Nearly five years on from the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the FBI has declassified 1,500 pages of documents relating to the fourth most deadly shooting in modern US history.
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza killed his mother at their home before driving to the school and killing 20 first grade children and six staff members.
All of the children were between six and seven years old. Lanza then killed himself when first responders began to arrive at the scene.
On Tuesday, the FBI released a tranche of documents which reveal new information about Lanza and the investigation into his crimes.
Perhaps the most significant revelation in the heavily censored documents is a suggestion from the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit that Lanza “had an interest in children that could be categorized as pedophilia.”
The suggestion is backed up by another document which shows that an unidentified woman, who had an online relationship with Lanza for more than two years, telling FBI agents the killer said that sexual relationships between adults and children could be “possibly beneficial to both parties.”
The woman also said that Lanza did not express any personal sexual interest in children to her and believed he might be asexual. Indeed, none of the FBI documents show that he ever acted on this suggested attraction towards children.
The woman met Lanza through a website where players adopt the roles of the Columbine school shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. She described him as “the weirdest person online” who was obsessed with mass murders.
She speculated that Lanza believed he was “protecting” children by carrying out the mass shooting as it would save them from the “harmful influences” of adults.
Lanza had Asperger’s Syndrome but a source told the bureau that he refused to accept his condition and never took any medication. The person also said that Lanza’s mother Nancy wasn’t allowed into his room.
“Nancy would take care of all of Adam’s needs,” the source said. “However, she never cleaned his room, nor was allowed in his room. Adam’s room was his personal space that no one else was allowed into.”
The documents also show that Lanza had been planning the massacre for more than 18 months. The FBI concluded that he had done “careful, methodical planning and preparation” for his murderous rampage.
“The shooter was fascinated with past shootings and researched them thoroughly. The shooter shared many similar characteristics and behaviours with other active shooters,” one of the reports found.