In December 2012, Adam Lanza killed his own mother, himself, and twenty-six people, 20 of whom were very young children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. His father, Peter Lanza, recently gave an interview to the New Yorker which he said will be his only interview. He described his son’s actions as evil and he wishes his son had never been born.
He does not believe his son was evil, he believes he was insane.
Peter Lanza struggles to understand what his son did and said it doesn’t “get any more evil” than that. He doesn’t know what he could have done differently.
“Any variation on what I did and how my relationship was had to be good, because no outcome could be worse,” Peter Lanza told the magazine in an article dated March 17. “You can’t get any more evil. … How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he’s my son? A lot.”
Adam had problems from the start. he couldn’t speak until he was three and had problems relating socially. His father said that as a child, Adam was “just a normal little weird kid.” They played legos together for hours.
In hindsight, he said that this could have been predicted. However, psychiatrists quoted in the New Yorker article said that children with these types of problems rarely become outwardly violent, even from playing violent video games, and it is impossible to predict which ones will.
Adam was diagnosed as autistic with obsessive-compulsive tendencies when he was 13-years.
After he entered Middle School, his problems became more obvious. “It was crystal clear something was wrong,” Peter Lanza said. “The social awkwardness, the uncomfortable anxiety, unable to sleep, stress, unable to concentrate, having a hard time learning, the awkward walk, reduced eye contact. You could see the changes occurring.”
According to the state’s attorney’s report, when Adam was in fifth grade he said that he “did not think highly of himself and believed that everyone else in the world deserved more than he did.” That year, Adam and another boy wrote a story called “The Big Book of Granny,” in which an old woman with a gun in her cane kills wantonly. In the third chapter, Granny and her son want to taxidermy a boy for their mantelpiece. In another chapter, a character called Dora the Berserker says, “I like hurting people. . . . Especially children.”
Adam tried to sell copies of the book at school and got in trouble. A couple of years later, according to the state’s attorney’s report, a teacher noted “disturbing” violence in his writing and described him as “intelligent but not normal, with anti-social issues.”
He had “episodes,” panic attacks that necessitated his mother’s coming to school; the state’s attorney’s report says that on such occasions Adam “was more likely to be victimized than to act in violence against another.
He became very arrogant and felt there was nothing he could learn from others.
They took him to Yale’s Child Study Center for further diagnosis. The psychiatrist who assessed Adam described him as a “pale, gaunt, awkward young adolescent standing rigidly with downcast gaze and declining to shake hands.” He observed that the parents were worried about his educational needs when his social needs were far more important.
Adam was intolerant of others, including his mother who was becoming a prisoner in her own house.
Adam was not open to therapy.
His father says he now believes the Autism covered up another more serious problem like Schizophrenia. “Asperger’s makes people unusual, but it doesn’t make people like this,” Peter Lanza said. He believes the condition “veiled a contaminant” that was not Asperger’s: “I was thinking it could mask schizophrenia.”
Yale’s Child Study Center for further diagnosis. The psychiatrist who assessed Adam, Robert King, recorded that he was a “pale, gaunt, awkward young adolescent standing rigidly with downcast gaze and declining to shake hands.”
Apparently his son became obsessed with mass murders in his mid-teens. He was still not outwardly violent however.
By 2011, Adam’s mother Nancy was telling the father he was doing better but that was not true. The truth was people who came to work at the house were warned to never ring the bell or enter the house. Nancy Lanza was likely in denial. She did not see him as a threat.
Adam had no affection for his mother or his father.
Peter Lanza was separated from Adam’s mother in 2001 and divorced in 2009. He hadn’t seen his son since 2012. He tried to see him but Adam refused.
Peter Lanza said he wished Adam had never been born but that there could be no remembering who he was outside of who he became. “That didn’t come right away,” Peter Lanza said about that statement. “That’s not a natural thing, when you’re thinking about your kid. But, God, there’s no question. There can only be one conclusion, when you finally get there. That’s fairly recent, too, but that’s totally where I am.”
Full story at New Yorker