This is something I’ve been sitting on for awhile. I just wasn’t sure it was worth posting about before, seeing it as more of an odd bit of trivia about the case than anything else, but today’s release of the official report from Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate has cast a new level of scrutiny on Adam Lanza’s childhood project “The Big Book of Granny” that he assembled with another, yet-unnamed boy while they were in 5th Grade. So, I’m going to share what they left out: Adam Lanza himself posted an illustration from the Big Book of Granny online.
This will take a bit of explaining.
The official report (both the one released today and Connecticut State Police report from one year ago) provide a description of the Big Book of Granny, but only one actual image from it has ever been released, that being the cover:
…note that while Adam Lanza’s name is unredacted, the “creator of the Granny Picture” is redacted. So, Adam apparently didn’t draw this picture. That will be relevant.
Personally, I’ve never really been interested in this home-made comic book as an investigative lead. Adam would have been in fifth grade at the time, and although the summary of the book provided by police includes a great deal of violence, that didn’t strike me as peculiar for boys in that age group.
The Child Advocate’s report, while it doesn’t include any actual quotes or photos of the book, basically destroys the validity of those kinds of dismissals (emphasis is in the original text):
“Here, “The Big Book of Granny” suggests that while in many ways [Adam Lanza] appeared to be positively developing, by the age of ten, on some level, he was deeply troubled by feelings of rage, hate, and (at least unconscious) murderous impulses. While many children, and especially boys, of this age contend with anger and violent impulses in their play and creative productions, “The Big Book of Granny” stands out, to mental health professionals, as a text marked by extreme thoughts of violence that should have signified a need for intervention and evaluation.”
So apparently, the Big Book of Granny was much, much more disturbing that whatever I was picturing.
Now, we need to jump around in time a bit.
Blarvink at 2draw
I first posted about this drawing back on November 26th, 2013 when the “blarvink” moniker first leaked. One of the pages I found online was of a drawing on the site 2draw, posted on June 8th 2005 and entitled Elder crying over Nuclear Weapon; I thought it was interesting that the user who posted it (as Blarvink, a name which Adam Lanza used in World of Warcraft) later tried (and failed) to delete it, given that Lanza had deleted so much of his online posts in other venues. This is that drawing:
I had posted that drawing before most of the major breaks in the case took place: just a day after the official report was ever released, before I found the “Smiggles” account, before the radio call was unearthed… basically when Adam Lanza was still a blank slate.
So, about two months later I had read all of the official report, and upon seeing the cover of the Big Book of Granny, noticed the similarity in art style. I updated the “2draw” post with this:
Edit 1/21/2014: a comparison between Adam Lanza’s illustration for the cover of the “Big Book of Granny” and the Blarvink’s 2draw contribution:
And that’s how it stood. Two drawings that look pretty similar, drawn about 3 years apart. Not a big deal really.
What the 2draw post really is
A few months ago I was browsing through the official report and skimmed the description of the Big Book of Granny (again, this is the only information that’s ever been released about it up until today; there’s no way to actually read the Big Book of Granny) and one description stood out:
The description of Granny “throwing a match and causing an explosion” is what is taking place here:
There are a few issues with this assertion, but I think they actually make this posting more significant.
First, as I noted above, Adam Lanza didn’t actually draw the “Big Book of Granny” cover. The other boy (who the Child Advocate report notes is now living in mental health facility) drew it, and confirmed so in interviews with police. While this may not be the most reliable account (given the passage of time mostly, but also due to the co-author’s mental state) the cover of the book records the same, so it’s probably true.
If that’s the case, though, that means that Adam Lanza was sufficiently impressed (or obsessed, or interested, or whatever his emotions were) with the drawings that he wanted to duplicate them and pass them off as his own, at least in an online, anonymous situation, three years later.
Which brings us to the second point: the “Elder Crying Over a Nuclear Weapon” drawing is not literally a drawing from the Big Book of Granny. It’s a hand-drawn recreation, which actually shows a much more significant level of interest in the Big Book of Granny by its co-author, three years after it was originally drawn. 2draw (from what I can tell, not to mention the name of the site) is not a place where you can cut-and-paste art. You have to draw it in-browser (comparable to something like the app Draw Something.) The 2draw post itself notes that he took 44 minutes to put it together.
In other words, Adam was still obsessing over the violence in his (5th grade) book by the time he was almost an 8th grader. And I think that’s far more significant that quibbling over whether the original drawing was by someone else, or differed from the 2draw post. That he wanted to recreate it after so long, and put so much care into doing it, speaks to a deeper issue.
Anyway, I haven’t finished reading the report yet, but will have my overall response to it up tomorrow. In the meantime, here is the full description of The Big Book of Granny, from the official police report last year (my only changes are splitting paragraphs for readability):
On 08/16/13,1 was assigned to review documents returned from the FBI-Behavioral Analysis Unit. A review of box #3 of 5 boxes revealed a spiral bound booklet called “The Big Book of Granny”, which appeared to be created by the shooter. The book is bound in a black plastic spiral binding and covered on the front and back with a clear plastic sheeting. The book starts with a list of 85 Granny Jokes. All of the jokes are degrading statements beginning with “Granny!”
Following 3 pages of Granny Jokes, the book lists “Granny Products of the Future”, which includes advertisements for Granny Action Figure, Granny Action Figure 2, Granny Action Figure 3, Granny Action Figure 4, Granny Action Figure 5, Granny Action Figure Set (includes all 5 Granny Action Figures), Gran Spam, Granny Oats and Granny’s Granny. Each of the products is described in an advertisement format with monetary cost and
phone number to call to order.
The next section of the book is labeled as “Granny’s Clubhouse of Happy Children.” This section is a typed dialog from an imaginary TV show. The main characters feature Granny, her son “Bobolicious” and several children. In the show. Granny and Bobolicious are talking to the group of children as if in a group. In the first episode. Granny punches one boy in the face, throws a match and causes an explosion and threatens to shoot and kill the children.
The second episode, Granny’s Clubhouse of Happy Children 2, starts out with Bobolicious speaking to the children. Bobolicious said “Hi! I’m Bobolicious the Explorer….. Remember last time when everyone was slaughtered!? Well…You bread-brain leeches gave me 75 years of prison for that so called “Tragedy”! I was having fun!” The third and final episode. Granny’s Clubhouse of Happy Children 3, introduces two new characters, Dora the Beserker and her monkey, Shoes. Bobolicious says that they are going to play a game of “Hide and go Die.”
The next section of the book is labeled “Adventures of Granny.” There are eight chapters labeled “The Adventures of Granny” through “The Adventures of Granny 8.” All eight chapters are dialog between Granny and another character identified as Granny’s Son with various persons added in. In the first chapter, Granny and Granny’s Son rob a bank, Granny shoots people with her rifle cane, and then blows up the bank with dynamite. After the robbery. Granny’s Son shoots Granny in the head with a shotgun. In the second chapter. Granny and Granny’s Son go on a boat ride. Granny falls out of the boat and Granny’s Son throws her a cement floatation device which forces her to sink to the bottom of the ocean.
In the third chapter. Granny and Granny’s Son try to capture a boy and stuff him, to put on the mantle. Granny kicks the boy into the fireplace and he begins to burn. The boy jumps out of the fire and Granny punches him in the face. Then Granny shoots at him three times with her rifle cane and misses him. Granny then throws a Granny Action Figure to the boy. The boy gets distracted and the action figure comes alive and shoots the boy. Granny’s Son says “Yay! Now we can hang it!” In chapter four. Granny and Granny’s Son go to a hockey game. Granny goes onto the ice and punches one of the players and then shoots him with her rifle cane. After the hockey game, Granny and Granny’s Son go to Duchess restaurant to eat. In chapter five, Granny goes to Marine boot camp and meets up with Dora the Beserker and Swiper the Rackoon. Granny asks Dora if she would assassinate a soldier at midnight and Dora agrees to do it. Dora says ” I like hurting people…Especially children…” Granny then shoots multiple people with her rifle cane.
When Granny escapes boot camp and goes home to Granny’s Son, she tells him that she left boot camp because she killed the entire Marine legion. In chapter six, Granny and Granny’s Son are picked up from the side of the road by Dora the Beserker. Dora tells Granny that she can take her wherever she needs to go, after they go to the daycare center. When they arrive at the daycare center, Dora sends Swiper the Raccoon inside to distract the children. Then Dora enters and says “Let’s hurt children.”
In chapter seven. Granny and Granny’s Son go to visit Dora the Beserker. Dora takes them on an adventure to find Drunk. In the adventure, they encounter a rooster and have to call upon their bag to get a shotgun. In their bag is a handgun, AK-47, M-16, rifle, rocket launcher, musket and a shotgun. Dora uses the shotgun to shoot the rooster and Swiper the Raccoon. Later in the adventure, Dora accidentally shoots her monkey, named Shoes, Lenny the Cow and Tico the Chipmunk. Dora eventually gets arrested for possession of 6 guns and murdering 4 animals. In chapter 8, Granny and Granny’s Son use a time machine to go back in time. In their travels, they meet The Beatles. Granny kills all of The Beatles and says that she kills every bug she sees. Granny and Granny’s Son get arrested and sentenced to 75 years in jail for killing The Beatles. (See attached copy of the cover of The Big Book of Granny)
This case remains ACTIVE pending further investigation.