STAMFORD, Conn. — The parents of Adam Lanza, identified by police as the gunman in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, divorced in 2009 after 28 years of marriage because their relationship had “broken down irretrievably,” court records show. Nancy Lanza had no income at the time the marriage was legally dissolved, in September 2009. Her ex-husband, Peter Lanza, earned an annual salary of nearly $445,000 as an executive at General Electric and agreed to pay annual alimony of $240,000. That figure was scheduled to increase steadily for cost of living considerations
The police got there so quickly that it was said today that their sirens probably kept Adam Lanza from doing any more shooting. Except himself.
As for this article, there is much that is new, but nothing we really need to know. What it really says was that this was a fairly normal family, the divorce notwithstanding, and that his mother loved Adam so much that she was planning to move with him to Washington State so that he could attend a school she believed would be beneficial.
Earlier in his life she had homeschooled him. He completed his high school coursework by the time he was 16, and enrolled at a Connecticut college.
His mother was encouraging him to learn to drive so that his life would be more mainstream.
Asperger´s is not mental disease. He was not known to be angry or violent. Something made this kid snap. Perhaps his being so different, so shy (that is Asperger´s) for so many years? He had no friends. Zero.
Perhaps before someone jumps on it, I should have said Asperger´s is not a mental disease in the sense that the person is insane or psychotic.
The one thing that is missing from this article is the report that his father never lived in the Newtown house after Nancy Lanza and the boys moved there. They were separated for 17 years, but only divorced a few years ago. He has remarried.
One commenter under the article wondered about childhood Lyme disease and whether Adam had ever been tested for it.
Interesting. My husband has a co worker whose wife and son both have Lyme disease. Before they finally figured out what was going on, their son (early 20s) had gone through a major personality shift, and they thought his wife had heart problems. With treatment, they are both doing much better but this guy says it was several years of sheer hell, trying to make sense of the symptoms. They traced the timeline back to a canoe trip in Canada.
Adam Lanza was not a "creature"; he was a human being. It does no good to treat him like some sort of alien. There are plenty of other people just like Adam currently living in this country. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we get them the help they need.
Asperger is not a "mental disease". Asperger is a developmental disorder. It is the highest functioning level of the autism spectrum; in fact, in next year´s version of the DSM the term Asperger goes away and just the term autism is used. Neither Asperger nor other forms of autism are in any way associated with violence.
People who do things like this heinous act are delusional, not in touch with reality. There are a number of mental health diagnoses that are associated with bouts of psychosis.
People want to blame family, movies, whatever. What you are seeing here is what those of us who live it and the mental health community have been trying to say for years. Normal, loving families who go to extraordinary lengths to help their loved ones with mental health issues can have a relative like Adam. By age 14, the Adam´s can sign themselves out of psych hospitals against parents´ wishes and doctor´s advice in some states. (In other states, the age is 16.) By age 18, the parents can´t even get medical info on them without the mentally ill person´s consent. A parent may know the person is deteriorating - Nancy Lanza told a friend that she knew - but they are powerless to get the person hospitalized until the danger is ´imminent´ and provable to a judge. The laws need to change. Instead of treating family as outsiders and the enemy - listen to us.
This father sounds like a man willing to sacrifice a lot of money not to have to live with and cope with this difficult situation. The mother seems to have been wholly devoted to her son, but introducing him to the shooting range and exposing him to all of her end of the world talk were both tragic mistakes. It could be that all the talk about uprooting this kid to Washington state set him off. Not that he would be leaving friends behind, but the thought of being in unfamiliar surroundings as the economy collapsed was a fate worse than death to him. His rage was evident in the shots to his mother´s face.
I´s like to hear from the estranged older brother. The extraordinary dedication which seems to have been shown by the mother does not preclude a generous amount of denial n her part both about the nature of the problem and the odds for a favorable solution. As for the father, marriages have ended over differences about how to care for a disabled child.
I hope Adam´s Dad wanted to continue being involved in his life. Much is being left to speculation in this family´s story. It seems Mr. Lanza was busy with his career and new wife, and Adam´s mother seemed to have outlets for her stress that weren´t particularly healthy.
I don´t know if Adam´s parents working together more as a team would have helped him, or if Mr. Lanza approved of his ex´s use of guns to expand Adam´s interests. It´s easy to analyze horrible stories like this in hindsight, but analyzing them doesn´t seem to prevent the next one from happening.
May God be with everyone who survived this horrific event.
A comment under this article says an uncle stated that the killer was on Fanapt, a drug for schizophrenia. Suicide is a side effect of that drug. If the uncle is correct, that is a whole different scenario than Aspergers.
Both of my kids are different. ADD inattentive (not hyper), sensory integration disorder, being on the cusp of asperger´s all play a part in who they are, and they get it from me. There are so many different degrees of this stuff.
If people would stop judging who is "normal" and be more accepting of differences, it would be a good step in the right direction towards changing our mental health system. Schools are the worst places, as all are expected to learn the same way, which is ridiculous. Being called "weird" and "odd" by classmates and even relatives only makes things worse.
Back to #9, start with the law. Allow family to get help for older relatives based on both testing by professionals and interviews with family members.
It is my contention that the following list of items which should be a part of every boys life which are "categorically" missing in every recollection of male serial killers lives.
NO: Regular church attendance, close father/mother relationship, regular socializing events, close friends, sports competition, camping, hunting, surfing, walking, running, or any outdoor activities,
AND MY BIGGY ANY achievement acknowledged by the social peers,such as, camping leadership/Scouting Awards, or any Outstanding Achievement Award for a "years long" accomplishments.
I give similar advise to parents that bring their young boys to our church camping organization. Boys need acknowledgement of achievements, challenges, and maturing in their early stages fromm 5-15 years of age. Without it they will seek it in more and more deviant behavior until their acts of deviancy are "acknowledged" or ARRESTED.
IMHO,this was the parent´s failure in this killer´s life.
Close family will have the best input on the situation. It is human nature to try and find out why these kinds of acts happen, therfore, speculation on everyone´s part is to be expected. We all want to understand this, but it will take time and patience. Hopefully, one of the outcomes from this tragedy is a hard look at how we can change the way we look at those suffering from mental disorders. Many families suffer the pain of watching a loved one deteriorate and are helpless to do anything because of privacy issues and commitment requirements. This has to change because we have to recognize that a mental health problem is very different from a physical health condition. The same rules and regulations should not apply. It makes no sense that people with serious mental disorders can just check themselves out of a psychiatric facility.
We don´t know why Adam Lanza did what he did. However, after reading that the victims were shot multiple times, I wonder if Lanza saw the victims as "target practice". Most, if not all, the victims, were shot at least twice. Some were shot as much as eleven times.
I tend to agree with 12, except that "extraordinary dedication" may have played a role in causing this. We don´t know which came first. It´s possible to go overboard with concern and doing so can just exacerbate any potential problem.
I pity kids who have helicopter parents.
Yesterday the report was that the mother withdrew him from school in high school and that he did not graduate with his class because he was being home-schooled.
Is it just me or do others see a massive invasion of the family´s privacy. . It´s really nobody´s business how much ammo Nancy Lanza stored or how many shotguns she owned or what her salary was. Her son screwed up. That doesn´t mean combing through her bank accounts or under wear drawer and reporting the findings is suddenly ok. This is all just to paint gun owners as a bunch of nuts. I hope she sues.
Asperger´s is not mental disease. He was not known to be angry or violent. Something made this kid snap. Perhaps his being so different, so shy (that is Asperger´s) for so many years? He had no friends. Zero.
Therein lies the problem. If all he was ever diagnosed with was Asperger´s, then he was either misdiagnosed or his mother never sought another diagnosis. From the few reports we´ve all read so far, we know that this guy was mentally ill. We don´t know how he was being treated. Was he on prescription drugs? If so, what were they and had he shown improvement or deterioration under them? Was he under the care of psychiatrist or psychologist? If so, for how long? Did he play violent video games? Do we know if he ever threatened anyone?
I have a family member who has mental illness. We KNOW he is mentally ill. He has been taken to numerous psychiatrists and psychologists. None, and I mean, none of them will give him a proper diagnosis. Instead, they have him so doped up that his brain is in a constant fog. They´ve put him on Adderall (speed) and anti-depressants AT THE SAME TIME...continued.
And, #18 -- this kid was a boy scout, even got his Eagle Scout, was in a string band, extremely social...social chair of his fraternity. He is now so introverted that he hardly talks at family gatherings and when he does talk, often breaks in mid-way through a thought in his head, so it makes no sense.
Mental illness and the treatment of it is very, very tough and very heart-wrenching. Sadly, the only thing that would´ve stopped this deranged guy would´ve been someone at the school with a weapon who was able to "meet" him upon arrival at the school.
Lots of questions: -She filed for divorce. -She was receiving 240K a year. After taxes. -That meant the ex when taking home 320K a year was fine with 80K take home. -She got the house. -He got a 5 year old car.
I have seen and worked with many Asperger´s kids, I don´t think that´s the problem. But it is the upper middle class explanation, or if you will, cache diagnosis.
There´s a lot more to this story, and the family dynamics. And we may never really know all of it.
...sadly the mother was delusional...she likely truly believed her love would see her son through his ever growing problems...she was wrong...mental illness and mind altering drugs only work in institutions with high walls, a medical staff and guards.
I don´t personally give two hoots in hell about the Lanza family--they let their problems become the agony of so many undeserving families, and they deserve no ink in the media for any reason. I don´t want to know what their family portrait looks like. I can´t waste sympathy on these losers--I´m praying for the families of the lost children and teachers. And don´t blame the gun--it did not fire itself at anyone.
The comment that they had been separated for 17 years was badly stated.
Those who knew the family in Newtown said that she had moved there 17 years ago with the boys and had lived alone in the house, that they had never known her husband to live there, even though the house was owned by both of them.
That would have made Adam about 3 when they moved there. Ryan 7.
There is no report that the boys never saw their father, but he was known to be closer to Ryan and is to this day. Ryan is "following in his footsteps" at the company where he works.
Some have latched on to the parenting counseling both parents had to go through as part of the divorce. That is a requirement when parents of a minor child divorce in Connecticut.
The healthcare laws we have today are a big part of this problem. Mainly HIPAA. Posters are correct about families and the patients. Several years ago, in Albuquerque, a fellow, around the age of 35 - 50 so not a child, with a number of mental health problems finally went off the deep end, and killed 5 completely unrelated (to him or each other) people. A brother had for years, and increasingly in the months preceeding the incident had been calling the police, his brother´s doctor, and the local mental health hosp, to try and tell all them that his brother was getting worse, begging for help. NO ONE COULD/WOULD HELP, due to HIPAA. The authorities were quoted in the paper saying that very thing, they COULD NOT DISCUSS THE SHOOTER´S CASE WITH FAMILY MEMBERS DUE TO THE LAW. So 5 families, actually 6 lost loved ones, seemingly out of the blue. As an aside, when anyone goes to their doctor, ask for the form noting exactly who can be informed about your case. Get a notorized statement to carry in your billfold saying who can be included in your care, and list all circumstances;car wreck, emergency heart probs, etc, or believe me...YOU WILL BE LEFT SITTING ON YOUR A** OUTSIDE THE ER.
#26, since the boy in your family had abrupt changes in his behavior, having been an Eagle Scout (a very great accomplishment) and sociable, please tell his parents to have him evaluated for things like Lyme Disease and something called PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders). There was a boy, whose story was told in the book Sammy´s Story, who showed severe psychiatric symptoms due to strepococcal infections.
There is a lot of disbelief about PANDAS, but some doctors are looking into it. There is information about it available.
As to Adam Lanza, Drudge has a report that his mother had reached the end of her endurance, and was seeking to be appointed his guardian. As others here have stated, the law is the enemy of parents of kids with mental disabilities who have reached the age of adulthood. HIPAA laws prevent parents from getting their child´s records and participating in their care.
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