Trying To Answer The ‘Why’ Question: Geneticists To Study Lanza’s Body For Clues

As times passes since the devastating Sandy Hook shooting, people around the nation are seeking the answer to one question: Why? Connecticut’s chief medical examiner is looking for answers to that questions, and he feels that those answers may lie in the body of killer Adam Lanza.

Dr. H. Wayne Carver II says he’s seeking genetic clues to help explain why the shooter killed his mother, 20 children, and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut before turning the gun on himself.

Carver tells The Harford Courant that he “wants to know if there is any identifiable disease” associated with the behavior of the shooter. He is currently working with the University of Connecticut’s department of genetics.

While last Sunday’s 60 Minutes revealed that Lanza allegedly had Asperger’s syndrome — an Autism Spectrum Disorder — Carver maintains that “Asperger’s is simply not on the menu, in terms of what is wrong with this kid. Asperger’s is not associated with behavior patterns that are violent.” Carver goes on to allege that he does not know whether Lanza did indeed have Asperger’s syndrome.

Carver is currently awaiting toxicology testing results for Lanza and working with investigators to gain other viable information.

“I’m exploring with the department of genetics what might be possible, if anything is possible,” Carver said Tuesday. “Is there any identifiable disease associated with this behavior?”

While determining why Lanza went on a rampage that reportedly ended “only when fast-arriving police prompted him to kill himself” may be difficult, Carver is determined to find out as much as he can from Lanza’s genetic makeup.

Investigators are having a difficult time uncovering clues as to why the 20-year-old would commit such a heinous act: Lanza apparently destroyed his computer’s hard drive, which police hoped would provide clues.

Mary Ellen O-Toole, a retired FBI profiler and behavioral scientist, noted that seeking answers in Lanza’s biology is “worthwhile.”

“I think it’s great to consider if there’s something here that would help people understand this behavior,” O’Toole added.

One thing is apparent from the evidence made public so far, she said. The assault on Sandy Hook Elementary “was not an impulsive act,” she said. “This was well thought out.”

Lanza allegedly could have been planning the attack for weeks or months.

And for the parents of the victims — as well as parents around the nation who feel this tragedy to the core of their being — answering the “why” question will not be easy. And it will not be quick.

State police lieutenant J. Paul Vance has repeatedly described the investigation as a process during which Newtown and state police detectives will “peel back the layers of the case.”

Unfortunately, it remains unknown exactly how much detectives will be able to discover.

“It’s going to take months,” Vance said.

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