[Rushtalk] Nancy J. Lanza

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Sun Dec 16 23:08:00 MST 2012

Mother of Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza 'was a gun 
obsessive living in fear of society's collapse'

Monday, 17 December 2012
Nancy J Lanza mother of suspected gunman Adam Lanza

Nancy J Lanza mother of suspected gunman Adam Lanza

The mother of Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza who 
slaughtered 20 US schoolchildren and seven adults 
was a gun-hoarding survivalist who was 
stockpiling weapons in preparation for an economic collapse, it has emerged.

Nancy Lanza was shot four times in the head 
before her son Adam gunned down young pupils and 
teachers at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Her sister-in-law Marsha Lanza told reporters at 
her Illinois home that her gun-obsessed relative 
was part of the ‘prepper’ movement that fears an 
economic collapse will lead to a breakdown in society.

“She prepared for the worst,” Ms Lanza said.

“Last time we visited her in person, we talked 
about prepping ­ are you ready for what could 
happen down the line, when the economy collapses?”

Nancy Lanza (52) had five registered firearms, 
had begun stockpiling food and taught Adam how to 
shoot. He is believed to have used three of her 
guns ­ a Bushmaster .223-calibre, and two 
handguns, a Glock 10 mm and a Sig Sauer 9mm ­ in 
the school massacre after he shot her dead in bed.

After taking her car, Adam Lanza (20) blasted his 
way into the school building in Newtown, 
Connecticut and used a high-power rifle to kill 
20 children and six adults, including the 
principal and school psychologist who tried to 
stop him. The youngest victims were six and seven, the oldest 56.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said Lanza 
shot himself after about 10 minutes of shooting 
as first responders entered the building.

A law enforcement official said Lanza ­ said to 
be addicted to violent video games ­ had “lots of 
ammo” on him when he died, enough to carry out 
significant additional carnage. During the 
rampage Lanza wiped out a first class of six and 
seven-year-olds and their two teachers.

“There were 14 coats hanging there and 14 bodies. 
He killed them all,” a law enforcement officer said.

Governor Malloy added in a TV interview: “We 
surmise that it was during the second classroom 
episode that he heard responders coming and 
apparently at that, decided to take his own life.”

All the victims at the school were shot with a 
rifle, at least some of them at close range, and 
all were apparently shot more than once, said 
Chief Medical Examiner Dr H Wayne Carver. There 
were as many as 11 shots on the bodies he examined.

All six adults killed at the school were women. 
Of the 20 children, eight were boys and 12 were girls.

Parents identified the children through photos to 
spare them some shock, Carver said.

Amid the confusion and sorrow, stories of heroism 
emerged, including an account of Hochsprung, 47, 
and the school psychologist, Mary Sherlach, 56, 
rushing toward Lanza in an attempt to stop him. Both died.

There was also 27-year-old teacher Victoria Soto, 
whose name has been invoked as a portrait of 
selflessness. Investigators told relatives she 
was killed while shielding her first-graders from 
danger. She reportedly hid some students in a 
bathroom or closet, ensuring they were safe, a 
cousin, Jim Wiltsie, told ABC News.

The gunman's father, Peter Lanza, issued a 
statement relating his own family's anguish in the aftermath.

“Our family is grieving along with all those who 
have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No 
words can truly express how heartbroken we are,” 
he said. “We are in a state of disbelief and 
trying to find whatever answers we can. We too 
are asking why. Like so many of you, we are 
saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired.”

Authorities said Lanza had no criminal history, 
and it was not clear whether he had a job. Lanza 
was believed to have been diagnosed with Asperger's, a mild form of autism.

Richard Novia, the school district's head of 
security until 2008, who also served as adviser 
for the Newtown High School technology club, of 
which Lanza was a member, said he clearly “had some disabilities”.

The victims


They were supposed to be for the holidays, but 
finally on Friday, after much begging, Charlotte 
Bacon's mother relented and let her wear a new pink dress and boots to school.

It was the last outfit the outgoing redhead would 
ever pick out. Charlotte's older brother Guy was 
also in the school but was not shot.

Her parents, JoAnn and Joel, have lived in 
Newtown for four or five years, JoAnn's brother 
John Hagen, of Nisswa, Minnesota, told Newsday.

"She was going to go some places in this world," 
he said. "This little girl could light up the room for anyone."


Daniel's family says he was "fearless in the pursuit of happiness in life".

He was the youngest of three children and in a 
statement to the media, his family said Daniel 
earned his missing two front teeth and ripped jeans.

"Words really cannot express what a special boy 
Daniel was. Such a light. Always smiling, 
unfailingly polite, incredibly affectionate, fair 
and so thoughtful towards others, imaginative in 
play, both intelligent and articulate in 
conversation: in all, a constant source of laughter and joy," the family said.

His father Mark is a local musician. The New 
Haven Register said he was scheduled to play a 
show at a restaurant in Danbury on Friday, a show that was later cancelled.

On the biography on his professional website, he 
lists spending time with his family as his favourite thing to do.


Days before the rampage, Rachel's boyfriend had 
asked her parents for permission to marry her.

she was a behavioural therapist who had only 
recently started working at the school where she 
was killed, according to Lissa Lovetere, a friend 
who is handling her funeral planned for Friday. 
Anthony Cerritelli planned to ask Ms D'Avino to 
marry him on Christmas Eve, Ms Lovetere said.

Ms Lovetere said they met in 2005 when Ms D'Avino 
was assigned to her son, who has autism, in their 
town of Bethlehem. Ms D'Avino was so dedicated 
she would make home visits and constantly offered 
guidance on handling situations such as helping 
her son deal with loud music at a wedding.

"Her job didn't end when the school bell rang at 3 o'clock," Ms Lovetere said.

Police told Ms D'Avino's family she shielded one 
of the pupils during the rampage, Ms Lovetere said.

"I'm heartbroken. I'm numb," she said. "I think 
she taught me more about how to be a good mother 
to a special needs child than anyone else ever had."


Images of Olivia show a happy child, one with a 
great sense of humour, as her family said in a 
statement. There she is, visiting Santa Claus, or 
feasting on a slice of birthday cake. Or swinging 
a pink baseball bat, posing on a boat, or making a silly face.

Olivia loved school, did very well in maths and 
reading, and was "insightful for her age", said 
the statement released by her uncle, John Engel.

She was a child who "lit up a room and the people 
around her". Creative with drawing and designing, 
she was also a tennis and football player and 
took art classes, swimming, and dance lessons in 
ballet and hip hop. A Daisy Girl Scout, she enjoyed musical theatre.

"She was a great big sister and was always very 
patient with her three-year-old brother Brayden," 
her family said, recalling that her favourite colours were purple and pink.

Olivia was learning the rosary and always led 
grace before the family dinner. "She was a 
grateful child who was always appreciative and never greedy," the family said.

Her father said she was a six-year-old who had a lot to look forward to.

Dan Merton, a long-time friend of the family, 
recalled that she loved attention, had perfect 
manners and was a teacher's pet.

"Her only crime," he said, "is being a wiggly, smiley six-year-old."


Dawn Hochsprung's pride in Sandy Hook Elementary 
was clear. She regularly tweeted photos from her 
time as principal there, giving indelible 
glimpses of life at a place now known for 
tragedy. Just this week, it was an image of 
fourth-graders rehearsing for their winter 
concert; days before that, the tiny hands of 
nursery schoolers exchanging play money at their makeshift grocery store.

She viewed her school as a model, telling the 
Newtown Bee in 2010: "I don't think you could 
find a more positive place to bring students to 
every day." She had worked to make Sandy Hook a 
place of safety, and in October, the 47-year-old 
shared a picture of the school's evacuation drill 
with the message "safety first".

When the unthinkable came, she was ready to 
defend. Officials said she died while lunging at 
the gunman in an attempt to overtake him.

"She had an extremely likable style about her," 
said Gerald Stomski, first selectman of Woodbury, 
where Ms Hochsprung lived and had taught. "She 
was an extremely charismatic principal while she was here."


Dr Matthew Velsmid was at Madeleine's house on 
Saturday, tending to her stricken family. He said 
the family did not want to comment.

Dr Velsmid said that after hearing of the 
shooting, he went to the triage area to provide 
medical assistance but there were no injuries to treat.

"We were waiting for casualties to come out, and 
there was nothing. There was no need, 
unfortunately," he said. "This is the darkest 
thing I've ever walked into, by far."

His daughter, who attends another school, lost three of her friends.


Catherine's parents released a statement 
expressing gratitude to emergency responders and 
for the support of the community.

"We are greatly saddened by the loss of our 
beautiful daughter, Catherine Violet, and our 
thoughts and prayers are with the other families 
who have been affected by this tragedy," Jennifer 
and Matthew Hubbard said. "We ask that you 
continue to pray for us and the other families 
who have experienced loss in this tragedy."


Chase Kowalski was always outside, playing in the 
back yard, riding his bicycle. Just last week, he 
was visiting neighbour Kevin Grimes, telling him 
about completing - and winning - his first mini-triathlon.

"You couldn't think of a better child," Mr Grimes said.

His own five children all attended Sandy Hook.


She once was known simply for the game nights she 
hosted and the Christmas decorations she put up 
at her house. Now Ms Lanza is known as her son's first victim.

The two shared a home in a well-to-do Newtown 
neighbourhood, but details were slow to emerge of 
who she was and what might have led her son to carry out such horror.

Kingston, New Hampshire, police chief Donald 
Briggs Jr said she once lived in the community 
and was a kind, considerate and loving person. 
The former stockbroker at John Hancock in Boston 
was well-respected, Mr Briggs said.

Court records show Ms Lanza and her ex-husband, 
Peter Lanza, filed for divorce in 2008. He lives 
in Stamford and is a tax director at General 
Electric. A neighbour, Rhonda Cullens, said she 
knew Ms Lanza from get-togethers she hosted to 
play Bunco, a dice game. She said her neighbour enjoyed gardening.

"She was a very nice lady," Ms Cullens said. "She 
was just like all the rest of us in the neighbourhood, just a regular person."


Jesse Lewis had hot chocolate with his favourite 
breakfast sandwich - sausage, egg and cheese - at 
the neighbourhood deli before going to school on Friday morning.

Jesse and his parents were regulars at the Misty 
Vale Deli in Sandy Hook, owner Angel Salazar told The Wall Street Journal.

"He was always friendly; he always liked to talk," Mr Salazar said.

Jesse's family has a collection of animals he 
enjoyed playing with, and he was learning to ride a horse.

Family friend Barbara McSperrin told the Journal 
Jesse was "a typical six-year-old little boy, full of life".


A year ago, Ana was revelling in holiday 
celebrations with her extended family on her 
first trip to Puerto Rico. This year will be heartbreakingly different.

The girl's grandmother, Elba Marquez, said the 
family moved to Connecticut two months ago, drawn 
from Canada in part by Sandy Hook's sterling 
reputation. The grandmother's brother, Jorge 
Marquez, is mayor of a Puerto Rican town and said 
the child's nine-year-old brother also was at the school but escaped safely.

Ms Marquez had just visited the new home over 
Thanksgiving and is perplexed by what happened. 
"What happened does not match up with the place where they live," she said.

A video spreading across the internet shows a 
confident Ana hitting every note as she sings 
Come, Thou Almighty King. She flashes a big grin 
and waves to the camera when she finishes.

Mr Marquez confirmed the girl's father is 
saxophonist Jimmy Greene, who wrote on Facebook 
that he was trying to "work through this nightmare".

"As much as she's needed here and missed by her 
mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to 
paradise," he wrote. "I love you sweetie girl."


The upstate New York town of Sherrill is thinking 
of Cindy Mattioli, who grew up there and lost her 
son James in the school shooting in Connecticut.

"It's a terrible tragedy, and we're a tight 
community," Mayor William Vineall told the Utica 
Observer-Dispatch. "Everybody will be there for 
them, and our thoughts and prayers are there for them."

James's grandparents, Jack and Kathy Radley, 
still live in the city, the newspaper reported.


With broken hearts, Grace's parents said they 
could not believe the outpouring of support they 
have received since the little girl who was the centre of their lives died.

Lynn and Chris McDonnell called their daughter 
"the love and light" of their family in a 
statement released by the girl's uncle.

The family also shared a photo featuring Grace 
smiling into the camera, her eyes shining and a 
pink bow adorning her long blonde hair.

"Words cannot adequately express our sense of loss," the McDonnells said.


A happy soul. A good mother, wife and daughter. 
Artistic, fun-loving, witty and hardworking.

Remembering their teacher daughter, Ms Murphy's 
parents had no shortage of adjectives to offer 
Newsday. When news of the shooting broke, Hugh 
and Alice McGowan waited for word of their 
daughter as hours ticked by. And then it came.

Authorities told the couple their daughter was a 
hero who helped shield some of her students from 
the rain of bullets. As the grim news arrived, 
the victim's mother reached for her rosary.

"You don't expect your daughter to be murdered," 
her father told the newspaper. "It happens on TV. It happens elsewhere."


Quick to cheer up those in need of a smile, 
Emilie never missed a chance to draw a picture or make a card.

Her father Robbie fought back tears as he 
described the beautiful, blonde, always-smiling 
girl who loved to try new things, except foods.

Mr Parker, one of the first parents to publicly 
talk about his loss, expressed no animosity for 
the gunman, even as he struggled to explain the 
death to his other two children, aged three and 
four. He is sustained by the fact that the world 
is better for having had Emilie in it.

"I'm so blessed to be her dad," he said.


Jack was a huge fan of American football side the New York Giants.

Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said he talked 
to Jack's family, who are considering burying him in Cruz's No 80 jersey.

Cruz honoured Jack on Sunday on his shoes, 
writing on them the words "Jack Pinto, My Hero" 
and "Rhode IslandP. Jack Pinto."

"I also spoke to an older brother and he was 
distraught as well. I told him to stay strong and 
I was going to do whatever I can to honour him," 
Cruz said after the Giants game with Atlanta 
Falcons. "He was fighting tears and could barely speak to me."

Cruz said he plans to give the gloves he wore 
during the game to the boy's family, and spend some time with them.

"There's no words that can describe the type of 
feeling that you get when a kid idolises you so 
much that unfortunately they want to put him in 
the casket with your jersey on," he said. "I can't even explain it."

Jack's funeral is scheduled for 1pm on Monday at 
the Honan Funeral Home in Newtown, followed by a 
burial at Newtown Village Cemetery.


Noah was "smart as a whip", gentle but with a 
rambunctious streak, said his uncle, Alexis 
Haller of Woodinville, Washington. Noah's twin 
sister Arielle, assigned to a different 
classroom, survived the shooting. He called her 
his best friend, and with their eight-year-old 
sister Sophia they were inseparable.

"They were always playing together, they loved to 
do things together," Mr Haller said. When Noah's 
mother, a nurse, told him she loved him, he would 
answer, "Not as much as I love you, Mom."

Mr Haller said Noah loved to read and liked to 
figure out how things worked mechanically. For 
his birthday two weeks ago, he got a new Wii games console.

"He was just a really lively, smart kid," Mr 
Haller said. "He would have become a great man, I 
think. He would have grown up to be a great dad."


"Jessica loved everything about horses," her 
parents Rich and Krista said in a statement. "She 
devoted her free time to watching horse movies, 
reading horse books, drawing horses, and writing stories about horses."

When she turned 10, they had promised, she could 
have a horse of her own. For Christmas, she asked 
Santa for new cowgirl boots and hat.

The Rekoses described their daughter as "a 
creative, beautiful little girl who loved playing 
with her little brothers, Travis and Shane".

"She spent time writing in her journals, making 
up stories, and doing 'research' on orca whales - 
one of her passions after seeing the movie Free 
Willy last year." Her dream of seeing a real orca 
was realised in October when she went to SeaWorld.

Jessica, the oldest child in the family, was "our 
rock", the parents said. "She had an answer for 
everything, she didn't miss a trick, and she 
outsmarted us every time." A thoughtful planner, she was "our little CEO".

"We cannot imagine our life without her. We are 
mourning her loss, sharing our beautiful memories 
we have of her, and trying to help her brother 
Travis understand why he can't play with his best friend," they said.

"We are devastated, and our hearts are with the 
other families who are grieving as we are."


Lauren Rousseau had spent years working as a 
substitute teacher and doing other jobs, so she 
was thrilled when she finally realised her goal 
this autumn to become a full-time teacher at Sandy Hook.

Her mother, Teresa Rousseau, a copy editor at the 
Danbury News-Times, released a statement that 
said state police told them just after midnight 
that she was among the victims.

"Lauren wanted to be a teacher from before she 
even went to kindergarten," she said. "We will 
miss her terribly and will take comfort knowing 
that she had achieved that dream."

Her mother said she was thrilled to get the job.

"It was the best year of her life," she told the newspaper.

Ms Rousseau has been called gentle, spirited and 
active. She had planned to see The Hobbit with 
her boyfriend on Friday and baked cupcakes for a 
party they were to attend afterwards. She was 
born in Danbury and attended Danbury High, 
college at the University of Connecticut and 
graduate school at the University of Bridgeport.

She was a lover of music, dance and theatre.

"I'm used to having people die who are older," 
her mother said, "not the person whose room is up over the kitchen."


When the shots rang out, school psychologist Mary 
Sherlach threw herself into the danger.

Janet Robinson, the superintendent of Newtown 
Public Schools, said Ms Sherlach and the school's 
principal ran toward the shooter. They lost their 
own lives rushing toward him.

Even as Ms Sherlach neared retirement, her job at 
Sandy Hook was one she loved. Those who knew her 
called her a wonderful neighbour, a beautiful person, a dedicated educator.

Her son-in-law, Eric Schwartz, told the South 
Jersey Times that Ms Sherlach supported the Miami 
Dolphins American football team, enjoyed visiting 
the Finger Lakes and relished helping children overcome their problems.

She had planned to leave work early on Friday, he 
said, but never had the chance. In a news 
conference, he told reporters the loss was 
devastating, but that Ms Sherlach was doing what she loved.

"Mary felt like she was doing God's work," he 
said, "working with the children."

SOTO, 27

She beams in snapshots. Her enthusiasm and cheer 
was evident. She was doing what she loved. And 
now, Victoria Soto is being called a hero.

Though details of the 27-year-old teacher's death 
remain vague, her name has been invoked again and 
again as a portrait of selflessness and humanity 
among unfathomable evil. Those who knew her said 
they were not surprised by reports she shielded her first-graders from danger.

"She put those children first. That's all she 
ever talked about," said a friend, Andrea 
Crowell. "She wanted to do her best for them, to 
teach them something new every day."

Photos of Ms Soto show her always with a wide 
smile, at her college graduation and in mundane daily life.

"You have a teacher who cared more about her 
students than herself," said Mayor John Harkins 
of Stratford, the town Ms Soto hailed from and 
where more than 300 people gathered for a 
memorial service on Saturday night. "That speaks 
volumes to her character, and her commitment and dedication."

Victoria Soto and colleagues saved many lives as the killer Adam Lanza struck


Music surrounded Benjamin as he grew up in a 
household where his mother and father were performers.

They left behind stage careers in New York City 
when they moved to Newtown with Benjamin and his older brother Nate.

"We knew we wanted a piece of lawn, somewhere 
quiet, somewhere with good schools," Francine 
Wheeler told the Newtown Bee in a profile.

She is a music educator and singer-songwriter. 
Sometimes the musical mother would try out tunes 
on her own children, with some tunes she made up 
for Ben as a baby eventually finding their way 
onto a CD, she told the newspaper.

In writing songs for children, melodies need not 
be simplified, she said. "I try to make it my 
mission to always present good music to kids."

Benjamin's father David, a former film and 
television actor, writes and performs still, 
according to a profile on the website of the 
Flagpole Radio Cafe theatre, with which he has performed in Newtown.

The family are members of Trinity Episcopal 
Church, whose website noted that Nate, also a 
student at Sandy Hook, was not harmed in Friday's shooting.
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