Claims of 9/11 conspiracy has suspect running scared

Sonnenfeld Family Photo ©

Paula Sonnenfeld holds twin daughter Scarlett,
and Kurt Sonnenfeld holds Natasha in a photo
taken two weeks ago. The family lives in Buenos
Aires, Argentina.


Claims of 9/11 conspiracy has suspect running scared
Former Denverite says 9/11 work has made him a target

By Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News

May 23, 2007

A former Federal Emergency Management Agency videographer accused of killing his wife in Denver is seeking political asylum in Argentina, claiming the U.S. government wants him silenced for what he saw in the smoldering ruins of the Twin Towers after 9/11.

Kurt Sonnenfeld's efforts to avoid extradition have gained interest from human rights organizations in South America and broad attention from conspiracy theorists on the Internet.

Sonnenfeld, 44, is charged with first-degree murder in the New Year's Day 2002 shooting death of his 36-year-old wife, Nancy, at the couple's home in Congress Park.

The case caused a sensation at the time, with friends describing Nancy as among the city's "beautiful people" and the two as "madly in love."

The charges against Sonnenfeld were dismissed just before trial in June 2002 after a note written by Nancy Sonnenfeld was found that supported Kurt Sonnenfeld's contention that she took her own life.

New charges were filed in 2004, however, after two Denver jail inmates came forward to say Sonnenfeld had confessed to them during his time in custody. By then, Sonnenfeld had remarried and was living in Argentina.

He has been fighting extradition ever since, describing the warrants against him as "a false pretext for other darker motives."

That drew a sharp rebuke Tuesday from Chief Denver District Attorney Michelle Amico.

"I have heard that nonsense from him . . . but then he has nothing to back it up," she said.

An Argentine judge refused to extradite Sonnenfeld in 2005 because of concerns that he could face the death penalty.

The U.S. Department of Justice appealed that decision, assuring the court that no death sentence would be sought, Amico said. The Justice Department has since been notified that the extradition is on hold while an asylum request is pending, a process that could take months or even years.

In a series of recent e-mails to the Rocky Mountain News, Sonnenfeld said Argentina's highest court had rejected the appeal and had sent his case back to the presiding judge for ratification.

Sonnenfeld did not bring up 9/11 when the initial murder case was pending against him or during a lengthy interview with the Rocky on the day he was released from jail.

He also declined to specifically discuss the World Trade Center in a 12-page, single-spaced document he sent to the newspaper in late-night e-mail sessions Sunday and Monday.

"You are asking me to antagonize the very people who, for whatever reason, desperately want me destroyed," Sonnenfeld wrote. "Frankly, I am afraid for the safety of my family. Please don't ask me about what information I have. This is not really the time or the forum."

As always, he maintained his innocence in his wife's death.

"I love Nancy. Nancy's death was tragic, heartbreaking and affected many people. But it is clear to everyone who knows the truth that she committed suicide. It was not a homicide," he wrote.

Sonnenfeld blasted accounts of his alleged jailhouse confession as "absurd." Nancy Sonnenfeld's family, meanwhile, is firmly convinced of his guilt.

A new life

Sonnenfeld now lives in Buenos Aires with his wife, Paula, and twin 18-month-old daughters. He continues to work as a videographer for Argentine media.

He said he and his family were followed, threatened and photographed before and after his arrest in Argentina in 2004 on the new Denver charges.

"This led us to conclude I was being extradited under false pretexts," he wrote.

Although he wouldn't discuss specifics with the Rocky, Sonnenfeld is quoted by the Argentine newspaper el Pais as saying, "I realized that they were after something else: the tapes of Ground Zero in my possession."

Sonnenfeld said he was arrested by Interpol agents on the new Denver charges a week after delivering a demo video of 9/11 footage to a TV producer in Argentina.

"I find that extremely coincidental," he said.

After his arrest, Sonnenfeld spent seven months in Buenos Aires' Devoto prison, which Time magazine once described as the "darkest penal hellhole in all Argentina."

While imprisoned, Sonnenfeld said an unidentified man phoned his wife and said "leave things the way they are and you can still have a life."

Sonnenfeld said he hid copies of his 9/11 videotapes in boxes and furniture he shipped to Argentina when he moved there. But he said the footage he offered to the media was in the public domain.

'Terrible conclusion'

In other interviews with Argentine media, Sonnenfeld is quoted as saying, "What I saw (at 9/11) leads me to the terrible conclusion that there was foreknowledge of what was going to happen - the precautions that were taken to save certain things that the authorities there considered irreplaceable or invaluable.

"For example, certain things were missing that could only have been removed with a truck. Yet after the first plane hit one of the towers, everything in Manhattan collapsed and no one could have gotten near the towers to do that."

Sonnenfeld is quoted as saying documentation was removed from U.S. intelligence agencies in the World Trade Center, including the CIA, prior to the attacks. He did not specify how he could have known that.

Sonnenfeld's allegations have made him a poster child for conspiracy theorists on the Internet, and a number of Web sites use him to bolster their contentions of government involvement in or knowledge about the attacks.

But Jim Chesnutt, fellow -FEMA videographer and a former FEMA spokesman, said he saw no such conspiracy evidence.

"I did not see any damning evidence that would support what he says he saw," said Chesnutt, who was at the World Trade Center with Sonnenfeld after 9/11.

"At the same time, I do respect Kurt's position on that," Chesnutt said. "I didn't see anything that led me to those conclusions, but I don't know what he saw.

"We each had free rein to travel throughout the site with the rescuers. We each had different experiences because of the massiveness of the site. We worked independently, and we rarely traveled together."

'I am innocent'

In the e-mail interview, Sonnenfeld denied that he is seeking political asylum to avoid being brought back for trial.

"I waited for a trial in 2002," he said. "I had the truth on my side, and I knew it would finally come out in the courtroom when the people fabricating the case against me were forced to tell the truth under threat of perjury."

Responded Amico: "I would be more than happy to give him the opportunity to make his case in a district court here in Denver."

"I am innocent," Sonnenfeld wrote to the Rocky. "The police know it; the prosecution knows it. This intense campaign to return me to American soil is a false pretext for other darker motives."

His appeals to Argentine authorities have drawn the interest of human rights groups, including Amnesty International Argentina and the country's Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.

Chesnutt, Sonnenfeld's former FEMA colleague, said he doesn't know what to make of the last few years of Sonnenfeld's life.

"He was a friend of mine. I had great respect for him as a colleague," Chesnutt said. "What happened in the last few years with him, the year leading up to Nancy's death, is a huge question mark in my mind.

"I don't know what happened. And I made no decision about it. I guess now it's largely between Kurt and God about what has gone on."

What conspiracy blogs are saying about Sonnenfeld

• The saga of Kurt Sonnenfeld appears to be but one more detail in the sordid tale that has been the US government's continuing attempts to distort and cover up the massive and growing evidence that the 9/11 attacks were undeniably the work of elements of the US government itself.

• It is also reasonable to suggest that he is (or was on 9/11) an employee of one of the intelligence agencies involved in the perpetration of the attacks.

• Some very strange activity, I think. It's like they're chasing him around the globe, using his wife's suicide (?) as their excuse. What do you suppose they're after?

• Kurt and his partner Jim had a very strange 'MO,' which involved surveilance [sic] ... I am fully convinced that Kurt Sonnenfeld was/is an FBI agent! Mary's [sic] murder is definately [sic] connected to 9/11. I will continue to research this.

• They had NO PROOF because they know he didn't do it, but they were just trying to use what they could to lock him up and keep him quiet.


• As soon as I returned home (to Denver) after the charge was dismissed and I was released from jail, I began to be harassed constantly. Cars often followed me wherever I drove. Men parked in front of my house for hours. I discovered doors to my house unlocked. Even my outdoor security lights were unscrewed.

• (After he married his second wife, Paula) we intended to return to the U.S. But after months of bureaucratic pitfalls foiling our attempts at obtaining a permanent visa for Paula, we decided to stay awhile. Paula did not particularly want to go to the U.S., and I had lost everything there anyway.

• In late July of 2004, Paula and I delivered a short sample video (from ground zero) to the producers of a very popular television show.

Within days, an "unrestricted" arrest order, accompanied by the extradition request, was delivered to Argentine authorities by the United States embassy.

I had no idea that the dismissed case against me had been refiled and the nightmare had been inexplicably revived.

• In March of 2005, after spending seven more months in prison in Argentina, the extradition request was refused and I was again released from prison.

The campaign to intimidate and harass me and my family has increased significantly since then. I have been tortured, falsely accused and imprisoned, not once but two times, bankrupted, my reputation destroyed by their lies.

My wife, my precious babies and I live as virtual prisoners inside our house because we are afraid for our lives.

And it continues even now. or 303-954-5181

Don't know what to make of

Don't know what to make of that, he could just be making it up to get away with murder.

Exactly. And if his story is true,

then keeping the supposed footage secret is the quickest way to getting nabbed and silenced. If he released the footage on YouTube, say, with appropriate commentary if nedded, there would no longer be any reason for his persecutors to run after him specifically. They would probably still be making his life a nuisance, but as things are, they can get hold of him any time and make sure the (again, alleged) secret doesn't become public.

ransom in reverse

Just thinking aloud.

If he is still holding videos with value to the US government, it may be what is keeping him alive. In the movies, people make arrangements with close friends where if they die for unexplained reasons damning evidence versus the perps is released to the public.

If he releases damaging videos on youTube, he may be silenced to keep other insiders in line, not dealing with him could encourage others to come out. Releasing the videos is not a sure way to take away the threath against his life. That will only come when justice is served to the people responsible for 9-11.

I wish Venezuela would offer a safe haven for 9-11 whistleblowers. Venezuela and Iran are the only country I am aware of where the highest authority has publicly said that 9-11 was an inside job.

If he's telling the truth, I hope he finds a way to stay safe and at the same time release the videos if they will reveal more about 9-11.

I just hope AJ doesn’t

I just hope AJ doesn’t jump all over this like he did with agent "Chavez" and the guy who heard conspiratorial "Hebrew" being spoken in a New York graveyard, with "English Ivy" in it and other imaginative mood setting stage props.


amen to that. I sometimes wonder whether Alex Jones' sensationalism is an extension of his enthusiasm for the truth or economic motive.

probably a little bit of

probably a little bit of both. i dont see how he would have profited off of the 2 examples DBLS gave though.

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." ~ William Colby, Former Director, CIA

Of course...

We have no way of knowing whether or not he is legitimate, but this stood out to me...

"What I saw (at 9/11) leads me to the terrible conclusion that there was foreknowledge of what was going to happen - the precautions that were taken to save certain things that the authorities there considered irreplaceable or invaluable.

"For example, certain things were missing that could only have been removed with a truck. Yet after the first plane hit one of the towers, everything in Manhattan collapsed and no one could have gotten near the towers to do that."

The "with a truck" portion stood out to me the most.

I dunno... For some reason I remembered that Firefighter Union that blasted Rudy...

In our view, he wasn't really concerned. The fact is that the Mayor's switch to a scoop-and-dump coincided with the final removal of tens of millions of dollars of gold, silver and other assets of the Bank of Nova Scotia that were buried beneath what was once the towers. Once the money was out, Giuliani sided with the developers that opposed a lengthy recovery effort, and ordered the scoop-and-dump operation so they could proceed with redevelopment.

In the first few days immediately after the disaster, Giuliani had said he was committed to the recovery of those lost "right down to the last brick." We believed him at the time. But, what he proved with his actions is that he really meant the "last gold brick."

Does anyone know if the Gold was returned to its' rightful owners?

That says some of it was.

It's Not The Crime That Kills You, But The Cover-Up

With a Truck

I had the very same thought...

"certain things were missing" ... could allude to many items.

The transmission mast(1728-foot communications antenna) from the top of the south (?) tower. This big structure should necessarily be sitting on top of the rubble, and would be recognisable. Instead it is buried, as seen in this photo, (from this collection).

IIIIn any case, it can safely be assumed ... we have been missing something substantial in the rubble.

Oh damn, I forgot that 911blogger is not a 911 research website (but a 911 activism website), and here I am speculating on causes and effects. Sorry DZ.

"Kurt was my shadow"

You guys may wish to revisit my 'affidavit,' since I pointed out that Kurt and his partner had shadowed me from 1987, through a move to Denver, then LA, and eventually Dallas, although that was just Jim.
Today, I stand staunchly in defense of Mr. Sonnenfeld's position. There is no 'mystery' about his instinct to withold info until now. He had been bankrupted, scammed, and finally awarded $20M, a healthy new start in life. I had presumed he was as hush-hush as his side-kick. As 'certifiably' indistinguishable from a company man. But, he was too distinguishable, and too jovial. This was reflected not just in his wife Mary's eyes, but in the character of joy he brought to the ASMP meetings in Boulder.

Meanwhile, Jim Chestnutt, (Mr. up-tight) was so clearly 'an agent' that most of the people who recognized his presence at these meetings agreed when I said I thought he was a Fed, looking for inside info on the local cocaine-trade. What better place to begin than among 'artists'?

No, making matters worse, Neither Jim nor Kurt seems to have contacted any other photographers other than my (20-something) friends. I only corresponded with them to fulfill my interest in the monthly newsletter.

These guys game was Totally out of character, from day one. They operated as professional "photo assistants." A pair. Perfectly trained. Brooks Institute and then some. University of Minneapolis, or some other unlikely story. If you know commercial photography, that dog don't hunt. But, they were awesome at the role, nonetheless. I believe Len Irish did the best work of his career with their assistance, so did a young woman I was cheering for at the time. (Before she stole a lot of great jobs.) Anyway, they never mentioned having been in NYC, despite following me from Duggal, to every consecutive lab I used, as I pondered their presence. I even found 'Lab Obscura #1," and when I went to pick-up film, there they were. So, Kurt knew, and still knows some of the most revealing facts about 9/11 of anyone.

Thanks for posting the story. Most of it was sourced by 'the Man.'

_ :-)
First they ridicule you, then you look for better ways to be entertained!

And by the way...

Sue, at the Rocky Mountain News, noticed this story at 9/11blogger and I was very proud that she listed us in the later, (weekend edition?) on this story, just yesterday. Every bit of attention we get helps, but I'm afraid the story heading 'above the fold' will soon read: "Another Day, Another First-Responder."

Kurt's as good as dead from spending three weeks atop that pyre of molten metal. And you can bet he sees volumes of nightmarish things, night after night.

I called Amnesty International in Buenos Aires, and I'm working to uncover all the support I can get from suitable criminal lawyers in Colorado. One 'blogger' has e'mailed me so far. Anyone else knowing the inside-dope on Colorado's Top Defense Lawyers, please contact me, or call them to see if they have been following this case..?

Isn't it fun to be a (film, or video) shooter on the run?

First they ridicule you, then you look for better ways to be entertained!