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New Adam Lanza Documents Paint a Disturbing Picture

He wrote of his 'scorn for humanity'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2018 5:34 AM CST

(Newser) – Newly released journals and other Adam Lanza documents don't directly state a reason for his monstrous crime—but they do paint a picture of a severely disturbed young man descending into isolation and hate. The documents include medical and school records as well as communications up until just days before Lanza, 20, killed 20 students and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. The Hartford Courant, which secured the release of the documents after battling in court for years, says they make one thing clear: Despite the attention parents, educators, and psychiatrists paid to Lanza starting when he was 2 years old, "no single person grasped the full picture of what he was becoming." More:

  • A "road map to murder." The documents include what the Courant calls a "road map to murder"—A spreadsheet exactly 400 entries long, detailing acts of mass violence from 1786 to 2010. Lanza ranked them by number of people killed. Former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole says Lanza appears to have used the spreadsheet to develop his plan for the Sandy Hook massacre. "The game plan that he ultimately carried out, the shooting itself showed planning, it showed organization, it showed thoughtfulness, it was detailed, he came ready, he came prepared, he knew how to enter the building so those kinds of behaviors are reflected in what we see here in the spreadsheet," she says.

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  • Early difficulties. A report from a preschool program in 1995 states that Lanza, then 2 years and 10 months old, was already becoming withdrawn. A speech pathologist wrote that most of his speech attempts were unintelligible, and he had started "hitting, spitting, and crying" when unable to communicate. "When not understood, Adam raised his voice volume and repeated the same utterance in a frustrated way," the speech pathologist wrote. "He did not attempt to supplement his speech facial expressions, gestures, or body movements to help his listeners understand him better."
  • "Problems." A handwritten list seized during a search of Lanza's home describes multiple grievances, including lights that were too bright, corn that was too wet, "the spiders," and his hair touching his brother's towel, the AP reports. "I am unable to distinguish between my problems because I have too many," wrote Lanza, who was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and autism spectrum disorder.
  • Doctors. Lanza repeatedly wrote about how he hated being touched. In one document, he wrote that he had been "raped" when doctors touched his penis during examinations. "Doctors touching my penis when I was a child was worse than it would be if I consented to an adult in a loving relationship with them,” he wrote. "I don't see how I and every child was not raped by doctors: We did not consent to it."

  • Pedophilia. Lanza scorned most human relationships, though he spoke approvingly of pedophilia. He wrote that he was working on a screenplay that would show "the beauty in the romantic relationship between a 10-year-old boy and a 30-year-old man."
  • Three wishes. In a 2006 evaluation, Yale psychiatrist Robert King wrote that the 14-year-old Lanza delivered a chilling response when asked what he would do if he was granted three wishes. "I would wish that whatever was granting the wishes would not exist," Lanza said. Lanza was being tutored at home by that point, and King warned that the move was harmful because it was leading to "increasing social withdrawal and reclusiveness."
  • Anorexia. Lanza, who was 6 feet tall but weighed just 112 pounds by the time he carried out the massacre, wrote that he hated fat people and listed dozens of reasons why people should starve themselves. "Bones are clean and pure. Fat is dirty and hangs onto your bones like a parasite," he wrote. Dr. Harold Schwartz, a psychiatrist who served on the Sandy Hook Commission, says the lack of nourishment probably hastened Lanza's mental decline.

  • The "Big Book of Granny." The documents include new details on a disturbing 52-page book Lanza wrote in the fifth grade starring a murderous grandmother. In one chapter, the grandmother kills children on the set of "Granny's Clubhouse of Happy Children." The character also appeared in a Mother's Day card Lanza sent to his mother, Nancy Lanza, whom he killed before carrying out the school shooting.
  • "Scorn for humanity." Lanza spent much of his time playing violent video games, and he expressed his "scorn for humanity" in what is believed to be an online message to another gamer. "I incessantly have nothing other than scorn for humanity," he wrote. "I have been desperate to feel anything positive for someone for my entire life."
  • "Boundless affection." Writing to the same gamer, Lanza wrote that he was "capable of boundless affection" and said most of his social contact was with online gamers. "All of them are typical detestable human beings, and it bred an aura of innumerable negative emotions for me," he wrote. "You were a respite from that."
(For months before the massacre, Lanza refused to leave his room and only communicated with his mother via email.)

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