I missed this when it was published Sunday, but after a five-year court battle, the Hartford Courant has gained access to a collection of writings seized from the home of Adam Lanza after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza had destroyed the hard drives from his computer before the attack but some of his handwritten material survived along with material collected by his mother. It paints a picture of a child who had serious social problems from before he was 3-years-old. By the time he was a teenager, he had become completely anti-social.
“Are there kids you enjoy spending time with?” Yale psychiatrist Robert King asked the 14-year-old Lanza during an initial evaluation at the Yale Child Study Center in 2006.
“Why would that be significant?” young Lanza answered, appearing to King as “pale, gaunt, awkward … and standing rigidly with his eyes downcast and declining to shake hands, tremulous with discomfort and looking miserable.”
Nancy Lanza piped up and said her son “was much more relaxed at home, and his stiffness and tension was due to being here,” King wrote in the eight-page summary of his evaluation.
“What is a friend?” King asked Lanza.
“It is difficult to define — in whose culture do you refer?’’ the boy answered, robotically.
And if he had three wishes, what would he wish for?
“I would wish that whatever was granting the wishes would not exist,” Lanza answered.
Lanza’s gaunt look wasn’t just the result of him not liking the smells or textures of most foods. He wrote frequently of his disgust for “fat people.” But Lanza’s obsession with fat had tipped over into anorexia by the time of the shooting. He put together a list of reasons not to eat every day which said, “Nothing can’t be fixed with hunger and weight loss.”
Lanza himself was malnourished and emaciated when he carried out the shootings, according to Dr. H. Wayne Carver III, the former chief state medical examiner in Connecticut who conducted the autopsy.
Schwartz said Lanza may have been starving himself and that his anorexia probably was hastening his mental as well as physical deterioration.
“You will be FAT if you eat today, just put it off one more day,” Lanza wrote in a list of 53 reasons to remain skeletally thin. The list appeared to be directed at someone he was communicating with online, perhaps a girl…
“I want to walk through the snow and leave no foot prints.”
Lanza didn’t like either of his parents or his brother. Even most of the people he played online games with annoyed him. He did express an interest in pedophilia however and was, at some point, working on a script called “Lovebound” which would feature a relationship between an adult pedophile and a 10-year-old boy:
In the outline for a screenplay that he was calling “Lovebound,” he wrote that the script would portray “the beauty in the romantic relationship between a 10-year-old boy and a 30-year-old man.” The eventual film, he wrote, would be devoid of music or humor or any screen credits — only solemnity would remain.
“No, it’s not at all pornographic,” he added. ‘’And it is not satirical. Nor metaphorical. Take it for what it is.”
In the outline, he asks, “is it really love if you’re not willing to romantically love a male the same way you would a female?”…
In a list of desires, Lanza includes pedophilia, and he downloaded a study from the Mayo Clinic: “A Profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes, and Forensic Issues.” The focus on pedophilia is recurrent in other documents.
Finally, Lanza was obviously obsessed with violence. The Courant notes that in 5th grade he and another student wrote a 52-page book called Granny’s Clubhouse of Happy Children which featured violence against kids. But Lanza also kept a spreadsheet of mass murders which he personally updated over a period of four years. Lanza apparently lost interest in the list later but only after spending countless hours compiling it.
Perhaps the one line that comes closest to summing up Adam Lanza is the one he wrote to another online gamer, “I incessantly have nothing other than scorn for humanity.”