Nancy Lanza, the 52-year old mother of the gunman who took 26 lives in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, is being portrayed as a potential source of the issues plaguing her son.
Lanza was an avid gun collector and was described by those who knew her as a "survivalist" who stockpiled water and food for an oncoming economic crisis. She was also loathe to let anyone into her home and friends and family say they rarely saw Adam Lanza; it's been reported that he suffered from Asperger's Syndrome, and some say the combination of the disorder and a lack of social interaction could be huge factors in what set him off last week.
Described by those close to him at school as a "genius", Adam struggled with a learning disorder and spent much of his time at home on the computer, absorbed in his own world. Rumors that Nancy Lanza was so protective of her youngest son that she wouldn't let him out of her sight--even to use the restroom--are being circulated after it was reported that she stopped working in order to spend more time taking care of him. Still, the anti-social behavior continued right up until the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"You would say ‘‘hi’’ and he would say ‘‘hi’’ back but he didn’t give you a lot to work with. He wasn’t exactly welcoming," said Kate Leen, who attended school with Adam.
An acquaintance of Nancy's who spoke to her in a pub about a week before the shootings says she knew something was going on with her son but felt she couldn't help him.
“Nancy told me he was burning himself with a lighter. In the ankles or arms or something,” he said. “It was like he was trying to feel something.”
Nancy Lanza was found shot to death in her bed after police raided the home, and a computer in Adam's room was smashed to bits on the floor; investigators are currently trying to repair the hard drive in an effort to look for any small clue as to why Adam took off with his mother's guns on Friday and ended so many lives.