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

UTEP football: Miners square off with New Mexico
At some point early next week, whether Tuesday in Albuquerque or Monday in El Paso, a head coach will begin a press conference after a loss in a rivalry game and talk about getting better, moving forward, dealing with adversity and point out that there are still 11 games left.
Pedestrian hit by train at Copia and Rosa
A pedestrian was struck by a train today between Stevens and Copia streets, officials said.
Tiempo calendar: Clint Black, Fiesta de las Flores, Sun City Music Festival
Today, Aug. 29 Brantley Gilbert: The award-winning country music singer will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino, Mescalero, N.M.
Ferguson slowly starting to make comeback
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - The unmistakable signs of healing are beginning to dot Ferguson, even the small area of this St. Louis-area suburb that was the center of attention for three weeks. But those in the community know they've got a long way to go.
State Department weighs in on Day of the Disappeared today
Mexicans in Exile plans to join an international movement today that seeks justice for victims of forced disappearances and their families and in observance of "International Day of the Victims of Forced Disappearances.
Fiesta de las Flores takes over County Coliseum
El Paso's popular annual Fiesta de las Flores is set during the Labor day Weekend at the El Paso County Coliseum, 4100 E. Paisano. Admission to the four-day annual event is free and will start at 5:30 p.m. today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
High school football: No. 1 Franklin holds off No. 2 Canutillo
With the game on the line against No. 2 Canutillo on Friday night, the No. 1-ranked Franklin Cougars made all the big plays when they needed to and the result was a 24-13 win at Canutillo in the
Dog turns on stove, which then sets laptop ablaze
LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Police say a New Jersey family's dog turned on the stove, which caught the laptop resting on the burner on fire and sent smoke through the roof.
KFOX Weather: Mostly sunny and dry
Today: Mostly sunny and dry. El Paso 96/72. Las Cruces 95/67. South winds 5 to 10 mph..
New Garrison commander talks about supporting soldiers, goals for future
FORT BLISS >> The new Garrison commander has a different way of looking at things whenever he comes across road construction when traveling around Fort Bliss.
Week 1: El Paso-area high school football scores
Franklin 24, Canutillo 13 Coronado 48, Andress 28 El Dorado 31, Eastlake 23 El Paso High 41, Clint 20 Irvin 9, Parkland 7 Americas 35, Carlsbad 19 Socorro 34, Horizon 10 Austin 23, Bel Air
Friday's high school football scores from around Texas
PREP FOOTBALL Class 6A Abilene 38, Colleyville Heritage 17 Aldine Eisenhower 7, Fort Bend Hightower 0 Allen 55, Denton Guyer 41 Arlington Bowie 72, Dallas Jesuit 49 Arlington Lamar
Controversial El Paso water fee may be changed, PSB official says
The city's recently approved and controversial water franchise fee may be in for a change. An alternative proposal to what the City Council passed is being worked on and is expected to be ready to
Three El Paso bars temporarily close following narcotics investigation
A long-term investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission led to the arrest of 12 people — some with connections to the Barrio Azteca street gang — on suspicion of distributing cocaine in three bars, officials said Friday.
Nonprofit says ISIS is in Juarez, US officials reject claim
An organization that investigates government corruption posted on its website Friday claims that Islamic terrorist groups are operating in Juárez and plan to attack the United States with car bombs and other explosives.

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