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

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Stories

New Data on Utah Police Shootings and Race Called ‘Extremely Uncomfortable’, ‘Disappointing’
Racial and ethnic minorities account for a third of the people shot at by Utah police over the past decade — despite these groups making up just a quarter of the population.
September 20, 2021
Most Minneapolis Voters Believe Crime Is on the Rise, New Poll Finds
An overwhelming majority of likely Minneapolis voters say crime is on the rise, a view strongly held by residents of every race, gender and age group across the city, according to a new Minnesota poll, our Local Journalism Initiative partner the Star Tribune reports.
September 18, 2021
Minnesota Poll: Most Minneapolis Voters Want Reform, Not Fewer Cops
A clear majority of Minneapolis voters oppose reducing the size of the city’s police force — a feeling that’s especially strong among Black voters, according to a new poll. At the same time, voters are showing support for replacing the police department with a new agency, our Local Journalism Initiative partner the Star Tribune finds.
September 18, 2021
Get the Backstory on Duterte’s ‘War on Drugs’ as ICC Green Lights Investigation into Philippines Killings
With the International Criminal Court authorizing an official investigation into Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody “war on drugs," these two documentaries and one podcast episode offer context.
September 17, 2021