Announcing: The Sheltered Storm

Hello again. It’s been a good, long while.

Readers gifted with a strong memory will recall that when this blog was active, it sometimes made reference to (or even shared pieces of) a book I was writing on the Sandy Hook shooting, and what I had learned about the causes of the event over the years. The title of that story is The Sheltered Storm: the True Story of the Man-made Disaster That Struck the Village of Sandy Hook, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. I’m proud to announce that you’ll be able to read it very soon, for free, at

I will be publishing the entire story online, serially, with new chapters on Mondays and Thursdays, starting October 10th, 2019.  

There will not be any further updates to Sandy Hook Lighthouse, which has already been dormant for some time. It was a difficult, and at times deeply flawed project, but one I tried hard to keep informative and useful, even in some small way. Thank you for reading.

– Matthew Nolan (aka “Reed Coleman”)

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Status of this blog

For new readers: This used to be a blog about the Sandy Hook shooter, focusing on his online activities. I’m no longer updating it, but I’m leaving the information online for people who are interested in the case.

While researching the case myself over the last few years, I’ve also been writing a book about the Sandy Hook shooter, and the phenomenon of mass shootings. Sometimes I post excerpts from the book here. But aside from that, I won’t be posting any new content.  

(So regarding today’s news: Yes I’m aware that the FBI released their files on the Sandy Hook shooter. I’ve browsed the documents and have many thoughts, noticed many things, but I’m just not blogging anymore. Cheers.)

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The Sandy Hook shooter’s GPS data (and other notes before moving on)


It turns out I had more to say about the GPS unit the shooter used than I thought, so that’s most of what I have to share today, but there are few other assorted items afterwards. This also represents a closing of the Sandy Hook case for this blog; I’ll be sharing portions of my book here in the near future, but I am now officially done researching the event.

(And as a quick update on the book: I’m done writing it, but I do not know when it will be released or in what form [e-book vs. traditional publisher.] So from here on I’ll be keeping quiet about that until I have a firm date to share. Sorry. When I know, you’ll know.)

The 19 GPS trips

The Sandy Hook shooter got his driver’s license in July 2010, three months after his 18th birthday. He did not want to start driving (a fact that frustrated his mother, who did pretty much everything for him until then) but his parents’ divorce settlement mandated that his father buy him a car. His father also gave him driving lessons, and at some point, gave him his old GPS unit. The shooter eventually did start driving on his own, and would use the GPS unit frequently; each time, the unit recorded the route he programmed, and how he followed it.

The data starts in April 2012. To briefly give an idea of the domestic situation at this time: the father had been moved out for more than ten years. Te Bushmaster XM15-E2S was already in the house at 36 Yogananda, and unbeknownst to either parent, their youngest son had been studying mass shootings, and especially school shootings, very closely for more than three years. He had been out of school for about one year, and had not seen a psychiatrist since probably July 2007. He had, however, been meeting with a friend that he met while playing Dance Dance Revolution at the movie theater in Danbury, starting sometime in 2011.

The GPS Unit itself was a Garmin Nuvi 550 (some of the investigative files call it a model 200, but 550 appears to be accurate) and it was eventually recovered by investigators at 36 Yogananda, in the hours after the shooting, tucked in a white plastic bag in the family’s gun safe, along with “handwritten notes regarding addresses of local gun shops”:



The GPS unit was in this white bag on the floor of the gun safe, along with other stuff from the shooter’s car.

Now, the transfer of ownership of this GPS unit, from Peter to his son, presumably occurred sometime before April of 2012, since the shooter’s father never saw him again after an argument over college plans in September 2010. But for whatever reason, April of 2012 is when the data recovered by the Connecticut State Police begins.

There were a total of 19 trips logged by the Garmin unit, taking place between April 23rd 2012 and December 13th 2012 (the day before the Sandy Hook shooting.) Most of the trips the unit logged are not very remarkable, but I’ll go through the whole list. It should also be noted that the times I quote here are adjusted from the official report, which mistakenly used UTC time zone data rather than Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5hrs) as I originally reported here.

(Also I assume that by this point someone out there has already gone through this data and shared their findings online, but I haven’t, and I like to check this stuff myself. So here goes.)

The first trip happened on April 23rd, 2012, from 4:54pm to 5:37pm. This was the day after the shooter’s 20th and final birthday. The starting point is in Westport, a town 20 miles away from the shooter’s home in Sandy Hook. What was he doing?

Note that the shooter’s mother had indicated that one of the purposes he would ever used his vehicle was to pick up groceries (quoted further down): this appears to be a return trip, driving  from the Whole Foods market in Westport that was just a bit down the road from the coordinates shown on the GPS, which I submit as the most likely answer (these images are from the CSP report, I just added the red labels, sorry it’s a little blurry):


(There is also a “Bow Tie Cinema” movie theater just a bit down the street, which could also plausibly have been where he was coming from, but later trips are more clearly to/from the Whole Foods. Probably the gap is due to waiting for a satellite signal.)

I was curious about the “note regarding the addresses of gun shops” and looked around the map of the surrounding area just to see if there were any gun stores he might have been going to. It doesn’t appear so. Though that’s not the case with at least one later trip.

Moving on, the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth trips all begin from the shooter’s home at 36 Yogananda, and end at the AMC Loews Danbury 16 movie theater — on April 24th, April 27th-28th, May 9th, May 11th, and May 18th. In the lobby of this theater is “Dance Dance Revolution” video game cabinet, where the shooter was observed very frequently playing marathon sessions, during this same time period. All of the trips from 36 Yogananda to the theater look like this:


The April 24th trip (the first to the theater) is worth noting because it shows the shooter arriving at the theater at 10:00pm, and because of a film playing in theater at that time: the Disney-produced nature film Chimpanzee:


Archived snapshot of a page showing that when the film was playing on the evening before

The friend he played DDR with in the lobby noted that they sometimes watched movies that were playing at the theater, and it is well established that the Sandy Hook shooter had a fixation on chimpanzees. However I don’t think there’s any direct confirmation that they watched this film. I’d just be very surprised if he didn’t see it at some point (or at the aforementioned Bow Tie Cinemas in Westport, which was also showing Chimpanzee.)

The seventh trip occurred on the morning of May 22nd 2012. It’s a significant one. In a break from the pattern, this trip took the shooter from his home in the hills of Sandy Hook, down into the heart of Newtown proper, where he appears to have stopped at or near St. Rose of Lima (a Catholic church and also a parochial school where had had briefly been a student in the 7th grade.)

When the official report summarizes this trip, the police note “(Between sequences drove past Sandy Hook School)” — and when I first read this, I did not know as much about the layout of the town, and assumed this was just because Sandy Hook Elementary School was along the way. But it’s not:


Here, it appears that even the appendix to the CSP report made an error in the timing of this trip; it is recorded as occuring at 8:09am:


…that is a difference of five hours from the UTC time of 1:09pm; however, because Daylight Savings is in effect in Connecticut between March and November, the correct conversion should be four hours — this trip thus took place at 9:09am, the exact same time in the morning as the shooter’s more well-known trip on December 13th (so I would guess that while the officer did think to set the time zone, he forgot to check the box for Daylight Savings.)

Additionally, exactly like the 12/13 trip, the shooter did not actually turn off Riverside Road onto to Dickinson Drive, which is the long driveway to SHES. He drove past it, continuing almost a mile along Riverside Road to Chimney Swift Drive, where he turned around and went home.

It was a Tuesday morning, and school was in session; whatever the exact purpose was of the trip, the path and the timing is stark evidence that he was already planning the specifics of his attack, seven months before he did it. In addition, it appears likely (though not definite) that he was also considering St. Rose of Lima for the same plan, at this time. This trip, and whatever he observed about the two locations, may even have been what made up his mind.

Trip Eight came two days later on May 24th at 9:19am, and is just another one going to Westport. (This time the data shows him driving right up to the Whole Foods):


Trip Nine happens on May 27th at 3:37pm, and takes the shooter to “Wooster Mt. State Park“ in Danbury.


It should be noted, however, that Wooster Mountain Shooting Range is located in the same spot. And, the shooter’s father told police that the shooter had been there with him before:


….however, that can’t have been this trip, because again, Peter never saw his son after September 2010. Another reason is, for this 2012 trip, the shooter was only at the location for a total of nine minutes, before he got back in his car and drove home. That being the case, I don’t know quite what to make of it; perhaps he was buying ammunition, or maybe the range was just too crowded when he got there, or maybe he just went to the park. Could be anything.

Trip ten occurs on June 1st, and is unusual because it appears the shooter simply drove to the main intersection at Sandy Hook. He stopped short of driving past the elementary school, and just turned around and went home. It was 5:35pm in the afternoon.


This is a very old part of town (it’s actually the spot where the first mill was built in the 1700s) but in 2012, as far as I can tell it’s just a liquor store and a Subway sandwich shop. Your guess is as good as mine.

Trip eleven is yet another trip the Danbury theater, on the afternoon of June 2nd. This is the trip when he was recorded playing Dance Dance Revolution by another person who happened to be in the theater, and who posted the video to facebook (covered previously here [note, however, that I made the same Daylight Savings error as the CSP did when I wrote that post — the shooter actually got there at 8pm, not 7pm. Though that timing is still consistent with the facts that supported that the video was the shooter])

Trip twelve is puzzling. It came on June 13th, just before noon, and shows the shooter driving from a location in Monroe (about six miles south of his home in Sandy Hook) to Westport, where the Whole Foods is located. It’s the departure location in Monroe that’s a mystery — it appears to be the Monroe Green, a small park with a flagpole and war memorial:



…but my guess is that’s just what he parked by, and he was really visiting the Monroe Farmer’s Market next door to the park, then got whatever groceries he still wanted afterward from the Whole Foods, his next destination.

Three days later, on June 16th, trip thirteen is a rather complicated one. It records the shooter leaving his home just before 5:00pm, and driving to the Danbury Fair Mall — several miles past the mall/theater where he usually played DDR:


But this trip is unusual as compared with the other trips he makes from Newtown to Danbury, for another reason: rather than continuing North/Northeast on Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook — which would have taken him directly to the Interstate I-84 westbound onramp that he normally took to get to the theater — it appears he took a left turn off of Berkshire Road and instead drove past Newtown High School (where he was previously a student) and continued traveling east, through the old Fairfield Hills mental hospital campus. He turned right (north) on Queen Street, passing by Newtown Middle School (where he was previously a student) and turned right again onto Church Hill Road, passing once again by St. Rose of Lima, before coming back to the interstate, and taking the onramp, heading west. He did not stop on this detour, but he went out of his way to make it. Then he got on the freeway, heading west. 

While passing by the Danbury theater, the one he normally visited to play DDR, the shooter instead merged north onto State Route 7, then took the first exit, turned around heading back south, and continued to Danbury Fair Mall, where he apparently parked. (He could have just stayed on the interstate and ended up in the same place, so it seems like he took the wrong exit and had to double back.)


The Danbury Fair Mall contains a Dick’s Sporting Goods store, roughly where the shooter appears to have parked. The store sells ammunition, as well as various items associated with the shooting sports, which the shooter could have purchased there (the CSP report includes an interview with a Dick’s Sporting Goods manager who thought he saw the shooter in his store. That was shown to not be true, however that Dick’s store was in Milford, a town 20 miles away.) Also, right next door in the Danbury mall is an Eddie Bauer store; the shooter wore a green Eddie Bauer vest when he launched his attack, and this could be where and when he obtained it (though there are a ton of stores in that mall, so who knows.)  

A little detail here: out of curiosity I checked to see if Eddie Bauer was advertising any vests at this time that matched the description of the one the shooter wore (there’s no photo of it), and found one that does appear to fit: the “Travex” vest offered that year has the same arrangements of outer pockets at least, and the zipper matches:

Image result for travex vest men eddie bauer


Anyway, trip fourteen is another trip to the Danbury Theater, around 8pm on June 16th, and returning two hours later. Nothing interesting.

Trip fifteen is yet another trip to the Whole Foods in Westport, on June 30th.

Trip sixteen occurs on July 28th at 1:22pm and is different than the others, but I think it’s ultimately just another trip to the theater, broken into two pieces:

The first starts with the shooter heading up the I-84 entrance ramp (which is across the street from Newtown High School) and then taking the lane exiting west. In doing so he does pass near Sandy Hook Elementary School — but he’s doing 80 on the freeway. (Until now I thought the May 22nd trip was the same deal, but that time he drove directly past it.)


Then, I think what happens is he takes a wrong turn: he takes exit 9, which puts him in Hawleyville, then immediately turns in at a small shopping plaza, where there is a wine store, a deli, and a post office. This trip ends at 1:28pm, and then a new trip immediately begins (this might be the GPS “recalculating” the trip after the wrong turn); he gets back on the freeway, again heading west:


Then he takes the next exit (#8) in Danbury, the same he usually takes to go to the movie theater… except this time, he doesn’t go to the movie theater, he just turns left, gets right back on the freeway again, heading east this time, and goes home to 36 Yogananda — it could have been he was agitated from taking the wrong turn, and then didn’t want to play DDR after all.

There’s something else to take into account with the data at this point: frequency of the trips. There was almost a full month between trip fifteen and sixteen. And though trip seventeen (which is just another Whole Foods run) comes four days later on August 1st, there is then another gap. This time, three entire months. Here’s how it lays out visually:


Note that the shooter’s DDR friend says that the shooter stopped hanging out with him “in June of 2012” after some kind of disagreement about planning their meet-ups. The drop-off in activity is indeed evident after June. 

Meanwhile, we do know a few things about what is going on inside 36 Yogananda during this quiet period; the shooter has stopped going to the Columbine forum for good as of the end of February, but he still converses via e-mail with people he knows, either from the board or through some other place online where Columbine or mass murderers were being discussed; one of them writes him an e-mail (probably about the Aurora theater shooting that happened on July 20th) and he writes back on the 23rd (five days before the “wrong turn” trip above, #16) sounding very depressed:

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.”

We also know that his mother started telling people in the fall that he “hasn’t left his room in three months.” 

Hurricane Sandy struck Newtown on October 29th, 2012. According to what Nancy told her boyfriend and several others, when the power went out at 36 Yogananda, her son got “weirded out” — or “freaked out” as worded by another witness interview. A third interview subject, who seemed to know the family well (and in fact may well be a family member, though not the shooter’s brother nor father) said Nancy told them her son had “basically shut down,” but refused to leave the house. Nancy, in turn, refused to leave him there alone. It appears that as aresult, they both just sat in their huge, silent, dark house, while the storm raged outside.

When the storm cleared, Nancy said, she went out to buy a generator so the situation wouldn’t happen again. Here’s the generator, in the garage:


(and if you’re wondering about the dark shape in the trunk, it’s just a shadow cast by a flap in the upholstery.)

A couple weeks after the storm, on November 14th, the GPS unit finally gets turned back on: trip Eighteen starts a quarter after noon, and goes from 36 Yogananda in Sandy Hook down past Newtown High School (though again its location in relation to 36 Yogananda makes not-passing it pretty impractical.) It turns left at the site of the old mill, heads into Newtown, drives past St. Rose of Lima on the left and Hawley Elementary (a school the shooter never attended, but that’s where it’s located, and the CSP report draws attention to it) and turns left on Queen Street, and then turns right, into a parking lot across the street from Newtown Middle School.


This parking lot is also where “My Place” is located, a restaurant where the shooter had been several times when he was younger, and with a bar where his mother was drinking at several nights a week by this point. However, the shooter was most likely just visiting the “Big Y” that dominates the plaza — it’s a supermarket, not as fancy as Whole Foods, but a much shorter drive.

The next day, on November 15th, Nancy sends an e-mail to Peter, about their youngest son:

“I didn’t want to harass him. He has had a bad summer and actually stopped going out. He wouldn’t even go to the grocery store, so it’s been pretty stressful. Yesterday was the first time in moths [sic] I’ve been able to talk him into going to do his own shopping and his car battery was actually dead because it sat so long. I ended up spending most of the day getting it fixed and now I am going to have to start pressuring him to go out all over again.”

If she pressured him, it apparently didn’t work. The GPS data goes silent again for almost a month. Then, Trip Nineteen comes on December 13th. It is the same as the May 22nd trip, minus the detour to St. Rose: the unit drives up Riverside Road, past the white sign for Sandy Hook Elementary School, keeps going for a bit, turns off at Chimney Swift Drive, then heads back the way it came, to 36 Yogananda.

The shooter then takes the GPS unit, its cord, the notes about the gun shops, and assorted other papers from the car, and puts them in a white plastic bag. He takes the guns out of the safe, and puts the bag in their place. Later that night, Nancy comes home from her trip in New Hampshire, goes to bed, and never wakes up.

Some books found inside 36 Yogananda, identified

I’ve written about several books found in the shooter’s room before, but these are a few that I noticed in the den at 36 Yogananda: presumably, books that Nancy bought. There are no good photos of them really, but they’re on top of the cardboard box here, bottom-right:


The top book is “How to Behave: A Guide to Modern Manners” by Caroline Tiger.

Image result for How to Behave: A Guide to Modern Manners

This is just a bit interesting because it recalls an e-mail conversation Nancy had with her friend from Kingston, Marvin LaFontaine, shortly after moving to Sandy Hook, in May 1999 (these emails were published by PBS Frontline in early 2013, and site changes since them seem to have taken them offline, but I saved a copy.) She is responding to Marvin, who was asking about how to RSVP to a wedding invitation:

Yes…there REALLY is a book of etiquette…but I don’t think you need it. Just ask ME any of your questions. Haven’t you noticed how good my manners are, and just how polished I am??? (Not to mention my incredible ego!!!) Seriously…check out the section in the bookstore.

They even have a “Etiquette For Dummies” book out now. Flip through a few of them, and maybe buy one. (Emily Post is for VERY serious users…maybe the “Dummies” book is more usable in everyday situations) You will enjoy reading them…they are very entertaining.

Next to that book is “How to Find Out Anything” by Don MacLeod:

Image result for "how to find out anything"

This is apparently a book about how to use the internet effectively to find information. I have a pretty good idea why Nancy was reading this book; her sister-in-law showed facebook messages between them to the Daily Mail [here] which took place on October 6th 2012, showing that Nancy was investigating a “secret life” her deceased father apparently had, before she was born:

I discovered I have a half sister in Ohio, so I have to get there to meet her soon!

[…]  apparently my father was married previously and actually lived in Ohio…secret life and all. Weird.

[She lives in] Cincinnati …. Story TOO long to text off my little I Phone… But yes, life is funny and strange. Lies people tell and try to live in those lies. Sad. She seems nice and I would like to meet her. I feel sorry that my parents turned their backs in her at such a young age. No one is talking so I don’t know the real story.

[…] As for [the lost sister]…she had no clue what happened. Her mother is dead, our father is dead, and my mother won’t say. It’s a mystery. We will never have answers…just have to deal with what is.

Another book in the left stack is probably the most significant:

Image result for rethinking depression

Note that there are two copies of “Rethinking Depression” in the stack; possibly, one for Nancy and one for her son.

There are also bookcases lining the den, their contents mostly unremarkable, but there are two titles I’ve spotted that are consistent with witness accounts about the shooter, even if this room isn’t his domain; the first is next to this elephant statuette:


It’s the 2009 book “Revolution: A Manifest” by politician Ron Paul:

Image result for revolution ron paul

I just bring this up because it being in the shooter’s home supports his father’s assertion that he liked Ron Paul and his economic policies. Also the file “Politics” on the shooter’s hard drive included some kind of information on Ron Paul, per the CSP description.

The other book is actually four books, in a box set, one shelf down:

SHL romancing1

It’s a four-volume set of “The Three Kingdoms” an epic historical from 14th-century China, depicting the end of the Han Dynasty. Here’s a close-up someone uploaded on Amazon (I feel like I’ve mentioned this before but honestly can’t remember):

SHL romancing2.jpeg

There’s also a second box set in the house, just like it, down in the basement:


This novel (or at least works based on its contents) is something that the shooter was interested in since he was very young. Here is a page from his reading journal from December 2002 (the same that contained the Tuck Everlasting journal entry that I wrote about here.)


I can’t make out all of it but one section appears to read like this:

When the castle was about to be raided, Lord Dian Wei stood in front of the enemy’s army and attacked. He had two halberds to hold them off when they got chopped in half he pulled out his sword and when that shattered something [xxx] happened. He actually picked up two corpses and swung them around like his halberds.

When he was killed, the enemy’s army still did not dare to pass the castle gates because of all the damage this one man did.

This passage shows that he was writing a description of the “Battle of Wancheng” — which in Three Kingdoms is told roughly as he describes, with the legendary warrior Dian Wei weilding human bodies as weapons:

Image result for dian wei halberds

One of the Playstation 2 games that the shooter’s family owned, Dynasty Tacticsdepicts this exact battle, among many others from Three Kingdoms, and as do several of the main Dynasty Warriors titles, which he also played.

There’s also this scrap of paper — undated, but the appearance suggests roughly the same time period as the Tuck Everlasting drawing — showing a drawing of a person holding a large sword. “Cao Cao” and the other names written along the side of the page are all figures from The Three Kingdoms:


It’s enough to wonder how many of the statements from teachers in Newtown, that the shooter wrote “pages obsessing about battles, destruction and war” in class assignments, were actually reflections of these kinds of stories. His interest in them was evident as last as 2008 (just before his 16th birthday) when “Blarvink” wrote this post on Gamefaqs, about an old Super Nintendo war-strategy adaptation of The Three Kingdoms that he was apparently playing at the time, Romance of the Three Kingdoms II:


the joke is apparently that one opponent/computer soldier defeated 100 of the shooter’s soldiers, because there was not enough rice to feed the large army.

The Eagles of Shepaug Dam

This is one of the more tranquil little stories tucked away under all the madness at 36 Yogananda, so I think I’ll end on it.

In 1999, when Nancy was e-mailing Marvin back in Kingston, telling him all about her new life in Sandy Hook and how it was going, she told a story about a day some friends came to visit:

Sunday morning we got a nice little snowstorm…but the sun was shining the whole time. We got just enough to turn the ground white. [REDACTED] asked me, “What is it about Connecticut…everything is just SO picture perfect!!” (I kid you not!!) I just smiled and said “We pay extra for this!” It was too funny. Then later, as we sat at the table sipping our coffee and talking horticulture, a flock of Eagles…ten in all…started to circle the woods behind our house. They put on a show for about 45 minutes…landing in two trees less than 50 feet behind our house! One had a wingspan of about five feet…the others were a bit smaller. It was the first time ever that there was not a squirrel to be found in our yard… We got it all on video!

It’s a nice story: a cold winter morning, and the eagles circling overhead. But, the thing I’ve learned about this case is that a great deal of the exercise is simply determining if Nancy is telling the truth at any given time, because there are just so many documentable times when you can know for certain that she was lying. However, at the same time, she is really the only observer of what is going on inside 36 Yogananda, and she is practically the only person the shooter interacted with in any significant way, for much of his life. Her, and the internet connection are the only signals escaping the sealed chamber, beyond a few blips here and there (like the GPS data, which we’ve seen does support her side of a few events.) She’s an unreliable part of the story, but a vital one. So it always jumps out at me when I find something that shows she was actually being truthful, even about something small like this.

Anyway, in browsing old archives of the Newtown Bee, I found an article “All Eyes On The Eagles” from the February 19th 1999 edition (Nancy’s message was four days later on the 23rd) which documents what Nancy saw.  And in fact, that unusually cold weekend, which Nancy described in the same message, turned out to have been the cause of the eagles in the sky that morning.

To explain, this is Shephaug Dam, about two miles up the Housatonic River from where 36 Yogananda is:

Image result for shepaug dam eagles


The Newtown Bee story tells how it was so cold in Connecticut that weekend, the surfaces of the rivers all froze over. When this happens, the bald eagles, who feed on the fish swimming in the river, would have to fly somewhere else. But the waters just downstream from Shepaug, due to the action of the dam, would not be frozen. That’s why the eagles gather there.

On that particular morning, some engineers at Shepaug Dam noticed that the level of the Housatonic upriver was getting a bit high. So, they opened the floodgates; this brought thousands of alewives (a species of herring) coming over the dam. It was a sudden, incidental feast for all the eagles in the area.

There was a wildlife biologist on staff with Northern Utilties, a Mr. Rosgen, who kept a log of all the eagle sightings that winter. It had been a very quiet year so far, but when the floodgates opened, he counted 35 bald eagles from his observation post.

Back at 36 Yogananda, as Nancy’s email conversation continued, Marvin apparently commented on the story about the eagles. In her reply to that message, Nancy gave more details, and explained that she actually knows all about the wildlife reservation near her home:

The Eagles were very impressive. There is a reservation not more than 2 miles from here, where Eagles winter and mate. There was a record sighting of twenty eight Eagles at the reservation on the Sunday that the ten made it to our house. The largest one at the nesting spot had a wing span of over seven feet!

Nancy’s story to Marvin matches the Bee’s story in such a way that I expect she either read this same issue, or talked to someone who did; she said there were 28 eagles, which is wrong, but was actually the previous record, and that was what Nancy witnessed being broken. From the Bee story:

On Saturday, February 6, a record 35 individual bald eagles were spotted from the observation post, Mr Rosgen said. The previous record was 28 individual eagles spotted during a single day in 1988. The observation area began operations in the winter of 1985.

And that was that.




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“KnaveSmig” on Wikipedia

A reader tipped me off to this.

On a particular Wikipedia user’s “Talk” page, just after midnight UTC on June 20th 2012 (or June 19 at 8:20pm, Newtown time) another user posted links to an Excel file they had uploaded, describing the spreadsheet file as their custom “mass murderer list.”  The message was posted under the username “KnaveSmig”.

Twenty minutes later, the same user posted another message, to the same page, with links to music files that they described as “songs about school shootings” that they had compiled off Youtube.

They posted only those two messages on Wikipedia, and then disappeared. There is no other activity associated with the account, nor the username anywhere else on the internet that I can find.

The files that the user “KnaveSmig” posted links to were hosted at — that website ceased functioning in 2015, so the files are no longer available.

However, the messages do provide some useful insight into the Sandy Hook shooter’s psychological state, six months before his attack and suicide at the elementary school.

Briefly, here is why I believe it’s likely that this was the shooter, based on what we know about his life and his other online activity:

  1. It is known that the shooter posted content to Wikipedia relating to mass shooters, under the username Kaynbred. (The evidence on Kaynbred)
  2. It is also known that, after mostly shedding his “Kaynbred” identity in early 2010, he took up a new username, Smiggles. (The evidence on Smiggles)
  3. The Sandy Hook shooter maintained a huge, meticulously arranged spreadsheet ranking mass murderers by a number of criteria. This was confirmed in the official police investigation, and was widely reported on, as one of the earliest known details about the shooter (the spreadsheet itself has never been released and its sealed status is part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by the Hartford Courant.) shl-colgam01
  4. He was also very careful about the criteria used for defining “mass murderers” on said spreadsheet (exhibited in “Smiggles” posts below as well) shl-rampage02
  5. As “Smiggles,” he had tried to share his spreadsheet before, on the Super Columbine Massacre RPG discussion forum:SHL-comprehensivelist-link1

There are several more things I will point out about this, but I’ll get to the messages themselves first. Here’s the context: “KnaveSmig” is posting a public message to the user page of another Wikipedia user, one who was very prolific in editing articles pages about mass murderers. KnaveSmig had apparently noticed this user when reading said articles. Here is what they said (or you can read directly at wikipedia here.)

Compared to the legions of people who focus solely on serial killers, it’s almost impossible to find anyone who’s interested in mass murderers, so I thought that I might as well introduce myself. I’ve been researching this topic since 2006 and I started compiling a formal list at the beginning of 2010. We basically use the same criteria, but the main difference is that I leniently define “mass murders” as involving a minimum of four casualties, whether through deaths or injuries.

Even if I could hope to be as thorough as you are, my list isn’t meant to be a comprehensive chronicle as much as it’s meant to help with answering statistical questions— albeit rather poorly since it really should be twice its current size. But if it weren’t for you, “twice” would be closer to “thrice”. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were responsible for 1/4 of my list, let alone the boundless complementary information you’ve provided on the other mass murderers. You’ve been incredibly helpful here.

I haven’t had the motivation to do much with my list since its first few months, and it’s currently in a mid-revision state, so the whole thing really isn’t much of anything to be excited about; but if you want to see it, here it is in all its mediocrity:

(dead link removed)

00:20, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

The second message followed about 25min after, pointing out a mistake on the spreadsheet:

Wow, ignore the negligent formatting error which placed Anders Breivik below William Unek. What an appropriate testament to my incompetency.

By the way, I don’t know if you have any interest in this sort of thing, but I recently compiled a pretty thorough list of (primarily YouTube) links to songs about school shootings. If you want just the list, you can download it here:

(dead link removed)

If you don’t mind downloading for half of a day, I took practically all of the songs (16 hours), cleaned them up as well as I could, and put them into a convenient package here. I recommend starting with the “Albums” file.

(four dead links removed)

If my mass murderer list is useless to you, at least you might be able to enjoy some relevant songs!~

That’s the only activity associated with this username anywhere on the internet, and they never came back to wikipedia.

The user he had posted the message to eventually replied, in 2013:

Hey KnaveSmig, I hope you are still alive. Sorry for not answering, but until now I really couldn’t be bothered to do so. Bad me, I know. I also didn’t save your list, and it ain’t available on rapidshare anymore, so if you should ever read this would you upload it again and leave me a note here? Thankee. 23:35, 7 April 2013 (UTC))

Some things that immediately jump out at me about this message, and what we know about the shooter:

  1. The statement “Compared to the legions of people who focus solely on serial killers, it’s almost impossible to find anyone who’s interested in mass murderers” is reminiscent of the statement from “Smiggles” seven months before, “Serial killers are lame. Everyone knows that mass murderers are the cool kids.
  2. KnaveSmig states that they first became interested in mass murderers in 2006; this aligns with the Sandy Hook shooter’s statement about the Columbine message board from Sept 16 2011, “I think I found it through Google toward the end of 2006. I didn’t register for years because it seemed like the kind of website which would get you on a terrorist watch-list.”
  3. They also state that they “started compiling a formal list at the beginning of 2010.”
    “Smiggles” was registered at the Columbine forum in Dec 2009. The first known posts from that account, including the sharing of the spreadsheet, come from early 2010. Early 2010 also marks the transition from “Kaynbred” to “Smiggles.” The Bushmaster rifle was subsequently purchased in late-March 2010; it appears that the shooter’s building of a spreadsheet in early 2010 was part of his gun-shopping phase, and so the purchas of the Bushmaster (and the Saiga shotgun the same week) would mark the culmination of that project.
  4. The awkwardly self-deprecating statements – “here it is in all its mediocrity”
    and “what an appropriate testament to my incompetency” – are reminiscent of the e-mail released by the Child Advocate’s office, from July 2012 (one month after these messages from KaveSmig, and a few days after the Aurora shooting): “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.” (it should also be noted  that, of this time period, his mother wrote in November “He has had a bad summer and actually stopped going out.”
  5. Sixteen hours is a pretty staggering amount of music that was supposedly all about school shootings. I have no idea what would be on there, except for the Youtube music that the shooter linked to as “Smiggles.” It was a pet subject of his, one he returned to again and again in tedious detail, usually as part of his preoccupation with establishing that the song “Pumped Up Kicks” was not about the Westroads Mall shooter. Below are the posts in question, which demonstrate the same combination of interests as “KaveSmig”:

7 September 2011:

Pumped Up Kicks, A hit song about a teenage killer?
I found that song about a month ago through Google because someone in the comments for a video of it said that it was about Robert Hawkins. “Robert” was apparently an arbitrarily selected name from what I could find, though, which is especially obvious considering that it has nothing to do with him other than how he took his stepfather’s AK-47.
For trivia’s sake, I know of four other young mass shooters whose names were Robert:
Robert Smith, November 12, 1966 (Who actually did use a “six-shooter”)
Robert Poulin, October 27, 1975
Robert Sartin, April 30, 1989
Robert Steinhauser, April 26, 2002
In any event, that song is waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too repetetive for me to listen to without throwing a hissy fit. I’ve been constantly listening to this one since last year and I still love it:
(dead Youtube link removed, video was apparently “Regalsin’s tribute to Robert Hawkins” as the same link was later posted under that subject)

October 28, 2011:”I Don’t Like Mondays” is a song about a school shooting. “Omaha Shopping Mall Blues” is not a song as far as I can tell, so I assume it’s a joke (the shopping mall Robert Hawkins attacked is in Omaha) or a reference to the tribute video above (he shares a link to it again here):

Pumped Up Kicks
That song really irritates me. This is the much better one:
(deal link removed)
In any event, that “Pumped Up Kicks” song isn’t even about Robert Hawkins.

The average age of the people that Robert Hawkins shot was 49. That doesn’t seem to be getting back at kids who have redundantly pumped-up kicks. If the song really is based off of him, they did a pretty terrible job in making it relevant when you compare it to something like I Don’t Like Mondays, let alone the Omaha Shopping Mall Blues.

October 29, 2011: The “Barry” that he refers to is presumably the Frontier High School shooter, who wore a cowboy hat and boots and had a preoccupation with Clint Eastwood films:

Pumped Up Kicks
I can’t stop thinking about how much this song annoys me. Even if it wasn’t so lame, it would still bother me that they used the name “Robert”. Now one of my favorite mass shooters has been turned into a trendy stereotypical poster child of school shootings just because of his age, despite having nothing to do with the school shooter archetype. They could have used Michael, or Evan, or Barry, which would literally fit in with the whole “cowboy kid” thing.

November 8, 2011: Includes a link to a Youtube video for “The Ballad of Charles Whitman,” a song about the University of Texas tower sniper of 1966.

Pumped Up Kicks
The guy who wrote Pumped Up Kicks said that the song is about an outcast teenager losing his mind while plotting revenge without any explicit violence occurring. People have interpreted that to mean that it’s about a school shooting. Because of the name Robert, Robert Hawkins has now become a stereotypical poster child of school shootings.

If any name other than “Robert” had been used for the song, no one would have associated Robert Hawkins with Pumped Up Kicks. If the name “Robert” had still been in the song, but Robert Hawkins had actually been 32 years old (the average age of American mass murderers in the last 20 years), again, no one would have associated him with Pumped Up Kicks. They would have instead said that “Pumped Up Kicks is surely about Robert Steinhauser”, not at all because he fits in with it better than anyone else would have, but merely because his name was “Robert”. At least with Robert Steinhauser, it almost sort of vaguely fits in with the interpretation many people have that the song is about school shootings.

Robert Hawkins’s mass murder unquestionably was not a school shooting: he shot up an upscale shopping store. Without applying my pet theory as to the origin of mass murder, which you’re accusing me of doing, anyone can see that Robert Hawkins did explicitly share the socioeconomic characteristics of much older mass murderers. Instead of approaching it through simply stereotyping him as a school shooter who was bullied by his classmates, it would thus be more accurate to approach it through simply stereotyping him as maybe being a young version of Mark Barton, with whom he shared many similarities.

(link to article about Mark Barton)

If you interpret Pumped Up Kicks to be about school shootings and you think that Robert Hawkins is a better representation for a song about “an outcast teenager losing his mind while plotting revenge without any explicit violence” than Evan Ramsey or Michael Carneal would have been; and if you think that Pumped Up Kicks has more to do with Robert Hawkins in particular than the Omaha Shopping Mall Blues does, then I don’t know what I can say.

It’s akin to saying that I Don’t Like Mondays was about Charles Whitman. I mean, in a
sense I guess it could be, but it would be absurd to say that it’s a better representation of him than it is of Brenda Spencer; and if you want to think of I Don’t Like Mondays being about Charles Whitman, it would be absurd to say that this song,

has less to do with Charles Whitman than I Don’t Like Mondays does.

December 4, 2011: Note that Smiggles sneaks in some of the statistical observations from his spreadsheet, as KnaveSmig describes compiling along with his music playlist. The “multiple bootlegs” song he links to is a shock-rap that advocates school shootings:

Pumped Up Kicks
Other than the whole “Robert” thing, the only indication that Pumped Up Kicks could
be about Robert Hawkins in particular is that he used his stepfather’s Kalashnikov; but that’s not something unique to him because, according to the best information that I have available, around 75% of American <25-year-old mass shooters used firearms which they didn’t legally own, compared to around 25% of American >24-year-old mass shooters. Instead of being an explicit reference to Robert Hawkins, it could just be a throwaway reference to a common aspect of young mass shooters. Anyway, diverging from my whining, I serendipitously rediscovered Robert C. Bonelli Jr.after having forgotten about him for a while.

(link to photo of Robert C. Bonelli at trial)

The only explicit information that I could find about him regarding his teenage years was that he had dropped out of high school at age 16. At age 24, he was an extremely shy outsider who was constantly worried about being picked on for being reportedly 260 pounds at 5’10”. His duplex neighbor said that he was “the kind of kid who gets picked on in high school”. His uncle said that he had an inferiority complex, always being self-conscious about the way he looked, his weight, and how no girl would ever want him. Along with being depressed for many previous years, he had been having trouble with alcohol and drug abuse.

He spent almost all of his time alone in his room where he kept “a shrine of Columbine memorabilia”, which included newspaper clippings, “TV documentaries about ‘the darker side’ of Columbine”, and news accounts & pictures printed from the internet, along with a picture of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold taped to his wall. He had a video which included him building and exploding pipe bombs with two other local dropouts, one of whom’s girlfriend said that he had frequently spoken about killing himself.

It’s rumored that he also had multiple bootlegs of the album which contains this song:

If he didn’t actually have it, I’m sure that he would have if he had known about it.

He repeatedly took cocaine early in the morning of Sunday, February 13, 2005. Possibly precipitated by a girl rejecting his friendship several days earlier, he decided to kill himself. Dressed in black, he left a suicide note at his house, borrowed his father’s car, and drove to the Hudson River with the Hesse Model 47 he had legally bought at a gun show four months earlier. He held the rifle to his head but couldn’t kill himself. He drove around aimlessly, and saw a police car in the parking lot of the Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston, New York. He decided to get the police to publicly kill him.

He wrote a second suicide note at some point and left it in his car. The only information I could find on either of them was from the second one, which included the Dylan quote, “The lonely man strikes with absolute rage”. He had written somewhere (I don’t know any details) that he had been wanting to do this before the Columbine anniversary. About an hour prior to the shooting, he went to a Walmart to buy ammunition and returned to the mall. He considered waiting until the coming Monday to do it at a school, but demonstrably decided against it. He parked in front of the Best Buy (presumably the most convenient entrance, going by Google satellite) and sat in his car for twenty minutes. Just before 3:15 PM, he picked up his rifle and walked toward the mall.

He shot three times at the front door, which caused ricocheting bullet fragments and shrapnel to superficially hit his first victim. The victim’s daughter’s purse and pants were each penetrated once, but she remained uninjured. Once he entered the Best Buy, he spent the next seven minutes aimlessly shooting in the store. He never shot from the shoulder and most of the bullets struck the ceiling and floor. The most aiming he did involved shooting from his hip at televisions and blank walls. He had many opportunities to shoot people but bypassed all of them. He reloaded once and eventually left the Best Buy, entering the main corridor where he spent the next two minutes shooting out store displays while walking toward the center of the mall. It was here that he shot his second victim in the knee. When he had expended all of his ammunition, he dropped his rifle and calmly surrendered. He was subsequently sentenced to 32 years in prison.
Robert Bonelli and Robert Hawkins (who both went by Robbie) both used AK-47 variants (although Bonelli’s was a very cheap model), and both of them had two 30-round magazines (although Bonelli’s weren’t fancily jungle-taped together like Hawkins’s).

While Robert Hawkins used 2/3 of it and killed eight people and injured four, Robert Bonelli used all of it, but only directly shot one person and indirectly shot a second. The only time that I’m aware of Robert Hawkins deliberately shooting at anything other than a human was when he shot a teddy bear, but none of Robert Bonelli’s shots were deliberate. Likewise, I cannot seeing anything which indicated that Robert Hawkins had been significantly affected by (the conventional interpretation of) bullying nor peer rejection, but Robert Bonelli seems to be a different case.

If any “Robert” fits in with the school shooting interpretation of the song about “an outcast teenager losing his mind while plotting revenge without any explicit violence”, it’s Robert Bonelli, not Robert Hawkins. The only issue is that he was 24 years old, not a teenager; but Robert Hawkins was practically the same age, being less than a half a year from 20. Anyway, “teenager” was my word, with the Pumped Up Kicks guy always saying “kid” and “youth”.

Robert Bonelli still doesn’t fit in with it better than Evan Ramsey or Michael Carneal would. And Pumped Up Kicks is still a really lame song.

There’s also the fact that he makes mention of Anders Breivik, whom the Sandy Hook shooter did have a pronounced interest in — but, I think that would go along with the territory for anyone making such a spreadsheet, especially at that time (the Norway attack happened just the summer before.)

Anyway, that’s all I have. I think it’s pretty obviously the shooter, but draw your own conclusions.

One other thing of interest is that the recipient of the message (who has since “retired” from Wikipedia) has already realized that the message may have been from the Sandy Hook shooter; about a month after this blog broke the “Smiggles” story, he requested a that a Wikipedia admin run a trace “to check if KnaveSmig’s IP address is located in Connecticut, maybe even the Newtown area.” You can read his back-and-forth with the Wikipedia admin here (the request was denied; as requesting user notes, the Mod is not accurate in explanation for why they believe KnaveSmig is not the shooter, as he is confusing the account with Kaynbred. However I assume the decision not to trace the IP is still appropriate based on his explanation.)


I finished my investigation into the Sandy Hook shooter last year, and so “KnaveSmig” is the last username that I’ll be bringing to light. I’ll have a final update next weekend (what I was going to post today until this fell in my lap) which will be just an assortment of small things I’ve come across over the last couple years that didn’t warrant bringing up anywhere else.

After that, I’ll just be sharing updates on the status of the book — which should still be out this year, but not soon. I’ll be posting excerpts from it here over the next few months, as well.

*EDIT* 03/05/17 – So much for “next weekend.” But it shouldn’t be long.

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a quick non-update

As mentioned last time, I had hoped to post some more updates over the course of this fall, but life and other events have pretty much consumed my free time since September.

I’ll be back after the new year. My book on Sandy Hook will be available to read, in some form or another, in 2017. Apologies for the delay. I think it will be worth it.

That’s all for now. Have a safe New Year.

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“Tuck Everlasting” and the Sandy Hook shooter

I noted earlier how “The Big Book of Granny” was created during an important juncture in the Sandy Hook shooter’s life — the family at 36 Yogananda was starting to splinter, the shooter (at age ten) was already exhibiting a few signs of emotional disturbance, and he was just about to be lost in the shuffle as he and his classmates all migrated to Reed Intermediate School after the new year of 2003.

The Granny book was not actually the only piece of writing from that time, though; it’s just the most notorious. In addition to that text, there were also several composition notebooks seized from 36 Yogananda:


One of those notebooks was the shooter’s writing journal from his fifth grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School:


You can tell this is the one based on the arrangement of the blue bookmark tabs, which were placed by police.

As the police logged them into evidence, they snapped a few photos of some of the pages, and here, there are two significant deviations from the case of the Granny book: the journal entry is dated, and the writing itself isn’t redacted.

From the context clues, one can tell that the shooter’s journal records that he was reading the 1975 children’s novel Tuck Everlasting, during these final days of the 5th grade class at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Before getting to the entry itself, a little background is necessary: Tuck Everlasting is a fiction book by American author Natalie Babbitt, and a bit unusual as far as children’s literature goes, in that it deals with some pretty heavy themes: existentialism, mortality, sustainability, and the environment.

The story involves a girl named Winnie Foster, growing up in the rural New Hampshire village of Treegap in the 1880s. Winnie’s family owns a large section of the pastoral wooded area around her home, and one day she meets the Tuck family as they pass through; over the course of the story, she learns that the Tucks (appearing to be a multi-generational family of children, adults and elders) are actually much older, as each of them having stopped aging at the point they obtained immortality, which was gained by drinking from a magic spring (hence the title, “Tuck everlasting.”) The wooded area where the spring is located also happens to be on the territory that Winnie’s family owns, which becomes a key detail.

By the point in the story covered in the shooter’s reading journal, Winnie has run away from home and been taken in by the Tuck family, while a sinister third party has become known to the reader: the nameless “Man in the Yellow Suit” who is trying to lure Winnie away from the Tucks, so that he can bring her back home and claim the land on which immortality spring sits, as his reward.

The yellow-suit man appears on the doorstep of the Tuck home, and the ensuing action is the basis for the observations in the journal entry: the Man in the Yellow Suit announces that he will be turning the magic spring into a business, selling immortality to the highest bidders, and that he is taking Winnie with him to fulfill the transaction. Winnie resists, the man roughly takes her by the arm and tries to drag her out of the house, and suddenly Mae (the matron of the Tuck family) swings a shotgun at the man, like a club, and hits him in the head. The wound soon proves fatal, and Mae is arrested for murder.

It appears that the shooter was asked to comment on Mae’s use of violence to protect Winnie (and, by extension, the secret of the immortality spring) in his journal. I will here try to transcribe what the journal entry says, though there is a section where the handwriting is too blurry for me to decipher, so here is the original police photo first (the original pictures are pretty dark, I just ran them through Google’s magic-wand filter):




I think Mae was justified to hit the man in the yellow. The world was in her hands because if everyone drank the water the world would be overpopulated but no one would think of that at first, they would just rush to buy the water and drink it. This [xxxx] but if you are [xxxx] it would be immortality and some people could abuse that ability. Actually the man in the yellow suit is the real kidnapper. Winnie wanted to go with the Tucks, but did not with the man. I would have done the same thing as Mae just did.

The two pages on either side of this journal entry appear to be related to the assignment. On the opposite page is a drawing depicting the scene at the Tuck house, with man in yellow at their doorstep:



The page is bent but he appears to be saying “I’M COMING IN YOUR HOUSE NOW” while at the bottom, the numbered stick figures around the house match the number of inhabitants (Tuck family plus Winnie) at the time.

For comparison, here is the man in yellow as portrayed by Sir Ben Kingsley, in the 2002 Disney adaptation:


The journal entry touches on the moral choices that are fundamental to the Tuck story: What would be the consequences for the world if anyone/everyone could live forever? Would immortality eventually become a burden, even a condition of torment for the individual? These observations aren’t unique to the shooter at all; they are actually expressed earlier in the story itself, most prominently when Jesse Tuck (who looks as if he is roughly Winnie’s age) takes Winnie out on a rowboat and explains why she should not want to drink from the magic spring:

“Know what that is, all around us, Winnie?” said Tuck, his voice low. “Life. Moving, growing, changing, never the same two minutes together. This water, you look out at it every morning, and it looks the same, but it ain’t. All night long it’s been moving, coming in through the stream back there to the west, slipping out through the stream down east here, always quiet, always new, moving on. You can’t hardly see the current, can you? And sometimes the wind makes it look like it’s going the other way. But it’s always there, the water’s always moving on, and someday, after a long while, it comes to the ocean.”

They drifted in silence for a time. The bullfrog spoke again, and from behind them, far back in some reedy, secret place, another bullfrog answered. In the fading light, the trees along the banks were slowly losing their dimensions, flattening into silhouettes clipped from black paper and pasted to the paling sky. The voice of a different frog, hoarser and not so deep, croaked from the nearest bank.

“Know what happens then?” said Tuck. “To the water? The sun sucks some of it up right out of the ocean and carries it back in clouds, and then it rains, and the rain falls into the stream, and the stream keeps moving on, taking it all back again. It’s a wheel, Winnie. Everything’s a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it is.”


“It goes on,” Tuck repeated, “to the ocean. But this rowboat now, it’s stuck. If we didn’t move it out ourself, it would stay here forever, trying to get loose, but stuck. That’s what us Tucks are, Winnie. Stuck so’s we can’t move on. We ain’t part of the wheel no more. Dropped off, Winnie. Left behind. And everywhere around us, things is moving and growing and changing. You, for instance. A child now, but someday a woman. And after that, moving on to make room for the new children.” Winnie blinked, and all at once her mind was drowned with understanding of what he was saying. For she—yes, even she—would go out of the world willy-nilly someday. Just go out, like the flame of a candle, and no use protesting. It was a certainty. She would try very hard not to think of it, but sometimes, as now, it would be forced upon her. She raged against it, helpless and insulted, and blurted at last, “I don’t want to die.”

It appears that the shooter had been dwelling on the ecological themes in this scene, as well as the macabre children’s nursery rhyme The Death and Burial of Poor Cock Robin, when he wrote this poem on the next page of his reading journal:


No frogs, no birds

too many ants are coming.

Ants overpopulate.

Ants dig dirt.

dirt grows plants.

Bees come to plants.

Cock Robin died.

Bees die.

Ants feed bees to babies

Ants will overtake to win

One baby died.

3 eggs wont hatch

One bird has no voice

This poem was covered by numerous mainstream news sources when the Connecticut State Police released their evidence files in 2013; I am not aware of any source making the connection to the neighboring pages or connecting any of this to Tuck Everlasting so far.

One final note of interest: about a month and a half after this journal entry was written, with the shooter and the rest of Newtown’s fifth grade having moved to Reed Intermediate School in the meantime, a teacher at Reed showed her 5th grade class a video: it was her interview with Natalie Babbitt, the author of Tuck Everlasting, answering questions that the students in Newtown had submitted to ask on their behalf. You can read about that in the archived news story from the Newtown Bee here.

Next update soon, probably by the end of the month.

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What was the “Big Book of Granny”?

It’s been a little while. So first, a quick note about the status of this blog: I’ve been very hard at work over the last year, focused on researching and writing my book about the Sandy Hook shooting. It’s occupied so much of my time (in addition to having a  day job, etc.) that I’ve found I don’t really have much energy left for writing blog posts, and given the inherent darkness of this subject matter, I’m not usually in a hurry to write even more  about it when I do have free time. So, that’s the reason for the lack of updates. 

However, there are still a handful of topics that I’ve been meaning to fit into article form for awhile, that I think anyone studying the case should be interested in. I plan (vaguely) to get these last few articles posted through September, and after that, hopefully, share some details about the book and when you can read it, as well as a few excerpts from it. More on that later.

Now, onto to today’s topic:

What was the “Big Book of Granny”?

Well, in short, it’s a multimedia project that the Sandy Hook shooter and his then-friend (along with possibly several other classmates) produced in the 5th grade. Police found the book when they searched the home at 36 Yogananda Street, where the shooter lived with his mother. The “Big Book of Granny” is one of the more significant pieces of evidence for constructing a psychological profile of the shooter, especially his elementary school years. It was made after he had become noticeably withdrawn from social interactions, but before his anxieties were so severe that he could barely leave the house. Also, his father had moved out of the house less than a year before, his parents separating sometime in early 2002. The “Granny” book offers a rare glimpse into the shooter’s state of mind at this juncture in his emotional development and family life.

First off, I don’t have a copy of the “Big Book of Granny”; it has not been released to the public, and whether or not it is ever disclosed is a matter that is still being decided in a court battle, with Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) and Division of Criminal Justice on one side, and the Hartford Courant and their reporter Dave Altimari on the other.

Altimari’s side is now joined by the state’s Freedom of Information Commission, which has already ruled in his favor and ordered that the Granny book (and the other unreleased documents attributed to the shooter, i.e. journals, text files, etc.) should be released; the other side appealed their decision, and that’s where we stand today. (more on this case at the Courant or the Newtown Bee or Sandy Hook Facts)

That’s not to say that we don’t have any idea what the book contains — we do, and its contents are quite alarming, especially in hindsight. Refer to the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate report on the shooter: after a team of mental health professionals reviewed the “Big Book of Granny,” they described it as “extremely abhorrent and, if it had been carefully reviewed by school staff, it would have suggested the need for a referral to a child psychiatrist or other mental health professional for evaluation. (pg 32)”

Earlier in the same report, the book is summarized as “a very dramatic text, filled with images and narrative relating child murder, cannibalism, and taxidermy. (pg 29)”

Expanding further on this theme, and with emphasis in the original source:

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. – Child Advocate, pg 33

I’ll get more into the content later, but first, it should be noted that in general, witness accounts are not consistent about the circumstances of the Granny book’s creation (I don’t think that’s surprising, given that this was just some kid’s old homework assignment right up until the events of 12/14.) Since it’s not really possible to reach solid conclusions on a number of details, this will be more of an attempt to record what is known, and then see what we’re left with when we compile all of the available information in one place.

I like to do things in chronological order. So, before we get to the book itself, let’s see what we deduce about its origins.

Where did the Big Book of Granny come from?

All sources are consistent in stating that the shooter produced the “Big Book of Granny” when he was in the 5th grade. Instances of this include the Connecticut State Police Official report summary, pg. 33:

Various witnesses made the following observations about the shooter through his school years:
1. In the 2002-2003 school year, when the shooter was in the fifth grade, he was quiet,
reluctant, very bright and had good ideas regarding creative writing. He wouldn’t
necessarily engage in conversation, but wouldn’t ignore one. There was no recollection of him being bullied or teased.
2. The fifth grade was also the year that, related to a class project, the shooter produced the “Big Book of Granny”… 


Connecticuty Office of the Child Advocate, pg 29:

While reports were generally positive about AL’s conduct and performance in elementary school, he generated and may have submitted, along with another boy in his class who was listed on the “Book” as AL’s co-author, an extremely disturbing project in fifth grade called “The Big Book of Granny.”

This already introduces a complication in the timeline, because the shooter (along with the every other 5th grader in the Newtown school district in 2002-2003) actually attended two different schools that year. Newtown had been in a hurry to finish construction of Reed Intermediate School while the students were away for Christmas break, amd though sections of the school would still be getting worked on after the big day came on January 6th, 2003, there was no other public school in Newtown staffed to teach the 5th and 6th grades after Reed opened its doors. (for more info see the Bee’s coverage of the school’s opening 14 years ago here or the announcement from then-Selectman, Evan Pitkoff here)

This is reflected in the title of the 2002-2003 yearbook from Sandy Hook Elementary School, a copy of which was found in the shooter’s home at 36 Yogananda Street (evidence list from Book 7, file 00177484):


Therefor, narrowing the window down to the 2002-2003 school year still leaves us with two schools where the “Big Book of Granny” may have been created.

For the next step, let’s refer to the only image from the Granny book that has been released so far, the cover:


Some of the words are redacted, including the co-author, but it’s clear from the word spacing that the book was made by the shooter and one other person. Investigating the book’s origins in 2013, the next natural step for police should have been to track down the co-author and see what he has to say about the “Big Book of Granny,” and that’s exactly what they did.

File 00194470 from book 7 of the official report documents that a phone call was made to the co-author’s residence on August 29th, 2013. There was no anwer, so the officer left a message. Sometime after, they got a call back, from the co-author’s mother:


Though parts of the file are redacted, a few things are apparent:

  1. the co-author is “currently residing” somewhere other than with his family (the co-author would be around 20 years old at this point.)
  2. After she received the voicemail the police had left for her son, his mother called him to find out what he could remember about the shooter, but he did not remember much, and for some reason that has been redacted, she doesn’t think that the detectives would have better luck.
  3. The mother’s memory seemed stronger; she recalled her son and the shooter doing “boy stuff” in the neighborhood at the time, such as riding bikes. Their houses were in “close proximity.”
  4. She remembers they did class projects together, though she does not specifically remember the “Big Book of Granny.”
  5. the shooter had visited her house during this time, and her boy had been to the shooter’s home at 36 Yogananda.

Along with these claims, the co-author’s mother also provides the police with documentation that “[her son] and the shooter attended [REDACTED] together at Sandy Hook  School from [REDACTED]” – clearly, a grade and a school year. The documentation was in the form of school directories from Sandy Hook Elementary, including the 2002-2003 school year:


Only the cover is given in file 00194470. The rest of the directory, as well as those for several other years, is redacted.

The police also record that the school directory “shows that [the co-author] started attending Sandy Hook School in [year] and only attended [grade] with the shooter during [year.]” That being the case, this file (as redacted as it is) indicates that the Granny book’s two authors were only in the same class at Sandy Hook, and only for one year; since the book was made in the fifth grade, that means we can reasonably isolate the timing of its production as somewhere between September and late-December of 2002.


Two months after that conversation with the co-author’s mother, on October 16th, 2013, the CSP detectives document a trip to the office of a Probation Officer in nearby Danbury, CT. This probation officer was “recently assigned to supervise” a redacted name, who turns out to be the co-author of the “Granny” book, now on probation and “in a group home under constant supervision” stemming from “a court case involving motor vehicle charges.” (Book 7 file 00232922) :


For a bit more information on what exactly this person’s status was as of 2013, refer to the Child Advocate Report page 29 (note: the Child Advocate had access to unredacted CSP files) which describes this same CSP file as a “present-day statement of the co-author (an individual who as an adult was diagnosed with mental illness and is purportedly living in a residential setting.)” However, the same evaluators footnote that they “cannot confirm whether this individual is confined involuntarily in a locked setting or whether he is residing in a community-based facility.”

Proceeding further in the CSP file, the probation officer then escorts the co-author, now a young man with his own troubles, into the room for an interview with police, which lasts about 35 minutes:


Contrary to what his mother claimed, the co-author of the “Big Book of Granny” seems to recall quite a bit about the times he and the Sandy Hook shooter spent putting it together. Among the details he claims:

  1. The Big Book of Granny was created as part of a group assignment to make a “comic book style” project.
  2. There were other kids in the group with him and the shooter, submitting ideas for the shooter’s approval
  3. They all agreed to make a “Calvin and Hobbes” style comic
  4. He (the co-author) was responsible for the illustrations
  5. The only illustration he remembers was the cover graphic
  6. He doesn’t remember who produced the final copies, or how many there were
  7. He thinks the school was responsible for binding it
  8. He thinks the Granny book was turned in to be graded for the assignment

#4 seems credible, given the mock legal warnings the creators wrote on the cover of the Granny book; the shooter is named as owning the rights to all the content, but the “Granny Picture” is attributed to a redacted name, presumably the co-author.

The last two points (#7 and #8) are significant, in that they would indicate an adult saw the final product, or at least had opportunity to read it; whenever this book passes through adult hands, to me that represents a missed opportunity, given that the Child Advocate report specifically states that the book’s content “should have signified a need for intervention and evaluation.”

The issue of adults coming into contact with the “Big Book of Granny” is complicated further in The Reckoning, an interview with the shooter’s father, who apparently told writer Andrew Solomon that the shooter “tried to sell copies of the book at school and got in trouble.”

This detail about the shooter trying to sell copies of the Granny book is not mentioned by anyone in the available CSP files. In the Child Advocate report, on the other hand, a curious detail is added:

The co-author claims that the book was bound in school and submitted for a grade. Other reports indicate that AL may have attempted to “sell” the book to peers for 25 cents and that a school administrator spoke to Mrs. Lanza about the matter. (Child Advocate report pg 29)

The “for 25 cents” detail does not appear anywhere in the investigative record, as far as I’m aware, and it’s not in Solomon’s interview with the shooter’s father. I do not know where the Child Advocate investigators got that detail (the price by itself is immaterial, but it’s a sign that there may be more support for the “got in trouble for selling copies” scenario, somewhere in the redacted records.) The specific claim that the shooter’s mother was spoken to be a school administrator about the Granny book is also of unknown origin, but I suppose it’s implied in The Reckoning’s claim that the shooter “got in trouble” for trying to sell it. These details are murky, but they all suggest more instances where an adult had opportunity to look at the “Big Book of Granny.”

There is one more file in the CSP investigation that touches on the Granny book, and though parts of it are redacted, there are some interesting details. It is in book 7, file 00201300, which documents a interview with a teacher conducted at Reed Intermediate School, where he works, and who had previously worked at Sandy Hook Elementary School:


It’s evident that the teacher had the shooter in his class at some point, though it’s not clear at which school or school year (5th or 6th grade.) He also, apparently, remembers the co-author of the Granny book (3rd paragraph) though he does not remember that boy associating with the shooter, and he has no knowledge of the Granny book at all.

Note that the teacher says the shooter had “good ideas regarding creative writing” and “wouldn’t necessarily engage in conversation with people but he wouldn’t ignore them either.” Thus, this is the interview that is the basis for the earlier claim about the timing of the Granny book to have been in the 5th grade:

In the 2002-2003 school year, when the shooter was in the fifth grade, he was quiet,
reluctant, very bright and had good ideas regarding creative writing. He wouldn’t
necessarily engage in conversation, but wouldn’t ignore one. There was no recollection of him being bullied or teased.

The simplest way to align this witness statement with the others is to assume that this person was the shooter’s 5th grade teacher at Reed, which occurs after the Granny book, and that the shooter and the co-author were no longer friends at this point, as the co-author indicates in his statement. Again, though, there’s just no way to be sure.

Having covered all of the known claims about how the “Big Book of Granny” book came to be, now let’s look at what a person would have found when they opened it.


What’s in the “Big Book of Granny”?

The book was opened on August 16th, 2013, by a Connecticut State Trooper at the CSP station in Southbury. The trooper wrote a summary of everything in the book, and his report was filed as item 00180670 in book 4 of Connecticut’s investigation into the Sandy Hook shooting. This file is the only document that provides any detail about the contents of the “Big Book of Granny.”

The summary is two pages of nearly unformatted text, a bit hard on the eyes. Here, I’ve broken it down into paragraphs, and added a few notes (in bold) where I thought helpful, but otherwise this is just word-for-word what the police wrote in their files.

(One last thing to note: from reading this summary, it doesn’t actually sound like a “comic book.” There is no mention of any illustrations, except for the cover. This recalls the co-author’s interview, when he said he was responsible for the illustrations but could only remember the one on the cover; perhaps the “Calvin and Hobbes style comic book” ended up being just a written document, after all. Or, this could just be an ambiguity in the trooper’s style of describing the document.)


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. [Dora the “Beserker” would be a reference to the children’s show Dora the Explorer, who has a pet monkey named “Boots” – here, renamed “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 [Duchess is a fast food chain with locations only in Fairfield and New Haven counties. Newtown/Sandy Hook is in Fairfield County.]

In chapter five, Granny goes to Marine boot camp and meets up with Dora the Beserker and Swiper the Raccoon [Swiper the fox is a character on Dora the Explorer]. 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 [a take-off of Benny the bull] and Tico the Chipmunk [Tico the squirrel]. 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. 


Where in the house was the “Big Book of Granny” found?

Ever since the Child Advocate report emphasized how unusual and significant the content of the Granny book really is, I’ve wondered: where in the shooter’s house did the polce find it?

Keep in mind that this was a project from the shooter’s childhood, a book that was about a decade old when the shooting happened: that’s half of the shooter’s lifetime. If the book was just stuffed in a box somewhere in the basement, that would be one thing, however, if this was a keepsake that the shooter had on his desk and was still thinking about as a young adult, that would be really odd and thus noteworthy. Or, what if it was his mother flipping through the Big Book of Granny?

So, off and on over the years, I’ve tried to locate where in 36 Yogananda the book was found, based on police reports and scene photos; unfortunately, as far as I can tell, that can’t conclusively be done. So, here I will just share why I think that’s the case. 

On December 16th, 2012 (two days after the shooting) a search warrant was served, and several boxes worth of evidence were seized. In the file that logs this seizure, note that the “military-style uniform” is in box #2, while “books and papers” from the shooter’s bedroom are in box #3 (this is from the official CSP report, book 4, file 00076719):


As noted, these and several other boxes were compiled as “FBI-1,” and then sent off to the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, to aid in their construction of a psychological profile of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter.

By April 2013, the FBI was finished reviewing the contents of the five boxes, and they sent exhibit “FBI-1” back to Connecticut (3rd paragraph above).

Then, in August, Connecticut opened the boxes back up, and started cataloging the evidence. This is the first noted appearance of the “Big Book of Granny,” so locating it in the house becomes a matter of figuring out which box it was in when it was sent to the FBI. When the police opened the boxes from the FBI, they found it in Box #3:


This seems to make it a fairly simple deduction to say that the “Granny” book was among the “books and papers” from the shooter’s bedroom in the earlier file, since that was what Box #3 contained when it was shipped off to the FBI.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Note that the “Teddy bear” was also received in box #3. We can see from scene search photos that the stuffed bear was actually found on top of the gun safe, which was in the room next to the shooter’s bedroom:


That would have placed it in box #1 when it was sent out, not box #3, where it was found in return.

Further, note that the “military uniform” has moved from box #2 when it was sent out, to box #4 when it was received:


…so, it appears the contents of each box weren’t kept separate. The FBI sent them back to Connecticut in a different order. That puts practically every location in the house up for grabs, and so we’re back at square one.

The best I can do is to eliminate one location: the Big Book of Granny wasn’t found in the basement storage room.

Initially, this spot in the basement seems seems like a candidate, based on the description of the kind of evidence seized from a number boxes there:


It appears that the police photographers did not venture too far into this particular room. There are no photos of the boxes, which would be at the far end of the room from the spot where this photo was taken, somewhere behind the folded ping-pong table:


However, this spot can be eliminated based on the evidence itemization from file 00177484, which lists every item found in the boxes from the basement storage room; all of the contents are either something other than a book, or they dated from the late 1990’s, before the Granny book was written:


My best guess is that the Big Book of Granny was found in one of the two upstairs rooms occupied by the shooter. But, who knows?

For those curious, I’ll share a document I put together and have long referred to for keeping track of where evidence was located in 36 Yogananda; this is the “scene search diagram” put together by police, combined with the corresponding evidence list (large image file here.)

Where is the Granny book? It’s one of those yellow dots, that’s for sure.


I’m planning to have the next update posted during the weekend of the 10th/11th. I don’t have much of a history of meeting deadlines, though.

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A Brief Review of the Evidence Against “Kaynbred”

Awhile back I posted a review of the evidence that the Sandy Hook shooter was in fact the individual behind the profile named “Smiggles” that was active on a Columbine forum from early 2010 to February 2012. This is going to be roughly the same idea, focusing this time on the profile “Kaynbred,” a name which was used on a number of different websites for a period of one year – between April 2009 and April 2010 – most notably on a clan forum for the FPS game “Combat Arms” and on Wikipedia.

First of all, the case of the Kaynbred account is significantly different from Smiggles, in that the Connecticut State Police did successfully identify the Kaynbred account during the course of their investigation, and documented it to some degree in their official report. This wasn’t a “miss” on their part, in other words, though it’s unclear how much of this online footprint they actually recovered before they wrapped up the investigation.

Here’s how the police found the account:

  1. Searching the shooter’s bedroom, a Storejet Transcend USB drive was found in the closet. There aren’t any photos that focus directly on it, but it can definitely be seen, tucked to one side of a cardboard box:SHL-usbdrive1


    For comparison, this is what the drive looks like

  2. Searching the contents of the USB drive, they located a folder “Combat Arms Screen Shots” containing 172 images of the game:SHL-KaynbredEvidence01
  3. Reviewing these photos in detail, the police picked up on the player name “Kaynbred.” Combat Arms is a “first person shooter,” so basically they were determining from which player’s viewpoint the screenshots were taken. They also make note that Kaynbred, along with number of other players on his team, are members of a clan called ”mg14c.”
  4. From here, the police requested search warrants from a judge to issue to Nexon America (the publisher/host of Combat Arms) which was then issued:SHL-puppets
  5. Responding to the Search and Seizure Warrant, Nexon America sends CSP the user profile data for Kaynbred on a CD-R:SHL-KaynbredWarrant3
  6. Reviewing that data, CSP investigators then identify the email address used to register the account with Combat Arms/Nexon: So, they obtain a search warrant for Google, too. Here, the search warrant affirms that Kaynbred was “the shooter’s Nexon User Profile” under item #13:SHL-KaynbredGoogle03

It should also be noted that the official report  confirms that the shooter played “Combat Arms”, in the 47-page summary version’s footnotes:SHL-Kaynbred-Sum1

So it’s pretty clear how the police reached the conclusion that Kaynbred was the shooter’s profile, based on this information. For all the shortcomings in the CSP report concerning to the shooter’s online activities, I’d say the Connecticut investigators did a fine job of busting Kaynbred. I also have a few things to add that support their conclusion (as with Smiggles, I have found nothing of substance that contradicts the conclusion that Kaynbred was the shooter.)

The mg14c clan forum

The Combat Arms clan that Kaynbred was a member of hosted a web forum, where Kaynbred posted several times. Recently I was going through archives of this forum and found a few posts that I had only found blank versions of previously, since the shooter had a habit of deleting the text of his forum posts sometime after posting them; it turns out these had actually been archived twice, the first time when the content of the post was still online.

The first was a thread started by Kaynbred, titled “Staying Alive.” It’s about the Bee Gees song and can be found here:

The gist of the thread is that Kaynbred was expressing surprise that the Bee Gees were men, given the sound of their voice. He then shares his very narrow taste in music, consisting entirely of “Flogging Molly” and “The Dickies”:


Almost three years later, when the Connecticut State Police were searching the Sandy Hook shooter’s bedroom, they snapped a photo of his closet, where a stack of CDs is visible:


From the top, that is:

  • Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies
  • Flogging Molly – Within a Mile of Home
  • Flogging Molly – Swagger
  • Flogging Molly – Alive Behind the Green Door
  • Flogging Molly – Whiskey on a Monday
  • The Dickies – Killer Klowns
  • (something too blurry to read)
  • The Dickies – Dawn of the Dickies

Another useful mg14c thread is from November 18 2009 and is entitled “Host a Asian Week.” It can be found here:

In this thread, Kaynbred writes (with apparently intentional spelling & grammar errors) that “I want to be Hiroo Onada. I think Lubang is a pretty cool guy. eh holds out for decaeds and doesnt afraid of anything.”


Hiroo Onada was a Japanese Army intelligence officer from World War II, who famously held out on the Philippine island of Lubang until 1974 (see his wikipedia article.)

The following is a partial list of books seized from the shooter’s bedroom. Note the title “No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War.”


I don’t think this book is visible in any scene photos, but here’s a cover of one of the editions:


…it’s the autobiography of Hiroo Onoda.

In another post from the mg14c forum, from February 2010, other users are talking about Kaynbred and one mentions that he had said he “wantied to be in the military.”

Link to the post:

The shooter’s hopes to be an Army Ranger, or some other kind of elite soldier, was a plan that lasted up until right about his 18th birthday in April 2010, and has been covered pretty extensively (see The New Yorker’s interview with the shooter’s father here) so I’ll just share a glimpse of what is presumably the “military uniform” that the police found in his closet (you can just barely make out the gold-starred epaulet on the shoulder, this is a still from the “Scene Search” video):



The High Road

Kaynbred posted to “The High Road,” a firearms forum, several times between August 2009 and February 2010. In at least three of his posts, he inquires about Connecticut firearms laws:


Link to the post:

Note the “” suffix on the link here:


Link to the post:

In this one, he openly states that he lives in Connecticut:

AK 47 type  legality and the CZ Vz. 58    THR

Link to the post:


On the forum Glocktalk, Kaynbred didn’t post about firearms (at least in the surviving posts,) but instead focused on computers. One thread, entitled “What are the specs of your home desktop?,” Kaynbred shared what they said was the specs for their computer:

What are the specs of your home desktop    Glock Talk

Link to the post:

Note the hard drive : “Seagate 500 MB”

This is the same brand and memory capacity as the drive found in the shooter’s computer room:


This would also be the well-known unreadable drive that the shooter damaged at some point prior to the Sandy Hook shooting:


Also, note that Kaynbred’s PC case is a “Cooler Master RC-690.” A few feet away from the damaged drive, there is the shooter’s PC case:


The model is not specified in the report, but it’s a Cooler Master RC-690, the exact same model. For comparison, an image search will return examples like this:



There are several instances where Kaynbred made edits to Wikipedia articles associated with mass shooters. Rather than review all of it again, I’ll just focus on one, the “Collier Township” shooter George Sodini. The first appearance of the Kaynbred account happened when Kaynbred logged in to Wikipedia and documented that he was accessing Sodini’s website in the days after that mass shooting (the text in the blue box on the right):


Files from Sodini’s website, in turn, were found on the Sandy Hook shooter’s USB drive:


A final note of interest is that a clip from the film “Bloody Wednesday” was also found on the same drive. This corresponds neatly with the shooter’s Smiggles post from July 2010, when he described stumbling across the film when looking for video of the Sodini shooting “a year ago”:


There are several other instances where “Smiggles” posted the same info on a mass shooter that he had edited as Kaynbred on Wikipedia, usually just tweaking the weapons used, but you get the idea: “Kaynbred,” like “Smiggles,” was in fact the Sandy Hook shooter.

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Sandy Hook shooter’s former psychiatrist arrested


The above mugshot shows the man who was the primary psychiatrist for Sandy Hook shooter during the shooter’s teenage years. Dr. Paul Lewis Fox was arrested on Wednesday in Connecticut and charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault, the News-Times reported day.


The charges stem from Fox’s involvement with an adult female patient between 2010 and 2011, and so his arrest doesn’t actually have anything to do with Sandy Hook, but the fact that he has returned to the United States is worth noting. His conduct with the female patient in question (as well as at least one other, also an adult) initiated a series of events that led to his leaving the country a few months before the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, as well as (he claims) destroying his records, which had included any documentation he had regarding his treatment of the Sandy Hook shooter. So, this case is essentially the reason that there is such a significant gap in the shooter’s psychiatric history.


CSP Official Report on Sandy Hook shooting, Book 7, file 00260339

This is also the doctor that is referred to in Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate report on Sandy Hook as “the community psychiatrist,” and that report paints  very unflattering portrait of his professional conduct during his interactions with the shooter, which spanned from September 2005 to about July 2007. It was at that point when the shooter and his Planning and Placement Team decided he was ready for mainstream classes (he wasn’t) and needed no psychiatric treatment (he did.)

There’s actually a bit of almost-overlap between the shooter and Dr. Fox as late as Summer 2009; according to the 2012 complaint against him, Dr. Fox met his patient (victim) in just before Fall quarter of 2009, when Dr. Fox was working at Western Connecticut State University’s Counseling Center. Just two months before, the shooter was completing his final class at WCSU (it was ECO 100, a macroeconomics course) two buildings away in Warner Hall:


WCSU offered the class three times that summer, all were held in Warner Hall

There’s no indication that Fox and the shooter crossed paths at WCSU, or at any point after 2007 for that matter, but it’s an interesting possibility, especially given the pattern of payments from the shooter’s mother to Dr. Fox: there was regular billing until July 2007, as noted above, but then one final payment came in October 2008, shortly after the shooter had started attending WCSU for high school credit. There’s never been any explanation of why that isolated, final payment occurred, after a gap of over a year. The shooter never saw another mental health professional.

Fox appears to have departed for New Zealand sometime in Spring or Summer of 2012. He surrendered his medical license shortly after, and his wife was granted an uncontested divorce in June 2012. The New Zealand Herald had reported about his employment as a psychiatrist for the Waikato District Health Board in January 2014, and that was the last I had heard of him until this update. A cursory web search suggests he’s been back in the US, or at least visiting, since at least May of 2015:

Like anyone else, Fox is entitled to his day in court, and perhaps he will have something to say to explain the behavior that ultimately led to his downfall. However, the 2012 complaint paints a very ugly picture in my opinion, and the young woman who reported him (and apparently is now pressing charges against him) suffered greatly as a result of his “care.” His unprofessional and dangerous behavior in this case makes one wonder about the quality of treatment he was actually providing for the Sandy Hook shooter five years before, and how events might have unfolded differently if a more capable doctor was chosen in his place.


Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 41

(On a housekeeping note, I have several long-delayed posts that I’ve been working on over the past few weeks, more directly related to the Sandy Hook case, and hope to have them up before the end of the month.)





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GPS data indicates that arcade footage showed Sandy Hook shooter

I think most readers of this blog are probably familiar with the video clip that surfaced on facebook sometime after the Sandy Hook shooting (though it was uploaded six months before the event,) showing a person who is believed to be the Sandy Hook shooter playing Dance Dance Revolution at the Danbury AMC movie theater’s arcade. I haven’t really written about it before, mostly because I just didn’t have much to say, but recently I did notice something in the official report that is relevant, and supports the assertion that the person playing the game was indeed the shooter.

First, a quick review of the reasons this clip first became associated with the Sandy Hook case:

  1. The shooter was known to play long sessions of this game, at the same movie theater, around this time. The employees referred to him as “DDR boy.”
  2. A voice in the clip (presumably the person filming the video) can be heard saying the shooter’s actual name. (Sandy Hook Facts produced a short youtube video that isolates this part, it can be found here.)
  3. The person shown dancing fits the shooter’s description (height/build/clothing)
  4. After the Sandy Hook shooting, comments on the clip from facebook identified the person dancing as the shooter; in response, the person who uploaded it said “I know” (abbreviated as “ik”)

Here is the facebook post (usually I do not post photos of the shooter, but since the visual info is relevant to the point here, I’ll leave it):



…note that the video was originally posted on June 2nd, 2012. Now, it’s possible that the person who posted this video had recorded it on a previous date, but since it’s just a casual facebook video that a guy was sharing with his friends, I’ll assume it was uploaded very shortly after it was filmed. That brings us to a new detail to support that this is person was indeed the shooter: the shooter’s GPS unit was there at the same time.


CFS 1200704559 Book 3, file 00051670

The times above are from the official report, meaning that the times shown are five hours off because they haven’t been converted from Greenwich Mean Time to Eastern Standard (see my post about this from awhile back.) The report’s GPS supplement, meanwhile, again shows the correct times, and also has the route shown plotted in Google earth – this supplement is a bit hard to read, but the start time is shown in the top-left corner in large type:

ddr-GPS-correct times

CFS 1200704559 Book 2, file 00171468

So, the shooter left home at approximately 6:41pm that evening, arrived at the theater at approximately 7:00 pm, and was there for about an hour and a half before returning home to 36 Yogananda.

The original facebook post didn’t show a timestamp, just the date it was posted. However, the comment thread associated with the picture does list times, and none of the comments posted on June 2nd are from before 7:00 pm, so everything seems consistent between the facebook and GPS timelines. (Actually, the first comments were made while the shooter was still at the theater: 8:21pm.)

Whether or not this settles this issue, I suppose is up to the reader to decide. I’ll just note that I’m not aware of any information that indicates the video is not authentic.

While we’re on the topic of the GPS routes: There were actually several trips found in the Garmin unit that each start at 36 Yogananda street (the shooter’s address) and end at the Danbury movie theater, despite him making the drive multiple times every weekend for months; I’m guessing this was part of his obsessive need to reduce unpredictability in his life, which was by this point was so severe that he was completely isolating himself at home except for these trips and a handful of other stops. I did go through all of the different trips from the report, and most were going to either the Danbury Fair Mall or one of two Whole Foods locations. A few trips brought him to intersections in Hawleyville and in Monroe, where I don’t know what the heck he would have been doing.

I’ll have another update this week soon-ish, kind of along these same lines: various stuff I’ve noticed while trying to put the facts together over the past few months.

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