NEWTOWN -- A year after Adam Lanza's shooting rampage, Connecticut State Police Friday released their final, 7,000 page report to a public that has already been buffeted this holiday season with reminders of the grim anniversary.
"The horror and unspeakable sadness of that day and the lives that were lost will never be forgotten," Reuben Bradford, the state's emergency services commissioner, wrote in a letter accompanying the three PDFs that have to first be downloaded from the Internet to be viewed.
On Dec. 14, 2012 a heavily-armed Lanza shot his mother -- Nancy -- in their home, then laid siege to Sandy Hook Elementary School, his alma mater. He killed 20 children and six adults before taking his own life.
Bradford up front warned anyone who takes on that technological challenge that the report - while far more detailed than the 44 page summary released in November - is still lacking a lot of information.
Visual images, he said, have been withheld, as well as potentially offensive written descriptions.
And, Bradford, said, the names and other information used to identify witnesses will also not be found.
"Balancing the often-competing interests of government transparency and individual privacy has been difficult," he wrote. "I believe that the redacted report that is being released includes as much detail as possible while protecting confidential information and without unduly infringing on the privacy rights of those whose lives have been so profoundly impacted through ho fault of their own."
So, for example, the report outlines the heart-breaking task of returning childrens' belongings to their families and then taking those surviving relatives on a sad walk through the halls of the now-demolished Sandy Hook school in a matter-of-fact manner. Not only are names left out, but authorities even redacted what might seem like trivial details, such as the brand of water bottle a child carried.
The report does provide more insight into Nancy Lanza's final days and the challenges she faced raising her troubled son.
Lanza's medical records are not included, as the provisions of the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act prohibit the release of personally-identifiable information for 50 years after an individual's death.
But the information within the medical records is discussed by the professionals who reviewed them as part of the investigation and witnesses also comment on Lanza's issues and behavior.
According to one witness statement, Lanza was diagnosed with Aspergers - a form of autism - in the sixth grade and "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 there was not on disability because of this denial," the witness said.
The witness also told investigators that Lanza dealt with a great deal of school and societal stresses. Read Full Article
"Adam was bullied, but not excessively, for his social awkwardness and his physical gait," the report states. "Adam continued in school until his ninth grade year when stresses over papers, classes, pressures from grades and dealing with his disease he was finally removed from school."
Another witness claimed Lanza would experience "episodes" lasting 15 minutes during which he would become withdrawn and "was more likely to be victimized than to act in violence against another person."
According to the witness, who told investigators that he became familiar with the Lanza family during after school activities, Lanza dealt poorly with other students but "did not show any signs of violence."
By 2012 Lanza had turned into such a recluse he would not leave his home during Superstorm Sandy.
The police report stated Lanza "was freaked out" by the storm, which struck Newtown on Oct. 29, 2012, but refused to leave the house after it lost power. Nancy Lanza bought a generator a few days later, according to the report.
In 2007 Nancy Lanza sent an email to a "Doctor Fox" about placing her son in a support group for teenagers with Asperger's.
"You have spent the most time with Adam, and have the best understanding of his situation," she wrote, admitting that she had not been focused on her son's socialization.
"I have been more concerned with keeping him comfortable as possible and just getting through each day."
By 2013 Nancy Lanza was considering moving out of state to Washington or North Carolina. But again, her son, Adam, was proving to be an impediment.
"(But) Nancy knew that she was not going to be able to effectively show/sell her home while Adam was living within," read the report.
So, the witness said, Nancy Lanza planned on putting the property on the market and hitting the road with her son.
She would purchase a recreational vehicle they could stay in because Adam Lanza would not stay in a hotel.
"In this process, she could have Adam out of the house, they could effectuate their move and meanwhile sell her house," stated the report.