Blarvink: Adam Lanza’s first wikipedia account revealed

(thanks to a reader of the blog, Jonas, for supplying a full accounting of the available posts for this profile; I’d been aware of it for a year but was not convinced it was the shooter until now.)

The first known online activity associated with the Sandy Hook shooter was his activities on wikipedia (and several firearms forums) under the moniker “Kaynbred” starting in June 2009 (I’ve covered that account’s wikipedia activities in depth here.) This first-known account also represented the earliest significant online activity in his timeline.

As it turns out, Kaynbred was not Adam Lanza’s first wikipedia account. The user account Blarvink was created by Adam Lanza on February 4th, 2007, when Adam Lanza was 14 years old.

This point in time also marks just 3 days before Adam Lanza’s final meeting with Yale nurse Kathleen Koenig (they had a total of 4 meetings from Oct 2006 to Feb 7, 2007.) It is thus well documented that he was experiencing emotional paralysis and extreme anxiety at this time, and it was during these meetings that Lanza asked Koenig questions about schizophrenia as well as psychotic depression.

Although the account was created on February 7th, the earliest available activity associated with the account is not until two months later, on April 11th (click here to see all of the account’s contributions.)

The edits on that day include one to the page for the television show Blues Clues, wherein he redacts some obvious vandalism. This perhaps seems like an insignificant point, but it is worth noting the correlation in subject matter seen from Lanza’s other account Smiggles, 4 years later:

Oh, dear God. The school shooter in the episode of Homicide: Life on the Streets was the host of the children’s show Blues Clues. I guess going away to school didn’t turn out too well for him.

[link to a scene from said television show]

This tragedy could have been prevented. Steve showed all of the warning signs.

[link to a scene from Blues Clues]

A similar correlation can be seen in the subject matter of the other page that Lanza edits on that day, and his known fixations in real life. The edit shows that Lanza was active on the (now-erased) page for “Rant” – a page dedicated to defining and explaining the act of ranting.

Since the page itself was erased, we have no way of knowing what edits he made to it (only his edits to the page’s “talk” page survive.) However, being familiar with all of his other writings, I immediately suspected that this section came from the Sandy Hook shooter:

The scholarly foundation for a discussion of ranting begins with the observation that ranting is likely universal, probably evolutionarily conserved, and therefore putatively performs a vital function affecting reproductive success. It has been hypothesized that ranting is part of the behaviour pattern of male bonded, small group, coalitionary lethal violence directed against outsiders. If that hypothesis has merit then the ranting behaviour pattern may have biological roots extending to the epoch of the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. It would also follow that ranting may have a powerful non verbal, probably emotional, component.

Compare this with the reports from his Yale examinations included in the Child Advocate report, dated one month after the archiving of the wikipedia page:

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.

However, since the archive in question is from January 2007, and the “Blarvink” account was not registered until one month later, it can’t have come from that user account. Two likely scenarios then:

  1. That sentence is what led to Lanza’s attention to the article and subsequent edits, whatever they may have been.
  2. That edit did come from Adam Lanza, but either under a different user account or anonymously.

Since the page in question is gone, there’s no way to prove or disprove either scenario without access to Wikipedia’s admin records, so it will probably be left at that.

The most significant contribution in terms of cementing the shooter’s timeline, though, is Lanza’s edit to the page for Newtown High School, on August 28th, 2007. In it, he simply changes the number listed for the amount of students attending the school; it his his edit note (explaining to other Wikipedia users why he made the change he did) that is most revealing:

According to what the surrogate vice principal stated in the auditorioum to the 9th and 10th grades on 8/28, there are 1,737 students in Newtown High School this year. I Updated the page accordingly.

This can be taken as confirmation that Adam Lanza attended the “New Students” assembly at Newtown High School, the same day that he made this edit.

Note how this event falls in between the other events on the timeline from this period (the edit is bolded:)

August 26, 2007: Just before the start of 10th grade, “a communication from a psychiatrist stated that the doctor had reviewed [Adam’s] history with [Nancy] and that he was confident that Adam was prepared and ready to attend Newtown High School as a full time student that fall.” Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 62

August 28, 2007: Adam Lanza, as Blarvink, makes an edit to the wikipedia page for Newtown High School, updating the number of attending students. His note for this edit includes confirmation that he attended an assembly at Newtown High School (likely the “New Student Orientation” always held in August) that same day:

According to what the surrogate vice principal stated in the auditorioum to the 9th and 10th grades on 8/28, there are 1,737 students in Newtown High School this year. I Updated the page accordingly.

Pre-Fall 2007: Nancy write to a staff member at Newtown High School, just before the start of the school year, affirming that [Adam] “insists on walking through that front door,” and that he was “prepared.”

It is worth noting that Adam had actually already attended 9th grade at Newtown High School and was thus not a “new student,” but the above context makes the purpose of his attendance at the assembly obvious.

Finally, the account’s later attention to the page for the book Into the Wild is certainly consistent with Lanza’s developing worldview at the time; the edit itself is not significant, beyond also being consistent with Lanza’s obsession with exact details — in this case changing the amount of a person’s life savings, in the previous edit changing the number of students at the school, and in many later edits specifying the weapons and ammunition used by specific mass killers.

For those interested, here I’ll also include some of Jonas’s observations about Blarvink’s wikipedia etiquette and what it suggests to him (without comment from me as this is beyond my familiarity with the site):

Jonas Rand says…

User:Kaynbred only had 12 edits.to Wikipedia. By contrast, User:Blarvink, by contrast, made at least 20 edits, one of which is no longer visible (due to the deletion of the article, “Rant”, by an administrator, after the time the edit was made). The Blarvink account was created on February 4, 2007, but his first edits on record are on April 11, approximately 2 months later, reflecting a similar pattern to the account “Kaynbred” (created almost 2 months before its first edit):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Log/Kaynbred

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Log/Blarvink

Blarvink made a few edits here and there almost every month from April to September 2007, at the end of which he stopped editing, only to login to the account over 5 months later to make his final edit under that name, to the talk page of Barack Obama, where he wrote a sarcastic response to another user’s comment about the article’s content. After this, he seems to have abandoned the account altogether.

Regarding the edits themselves, they show interests that had not been linked with Adam Lanza before, and also show more ideological viewpoints, such as an opposition to liberalism and Barack Obama. While it isn’t fair to infer that his opinions had not changed between this point and the time he committed his massacre, or that this even tells us what viewpoint he had at this point (he could have been anything from a conservative, to a libertarian, to a Maoist to be opposed to liberalism and Obama), it does help to piece together his internet activities during his high school years. Something that everyone may not be familiar with is the terms used in his edit summaries: he has a familiarity with at least some Wikipedia policies but this could have easily been attained by simply lurking and reading the rules, and looking at other people’s contributions (there is a “Recent Changes” page in most wikis, including Wikipedia). POV stands for “Point of View” and is used in Wikipedia to mean something that is biased, i.e., in contravention to its Neutral Point of View (NPOV) policy. In his last two edits before his long break from Wikipedia, on 10 September 2007, we see Blarvink changing content that he is deeming “POV”. While this is a common term, he uses it to describe the title “Her Majesty” and removes that title from the page about “New Zealand” where it was used to describe Queen Elizabeth II. He was informed on his talk page that this was, in fact, a proper usage of the term, though he never responded to this comment.

It is worth noting that almost every edit made under this account comes with an edit summary, which it is considered proper etiquette to do on Wikipedia for all edits that are not minor, though it is not always done. Only one of these summaries is automatic (the result of an “undo” action that automatically reverts the last edit to the version immediately preceding it). Of his 19 edits as “Blarvink”, only three have no edit summaries, including his last edit under that account. His first edit said that he removed vandalism from the ‘Origin’ section of the article “Blues Clues”, but he actually made the edit he described in this post a minute after he said he had done it.

Another interesting feature of these edits is that they show more of a variety of interests than Lanza’s later postings online, particularly his edits as “Kaynbred”, which largely only deal with the subjects of guns and mass shootings. Here, we have Lanza visiting pages as diverse as the book “Into the Wild”, New Zealand, Blues Clues and the Gas constant. However, we do see an interest in war, reflected in 1) the comments by Lanza’s 7th grade teacher about his essays on the subject of battles, war, and destruction; and 2) the books from Lanza’s book collection which are revealed in the latest report from the Office of the Child Advocate. Blarvink edited the articles on Alvin York (a US Army Sergeant and WWI veteran) and the Fall of Saigon.

Perhaps he even had an earlier account, but I doubt it due to the nature of his first edit, announcing that he had deleted vandalism when 1) this is usually not announced and 2) he had not even done it yet. This seems like a newbie mistake. He may have had a third Wikipedia account, however: not only was he inactive there after 2010, but the period between the last edit from Blarvink’s account and the first edit by Kaynbred is over 17 months long.

P.S. – The page “Rant” was deleted in 2013, so his edit to it was not preserved; however, the article’s talk page was never deleted, so his comment there, from 2007, stays to this day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log&page=Rant

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Rant

[…]

Regarding his first Wikipedia contributions, it is possible that he contributed something to this section of the article at a later date as “Kaynbred”, and indeed according to this tool (which is used to list the various accounts that a single user has synthesized across multiple wikis run on Wikimedia Foundation servers – such as Wikiquote, Wiktionary, and foreign language versions of these sites)…

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth/Blarvink

…User:Blarvink had 21 contributions, which would account for the edit to the “Rant” article that he discussed on the talk page, and one additional edit. His account currently shows only 19 contributions, so it isn’t beyond the imagination that his first contribution could have been to add content to the “Rant” page and his second contribution being the one he explained on the talk page. However, it is impossible for the section quoted above from the archived page to have been added by the Blarvink account (though it may have been added by Lanza using an IP address, or a different alias, it could have been anyone), for the simple reason that Blarvink wasn’t registered until February 2007, and that archived version was from January.

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Lanza home sold to Newtown for $1, contents burned

Link to the Courant: Bank Burned Lanza Items To Prevent Memorabilia Sales

I would just quickly note that the items burned were only the ones left in the home, i.e. not anything that was found to be of evidentiary value (or even potential value) and thus seized back on 12/14 and in the days after. All of that stuff will still be in the possession of the Connecticut State Police.

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Columbine forum members had recommended physically destroying hard drives

SHL-harddrive1

the hard drive from Adam Lanza’s PC, smashed with a dumbell and scratched (presumably with the nearby set of keys)

One of the most significant lingering questions about the Sandy Hook case is the killer’s hard drive: what was on it? Why did he obliterate it just hours before ending his own life, having committed one of the most heinous crimes in history in the intervening morning? What, if anything, was sufficiently shameful or incriminating that it had to be destroyed, in light of the extremely incriminating evidence found intact on the external USB drive he left intact in a nearby closet?

I don’t know. But I believe I’ve found a forum thread that at least explains why he erased his hard drive in this specific fashion.

As I recently established in the course of reporting a Columbine RPG Forum thread that likely explains Adam Lanza’s familiarity with Anarcho-primitivism, Adam Lanza was reading discussions on said forum long before he was actually participating in them. Thus, anything we find on the forum between 2007 and 2010 we can reasonably assume Adam Lanza read.

This particular post appears days after the Kaynbred account first appears, and about a month after the release of the english version of Bullet Time, an extremely obscure film written and produced by a member of the Columbine RPG forum, and a film which Adam would later demonstrate an intimate familiarity with. So, this discussion occurred during a window in which we know he was extremely active online, and paying particular attention to the Columbine RPG forum (recall that he was crafting his “mass murder spreadsheet” during this time, the filename of which he titled after the forum.)

SHL-colgam01

“colgam01″ = COLumbine GAMe

One of his first acts after joining the forum seven months later was to share this same spreadsheet with the forum.

SHL-comprehensivelist-link1

no copy of the thread itself was archived, just the index page showing the title

Indeed, Lanza would have been reading the discussion I am about to reference with far more attention than anyone else; the recent report from the Office of the Child Advocate conclusively establishes that his focus on mass murders was unprecedented compared to anything the FBI had ever seen, and the lens through which he viewed this information was primarily and undeniably the Columbine Massacre RPG forum (referred to in the report as “a small community of individuals that shared his dark and obsessive interest in mass murder. (pg 100)”

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that the user “Sabratha” who was involved in the making of Bullet Time participated in this discussion. Adam Lanza definitely read Sabratha’s posts, and so this detail, almost by itself, establishes that Lanza would have read the following discussion.

How to erase a hard drive

The thread in question was initially posted on May 12, 2009, and the thread’s topic is The Eric and Dylan e-mails. The point of interest being discussed is a note from a news article, indicating that one of the Columbine shooters erased his hard drive in such a manner that investigators were never able to surface its contents:

They pored over e-mail among Harris and Klebold and friends. Most of the writings spoke only of teen-age concerns. Girls. Games. Television shows.

The investigators scrutinized Web postings and other writings — some from Harris’ computer — promising more death on April 26, a threat that never materialized.

Unlike Harris’ computer, Klebold’s offered no help.

Investigators concluded that Klebold had gutted the machine, erasing one of the two hard drives, leaving it blank.

“I can’t prove it,” Davis says. “But deep down in my heart, I think it was probably nuked either the day before, or that morning.”

What did Klebold have to hide?

“We’ll just never know,” Davis says.

While the intended topic of conversation in this thread was for everyone to speculate as to the contents of this hard drive that was owned by Dylan Klebold, the discussion starts to drift toward the how of the scenario more so than the what. Here are the relevant excerpts in light of the picture at the beginning of this post:

  • “Yeah Dylan made sure no one could read his HD, it’s a ticky proccess too. You have to clear it like 2 or 3 times just to make sure you can’t recover it. Whatever was on there he didn’t want anyone to see. I think it may have been to hide porn but that’s just my guess”

  • “But this takes a lot of time, I don’t know what for tools he had available, as OSX-User I am also able to erase my harddrive with some extra-features, and overwriting with these methods take multiple hours. He also ereased one of the two harddrives, the first one was maybe the OS only. If I would him I had destroyed; you just have to know what/where.

  • “Couldn’t Dylan have just taken his computer stuff out to a field and smashed it up with a sledgehammer and dumped the remains? I’m not very tech-savy so that’s what I would have done in his position.”

  • “I know that Cho got rid of his harddrive in some unknown manner, I guess he wasn’t as tech-savy as Dylan so he had to physically get rid of it”

  • “Yeah, to destroy it or threw it away or burn it COMPLETELY would be the best thing”

  • “Firstly if you format a HD the data can be recovered. I know of a company in the United Kingdom, where I’m from that can restore data from a formatted HD. I expect they could recover something from one of Klebold’s two HD’s removed from his primary computer. And yes destroying the HD physically is the best way to go. The aforementioned technology is only what the Government is telling you about. “

While we of course cannot know with certainty exactly which of the Sandy Hook killer’s actions were inspired by these sorts of forum discussions, it is entirely reasonable to assume that he read this forum thread, and also that he lacked any sort of significant input beyond what he absorbed through his computer, given the information in this week’s report from the Office of the Child Advocate (also, recall that even when he was supposedly in college, his mother Nancy found him in the library rather than in class.)

In other words, it may seem presumptuous in a normal criminal case to assume that information found online was the exact information that a given criminal read and was inspired by, but this is not a normal case. Adam Lanza primarily existed, just seven months after this posting, as an online identity that read this exact forum, and was otherwise barricaded from the outside world in the sealed bedrooms on the second floor of his home. There can be no reasonable doubt that he read this thread, and his corresponding actions in 2012 leave no doubt that he took this information to heart, and subsequently took the contents of his hard drive the grave.

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18 takeaways from yesterday’s report

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 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:

SHL-catpossum1

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 . . .

The reply:

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.

From: (AL)
Date: 12/11/2012 9:56pm
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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.”

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An illustration from “The Big Book of Granny”: Adam Lanza’s 2draw from 2005

This is something I’ve been sitting on for awhile. I just wasn’t sure it was worth posting about before, seeing it as more of an odd bit of trivia about the case than anything else, but today’s release of the official report from Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate has cast a new level of scrutiny on Adam Lanza’s childhood project “The Big Book of Granny” that he assembled with another, yet-unnamed boy while they were in 5th Grade. So, I’m going to share what they left out: Adam Lanza himself posted an illustration from the Big Book of Granny online.

This will take a bit of explaining.

The official report (both the one released today and Connecticut State Police report from one year ago) provide a description of the Big Book of Granny, but only one actual image from it has ever been released, that being the cover:

SHL-2drawgranny01

…note that while Adam Lanza’s name is unredacted, the “creator of the Granny Picture” is redacted. So, Adam apparently didn’t draw this picture. That will be relevant.

Personally, I’ve never really been interested in this home-made comic book as an investigative lead. Adam would have been in fifth grade at the time, and although the summary of the book provided by police includes a great deal of violence, that didn’t strike me as peculiar for boys in that age group.

The Child Advocate’s report, while it doesn’t include any actual quotes or photos of the book, basically destroys the validity of those kinds of dismissals (emphasis is in the original text):

“Here, “The Big Book of Granny” suggests that while in many ways [Adam Lanza] appeared to be positively developing, by the age of ten, on some level, he was deeply troubled by feelings of rage, hate, and (at least unconscious) murderous impulses. While many children, and especially boys, of this age contend with anger and violent impulses in their play and creative productions, “The Big Book of Granny” stands out, to mental health professionals, as a text marked by extreme thoughts of violence that should have signified a need for intervention and evaluation.”

So apparently, the Big Book of Granny was much, much more disturbing that whatever I was picturing.

Now, we need to jump around in time a bit.

Blarvink at 2draw

I first posted about this drawing back on November 26th, 2013 when the “blarvink” moniker first leaked. One of the pages I found online was of a drawing on the site 2draw, posted on June 8th 2005 and entitled Elder crying over Nuclear Weapon; I thought it was interesting that the user who posted it (as Blarvink, a name which Adam Lanza used in World of Warcraft) later tried (and failed) to delete it, given that Lanza had deleted so much of his online posts in other venues. This is that drawing:

46914-v1

I had posted that drawing before most of the major breaks in the case took place: just a day after the official report was ever released, before I found the “Smiggles” account, before the radio call was unearthed… basically when Adam Lanza was still a blank slate.

So, about two months later I had read all of the official report, and upon seeing the cover of the Big Book of Granny, noticed the similarity in art style. I updated the “2draw” post with this:

Edit 1/21/2014: a comparison between Adam Lanza’s illustration for the cover of the “Big Book of Granny” and the Blarvink’s 2draw contribution:

granny2drawcomparison

And that’s how it stood. Two drawings that look pretty similar, drawn about 3 years apart. Not a big deal really.

What the 2draw post really is

A few months ago I was browsing through the official report and skimmed the description of the Big Book of Granny (again, this is the only information that’s ever been released about it up until today; there’s no way to actually read the Big Book of Granny) and one description stood out:

SHL_granny2draw03

The description of Granny “throwing a match and causing an explosion” is what is taking place here:

46914-v1

yes, it looks more like a cigarette than a match, and the smoke is coming out the wrong end, but we’re not talking about grading an art assignment here

There are a few issues with this assertion, but I think they actually make this posting more significant.

First, as I noted above, Adam Lanza didn’t actually draw the “Big Book of Granny” cover. The other boy (who the Child Advocate report notes is now living in mental health facility) drew it, and confirmed so in interviews with police. While this may not be the most reliable account (given the passage of time mostly, but also due to the co-author’s mental state) the cover of the book records the same, so it’s probably true.

If that’s the case, though, that means that Adam Lanza was sufficiently impressed (or obsessed, or interested, or whatever his emotions were) with the drawings that he wanted to duplicate them and pass them off as his own, at least in an online, anonymous situation, three years later.

Which brings us to the second point: the “Elder Crying Over a Nuclear Weapon” drawing is not literally a drawing from the Big Book of Granny. It’s a hand-drawn recreation, which actually shows a much more significant level of interest in the Big Book of Granny by its co-author, three years after it was originally drawn. 2draw (from what I can tell, not to mention the name of the site) is not a place where you can cut-and-paste art. You have to draw it in-browser (comparable to something like the app Draw Something.) The 2draw post itself notes that he took 44 minutes to put it together.

In other words, Adam was still obsessing over the violence in his (5th grade) book by the time he was almost an 8th grader. And I think that’s far more significant that quibbling over whether the original drawing was by someone else, or differed from the 2draw post. That he wanted to recreate it after so long, and put so much care into doing it, speaks to a deeper issue.

Anyway, I haven’t finished reading the report yet, but will have my overall response to it up tomorrow. In the meantime, here is the full description of The Big Book of Granny, from the official police report last year (my only changes are splitting paragraphs for readability):

On 08/16/13,1 was assigned to review documents returned from the FBI-Behavioral Analysis Unit. A review of box #3 of 5 boxes revealed a spiral bound booklet called “The Big Book of Granny”, which appeared to be created by the shooter. The book is bound in a black plastic spiral binding and covered on the front and back with a clear plastic sheeting. The book starts with a list of 85 Granny Jokes. All of the jokes are degrading statements beginning with “Granny!”

Following 3 pages of Granny Jokes, the book lists “Granny Products of the Future”, which includes advertisements for Granny Action Figure, Granny Action Figure 2, Granny Action Figure 3, Granny Action Figure 4, Granny Action Figure 5, Granny Action Figure Set (includes all 5 Granny Action Figures), Gran Spam, Granny Oats and Granny’s Granny. Each of the products is described in an advertisement format with monetary cost and
phone number to call to order.

The next section of the book is labeled as “Granny’s Clubhouse of Happy Children.” This section is a typed dialog from an imaginary TV show. The main characters feature Granny, her son “Bobolicious” and several children. In the show. Granny and Bobolicious are talking to the group of children as if in a group. In the first episode. Granny punches one boy in the face, throws a match and causes an explosion and threatens to shoot and kill the children.

The second episode, Granny’s Clubhouse of Happy Children 2, starts out with Bobolicious speaking to the children. Bobolicious said “Hi! I’m Bobolicious the Explorer….. Remember last time when everyone was slaughtered!? Well…You bread-brain leeches gave me 75 years of prison for that so called “Tragedy”! I was having fun!” The third and final episode. Granny’s Clubhouse of Happy Children 3, introduces two new characters, Dora the Beserker and her monkey, Shoes. Bobolicious says that they are going to play a game of “Hide and go Die.”

The next section of the book is labeled “Adventures of Granny.” There are eight chapters labeled “The Adventures of Granny” through “The Adventures of Granny 8.” All eight chapters are dialog between Granny and another character identified as Granny’s Son with various persons added in. In the first chapter, Granny and Granny’s Son rob a bank, Granny shoots people with her rifle cane, and then blows up the bank with dynamite. After the robbery. Granny’s Son shoots Granny in the head with a shotgun. In the second chapter. Granny and Granny’s Son go on a boat ride. Granny falls out of the boat and Granny’s Son throws her a cement floatation device which forces her to sink to the bottom of the ocean.

In the third chapter. Granny and Granny’s Son try to capture a boy and stuff him, to put on the mantle. Granny kicks the boy into the fireplace and he begins to burn. The boy jumps out of the fire and Granny punches him in the face. Then Granny shoots at him three times with her rifle cane and misses him. Granny then throws a Granny Action Figure to the boy. The boy gets distracted and the action figure comes alive and shoots the boy. Granny’s Son says “Yay! Now we can hang it!” In chapter four. Granny and Granny’s Son go to a hockey game. Granny goes onto the ice and punches one of the players and then shoots him with her rifle cane. After the hockey game, Granny and Granny’s Son go to Duchess restaurant to eat. In chapter five, Granny goes to Marine boot camp and meets up with Dora the Beserker and Swiper the Rackoon. Granny asks Dora if she would assassinate a soldier at midnight and Dora agrees to do it. Dora says ” I like hurting people…Especially children…” Granny then shoots multiple people with her rifle cane.

When Granny escapes boot camp and goes home to Granny’s Son, she tells him that she left boot camp because she killed the entire Marine legion. In chapter six, Granny and Granny’s Son are picked up from the side of the road by Dora the Beserker. Dora tells Granny that she can take her wherever she needs to go, after they go to the daycare center. When they arrive at the daycare center, Dora sends Swiper the Raccoon inside to distract the children. Then Dora enters and says “Let’s hurt children.”

In chapter seven. Granny and Granny’s Son go to visit Dora the Beserker. Dora takes them on an adventure to find Drunk. In the adventure, they encounter a rooster and have to call upon their bag to get a shotgun. In their bag is a handgun, AK-47, M-16, rifle, rocket launcher, musket and a shotgun. Dora uses the shotgun to shoot the rooster and Swiper the Raccoon. Later in the adventure, Dora accidentally shoots her monkey, named Shoes, Lenny the Cow and Tico the Chipmunk. Dora eventually gets arrested for possession of 6 guns and murdering 4 animals. In chapter 8, Granny and Granny’s Son use a time machine to go back in time. In their travels, they meet The Beatles. Granny kills all of The Beatles and says that she kills every bug she sees. Granny and Granny’s Son get arrested and sentenced to 75 years in jail for killing The Beatles. (See attached copy of the cover of The Big Book of Granny)

CASE STATUS:
This case remains ACTIVE pending further investigation.

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Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate releases their official report

It’s here (top link on the right.)

I won’t have a chance to read the report until later, will post any thoughts I have on it tomorrow.

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Anarcho-Primitivism at the Columbine RPG forum

The few known hints that Adam Lanza left behind about his motive in the Sandy Hook shooting are all rooted in anarcho-primitivist philosophy; he linked to John Zerzan’s essays in his last post (in which he linked mass violence with anxiety and alienation) and he called Zerzan’s radio show to explain his interpretation of the Travis the Chimp incident.

It hasn’t been clear, though, exactly how Lanza stumbled across anarcho-primitivism; given the lack of attention the other forum users paid to his postings about Travis the Chimp (Smiggles several times contributes replies to the thread, despite there not having been a reply from anyone else, so he was essentially talking to himself) and similar topics (his post on trans-humanism) I had assumed that anarcho-primitivism was a subject that he brought to the forum, and it simply didn’t catch on as a topic of discussion.

I’ve discovered that this is not the case. Reviewing the Web Archive of the first instance of the forum, Super Columbine Massacre RPG! Discussion, it can be seen that Anarcho-primitivism was discussed on the forum in 2008, three years before Lanza was doing the same (the tone of the conversation I’ll be quoting here suggests that this is not the first time it has been brought up, either.)

Lanza didn’t even register until a year after the thread in question, so it should be noted, then, that he confirmed that he was already reading the forum as of late 2006, in the thread How did you find this forum?”:

SHL-smiggles2006kimveer

Thus, while Smiggles was not around to contribute to this conversation, we can be pretty much certain that the read the thread. And after reading it, the content of the thread leaves no real doubt.

The conversation that introduces the topic of anarcho-primitivism (or at least the earliest one that I could find) was the thread Columbine, Fight Club and the copycats, posted on 25th December 2008. In the initial post, the forum user Sabratha compares “copycat” killers such as Pekka Auvinen to the dumb followers of Project Mayhem in the book Fight Club.

I just feel like making a rant.

Remember that day when you heard about the first shooting in Finland when it was Auvinen?

I do. I remember getting mad, then sad, then astonished when I found out it was someone I’ve seen on youtube.
I remember his movies, him in his “Humanity is overrated” shirt, him shooting in the forest like Eric, him making pseudo-darwinistic rants like Eric did, his name in the news when he was dying in the hospital after he shot himself. Just like Eric.

I remember the day Saari made his shooting, I remember seeing him on TV, in his backwards black cap like Eric, shooting his gun then pointing at the camera. I remember hearing his name on the news as he was dying in the hospital from a delf-inflicted shot in the head. Just like Eric.

Somewhere, inside something there is a whole ton of misunderstanding, pain, fanaticism. The more I know about the perpetrators of the last few shootings, the more I realize that they are like the blind worshippers of Cassie Bernal and Rachel Scott.

TV gave them their saints, the internet provided them with their relics, the media gave them their blessing.

The copycats didn’t understand what columbine was about and didn’t see al thelies and myths the media made and they didn’t see the faults in Erics reasoning and his writing.

Its like fight club. The 10 year anniversary of columbine is approaching and I have a dreadfull feeling that somewhere out there is a group of people who are mindlessly chanting a name over and over and its not “Robert Paulson”.

I can hear them:

“His name was Eric Harris, his name was Eric Harris, his name was Eric Harris…”

Sabratha, recall, is the user who was involved in the making of the film Bullet Time that suggested aspiring shooters join the forum (I’ve covered it in detail here). Adam had a particular liking for this film, and he consistently referred to it as “Sabratha’s Bullet Time” – the film and the forum user were closely linked for Adam, and so it follows that he had a particular respect for Sabratha. He would have been reading Sabratha’s posts.

The first reply to this thread is from the user columbin - this user is the owner of the forum, and the creator of the game the forum is named after: Super Columbine Massacre RPG. In his post, he quotes directly from Fight Club, a passage where the cult-leader-like character Tyler Durden describes a sort of post-apocalyptic hunter-gatherer society, and columbin suggests that it as a desirable existence:

That’s a really interesting comparison. In the Fight Club analogy, we should think about how to prevent the mindless adherence to Project Mayhem by space monkeys. Despite this, Tyler’s vision is a promising one:

Quote:
In the world I see – you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.

Nonetheless, I think this would be a pretty great world to have. In fact, it may be an inevitable world to have by the 22nd century.

The next day, the user NamelessMuse replies critically to columbin’s post, and this is where anarcho-primitivism is specifically brought up (although the previous post essentially was advocating it in all but name, and NamelessMuse is expressing doubt about its merits):

I disagree Columbin and I don’t find Tyler’s description to be great at all.

While major social change is inevitable for better or worse it is never a permanant thing. If we achieved your ideal world it would not last.

I don’t understand the love for anacho primitvism. Part of the philosohpy is that modern society alienates individuals Which it does but I don’t see how dying in some cold forest is somehow better.

Some may say that our consumption based lifestyle is a bad thing and leads to shallow pleasure but how would living day to day like the unibomber be any better? I like security in my life as well as medicine and the internet. Such a lifestyle would not lead to a deeper spiritual happiness but rather simple reward based happiness. That sounds even more shallow.

Secondly anarcho primitivists who wish to activley cause the world to be thrown into a state of chaos are selfish assholes because who gave them the right to decide we need a revolution?

They are talking about killing millions of people and there is no way around that. The earth cannot support the level of people it has now if we all reverted back to a hunter gatherer lifestyle. The agriculture revolution I would argue is a great thing. I know you disagree.

Anarcho primitivists also seem to cherry pick what they consider modern. Why not just choose regular anarchism? “Modern” is a social construct of little real meaning anyway. I like things like medicine tampons and video games.

What would happen to the arts in such a world?

Exchange one extreme for the other Material based consumerism vs. minimalist survivalism. They both fucking suck.

Its not the lifestyle you need to worry about its human nature that is the problem.

Again, it’s apparent that this topic came up on the forum before, so this is probably not the specific thread where Adam first learned about the subject of anarcho-primitivism. The point is that this is another instance where Adam Lanza derived his personality and his motives from his study of mass murder, rather than a philosophy that he studied separately and then connected to his obsession.

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