Before his rampage, the Newtown shooter smashed his home computer’s hard drive, a law-enforcement source tells Christine Pelisek—evidence that the shooting spree was planned in advance.
Before 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother multiple times and then drove to a nearby elementary school, killing 26 more victims, he destroyed his computer hard drive, a law-enforcement sources tells The Daily Beast.
This undated photo shows Adam Lanza posing for a group photo of the technology club which appeared in the Newtown High School yearbook. (AP)
“It was pretty bad,” the source said of the smashed hard drive. “If he destroyed the computer, that means there are things on there that would concern him. It is going to be a while before they can decipher the information.”
The FBI’s computer-analysis response team is still trying to put the pieces of the hard drive back together, said the law-enforcement source, who asked not to be identified because of the ongoing investigation, “The kid knew what he was doing,” the source said. “This was a planned event. There is no question about it.”
According to the Hartford Courant, Lanza had used the computer to play a violent videogame in which life-like characters participate in bloody battle scenes. At this point, there’s no telling what else he did with it.
Eight boys and 12 girls—all between the ages of 6 and 7—and six adult school employees, including the principal, were killed. Most of them were shot multiple times, some of them at close range as they sat in their classrooms. Lanza was found dead of a self-inflicted wound from a gun owned by his 52-year-old mother, Nancy. He had four weapons and “hundreds of bullets.”
Before law-enforcement officers entered the large colonial home Lanza shared with his mother, they used a robot to search for explosive devices. “There was no indication of booby traps,” said the source.
What police did find in the house on Yogananda Street were multiple weapons owned by Nancy Lanza. Those weapons, said Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance, are an important focus of their attention.
From all across the nation.
Sometimes, sadly, it takes a tragedy to unite a nation. In the days following the heart-wrenching Newtown shootings, support has poured into the small Connecticut village from all across the country. One anonymous donor from North Carolina donated 26 Christmas trees—one for each victim—to line the streets around the local firehouse. Shipments of toys and food have been steadily flowing into the town, while donors from away as California and even Pakistan have sent money to the community. One fund has already generated $45,000, while another has grossed $75,000 for the Sandy Hook Elementary PTA. Meanwhile, a local church has been hosting 10 golden retrievers to comfort the community’s grieving children.
Citing emotional distress from Newtown shooting.
Even Hollywood is putting its usual glitz and glamour on hold out of respect for the victims of the Newtown school shooting. Tuesday’s Los Angeles premiere of Quentino Tarantino’s heavily violent new Western, Django Unchained, was canceled by the Weinstein Company Monday night, citing the pervasive emotional distress in America following the Newtown massacre. Foregoing a splashy red-carpet premiere, Tuesday’s event will be a private screening for industry bigwigs and the cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx. The premieres of Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher and the comedy Parental Guidance were also scrapped in the wake of the shootings.
Immediately after the shooting.
Numerous stories of courageous heroes rising to the occasion during Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary have emerged, and Gene Rosen now joins their ranks. The 69-year-old Newtown man lived near the school, and was driving away when he noticed six small children sitting in a semicircle at the end of his driveway, supervised by a bus driver. The six students had just escaped the classroom where their teacher, Victoria Soto, had been shot and killed. Rosen took them into his home, fed them juice, and gave them stuffed animals to play with while he frantically tried to contact their parents to let them know their children were safe.
Depite Murdoch’s call to action.
In the days following the Newtown school shooting, two Fox News higher-ups were on very different pages. Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., which owns Fox News, quickly took to Twitter to call for stricter gun control, imploring for “some bold leadership action” from the president. At the same time, David Clark, the executive producer in charge of Fox’s weekend coverage, instructed his producers not to allow and gun-control talk on air, even as the national conversation turned to gun control and producers begged for exemptions. The decision spotlights the “growing chasm between Rupert Murdoch and [Fox News president] Roger Ailes,” who is reportedly a gun enthusiast, says New York magazine.
Adam Lanza killed up to 27 people with the Bushmaster .223. The gun’s manufacturer—and its private-equity honchos—have said nothing, while reaping huge profits, reports Daniel Gross.
Freedom Group is having a pretty good year. The economy may be stuck in a low gear, but the company's sales are growing rapidly—up 20%, to $237.9 million, in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year. Thanks to a “considerable increase” in demand for Freedom Group’s core products, the company told investors, “the market is expanding quicker than the industry can increase production.”
Those core products? Guns and ammo.
Several .223 caliber rounds are shown near a Bushmaster XM-15. (Joe Raedle/Getty)
Freedom’s “family” includes Remington, maker of sniper rifles and shotguns; Advanced Armament, maker of silencers; Para USA, maker of 9mm pistols; and Bushmaster, the company behind the Bushmaster .223 semi-automatic rifle that authorities say Adam Lanza used to kill up to 27 people at close range at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week. “With a Bushmaster for security and home defense, you can sleep tight knowing that your loved ones are protected,” reads its website. “Bushmaster offers everything you need to ensure the safety of you and your family.”
Freedom Group, based in Madison, N.C., might have been just another American success story, quietly introducing new products, innovating, and seeking new customers, largely out of public view. But that might change in the wake of the Newtown shooting and ongoing debate about the future of guns in this country.
Same goes for a private-equity firm called Cerberus Capital. Based thousands of miles away in New York City, Cerberus owns Freedom Group. It has about $20 billion in assets, and a leadership team that includes former vice president Dan Quayle and former treasury secretary John Snow. Its billionaire founder, Stephen Feinberg, is a major Republican donor, giving $217,000 in campaign donations in the past three cycles, according to Opensecrets.org. That included $100,000 in August to Friends of the Majority, a Republican super PAC; $9,800 to Rep. Ben Quayle (son of Dan); $30,800 to the Republican National Committee in October; $58,500 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and $7,500 to Mitt Romney.
Cerberus itself is much like any other private-equity firm. It is agnostic about the type of business it invests in. Cerberus’s portfolio includes manufacturers, airlines, time-share companies, banks, and health-care firms. The company’s modus operandi is “centered on integrity, patience, and a unique business model that applies significant financial and operational resources across the firm’s investment strategies.” Of course, some important details are missing from the Cerberus website. It doesn’t note that two of its largest and most high-profile acquisitions—GMAC in 2006 and Chrysler in 2007—ended in disaster. (You won’t find Chrysler or GMAC, which the firm allowed to go bankrupt and left taxpayers on the hook for $1 billion and counting, in its list of case studies) And you won’t learn that one of its investment strategies has involved building a company that makes weapons—the type used by military organizations, hunters, recreational shooters, and occasionally murderers.
In this New York Times piece, Natasha Singer described how Cerberus, starting with Bushmaster, acquired several gun and ammunition brands, including Remington, Marlin Firearms, and Dakota Arms. Together, they have made Freedom Group “the most powerful and mysterious force in the American commercial gun industry today.” Typically, private-equity firms seek to cash out of their investments through initial public offerings or sales to other companies. Neither has happened with Freedom. But Cerberus, the Times noted, did receive a return on investment in 2010, when Freedom sold about $225 million in debt “to pay itself a special dividend used to buy back preferred stock from Cerberus.”
Says Wash. ‘needs to get its act together.’
Three days after a shooting rampage at an elementary school left 26 dead, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy called for stricter gun control laws at a federal level. “Is there a law, policy, or procedure we could have had on the books that could have prevented this tragedy?” he asked. “I do.” He continued, “Do I think that Washington, D.C. needs to get its act together and enact stricter gun control laws at the federal level? You bet I do.” Molloy also announced that on Friday, Dec. 21 at 9:30 a.m. he will enact a moment of silence across the state, asking that places of worship ring 26 bells at that time, one for each victim. He asked other governors to join in the observance.
Legislative change starts with you. Tell us why you own a gun, or why you don't. And see what everyone else thinks.
Connecticut State police spokesman says.
A Connecticut State police spokesman said Monday that Adam Lanza had “no connection” to the school where 26 people died on Friday. It was not immediately clear whether that statement contradicted earlier reports that Lanza had attended the school as a child. Spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said that officers “did seize significant evidence” at the home where Adam Lanza lived with his mother. Vance also confirmed reports that two people wounded in the shooting had survived. “We have to do everything it takes to uncover every bit of evidence,” Vance said.
Senator, Scarborough say Newtown school massacre changed everything
There are tentative signs that the heart-rending tragedy in Connecticut is starting to change America’s conversation about guns.
These are early glimmers, and it may or may not lead to legislation in a Congress that has been staunchly opposed to gun control for nearly two decades. But some in that camp are rethinking their positions.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo
Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat endorsed by the NRA, said on Morning Joe on Monday that “everything should be on the table.”
Manchin said that NRA officials should be part of the conversation and “it’s time to move beyond rhetoric. We need to sit down and have a common sense discussion and move in a reasonable way.”
Noting that he had just returned with his family from a deer hunting trip, the senator said: “I don’t know anyone in the hunting or sporting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. I don’t know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting. I mean, these are things that need to be talked about.”
Host Joe Scarborough, a former Florida congressman, also announced on the MSNBC show that he is reexamining his position in light of the Newtown school massacre.
“I am a conservative Republican who received the NRA’s highest ratings over four terms in Congress,” Scarborough said. “I come to you this morning with a heavy heart and no easy answers. Still, I’ve spent the past few days grasping for solutions and struggling for answers — while daring to question my own long-held belief on these subjects.”
America is just too steeped in violence to save itself from guns. Buzz Bissinger on our bloody history—and despite the tragedy in Newtown, our bloody future.
In 1969, an 822-page book was published with the dry title of The History of Violence in America. It was a reprint of the report that had been made to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence in the aftermath of the urban riots and political assassinations of the 1960s. But The History of Violence was everything but dry. It was harrowing, hailed as the most comprehensive and authoritative study of violence in America ever published up until that time. The conclusions reached then still so horribly resonate in the aftermath of the shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., Friday that left 26 dead.
In our country, from its founding to the present, where in the past five months there have been three mass shootings, leaving a total of 40 dead, we are a culture historically awash in violence. But despite the copious evidence, we still refuse to believe it, with morally corrupt historians covering up our bloodlust with what the editors of The History of Violence described as “our vision of ourselves as a latter-day chosen people, a New Jerusalem.”
The belief in our perfection is at the heart of American exceptionalism—a belief we hold desperately and always will. But the belief only deprives us from ever thinking there is anything we could possibly learn from another country or culture, such as true gun control and not half-assed measures promoted by a president and put through by a congress scared to death of the National Rifle Association. The National Football League is doing far more to protect its players than our leaders are doing to protect innocent children. But America, or at least a sizable segment of it, thinks that the loss of our violent legacy will somehow strip us of our American freedom. We talk about the need for guns for hunting, or to ward off intruders, but the truth is there are too many out there who like to shoot and shoot to kill. “The right of the people to take care of themselves, if the law does not, is an indisputable right,” said a professor from Missouri named Bigger in 1867.
It is still our credo. The History of Violence report was a response to riots that had erupted in dozens of cities in the 1960s, and to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. But as the report pointed out time and time again, that dark era of violence in America was not some aberration.
The nature of the violence has changed since then, but not the violence itself, which once again has a country desperately searching for answers. We look everywhere, except in the one place where many of the answers lie:
Our own blood-drenched past.
As then–New York Times reporter John Herbers wrote in a preface to The History of Violence, the book showed “how deeply engrained in American life is the tradition, even the love, of violence.”
Wrote the editors of the report, Hugh Davis Graham and Ted Robert Gurr:
First two children to be buried Monday.
The first two child victims of one of the worst shootings in American history will be buried Monday. The people of Newtown, Conn., remain in the first throes of grief after President Obama visited with victims’ families Sunday. “We’re just now getting ready to talk to our son about who was killed,” said Robert Licata, a father whose son escaped. Officials in the town remained undecided about when school would resume and whether students would return to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where Friday's tragic shooting took place.
Shooter was assigned high-school psychologist.
Keep your eye on him. That’s what Adam Lanza’s mother told a former babysitter, according to a report from CBS News. The man, who now lives in California, said the disturbed child’s mother told him to “never turn my back” on the then 9- or 10-year-old Lanza. Police say that Lanza, 20, killed 26 people at a Connecticut elementary school and his mother before shooting himself Friday. A former director of security at Newtown High School, which Lanza attended, also revealed that officials feared that he “could hurt himself” and assigned him a school psychologist as a freshman.
Police say those pretending to be the Newtown school shooter could be prosecuted. Lauren Ashburn on the dark side of social media.
Some creeps, it turns out, are impersonating a mass murderer online.
Getty Images; AP Photo
How exactly one pretends to be someone who just killed himself is beyond me. That it is being done at all is sickening and unspeakably cruel.
At a Sunday news conference, Connecticut police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said some people on social media were pretending to be the shooter in the Newtown school massacre, Adam Lanza, and others—and that they could be prosecuted. “There has been misinformation coming from people posing as the shooter in this case, posing using other identities, mimicking this crime scene …There’s been some things in somewhat of a threatening manner,” Vance said.
And threatening language is not just being spewed by those impersonating Lanza. Consider
@sammyswordfish All NRA members should be shot!!!!
@90sRememberer Murder every NRA member
@prisonforbush Someone should shoot this motherfucker NRA President David Keene weighs in on 2012 election - Glenn Beck glennbeck.com/2012/10/31/nra. via @glennbeck
A mother of a 10-year-old boy at Sandy Hook Elementary School broke down while talking to CBS News on Friday. 'I get to put my kids to bed at night, and I’m very lucky,' she said, while tearfully acknowledging that 'there’s a lot of parents tonight that have not gotten that miracle.'
Friday’s horrific Colorado shooting has reignited the debate on gun control. Just how bad is the problem?
We as a society are held hostage by the NRA’s thugs. This must be the time for change. By Robert Shrum.
Gov. Dan Malloy mourned the loss of 'beautiful beautiful children' in a poignant speech on Friday evening. To those who want to help, Malloy said the best way is to “say a prayer or send a best wish or to be thinking of these individuals who have suffered so mightily today.”
The president got emotional discussing today’s school shooting in Connecticut. Read his words.
Kevin Fallon pieces together details about the Connecticut shooter.