/2001)

Following a trip to several Middle Eastern countries, which included meetings with several diplomats and foreign dignitaries, US Representative John Larson (D-CT) warns that “the innocent slaughter of Muslims will create, in essence, what Osama bin Laden was unable to do, a united Islamic jihad against us.” (Collins 8/22/2002)

Conservative radio host Lars Larson says that President Obama intends to make gun ownership illegal. Larson tells his listeners, “I’m worried that when he starts naming people to the court, when that—when that happens, and it’s likely to during his administration, we’re going to end up with justices who think they can break free of the constraints of the Constitution—perhaps on the Second Amendment, one of my favorites.” Larson later reads a letter from a listener stating: “Lars, I’ve always said that if the gun-grabbers come to my front door and demand my guns due to some unconstitutional law being passed by the loony lefties in Washington, DC, I’ll have no choice but to hand them over. However, they will receive all of my ammunition first, all of it, just as fast as I can possibly give it to them.” (Media Matters 4/9/2009)


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