Conn. shooter's dad: 'You can't get any more evil'

Updated: Monday, March 10 2014, 10:07 AM MDT
Conn. shooter

NEW YORK (AP) — In his most extensive comments about the 2012 Connecticut school massacre, the father of gunman Adam Lanza describes his struggle to comprehend what his son did — an act that "couldn't get any more evil" — and how he now wishes that his son had never been born.

Peter Lanza also told The New Yorker magazine in a series of interviews last fall that he believes Adam would have killed him, too, if he had the chance. And he often contemplates what he could have done differently in his relationship with Adam, although he believes the killings couldn't have been predicted.

"Any variation on what I did and how my relationship was had to be good, because no outcome could be worse," Peter Lanza told the magazine in an article dated March 17. "You can't get any more evil. ... How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he's my son? A lot."

He said he hadn't seen his son in two years when Adam killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December 2012. Adam killed himself as police arrived. He also fatally shot his mother, Nancy, in their Newtown home before going to the school.

The magazine interviews are Peter Lanza's first public comments since he released a statement the day after the massacre expressing sympathy for the victims' families and puzzlement over his son's actions.

Peter and Nancy Lanza separated in 2001 and divorced in 2009. He last saw Adam in October 2010 and wanted to maintain contact with him. But Nancy Lanza wrote him an email saying Adam didn't want to see him, despite her efforts to reason with him. Several plans to meet with his son fell through. Peter Lanza said he felt frustrated and even considered hiring a private investigator to find out what his son was doing "so I could bump into him." He said he felt that showing up unannounced at his son's home would only make things worse.

Peter Lanza said Adam was 13 when a psychiatrist diagnosed him with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism not associated with violence. But he believes the syndrome "veiled a contaminant" that wasn't Asperger's.

"I was thinking it could mask schizophrenia," said Peter Lanza, who lives in Fairfield County, Conn., and is vice president for taxes at a General Electric subsidiary, GE Energy Financial Services.

A spokesman for Peter Lanza said Monday that Lanza would not be commenting further.

Peter Lanza told the magazine that his son as a young child was "just a normal little weird kid" who used to spend hours with his father playing with Legos.

But as he grew older, Adam's mental health problems worsened, according to Connecticut State Police documents. A Yale University professor diagnosed Lanza in 2006 with profound autism spectrum disorder, "with rigidity, isolation, and a lack of comprehension of ordinary social interaction and communications," while also displaying symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the documents show.

Peter Lanza said his and Nancy Lanza's concerns about Adam increased when he began middle school.

"It was crystal clear something was wrong," he said. "The social awkwardness, the uncomfortable anxiety, unable to sleep, stress, unable to concentrate, having a hard time learning, the awkward walk, reduced eye contact. You could see the changes occurring."

After the killings, police investigators discovered that Adam Lanza had written violent stories as a child and later became interested in mass murders.

Peter Lanza believes his son had no affection for him at the time of the shootings.

"With hindsight, I know Adam would have killed me in a heartbeat, if he'd had the chance. I don't question that for a minute," he told the magazine.

Peter Lanza said he has searched psychiatric literature on mass killers to try to understand what happened. He was asked how he would feel if he could see his son again.

"Quite honestly, I think that I wouldn't recognize the person I saw," he said. "All I could picture is there'd be nothing there, there'd be nothing. Almost, like, 'Who are you, stranger?'"

He said he wished Adam had never been born.

"That didn't come right away," Peter Lanza said about that statement. "That's not a natural thing, when you're thinking about your kid. But, God, there's no question. There can only be one conclusion, when you finally get there. That's fairly recent, too, but that's totally where I am."

Conn. shooter's dad: 'You can't get any more evil'
comments powered by Disqus

El Paso Times Headlines

El Paso theater company KIDS-N-CO. struggles with finances, seeks community help
KIDS-N-CO., El Paso's nonprofit theater company for kids from five to 18, can't pay its rent and needs help. Stella Gutierrez, board president, said the nonprofit is struggling to pay the remainder of October's rent, about $2,200, and that its funds to pay rent in November and December are not looking promising either.
Early voting numbers for El Paso County spur conflicting interpretations
AUSTIN >> Two days into early voting, El Paso County turnout statistics are low — continuing a trend of weak participation in nonpresidential elections. Through Tuesday, 2 percent of the county's registered voters had cast ballots in heavily Democratic El Paso County. That's barely an improvement over 2010, which is widely regarded as a disastrous election for Democrats.
Firefighters recover two bodies at Lower Valley water treatment plant
The bodies of two men were recovered from a Lower Valley water treatment plant after a report of two workers trapped inside the facility Wednesday, officials said.
UTEP receives NIH grant for scholarships, partnership
The University of Texas at El Paso received a five-year, $22.6-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to train future scientists and engineers from underrepresented populations.
Lone Star Fugitive Task Force arrests man who allegedly threatened ex-girlfriend with gun
The U.S. Marshal's Lone Star Fugitive Task Force on Wednesday arrested a man who allegedly used a handgun to threaten his ex-girlfriend to drop domestic violence charges, officials said.
El Paso builders' Treasure Tour aimed to rev up new home sales
Seventeen El Paso home builders will showcase more than 40 of their homes in the next 10 days during the Treasure Tour of Homes in hopes of revving up sagging new home sales.
'Hablemos de Dinero' business program kicks off second year with El Paso bank party
Wells Fargo Bank and the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will begin the second year of their business development program, "Hablemos de Dinero," with a kick-off party Tuesday night.
Family: Doctors don't detect Ebola in nurse's body
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Doctors no longer detect Ebola in a Texas nurse who flew to Ohio and back before she was diagnosed with the virus, her family said Wednesday.
ShareFest to benefit thousands Saturday at El Paso County Coliseum
With the help of the city, area businesses and churches, Barney Field is organizing what he calls the biggest "garage sale" at the El Paso County Coliseum. "We asked people to go through their house, their closets, dresser drawers and just anything they no longer use and are willing to share with the less fortunate to take it," said Field, founder of Pastors for Jesus. "This is going to be huge - but it's all free."
Oklahoma State sues NMSU over pistol-packing mascot
LAS CRUCES >> This logo ain't big enough for the both of us. That's the gist of a federal lawsuit filed this week by Oklahoma State University, alleging that New Mexico State University has
Expert: Autopsy doesn't show if Brown went for gun
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Michael Brown's official autopsy indicates he was shot in the hand at close range during a struggle, but a medical examiner not involved in the investigation says there's no way to conclude whether the injury meant the unarmed 18-year-old was trying to grab the gun of the officer who killed him.
Fred Carr on NCAA Hall of Fame ballot
UTEP took a step closer toward getting its first College Football Hall of Famer when linebacker Fred Carr, the Miners' highest-ever draft pick when he was taken fifth overall by Green Bay in 1968,
El Paso police name man suspected of killing woman, shooting officer
El Paso police officials have identified the people in connection with the killing of a woman and a shooting that wounded a police officer earlier this week.
Ex-El Paso police officer pleads guilty to IRS violations
A former El Paso police officer and owner of a medical insurance billing company pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he tried to evade IRS laws by not reporting large amounts of withdrawals.
Renee Zellweger: 'People don't know me in my 40s'
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Renee Zellweger says she looks different because she's "living a different, happy, more fulfilling life."

Top Stories

Come back often for updates of top national, state and local El Paso area news stories. KFOX covers topics including politics, crime, sports, entertainment, health, economy and other news related subjects. KFOX is dedicated to providing the best, timely and up to date news reporting for El Paso and New Mexico.

Talkers

advertisement
KFOX14 El Paso - Live Cast Watch live broadcasts of KFOX14 News seven days a week!
advertisement
advertisement
advertisement