Report: Computer user believed to be Adam Lanza discovered

He had a "fetish" for a certain type of bullet and obsessively corrected Wikipedia articles about killers

Published July 1, 2013 9:13PM (EDT)

Adam Lanza     (AP)
Adam Lanza (AP)

The Hartford Courant reports that investigators have linked an online username to Adam Lanza, who carried out the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. The paper is not disclosing the username but has published a few of his activities online. As with so much retrospectively important online ephemera, they're alternately alarming and mundane:

[He] offers a blueprint for his laptop computer and provides YouTube links to a commercial for a laughing doll from the 1970s and for The Rock-afire Explosion, an animatronics band that played in ShowBiz Pizza locations in the 1980s.

In one thread on the website in October 2009 at 1 a.m., the poster believed to be Lanza asks whether a ban on a certain semiautomatic pistol might extend to other weapons.

Another poster suggests that he ask the Connecticut State Police.

"I always prefer asking through proxy when I can avoid speaking to someone directly. I was just wondering if anyone knew because I have a fetish for .32 ACP," the poster suspected to be Lanza responds, referring to ammunition.

The posts the paper examined come from between April 2009 and February 2010 when Lanza was 17. Three years before the massacre he already displayed a familiarity with guns and gun laws:

"In Connecticut, fully automatic firearms are legal to own but selective fire is prohibited," one August 2009 post states. "I vaguely recall reading … about a company which alters them to fire exclusively automatically (or something in that vein), but I don't know how that process works. For example, with whom would I correspond to modify a Title II M2 Carbine that is currently in another state to fire fully automatically before it is sent to Connecticut?"

The user also had a strong interest in mass killings:

[He] made revisions to 12 Wikipedia entries about massacres across the world during the same 2009 to 2010 time frame as the gun website and gaming chat-room posts.

One entry meticulously specifies the weapons Kip Kinkel used at the age of 15 to kill his parents before going on a shooting spree at his Oregon high school, where two were killed and 25 were wounded in May 1998.

A revision involving the Sept. 13, 2006, shooting at Dawson College in Montreal, in which one student was killed and 19 others wounded, is quite particular about how the article posted on Wikipedia describes the firearm used by the killer.

" '9mm' was listed as '.9mm.' People say that 9mm is anemic, but this is ridiculous," the poster believed to be Lanza says in explaining his revision.

By Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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Adam Lanza Gun Control Guns Newtown Nra Sandy Hook Sandy Hook Massacre