Notes & Sources

On Official and Primary Sources

There were several official investigations into the Sandy Hook shooting, the records from which constitute most of the evidence this narrative relies upon: first is Connecticut’s Report of the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury on the shooting, which was based on the Connecticut State Police’s investigative files, and released in November 2013. This is generally cited below as “The CSP Official Report,” or similar.

Next is the “Child Advocate Report,” released by Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate in November of 2014, under the title “SHOOTING AT SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.” This report focuses on the childhood development of the Sandy Hook shooter, whereas the CSP report consists more of witness interviews and physical and digital evidence collection, and thus portrays the latter portion of the shooter’s life.

Meanwhile, there were also a handful of journalism pieces published in the years immediately after attack that reported a great many of the events portrayed in this story: “Raising Adam Lanza” by PBS Frontline and the Hartford Courant (including the unedited supplemental interviews and the e-mails Nancy wrote to Marvin LaFontaine) and Andrew Solomon’s interview with Peter Lanza, “The Reckoning,” published in The New Yorker in March 2014.

More recently, there was the FBI’s investigative files, from the support bureau lent to Connecticut for their 2013 report, and which were finally released more fully in October of 2017. In addition to several entirely new revelations, these pages also served to confirm the accuracy of much of the shooter’s online footprint that had been circulating on the internet for years by that point.

Finally, there are the files released by Connecticut as a result of The Hartford Courant’s legal fight to obtain them through FOIA requests. These are mostly school assignments and digital files from the Sandy Hook shooter, which were redacted from the official CSP report. These are generally noted in-text as being part of that release, and cite the Connecticut court decision requiring their release.

(This section is a work-in-progress, and will soon expand to convey more of how The Sheltered Storm was written, as more sources are added below.)


Prologue: Friday

This scene portrays what happened at 36 Yogananda on 12/14 based on just the physical evidence. The exact events and their order cannot be precisely known, as neither party survived. [A later chapter] depicts the collection of the physical evidence. As noted by a first responder, in the CSP supplemental report, “It appeared that the female had been ambushed and killed while sleeping in bed.”

He had taken the hard drive out…: CSP photo set “Sec 5 – Back-up Scene 1” 23-39

…impossible to recover, even for the FBI: CSP summary, footnote 2 reads “potentially important evidence, i.e., a computer hard drive recovered from the shooter’s home, as of this date remains unreadable. Additional insight could be gained should efforts to recover data from the hard drive ever prove successful, which at this time appears highly improbable.” Records note the hard drive was turned over to an FBI agent Warwick on 12/15/12.

A single bullet arced through he air…: CSP photo set “Sec 5 – Back-up Scene 1” 35

…she felt no pain: Nancy’s wounds are described in CSP Report supplements titled “Autopsy Observation Report” and “Body Survey”

Later that day, Nancy’s DNA…: CSP Initial Narrative Report filed 07-11-2013

Nancy kept childhood photos….: CSP photo set “Sec 5 – Back-up Scene 1″ 489-491

He left the rifle on the floor…:CSP Summary Report notes “in the chamber of the rifle was a spent .22 cal. shell casing and three live rounds were in the magazine.”

He turned left out of the driveway…: The driving route is assumed because it is the route he rehearsed twice, as depicted in [later chapters].

The delivery driver…:CSP Supplemental Report, interview with witness Brian Karr dated 01-10-2013. Invoice is in photo set “Sec 5 – Back-up Scene 1″ 235-238

The machine picked up…: CSP Official Report Supplement “Answering Machine Audio Recording Home Phone of 36 Yogananda St. Sandy Hook, CT” lists the messages recorded. (Audio of Nancy’s greeting circulated online after the shooting.)

Then the SWAT team broke through…: CSP Official Report Supplement file 00168314, and photo set “Sec 5 – Back-up Scene 1″ 645. (The “pause” between the answering machine message and the battering ram was actually about an hour, during which time a bomb-squad robot searched the home, as depicted in [a later Chapter]

1. The Shooter

Main source: A Report to Attorney General John K. Van de Kamp on Patrick Purdy and the Cleveland School Killings; October 1989, State of California (Nelson Jempsky, Chief Deputy Attorney General, et al)

…when the Trading Post Store in Sandy, Oregon put it on display: “After Shooting, Horror But Few Answers” — The New York Times; Reinhold, Robert 01/19/1989

“Obviously, he had a….”: “A Military Hang-up” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Jan 19, 1989

“We’ll never know why”: quoted in “Escalating Hate Reportedly Consumed Gunman” — Los Angeles Times; Dan Morain and Louis Sahagun 01/19/1989

Then, they noticed the army men…: The press conference scene and evidence is shown in TV documentary series “The 20th Century with Mike Wallace” episode “Mass Murderers” (also depicted in [a later chapter])

2. Nancy

When the yearbooks came out…: Pages from the 1978 yearbook were published by PBS: Frontline as part of the program “Raising Adam Lanza” – (Koughan, Frank, Joe Beshenkovsky, John Marks, Mary Robertson, Alaine Griffin, Josh Kovner, and Matthew Kauffman. 2013.)

The homestead had been in the family for decades…: property records, Town of Kingston Assessing Office

…recognized as a historical site by the town: “Historic Preservation Assistance Project” Survey #105 (Champion House) — Rockingham Regional Council 03/19/1980

Various details about Nancy Lanza’s early life: “Connecticut gunman had New Hampshire ties” New Hampshire Union Leader (; “For Lanza family, son Adam’s difficulties dominated” The Washington Post (; “Solid Upbringings for Lanza Parents” Wall Street Journal ( “Nancy Lanza Remembered as Bubbly Caring Person” Moser, Douglas New Hampshire/Mass Eagle Tribune 12/15/12 (; “Nancy Lanza Recalled with Kind Words” The Connecticut Post (

“That was their food…”:“Raising Adam Lanza” Hartford Courant/PBS Frontline, transcript of interview with Marvin LaFontaine

Nancy started her own business…: Rockingham County, NH Business records (revealed in interview with unknown family member or friend, from FBI files released October 2017)

…her father-in-law, Peter S Lanza…: “Peter’s Story” Eagle-Tribune 12/7/2010 (

She dropped out of college…: Nancy expresses her regret in an email exchange between her and the shooter (from the Child Advocate report) as depicted in [a later chapter]. The university is noted in FBI interviews with family members (dated 12/28/2012).

3. Assault Rifle

The Los Angeles Times archives were the main source for coverage of the California assault weapons ban. The law was generally referred to as the Roberti-Roos act in California at the time.

More than 700 Californians were gathered…: This welcome-home rally is described in President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime by Lou Cannon. Various details also from Los Angeles Times stories 01/21/1989 and 01/22/1989

it was at this black-tie affair where he gave his first public comments…: Los Angeles Times 02/12/1989 (

President Bush was wrapping up…: “The Public Papers of the President” US GPO, 1989 (The “PPP” records are used throughout this book, and are almost always the source whenever a president is speaking.)

“People are buying anything that’s ugly…“: The Los Angeles Times 5/20/1989 (

“Traders” history: TRADING IN DEATH – PROFILE OF A ROGUE GUN DEALER 2006. Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence; (This source obviously has a political objective, but I found the publication to be reliable as to the relevant facts and events. The same is true of pro-gun partisan sources cited elsewhere.) Other notes from PBS Frontline story “Hot Guns”:

…black residents in Oakland formed the Black Panther Party in 1966…: “ARMED NEGROES PROTEST GUN BILL” The New York Times 05/03/1967; (For an overview of the Panthers and their role in American history, Joshua Bloom’s Black Against Empire is recommended.)

Task Force on Assault Weapons: coverage from Los Angeles Times: and and

The Attorney General entered the assembly chamber carrying an AK-47…:

The senate announced a series of public hearings…: The Los Angeles Times (

trying to tailor state law to specifically target Traders Sporting Goods… “BANNING THE IMPORTATION OF ASSAULT WEAPONS AND CERTAIN ACCESSORIES INTO THE UNITED STATES – Hearing before the Subcommittee on Trade of the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives – HR 1154 – April 10,1989” (Page 18) This document is a source of many quotes in this chapter. Traders as a basis for the ban was also cited by the LA Times ( and the 1989 ATF report on the Import Ban.

…assigned the Secretary of the Treasury with the task…: The ATF outlined their authority and the process behind the import ban in their official “REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE ATF WORKING GROUP ON THE IMPORTABILITY OF CERTAIN SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLES” 07/06/1989

“As it became clear that the NRA was in retreat…”: Knox, Neal The Gun Rights War (full text of the ATF letter has circulated online)

passed with a single vote to spare…: Los Angeles Times

“…a solution to the Stockton tragedy”: “Efforts to ban rifles wound lobbyists” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 02/20/1989

These violent times…”: Los Angeles Times 3/12/1989 (

The “import ban,” as it came to be known… “Assault-rifle Imports Temporarily Stopped” (

a barrel shroud…: The ATF’s particular list actually did not include this feature, but it was on many later features lists that descended from the ATF’s, including the 1993 federal assault weapons ban.

…because of the dramatic increase in the number of these weapons…: “Permanent Import Ban on Assault Rifles” The Washington Post 7/8/1989

As far back as 1982, advertisers…: Ads collected by Violence Policy Center (“That Was Then, This is Now” 1998 and “Bullet Hoses” 2003)

“To do anything about domestically manufactured weapons…”: “Weapon import ban expanded” The Day 04/06/1989

Colt Industries announced…: Los Angeles Times

Bill decided to send his response to each member…: HR 1154 report (above)

The limitations of California’s name-ban approach: “Republicans call gun ban ineffective” Lodi News-Sentinel 06/02/1989

“The notorious AK-47, for example”: Bush actually named the AKS-47, a common variant.

The gun-related provisions of the 1990 crime bill…: H.R.2709 – Comprehensive Violent Crime Control Act of 1989

Several states…quietly dropped the issue…: “Wave of gun legislation begun But slowed to a ripple” Ellensburg Daily Record 01/02/1990 and “Clash of Arms – The Great American Gun Debate” State of Hawaii Office of Legislative Reference, 1991

…gun provisions were stripped: House daily record, Oct 4 1990 page H8865

4. Human Animal

Main source: Anatomy of a Massacre — Karpf, Jason & Elinor (a detailed account of every aspect of the Luby’s shooting.)

….any ammunition magazine that holds more than 15 rounds…: technically, the bill made an exception for tubular magazines of .22 ammo. (S.1241 – Biden-Thurmond Violent Crime Control Act of 1991)

…Congress was debating another crime bill in Washington….: “ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAGEDY IN KILLEEN, TX (House of Representatives – October 16, 1991) [Page: H7970]”

…during the next day’s sessions…: House Daily Record, October 17 1991 [Page H8023] OMNIBUS CRIME CONTROL ACT OF 1991

President Bush granted a radio interview…: “Post-mortem on Killeen killings” Art Buchwald, Bangor Daily News 10/25/91

5. Earth Day

Something was definitely wrong…: Nancy’s difficult pregnancy, and the shooter’s early childhood, is documented in the Child Advocate Report, pgs 15-21 as well as Raising Adam Lanza.

…a photo of the newborn…: Cresta, Joey “Seacoast historian: Connecticut shooter born in Exeter” Seacoast Online 12/16/2012 (

…when a child is between 27 and 32 months…: New Hampshire state rules, Section He-M 500

…switched from “Family Centered Early Intervention”….pdf document “Part H of the IDEA Comes to NH” from

…One document from the time… Kovner, Josh & Altimari, Dave “Courant exclusive: More than 1,000 pages of documents reveal Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza’s dark descent into depravity” Hartford Courant 12/9/2018

…a woman named Suzanna entered…: this and later scenes featuring Suzanna are documented in her memoir, From Luby’s to the Legislature (Scene actually occurred in March 1995)

…signed into law by Governor George W. Bush: “Why Not Unconcealed Guns” The New York Times 09/03/1995

6. Frontier

Main source: Marvin LaFontaine granted an interview to PBS Frontline for “Raising Adam Lanza“. A full transcript of the interview was published, as a supplement to the episode, under the title “Marvin LaFontaine: ‘Those Kids Were Everything’ to Nancy Lanza.” His home movie footage, showing Officer Champion interacting with the scouts and the Lanzas, was also part of the episode. Many more details come from his interview with the Connecticut State Police (Book 7 of the official report, file 00196017)

…she was filing a lawsuit…: Suffolk County court records, cases 9584CV02884 Lanza et al v John Hancock Distributors Inc and 9601CV044533 Lanza, Peter vs. John Hancock Distributors Inc.

…after returning from the Green Berets in 1993, Nancy’s kid brother…“Conn. killer’s NH kin express sorrow” New Hampshire Union Leader Cousineau, Michael & Schreiber, Jason 12/15/2012 (also see Town of Kingston, NH Annual report years 1983 and 1995)

Nancy sent a letter to the school district, beginning…: Glorioso, Chris & Jorgensen, Erica & Stulberger, Evan “I-Team: Childhood Documents Reveal Sandy Hook Shooter’s Descent Into Depravity” NBC4 New York 1/22/2019

…masked the fact that expressive language…: Child Advocate Report, pg 20

7. Dawn

Connecticut was betting on Colt…: “Colt Unit Sold; Connecticut Among Buyers” The New York Times McQuiston, John; 03/23/1990

…a Belgian company, Fabrique Nationale…:

“The state treasurer has made this very clear…”: “Critics say new Colt gun is an assault weapon” The Milwaukee Journal 04/25/1990

In California, it had been enough…: “Roberti Seeks State Ban on ‘Copy Cat’ Assault Rifles” Los Angeles Times; Moran, Julio 02/24/1994 and “Debut of Colt’s ‘Sporter’ Revives Assault-Rifle Debate” Jehl, Douglas 04/19/1990

“…a redesigned, renamed and renumbered version…”: “Lungren Files Suit to Add Semiautomatic Rifle to Banned List” Los Angeles Times 03/28/1991

…called attention to the gallery…: “Weicker Signs Bill to Forbid Assault Rifles” New York Times; Johnson, Kirk 06/09/1993

His vote put it over the top…: “Weapons Ban Is Approved by Connecticut Senate” New York Times; Johnson, Kirk 05/28/1993 and “Gun Ban Squeaks Throught” Hartford Courant Pazniokas, Mark 06/09/1993

It turned out the shooter had purchased…: “NRA loses shootout in Congress” The Times-News Dvorchack, Robert 07/08/91

…“the final war has begun”: “Terror in Oklahoma: Echoes of NRA” New York Times Butterfield, Fox 05/08/1995

“…his predecessors from the Oval Office…”: “Ford, Carter, Reagan Push for Gun Ban” Los Angeles Times; Eaton, William J. 05/05/94

“Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge…“: Ruby Ridge happened under Bush, not Clinton. The error is LaPierre’s.

…Suzanna Gratia spoke…: “Subcommittee on the […] Judiciary, 103rd Congress, 2nd Session on S.1882” (US Congress)

“I was amazed to see the degree…”: “Feinstein Faces Fight for Diluted Gun Bill” Los Angeles Times; Bunting, Glenn F. 11/09/93

NRA history: “The Secret History of Guns” The Atlantic; Winkler, Adam; September 2011

NRA 1977 Cincinnati coup: “Rifle Group ousts Most Leaders in Move to Bolster Stand on Guns.” New York Times 05/23/77

“…He worried that if he didn’t fight back now, the NRA might even die“:Birnbaum, Jeffrey H. “Under the Gun” Fortune; Dec 1999

“…jack-booted thugs…“: (

“Your broadside against federal agents…”: “Letter of Resignation Sent By Bush to Rifle Association” New York Times; 05/11/95

8. Shangri-La

Moses Lake main source: “Scarred By Killings, Moses Lake Asks: ‘What Has This Town Become?'” Seattle Times 02/23/96 (Other details from coverage by The Spokesman: “How Many Were Shot?’ Boy’s Murder Confession Played At Emotional Evidence Hearing” 04/18/96; “Bloody movie, random violence thrilled Loukaitis, classmates say” 08/28/97; “Witnesses Say Loukaitis Vowed To Kill Prosecution Tries To Show Premeditation In Rampage” 04/17/96)

Bethel High: “WHERE RAMPAGES BEGIN: A special report.; From Adolescent Angst To Shooting Up Schools” The New York Times 06/14/98

Pearl High School main source: United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Jackson Division. Luke WOODHAM, Petitioner v. Michael WILSON and Jim Hood, Respondents. Civil Action No. 3:04cv48-HTW-JCS. Nov. 3, 2006. (Other details: “Mississippi Gothic” Time 10/20/1997)

Heath High School and Westside Middle School main source: Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings; Newman, Katherine

“Saint Paul reminds us…”: Clinton referred to this bible passage more famously after Columbine, but this was the first time.

Thurston High main source: “Of Arms And The Boy” Time 07/06/1998 and “The Killer at Thurston High” PBS: Frontline 6/18/2000

“WE HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG…”: “Where Rampages Begin” New York Times (see above)

Chapter 9: Grand Adventure

Main source: Child Advocate Report, pg 16-20

Nancy brought Adam to a pediatric neurologist…: CSP Official Report, Book 7, file 00003128

…a fact which likely indicates that none were available…: The scarcity of support options available is noted throughout the Child Advocate Report, ex: pg 89

…there was never any comprehensive clinical evaluation performed…: Child Advocate Report, pg 20

…Titanic, …Casablanca: “Nancy Lanza In Her Own Words” and interview with Marvin LaFontaine, PBS/Courant “Raising Adam Lanza”

Adam dressed up for Halloween in 1997…: “EXCLUSIVE: Adam Lanza’s murder spree at Sandy Hook may have been ‘act of revenge'” New York Daily News Schapiro, Rich & Lysiak, Matthew 04/07/2013 (

…fired a gun, likely for the first time…: CSP Official Report, Book 7, file 00196017

…what Nancy called their ‘grand adventure.’: “School Gunman’s Downward Spiral” The Wall Street Journal 12/22/2012 (

10. Snowdrop

The primary basis for this chapter are the facts documented by the Cullen Inquiry, released in two documents: “Transcript of Proceedings at the Public Inquiry into Incident at Dunblane Primary School on 13th Match, 1996 within The Albert Halls, Dumbarton Road, Stirling” – a 3,376 page transcript of the inquiry (and also a 193 page summary with the same title, ISBN 0101338627.)

The latter portion of this chapter, dealing with the aftermath of the Dunblane shooting and a grieving father’s efforts with the Snowdrop Appeal, are from Mick North’s book Dunblane: Never Forget unless otherwise noted. (A great deal of Mr. North’s story deals with the shortcomings, if not corruption, of the Scottish Police. This was not included, in the interest of pacing. I highly recommend reading his book; similarly, there are facets to the “Scoutmaster” that were not mentioned or explored here: key among them, that the shooter had a history of financial insolvency that was catching up with him around the time of his attack.)

Sources from the Cullen Inquiry files are listed by name of witness giving testimony.

The surgeon: Brian David Fairgrieve; van incident: Robert Comrie Deuchars; (Note: the “leadership badge” in real life was something called a ‘warrant book,’ but functioned as depicted. Name changed for clarity.) firearms license renewals: Douglas McMurdo; Ombudsman’s Investigation: David Shelmerdine; Scoutmaster on family’s doorstep: George Robertson.

Hungerford details: “Arms dealer who sold rifle used in Hungerford massacre jailed for trafficking deadly missiles” Evening Standard Cheston, Paul 7/20/2012

…British Shooting Sports Council announcing a $160,000 publicity campaign…: “A Second Mass Killing in Britain Raises Call for Tighter Gun Laws” New York Times 10/16/87

Island camp, letter from concerned officer: George Gunn; Video from the camp: Joseph Holden; Bucket of “rubbish”: Janet Reilly (Note: Lord Cullen expressed doubt over several aspects of this witness’s testimony, but noted that the portions shown here had multiple corroborating witnesses); CPS letter: William Gallagher; Constable visiting flat: Anne Anderson; Purchase of handgun: Gary Hyde (Note: The transaction for the murder weapon was actually more involved, with the shooter trying to return it, and the gunsmith tricking out the gun significantly to get him to accept it); Letter to Dunblane Primary School: Ronald Taylor; Gunman pointed pistol: James O’Hanlon Gillespie; Letter to Buckingham Palace: John Ogg; Van rental: Karen Gillies; friend on phone: Danny McDonald; Dunblane shooting series of events: Malcolm Rodger Chisholm & Dunblane Report summary, statement of David Duke Scott

“…Murder and mayhem are ineradicably part of what…”: “Claiming a Right to Murder” – Theodore Dalrymple, The Spectator 30 March 1996

Naming of “Snowdrop Appeal”: “The Parents, the Government and the Gun” The Independent Castle, Stephen 10/20/1996 (Note: The launch of the “Snowdrop Appeal” occurred before the Cullen Inquiry convened, as did Mick North’s editorial.)

Dunblane Inquiry outcome: House of Commons transcript, HC Deb 16 October 1996 vol 282 cc823-32

…the father from Dunblane found that he agreed more with what an editorial…: Dunblane: Never Forget North, Mick pg 205; “Given the incidence of mental illness…”: pg 170; “…No more worship of guns”: pg 111; A month later, the gym was torn down entirely…”; pg 267; “…classes were back in session…”: “School takes small step on road back to normality” The Irish Times 03/23/96; “To be objective and detached is to deny the reality…”: North, pg 146; “…The spectre of the most pernicious and evil legislation…”: pg 183; “In the absence of guns he will use arson, or a stolen lorry…”: House of Commons transcript, HL Deb 24 October 1996 vol 575 cc23-102; …voice of actor Sean Connery…: North, pg 189; Home Secretary statement on passage of SA: “Daily Hansard” UK Parliament 10/16/1996; 1 year anniversary statement: North, pg 263

Finally, the Bressons sold…: “Photos And Artifacts Unlock Memories Of Newtown’s Past The Newtown Bee Bobowick, Kendra 08/13/2016

11. The Village

Newtown geology/geography: “Natural Resource Inventory: Updating Newtown’s Plan of Conservation and Development” – Town of Newtown report, March 2002

Quanneapague settlement, early history: Historical Notes and Maps – Newtown: 1705-1758 Boyl, John Neville (additional details: Newtown Historical Society, and town report “Sandy Hook Design Disctrict Guidelines” Newtown Design Advisory Board, Feb 2007)

The natives were peaceful…: As noted, this is a drastic oversimplification; though the initial settlers dealt peacefully with the natives, there were tensions between the natives and settlers, sometimes escalating into violence, well into the 1800’s. This is evident in Newtown’s BiCentennial and other texts.

Formation of intersection: Newtown’s History and Historian Ezra Levan Johnson with additional material by Jane Eliza Johnson; the Historian’s Life Companion, 1907; (other details: Newtown’s BiCentennial – 1705-1905 edited by Ezra Johnson with James Hardin George and Allison Parish Smith 1905, and 1714-1914 The Story of Two Centuries Newtown Congregational Church, 1914)

Construction of mill: “The Mills Of Newtown––A Town Moves Forward On Waters And Wheels” Howard, Jan The Newtown Bee 02/07/2003

Rev. Toucey: The Tousey Family in America compiled by Theodore Cuyler Rose, Elmira NY 1916

Great Awakening: The Great Awakening of 1740 Frederic Leonard Chapell, American Baptist Publication Society, 1903

John Beach: The Reverend John Beach and his Descendants Rebecca Donaldson Beach and Rebecca Donaldson Gibbons, 1895

Pamphlet war: A Mosaic of Newtown History Cruson, Dan; Newtown Historical Society (highly recommended; this book documents many of the local-history events depicted in this chapter, and dozens more.)

Trinity Church: “Our History” (

French soldiers: The Journal of Claude Blanchard, Commissary of the French Auxiliary Army sent to the United States during the American Revolution, 1780-1783 (translated by William Duane and edited by Thomas Balch, 1876)

First mass: “St Rose Ceremony Marks Newtown’s Link To Church History” The Newtown Bee 11/27/1998 (

To this day, the lanes of West Street briefly split…: The split lanes really mark the end of West Street, since the road changes to Church Hill Road on the east side of the intersection.

Irish immigrants, newspaper war: A Mosaic of Newtown History Cruson, & Newtown’s History and Historian, Johnson

Founding of the NRA: “Rifle Practice” Army Navy Journal 04/01/1871; “Rifle-Shooting Association” 08/12/1871

The Flagpole: A Mosaic of Newtown History Cruson, Dan & Newtown Historical Society

Army maneuvers 1912: “Red Army Fording Way to New York” New York Times, 08/14/1912; “New York to Known War Danger To-Day” 08/17/1912; “Big War Game Ends, New York is Saved” 08/18/1912; and Images of America: Newtown 1900-1960 Cruson, Dan

Hawley School, academy fire of 1920: “New Booklet Fills In Some Gaps In The History Of Newtown’s Schools” Newtown Bee 1/10/2001 (

Edmond Town Hall: “In Newtown, Going to the Movies is Still a Bargain” New York Times 10/29/89 (naming of: “William Edmond is an Under-sung Hero of Newtown” Cruson, Dan 01/15/2010 [])

“Scrabble” development: A Mosaic of Newtown History Cruson, Dan & Newtown Historical Society

SHES construction: “The Last Time Newtown Built a School in Sandy Hook” Silber, Alissa The Newtown Bee 11/07/2013

JFK plaque at SHES: “The Way We Were” The Newtown Bee, 06/20/2014 (reprint of June 26, 1964 headlines)

12. Yogananda

…the Bressons sold their land…: “Francis J. Bresson” (Obituary) The Newtown Bee 06/10/2016

Yoganda property boundaries: property records with Newtown Town Clerk’s Office, Map 20. 6891, various records associated with “Bennetts Farm” and Map No 6891

Population growth: Newtown Population Projections 2000-2030, prepared for Town of Newtown, Connecticut by H.C. Planning consulants, Inc. June 15, 2008

The names of more recent paths…: “The People Behind the Names of Newtown’s Roads” The Newtown Bee Crevier, Nancy 03/28/2008

…the damming of the Housatonic…: National Park Service National Register of Historic Places: Ref. 00001073 Stevenson Dam Hydroelectric Plant

Dr. Yogananda: “Across the Black Water – A Study of Two Hindu Sects in North America” – Martin Shiels, 1978 (Master’s Thesis, Simon Fraser University) and A Short Life of Swami Vivekananda” By Swami Tejasananda, and “Crystal Reading” Davenport Daily Leader, 5/22/1901 (Note: “Dr. Yogananda” aka Dr. Street is a very curious figure, appearing in some historical records and various occult publications under the name “JC Street” or “JB Street” – he appears to have been the same “John C Street” who wrote “The Way Across the Threshold” in 1889, an occult/secret-society book that records some of the same “crystal” rituals that Dr. Yogananda was known for. He later appears in a New York Times report of court hearings from 1903, “This ‘Doctor’ a ‘Reader'” in which a judge appears none too impressed with his credentials as either a doctor or psychic. At one point, Dr. Yogananda protests that his magic crystals allow him to “foretell paralysis.”)

Parahamansa Yogananda as likely namesake: “Yogananda Street: a killer’s address” CT Post Hutson, Nanci 10/13/2013 (life events: “Chronology for web” and Autobiography of a Yogi)

15 Lots on 132 acres: “Hearings Continue On Whispering Pines And Tamarack Woods” The Newtown Bee Gorosko, Andy 07/12/1996; Scenic view: “P&Z Proposes Stricter Regs” 02/28/97

“Nothing out of the ordinary…”: “World Exclusive: Inside Adam Lanza’s Bunker of Death” The National Enquirer (Note: this is a tabloid source, as sometimes overlaps with this case due to its sensational qualities; the interview is nonetheless genuine.)

…looking for a “fresh start.”: Child Advocate Report, pg.24

Nancy furnishing 36 Yogananda: “Nancy Lanza in Her Own Words” Frontline; (Items also pictured in CSP photo set “Sec 5 – Back-up Scene 1” image 29, 105; and “Sec 4 Primary Scene” images 52-55)

Sandy Hook shooter’s arrival at 1st grade: Child Advocate report, Pg. 27 (1st grade photo: “Raising Adam Lanza”; Frontline Note: That the teachers in the shooter’s class always appear in group photos with the shooter positioned “within arms reach” is an observation I first heard of from blogger “Sandy Hook Facts” at

SHES Culture Corner: “Dispelling Myths About Native Americans” Newtown Bee 12/04/98 and “Mexico Comes To The Culture Corner” 02/12/1999 (Note: neither article specifically mentions any student by name, but the teacher and time period are the same as the class photo showing the shooter, and shown in documents released after the Courant’s FOIA lawsuit)

13. The Ghost in the Cabin

McVeigh maintained regular correspondence…: “The Prison Letters of Timothy McVeigh” Esquire Bacharach, Phil 06/11/2015

Unabomber main sources: The United States of America Versus Theodore John Kaczynski: Ethics, Power and the Invention of the Unabomber Mello, Michael 1999 and “The Unabomber Case” – FBI Archives, 4/24/2008, and “UNITED STATES v. KACZYNSKI” 2001

14. Promised Land

Arraignment of Thurston shooter: “Kinkel Arraigned For Shootings” CBS News 06/16/1998

Thurston shooter, various notes: “Oregon Teen Killer Drops Insanity Plea” Los Angeles Times Murphy, Kim 09/25/1999 and “Lethal Fantasies of a 15-Year-Old Became a Reality” New York Times Terry, Don & Bruni, Frank 05/24/1998; “three voices”: “The Killer at Thurston High” PBS Frontline Dr. Orin Bolstad testimony

NRA/Metaksa on Thurston: “NRA hails shooting survivor a hero” Associated Press 06/09/1998

Heston speech: “NRA TV” Charlton Heston 1998 meetings Season 4 Episode 2

“A child issue, not a gun issue”: “New Voice of the NRA Sounds Familiar” Washington Post Russakoff, Dale 06/09/1998

Tobacco settlements inspired gun liability strategy: “Big Guns” Boyer, Peter J. The New Yorker 05/17/1999

New Orleans: “New Orleans is Expected to Sue Gun Manufacturers” Los Angeles Times 10/30/1998 and: “Mayor Marc H Morial, and the City of New Orleans vs. Smith & Wesson Corp., Sturm Ruger & Co, Colt et al”; Chicago: “Chicago Sues Gun-makers And Retailers The Lawsuit Says Firearms Create A Deadly Public Nuisance” The Philadelphia Inquirer 11/13/1998; Bridgeport: “After Tobacco, Handgun Lawsuits” New York Times 01/31/1999

SHOT show: “Heston shows at gun rally” Athens Banner-Herald 02/02/1999

NSSF founding, main source for most NSSF details throughout: The National Shooting Sports Foundation: A History, 1961 to 2011 by Doug Painter

Notes from original NSSF founding dinner: (Re-publishing a Guns and Ammo article from November 1961)

15. Eagles Circle

Nancy’s e-mails with Marvin LaFontaine: “Nancy Lanza In Her Own Words” (PBS Frontline & the Hartford Courant)

“…the bare minimum as far as participation…”: CSP Report, Book 7, file 00255780

Eagles of Shepaug dam: “All Eyes On The Eagles” Newtown Bee, 02/19/1999 (NOTE: Nancy appears to have read this same story, or spoke to someone who had, given the numbers of eagles she cites in her email to LaFontaine.)

16. Revolution

Most of the events depicted in this chapter are from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigation file of the Columbine shooting, commonly referred to as “the 11k”. (The numbering expanded as more exhibits were released as depicted in [later chapter].) These sources are listed by their document number within the 11,000+ page file, with the prefix “JC”.

Chat conversation: JC-001-026574 (Note: the portrayal of this exchange omits one line, for readability); “Know what I hate/love” lists: JC-001-010411; “Hitmen for hire” tape: JC-001-026274 (NOTE: One of the shooters listed the day’s filming in his planner as “trench coat mafia hitmen”); Right was the more dedicated of the pair…: an observation based on ballistics from the scene, as well as the dynamic apparent in first-hand reports on the “Basement Tapes,” and the preparations evident in the journals; Left’s journal: JC-001-026385; “Man in Black” story: JC-001-010465; Brady Bill, “Shot themselves in the foot”: JC-001-026538; Ketchup Incident: A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold, and “The Missing Motive” Westworld Pendergast, Alan 07/13/2000; Drug search incident: No Easy Answers by Brooks Brown; Gun show: JC-001-010620; Farewell video: JC-001-010376; Diversion bomb response: JC-001-007952; Propane receipts: JC-001-025955; general timeline of attack: Columbine Review Commission, May 2001 Governor’s Report; Library encounters: Various files throughout 11k, including JC-001-008798 and JC-001-000075 and JC-001-000089; Car Bomb timers: A Mother’s Reckoning (Klebold); sprinkler in library: JC-001-007884

17. Cascade

“ONE BLEEDING TO DEATH….“: (Note: the sign actually said “1” instead of the spelled-out “one”)

Early footage of Columbine: ABC News Archives, 04/20/1999 (

“Most kids didn’t want them there…”: “The Columbine Tapes” Time Gibbs, Nancy & Roche, Timothy 12/20/1999

“The ultimate bullies” (clip from The New Ricki Lake Show, February 2013)

National debate on bullying in schools: “10 years alter, the real story behind Columbine” USA Today 04/14/2009

Tony Blair on Columbine: House of Commons transcript, 21 April 1999

“…how important it was to ban handguns…”: Note: With relatively few details available yet on the arsenal that the Columbine shooters used, many assumed at this time, incorrectly, that handguns were their primary weapons. It is perhaps noteworthy, though, that the long-guns used at Columbine would have been banned in the UK as well, after the earlier post-Hungerford firearms law.)

David Kaczynski, “more Tim McVeighs”: “Internet firms asked to keep bombmaking sites off Web” Associated Press 05/20/1999

The Anarchist Cookbook Powell, William 1971

Dream Catcher: “From Columbine to Sandy Hook: Muskegon dream catcher reveals a tearful journey” Muskegon News Moore, Lynn 10/11/2013

Newtown Bee on NHS ceremony: “Columbine Commemoration Will Be A Call For Understanding” Bigham, Steve 05/14/1999 and “Adopting a Covenant of Understanding” 06/04/1999; town’s parents concerned: “NPC Releases Findings on Violence, Hears Suggestions” White, Jeff 10/14/1999 and “Parents Express Their Worries About School” 08/10/1999

…at Duck Pin Bowling: “Raising Adam Lanza” (Frontline)

…she was actually very ill…: Nancy’s health concerns are also detailed in the Child Advocate Report, pgs 29-31

“Thoughtful friend to peers” and other development notes: Child Advocate Report pgs 26-28

Thank-you card: CSP photos “Sec 4 Scene Search Day 3” images 72-75

“Quiet depth,” 2nd grade notes: “A frustrating search for motive in Newtown shootings” The Washington Post Fisher, Marc and O’Harrow, Robert and Finn, Peter 12/22/2012

Nancy at birthday party: CSP report, Book 7, file 00256780

18. Wave of Evil

Lautenberg Amendment: S.Amdt.362 to S.254 / 106th Congress of the United States (1999-2000)

Clinton response to Dakota Ridge: Public Papers of the President

Heritage High School shooting: “Heritage shooting suspect wrote about Trench Coat Mafia” Associated Press Pilcher, James 08/10/1999 and: “Ga. Boy Took Parents’ Guns” Washington Post 05/22/1999

…nothing to do with Littleton or Georgia”: Congressional Record, US House, 06/07/1999

Columbine father quotes: US Congress, Testimony of Darrell Scott Father of Two Victims of Columbine High School shootings Littleton, Colorado Before the Subcommittee on crime 05/27/1999

Background on Rep. McCarthy (the nurse) and platform: “Widow in L.I.R.R. Massacre Considers Race for Congress on Gun Ban” New York Times 04/12/1996

NSSF on gun show amendment: “Newtown’s NSSF Steps Into The Spotlight Of The Gun Control Debate” Newtown Bee 03/03/2000

…nothing but a backdoor attempt at gun control…”: “Legislators want to shoot down lawsuits against gun makers” Associated Press 02/24/1999

Texas gun shield law:”Bush quietly signs NRA-backed gun bill” 06/18/1999

Wedgewood Baptist Church shooting: Night of Tragedy, Dawning of Light Crawford, Dan R. (other details from special coverage “Fort Worth Church Shooting” Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Gore and Bush campaign quotes, “Wave of Evil”: “Texas shooting draws broad reaction from presidential candidates” 09/17/1999

19. Wave of Evil

The Leesburg symposium actually happened in July. The NCAVC report is blended in with the symposium’s operations more than may be accurate, as there is no available transcript of the symposium.

Main source: The School Shooter: A THREAT ASSESSMENT PERSPECTIVE (FBI)

Various notes on “leakage”: Newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association, Volume XXXII Number 12 06/21/2002

Notes on Padukah shooter, structure of the family: RAMPAGE: The Social Roots of School Shootings (Newman)

“…an idea we’ve accepted…”: “Kip Kinkel: A Boy’s Life” Rolling Stone Sullivan, Randall 10/01/1998

Secret Service study on assassinations: “Preventing Assassination: A Monograph” Fein, Robert A. Ph.D. & Special Agent in Charge Bryan Vossekuil, Secret Service Case Study Project, May 1997

“They put us in a room”: “A Radical New Look at Mass Shooters. Why They Do It and How to Stop Them” Critical Incident Analysis Group, University of Virginia School of Medicine

Details of Reagan assassination attempt, various trial notes: Prosecutive Report: John Warnock Hinckley, Jr. Attempted Assassination of Ronald Reagan, President of the United States March 30 1981 – U.S. Department of Justice; Federal Bureau of Investigation

“Assassin of Rulers” profile (quoted in Secret Service Report): Arthur MacDonald, Assassins of Rulers, 2 J. Am. Inst. Crim. L. & Criminology 505 (May 1911 to March 1912)

“We’re looking for different pieces of the puzzle…”: Chicago Sun-Times 10/16/2000

20. Distortion

Emails are from “Nancy Lanza in her own words”, Frontline

“Significant stress in her life…”: Child Advocate Report, page 30

21. Basement Tapes

News conference: “H.S. KILLER TAPE MAY AIR BY JANUARY” New York Post Kaplan, Don 12/22/1999

Basement Tapes: Columbine “11k” file JC-001-010376

Controversy over agreement with TIME: Columbine: A True Crime Story Kass, Jeff

…no less than 130 students stayed home…: “High School Responds to Shooting Rumor” Newtown Bee 03/22/2000

Shooter’s education at SHES: Child Advocate Report pgs 26-28

Shooter alone on playground: CSP report, Book 7, file 00256780

22. Smart Guns

Boston Agreement: White House Press Release 03/17/2000: “CLINTON ADMINISTRATION REACHES HISTORIC AGREEMENT WITH SMITH AND WESSON” and “Gun Group Sues To End Pact On Safety Devices” Chicago Tribune 04/27/2000

Million Mom March: White House Press Release 05/08/2000 “President Clinton Meets With Million Mom March Organizers and Renews His Call”

Mick North at Million Mom March: Dunblane: Never Forget (North)

Suzanna Gratia, Second Amendment Sisters: From Luby’s to the Legislature (Gratia-Hupp)

Project Homesafe: The National Shooting Sports Foundation: A History 1961 to 2011 (Painter)

NSSF “Flag” ad: “U.S. mayors, Sheen take aim at gun ad” Variety McClintock, Pamela 08/23/2000

Cucchiara on election: “Gore, Bush Split Over Guns; Other Justice Stands Similar Oakland Tribune 10/03/2000

CA AWB expansion: California Department of Justice Kasler v. Lockyer Assault Weapon List Monday, October 02, 2000; “Senate Bill 23 Assault Weapon Characteristics”

Heston visits UK: “Heston attacks British gun laws 11/15/2000 and “Heston’s gun claims criticized” 11/15/2000

23. The Ghost in the Cage

Kaczynski on McVeigh: letter from Ted Kaczynski published in American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh & the Oklahoma City Bombing Michel, Lou and Herbeck, Dan

McVeigh on Kaczynski: CBS’s 60 Minutes interview, 02/22/2001

Letter from “FC” (Unabomber) about failed plane bombing: “Bomber says threat was hoax letter” Buffalo News 06/28/1995

Santana High School shooter: “Killer recounts Santana High shooting” San Diego Tribune Dickey, Fred 05/10/2013

Secretary of Education comments: “Rage blamed at Santana” Associated Press 05/12/2001

Anthrax scare in Newtown: “As Threats Mount, So Does Fear” Gordon, Jane New York Times 10/21/01

Traders: “Gun Sales Jump in Days Since Attack” Los Angeles Times 9/20/2001

Peter and Nancy’s separation: Child Advocate Report page 48, CSP summary report pg 29

Box in attic: Scene photos set “Farr – house” image 26

Anthrax comment from Nancy: FBI files from Sandy Hook investigation, released October 2017

Little league: “Berliner Insurance 11, Newtown Bee 2…” Newtown Bee; Harmon, Kim 05/24/2002

Ryan Kraft account: “Adam Lanza was a loner who didn’t feel pain either physically or emotionally says former teacher” Associated Press 12/15/2012

“Hand poem” witness: CSP Report, Book 7, file 00104343

The Exceptional Case Study Project finished their work later that year…: They released a draft report in 2000 that was significantly similar to their final 2004 report; news coverage of it mostly occurred in 2000.

“It puts the burden on adults…”: Arizona Daily Star 03/09/2001

24. The Hospital (A brief history of Fairfield State Hospital)

The first 40 years of the history of Fairfield State Hospital/Fairfield Hills Hospital is primarily based on Chapter 7 of The Mentally Ill in Connecticut: Changing Patterns of Care and the Evolution of Psychiatric Nursing 1636-1972, written by Lois D Heck, R.N., B.S., the Director of Nursing Education at Fairfield Hills. Sections on the development of mental health policy on the national level, and on Rosemary Kennedy, are primarily based on American Psychosis: How the Federal Government Destroyed the Mental Illness Treatment System by E. Fuller Torrey.

Dr. Desmond 1968 retirement: Legendary Locals of Newtown, Daniel Cruson

Definition of De-Institutionalization: Report of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Mental Health (State of Connecticut, 2000)

Escaped inmates, early 1970’s shift: “Fairfield Hills State Hospital: ‘Unsafe for Patients, Workers'” Connecticut Sunday Herald Rose, Linda 11/12/1972

Medicaid exception: “The Outdated Institution for Mental Disease Exclusion” John Fergus Edwards, J.D., LL.M. 05/1997 (

Lake case: Catherine Lake, Appellant, v. Dale C. Cameron, Superintendent, Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Appellee, 364 F.2d 657 (D.C. Cir. 1966); Stickney case: “Ricky Wyatt, 57, Dies; Plaintiff in Landmark Mental Care Suit” New York Times 11/03/2011; Rouse case: “Charles C. ROUSE, Appellant, v. Dale C. CAMERON, Superintendent, Saint Elizabeths Hospital, 1967 Donaldson case: “Supreme Court Mental Health Precedent and its Implications” Mary Ann Bernard, J.D. 1978 and United States Supreme Court O’CONNOR v. DONALDSON, (1975) No. 74-8

Constables, “disguised calls”: “Fairfield Hills Security Guards Are Newtown Constables” Connecticut Sunday Herald 09/24/1972

Assassin’s trial: “Hinckley Described as Sane When He Shot Reagan” New York Times 06/05/1982; “Hinckley Refuses to Testify and 2 Sides Rest Cases” 06/17/1982; “Psychiatry Panel Takes the Stand on Taking the Stand” 01/23/1983; “Report Concludes Hinckley Made Conscious Choice in the Shootings” 06/10/1982; “Hinckley Treatments Termed ‘Absolute Calamity'” 05/19/1982; “5 Hinckley Jurors Testify in Senate” 06/05/1982 Mother’s testimony: “Hinckley’s Mother Calls Him ‘Haunted,’ in ‘Total Despair'” Washington Post 05/07/1982; Insanity defense reform: HJ Res 648 98th Congress; “After Hinckley, States Tightened Use Of The Insanity Plea” National Public Radio Jacewicz, Natalie 06/28/2016; Reagan offers visit: “President Offered in ’83 To Meet With Hinckley” Washington Post Cauvin, Henri E. 06/12/2004

Newtown chosen for Garner: “Connecticut Picks Sites To Build 2 New Prisons” New York Times 08/01/1987; Protest against Garner Prison, “Michael” letter: “Hundreds rally to fight new jail at Fairfield Hills” The Hour 11/02/1987; Ditch blocking construction: “Maverick’s Battle Is Uniting His Enemies” New York Times 09/27/1989; Legal fight: “Was The June 6 Vote The Last Of The Big Town Meetings?” Newtown Bee 06/11/2001; “…hell hath no fury like the people of Newtown”: “A Feisty Community is Taking On the State Again” New York Times 12/27/1987; Police cars, sewers: “Living with fear in the shadow of prisons” New York Times 04/02/1992; $1 million in lieu of taxes: “Prison closure directive recalls Newtown controversy” Times-Union Pirro, John 11/08/2009

Town Meeting of June 2001: “Town Finally Poised To Act On Fairfield Hills” Newtown Bee 05/29/2001; “Managers Look Forward To Refurbishing Edmond Town Hall” 01/22/2002; Reed plan: “Reed Sees Split Sessions If 5/6 School Isn’t Built” 08/10/1999; Columbine letter: “What About K-6 Schools” Leslie Boehmer and Kirk Morrison 10/06/1999; Votes pass: “Town Approves Fairfield Hills And 5/6 School Projects” 06/07/2001