A report that includes speculation that Newtown, Conn., shooter Adam Lanza may have been inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik also contains new details about the Lanza family.
Alaine Griffin and Josh Kovner, a pair of Hartford Courant reporters who produced an investigative piece on Lanza’s background, spoke with Savannah Guthrie on TODAY about their findings. Griffin and Kovner are also featured in an episode of "Frontline'' on PBS titled "Raising Adam Lanza'' that airs Tuesday night.
Griffin and Kovner unearthed more details about Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, who was one of his victims. She has alternately been portrayed as an overwhelmed single mom and a gun-obsessed villain who gave him access to firearms and often left him alone to play violent video games while she enjoyed an active social life.
Reporters from the Hartford Courant found that Lanza had been diangosed with sensory integration disorder, which made him avoid being touched and gave him difficulty managing sounds, smells, and noise.
“We had heard so much about her being this paranoid, doomsday prepper who was stockpiling food and waiting for this economic collapse,’’ Griffin said. “We learned through our reporting that she had done a number of things to get Adam in the right place - all these different educational shifts in and out of school. We learned that she was trying to do the right thing by Adam. Whether or not it was remains to be seen.”
The look into Adam Lanza’s life also examines his fascination with violent video games and whether they played any role in the shooting.
Lanza's mother put him in different programs to try to help him with his issues, according to the Courant.
“I think he did what he knew how to do,’’ Griffin said. “Graphically, violent video games don’t make you turn to violence if that’s not your predisposition, but this kid had a lot going on and when it came time for him to carry out this terrible rampage, he did it in a way he was accustomed to.’’
Lanza was diagnosed as a young boy with sensory integration disorder, according to the Hartford Courant report. The disorder made it difficult for him to manage sights, sounds, smells, noise and pain.
"He didn't like to be touched, which was a theme all through his life,'' Griffin said.
His mother tried to lessen his struggles with the disorder by informing others to prevent any difficult interactions. In one instance the Courant investigation found, she told his Cub Scout master not to touch him because of his issues.