On October 24, 2017, the FBI released a massive amount of heavily redacted documents related to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. The tragic event, enacted by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, resulted in the death of 20 children between the ages of six and seven years old. However, with the recent file dump by the FBI, never before seen information regarding the shooting has recently surfaced. 

According to the documents released, “when Adam Lanza was in the ninth grade, Nancy [Adam’s mom] told [officials] that Adam had hacked into a government computer system. Adam had made it through the second level of security and when he tried to breach the third level the screen went black and the authorities showed up at Lanza’s door at 36 Yogananda Street. Nancy belieed that the authorities that showed up at her door were either the FBI or the CIA. Nancy had to convince the authorities that her son was just very intelligent and was challenging himself to see if he could hack into a government system. The authorities told Nancy that if her son was that smart he could have a job with them someday.” 

Also in the document are references to Adam Lanza’s personal life, including his familial structure and taste in music. “Adam was always a troubled kid and was interested in Japanese techno music,” and “Nancy did not have a job and never worked at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Nancy got all her money from the divorce [presumably with Adam’s father].” 

The document details Adam’s personal life, detailing how he had initially attended Sandy Hook Elementary School for grades K-4th before moving onto Newtown Middle School for grades 5th-7th. Around 7th grade, he began to attend St. Mary’s Catholic School, where he completed 9th grade before “Nancy… thought it was best to remove Adam from school and home school him through graduation.”

Around Adam’s 6th grade he was diagnosed with Asperger’s and a great deal of school and societal stresses started to present and was the reason why he moved to St. Mary’s Catholic School. Adam was bullied, but not excessively, for his social awkwardness and his physical gate, both results of his disease. Adam continued in school until his 9th grade year when stresses over papers, classes, pressure from grades and dealing with his disease he finally was removed from school [by his mother]. Adam never completely accepted that he had a disease and therefore never took any of his medication he was prescribed. Adam was in complete denial of his disease from diagnosis and  therefore was not on disability because of this denial.

Adam was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, in the 8th grade, and upon leaving high school, became a “‘recluse’, shutting himself in his bedroom playing video games all day. He attended a few courses at Western Connecticut State University, but never attended full time.” Adam was involved with a local tech club, but was never capable of maintaining any relationships established in social situations. Because of the social isolation that occurred as the product of his home schooling and general anti-social personality, Adam was never in trouble with police, “nor [did he] demonstrate any violent tendencies as far as [anyone] knew when it came to harming animals, or getting into fights.” Violence was a foreign language to him. 

In November 2012, Nancy began to encourage Adam’s interest in computers, “buying Adam a computer or parts for a computer for Adam to build himself… [censored source] summarizes the reason why Nancy wanted to do this as Adam had become shut in and he hadn’t gone anywhere in 3 months, his battery in his car is dead because it’s been sitting there so long. [censored source] could tell that Nancy was worried about Adam.” 

One of Adam’s hobbies, in addition to building computers, online gaming, and writing, was shooting. An anonymous acquaintance of Adam’s had taken him to the range “once or twice,” but those close to the subject “only knew of Adam having two rifles, one black single barrel shotgun and one black large caliber rifle. [censored source] never knew that Adam owned any pistols or any other rifles, but does remember Nancy taking Adam to pistol safety courses so he could fire a pistol at the local range. [censored source] did not know how or why Adam became involved in firearms as a hobby.” According another censored source, Adam at one point had considered joining the military. 

Perhaps one of the most interesting tidbits of the unclassified information is a chunk of several paragraphs, detailing a smashed hard drive recovered during the investigation. 

During the investigation, CSP recovered a 500 GB Seagate Barracuda ST3500020AS hard drive, 3/M 9CM34[?]A[?], from 36 Yogananda Street, Sandy Hook, CT, the home of suspect Adam Lanza. The drive has been opened and significantly damaged by force teams as well as by being scratched with an implement. New Haven is requesting assistance… [large chunk of redacted information]. As this is a matter of national attention, it is of high priority. However, M5 understands that the technique involved will be very time-intensive. Therefore, no deadline is identified, but as rapid a response as is possible under the circumstances is requested.”

The entire dump file can be found hereWill this new information shed light on what has been previously dismissed as the product of a disturbed twenty-year-old social outcast? The point of Adam having hacked two levels of government security as a 9th-grader is mind-boggling, to say the least. These recently unclassified documents remind us of the sobering reality that, no matter how “in-the-loop” we might be, it is virtually impossible to fully comprehend the many factors and denominators involved in such acts of national concern. 

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