TODAY   |  February 19, 2013

Reporter: Adam Lanza tried to emulate other mass murders

Alaine Griffin and Josh Kovner from the Hartford Courant teamed up with PBS’s “Frontline” for a special report on Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter. After finding news articles in his bedroom, they believe Lanza could have been inspired by the deadly Norway attacks, and they also note that his mom Nancy wanted him to be more independent.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now at 7:40 with new details connected to the tragic shooting in newtown. hartford courant article called "raising adam lanza ." we see him as a young boy and hear his mother's voice for the first time.

>> friends through the cub scouts . in this exclusive home video filmed by marvin, nancy helps her brother, james, a police officer , set up a demonstration for the scouts.

>> how does he do with the kids around?

>> that's adam , age 4 1/2, walking toward the camera.

>> with the hartford courant , they're with us now. there's actually been reporting since then by a couple of colleagues at the courant that have to do with the norwegian mass murder , anders brevik. he may have been collecting articles about this mass murderer ? can you tell us what you found?

>> hartford courant is investigating that articles were found in the lanza home details that massacre in norway.

>> they are a long way from determining a motive, that this may have motivated him and any talk of this is pure speculation, but could he possibly have been trying to emulate this mass murderer or other murderers?

>> yes. he destroyed his hard drive. they're trying to put it back together and they're trying to get information, did he have a secret life , secret identity ? what was he angling toward? and then if you find articles about the worst mass murder in history in the guy's game room you're going to start to wonder.

>> another piece of this has to do with adam lanza and video games . investigators are looking into the time he spent playing, presumably, violent video games . what did you find?

>> we learned that there were thousands of dollars worth of video games that they discovered in the home. we learned that he had been playing video games for a while. and josh actually talked to a tech adviser who discussed some of the games that he had played earlier on.

>> and is the notion that perhaps he was trying to re-enact some of these scenes or that he had become desensitized to them?

>> well, i think he did what he knew how to do. violent video games , graphically violent video games don't make you turn into violence if that's not your predisposition. but this kid had a lot going on. and when it came time for him to carry out this terrible rampage, he did it in a way he was accustomed to.

>> let's talk about one of the most perplexing figures in this case, aside from adam lanza himself, which is nancy lanza . she's a polarizing figure. on one hand she's the 27th victim. some of your reporting suggests this was a woman, single mom , overwhelmed trying to do the best by her son. others view her as a villain, gun-obsessed mother who allowed her son access to guns and fester in the basement playing video games while she traveled and enjoyed a night life . what did you make of nancy lanza ?

>> we wanted to learn more about nancy lanza . that's one of the objectives about this story. we heard so much about her being this pair annoyed doomsday prepper, stockpiling food, waiting for this economic collapse and we learned through our reporting that she had done a number of things to get adam in the right place. there were all these different educational shifts in and out of school. so we learn that she actually was trying to do the right thing by adam , whether or not it was that remains to be seen.

>> josh, there has been a lot of talk that he may have had asperg aspergers. you also write about another condition, sensory disorder. is it widely accepted in the medical community?

>> not widely embraced in terms of a diagnosis, but it manifests itself in difficulty managing sight, sound, smells, noise, pain.

>> you write that he did not like to be touched.

>> right. that was a theme all through his life, as early as when he used to tag along at his brother's cub scout meetings. nancy lanza told the cub scout master, don't touch him. don't casually touch him. he doesn't like it. he recoils.

>> in just a few seconds left, it's obvious how much reporting went into this and how ridiculously you looked into this situation. do you come away ultimately unsatisfied? i don't know that we get the answer why.

>> you know, that's just it. are we ever really going to know the why? there may be two people that know that answer, nanci and adam , and they're not here to tell us.

>> it's an excellent piece of reporting. i know front line also has the documentary. thank you both for being here. frontline "raising adam lanza " premieres tonight.