Note: Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate released their final report on Adam Lanza yesterday (you can get it here.) These are my reactions having when reading through it once.
Overall, I thought it was a very well-constructed report, and was quite revealing. Several of the gaps in what we know about Adam Lanza have been filled in, particularly in his early childhood.
Given the aims of the report, much of it has to do with formulating recommendations for child care and mental health treatment. I’m going to leave all of that out, since my focus here is just on establishing the facts of the case.
So, here is just a list of the things I noticed in one read-through as they came up. Note that the official report refers to Adam Lanza as “AL” and I left that abbreviation unchanged in most of the excerpts below.
Eighteen take-aways from the report
1. Adam Lanza’s mental and emotional difficulties did not suddenly emerge in middle school, or even elementary school. He was first identified as having special needs at least as early as three years old, when the family still lived in New Hampshire and where Adam was in pre-school at the time. His difficulties were especially noted in the area of language, and he was even noted as having “made up his own language” at this age, which presented problems when communicating:
The developmental assessment completed by AL’s Birth to Three provider indicated that AL “fell well below expectations in social-personal development.” The evaluator was unable to understand any of AL’s language, needing his mother to serve as an interpreter throughout the testing. Evaluators concluded that AL presented with “significantly delayed development of articulation and expressive language skills.” The evaluation did note that AL had a good attention span, creative play skills, and that he could follow adult directions. The evaluation recommended speech and language services to support
communication development and regular pre-school attendance to “stimulate development in all domains.”
This seems extremely significant in light of Adam’s posts as Smiggles, wherein he longed for a “pre-language” existence, or stated “I hate every facet of language, along with the entire concept of aesthetics.” It also may have fueled his despair in trying, and failing, to learn a second (third?) language in German.
2. Nancy Lanza had noticeable emotional/psychological problems herself. In particular, the authors do not seem impressed with Nancy’s frequent claims that she was suffering from some vague terminal illness – they all but call her out as a liar. They also record Peter Lanza has having believed her claims when they first asked him about Nancy’s allegedly-poor health, but specifically note that he changed his mind when presented with medical records. It’s even hinted that Nancy’s neurosis may have encouraged the same in Adam. A significant excerpt:
[We] cannot conclude what may have been at the root of Mrs. Lanza’s real or imagined health conditions. But her email correspondences, combined with the lack of substantial findings in the medical records suggest a fixation with her health and mortality. How much of this was observable or felt by other members of the family is difficult to conclude and authors cannot speculate. A review of Mrs. Lanza’s correspondence however, frequently paints a picture of a woman who seemed preoccupied with anxieties, either about AL or herself. This is a dynamic that continues to be seen as AL moves through adolescence.
3. The authors are not at all impressed with Dr. Fox, who evaluated Adam in the seventh grade and supplied an “excuse note” at Nancy’s behest so that Adam could be taken out of school indefinitely. This was a very unconventional thing to do: withdrawing a student completely and indefinitely from school (which is not homeschooling) and refusing tutors or any interaction with the school system at all. Adam wasn’t homeschooled in 8th grade; he was just home. (I’ll just note here that my speculation about this time period when assembling Adam Lanza’s educational history turned out to be pretty accurate.)
I also detect an indirect implication that Dr. Fox and Nancy Lanza had a sexual relationship. Immediately after explaining that Dr. Fox closed his practice and moved overseas when he was exposed as having engaged in a “consensual sexual relationship with a female patient” (they link to this article from the Courant) they note that what Dr. Fox did for Nancy was unconventional and could not be explained. They didn’t say that she slept with Fox in order to get the note for Adam, but I can’t be alone in picking up on that subtext (note, though, that the confirmed “female patient” was definitely not Nancy.) I’m not saying it’s true either, but it is an interesting possibility (it’s also oddly reminiscent of a scene from Forrest Gump.)
4. Adam Lanza’s fixation on primates as setting examples for ideal human behavior goes back to at least 2006, when he was examined at Yale.
The Yale psychiatrist’s initial report observed that AL presented as a “pale, gaunt, and awkward young adolescent standing rigidly with downcast gaze and declining to shake hands.”
AL’s mother told the Yale psychiatrist that he used to look at people but did not anymore. AL then asked rhetorically, “Why should I have to.” When the doctor explained all of the information that a person could learn by looking at a facial expression, such as a smile, AL stated that people could interpret smiles differently: “Some primates smile when they are frightened.
This would have been right around the time when he started reading the Columbine RPG forum, though there’s not much at all surviving from that era of the forum to know what he would have been reading there.
5. The evaluators at Yale very accurately predicted the consequences of Nancy accommodating Adam’s desire to withdraw from society, to the extent that it is baffling and very frustrating to know that Nancy ignored their advice. Nancy was told this in 2006 (emphasis theirs):
Beyond the impact of OCD symptoms on himself and his mother, we are very concerned about AL’s increasingly constricted social and educational world. Much of emphasis has been on finding curricular level of instruction. Inability to tolerate even minimal interaction with even older more mature classmates will have grave consequences for his future education and social and occupational adaptation unless means of remediation are found. Inability to interact with classmates will prove increasingly deleterious to education. We believe it is very important to reframe the discussion with school from issues of curricular content to much more urgent issues of how to accommodate AL’s severe social disabilities in a way that would permit him to be around peers and to progress, rather than regress, socially, as well as academically.
However we believe that there is a significant risk to [Adam Lanza] in creating, even with the best of intentions, a prosthetic environment which spares him having to encounter other students or to work to overcome his social difficulties. Having the emphasis on adapting the world to AL, rather than helping him to adapt to the world, is a recipe for him to be a homebound recluse, unable to attend college or work productively into his twenties and thirties and beyond with mother becoming increasingly isolated and burdened.
Elsewhere, the report confirms that Nancy was preparing to leave Newtown with Adam, and speculates that the massacre may have happened (or at least happened when it did) as a result of Adam refusing to leave this “bubble.”
Perhaps by 2012 Nancy was thinking back to these prescient words from the doctors at Yale, and realizing she had done exactly what she was advised not to do. She tried to pull the plug on the killing machine that was assembling itself upstairs, but by then it was too late.
6. Adam’s hatred of therapists, and repeated references to them as “TheRapists” is almost certainly a lingering resentment over his experiences at Yale. This post from September 2011:
Therapists are secular priests who assert that they have some “truth”, and if your values deviate, then you are “wrong”. Hence, The Rapist. They impose their values onto you through their mindfucking.
…reads to me like Adam thinking back on the same experience (or rather, series of experiences) that a therapist reports to Peter Lanza in 2006 — they are two sides of the same story:
The process of asking [Adam] to talk with me directly about what is going on is critical. I appreciate that Adam’s view is that he wouldn’t say anything differently if [the father] were in the room, but I think he’s wrong. His judgment about how social/family dynamics work in a therapy situation is no more on target than his views regarding doorknobs and hand-washing . . . . He wants to control how the treatment goes because his anxiety is nearly unbearable if he can’t feel he knows what’s going to happen. I understand that. At the same time, he can’t control the treatment because his thinking is distorted and irrational. I can’t agree to follow his lead!
In fact, when I talk with him alone he has to respond, and last time I pushed him a bit. I am not surprised that he was angry, that’s OK . . . . I told Adam he has a biological disorder that can be helped with medication. I told him what the medicines are and why they can work. I told him he’s living in a box right now, and the box will only get smaller over time if doesn’t get some treatment.
I’m fine to see him this week at 11. I am OK to talk with him and you at the beginning, but the session to address his issues has to be just him and me. I’d do it differently if I thought it would help, but I’m convinced it won’t. Let me know your reactions.
Unfortunately, this perception of therapy as punishment seems to be another instance where Nancy encouraged Adam (or perhaps was persuaded by his arguments) rather than challenging him:
Mrs. Lanza had great difficulty seeing the value in pushing Adam out of this comfort zone. Her comment that she was “torturing” AL during his Yale evaluation echoes her earlier comment to a school administrator that she was “abusing” Adam by keeping him in the Danbury Emergency Department.
7. Adam Lanza was not a “genius” or at all exceptional in his cognitive abilities. He was an average teenager – although some of his “academic skills were in the very superior range,” this is distinct from having an innate gift. He was very good at things he could focus on and study and become good at.
There are multiple hints that his parents adopted the viewpoint of Adam as a Rain Man-like figure, as a sort of coping mechanism against the stigma of mental illness/disorder (i.e. “our son may be troubled, but in some ways he’s a genius”) and that in the long run this actually did serious harm: in the areas where he was not deficient (but was also not exceptional) he was placed in advanced classes (or college classes, etc.) which took away the few opportunities he had to function adequately and without contributing to his anxiety. This resulted in an environment where, in subjects where he was average, he was still not good enough.
A similar — and probably more damaging — mismatch arises in regards to Adam’s acknowledged disorders vs. accepted disorders as he re-enters the public school system in 2007; the authors of the report note that Nancy and the school staff prepared an education plan for a student with minor physical disabilities and “high functioning” Asperger’s Syndrome, rather than what the Yale doctors diagnosed him as having: profound and debilitating anxiety, with “special-education/therapeutic needs.”
I don’t mean to be crass, but I am consistently reminded of this humorous flyer for a found “cat” when I read about these repeated under-cooked evaluations of Adam’s abilities:
I think it’s an apt metaphor for how Nancy viewed her son, and how best to take care of him: you can make your house as “cat friendly” as you want, but that won’t turn a possum into a cat.
8. Adam was seen as a special case, even among school staff who dealt with special cases. This (undated) e-mail exchange, between a teacher and another staff member, is telling::
OH MY GOSH! AL is ready to join my class??? I HAD BETTER GET READY! I’m so nervous! Let’s talk . . . are they starting with a short visit or two or jumping right in and seeing how it goes with the potential to leave early as needed??? What about “prepping” my class before his arrival — today I have an appointment at 2:30 . . . but we can talk on the phone tonight . . .
My guess is that he will start with an entire class. In my past experience, observing a class is more difficult than participating in a class. As for your other students—when in doubt – IGNORE AL. Any attention is tough. In terms of prepping them – just think about what you know about AL.
• No loud noises
• No strong smells
• No sudden movements
• No unpredictable actions, noises, smells, etc.
• Speak with a purpose or “Let me work.”
• AL may be uncomfortable around the boys, but I don’t know that for sure.
I am sure he will tell us whatever is a problem . . . . .
Have you talked to [STAFF MEMBER] about the math he needs for your class? Would you like me to do that? So many questions! At least our jobs are never dull.
Another staffer refers to Adam as “the most anxious youth I’ve ever seen,” so this is strong evidence that he was not lost in a multitude of similar cases. So, if he “slipped through the cracks” this is not because nobody noticed his level of impairment.
9. One of the most alarming records in the report, in my mind, is this email from Nancy to school administrators, in which she indirectly admits that she meticulously creates an illusive reality for Adam to convince him that he is a functioning and “normal” high school school student, while at the same time admitting this is far from the truth:
“He will not accept any preferential treatment at all. Since he obviously NEEDS preferential treatment, it leaves me scurrying around behind his back fixing things… i.e. The gym thing. I actually had to make up a story about liability, bureaucracy, and being out of school for over 12 months, etc. … then I have to go to [school staff] and get her to back that up … then I have to go to [another school staff], and get him to go along. Then his … teacher slips up and tells him that his IEP allows him to get out of study halls and I have to get her to recant and say it was a misunderstanding on her part. This is a high stress, 24/7 operation of misinformation. He does NOT have to go to lunch, but obviously I have to come up with a story that he will buy and then get everyone on the same page. Thanks for giving me the heads up… [about lunch]. I will get on it first thing in the morning. I will think of something. He wants to believe that he is an ordinary student, and I think it is important to let him believe for his self-esteem.”
If she’s willing to construct these false facades at such expense just to accommodate Adam, then convincing herself of convenient versions of reality was probably natural for her.
10. The report includes an exchange of some lengthy emails between Adam and Nancy from late 2008. I don’t even know where to begin about these, other than to point out that the emotional distance between the two participants in this conversation is so wide that I find hard to believe they were even on the same planet, much less in the same house:
August 2008 (AL is 16 years old, 11th grade): Email from AL to His mother, 11:25 p.m.
You do not seem to understand that I was attempting to comfort you with what I consider to be a maxim with which to live. You unfortunately probably still do not understand what I mean. As a disclaimer: I type nothing in this that is in a tone that is condescending, vindictive, malicious, snide, malignant, or any synonym that you can think of. I mean well.
If you believe that you wasted your life, as you seem to have insinuated, you will gain nothing from regretting it and will only depress yourself; you cannot change anything from the past. There is something that I can assure you of that will always be true: it does not matter if you live for the next one year, five years, ten years, fifteen years, twenty years, thirty years, fifty years or even 100 years; the day before you die you will regret ever worrying about your life instead of thinking of what you want to do.
Every new year that you do live, you will regret not having started anything that you wanted to do the year prior, only regretting the past more.
What I mean is that you should think of what you want to do today; not starting next year or next month, but today. Thinking that you are not going to be able to do anything in the future will only ensure that fate. Also thinking that you are too “old” is going to ensure the same fate.
It is not as though I do not mean that you are homeless and begging; I would spend my life savings to prevent that out of obligation for what you have done for me. My personality is merely inherently unmoving; I will not be upset over something that you cannot change. And you should not be upset either. What you should do is think about what you want to do.
I also want to mention that I purchased something two weeks ago on Newegg to double your computer’s memory without even saying anything until now. I do not try to avoid doing anything for you as you seem to think. I am glad that I was born, and I appreciate your having taken care of me. (It is not my fault if you have not detected as much of an increase in speed as I would have liked, however; I blame its outdated processor. I would change that if I could, but it’s not possible to do so for your model.) Please read the first paragraph again.
Email Response from Mrs. Lanza, 1:05 a.m.
I appreciate your effort to be a comfort to me. I apologize if I seemed angry or antagonistic. I was simply over emotional and as it is often the case worrying about the future. I admit that I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by my circumstances lately, but in no way do I regret having raised two wonderful children. I have high hopes for you both and will consider my life a success if you and Ryan live happy and productive lives.
There are a few things that I do regret . . . one of the biggest is that I dropped out of college, believing it to be more important to help your father get through college. Financially, it was impossible for us to afford a college education for both of us, and it seemed more important that he receive a diploma. In some ways I regret leaving the workforce as it has severely limited my prospects for the future, but again, it was a decision that I made to take more responsibility for the house and the children, and to allow your father to concentrate on his career. I do feel that I was able to be a better mother and have been able to put great effort into raising you and your brother, so that regret is mitigated in that respect. On the occasion that Ryan or you show some appreciation for my efforts, I feel completely justified in that choice and dually rewarded.
I know that it is harder for you to show appreciation, and that it does not come as a natural response. I really do not want you to feel obligated in that way. I do not expect any help, financial or otherwise, from you or your brother, and would not accept it if it were offered. I am certain that I will not be homeless or begging on a street corner, as your father is obligated by law and morality to see that my 30 years of service and sacrifice are compensated for.
He has assured me that I will live a comfortable life and that my health expenses are covered. He is an honorable man. I am grateful that I was married to someone who honors his responsibilities. He has also taking [sic] responsibility to provide a college education for both you and your brother, so that neither of you will have to struggle and sacrifice as we did.
If you choose to, you will emerge from college with a master’s degree of your choice, debt free, to pursue any career in life that you wish. When I think of what I would like to do for the future,
I think I would like to get my college degree first. I just thought of that tonight, as a direct result of my conversation with you. I think it would be possible as I dropped out only a year shy of my degree, and it seems as I might be spending quite a bit of time on campus waiting for you to take classes, so why not take advantage of that?! I suppose I could take classes at the same time you are taking classes.
I agree with you when you say that I should try to think positively of the future and what I want to do today. There is nothing that I can do about my diagnosis, and I do try to be as healthy as I can, despite the prognosis. I am sure that you noticed that I exercise regularly and do my best to stay in good shape. It’s not like I have the attitude that since I will be crippled anyway I may as well give up and get fat and sedentary now. I am working hard to stay as healthy as I can, for as long as I can.
At some point, I might like to start a business. I sometimes toy with the idea of an internet business like my friend, [L], owns. (Did I punctuate that last sentence correctly?) Her website is [xxx]. You should have a look at it sometime and let me know what you think of it.
Anyway, I would like you to know that no matter what, I am very proud of the person you are. I have no preconceived notion of how you should react or respond. I know that you tend to be more reserved and less emotional and I do not perceive that as condescending malignant, or callous. You are pragmatic and stoical. These are fine attributes. I am glad to know that you are glad to be born and appreciate being taken care of. I love you very much and am more than happy to take care of you in any way I can. I suppose I have felt that you didn’t even notice how hard I try to make things as tolerable as possible for you and that has made me feel sad in a way. I am much happier now, knowing that you do not despise me for bringing you into this world. Above all, I want you to be happy, no matter what you choose to do.
You may not think I notice, but my computer is working faster and I have been able to download bank statements faster and search the websites quicker. I was able to get baseball scores for all the games in a split second, and watch a video clip that a friend sent without any freezing. I didn’t know that you had worked on it, so I thank you for your efforts. You should let me know when you do thoughtful things so that you can get credit! As an aside, I am having a problem that has been ongoing for months. The cursor abruptly moves to a different place in text now and again when I am in the middle of typing a sentence. It is very strange and annoying. Maybe you can have a look at it sometime? Thank you for taking the time to send me this e-mail. I now understand your motive and meaning, and I truly appreciate it!
11. There’s an indirect admission from the authors that they also concluded Nancy bought the guns for Adam. it’s here (page 78):
In later interviews with state police, Mr. Lanza indicated that he had never given or purchased a firearm for AL but that he assumed Mrs. Lanza had. Mr. Lanza indicated that he was unaware that Mrs. Lanza was buying AL his own guns, as opposed to simply doing shooting activities together. Mr. Lanza indicated he knew AL had access to guns when he took him to a shooting range and AL had two long guns that Mr. Lanza believed were purchased by Mrs. Lanza.
Since the authors of the report had access to un-redacted Connecticut State Police files, this is probably just a differently-worded summary of the same police interview with Peter Lanza from last year’s official report. However, last year’s police summary (the actual interview itself is not publicly available) phrases this part of the conversation as:
S/A [Special Agent] Shibley asked Peter if he was aware of Nancy Lanza purchasing and owning firearms to which he replied yes. S/A Shibley asked Peter if he was aware of Nancy Lanza purchasing firearms for Adam to which he replied no. Peter stated he assumed Adam had access to firearms purchased by Nancy because on one occasion he took Adam to Wooster Mountain Shooting Range and Adam possessed two long guns that he believed were purchased by Nancy.
It’s a key difference in wording; the police report gives the impression that the investigators weren’t sure if Nancy had purchased guns for Adam, and neither was Peter. The Child Advocate report implies that investigators knew Nancy did buy guns for Adam, and just that Peter didn’t know she was doing it until the police told him. I suppose it’s for debate which interpretation is accurate, but only one can be.
12. They believe Adam Lanza’s prolonged “Dance Dance Revolution” sessions were a means for him to deal with his anxiety by completely exhausting himself:
Reports were that AL would dance for hours at a time. Per description, he would whip himself into a frenzy, a behavior consistent, possibly, with a need to contain anxiety-producing impulses and thoughts. [...] It is reasonable to speculate from this behavior that AL’s mental health was deteriorating and that he was living with very serious inner turmoil at this time. Dance Dance Revolution served as a complete distraction and perhaps a containing device, as he danced to a state of physical exhaustion, only to return home to his self-imposed isolation.
AL seemed to be dividing his life between various forms of escape in which he made minimal personal contact with other human beings, either dancing to the point of physical exhaustion while noticeably oblivious to other people in the theater, or physically shut off from the outer world in his room while immersed in a fantasy cyber-world.
13. They note that Adam increasingly started to engage with the world through his computer, descending by 2010 “into a world where he communicated most often, and at times perhaps singularly, with members of a cyber-community.” Included is an email from Adam’s e-mail to an unnamed “cyber aquaintance”:
It’s amazing how fast time passes. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been this long. I’m sorry about my mood over the summer. I was more depressed than I had ever been before. When I apologized for it, you said that I wasn’t behaving disrespectfully and that I never had been, but I don’t think I’ve ever been as kind toward you as you deserve. I don’t know how much it ever seemed like it, but I’ve always really appreciated your friendship. I’ve pretty much been a complete loner throughout my life but I’m sure that even if I had more friends, you’d still be my favorite person I’ve met. I’d like it if we could do something together again sometime. . . . Please email back and we could figure out something amazing.
I believe this is the only record of a heartfelt or empathic message ever written by the killer. (The content of the message doesn’t suggest to me a “cyber acquaintance” though; this sounds like an email to his DDR friend, especially the part about “doing something together again” which sounds like a real-life encounter. But that’s not how the report describes it.)
14. Adam continued to correspond with members of the Columbine RPG forum for months after leaving it in February 2012. The report never specifies what website these acquaintances were made at, but I think “a small community of individuals that shared his dark and obsessive interest in mass murder” makes it pretty clear.
July 23, 2012 (From AL to Cyber-Acquaintance): “My interest in mass murdered [sic] has been perfunctory for such a long time. The enthusiasm I had back when Virginia Tech happened feels like it’s been gone for a hundred billion years. I don’t care about anything. I’m just done with it all.”
The timing of this exchange is very telling; this was just days after the Aurora theater shooting, and Adam had been away from the forum for over four months. The tone of the email suggests to me that someone from the forum was missing his input on this latest massacre, and sent him an email with some kind of sensational details about James Holmes. Adam’s reply shows that by now (just five months before the Sandy Hook shooting) he was bored with the topic — or, at least, claims he was. This could be a sort of envious dismissal of a mass shooter that he would have seen as a competitor by this point.
I should also note that it doesn’t seem the authors took into account any of his forum posts. It appears they based their evaluations of his online activity through the un-redacted police reports, which examined his email activity, which showed interactions with the same people… but they were not the exact same interactions as seen on the Columbine forum.
This is probably because they were going off of the police reports, which likely didn’t have any forum posts in them either. The official report’s note that Adam Lanza “was a member of several columbine forums” was probably gleaned from the context of these email exchanges, where Adam and the other forum users probably mentioned the Super Columbine Massacre RPG forum in conversation. I don’t think they ever found the forum itself (in fact Shocked Beyond Belief may have been offline when they looked for it.)
15. The contents of his hard drive that referred to pedophilia were apparently research for some kind of college essay:
At some point, AL crafted an undated and lengthy essay, which he identified as a college admission application text, outlining a position that pedophilia should not be considered abhorrent or illegal. His essay, academic in tone, references varying cultural norms across the span of time to support a premise that our modern day attitudes about pedophilia are arbitrarily constructed. Authors are careful to note that there are no other writings that speak to a preoccupation he may or may not have had with pedophilia. There are no records and there is no evidence that he had pedophiliac tendencies. Authors note that there is evidence that he was in possession of video pornography, but that the contents of the pornography was not pedophiliac in nature. It is possible that the essay he drafted constituted an academic exercise that was not submitted for review by any educational professional. As with the “Big Book of Granny”, it was obsessive in both length and tone, 34 pages long even though he stated that the “requirement” was 500 words.
I would here note that one of the documents, listed in warrants as “457.full – Profile of a pedophile,” is actually just a publication from the Mayo Clinic, discussing the diagnosis and treatment of pedophiles (available here: http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)61074-4/abstract)
16. A previously-unreleased text from Nancy again describes the “bump on the head” that occurred on December 10th, just before she left for New Hampshire, and just four days before the Sandy Hook shooting.
AL sustained and injury to his head the night before Mrs. Lanza left for a trip to New Hampshire—2 or 3 days prior to the Sandy Hook shooting. Mrs. Lanza describes his injury in a text message reading “bloody, bloody, bloody.”
For comparison’s sake, the previously-released text:
“I was off to a rough start. Poor Adam bumped his head (really badly) and we were dealing with blood at 5:30 in the morning L He is ok.”
17. It hasn’t been released before, as far as I know, that Adam Lanza studied Sandy Hook’s security procedures (emphasis theirs):
The attack on Sandy Hook Elementary appears to have been a purposefully thought-out and planned attack—AL did not just “snap.” He visited the school’s website on numerous occasions. He had looked at the student handbook and viewed security procedures at the school.
18. This e-mail was sent by Adam just 3 days before Sandy Hook shooting. The “bump on the head” already happened, and Nancy was in New Hampshire.
Date: 12/11/2012 9:56pm
I didn’t really look at the emails you sent earlier, so I guess I ought to respond now. About the Chinese mass stabbers, they blend together in my mind too much for me to say much. Although I guess that should make it even easier to talk about them…I don’t know. Who am I to even say anything on the topic? The inexplicable mystery to me isn’t how there are massacres, but rather how there aren’t 100,000 of them every year. So when it comes to rates and such, causes and consequences, domestic or forging (sic), in whatever context, I’m just going to be completely making things up because I apparently don’t understand any of it.
I’m clueless about Olga Hepnarova. While granting that modus operandi really isn’t that important, I just can’t get into vehicular slaughterers. It seem too mediated, like using remote explosives (too hot). And knives stray too far from the whole “mass” aspect (too cold). The aesthetic of pistols tends to be just (sic) right.
A list of mass shooter suicide notes…I never thought to compile such a thing before. I can’t remember ever thinking, “Whoa, that guy had a suicide note and I’m just finding out about this?! If their existence is every (sic) divulged by the police, it tends to be pretty public knowledge; and if their contents are released, they’re even more prominent. So I’m probably not privy to any information that you aren’t’ already well-aware of. All I can offer is to say that you can probably rest easy knowing that you aren’t overlooking too many lurking Jiverlys.
As far as the Holmies go…well, the .gif of him dancing on a llama was cute. I guess that’s all I can say about the whole Holmie thing since I can’t really relate to it. I don’t understand why there weren’t the “he’s just a poor misunderstood puppy who needs help” type flocking around Jared Loughner since that spiel ostensibly applied to him more than James Holmes. And speaking more generally, I don’t really understand why Aurora shooting was considered such a big deal all-around, as if such a thing had never happened before. It’s not like its 1984.
The sum conclusion from the authors, in reaction to emails like these from the last days of Lanza’s life, is their belief that “his thinking, while highly idiosyncratic and verging on the bizarre with regard to mass murder, was not actively psychotic.”