Audrey Hepburn was born.Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium, with the name Audrey Kathleen Ruston. Her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston, was an English banker and her mother, Ella, was a Dutch baroness.
Hepburn's Parents DivorceHer father, a Nazi sympathiser, left the family and Hepburn referred to her father's leaving as the most traumatic moment of her life.
Pseudonym Edda van HeemstraAudrey's mother sent her and her two half-brothers to live with their grandfather in the Netherlands because she felt it would be safe from German attack. In 1940, when the Germans invaded the Netherlands, Hepburn adopted the name Edda van Heemstra. Her given name was considered to be dangerous because it sounded English and indicated her British roots.
Hepburn's Wartime ExperiencesIn 1944, Audrey was an accompished ballerina and she secretly performed for groups of people. Over the winter of 1944, the Germans blocked supply routes for food and fuel leaving people to starve and freeze to death. Hepburn made flour out of tulip bulbs to bake cakes and biscuits. Hepburn suffered from malnutrition, anaemia, and respiratory problems. She passed time by drawing. The attached picture shows two of her drawings.
The Start of Her CareerAfter the war, Audrey moved to Amsterdam and took ballet lessons with Sonia Gaskell. She then studied at the Ballet Rambert and supported herself by working part time as a model. Rambert later told Hepburn that her poor nutrition during the war and the fact that she was relatively tall (5 ft 7) would keep her from becoming the prima ballerina she dreamed of. Hepburn decided to pursue acting.
Educational film "Dutch in Seven Lessons"Release in 1948, "Dutch in Seven Lessons" was Hepburn's first appearance in the industry.
Her First Minor RolesIn 1951, Audrey played a hotel receptionist in her first motion picture film, One Wild Oat. She also played minor roles in:
Young Wives' Tale
Laughter in Paradise
The Lavender Hill Mob
Monte Carlo Baby
First Lead RolesDuring the making of Monte Carlo Baby, Audrey was chosen to play the lead role in the Broadway rendition of Gigi. It opened at the Fulton Theatre and ran for 219 performances. In the last months of its running, it was performed in San Francisco and Los Angeles. However, her first significant fil performance was in the Dickinson film "Secret People" which was release in 1952. She played a ballerina and did all her own dancing.
Hepburn's First EngagementJames Hanson and Audrey Hepburn engaged in 1952 and Hepburn called it "love at first sight." Shortly after being fitted for her wedding dress and setting the date, they decided their careers would keep them apart most of the time and broke it off.
Roman HolidayWith Gregory Peck, the Italian-set romantic-comedy, "Roman Holiday," was her first MAJOR star role. Elizabeth Taylor was originally wanted for the role but director William Wyler was greatly impressed by Hepburn's talent and cast her instead. For her role in this film, Hepburn won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. "She had everything I was looking for: charm, innocence and talent. She also was very funny. She was absolutely enchanting and we said, 'That's the girl!'"
"Sabrina" directed by Billy WilderIn 1954, Audrey starred as Sabrina Fairchild in the movie "Sabrina" with Humphrey Bogart. This was Audrey's second big film.
Audrey wins an Oscar AwardThe 1954 Oscars were held on March 30, 1955. Audrey Hepburn received a Best Actress Oscar for her role in "Roman Holiday."
- Audrey is one of few entertainers who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award. She has also received an Acadamey Award, a Golden Glove, and a BAFTA. In 1961, she was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
First MarriageOn September 24, 1954, Mel Ferrer and Audrey Hepburn married. They met at a party hosted by Gregory Peck. Rehearsals for the play "Odine" began in January and the following September they were married. She said they were inseparable and very happy but admitted he had a bad temper. Rumors said Ferrer was controlling; however, a friend of Hepburn said, "I think Audrey allows Mel to think he influences her."
Featured in Vogue MagazineAudrey was featured in the 1954 November issue of Vogue and photographed by Cecil Beaton, who said, "With the passing of every month, Audrey Hepburn increases in dramatic stature. Intelligent and alert, wistful but enthusiastic, frank yet tactful, assured without conceit and tender without sentimentality, she is the most promising theatrical talent to appear since the war."
First Child BornHepburn had her first pregnancy but miscarried in March of 1955. In 1959, she fell off a horse and onto a rock and broke her back while filming "The Unforgiven" and she spent weeks in the hospital and had her second miscarriage due to physical and mental stress. In 1960, she had her first child with Mel Ferrer and his name is Sean Hepburn Ferrer.
Breakfast at Tiffany'sHepburn played the role of Holly Golightly in the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany's. Hepburn referred to this role as "the jazziest of my career." Holly Golightly became an "iconic character in American cinema."
- Her only film with Cary Grant, Hepburn starred in Charade.
"Happy Birthday, Dear Jack"Hepbun and President John F. Kennedy were dear friends and Hepburn was his favorite actress. Hepburn sang "Happy Birthday, Dear Jack" to the president on what ended up being his last birthday.
Hepburn and Ferrer DivorceAfter being married for 14 years, Hepburn and Ferrer divorce. Her son was quoted saying his mother had stayed in the marriage with his father for too long. She broke off all contact with Ferrer and only spoke to him twice more in her life.
Second MarriageHepburn went on a cruise and met Italian psychiatrist, Andrea Dotti and they fell in love. They married in 1969.
Second Child BornAudrey was very careful while pregnant with her next child to prevent another miscarriage. She passed the time by painting and then on February 8, she had her second son and they named him Luca Dotti. The picture to the left is Audrey pushing baby Luca for, Vogue photographer, Henry Clarke.
Another MiscarriageWanting more children, Audrey had her final miscarriage in 1974.
Robin and MarianReleased on March 11, 1976, Robin and Marian was a romantic adventure film directed by Richard Lester. Audrey Hepburn starred in this film with Sean Connery and Ronnie Barker.
Hepburn and Dotti DivorceHepburn and Dotti were married for 13 years. Their marriage ended in 1982 when she felt that her sons could handle living their lives with a single mother. They divorced due to Dotti's tendency to have affairs with younger women. Unlike Ferrer, Hepburn stayed in touch with Dotti for Luca's sake. Andrea Dotti died in 2007. The picture is Audrey with her yorkie named Mr. Famous.
Robert WoldersAudrey Hepburn became romantically involved with actor Robert Wolders. Although they never married, she referred to her time with him as the happiest years of her life. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Walters asked Hepburn why they never married. Hepburn replied they were married just not formally. Hepburn lived with her companion from 1982 until her death.
International Goodwill AmbassadorInfluenced by her wartime experiences, Audrey Hepburn decided to dedicate the remainder of her life to helping needy children in impoverished countries. In 1988 she was appointed as the UNICEF's International Goodwill Ambassador. During the years up to her death, she visited many needy countries. Her first mission was to Ethiopia.
- Steven Spielberg's film "Always," was released on December 22, 1989. Hepburn played the role of an angel. This is the last film she was in.
Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted TalesIn 1992, Audrey recorded a "spoken word album" that was titled "Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales;" she read classic children's stories. She won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.
Diagnosed with CancerShe returned from a UNICEF tripto Somalia and began feeling abdominal pain. After seeing a specialist and receiving inconclusive results, she went to another doctor. On November 1, 1992, doctors discovered she had abdominal cancer that had originated in her appendix. After several surgeries, doctors concluded the cancer had spread too far and there was nothing they could do.
Presidential Medal of FreedomOn December 11, 1992, President George Bush awarded Audrey Hepburn with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Audrey Hepburn Passes AwayHer dear friend and fashion designer, Hubert de Givenchy, arranged for Hepburn to be brought to her home in Switzerland from California. He sent her a private jet that he had filled with flowers. She died in her home on January 20, 1993. After hearing of her death, Gregory Peck tearfully read Hepburn's favorite poem, "Unending Love" by Rabindranath Tagore, on camera.
Audrey Hepburn's FuneralHepburn's funeral services were held in Switzerland, on Sunday, January 24, 1993. UNICEF's Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan delivered a eulogy. Her family and friends were there, including her two sons, Sean and Luca, and her partner Robert Wolders. Her two sons and partner helped carry her coffin to the grave site. "Audrey Hepburn became more than a movie star. She became a legend, first on screen - and then on the arid plains of Africa." - Ian Woodward, Author
Everything we know about the events leading up to the Sandy Hook shooting, in order, and with references cited.
NOTE: Other shootings are only referenced here if a specific connection to the Lanza case is known. Also, all entries marking an online post from Kaynbred/Smiggles/Blarvink/Adam Lanza will be in bold. For screengrabs/links of a specific “Kaynbred” or “Smiggles” post, refer to the appropriate prior blog post.
Update 05/15/2015: the best version of this timeline is at Dr. Peter Langman’s website: https://schoolshooters.info/adam-lanza under the first link. The version below is mostly up to date, though.
ADAM LANZA / SANDY HOOK TIMELINE
April 22, 1992: Adam Peter Lanza is born to Peter and Nancy Lanza in Kingston, NH.
April 29, 1992: At eight days old, Adam Lanza has an episode of apnea and stops breathing. He is admitted back to the hospital. (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 15)
Late 1994: Adam Lanza undergoes a “birth to three” evaluation in New Hampshire, ostensibly in order to qualify for state-provided support services for special-needs children. Significant impairment is noted, especially in relation to his having “created his own language.” From the Office of the Child Advocate report, page 16.
The developmental assessment completed by AL’s Birth to Three provider indicated that AL “fell well below expectations in social-personal development.” The evaluator was unable to understand any of AL’s language, needing his mother to serve as an interpreter throughout the testing. Evaluators concluded that AL presented with “significantly delayed development of articulation and expressive language skills.”
1995: Adam begins pre-school in Kingston, New Hampshire. He attended school several days per week, receiving special education support services, including speech support and occupational therapy as recommended by his Individualized Education Plan (IEP). (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 17)
1997: The Sanborn Regional School District discontinues speech and language support services for Adam, “due to a perception that his challenges were not impeding his ability to learn.” Source: (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 17)
Early April 1997: A neurological/developmental evaluation notes that Adam is an extremely active young child—he never slept through the night, continued to make up his own language, and reportedly did not like to be held, kissed or hugged. He is observed and reported to have odd repetitive behaviors and severe temper tantrums. He is reported, at times, to “sit and hit his head repeatedly.” He did not tolerate touch or textures and refused to dress. Teachers reported Adam was “very quiet during groups.”
April 22, 1997: Adam Lanza turns five.
Late April 1997: AL’s parents seek an independent evaluation from a local hospital. It appears that as a result of this hospital evaluation, special education supports were reinstated. (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 17)
The independent evaluation, purportedly a speech and language assessment, showed that AL had several strengths that complemented his developmental challenges. AL was observed to be “friendly [and] bright,” with “good social language ability,” as well as a good sense of humor. The evaluator posited that AL may have had a sensory integration disorder, and that he displayed “many rituals” in his behavior. Significant speech and language support was recommended in addition to a follow-up with neurology, and work with an occupational therapist certified in sensory integration therapy.
May 1997: The Sanborn Regional School District completes its own developmental assessment of Adam Lanza. The report accompanying the assessment notes that the district had previously decided to discontinue speech supports “because the disability [did] not interfere with educational abilities.” The updated assessment confirms that AL still has a dramatic discrepancy between expressive and receptive language abilities (a 42 point standard score difference). This meant that AL understood a great deal more than he could communicate and that his ability to make his needs known in a variety of settings was extremely limited or delayed. Adam would not or could not speak in groups, and had noted difficulties with auditory memory and auditory processing—meaning he had difficulty taking in auditory information and then great difficulty putting out information. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate Report — note that this 2014 report argues that “The school district should have considered the information from the speech and language evaluation and the neurological evaluation conducted in 1997 together, as reported findings were strongly suggestive of autism.”)
May 1997: Adam Lanza’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) — updated as a result of the examinations in the preceding month — provides him with a classification of Speech and Language Impairment and the plan recommends resuming speech and language services, twice weekly, with a focus on improving expressive language and articulation in spontaneous speech.
Fall 1997: An occupational therapy consultation by the school district notes that Adam displays inconsistent eye contact and scattered motor skills. Though there were reports of seizures in early childhood, records do not indicate whether these were actual epileptic episodes or simply vasovagal (fainting) episodes, or whether they were ever resolved through an in-depth neurological assessment. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate Report, page 18)
1998: The Lanza family moves to the Sandy Hook section of Newtown, Connecticut, after Adam’s father Peter accepts a position with General Electric. (source: Official Report Summary, pg. 28)
April 22, 1998: Adam Lanza turns six.
Fall 1998: Adam Lanza begins 1st grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He is reported to be reading at grade level and is determined to be “[a]bove grade level” in math. Educational concerns at this time focused on written expression–attributed to AL’s speech delays—an articulation disorder (difficulty with the mechanics of speaking) and weak fine motor skills (using hands and fingers in age-appropriate ways). (Source: Office of the Child Advocate Report, page 26)
October 1998: Adam’s IEP team summary indicates that the focus of intervention was for speech and language impairment. Adam is to be provided with speech and language support thirty minutes weekly and occupational therapy support 30 minutes weekly. (Authors of the 2014 report would conclude that these durations were minimal and likely inadequate.) Source: Office of the Child Advocate Report, page 27
February 9, 1999: Nancy Lanza emails a friend in Kingston about their move to Sandy Hook: “Adam is doing well here, and seems to be enjoying the new school.” http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/feb/17/raising-adam-lanza/
April 20th 1999: Columbine High School shooting. Adam Lanza will join a forum dedicated to discussing this shooting ten years later.
April 22nd 1999: Adam celebrates his 7th birthday at the the Duck Pin Bowling Alley in Danbury, Connecticut, with 20 friends from Sandy Hook Elementary school. (source: Frontline: Raising Adam Lanza)
July 1999: Nancy Lanza’s undergoes a neurological evaluation. Results show that all testing was unremarkable, despite her claiming to numerous friends to have been suffering from a vague terminal illness at this time. The record notes that Mrs. Lanza was experiencing “significant stress in her life related to her husband.” Additional medical testing was recommended along with “psychotherapy for [Mrs. Lanza’s] emotional issues.” (Source: Office of the Child Advocate Report, page 30)
Fall 1999: Adam Lanza begins Second Grade. Due to Adam’s difficulties functioning in groups, Nancy begins coming to Sandy Hook Elementary School after-hours to assist him with completing lessons. This arrangement continues through 5th grade. (source: Official Report Book 8, file 00018285, Frontline: Raising Adam Lanza)
Fall 1999: Early in second grade, Adam’s occupational therapy is discontinued, although he is still having problems with fine motor skills (e.g., shoe-tying and zipping his jacket). Adults continue to describe AL as “conscientious, quiet, but more talkative since he was grouped with another second grade student.” He is described as attentive to detail. Sensory integration goals were removed from AL’s IEP. Emphasis remained on improving articulation through speech supports. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate Report, page 27)
April 22nd 2000: Adam turns eight.
Fall 2000: Adam begins third grade at Sandy Hook elementary. IEP reports note that his speech articulation has improved, although articulation difficulties were still seen to be impacting his ability to make his needs known in the regular classroom setting. During third grade, AL was reportedly “shy” and frequently ill. Records show that he needed to be drawn out in discussion. He was encouraged to participate and share his thoughts in school. There is no reference to repetitive or ritualistic behaviors during this period. An interim report in third grade indicates that AL made a “concerted effort to volunteer answers,” but would not ask many questions. His work was “neat and thoughtful” and he was a “good citizen.” He would follow rules, help others, and accept responsibility. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate Report, page 27)
April 22nd 2001: Adam turns nine.
May 18, 2001: Nancy Lanza writes the following email to Sandy Hook Elementary School administrators, confirming that despite Adam’s apparent progress in adapting to the class environment, he is at the same time experiencing anxiety and depression (names are removed in the source: Office of the Child Advocate Report, page 28):
Adam is a quiet, considerate child with a tendency to withdraw. He has made tremendous strides in your school system and has benefited from speech therapy. He does, however, tend to ‘over focus’ on rules and can be very hard on himself as a result. This year has been a challenge due, in part, to a slight mismatch in teacher style and student style. I would like to take a moment to praise TEACHER’S recognition of this problem, as well as her efforts to resolve the issue. I realize the difficulty of modifying a classroom approach to accommodate an individual. ANOTHER TEACHER also has been very helpful in keeping Adam’s stress level at a minimum. I am hoping that next year Adam will be placed in a classroom with a more casual feel to it. He responds well to a nurturing environment, and I would like his emphasis to be on learning rather than coping. He focuses on his work, enjoys structure and always adheres to the rules, but a certain level of strictness seems to bring on anxiety and depression. I have appreciated TEACHER’S willingness to work with me on this issue. I believe that if Adam is matched to the right environment for his particular learning style, the process could be less teacher-intensive. That would free Adam up to enjoy the learning process with a better result for everyone . . . .
Fall 2001: Adam begins fourth grade at Sandy Hook elementary. He is deemed to have met all speech goals, and is exited from special education. However, the speech report only indicates that AL had “no error sounds,” an observation that did not speak to AL’s challenges with expressive language. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate Report, page 28)
2002: Adam Lanza’s parents separate. Peter moves out, leaving just Adam, his brother, and his mother Nancy in the Yogananda Street home in Newtown. (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 25)
April 22nd 2002: Adam turns ten.
Fall 2002: Adam Lanza begins fifth grade at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Above, he signs a t-shirt along with the rest of the grade’s students (his fifth grade year extending into 2003.)
2002-2003 school year: Adam and another boy write and illustrate “The Big Book of Granny” which is described in later reports as “a very dramatic text, filled with images and narrative relating child murder, cannibalism, and taxidermy.” There are conflicting reports as to which adults, if any, were made aware of it. As of 2013, the boy who collaborated with Adam on the project is living in a mental health facility; his mother recalls that he and Adam were close:
[Her son] spent a lot of time with Adam during this period of time. She told police that Adam and her son would do typical boy things together and would ride bikes and play in the neighborhood. Adam often spent time at this friend’s house and the mother described Adam as “normal and polite.” Her son had also been to Adam’s house and had never reported any worries or unusual incidents.
Investigation files confirm that the “Big Book of Granny” was written during the section 5th Grade when Adam was still attending Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Mid-year 2002-2003 school year: Adam Lanza, along with the rest of his fifth grade class at Sandy Hook Elementary, are switched to the new Reed Intermediate School. http://articles.courant.com/2013-06-30/news/hc-adam-lanza-pediatric-records-20130629_1_nancy-lanza-adam-lanza-danbury-hospital/3
2003: A pediatric record notes Adam’s obsessive-compulsive tendencies, including hand washing¸ leading to excoriated skin, and clothing rituals. There is no documentation in the pediatric record of any exploration of these issues or of a referral to a mental health specialist. The report (or perhaps another report from the same time period) also notes that Adam “plays this “exercise/dance game” for recreation,” referring to the game Dance Dance Revolution. (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 36 & 98)
April 22nd 2003: Adam turns eleven.
Fall 2003: Adam begins 6th grade at Reed Intermediate School. According to school records, he exhibited good effort, made independent application of grade-level concepts and skills, and showed great insight into the motivation of characters in stories he read, as well as solving mathematics problems. He was described as well-liked by his peers and showing appropriate classroom behavior, though his record indicates that he still struggled initiating conversation with anyone. (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 29)
April 2003-April 2004: Per present-day recollections from Adam’s father Peter (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 36):
He noticed that when Adam was between the ages of 11 and 12, he began to seem a little different, less happy. To Mr. Lanza, Adam grew more anxious and frustrated, though he did not seem to Mr. Lanza to be angry or aggressive. He didn’t like to be photographed or seen in pictures. Adam had trouble concentrating and seemed easily overloaded. He began avoiding eye contact and became increasingly anxious. Mr. Lanza reported that Adam experienced panic attacks that compelled his mother to come to school.
April 22nd 2004: Adam turns twelve.
Fall 2004: Adam Lanza begins 7th grade at Newtown Middle School.
2005 – Throughout this year, Adam has numerous sick visits to doctors for sore throats, difficulty breathing, and marked weight loss. (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 40)
April 2005: Concerned about his increasing anxiety at Newtown Middle School, Nancy Lanza moves Adam to a new school, St. Rose of Lima. Even though the move occurs so late in the school year, he does not complete the term, and only attends for eight weeks.
April 22nd 2005: Adam turns thirteen.
April-June 2005: During Adam’s brief attendance at St. Rose of Lima, his writing is sufficiently disturbing that his teacher brought them to the attention of the school principal’s attention:
[A]fter my years of experience teaching 7th-grade boys, I know how they are supposed to act. But I saw Adam as being not normal with very distinct anti-social issues. Adam was a very intelligent boy but he was also very quiet, barely spoke, and never responded to his classmates’ kindness of trying to help him fit in . . . . I also remember Adam never wanting to participate in anything . . . . I truly do not believe that Adam’s parents were upfront with teachers about Adam’s mental capacities . . . . I remember giving creative writing assignments to students, instructing them to write a page or two on whatever they wanted to talk about . . . Adam would write ten pages obsessing about battles, destruction and war.
I have known 7th grade boys to talk about things like this, but Adam’s level of violence was disturbing. I remember showing the writings to the principal at the time, Adam’s creative writing was so graphic that it could not be shared.
May/June 2005: Adam’s parents abruptly withdraw him from St. Rose of Lima before the end of the school year, and he is “kept home for a period of time.” (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 38)
April-June 2005: Reports from the Yale Child Study Center in 2006 indicate that Adam did not return to St. Rose of Lima for eighth grade due to his views on religion, though it is not clear if this was a decision by the Lanza family or if was the school’s staff: “AL disapproves of religion because it is ‘illogical’ . . . [which] proved the downfall of a brief placement at a small supportive Catholic parochial school.” Despite this, he “wanted to keep wearing his school uniform for a time.” (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 37-38)
Early September 2005: Adam Lanza begins Eighth Grade at Newtown Middle School.
September 19, 2005: Medical records note parental concerns regarding Adam not sleeping well, not eating well, and “sleeping a lot during the day.” The same record notes that his weight had dropped to 98 pounds. He was approximately 5 feet, 8 inches at that time.
Some point between September 20-30 2005: Nancy Lanza takes Adam to the emergency room at Danbury Hospital for an evaluation, following anxiety episodes. She describes Adam to health care providers as having had “borderline autism” in the past, but having since “outgrown it.” She reports that Adam was having trouble in school, trouble in groups, and exhibiting repetitive behaviors which had gotten worse in recent days. She fears the “beginning of possible autism.”
Hospital records described him as “anxious,” “withdrawn,” and “hesitant to be touched.” He presented as agitated, hyper-vigilant, and overwhelmed with fear. The clinical consultation resulted in diagnoses of Anxiety Disorder, [Not Otherwise Specified]; Rule out Asperger Syndrome; Rule out Autistic Disorder, followed by a discharge diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Mrs. Lanza declined an extensive medical work up for AL, indicating that he was already scheduled to see a psychiatrist in three weeks. AL was evaluated by the hospital crisis team and recommendations for therapeutic support were discussed with Mrs. Lanza. The hospital recommended additional evaluation by staff psychiatry. Mrs. Lanza declined this recommendation, stating that AL would be “better off” at home rather than staying at the hospital for further work-up. Mrs. Lanza thought that she could manage him at home and that he was not at risk or a danger to himself or others. Mrs. Lanza stated that she wanted to get him home because he was “very comfortable” at home and would not be as anxious.
Though Mrs. Lanza told hospital personnel that her sole reason for taking AL to the emergency room was to obtain medical permission to allow him to stay home from school indefinitely, the clinical team at Danbury Hospital provided information to her regarding next steps for evaluation and treatment. Hospital staff recommended a therapeutic educational placement at the Center for Child and Adolescent Treatment Services (CCATS), and the hospital offered a full evaluation of him to expedite admission to the school.
Mrs. Lanza declined the additional evaluation and referral as documented by the clinical team at Danbury Hospital. She requested that the hospital issue a note excusing AL from school due to the stress level it created for him. Hospital staff agreed to provide a note excusing AL from school for three days, pending an IEP meeting. Mrs. Lanza agreed in writing to return him to the Emergency Department should his anxiety symptoms increase at home.
September 11, 2005: Dr. Paul Fox, MD, diagnoses Adam Lanza with Aspergers Disorder. Dr. Fox “further indicated that Adam presented with [sic] significant social impairments and extreme anxiety, he lacks empathy and has very rigid thought processes.” (see the official Sandy Hook report, book 8, document 00179889)
September-December 2005: At some point subsequent to Adam’s emergency department visit, Mrs. Lanza visited the administrator in her district office and indicated her desire to “home school” Adam. Mrs. Lanza recounted her visit with Adam to the emergency department and her concerns regarding his anxiety. The administrator remembered that Mrs. Lanza said she had to take Adam back home because he was so anxious in the emergency department that it felt “abusive” to keep him there. The administrator did not feel it would be appropriate to home school Adam, and instead recommended that the family and school work together to try and meet Adam’s needs, even in unconventional ways if necessary.
October 18, 2005: Dr. Fox provides Nancy with an “indefinite excuse” note to removed Adam from school, which stated that Adam “should not attend school due to the lack of an appropriate placement” and his “mounting overwhelming anxiety.” (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 41)
Late November-Early December 2005: Dr. Fox writes this email to Newtown Public School officials (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 41-42):
AL is a 13 year old boy who I have evaluated on 9/30/05, 10/18/05, and 11/15/05. He meets the DSM IV criteria for Asperger’s Disorder. AL presents with a significant social impairment including lack of peer relationships, avoidance of eye to eye gaze, lack of understanding of how to play or interact with peers. He avoids peer interaction and is very anxious around strangers. He lacks empathy and tends to employ a very rigid systematic thought process. He demonstrates intense emotional rage when his systematic world is threatened due to his extreme need for routine. He tends to take a very literal interpretation of written and verbal material. Concepts like metaphor, symbolism and intangible references are exceedingly difficult for him and can cause significant distress. He tends to have an overly precise quality of speech and tends to not comprehend emotional expression in others. He is phobic [of] physical contact, even with his own mother who has been his most constant and consistent individual in his life.
Due to his extreme anxiety and emotional discord due to minor changes in routines and/or his expectations he is unable to attend school.
Due to his need for systematic precision and logic there needs to be modifications in the school curriculum. For example, the English curriculum should focus on the grammar and writing in a clear precise way. Literary choices should tend to be more literal and less figurative. It would be constructive for AL to have an accelerated program in Math and Science by allowing him to take honor classes in the high school.
At this point I am strongly recommending that AL not be compelled to attend school. He has clearly demonstrated that the experience of the school setting which has an intolerable level of noise and unpredictable elements would promote extreme anxiety and discomfort.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.
Late December 2005: An IEP meeting is convened in response to Dr. Fox’s recommendations. The school district offers to evaluate Adam, for the purpose of determining special education eligibility, primarydisability, and what support should be provided at the school. This recommendation was declined by Nancy, who stated that evaluations at that time would “not be in Adam’s best interests.” The IEP indicated that AL was to receive up to 10 hours of special education in the form of tutoring based on the psychiatrist’s belief that AL could not function in a regular education environment. The educational record indicates that potential evaluators would begin to meet with AL as tutoring progressed to try to establish rapport with him. There is no evidence regarding how or if the recommended 10 hours per week of homebound instruction was delivered during this school year. (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 42)
January-March 2006: AL remained home with his mother. Records indicate that AL may have received tutoring from both his mother and father each week. (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 43)
March 3rd, 2006: The Newtown Bee publishes an article “Newtown Middle School Lists Honor Students.” Adam Lanza is listed under the 8th grade honor roll. (Source)
March 2006: The school district contacts Dr. Fox requesting information about Adam’s availability for standardized CMT testing (Connecticut Mastery Test.) He responds, indicating that Adam should be exempt. The school district responds back:
In order to exempt [AL] from taking the CMTS, we need a letter from you indicating that he is unable to attend school and is medically/emotionally unavailable for homebound instruction for the testing period and the make-up testing period . . . without this letter, we are mandated to send a certified teacher to [AL]’s house to give him the test.
The psychiatrist responded with a faxed note that AL was “medically/emotionally unavailable to be tested (CMT).” According to the psychiatrist, AL could not and was not receiving home-bound or hospital-based tutoring and he was not attending school at all. (source: Office of the Child Advocate report, page 43)
April 22nd 2006: Adam turns fourteen.
May 11 2006: The Newtown Bee publishes the third quarter’s list of Honor Roll students at Newtown Middle School. Adam Lanza is listed under the 8th grade honor roll, indicating that he was not going to be held back despite not attending school at all this quarter (Source)
June 2006: Medical records document Adam’s raw hands due to over-washing. (Office of the Child Advocate report, page 71)
June 2006: A note to an unnamed medical professional records that Nancy wanted to set up a consultation to discuss Adam’s weight loss.
June 2006: IEP records note that Adam’s primary disability was “to be determined,” but the team agreed to defer evaluation due to his extreme anxiety and the psychiatrist’s recommendations. A schedule of courses was listed for his possible 9th grade entry into Newtown High School. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 43 – note that the reports authors state “The IEP team could have, at this point, identified AL’s primary disability as Autism or Emotional Disturbance based on his diagnoses from the community psychiatrist.”)
July 20, 2006: The Newtown Bee publishes the year’s list of Honor Roll students at Newtown Middle School. Adam Lanza is listed under the 8th grade honor roll.(Source)
August 2006: A doctor’s visit with Adam and Nancy confirms weight and health concerns, and trouble sleeping. AL was 94 pounds at that time. The record indicated that he was “home schooled.”(Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 70)
Fall 2006: Adam Lanza enters Newtown High School for 9th Grade, returning to the school system after an absence of nearly an entire year, though he is not held back. Meanwhile, his brother moves out to attend university, leaving just Adam and Nancy in the home. Adam’s attendance this year is scant, and based upon his IEP (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 59):
[in 9th grade] Adam had been receiving tutoring for major academic subjects (up to 10 hours) but had also begun to come to the High School for a combination of tutoring and classroom work in Chemistry, Math, and Latin, depending on his ability to handle the environment.
Fall 2006: Peter Lanza seeks help through his Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to obtain a mental health referral for Adam (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 48):
Per email correspondence from Mr. Lanza’s EAP consultant, the family wanted to obtain “evaluation and treatment” for AL’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The family indicated, according to EAP coordinator, that the Lanzas would be willing to travel within the state “if there [was] a program/therapist to help their son, and them, as his disorder [was] significantly impacting the family as well.” Mr. Lanza’s emails indicate that the family was looking for a specialist who would be specifically knowledgeable about working with children diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome.
September 13, 2006: Dawson College shooting. 1 dead, 12 injured. The shooter commits suicide as police close in. Adam Lanza contributes to the Wikipedia page associated with this event 3 years later.
September 2006: A Connecticut well-child record documents that AL was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety and Asperger’s Syndrome, and that he was to seek or was seeking psychiatric care in the community. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 70):
October 24, 2006: Adam seen at the Yale Child Study Center by a clinic psychiatrist, Dr. Robert King. Kathleen Koenig, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, also meets with Adam as part of this process. The evaluation was purportedly to determine if Adam had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the context of a putative diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. Dr. King sends a draft of his psychological evaluation of Adam Lanza to his parents, indicating that Lanza “appears to fall somewhere in the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Austistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).” (see the official Sandy Hook report, book 8, document 00179815 & Child Advocate report page 49) Some notes:
The Yale psychiatrist’s initial report observed that AL presented as a “pale, gaunt, and awkward young adolescent standing rigidly with downcast gaze and declining to shake hands.”
Adam’s mother told the Yale psychiatrist that he used to look at people but did not anymore. Adam then asked rhetorically, “Why should I have to.” When the doctor explained all of the information that a person could learn by looking at a facial expression, such as a smile, Adam stated that people could interpret smiles differently: “Some primates smile when they are frightened.”
When asked for three magic wishes, Adam could not think of any and instead he said that “he would wish that whatever was granting the wishes would not exist.”
“Asked, ‘What is a friend?’ Adam replied, ‘It is difficult to define — in whose culture do you refer?’ Told ‘yours’,’ he replied, ‘I do not know.’ Asked whether he would like to have more friends, Adam said no.”
According to the report, Adam displayed a variety of rigid, controlling, and avoidant behaviors including his refusal to open doors for himself because he did not like to touch the doorknobs, and his worries about contamination of grease, dirt, and dust. Adam was reported to be placing limits on his mother’s behavior (e.g. by not allowing her to lean on things because it was improper). He had a variety of food rituals as well, related to texture. The doctor noted that Adam had experienced a variety of marked changes in seventh grade, including no longer talking on the phone, using e-mail, or engaging in outdoor activities, and he had become increasingly socially withdrawn and reclusive. Adam reportedly had not had any psychological testing.
The doctor noted that it was “difficult to interpret” AL’s accelerated social withdrawal. However, the doctor considered that a “plausible explanation” might be that “social engagement (largely focused on activities) in the middle school years makes relatively few demands for social sophistication . . . . As Adam’s peers moved into early adolescence and middle school, the demands of social engagement changed dramatically, leaving Adam feeling more inadequate or ostracized, setting off a cycle of withdrawal and avoidance.”
“Beyond the impact of OCD symptoms on himself and his mother, we are very concerned about AL’s increasingly constricted social and educational world. Much of emphasis has been on finding curricular level of instruction. Inability to tolerate even minimal interaction with even older more mature classmates will have grave consequences for his future education and social and occupational adaptation unless means of remediation are found. Inability to interact with classmates will prove increasingly deleterious to education. We believe it is very important to reframe the discussion with school from issues of curricular content to much more urgent issues of how to accommodate AL’s severe social disabilities in a way that would permit him to be around peers and to progress, rather than regress, socially, as well as academically.”
“Understandably, AL’s parents have gone to great lengths to compensate for AL’s hypersensitivities and social difficulties and aversions by providing home-bound instruction.
However we believe that there is a significant risk to AL in creating, even with the best of intentions, a prosthetic environment which spares him having to encounter other students or to work to overcome his social difficulties. Having the emphasis on adapting the world to AL, rather than helping him to adapt to the world, is a recipe for him to be a homebound recluse, unable to attend college or work productively into his twenties and thirties and beyond with mother becoming increasingly isolated and burdened.”
October 25, 2006: One day after Adam’s evaluation by Yale, his mother Nancy emails the doctor regarding his recommendations, indicating that Adam would refuse taking any medication (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 52):
Thank you for taking the time to meet with Adam yesterday . . . . I wanted to let you know that the options you presented are not going to work at this time. I would like to save you any further investment of your time.
As I mentioned during the telephone conversation previous to our meeting, Adam’s OCD component is strongly tied to Asperger Syndrome and he is adamantly opposed to medication. The OCD component is now based on superstition or in an effort to influence outside events or luck. I thought I had been clear that I was looking for individual intervention, perhaps some sort of behavior modification, for the Asperger Syndrome foremost, sensory integration disorder, and the two OCD like components that are impacting his ability to attend school.
His refusal to take medication would make it impossible for him to be part of the study group and will just further agitate him. He was quite angry about the line of questioning that the interview took. As you might expect from an Asperger child, he had no understanding of the metaphors, and was quite disturbed by the fairy godmother scenario you gave him. You mentioned that the wait list for treatment for Asperger is quite lengthy, and that the study group was the alternative. However, participation in a study group, with the implied possibility of medication, will not be helpful in this case. So while I very much appreciate your effort, this is not the right course of treatment for him.
October 26, 2006: Nancy write an email describing Adam’s experience during the Yale evaluation two days prior. The recipient’s identity has not been disclosed (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 53):
She wrote in an email two days after the Yale evaluation that based on her research he did not “fit that mold.” He did not, according to her, have a “preoccupation with one interest, the inability to carry on a two-sided conversation, [or] the absence of caring about other’s expectations.”
She said that she felt “horrible” in the Yale interview process, and that AL was “frustrated, and angry and anxious” during the interview. “His palms were sweating so much that his shirt got wet and he looked like he could have cried at any moment.” Mrs. Lanza said that she felt like he was “being tortured.”
Mrs. Lanza wrote that the evaluation did not seem to have “even a glimmer of hope attached to it,” and may have made things worse. She was concerned that AL was so angry about “the whole thing,” that “short of strapping him down,” she didn’t think he would be willing to talk to another doctor for a long time
(Note that the footnote accompanying this entry in the Child Advocate report states that “In fact, the Yale APRN that worked with AL after the initial evaluation also did not feel certain that AL had an Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger’s Syndrome. Rather, this clinician concluded that AL was primarily debilitated by anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Whether these diagnoses were co-morbid with or, in lieu of an Autism Spectrum Disorder is unconfirmed.”)
December 1, 2006: A psychological evaluation of Adam Lanza is performed by Newtown High School Psychologist Michael Ridley. Follow-up evaluations are performed on the 15th and 22nd later that month. Ridley concludes that “there is no evidence of a specific learning disability and that Adam’s issues relate to his identified emotional and/or Pervasive Developmental Disorder spectrum behaviors.” (see the official Sandy Hook report, book 8, document 00179889).
Late 2006: According to “Smiggles’s” response to the ShockedBeyondBelief thread “How did you find this forum?” Adam Lanza first discovers said forum, which he later registers to: “I think I found it through Google toward the end of 2006. I didn’t register for years because it seemed like the kind of website which would get you on a terrorist watch-list.”
December 2006/January, 2007: Adam types a letter to his father, requesting certain video games. They are to be delivered on January 6th (likely a “Christmas” gift exchange, arranged around their visitation schedule.) – Official Report
January 2007: Nancy writes to Kathleen Koenig, the APRN at Yale Child Studies Center, who had met with Adam again in the previous weeks (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 54-55):
It was actually the best meeting AL has had with anyone. He was calm and conversational on the way home, which is very unusual…. As far as his comfort level … it isn’t just that he is painfully uncomfortable—he actually doesn’t feel safe. He often tells me that he is frightened, even in our own home and obviously more so in public. I think it is the fear that paralyzes him. His father will be bringing him over on Thursday so that I can get a couple of hours off, but please let me know if you need any input or if anything needs to be followed up at home.
February 1, 2007: Nancy Lanza writes the following email to Dr. Fox, concerning Adam’s ongoing treatment and his initial evaluation from Yale Center. This email confirms that Adam’s treatment at Yale was Nancy’s estranged husband Peter’s wish, and in asserting her firm hope that Dr. Fox (the community psychiatrist she prefers) really “take the lead role” in the process, she is likely trying to wrest control of Adam’s treatment back from his father (Source: Official Report, File # 00085896)
Dear Dr. Fox,
Kathy Koenig will be contacting you at some point to discuss Adam. She is a clinician at Yale and has background In Asperger In teens. Adam’s father felt it was important to get Adam into that group and possibly (and eventually) get Adam into a teen support group over there. Whatever her suggestions are, I would like your thoughts on. You have spent the most time with Adam, and have the best understanding of his situation. The Yale group and Adam’s father are concerned about Adam’s socialization and that is something I hadn’t really focused on. I have been more concerned with keeping him as comfortable as possible and just getting through each day. Although there will be quite a few people involved in this process (Yale-Mike Ridiey-Sherry Earle), I really hope that you can take the lead role. Once everyone has had some Input, I was wondering if I could have an appointment with you to discuss what makes sense for Adam’s IEP.
I will be talking to Sherry Earle today about modifying the history. I will give her your number so that she can contact you with any questions.
Did you get a copy of the initial evaluation from Yale?
Thanks for all your help!
February 4, 2007: Adam Lanza creates his first (known) Wikipedia account, Blarvink. He does not do anything with the account for another 2 months. Source
February 7, 2007: Kathleen Koenig, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse at Yale Child Studies Center, has the last of four face-to-face meetings with Adam Lanza (the first taking place as early as October 2006). She determines a primary diagnosis of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, with a secondary diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. (see the official Sandy Hook report, book 7, document 00017458 & Child Advocate Report pg 53):
Adam was described by the APRN as “emotionally paralyzed” and severely limited in his ability to lead a normal life. During her conversations with him, he asked questions about schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but was unwilling to share if he was experiencing any of the symptoms of the disorders. She discussed with him the clinical components of these disorders and those of psychotic depression. She described Adam as having “many rituals and prohibitions for his behavior and the behavior of others.” Adam agreed, in part, with the clinician that he was emotionally paralyzed by anxiety, but he did not feel that he suffered because of it, nor was he willing to take medication.
February 2007: Peter Lanza discusses Adam’s treatment at Yale with Nurse Koenig via email, noting that Adam was “angry” about having to attend, that he “loathed” the clinician, and that he did not think the “process [would] help him.” Adam was requesting to have Peter present during sessions. Her response:
The process of asking AL to talk with me directly about what is going on is critical. I appreciate that AL’s view is that he wouldn’t say anything differently if [the father] were in the room, but I think he’s wrong. His judgment about how social/family dynamics work in a therapy situation is no more on target than his views regarding doorknobs and hand-washing . . . . He wants to control how the treatment goes because his anxiety is nearly unbearable if he can’t feel he knows what’s going to happen. I understand that. At the same time, he can’t control the treatment because his thinking is distorted and irrational. I can’t agree to follow his lead!
In fact, when I talk with him alone he has to respond, and last time I pushed him a bit. I am not surprised that he was angry, that’s OK . . . . I told AL he has a biological disorder that can be helped with medication. I told him what the medicines are and why they can work.
I told him he’s living in a box right now, and the box will only get smaller over time if doesn’t get some treatment.
I’m fine to see him this week at 11. I am OK to talk with him and you at the beginning, but the session to address his issues has to be just him and me. I’d do it differently if I thought it would help, but I’m convinced it won’t. Let me know your reactions.
“Around February 2007”: Mr. Lanza wrote to APRN Koenig that Adam seemed to making progress. Mr. Lanza recounted a recent outing to the arcade and the mall with Adam, where Adam was able to visit a number of different stores. Mr. Lanza wrote that Adam“ha[d] not wanted to do anything like that for over a year,” and seemed to “enjoy the outing.” Mr. Lanza wrote that “it appears the time that you are spending with Adam may be paying off.” Mr. Lanza said he would follow up with a new appointment date. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 55)
Late February 2007: Nurse Koenig prescribes a small does of the anti-depressant Celexa to Adam, apparently having overcome his previous total refusal to even consider medication. The resulting dispute indicates that the ensuing experience (real or imagined) undid any progress that had been made up to this point. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 55):
Immediately after prescribing the medication, the clinician received a call from the mother reporting that AL was “unable to raise his arm.” Mrs. Lanza stated that AL was attributing this symptom to the medication. An email from Mrs. Lanza to the clinic indicated that AL took the medication for three days. Mrs. Lanza wrote an email that AL experienced immediate and diverse symptoms associated with the medication, including “decreased appetitive and nausea . . . dizziness . . . disorientation,” disjointed speech, and sweating. She stated that “he couldn’t think. He sat in his room, doing nothing.”
Despite the APRN’s attempt to convince the mother that the medication could not be producing the problems with AL’s arm, and that other symptoms could be managed with time and appropriate dosing, Mrs. Lanza said AL would be discontinuing the medication.
March 2007: Nurse Koenig, having not seen Adam since the administration of medication, contacts Adam’s community psychiatrist Dr. Fox by email, stating that all agreed it would be better for the family to “work with one provider,” and that the “consensus” was that the community psychiatrist “would be the best person,” given that Adam really liked and trusted him. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 57)
April 16, 2007: Virginia Tech shooting. Five years later, Adam would reflect that this event represented a sort of peak in his excitement over mass murder: “My interest in mass murdered [sic] has been perfunctory for such a long time. The enthusiasm I had back when Virginia Tech happened feels like it’s been gone for a hundred billion years. I don’t care about anything. I’m just done with it all.” (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 100)
April 22nd 2007: Adam turns fifteen.
May 2007: Peter Lanza contacts the Stamford Public Schools to see what special education programming that district could provide if Adam came to live with him. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 58)
June 7, 2007: Adam, as Blarvink, makes an edit to the Wikipedia page for Newtown High School. His note (accurately) points out that he was deleting “vandalism” by a previous user, and thus he makes no actual contribution, but this edit does establish that he was closely reading the Wikipedia page for Newtown High School on this day.
June 2007: Adam receives medical treatment because of irritated hands related to obsessive compulsive hand washing. The note (possibly from the school nurse) stated that he continued to be followed without medications by the community psychiatrist and that a referral had been made to another doctor for a neurology workup. There is no ongoing correspondence beyond 2006, or any exchange of treatment records between the community psychiatrist, a neurologist, and the district. It does not appear that a speech and language evaluation – recommended 1 month previous – ever took place. (Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 61)
Summer 2007: The education team begins to prepare to “mainstream” Adam for his upcoming Sophomore year, “moving him from reliance on one-to-one tutoring to participation in classes.”(Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 62)
August 2007: A note from Newtown High’s school nurse’s describes Adam as presenting with “high functioning” Asperger’s Syndrome and anxiety. He was described by the nurse as “bright” and not wanting to be “defective.” The nurse stated that he wanted to be in school to increase his knowledge. The nurse noted a list of preparations for AL to come to class early, leave later from the classroom, and his continuing high level of anxiety, germ phobia, and sensitivity to smells. The note emphasized that communications with AL must be very clear:
It is ‘more scary if he does not understand and rocks and withdraws. Being unclear can be devastating to this child and his family.’ He was to be brought to the nurse [if injured?] because he cannot process pain. He is non-emotional. He was to e-mail teachers if he wanted to ask questions. There was concern that fire drills ‘might freak him out.’ This was to be addressed by having a teacher stay with him.
Adam was described in this note as having come a “long way” with his “crisis team” and assistance from a trusted school employee: the head of security (Richard Novia, who would become acquainted with Adam through the Newtown High tech club, which Novia ran.) Source: Office of the Child Advocate report, pg 62
August 26, 2007: Just before the start of 10th grade, “a communication from a psychiatrist stated that the doctor had reviewed [Adam’s] history with [Nancy] and that he was confident that Adam was prepared and ready to attend Newtown High School as a full time student that fall.” Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 62
August 28, 2007: Adam Lanza, as Blarvink, makes an edit to the wikipedia page for Newtown High School, updating the number of attending students. His note for this edit includes confirmation that he attended an assembly at Newtown High School (likely the “New Student Orientation” always held in August) that same day:
According to what the surrogate vice principal stated in the auditorioum to the 9th and 10th grades on 8/28, there are 1,737 students in Newtown High School this year. I Updated the page accordingly.
Pre-Fall 2007: Nancy write to a staff member at Newtown High School, just before the start of the school year, affirming that [Adam] “insists on walking through that front door,” and that he was “prepared.”
Fall 2007: Adam Lanza begins his Sophomore year at Newtown High School. He is initially scheduled to take Sociology, AP U.S. History, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, English, Math, and Latin, though this plan does not last longer than a few months. He also joins the Newtown High School tech club, run by Richard Novia. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 65)
Fall 2007: Nancy Lanza writes to one of Adam’s teachers (presumably the English teacher given the content of the email) regarding his special needs:
She informed one of AL’s teachers that he worried about dying, being bullied, and that he was acutely aware that he was different from other kids. She feared that any story that referenced these social issues in a way that Adam could identify with would bring on periods of insomnia and a loss of appetite. Mrs. Lanza also noted, “[a]nother thing we might have trouble with is boy-meets-girl type [of literature]. An adapted reading list is being provided as a substitute for the standard curriculum.”
December 5, 2007: Westroads Mall shooting, 9 dead. 2 years later, Lanza edits the wikipedia page associated with this event.
February 2008: By this point, Adam had dropped most of his mainstream classes, including Sociology, History, Chemistry, and Physics and had arranged to complete English as an “independent study.” These decisions were communicated through Nancy’s contact with the school. It became clear that the recommendation for full time participation in regular classes was a goal that could not be met at that time. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 67)
February 14, 2008: Northern Illinois University shooting, 5 killed, gunman commits suicide. Armed with a 9mm Glock 19, a 9mm Kurz Sig Sauer P232, a shotgun, and another handgun. An article related to this shooting is found in the Lanza home almost five years later, by police. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/adam-lanza-newtown-search-warrants-678452
February 2008: Adam Lanza’s medical records state that AL continued to be diagnosed with Asperger’s and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but the records do not indicate what, if any, treatment was being provided or should be provided. In fact the well-visit form indicates that despite these issues, AL was receiving “no meds, and no psych.” Under the heading “Development,” next to sub-headings for “school,” “after school activities,” and “peer relations,” nothing is written except “10th grade.” The record notes that he was 112 pounds and almost 5 feet, 10 inches tall, suggesting possible anorexia at this time. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 71)
March 11, 2008: Richard Novia, who ran the Newtown High School tech club, is fired after an altercation with a student. (some sources cite this as the reason Nancy Lanza opted not to re-enroll Adam at NHS after summer break. 2008) http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Security-officer-asks-for-hearing-55593.php
March 2008: Nancy is “again contemplating home-schooling AL, but worried that he would later be unable to show (a college?) all of his work with the Technology Club or work study.” (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 67)
April 22, 2008: Adam Lanza turns sixteen.
Summer 2008: records indicate that Adam was to receive Extended School Year Services (ESY), in the form of one-on-one tutoring from school staff. ESY services are for youth who, due to the nature of their disabilities, need an extended school year to continue to make progress with their educational goals. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 67)
May, 2008: Adam takes the entrance exam to enroll at Western Connecticut State University. He declines to answer most of the personal profile questions about himself. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/02/17572857-new-photo-of-newtown-shooter-adam-lanza-released-with-college-records?lite
Summer 2008: Adam attends WCSU, taking Computer Science classes in Visual BASIC and Website Production. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/lanza-college-records-suggest-troubling-state-mind-article-1.1305968
Summer 2008: Adam hosts a “LAN party” at his home for the Newtown High Tech Club. Several friends attend. All reports from these friends indicate that nothing unusual happened; most of the attendees played Warcraft 3, Nancy met several of them, there were never any firearms seen, and Adam asked other students to take off their shoes and be “respectful of the house.” The party took place entirely in the basement, and none of the attendees entered the upper 2 floors of the house. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 72 & Official Report, file 00256598 and others)
August 2008: Medical records indicate that he Adam a history of constipation (possibly linked to his weight and nutrition issues) and was prescribed Miralax to symptomatically respond to this concern. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 71)
Adam Lanza’s WCSU transcripts
Fall 2008: Adam Lanza begins his Junior year, but does not attend any mainstream high school classes this year. His IEP continued to classify him as Other Health Impaired and continued to offer him 10 hours of tutoring a week and a shortened school day, pending doctor’s approval. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 68)
Fall 2008: (same time period, different source, overlapping info) Adam Lanza almost entirely withdraws from public school, instead opting for home-school where “Nancy taught Adam the humanities and Peter met with Adam twice a week to handle the sciences.” An interview with Peter Lanza documents several emails from Nancy around this time:
By 2008, when Adam turned sixteen and was going to school only for occasional events, Nancy’s e-mails describe his escalating misery. “He had a horrible night. . . . He cried in the bathroom for 45 minutes and missed his first class.” Two weeks later, she wrote, “I am hoping that he pulls together in time for school this afternoon, but it is doubtful. He has been sitting with his head to one side for over an hour doing nothing.” Later that year: “Adam had a rough night. He moved EVERYTHING out of his room last night. He only kept his bed and wardrobe cabinet.”
August 2008: The following e-mail exchange takes place between Adam (first) and Nancy Lanza. The context of the conversation shows that they had been discussing college degees, and that the conversation had turned sour. Given the time of night, they were presumably both still at home during the email exchange:
August 2008 (AL is 16 years old, 11th grade): Email from AL to His mother, 11:25 p.m.
You do not seem to understand that I was attempting to comfort you with what I consider to be a maxim with which to live. You unfortunately probably still do not understand what I mean. As a disclaimer: I type nothing in this that is in a tone that is condescending, vindictive, malicious, snide, malignant, or any synonym that you can think of. I mean well.
If you believe that you wasted your life, as you seem to have insinuated, you will gain nothing from regretting it and will only depress yourself; you cannot change anything from the past. There is something that I can assure you of that will always be true: it does not matter if you live for the next one year, five years, ten years, fifteen years, twenty years, thirty years, fifty years or even 100 years; the day before you die you will regret ever worrying about your life instead of thinking of what you want to do.
Every new year that you do live, you will regret not having started anything that you wanted to do the year prior, only regretting the past more.
What I mean is that you should think of what you want to do today; not starting next year or next month, but today. Thinking that you are not going to be able to do anything in the future will only ensure that fate. Also thinking that you are too “old” is going to ensure the same fate.
It is not as though I do not mean that you are homeless and begging; I would spend my life savings to prevent that out of obligation for what you have done for me. My personality is merely inherently unmoving; I will not be upset over something that you cannot change. And you should not be upset either. What you should do is think about what you want to do.
I also want to mention that I purchased something two weeks ago on Newegg to double your computer’s memory without even saying anything until now. I do not try to avoid doing anything for you as you seem to think. I am glad that I was born, and I appreciate your having taken care of me. (It is not my fault if you have not detected as much of an increase in speed as I would have liked, however; I blame its outdated processor. I would change that if I could, but it’s not possible to do so for your model.) Please read the first paragraph again.
Email Response from Mrs. Lanza, 1:05 a.m.
I appreciate your effort to be a comfort to me. I apologize if I seemed angry or antagonistic. I was simply over emotional and as it is often the case worrying about the future. I admit that I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by my circumstances lately, but in no way do I regret having raised two wonderful children. I have high hopes for you both and will consider my life a success if you and Ryan live happy and productive lives.
There are a few things that I do regret . . . one of the biggest is that I dropped out of college, believing it to be more important to help your father get through college. Financially, it was impossible for us to afford a college education for both of us, and it seemed more important that he receive a diploma. In some ways I regret leaving the workforce as it has severely limited my prospects for the future, but again, it was a decision that I made to take more responsibility for the house and the children, and to allow your father to concentrate on his career. I do feel that I was able to be a better mother and have been able to put great effort into raising you and your brother, so that regret is mitigated in that respect. On the occasion that Ryan or you show some appreciation for my efforts, I feel completely justified in that choice and dually rewarded.
I know that it is harder for you to show appreciation, and that it does not come as a natural response. I really do not want you to feel obligated in that way. I do not expect any help, financial or otherwise, from you or your brother, and would not accept it if it were offered. I am certain that I will not be homeless or begging on a street corner, as your father is obligated by law and morality to see that my 30 years of service and sacrifice are compensated for. He has assured me that I will live a comfortable life and that my health expenses are covered. He is an honorable man. I am grateful that I was married to someone who honors his responsibilities. He has also taking [sic] responsibility to provide a college education for both you and your brother, so that neither of you will have to struggle and sacrifice as we did.
If you choose to, you will emerge from college with a master’s degree of your choice, debt free, to pursue any career in life that you wish. When I think of what I would like to do for the future, I think I would like to get my college degree first. I just thought of that tonight, as a direct result of my conversation with you. I think it would be possible as I dropped out only a year shy of my degree, and it seems as I might be spending quite a bit of time on campus waiting for you to take classes, so why not take advantage of that?! I suppose I could take classes at the same time you are taking classes.
I agree with you when you say that I should try to think positively of the future and what I want to do today. There is nothing that I can do about my diagnosis, and I do try to be as healthy as I can, despite the prognosis. I am sure that you noticed that I exercise regularly and do my best to stay in good shape. It’s not like I have the attitude that since I will be crippled anyway I may as well give up and get fat and sedentary now. I am working hard to stay as healthy as I can, for as long as I can.
At some point, I might like to start a business. I sometimes toy with the idea of an internet business like my friend, [L], owns. (Did I punctuate that last sentence correctly?) Her website is [xxx]. You should have a look at it sometime and let me know what you think of it.
Anyway, I would like you to know that no matter what, I am very proud of the person you are. I have no preconceived notion of how you should react or respond. I know that you tend to be more reserved and less emotional and I do not perceive that as condescending malignant, or callous. You are pragmatic and stoical. These are fine attributes. I am glad to know that you are glad to be born and appreciate being taken care of. I love you very much and am more than happy to take care of you in any way I can. I suppose I have felt that you didn’t even notice how hard I try to make things as tolerable as possible for you and that has made me feel sad in a way. I am much happier now, knowing that you do not despise me for bringing you into this world. Above all, I want you to be happy, no matter what you choose to do.
You may not think I notice, but my computer is working faster and I have been able to download bank statements faster and search the websites quicker. I was able to get baseball scores for all the games in a split second, and watch a video clip that a friend sent without any freezing. I didn’t know that you had worked on it, so I thank you for your efforts. You should let me know when you do thoughtful things so that you can get credit!
As an aside, I am having a problem that has been ongoing for months. The cursor abruptly moves to a different place in text now and again when I am in the middle of typing a sentence. It is very strange and annoying. Maybe you can have a look at it sometime? Thank you for taking the time to send me this e-mail. I now understand your motive and meaning, and I truly appreciate it!
The Child Advocate report observes that this exchange “shows how freely [Nancy] shared her own anxieties and resentments with [Adam], as if he were an adult who could be a close confidante, and his response suggests that this may have been well beyond his relatively immature emotional capacities.”
September 2, 2008: Adam Lanza begins Fall session at WCSU. He takes courses in Data Modeling and Database Design (which he later drops), as well as Introduction to Ethical Theory, an introductory philosophy course. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/lanza-college-records-suggest-troubling-state-mind-article-1.1305968
October 2008: Billing records show one payment from Nancy Lanza to Adam’s community psychiatrist Dr. Fox; there had not been any such payments since July 2007, and there never is one again. He is never again seen by any mental health professional. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 39)
Late 2008: Nancy Lanza meets with Adam’s education team. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 68)
The school team agreed to consider granting high school credit for college assignments but did not support funding the family’s unilateral decision to enroll Adam in college. A curriculum was cobbled together with Mrs. Lanza playing a role in selecting the books Adam would read. She continued to report that his ability to attend high school was negatively and significantly impacted by his acute anxiety and asserted that he functioned better when his class work was concentrated into a single time block as in a college setting.
Mr. Lanza communicated regularly with Adam regarding potential course work and college classes. He also connected with a consultant on college education for youth with Autism Spectrum disorders to gain insight and advice to help prepare Adam for post-secondary experience.
November 24, 2008: Adam Lanza’s parents file for divorce. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249217/Sandy-Hook-shooting-Adam-Lanzas-father-Peter-new-wife-Shelley-Cudiner-fled-Connecticut-home.html
December 25, 2008: A discussion takes place on the Super Columbine Massacre RPG forum that covers the topic of Anarcho-primitivist philosophy, which Adam would demonstrate an obsessive interest in two years later. Although he had not yet joined the forum, he was actively reading it by this time. (See explanation here)
2009: An otherwise undated “adolescent well-visit form” notes both nutrition and internet safety as areas of concern with regards to Adam (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 72):
A 2009 medical record also indicates that Adam was 5 feet, 10 inches tall and still weighed only 112 pounds. The same adolescent well-visit form indicates that the provider checked off that “anticipatory guidance” was provided regarding all issue areas contained on the form, including “nutrition advice,” “siblings/peer relationship” and “internet safety.” On the same form, under the heading “Development,” the provider noted that AL was in 11th grade and attending community college. Under “concerns,” it was noted that he had Asperger’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Nothing was written under “after school activities” or “peer relations.” Under “Assessment,” the provider checked off “well child/normal growth and development.”
January 26, 2009: Adam Lanza begins Spring session at WCSU. He takes Introductory German (a course he later drops) and American History Since 1877. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/lanza-college-records-suggest-troubling-state-mind-article-1.1305968
March 2009: Efforts are made by school staff to connect Adam, through a job coach, with an employer in the community, and an email to the team from that employer confirms that they were successful (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 69):
Adam interned with and was later employed for a time by an individual in the community for whom Adam did computer work. A written letter from this employer dated March 2009 indicated that AL was working “as an independent contractor” to resolve computer problems. The author of the letter indicated that AL was “cordial, professional” and displayed “expert attributes.”
March 2009: Education team records indicate that Adam’s schooling was going “much better,” and confirm that there continued to be no psychiatric involvement whatsoever. (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 71):
2009 Spring Quarter [08/09 school year] : The German class, in particular, is cited as a personal struggle in Adam’s life: “Schoolwork often triggered a sense of hopelessness. “He was exhausted and lethargic all day, and said he was unable to concentrate and his homework isn’t done,” [Nancy] wrote. “He is on the verge of tears over not having his journal entries ready to pass in. He said he tried to concentrate and couldn’t and has been wondering why he is ‘such a loser’ and if there is anything he can do about it.” He had been taking classes at Western Connecticut State University—for high-school credit—but he struggled there. […]Two months later, Nancy recorded his despair when faced with some coursework in German: “He finally and tearfully said that he can’t complete the German. He can’t understand it. He has spent hours on the worksheets and can’t comprehend them.” http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/17/140317fa_fact_solomon?currentPage=all
April 1, 2009: Registers profile Kaynbred on glocktalk.com http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/member.php?u=119522
April 6, 2009: The Polish student film “Bullet Time” is first released online with English subtitles. Lanza would later demonstrate admiration for the film on the same forum that the film itself recommends for aspiring school shooters, SCMRPG discussion (later called Shocked Beyond Belief.)
April 22, 2009: Adam Lanza turns 17. He is issued a Connecticut Learner Permit (to drive), #168573202 (see the full Sandy Hook report, book 4, document 00177484)
May 2, 2009: Registers profile Kaynbred at northeastshooters.com
May 23, 2009: Spring session at WCSU ends, summer break/session begins.
June 2009: An email from Nancy Lanza to Peter Lanza (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 69):
He wouldn’t go to the tutor today. He seemed like he would all along … I checked with him several times during the day and he said he would go, and even 10 minutes before we should leave he was getting ready to go, but then had a meltdown and began to cry and couldn’t go. He said things like its pointless, and he doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know. I tried everything to assure him and let him know it wouldn’t matter if he hadn’t finished the work, or couldn’t finish, or didn’t understand, and that’s what the tutor would figure out … even if we go back and review Algebra 1 … but he couldn’t stop crying, so I said we could try again next week.
June 7, 2009: Lanza registers profile Kaynbred on wikipedia.com
June 25, 2009: Adam Lanza’s earns his diploma from Newtown High School, although this was earned with college courses. (Source: Official Report, file #00177484)
Summer 2009: Adam receives this email from his father, regarding Adam’s expressed desire to increase his course load (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 69 – NOTE: the source only states “2009” for the timing of this email, but the context strongly suggests that it was sent after Adam completed his diploma, since his course load up until that point was being determined by Nancy and the education team):
As we discussed, we will be working on your study skills in order to better prepare you for your upcoming increased college class load. Teaching post-graduate classes for the last 15 years makes me qualified to coach you.
I have cc’d your mother on this email and asked that she print it out and place it on the counter. I will continue to include your mother on these emails until such time that you regularly check for, and respond to, emails from me.
We will review your Math homework this weekend when I am in Newtown. Please complete your Math homework by Friday night at midnight. This deadline is not arbitrary. Learning to set and meet deadlines is a critical factor in time management.
Time management in turn, is a key study skill. Over the years I had had a number of students that have encountered problems because they have under estimated the amount of time required to complete their assignments. I find that students who are good at time management always do better than their less disciplined peers. Let me know if you have any questions.
July, 2009: An email from Nancy to Peter continues that Adam is continuing to attend college, though it is not going well (Source: Report from the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 69-70):
Something must have gone wrong with class today. He wouldn’t speak on the way home and had his hood completely covering his face. He went straight to his room and won’t eat. I gave him time alone to compose and have tried to speak to him twice now, but he just keeps saying “It does not matter” and “leave me” “I don’t want to speak of it.” Did you look at the syllabus? Is it possible he has already missed a deadline or not been prepared for a quiz/test? I don’t know what I should do. I don’t want to try to talk to him again because he sounds like he is on the verge of crying.
Summer 2009: Lanza drops out of college at Connecticut State University. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/adam-lanza-college-courses_n_2315431.htmlhttp://06880danwoog.com/2012/12/21/jennifer-huettner-and-the-adam-lanza-she-knew/
August 4, 2009: George Sodini kills 3 and himself (Collier Township Shooting) with 3 handguns, one of which was not fired. Adam Lanza makes edits to the Wikipedia page for this shooting 2 days later, confirming that he had accessed Sodini’s personal website, where Sodini had detailed his plans and motivations for the shooting.
August 6, 2009: Makes edit to talk page for wikipedia article on Collier Township shooting
August 14, 2009: Makes edit to talk page for wikipedia article on Collier Township shooting
August 24, 2009: Adam Lanza registers for the course “A+ Computer Repair” at Norwalk Community College. (see the full Sandy Hook report, Book 4, document 00183916)
August 25, 2009: Registers profile Kaynbred on thehighroad.org
August 25, 2009: Posts to The High Road about AK47 types
August 25, 2009: Posts to The High Road about 7.62×25 parts for an AR-15
August 26, 2009: Posts reply to The High Road about AK47 types
August 27, 2009: Posts to The High Road about modifying select-fire weapons to fire fully-auto
August 27, 2009: Posts to The High Road, suggesting a Kel-Tec SU
August 30, 2009: makes edit to wikipedia article on Dawson College shooting
September 2009: Peter and Nancy, Adam’s parents, finalize their divorce. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249217/Sandy-Hook-shooting-Adam-Lanzas-father-Peter-new-wife-Shelley-Cudiner-fled-Connecticut-home.html
September 7, 2009: Posts to The High Road about Kel-Tec SU-16C’s legality
September 19, 2009: “Enlists” (registers) Kaynbred profile – (ostensibly, starts playing Combat Arms)
October 12, 2009: Posts to The High Road about the legality a Skorpion in CT
October 13, 2009: Posts to several glocktalk threads, all having to do with PC hardware, not firearms.
October 13, 2009: Posts reply to The High Road about Skorpion legality, noting his “fetish”
November 18, 2009: Lanza posts his preferred weapons loadout for Combat Arms in the thread “mg14c members please read” on the mg14c.net forums, as all members had been doing; this marks his “join date” for the clan: http://web.archive.org/web/20091202055517/http://mg14c.net/mg14c-members-please-read-t16.html
December 9, 2009: Makes edit to wikipedia aricle on Kip Kinkel
December 9, 2009: Makes edit to wikipedia aricle on Larry Gene Ashbrook
December 9, 2009: Makes edit to wikipedia aricle on Luby’s massacre
December 9, 2009: Makes edit to wikipedia aricle on Westroads Mall shooting
December 13, 2009: Lanza responds to a thead “RL Pictures” (In Real Life) on the mg14c.net forums. He posts a childhood photo of himself (and possibly an adult photo, although it is known for sure, or if so, what it was)
December 17, 2009: Makes edits to his previous posts in the mg14c forums – apparently deleting most everything he had posted a few days/weeks before http://web.archive.org/web/20100211163830/http://mg14c.net/rl-pictures-t52-20.html
December 30, 2009: Lanza registers the username “Smiggles” at ShockedBeyondBelief.com, a forum dedicated to the Columbine killers, and the phenomenon of mass shooters in general.