Printed on: November 26, 2013

Conn. killer's motive remains a mystery


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- In fifth grade, Adam Lanza wrote a book that included tales of children being slaughtered and a son shooting his mother in the head.

In the years that followed, he was obsessed with mass murders, assembling articles, photos, books, footage and violent video games, including one in which players gun down students in school. He even kept a spreadsheet ranking mass murders.

Nearly a year after Lanza shot his mother to death and then massacred 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, prosecutors closed the case Monday with a report that sketched a chilling portrait of a young man with a twisted fascination with violence.

But they were unable to answer the question that everyone has been asking since the tragedy: Why?

"The obvious question that remains is: 'Why did the shooter murder 27 people, including 20 children?' Unfortunately, that question may never be answered conclusively," the report said.

Lanza "was under no extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse."

The summary released by the lead investigator, State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, describes a 20-year-old gunman who had "significant mental health issues" but had sure knowledge of what he was planning: Besides having the spreadsheet, he smashed his computer hard drive and used earplugs during the shooting.

Lanza killed his mother, 20 first-graders and six educators Dec. 14. He committed suicide as police arrived at the school.