A Year After Newtown, Should Nancy Lanza Bear Any Of The Blame?


Criminologist James Alan Fox of Northeastern University focuses on the largely forgotten figure the Newtown, Ct., shootings a year ago, Adam Lanza’s mother, Nancy. In the court of public opinion, Nancy Lanza “is treated more as an accessory than as a victim,” Fox writes in USA Today. Like parents in some other shooting cases, she is “scapegoated, if not for creating a madman then at least for failing to recognize and respond to the telltale warning signs,” fox says. “There was obviously a breakdown in terms of the parenting and the structure in that house,” said Bill Sherlach, whose wife was the school’s psychologist and was murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting. As Fox sees it, “Nancy Lanza was distressingly aware of her son’s mental health problems but would not have anticipated that he was dangerous. Notwithstanding his interest in guns and violence, Adam Lanza had never acted out in an aggressive manner. Even the mental health counselors who had seen him had had no indication that he was capable of such an awful crime, according to the recently released investigation report.” Fox concludes: “We should assume that she had the best of intentions in raising her son Adam, unless and until there is definitive evidence to the contrary.”

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