When On-line Conspiracies Flip Lethal: A Custody Battle and a Killing

Christopher Hallett helped Neely Petrie-Blanchard for years to fight for custody of her daughters. She shot him in the head on the evening of November 15 at his home in Ocala, Florida. As blood pooled under Mr. Hallett’s dying body, Mrs. Petrie-Blanchard explained her motive. She was convinced that Mr. Hallett had joined a cabal of government satanists to steal her children.

Mr. Hallett was a self-proclaimed custody expert with no formal legal training whose theories about corruption in the legal system attracted thousands of followers on YouTube and Facebook.

He used so-called calculus equations to prove his legal arguments and said he was helping, according to his supporters, advise President Donald Trump on a new Justice Department.

Some of Mr. Hallett’s supporters said in comments and on regular video calls that pedophiles in the Pentagon are stealing children. Some are attributed to QAnon, who claims a senior whistleblower is debunking the activity. Some said the earth was flat.

Ms. Petrie-Blanchard, now 34, posted photos online wearing a QAnon shirt, claiming her own custody issues were linked to dark government machinations. Once, a person close to her said that Mr. Hallett could be Q – the shadow figure whose online postings form the basis of the QAnon ideology.

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