Nancy Lanza wanted to test her son Adam’s ability to live on his own and manage his Asperger’s Syndrome, so the Connecticut mother turned control of the house to her 20-year-old son while she went out of town for a day.
Within 24 hours of her return, Adam would snap, shooting his mother to death before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killing 26 more people, including 20 children. He then took his own life as police arrived on the scene.
The release of a Newtown shooting report by police in Connecticut shed new light on the events surrounding last year’s mass shooting. In the report, a man who had dated Nancy Lanza and remained friends with her indicated that she knew something was very wrong the week of the shooting.
The man said Nancy told him, “She did not want to be in Connecticut the week of the shooting and was considering taking a trip to be sure she was out of town. This was thought to be some sort of foreshadowing of the incident,” the report said.
The report also detailed a strange relationship between Nancy Lanza and her son. Though they lived in the same house, the two communicated by email, though they did connect by going to a shooting range together.
Investigators found that although she was his primary caregiver, Adam Lanza hated his mother. They believe he targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School because of his mother’s connection to it, volunteering there for more than a decade.
“Lanza apparently felt that his mother loved the students more than him,” the report said.
The Newtown shooting report indicated that Nancy was desperate to find help for her son. In a text with a friend, she expressed concern that Adam would be unable to manage by himself while she was away.
“I REALLY wish I could but I have so much to do and want to spend a little extra time with Adam before I go,” she wrote in one. “Also, lots of cooking to do because I like to leave him with all his favorites.”
Reports from just after the massacre last year indicated that Nancy Lanza was losing control of her son. A friend of the family told the New York Daily News that though Nancy usually did not talk about her son, in the weeks leading up to the shooting, she confessed that his behavior was worrying her.
“She just looked down at the glass and said, ‘I don’t know. I’m worried I’m losing him,’ ” said the friend, who remained anonymous.” She said it was getting worse. She was having trouble reaching him.”
The friend said Nancy indicated that Adam was becoming numb to all emotion and feelings.”Nancy told me he was burning himself with a lighter. In the ankles or arms or something,” he recalled of a conversation they had about a year ago. “It was like he was trying to feel something.” It came to the point that Nancy was considering moving her son out of Connecticut to seek help, the Washington Post reported
“He was her whole life. She was very proud of both of her sons,” said Mark Tambascio, who knew Nancy Lanza for several years. “She never mentioned that [Adam] was suicidal or violent. Nothing like that. Everyone that had spent any time around him, they knew he was a little bit different, but you never saw any major, major issues.”