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

Send us your Halloween photos
Do you have a great Halloween photo to share? Send us your funny, cute and scary Halloween photos of you, your kids and your pets to be featured in a gallery at photos.elpasotimes.com. Selected photos will also run daily through Nov. 1 on page B2 of the El Paso Times print edition.
›› Photos: Spooky Halloween viewer submissions
Fourth annual Access to Justice clinic to offer legal advice at EPCC Valle Verde campus
The El Paso Bar Association and several local lawyers are sponsoring a free clinic Saturday for those needing legal advice.
Two men sentenced in rape, killing of teen girls
A Chihuahua state judge sentenced two men on Thursday to more than 50 years in prison each after they were found guilty earlier this month of killing and raping a 15-year-old girl, and sexually
Friday Night Live: Get updates from El Paso-area high school football games
Get live updates from El Paso-area high school football games starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday on elpasotimes.com. Join the chat on Twitter with #eptfootball.
Tiempo roundup: 'Flashdance: The Musical,' Hillside Coffee & Donut Co. reviewed, Tiempo calendar
Tiempo roundup: 'Flashdance: The Musical,' Hillside Coffee & Donut Co. reviewed, Tiempo calendar
High school football: Burges gets first win of season, Jefferson remains winless in 1-5A
Following two safeties on Burges (1-7, 1-5) in the fourth quarter, Jefferson (1-7, 0-6) nearly rallied from behind to win the game Thursday night at Sun Bowl Stadium.
3 dead, 1 injured in Maryland plane and helicopter crash
FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - An airplane and a helicopter collided in midair near a Maryland airport before crashing into trees Thursday, killing three men in the helicopter but sparing two in the plane who deployed a parachute to slow the aircraft's descent before it hit the trees
Magic Johnson speaks at STARS Scholarship Fund event
Basketball great Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who has become a national business leader, told an audience of about 700 Thursday that poor students can achieve success if they are given a chance.
EPISD Board of Managers term will end in spring of 2015, education commissioner says
The appointed Board of Managers governing the El Paso Independent School District will remain in office through next spring's elections for three new school board members, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced today.
OSHA looks into death of 2 workers at El Paso water treatment plant
An investigation continues into the deaths of two workers who got trapped in a room flooded with sludge Wednesday at a Lower Valley water treatment plant.
'Flashdance: The Musical' at Plaza Theatre, features Socorro High School grad
Andree Harper. Gladys Ferrari. Ana Guerrero Moncada. Monica Flores. Names of famous Broadway dancers? No, they're El Paso teachers, people who inspired Eduardo Carrillo how to dance, how to perform, how to take his talent to the next level.
Tiempo calendar: Paul Rodriguez, Haunted UTEP Tour, Ghost Stories by Moonlight
Today, Oct. 24

Paul Rodriguez: The popular actor and comedian will perform at 8 p.m. Oct. 24-25 at the El Paso Comic Strip Comedy Club, 1201 Airway. $27.50. 779-5233; ticket web.com; laff2nite.com.

Stage review: UTEP Dinner Theatre's 'Footloose' offers toe-tapping good time
It's quite common for original theatrical musicals to be turned into films. However, turning successful movies into musicals is the latest trend.
Restaurant review: Hillside Coffee & Donut Co. serves up delectable donuts, delicious drinks
There is a science to how the baristas at Hillside Coffee & Donut Co. prepare its variety of coffee. And if you have a few minutes, they'll guide you through the entire process.
UTEP President Diana Natalicio receives national award
University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio has received a national award for her work empowering minority students.

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