New Report: Adam Lanza “Did Not Just ‘Snap'”

Share:

November 21, 2014

Doctors at Yale offered Adam Lanza treatment for what they identified as profound emotional disabilities six years before he went to Sandy Hook Elementary and carried out a shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead.

His mother, Nancy Lanza, didn’t agree to the treatment.

The incident is just one of many such red flags detailed in a report by Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate released on Friday and first reported by Hartford Courant‘s Alaine Griffin and Josh Kovner.

Lanza’s family, doctors, teachers and mental health professionals often focused on managing symptoms of his mental health problems, rather than addressing his serious underlying issues, according to the report.

In the incident described above, doctors at the Yale Child Study Center made “prescient observations” that the method of accommodating Adam’s behavior instead of addressing the underlying causes “would lead to a deteriorating life of dysfunction and isolation,” the report’s authors write. It was one of two times Adam might have received the psychiatric treatment he needed. His mother, Nancy, refused them both.

The report also offers more details on the relationship between Adam and his mother, Nancy. According to Griffin and Kovner:

The authors describe a symbiotic relationship between mother and son, with Nancy going to excessive lengths to protect him from stress, which had the damaging effect of isolating him from the outside world. She treated him as a close confidant, but “that may have been well beyond his relatively immature emotional capacities,” the authors said.

And the report describes Lanza’s preoccupations with violence, concluding that the Sandy Hook attack “appears to have been a purposefully thought-out and planned attack. [Adam Lanza] did not just ‘snap.'”

Last year, FRONTLINE and the Courant teamed up to investigate the life of the Sandy Hook shooter in Raising Adam Lanza. You can watch the film below.


Priyanka Boghani

Priyanka Boghani, Deputy Digital Editor, FRONTLINE

Twitter:

@priyankaboghani

More Stories

18 Essential Documentaries on Afghanistan and the Taliban
One year after the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan amid the U.S. withdrawal, watch these documentaries that reveal what life in the country is like now and that offer context on the nearly two-decade war that became America's longest.
August 15, 2022
What’s the Status of Healthcare for Women in Afghanistan Under the Taliban?
Before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, many women and girls were already struggling to receive adequate healthcare. A year later, the situation has worsened, sources told FRONTLINE.
August 9, 2022
‘Say to the Whole World, They Don’t Let Us Talk’: Women Held for ‘Immoral Behavior’ at a Taliban Prison Speak Out
In the FRONTLINE documentary ‘Afghanistan Undercover,’ Ramita Navai reports the Taliban has jailed women for ‘immoral behavior’ and held them without trial. Watch an excerpt.
August 9, 2022
The Disconnect: Power, Politics and the Texas Blackout
In February 2021, days-long blackouts in Texas left millions shivering in the dark. Hundreds died. How has the Texas grid changed since then? And how has it changed how people think?
August 4, 2022