More than 1,000 pages of documents obtained by the Hartford Courant from the Connecticut State Police, including Adam Lanza’s writings and a spreadsheet detailing the gruesome work of 400 perpetrators of mass violence, bring into focus the dark worldview of a 20-year-old who killed his mother, 26 people and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The Lanza writings express a wide range of emotions and rigid doctrine, from a crippling aversion to a dropped towel, food mixing on his plate and the feel of a metal door handle, to a deep disdain for relationships, an intolerance of his peers, a contempt for overweight people and a conviction that certain aspects of living are worse than death. Lanza never was off the radar of his parents, teachers and counselors in his schools and the psychiatrists who tried to figure out what was happening with him. It is evident that no one grasped the full picture of what he was becoming.
By 14, a psychiatrist at Yale worried he was becoming a “homebound recluse.” The records suggest that his paralyzing obsessions, germophobia that prevented him from touching door handles with bare hands, a rigid set of beliefs, blacked-out windows of his bedroom and countless hours he spent playing combat video games, “would guarantee his place on the fringe, the Courant says. His isolation had its roots in speech delays as a child, the first of diagnoses that included Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Sensory Integration Deficit, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. “I incessantly have nothing other than scorn for humanity,” he wrote to a fellow gamer. “I have been desperate to feel anything positive for someone for my entire life.” The newspaper called its story disturbing, but it “helps us identify and understand red flags that could be part of a prevention formula for future mass shootings.”