newtown massacre

Sandy Hook Report Finds No ‘Conclusive Motive’

Nearly a year after Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother, twenty children, six adults, and himself in Newtown, Connecticut, a report by the state attorney’s office has been released, but “does not establish a conclusive motive.” (Read Lisa Miller’s “Orders of Grief,” about the grief, sympathy, and money flooding Newtown here.) According to the findings, the looming question of why “may never be answered conclusively, despite the collection of extensive background information on the shooter through a multitude of interviews and other sources. The evidence clearly shows that the shooter planned his actions, including the taking of his own life, but there is no clear indication why he did so, or why he targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School.”

Contained within the full file is a detailed timeline of that day, a disturbingly clinical description of the events, and a partial portrait of Lanza’s personality and interests.

Despite having been diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder in 2005, and generally becoming more withdrawn as he got older, “It is important to note that it is unknown, what contribution, if any, the shooter’s mental health issues made to his attack [on Sandy Hook],” the report states. “Those mental health professionals who saw him did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior.”

Evidence discovered on his computer and hard drive, as previously reported, “revealed that the shooter had a preoccupation with mass shootings, in particular the Columbine shootings and a strong interest in firearms.” Findings, ranging from the mundane to the horrifying, include:

-Bookmarks pertaining to firearms, military, politics, mass murder, video games, music, books, Army Ranger, computers and programs, ammunition, candy, economic books
- Web page design folders
- Two videos showing suicide by gunshot
- Commercial movies depicting mass shootings
- The computer game titled “School Shooting” where the player controls a character who enters a school and shoots at students
- Screen shots (172) of the online game “Combat Arms”
- “Dance Dance Revolution” (DDR) game screen shots
- Videos of shooter playing DDR
- Images of the shooter holding a handgun to his head
- Images of the shooter holding a rifle to his head
- Five-second video (dramatization) depicting children being shot
- Images of shooter with a rifle, shotgun and numerous magazines in his pockets
- Documents on weapons and magazine capacity
-A document written showing the prerequisites for a mass murder spreadsheet
- A spreadsheet listing mass murders by name and information about the incident
- Materials regarding the topic of pedophilia and advocating for rights for pedophiles (not child pornography)42
- Large amount of materials relating to Columbine shootings and documents on mass murders
- Large amount of materials on firearms
- Comedy videos
- Music
- Images of hamsters
- Images of Lego creations

Both the mother and the shooter took National Rifle Association (NRA) safety courses,” the report states. “The mother thought it was good to learn responsibility for guns.”

With the issuance of this report,” it concludes, “the investigation is closed.”