Saturday, March 8, 2014
By Michael Melia And Pat Eaton-robb
The Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. – In fifth grade, Adam Lanza wrote a book that included tales of children being slaughtered and a son shooting his mother in the head.
This undated file identification photo released Wednesday, April 3, 2013 by Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., shows former student Adam Lanza, who authorities said opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, killing 26 students and educators. Investigators released a report on the shooting Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, by the prosecutor overseeing the probe, State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III.
The Associated Press
In the years that followed, he was obsessed with mass murders, assembling articles, photos, books, footage and violent video games, including one in which players gun down students in school. He even kept a spreadsheet ranking mass murders.
Nearly a year after Lanza shot his mother to death and then massacred 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, prosecutors closed the case Monday with a report that sketched a chilling portrait of a young man with a twisted fascination with violence.
But they were unable to answer the question that everyone has been asking since the tragedy: Why?
"The obvious question that remains is: 'Why did the shooter murder 27 people, including 20 children?' Unfortunately, that question may never be answered conclusively," the report said.
Lanza "was under no extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse."
The summary released by the lead investigator, State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, describes a 20-year-old gunman who had "significant mental health issues" but had sure knowledge of what he was planning: Besides having the spreadsheet, he smashed his computer hard drive and he used earplugs during the shooting.
Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at the school on Dec. 14. He also shot his mother in the forehead inside their home. He committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school.
Sedensky said there was no clear indication why Lanza chose Sandy Hook Elementary other than that it was close to his home. He attended Sandy Hook from first through fifth grade, but he was never assigned to the classrooms where the shootings took place.
The spiral-bound manuscript that Lanza wrote in the fifth grade at Sandy Hook, "The Big Book of Granny," was among items seized from Lanza's home. There is no indication he ever handed the book in at school.
The main character has a gun in her cane and shoots people, and another character likes hurting people, especially children
Lanza also became obsessed with the 1999 Columbine High bloodbath and other such mass killings, the report said.
The guns he used in the attack had been purchased legally by his mother, who often took her son shooting and, according to the report, had written out a check to buy him a pistol for Christmas.
The report said that in 2005, Lanza was diagnosed with Asperger's disorder — an autism-like condition that is not associated with violence — and that he lacked empathy for others and behaved strangely.
Nobody was allowed into his room, not even to clean, according to the report. It said Lanza also disliked birthdays, Christmas and holidays and did not like to have his hair cut.
He also wouldn't touch doorknobs, his food had to be arranged on the plate in a certain way, and he changed clothes often during the day. He was a loner at school and was repelled by crowds and loud noises.
Weeks before the Newtown shooting, Nancy Lanza was concerned about her son and said that he hadn't gone anywhere in three months and would communicate with her by email only, even though they lived in the same house, according to the report.
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