Get Rich or Lie Trying: The Life of Wolfgang Halbig

Blade

Get Rich or Lie Trying – Part 7 (Principal Halbig and the Fake Bomb Detectors)

Part 7: Principal Halbig and the Fake Bomb Detectors (1989-1996) Family Business When Wolfgang Halbig began his tenure as Assistant Principal at Lyman High School, it marked the end of his coaching career. On his resume, he notes that he was the school’s “Administrator responsible for discipline, drop-out prevention, in-school suspension, Physical Education, Life Management, Drivers Education, school security and School Resource Officers Program.” Meanwhile, shortly after Wolfgang left coaching, the Halbigs appear to have started a new business: “Executive Sports Marketing.” Kathy and Wolfgang start a business in or around November 1989 – Orlando Sentinel Nov 2 I’m actually not sure exactly what this was supposed to be; there were several business with similar names that were active around this time, and it’s not clear if any of them were the same one that Wolfgang and Kathleen started. Anyway, it doesn’t look like it lasted very long. It’s...

Get Rich or Lie Trying – Part 6 (The Sebring High Conspiracy)

Part 6: The Sebring High Conspiracy (1983-1989)   The Blue Streaks OK spoiler, first thing: Wolfgang’s coaching tenure at Sebring High is not as brief, nor as disastrous as his first head-coach gig was, back with the Lake Weir Hurricanes (see Part 4). But it is… I dunno, just… weirder. Things start to get weird. And he whines a lot. For starters, just as Wolfgang is rolling into town, back to his old high-school stomping grounds of Highland County, he gives one of his trademark sports-pages interviews to the Tampa Tribune. We get the usual Wolfgang Halbig origin story, conveyed in on a phone interview he had with reporter Frank Ruiz; he writes that Wolfgang says he emigrated at age 13 (so only off by one year, this time). But that’s just the start of the discrepancies. It simply doesn’t sound like Wolfgang was honest in his conversation with this reporter. Almost every detail about his life is off. “Halbig had to turn down a scholarship to the University of Florida because of...

Get Rich or Lie Trying – Part 5 (Student Driver)

Part 5: Student Driver (1979-1983) Family Man When Wolfgang fled Lake Weir, to return to the football program at Vanguard High School, he was surely disappointed that this also meant stepping back down to assistant coach. But it would be a chance to restore his reputation. And there had been better news for 32-year-old Wolfgang, in his personal life. Marriage records show that on April 14, 1979, he married 22-year-old Kathleen Audrey Crace. Wolfgang and Kathleen are wed by a Presbyterian pastor in Ocala, April 1979 Kathy was the daughter of a doctor in the Ocala area, according to Wolfgang’s 2012 deposition. It was her 2nd marriage; the last one ended in divorce on January 6, 1978. That would have been right around the time when Halbig was originally working at Vanguard, before any of the Hurricanes unpleasantness. (Eventually she would work in education, like Wolfgang, but I don’t know if she was already doing that in 1979. She was probably still in college.) Their marriage took p...

Get Rich or Lie Trying – Part 4 (Coach Wolfgang)

Part 4: Coach Wolfgang (1977-1979) A Hero’s Welcome Wolfgang Halbig left Lake Weir High School for the 1977-1978 school year, and took a job at Vanguard High School, across town in Ocala. It was another assistant-coach role, but he must have felt he’d have better chances of reaching head coach at the new school. That was what he wanted. His fortunes changed when the head football coach and athletic director back at Lake Weir, Tom Perrin, announced he was retiring at the end of the year. In a March 15, 1978 article from the Ocala Star-Banner, the principal of Lake Weir High, Clyde Folsom, laid out his plans to replace Perrin. He said the basketball team’s head coach, Bobby Hall, would take over as the school’s athletic director. And returning to Lake Weir, now as the new head coach of the football team, would be none other than Wolfgang Halbig. “Coach Halbig Returning to Lake Weir High School” – Ocala Star Banner, Mar 15 1983 In statements to the press,...

Get Rich or Lie Trying – Part 3 (Police Quest)

Part 3: Police Quest (1974-1976) Wolfgang Halbig signed up to be Florida State Trooper sometime around the end of 1973. He explained his inspiration for this career change in a 2014 interview with Dave Gahary: I grew up in a little town called Avon Park, Florida. I had so many great role models: coaches, teachers, even a Florida State Trooper that really touched my heart, especially when my mother almost died in a motor vehicle accident. And so, guess what? I became a Florida state trooper, because he made a difference in my life. Whether or not this is really the reason for his decision, his mother Gertrude was indeed involved in a serious car accident six years before he joined the force, on December 29th 1968—one that resulted in the death of the other driver. A story in the Tampa Tribune documents Wolfgang’s mother surviving a serious auto accident Wolfgang was 22 at the time, and was still stationed at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. Maybe he was in town for the holidays,...

Get Rich or Lie Trying – Part 2 (Gridiron Daze)

Part 2: Gridiron Daze (1970-1974)   Wolfgang’s First Grudge (Sophomore Year: 1970-1971) While Wolfgang Halbig officially exited the armed services in the summer of 1970, he continued working at Dyess Air Force Base for awhile, as a lifeguard and swimming instructor for the Officer’s Club. The Florida State University scholarship he’d been offered prior to his surprise enlistment wasn’t on the table anymore, but that was okay. He wasn’t looking to move back home, Abilene suited him just fine. His first choice for a place to relaunch his college football career was McMurry College, on the south end of town. He visited the campus in February 1970, ahead of his discharge in the summer, and spoke to Buddy Fornes, the head football coach there, inquiring about a scholarship. Fornes told him to come to their spring tryout camp. Wolfgang believed his record was proof enough that he deserved a scholarship. He was offended, actually. So he inquired at his second choice, and McMurr...

Get Rich or Lie Trying – Part 1 (The Early Years)

Part 1: The Early Years (1946-1970) May 18th, 2012: Seven months before the Sandy Hook shooting, the man who would become the most notorious denier of that tragedy, Wolfgang Halbig, age 65, enters an office building in Orlando. He takes the elevator to the fifth floor, where some attorneys are waiting for him with a tape recorder, and a series of questions. Some of the questions will be about the facts surrounding the lawsuit he was pursuing against the city of Apopka — over responsibility for some cracked sidewalk that he had allegedly tripped over near his home in 2010 — but they would also be scrutinizing his life in general, the entire path that had brought him there. Practically everything he’d ever done, professionally or personally. And he knows that this time, he has to tell the truth. Or there would be consequences. Wolfgang sits down at the table. The court reporter begins their recording. Wolfgang raises his right hand, and is sworn in. Then, the attorney begins his quest...

Get Rich or Lie Trying: The Life Story of Wolfgang Halbig

Welcome to Get Rich or Lie Trying: The Life Story of Wolfgang Halbig. Decades before he became the face of the fraudulent “Sandy Hook Hoax” conspiracy theory in 2014, Wolfgang Halbig was already hard at work: carefully assembling his résumé, creating stories to cover the ugly parts in his work history, studying how to fool and scare people, and—more than anything—coming up with ways to make money by exploiting tragedies. His path through life is an oftentimes sickening, sometimes hilarious story, full of betrayals, humiliations, firings, lawsuits, and one catastrophic failure after another. This story will be an adaptation of, and extensive update to, the landmark document that exposed Wolfgang in 2015, “The Hoax of a Lifetime” (still available here under The Halbig Archives). Much has happened in the years since that story was told, both in Wolfgang’s life and in the lives of those who chose to give him airtime. There is much to share, and meanwhile, Wolfgang̵...

Happy Birthday Wolfgang Halbig!

Howdy, folks. Blade here. I’ve been hard at work polishing up Get Rich or Lie Trying: The Life of Wolfgang Halbig, in between shifts down at the warehouse. But I wanted to make sure we don’t go too long without acknowledging a very important event that happened in the meantime: Wolfgang Halbig turned 74 years old this past month! Happy Birthday, Wolfgang! (It was August 10th, to be precise.) Now we all know that when birthdays roll around, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on our lives, and where our path has taken us over the years. So today I thought we could take a look back at Wolfgang’s life, and see how things were unfolding during three of his previous birthdays. Sound good? Let’s go! Wolfgang Halbig’s Favorite Position First, let’s go all the way back to around the time of Wolfgang’s 24th birthday, in the summer of 1971. He was just getting into playing college football at Abilene Christian College at the time, after getting out of the Air Force. The local newspaper, the ...

Who is Wolfgang Halbig? 

Welcome to my blog! If it’s your first time here, there’s a good chance you just found out what a Sandy Hook Hoaxer is, and now you have a question like that stuck in your head: “Who is Wolfgang Halbig?” I see that a lot. I’ve been occupying this URL for some time, and I see all sorts of searches, yes indeed. And there are many variations on this question, for example: Exactly what the hell is wrong with Wolfgang Halbig? How is it possible that this obvious lunatic Wolfgang Halbig is out walking the streets? Isn’t there even one single person in Wolfgang Halbig’s family who cares about him and will just do something already? How can I make sure that whatever happened to Wolfgang Halbig’s brain doesn’t happen to mine? Well, the good news is, I’m here to help.  The bad news is, the answers to these questions are complicated.  You see, as of this writing, Wolfgang Halbig is a 73-year-old retired man, living all alone in a house in Florida, probably wondering how it all went wrong. H...