Peter Lanza told an interviewer from The New Yorker about his son Adam, who killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook School: “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,” Lanza told reporter Andrew Solomon in the issue of The New Yorker that hits newsstands today.
Peter hadn’t seen his son for two years at the time of the Sandy Hook killings, and, even with hindsight, he doesn’t think that the catastrophe could have been predicted. But he constantly thinks about what he could have done differently and wishes he had pushed harder to see Adam.
“Any variation on what I did and how my relationship was had to be good, because no outcome could be worse,” he said in the interview. Read the full story here.
“I want people to be afraid of the fact that this could happen to them,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be understood to be real.”
Peter Lanza, who recently moved to a new house in Fairfield County with his second wife Shelley has an attic room full of crates filled with items sent from people around the world after the Dec. 14, 2012 mass shooting.
But he hasn’t eaten any of the candy, and he won’t let Shelley eat any either, because he said that he can’t be sure it isn’t poisoned.
Lanza said he hadn’t seen his son Adam for two years before the shootings. “I’m not dealing with it,” he said. Later, he added, “You can’t mourn for the little boy he once was. You can’t fool yourself.”
Adam Lanza didn’t speak until he was 3, and was later diagnosed with sensory-integration disorder. In pre–school and at Sandy Hook sometimes he smelled things that weren’t there, Peter Lanza said.
Although Adam started middle school excited, and showed his father around the school, later his parents ‘ concerns increased.
Because of his sensory overload, his mother copied his textbook pages so they would be black and white. Adam “found color graphics unbearable,” according to the story in The New Yorker.
Adam “quit playing the saxophone, stopped climbing trees, avoided eye contact, and developed a stiff, lumbering gait,” Peter said.
Adam said he hated holidays and birthdays. ”It was crystal clear something was wrong,” Peter said.
Nancy and Peter Lanza began homeschooling Adam in eighth grade on the advice of psychiatrist Paul J. Fox who had a practice in Brookfield. Fox had diagnosed Adam at 13 with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. Adam would not accept the diagnosis.
Nancy coordinated the homeschooling curriculum with Newtown High School; she taught Adam the humanities and Peter came to the house twice a week to teach him the sciences. Adam attended the Technology Club at the high school.
Peter and Nancy had separated when Adam was 9; they later divorced.