The Dec. 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre – in which 20 first grade students and six adult staffers were brutally gunned down by an AR-15 lugging maniac – remains one of the most horrifying crimes in American history. Four years later, not a whole lot of official information has been published regarding the potential catalysts for the gruesome tragedy, with the F.B.I. only issuing a heavily redacted report in 2014. Still, quite a bit of state-level literature has been produced, and thanks to the handiwork of some extremely dedicated online sleuths, a considerable amount of information about Adam Lanza has surfaced – including some key insights that, at least partially, explain his mental processes leading up to such unspeakable bloodshed.
With the fourth anniversary of the horrific tragedy nearing, here’s a look at ten things that – for whatever reason – remain peculiarly unpublicized concerning the Newtown, Connecticut mass murderer … including a few findings that may give some clues as to what sparked his sickening rampage.
His attack was meticulously planned…
Even now, way too many people still believe that the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre was some sort of spur of the moment rampage. In reality, Adam Lanza – who was so fascinated by mass murderers that he kept an enormous spreadsheet of famous killers as a “scoreboard” in his room and routinely edited the Wikipedia articles on shooting sprees – appears to have planned his attack years in advance. According to a report issued by Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate in 2014, he frequently trolled the SHES website and carefully studied both its student handbooks and security procedures … perhaps as an effort to maximize the bodycount.
…but Sandy Hook Elementary School may not have been his original target
However, there are some indications that SHES was actually Lanza’s back-up plan. In the 2013 book Newtown: An American Tragedy, author Matthew Lysiak quotes an anonymous police official, who reportedly said security footage of Newtown High School on the morning of the massacre appeared to show Lanza’s vehicle circling the parking lot. Per Lysiak, Lanza left the area after spotting two police vehicles in the area.
He was purportedly visited by the F.B.I. when he was in middle school
Another interesting revelation culled from Lysiak’s research? In 2004, Lanza – who at the time, would have been just 12 – was allegedly visited by Federal Bureau of Investigation officials after he hacked through “two levels of security on a government website.” Yes, it does seem a little far fetched, but then again, at least two separate neighbors interviewed by state investigators told the exact same story.
He left behind a long Internet trail
As it turns out, Lanza was confirmed to be a regular contributor to an online forum dedicated to the Columbine shooters and other mass murderers. Under the username “Smiggles,” he published hundreds of musings – virtually all of which have been archived – that gives some indication of what his day-to-day thoughts were like leading up to the massacre. And in case you were wondering what sort of stuff a soon-to-be child murderer wrote about … well, it’s about as crazy as you’d imagine. There’s also strong evidence that Lanza operated a YouTube channel under the handle “fuckcomments,” but so far there’s been no conclusive, slam-dunk proof that the hands behind the keyboard’s caustic comments were in fact those of the Sandy Hook triggerman.
He was a staunch defender of pedophiles..
While no illegal images were found on Lanza’s hard drive by investigators, they did happen to find a lot of material suggesting Lanza was a proponent of pedophilia. Indeed, he wrote at least one meandering screed in defense of intergenerational sex, while other content on his computer included scenes from a bizarre European arthouse movie about a man-boy love affair and a screenplay – presumably penned by Lanza himself – about a 30-year-old man’s relationship with a 10-year-old.
…and quite possibly may have been homosexual.
As far as Lanza’s sexuality is concerned, there’s nothing out there that gives us any indication what his orientation was. However, a litany of online forum comments seem to suggest that he was at least bi-curious (complete with a very bizarre fixation on all time mass murder record holder Anders Breivik.) The official SHES massacre state report also notes that Lanza appeared to have engaged in instant messenger conversations about “homosexual fantasies” – although the contents of those conversations has yet to be made public.
The kinds of video games he was into aren’t what you’d expect…
It’s not really surprising that Lanza was into online shooters like Combat Arms (according to Lysiak, he logged on more than 500 hours playing the game) but that wasn’t the only gaming series he appeared to be obsessed with. He was also a big fan of the long running sword-and-sandals samurai franchise Dynasty Warriors and an avid Dance Dance Revolution player. In fact, videos have since surface showing the mass killer putting on frenzied DDR performances at his local movieplex.
…and neither are his other entertainment tastes.
Off the top of your head, what kind of movies do you think Adam Lanza would have been into? While one would assume he was into hyper gory shoot-em-ups, he was actually a big fan of cheesy B-horror movies from the ‘70s and ‘80s, citing cornball creepies like Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things among his all time favorites. Musically, he appeared to be a big fan of the celtic-rock band Flogging Molly and his hard drive contained several episodes of the TV Show The Whitest Kids U Know. And according to his father, Adam was also a huge admirer of Bill Cosby. (And perhaps giving us our biggest insights into whatever Lanza’s political beliefs may have been, his father also said the child murderer was a strong supporter of arch-Libertarian Ron Paul.)
He once called a radio show to defend a killer chimpanzee
Wonder what Lanza’s voice sounded like? Well, wonder no more, as he apparently called into an online radio program about a year before the Sandy Hook massacre to discuss Travis the chimpanzee, a Connecticut primate who ripped a woman’s face off in 2009. After droning on and on for seven minutes, Lanza eerily compares the monkey’s acts to those of your dime a dozen teenage rampage shooter; in hindsight, his long-winded spiel cannot be considered anything other than blood-chillingly foreboding.
The mental disorder most likely responsible for his actions wasn’t autism
While it’s been verified that Adam Lanza was diagnosed with Asperger’s, that alone didn’t “trigger” his heinous crime. The Office of the Child Advocate report from 2014, however, does put forward two fairly intriguing neurological motives for the massacre. Apparently, he suffered a pretty grisly head injury just four days before embarking upon the mass slaughter; while it’s impossible to tell what – if any – damage the accident did to Lanza, the way his mother described it (“bloody, bloody, bloody” she wrote in a text message), there is at least a possibility that he may have incurred some sort of brain trauma which may have pushed him over the edge. While that is merely conjecture on my part, what isn’t hypothetical is the extent of the damage yet another mental illness had on Lanza’s mind. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Lanza – an anorexic vegan who weighed 112 pounds at the time of his suicide – was so emaciated that signs of malnourishment-related brain damage were revealed during his autopsy.