Was Adam Lanza a Copycat Killer?

Connecticut police have discovered newspaper clippings of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik‘s horrific crime inside Sandy Hook spree killer Adam Lanza’s lair. Despite media speculation (slapped down by the CT state police), the clippings don’t establish a “copycat” motive per se. Even so, close enough. The evidence presents a prima facie case that Lanza followed in the footsteps of a monster. Whether Lanza did so in the pursuit of infamy or to wreak revenge on his mother — or both, or neither — may never be known. And? And it’s tragic that someone didn’t see Lanza’s fatal fascination and sound the alarm. Otherwise . . . nothing. Whatever the “motivation” for its realization, we can’t eradicate evil from mankind. We can only defend ourselves against it. Or not.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

33 Responses to Was Adam Lanza a Copycat Killer?

  1. avatarNazgul says:

    An evil person shooting innocent people – it’s been done before (Patrick Purdy with an AK in California for example).

  2. avatarJarhead1982 says:

    So when is the media going to be held accountable for their continuing role in teaching the next spree killer how to be effective and get their 15 minutes of fame?

    • avatarPyratemime says:

      Why that would be an infringement of the 1st Amendment. Why are you trying to restrict our freedoms! /sarc

    • avatarWyatt says:

      Not always that easy.

      News outlets must report on the big items, or risk becoming irrelevant.

      • avatarMatt in NC says:

        I would agrue that they are already irrelevant, with fewer and fewer people watching news channels and news programs on tv or buying newspapers. People are turning to the internet for blurbs and articles that provide the information people want, when they want it, and virtually real time. Sensationalist journalism is the only way these news outlets feel they can keep viewers, and more importantly advertisers, interested in their product. In the age of the TL;DR mindset, this is what we can expect until broadcast media takes its last breath.

  3. avatarMatt in FL says:

    It would be naive beyond the point of reasonableness to think that these guys don’t read about “those that have gone before” and get some ideas. However, I wouldn’t use the word copycat on this case.

  4. avatarwildcatman says:

    Newspaper clippings? Is that really still happening?

  5. avatarPaul says:

    Well, gosh, RF — one thing we can do is stop buying into the leftist vocabulary and stop referring to “Adam Lanza’s lair.” Sheesh! Give me a break!

    Oh, all right. I’ll go along with “Adam Lanza’s lair” if you start referring to the White House as “President Obama’s roost” or “Mooch’s kennel”, the Senate as the “gerbilarium”, the House of Representatives as the “terrarium” and — last but not least — Nancy Pelosi’s bedrooms as a “pigsty.”

    • avatarMatt in NC says:

      Funny, I always imagined Pelosi’s bedroom as some sort of a dominatrix/S&M dungeon.

    • avatarRuss Bixby says:

      Lair, noun, the resting pace of a wild animal. Applicable enough; cats kill for fun.

      BTW, Fox also uses the term. Are they “leftist media?”

      Make insulting, polarizing statements and you risk alienating the not inconsiderable number of folks who believe in Medicare AND 2A.

      Russ, Kansas gun owner and Democrat

      • avatarChris Mallory says:

        “BTW, Fox also uses the term. Are they “leftist media?”’

        They are statist media, so close enough. They love big war and big government just as much as the progressives.

      • avatarStinkeye says:

        The problem with using a word like “lair” is that it gives the image that he was some kind of exceptional supervillain. In every one of these cases, we’re not dealing with Lex Luthor or Goldfinger. It’s a f’ed up guy who has lost touch with reality.

        Sure, it’s a lot easier to deal with if we paint these spree killers as some kind of supernatural monster, but the fact is, Lanza was just a pathetic, insane kid. If you had lived near him, you might have thought he was a little strange, but you wouldn’t have thought “that guy is cooking up diabolical schemes in his lair”. Inflating him and others like him into mythical proportions just feeds the fire for the next copycat nutcase.

  6. avatarRuss Bixby says:

    Hmmm…

    Mayhap the clippings were a part of why his terrified mother had begun to enact plans to send him away.

    Pity it never occurred to her to lock up her arsenal. For her stupidity, she should be remembered and reviled as complicit in his crimes.

    Russ, Kansan

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Lanza shot his mother. I now have little doubt he did so with a plan to access to her firearms post-mortem, whether by getting her key a combo or a pry-bar. There’s a detail I’d like to know.

      • avatarRuss Bixby says:

        Her stuff was in a non-lockable first floor closet. Anything with an opposable thumb could get ‘em.

        Not terribly good planning, methinks.

        Russ

        • avatarJustAJ says:

          I’m with Matt – provide the source.

        • avatarRick F. says:

          X3

        • avatarJMS says:

          I also remember reading the same thing about her guns being stored in a normal household closet, unlocked. I do not, however, recall seeing any official statement as to how he killed his mother. I have seen most people assume that he shot her, some sources state that he shot her in the head multiple times, and also some people have claimed he bludgeoned her to death with something. I don’t think I’ve seen an actual police statement of any sort that’s official?

        • avatarridemt says:

          @JMS- Frontline said she was shot four times with a .22 while she slept.

  7. avatarscooter says:

    Again, we remember the names of the monsters just as they wish. Movies, games, comic books, and even music have been pointed to as the culprit, but how many times did we see that kid climb out the window at Columbine or watch the towers fall? If it bleeds, it leads, and that is a path to fame for a broken mind. When you think of Columbine, forget Kliebold and Harris. Remember Rachel Joy Scott. Fiction doesn’t frighten me, reality does, and that is why I am armed.

    • avatarIng says:

      EXACTLY.

      At this point, with decades of saturated media coverage as a death=fame template, *all * these mass murderers could be considered copycat killers.

    • avatarDaveL says:

      I don’t think it’s likely the news media will ever just ignore mass killings like this.

      However, this may be one area where some of the, shall we say, less polished denizens of the internet may be able to do their civic duty. We need to recruit 4chan, reddit, the SA forum goons, etc. for a campaign of ridicule aimed at the killers. Relentless, merciless ridicule. Do to their names what Dan Savage did to Rick Santorum’s. Make sure the image everyone remembers of them is the one of them being molested by farm animals.

      I think it’s worth a try.

  8. avatarwvumounties8 says:

    I had thought it was a CC murder all along. Most of these nut jobs are playing one upsmanship, IMHO.

  9. avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

    Did he break into vans? Did he make pipe bombs?..

  10. avatarWilliam says:

    The “evidence” could have well been a plant. Not saying, just raising the issue.

    Some may have forgotten the pristine, unscorched ID of Mohammad Atta, found ATOP the 911 rubble, the very same day. Miraculously, it survived a fireball and ended up with nothing on top of it.

    But then, there were DOZENS, maybe hundreds, of such miracles on 9/11/2001.

  11. avatarLance says:

    Shows that the media’s to blame not guns. They glorify these animals then it rubs off on loser who want fame this is why there are mass killings. BAN ABC CBS and NBC/MSNBC!!!!!

  12. avatarRalph says:

    If Lanza’s sole motive was to kill his mother, those kids would still be alive. He was going for a body count, like his idol Brevik.

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