Adam Lanza posted about “depression” on the day his mother bought him a gun

(Note 09/18/2014: the issue of gun-purchase dates, and who exactly owned the guns in the Lanza home, is more clearly explained and examined in this more recent post.)

The most alarming posts by Adam Lanza’s “Smiggles” account on ShockedBeyondBelief all occur at around the same time: December of 2011.

 “Smiggles” was nearly always sarcastic in his posts, and rarely talked about himself. When he resurfaced at the ShockedBeyondBelief mass shooters forum late that fall, his writings took a particularly dark, and significantly more personal turn.

On December 16th, in a thread where users relate dreams they had that involved the Columbine shootings, his contribution was a detailed:

Today I dreamt a Columbine reference for the first time. I’ve probably never had one before because I’ve scarcely ever cared about Columbine. I began my dream by waking up at age 14 in my extremely dark bedroom during a power outage.

The dream itself involves “ghoulies” attacking his home, and is mostly insignificant, save a few passages:

As I was about to go into the kitchen, a huge purple monster with long arms leapt forth. […] I realized that it was some student I knew when I was 12. […] He said something to the extent of, “Everyone picked on me for being a huge purple monster, and so now I’m going to go Columbine. I already went to a bunch of other kids’ houses to find a partner, but they refused my offer, so I ate them. You’re next on the list. Do you want to join me?

I ran down to the basement […] and I saw my brother soundly asleep.

Indeed, Lanza’s brother did live in the home’s basement, up until roughly four years before Adam’s dream. At the time of the dream, they hadn’t had any contact for almost a year. Later in the dream story, Adam expresses a fear that his brother became a different person (literally, in the dream) when he moved out of the house to go to college.

Lanza also recalls encountering his “nonexistent kindergarten-age sister” and, after his attempt to kiss her results in her crying, throwing her over a railing.

Shorter entries throughout the month suggest an increasingly erratic and hostile state of mind. In the popular “You know what I hate?” thread, Lanza’s December 7th entry answers simply:

Culture. I’ve been pissed out of my mind all night thinking about it. I should have been born a chimp. I would even settle for a post-language hunter-gatherer society.

Three days later, he openly wonders about calling John Zerzan’s radio show, with the aim of discussing the same subject (the “Travis the Chimp” call). The next day, he again returns to his hatred of culture, and describes his depressed mental state:

I spent all day ruminating over how much I hate culture. Now I’ve calmed down and am left lying on the floor, numbly perplexed over the foreign concept of loving life.

One week later, on December 17th, Lanza contributes to the thread “Teachers on power trips”, where he dismisses the phenomenon of “bullying” as symptomatic of a larger problem:

The power trips that you describe are going to be so prominent because of the entire philosophy behind education: the brutal indoctrination of pristine minds so as to propagate some delusional system of cultural values.

Is it really so ideal to have good and efficient citizens? All they’ll do is be more effective at propagating the system you hate. Power trips and bullying are just symptoms, not the disease itself.

Earlier in  the month, he was uncharacteristically inquisitive about another poster’s memory of hearing about the Virginia Tech shooting when they were only in elementary school:

I was just thinking this morning about Virginia Tech and your age group. It feels strange how has been offline for months as if everything about the shooting is over and done with and no one would notice its absence. It still seems so recent, but it happened 1/3 of your life ago. Do you know how aware your peers are of it? Do you personally have any memories of it?

Eerily, just several posts above Lanza’s entry in the same thread, two other users converse about the lack of a need for security at elementary schools, with one arguing “that’s retarded. Why the fuck would some HS or JHS kid shoot up a fucking elementary school? Nothing like that has even happened before.”

On December 20th, Lanza made his now-infamous call to AnarchyRadio.

Four days later, in the late hours of Christmas eve, Lanza’s mental state had deteriorated even further. He posts twice:

Value is such a crazy thing.

I hate going through these extremely rare instances of wild mood swings that I have. I think this was the only time this year for me. I was as depressed as I get during my last post, and I’m fine with the interminable depression that I normally have, but now I’m incoherently giddy with glee. Well, relative to my baseline… Except now that I’m giddy, I can’t really say that I hate it because I think everything is delightful.

If depressives cut themselves to feel better, I wonder what cutting a happy-go-lucker would do. Santa’s supposed to be jolly. I hope he visits me tonight so I can find out.”

The posts are dated December 25th, but Lanza references a visit from Santa “tonight” – which would indicate Christmas Eve, the 24th:


Perhaps the time zone on the forum isn’t local; just as likely, Adam didn’t remember how the details of the Christmas scenario, and thought Santa Clause was traditionally supposed to “visit” on Christmas day.

After all, Christmas was a holiday that he refused to recognize or participate in in any way, refusing to allow a Christmas tree or any present exchange. It was a demand to which his mother generally acquiesced by this point. But for 2011 there appears to have been one exception.

When authorities searched the Lanza home in the days after December 14th, 2012, they found a check made out to Adam Lanza, from Nancy Lanza. The date read “Christmas day” and the memo field read “CZ 83”, a common model of semiautomatic pistol.


(note that the “C138” is a typo, corrected in the full report to “CZ 83”)

Although Nancy’s formatting of the date meant that no year was specified, an ATF records search included in the full report would show that Nancy completed a purchase of a Glock handgun less than two weeks later (Here there is also some degree of confusion, as a CZ83 is a different – although comparable – firearm from a Glock 20SF. Perhaps they hadn’t yet settled on which gun to buy, or perhaps Nancy thought they were the same thing; regardless, no CZ83 was ever purchased, so this must be the same transaction):


(January 5th is only the date that purchase completed; other paperwork found in the home shows that Nancy purchased the Glock online as early as December 21st.)

Just why Nancy would give her son a check for the purchase of a weapon that she herself would purchase anyway is also unclear; perhaps Adam had given her cash to make the surrogate purchase, and Nancy reimbursed him with the check, as if to say “no, I’ll pay, consider it a Christmas present.”

Regardless, the conclusion is the same.

For 2011, Nancy Lanza’s Christmas present for her mentally ill son was the handgun with which he would take his own life just a year later.


(Note: the official report suggests that the the investigators believed the “CZ 83” checkcheck was for Christmas 2012, when Adam would have been even more unstable, having not left in his room in 3 months by this point. If this is so, presumably he never knew about the check, or his mother’s intended gift; neither lived to see that Christmas)


Screenshots of the posts quoted above:







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6 Responses to Adam Lanza posted about “depression” on the day his mother bought him a gun

  1. Joachim says:

    Also that December, Lanza started a thread called “Psychopathy?”, asking: “Is there any distinction between the usage of ‘He had the devil in him’ and the marginally more nuanced ‘He was afflicted by psychopathy’?”

    One week earlier, in a thread about forum members’ favorite movie scenes, he linked to a specific moment in a 1980 horror film, Don’t Go in the House. The scene starts with a disembodied voice yelling, “Trash! Trash, trash, just like your father.” A man shouts back, “He got away, but you won’t! You’ll pay. You’ll suffer.” Lanza had previously mentioned this movie in a list of his favorite 25 films (here), which, to judge by the titles, looks to be full of obscure horror.

  2. Odyssey says:

    The dream about “ghoulies” or purple monsters is utter rubbish. It amounts to nothing more than an immature adolescent conceptualization attempt. “Everyone picked on me for being a huge purple monster, and so now I’m going to go Columbine?” Almost lyrical, in a Beatle-esque kind of way. He had a very poorly developed self concept and writings such as this speak to that. He is seeking affirmation, he wants to be appreciated for the genius he thinks he is, for the many hidden talents that he possesses.

    The other contrived “dream,” which involves his imaginary sister, is similarly constructed. While this is another attempt at gaining approval, it’s a misfire. Few young men and boys – with or without an actual sister – dream of kissing his sister. In this example, the psychopathy is clear. He is trying express an idea that he thinks will win the listener’s approval, but his life experience prevents him from being able to create a credible scenario in which he can convey that idea. It fails, miserably.

    On December 7, Lanza is quoted: “Culture. I’ve been pissed out of my mind all night thinking about it. I should have been born a chimp. I would even settle for a post-language hunter-gatherer society.”

    To that, I ask a simple question: Why?

    Forget, for now, about why he expresses his desire to be a chimp – which is another complete fallacy. Why is Lanza is “pissed out of [his] mind.” Why would Lanza be so inexplicably angry with his life?

    Lanza had everything handed to him. He dominated the expansive home provided to him with an iron fist. He was allowed to rule this roost with impunity. When his mother brought a cat into the home, he made her get rid of it. When she tried to put up a Christmas tree, he made her get rid of that, too. In the living room, two windows were completely covered with ornamental mirrors. The rest of the first floor had thick drapes covering most of the windows. The psychopath’s fingerprint extended beyond the confines of his bedroom with it’s windows covered with opaque trash bags. He controlled the entire residence, and to no small degree he controlled the movements and actions of his hapless mother.

    This narcissist psychopath had everything given to him. He lived like a prince. When hurricane Sandy struck, he wouldn’t stay in a hotel. So, his mother bought a generator keep the lights on at home. His college tuition, like that of his older brother’s was paid for in full. All of his basic needs as well as whatever he wanted recreationally were paid for. He was given a new car, a jet black Honda Civic. Not a used car, a new one. Anything that this little prince wanted or needed was just a request a way; his doting mother and father would have given him anything. He was want for nothing.

    But, this little psychopath rejected all of this. Why? Well some say, he was mentally ill. Perhaps too mentally ill to help himself. However, there is ample evidence to the contrary. Returning to his writings, you have an individual with a poorly defined self concept; one whom, for lack of anything else, identified with chimps. But, you also have a rational individual, a calculating and methodical individual who could appreciate right from wrong. He may have possessed a distorted world view, one that is common to serial and spree killers, one that has him playing the role of victim of the society and the culture that he lived in. But this individual was not a victim of society and/or culture. To the contrary, he was coddled by it. Tragically, he would also be exposed to the guns and the violence of video games, both dysfunctional elements in the culture in which he was raised.

    The explanation for this psychopath’s actions is this: His writings reveal a self-focused and malignant narcissist, with a poor self concept and an inferior world view. He viewed himself as a victim of society, and he had a very clear plan to avenge this, as was outlined in his writings. While this individual was lacking in some ways, he understood clearly the reality and the finality of his choices. His doting mother, the person with whom he might have been most closely connected, was his first victim. She was shot while she slept, four times, and close enough to have gotten her blood on the muzzle of the shotgun. Historically, matricide is very traumatic for the aggressor, but this individual had the capacity to get into the car which was given to him after committing this crime, and then coolly drive on to commit the murder of twenty defenseless schoolchildren and six teachers. This is a coldly calculated act, methodically executed by a purposeful killer who wore gloves and military fatigues and carried an AK-47 into an elementary school.

    This psychopath was pure evil personified. The tragedy of it all lies with the families involved, who will never really heal. There is also Nancy Lanza, that strange sort of peripheral victim whose name is not even included in the official victim count. By all accounts, she was a lovely woman. The gun ownership was part of her upbringing in rural New Hampshire. She is just as much a victim as all the others, but it’s tragically unfortunate that she failed to recognize her son as the repulsive and evil individual he was.

  3. CW Wade says:

    I thought I might share the rest of the post that you asked for… although i’m new to the blog thing so I’m not entirely sure I’m posting it in the correct spot as I no longer see the orignal post.

    What is “chemical imbalance” even supposed to mean? Why don’t hunter-gatherers need antidepressants? I swear, a psychiatrist could take a perfectly fine chimpanzee away from its jungle, confine it in captivity, and when the chimp gets depressed, they would say, “This chimpanzee has a chemical imbalance. What? A correlation between enculturation and depression? But culture brings us meaning and beauty. Get out of my way, caveman-wannabe. I need to prescribe this chimp some Xanax”.

    Someone else says something to another and he inexplicably says:

    Only if you factor in infant mortality, but that’s even more of an indication why they should be needing antidepressants, not the opposite. And yet somehow, it’s we domesticated humans that need antidepressants while hunter-gatherers are the happy ones.
    As an interesting aside, that is one of the few threads where Adam responds more than once. That one seemed to really catch his attention.

    • bryan says:

      Odyssey that was a well written statement. I enjoyed reading it. Though you have a few details wrong. Adam shot Nancy with a 22lr Savage Mark II rifle. Not a shotgun. And the gun he used at the school was a Bushmaster M4A3. Not an AK47. And i agree with how he shot Nancy. The gun barrel has a large amount of backsplash blood meaning he put the barrel practicly touching her forehead. He also wore clothing similar to his heros Harris and Klebold. This can be affirmed by the fact he had on black suspenders that provided really no purpose but for more pant support though he was also wearing a belt. If you look at pictures of Harris during the rampage he is also wearing black suspenders. Im not sure if Klebold is.

      • bryan says:

        I made this connection by the fact that the state police found an extremely large volume of material pertaining to columbine on Adam’s computer. He was obsessed with it. He obviously was also a member of a columbine forum Shocked Beyond Belief. So when i saw the photos of his clothing it was easy to put 2 and 2 together.

  4. Woozel says:

    Actually Bryan, not trying to sound like a know-it-all dick, but there are several posts where Adam specifically states not really caring all that much for Columbine(the dream post). He was a bigger fan of the Norway killer.

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