It has been almost three years now since tragedy struck at an elementary school in the quiet village of Sandy Hook, Connecticut. The shooting which involved elementary school children and staff has continued to haunt many of those who can still recall the news reports from December 14, 2012. We frantically researched the event in order to find any and all information pertaining to the sick individual who carried this out. Instead, we ended up in a whirlwind of questions, too many of which continue to go unanswered even to this day. Our goals remain the same and, fortunately, a growing number of others seem to be equally displeased with the amount of secrecy that still engulfs this case especially after such a hasty and "closed" investigation.
In August of 2013, after about a year and a half of research, we set out to write about all of our findings, our questions and the odd abnormalities that seemed to plague this sleepy town both before and after the tragedy. Our goal came to fruition in August of 2014 when the book was finally published. It was called Making a Killing: The Unofficial Story of the Sandy Hook Massacre and, much to our surprise, most of the groundbreaking information contained within it has gone largely unnoticed by the mainstream media.
Who was Adam Lanza? On surface, another mass shooter like Dylann Storm Roof who shot nine African Americans during a prayer service at a methodist Church. What was his motive? Why are experts, including FBI and state law enforcement, so conflicted on the reasonable culpability of Adam Lanza as the perpetrator? Could he or could he have not carried out these horrific and despicable actions alone? Why was his increasingly caustic mental condition and spiraling state of despair not brought to light by any of his family members? What of the mental health professionals who attempted to treat him? Was he able to conceal his decaying mental and physical state from them as well? Where are these records? Why is there so much surrounding this curious case that continues to be hidden away from the public sealed tightly under lock and key. These are just a few of the questions that remain unsatisfactorily answered and these are the questions that should be pursued by those seeking the truth.
On December 14th, 2012 The Washington Post declared that twenty children and six adults had been killed at the hands of a deranged gunman who had allegedly shot and killed his mother before driving to his final destination where he would thereafter shoot himself and twenty-six people. Adam Lanza was 6 feet tall and barely 112 pounds, described by some as "anorexic," when he barged into the school by supposedly shooting out the front glass to the right of the main entrance.
Adam Peter Lanza was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on April 22, 1992 to Nancy Jean Champion Lanza, an investment broker, and Peter John Lanza, an accountant. Adam had one brother, Ryan, who was six years older than him. A good portion of his childhood was spent in Kingston, NH where he attended the D.J. Bakie Elementary School until his father landed a job as the Tax Director and Vice President of General Electric Energy Financial Services where he would be working in New York City. The family purchased their home in Sandy Hook, Connecticut from builder John Riebe in 1998. The address, 36 Yogananda Street, would become infamous.
After the move, Adam Lanza started school at Sandy Hook Elementary. Those who knew him from his time at the school had varying opinions of the little boy who would grow up to commit one of the worst school shootings in history.Laura Bittman attended Sandy Hook Elementary as well as Newtown High School and remembers Lanza as one of the kids that just "blended in." She wonders if more could have been done for him during his time at the elementary school.
Adam Lanza's second-grade teacher at the Sandy Hook Elementary school was Carole MacInnes who recalls him as "A thin little fellow" but could not recall any signs of aggression. She adds "He didn't need that much from me. Some kids coming in from first grade need more attention, but academically he was fine. Socially, he got along with the others. I don't remember him as hostile." In meetings with Mrs. MacInnes, his mother Nancy had no special concerns for Adam.
In stark contrast to Adam's second-grade teacher Carol MacInnes' recollection of the boy is an account from Rebecca Jaroszewski who claims to have attended Sandy Hook Elementary with Adam Lanza during first and third grade. She told The Hartford Courant how she recalled Adam standing alone during recess periods straining his face and making animalistic noises until he would turn red.
An anonymous family member who spoke with The New York Daily News on condition of anonymity member claimed that Adam Lanza was assaulted and taunted during his time at Sandy Hook Elementary. "Adam would come home with bruises all over his body," the relative said. "His mom would ask him what was wrong, and he wouldn't say anything. He would just sit there." The relative also claimed that Adam Lanza "Never seemed emotionally right after his time in Sandy Hook."
Despite reports of discontentment with the way the school handled him, Adam stayed at Sandy Hook Elementary until the fifth grade. In 2003, Adam's fifth-grade class would be the first to be moved to Reed Intermediate School.
Adam's mother Nancy decided to take Adam out of public school after fifth grade and placed him at the private Catholic school St.Rose of Lima. St.Rose of Lima Catholic School, located at 40 Church Hill Road, provides education to children in preschool through eighth grade and is under the authority of the Diocese of Bridgeport. His time there would be brief. He attended the school for 8 weeks before his mother removed him according to diocesan officials. St.Rose of Lima Church would be the place where most of the funeral processions for the victims of Sandy Hook would occur.
After Adam Lanza's brief time at St.Rose of Lima school his mother Nancy, being disenchanted with the school boards, decided to home school him. There are indications in the official Sandy Hook shooting 7,000 page report that Adam Lanza also attended St.Mary's School in Simsbury, Connecticut sometime during his middle school years, but the exact timing of his attendance is unclear.
A Professor at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center, Dr. Robert A. King, performed a psychiatric evaluation of Adam in 2006 and diagnosed him with "Profound Autism Spectrum Disorder" with symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. An advanced nurse at the Yale Child Study Center, Kathleen Koenig, allegedly assisted in conducting four interviews with Adam Lanza from 2006 to 2007 and said he was "Emotionally paralyzed."
Adam Lanza attended Newtown High School for most his high school years before being withdrawn by his mother in 2008. Adam managed to graduate early.
After his early high school graduation, Lanza appears to virtually drop off the radar. Paul Steinmetz, a Spokesman for Western Connecticut State University, stated that Adam had taken college courses at the school when he was just 16 years old in the Summer of 2008 and earned a 3.26 grade point average while attending the University. His courses of study included German, Computer Science, American history, and Macroeconomics. Renate Ludanyi, Adam's teacher for his introductory German language class, told reporters that she didn't remember him but acknowledges from her records that he had been in the class, however, no grade was entered in for Adam's time there.
After his time at Western Connecticut University, it is unclear what Adam Lanza had been up to. If you were to look into these years for yourself you would find virtually next to nothing besides the media claiming that he had basically lived in his mother's renovated basement playing "violent" video games all day. It is unclear whether or not he had a job although some anonymous sources out there believe he had a part-time job at a local computer shop at some point. This has never been confirmed. There were also reports about Adam Lanza looking to join the military around this time.
All information surrounding the shooting was up for speculation for months until the official report came out in November 2013. If you run on a slow internet connection it could take well over an hour to download the whole 7,000+ pages of PDF files that have to be individually clicked on in order to open the file. Most of these files have been heavily redacted and if you were to actually print them out you'd end up with a stack full of papers with wasted ink and enormous blacked out spaces.
Adam Lanza's last days sound extraordinarily disturbing but was there a bigger storm that had been brewing long before his final days? Retired FBI agent Charlie Dorsey, along with a handful of other experts, stated that Adam didn't just "snap." An event of this magnitude is usually preplanned, deliberate, and well prepared. If that is true then how come we are still left wondering about a potential motive?
Amongst the muck in the media were vague reports that touched on certain peculiarities of Adam. For instance, The New York Daily News once reported that Nancy Lanza had found disturbing pictures in Adam's room that depicted dead bodies just two weeks prior to the shooting. However, the anonymous friend who is the source of this "news" tells reporters that this raised some concerns with Nancy but she never felt the need to confront her son about it. In fact, she must have felt alright enough to even plan a vacation to the Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire for herself while leaving her son to his own devices during the week of the shooting. These pictures, while documented in the official shooting report as "evidence," have never been released to the public. The question is why? Doesn't this further underline the existence of disturbing behavioral practices exhibited by Lanza all while his mother negligently stood by?
In a heavily redacted FBI report released via Freedom of Information Act, the FBI interviewed a person who at some point or another knew Adam Lanza and described him as a troubled kid who liked Japanese techno music. In the early hours of media reporting, a news story came out that somehow corresponds to this account on the personal nature of Adam Lanza. The Daily Beast reporting on the day of the shooting stated that an anonymous police officer had said that Adam Lanza had been a troubled youth for most of his life with a "checkered past." This "checkered past" has all but vanished since Adam Lanza supposedly carried out the last and most violent act of his life.
Amongst pieces of evidence taken from that home is one of the most elusive and meticulous works on serial killers compiled as of yet. Allegedly, a 7ft by 4ft poster documenting the top 500 mass killings of all time with rankings determined by their fatalities had been taken from the room of Adam Lanza. Not only does this seem like a lot of work for anyone in their right mind to have compiled it also further highlights the narrative of a mentally disturbed young man who seemed to be fixated on death and destruction. This piece of evidence would surely stun jurors and concerned citizens alike, but the problem is that this piece of evidence, again, has been sealed and contained within the investigation. The public has never seen this poster.
In addition to harboring disturbing pictures and a massive "mass murder" poster in his room, Adam Lanza apparently spent his final days on earth surrounded by black trash bags that had been taped to his windows to block both sunlight and peering eyes. He had stopped speaking with his mother and would only communicate with her via e-mail.
So far, the only warning signs that could have been attributed to the tormented life of Adam Lanza have been all but "hearsay" as far as official evidence goes. Perhaps one of the most enigmatic references of something else going on with Lanza is a story of an FBI visit to his house when he was just 12 years old. Newsweek reported that the FBI had paid Adam a visit at his 36 Yognanada Street house back in 2004 to inquire about his online computer activities but supposedly left without even sitting down with the young man. The visit initiated after Adam had supposedly "hacked" through two layers of government security. There is no specification on the nature of the website of where this breach originated from. Nancy Lanza allegedly told FBI agents that her son was a "computer whiz" who was just testing his skills and, supposedly, with that they packed their bags and headed out. It seems a bit far fetched to believe that the FBI would take such an aloof explanation in connection to a government security breach and just walk away without further examination or questioning. Is it possible that Adam Lanza had been under surveillance for years following this supposed breach? That is just one more piece of this ever-building puzzle.
Written by Sabrina Phillips, co-author of the book Making a Killing: The Unofficial Story of the Sandy Hook Massacre. You can follow the authors on Facebook and Twitter.