- (Photo: Reuters / Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen)
A new investigation into the life of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, has suggested that the troubled youth might have been inspired by Norway mass murderer Anders Breivik.
The Hartford Courant/Frontline investigation, set to air on PBS Tuesday night, attempts to examine the life of Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy, leading up to the events on Dec. 14. Lanza, who killed his mother before driving down to Sandy Hook to shoot 26 more people before taking his own life, is said to have had a number of mental problems growing up and was isolated from his peers.
Although the investigation into Lanza's possible motives and reasons is still ongoing, the Courant revealed that news articles about Breivik's mass murder were found in Lanza's home, suggesting the troubled youth might have taken inspiration from the July 2011 tragedy at the island youth camp in Norway.
Breivik killed 77 people in total that day, eight with a bomb blast at a government building and 69 more using firearms. It was one of the biggest mass murder incidents in Europe's recent history. The killer, who pleaded guilty, received the maximum 21-year sentence for his crime under Norway's legal system.
It still remains unclear why Lanza targeted Sandy Hook Elementary and what propelled him to unleash his rage on 20 innocent children, though records showed he attended the school as a child.
Frontline and The Hartford Courant found several new photos of Lanza during his childhood and teenage years, which will be showcased on the PBS special.
Nancy Lanza, a gun enthusiast, legally purchased the Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle Adam is believed to have used in the attack, and according to the investigation, she trained him to use guns at a shooting range close to their home.
"The 20-year-old had been spending more time alone in his mother's $500,000 home in the affluent Connecticut suburb in the months leading up the shooting," Courant reporters Alaine Griffin and Josh Kovner found out.
"Adam's social world gradually began shrinking after he left Newtown High School at the age of 16 to enroll in a nearby college, where he made As and Bs before withdrawing there, as well. Since 2010, Adam had not attended school," Yahoo News reported.
Friends of Nancy Lanza have argued, however, that the troubled youth's mother was the forgotten victim of the tragedy on Dec. 14, and she should not be remembered as someone who aided in her son's rampage.
"She's been described as some sort of gun nut or survivalist and this other misconception that she was a bad mother," her friend John Bergquist told Frontline. He added that her life "revolved around caring for Adam."
CBS News shared that Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said the police are still investigating the motive for the Newtown massacre, and any conclusions on what triggered Lanza's shooting spree might be premature.