Adam Lanza studied mass murderers

According to a new report from the Stamford Advocate, the Newtown shooter kept reams on massacres

By Natasha Lennard

Published March 14, 2013 5:45PM (EDT)

Adam Lanza        (AP)
Adam Lanza (AP)

Much effort has been put into making sense of Adam Lanza -- the painfully shy 20-year-old with severe learning difficulties who gunned down 20 young children with a semi-automatic weapon. According to the Stamford Advocate, citing a source in the investigation, investigators have only recently discovered that Lanza kept "reams of documents related to 'virtually every mass murder' in the United States and abroad, the source said."

The discovery, made during searches of Lanza's Connecticut home, adds weight to theories that the young man had been planning the massacre for some time. Previous reports that Lanza had the intention of surpassing Norwegian mass shooter Anders Breivik had been dismissed by Connecticut police, but this latest revelation adds credence to the early speculation. Via the Stamford Advocate:

Lanza exhibited particular interest in the October 2006 shooting at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pa., in which gunman Charles Carl Robert IV took hostages and shot 10 school girls, five of them fatally, before killing himself.

"There was a lot of material on the Amish case," the source said.

... Investigators had been handicapped in determining a possible motive for Lanza's rampage because he destroyed the hard drives of the two computers he used before driving to the school.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Adam Lanza Anders Breivik Guns Newtown School Shooting Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting