Nancy Lanza to Sitter: Don't Turn Your Back

Those who knew her recall a generous, fiercely private woman

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 17, 2012 6:44 AM CST | Updated Dec 17, 2012 7:56 AM CST

(Newser) – Adam Lanza's mother was known for her generosity and friendliness, but she always kept quiet about her home life, say those who knew her. Nancy Lanza was a regular at a local bar, where she would often pick up the tab for those who needed it. When an acquaintance asked a mutual friend for collateral before loaning him money, "Nancy overheard the discussion, and, unblinkingly, told him she'd just write him a check then and there," says the acquaintance. But her home life was off limits. "Her family life was her family life. She kept it private, when we were together," the bar's owner tells the AP.

Following a 2009 divorce, Nancy, a former stockbroker, retained a 3,100-square-foot house on more than two acres of property; her ex apparently told her she'd never have to work again. Locals knew Adam as a troubled child. At Newtown High School, "he would have an episode, and (Nancy would) have to return or come to the high school and deal with it," said the district's security head. Recalls a former babysitter who watched Lanza when he was nine or 10: "His mom ... had always instructed me to keep an eye on him at all times, never turn my back or even go to the bathroom or anything like that. Which I found odd but I really didn't ask; it wasn't any of my business," Ryan Kraft says. "Looking back at it now, I guess there was something else going on." Click for the latest news on the shooting.

People hold candles in silence during a vigil in remembrance of the Newton, Conn. shooting victims at Green Lake Park in Seattle on Saturday, December 15, 2012.
People hold candles in silence during a vigil in remembrance of the Newton, Conn. shooting victims at Green Lake Park in Seattle on Saturday, December 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/seattlepi.com, Lindsey Wasson)
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