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Sandy Hook Investigation

Published on May 13th, 2013 | by -swansong-


Sandy Hook Shooter:Adam Lanza Toxicology Report

In this article titled, Sandy Hook Shooter:Adam Lanza Toxicology Report, we’ll take a look at the Hartford Courant’s coverage of the newly completed toxicology report on Adam Lanza.

I have made no secret of my lack of respect for the effort made by the Hartford Courant (among others) regarding their coverage of the events in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. In describing their “investigation” into the lives of Adam and Nancy Lanza for the PBS program, Raising Adam Lanza, I stated, “All in all it was among the most poorly investigated and produced programs I have ever had the displeasure of viewing on PBS.” Nothing I’ve seen since writing that sentence has caused me to change my opinion and that includes their most recent article.

Raising Adam Lanza – Review Pt.1

Raising Adam Lanza – Review Pt.2

Sandy Hook Shooter:Adam Lanza Toxicology Report

The Hartford Courant ran a story today documenting the newly completed toxicology report on Adam Lanza. From the looks of it they learned no lessons from their previous attempts at investigation. Here’s the first sentence of the article.

Toxicology tests show that Adam Lanza had no alcohol or drugs in his system when he shot and killed 20 first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14.

A clear statement of fact, yes? The only problem is the Courant can’t tell you with 100{2bd38f3aa67c5df5134457b3a6cccfa81474f178cea7c899ef32e7849771de96} certainty that what they’ve just written is true. It may be true but as we keep reading we see that the Courant hasn’t actually seen these toxicology reports.

The tests were conducted as part of the autopsy by state Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver II. Sources said his final report has been turned over to state prosecutors and investigators.

Law enforcement sources familiar with the tests results said that Lanza, 20, had no traces of alcohol or any illegal drugs such as cocaine or marijuana in his system. The sources also said that there is no trace of antidepressants or anti-psychotic medications.

Fool me Once - 1

Ahhh yes, those wonderful Official Sources. Those heros of the shadows. Bravely risking nothing to bring us only the most sketchy and dubious information.

Official sources told us Nancy Lanza was a teacher at SHE. Official sources told us Peter Lanza was shot dead in New Jersey. Official sources told us 4 handguns and ONLY handguns were found in the school.

Now official sources are telling us that Adam had no drugs of any kind in his system at the time of the Sandy Hook shootings. In case you’ve forgotten there was no mention in the warrants of any medication being found in the Lanza home. They did mention finding some “medical papers” and “various insurance, medical and other paperwork in the name of Nancy Lanza” but nothing connected to Adam.

Sandy Hook Evidence:Lanza Search Warrants

Lanza Warrant Info

I find it interesting that the police would have found medical papers in the Lanza home that apparently weren’t attributable to anyone. Any “medical papers” I have ever had to deal with always had my name or some other identifying information on them. Likewise with prescriptions. I have never seen a prescription bottle that didn’t have a label identifying the recipient and the prescribed dosages. Since police made no mention in their warrants of finding any items of that nature identified as being Adam’s we are left to assume that they did not exist.

Sandy Hook Shooter:Adam Lanza Toxicology Report

The lack of medical records and medications isn’t enough to stop the Courant from going on to speculate further with even more unsourced commentary.

Law enforcement sources have said that Lanza received some psychiatric care at an unspecified point and that state police obtained those records early in the investigation.

Some psychiatric care…at an unspecified point. And this info has been in the hands of investigators since early in the investigation. One is left to wonder why that information has not been released and clarified.

The Courant continues its examination of the report they haven’t seen by speaking with former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole, someone else that has not seen the report. Fortunately for the Courant, Ms. O’Toole won’t let that stop her from making baseless claims.

O’Toole said that other mass shooters have had histories of antidepressant use but acknowledged going off their medications because they “wanted to have a clear head” during their attacks.

O’Toole said Lanza’s test results support the theory that Lanza’s attack was focused and well planned.

“His thinking was not blurred or flawed in anyway,” O’Toole said.

O’Toole said the absence of anything in his system is consistent with someone thinking strategically that “I want to kill as many people as I can.”

Prescription Meds

According to O’Toole the absence of medication in Lanza’s body doesn’t indicate he wasn’t on medication, on the contrary, it simply means he went off his meds so he could have a clear head for the crimes he was about to commit. “His thinking was not blurred or flawed in anyway”. Umm, Mary, your contention is that he marched into an elementary school and slaughtered 26 people after shooting his mother and you’re telling us his thinking wasn’t blurred or flawed?

Ms. O’Toole then shows her company colors by attempting to lend credence to the unproven assertion that Adam was attempting to out score prior mass murderers, consistent with someone thinking strategically that “I want to kill as many people as I can.” Nothing in the Sandy Hook shooter’s approach, in my opinion, indicates strategy or a desire to kill as many people as possible.

Sandy Hook Shooter:Adam Lanza Toxicology Report

Regardless the absurdity of the above comments they did get me thinking. First, how long does it take for SSRIs or anti-psych meds to filter out of the body once one stops taking them and what sort of side effects might one experience were one to suddenly stop taking them?

As it turns out the amount of time an anti-depressant or anti-psych med remains in the body depends mostly on the particular drug. It can range from as little as a day or 2 to up to 3 weeks or more.

Going Off Antidepressants – Harvard Health

A drug like duloxetine (Cymbalta) for example, will be 99{2bd38f3aa67c5df5134457b3a6cccfa81474f178cea7c899ef32e7849771de96} out of your system after 2.5 days of complete cessation, while fluoxetine (Prozac) will still be detectable up to 3 weeks or more after complete cessation.

As far as quitting antidepressants or anti-psych meds in an effort to be more focused and prepared for a mass murder it appears that may not be the best idea.

Neurotransmitters act throughout the body, and you may experience physical as well as mental effects when you stop taking antidepressants or lower the dose too fast. Common complaints include the following:

Digestive. You may have nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.

Blood vessel control. You may sweat excessively, flush, or find hot weather difficult to tolerate.

Sleep changes. You may have trouble sleeping and unusual dreams or nightmares.

Balance. You may become dizzy or lightheaded or feel like you don’t quite have your “sea legs” when walking.

Control of movements. You may experience tremors, restless legs, uneven gait, and difficulty coordinating speech and chewing movements.

Unwanted feelings. You may have mood swings or feel agitated, anxious, manic, depressed, irritable, or confused — even paranoid or suicidal.

Strange sensations. You may have pain or numbness; you may become hypersensitive to sound or sense a ringing in your ears; you may experience “brain-zaps” — a feeling that resembles an electric shock to your head — or a sensation that some people describe as “brain shivers.”


None of those symptoms seems particularly well suited for the focused and calculated attack described by our former FBI agent. From what I’ve read the severity of withdrawal effects is higher with the drugs that stay in your system the shortest amount of time. A drug like Prozac that remains in the body longer has far fewer withdrawal effects than a drug like Effexor that is out of the body in as little as a day.

In terms of anti-psych meds I managed to find a forum where those with knowledge of mental health issues and the meds prescribed gather to discuss related issues. This particular post shared the experience of the poster’s partner going “cold-turkey” with his anti-psych meds.

Quitting Seroquel Cold Turkey

Husband has quit 300mg/day cold turkey. He has been sick for a couple weeks now. Says he feels like lead in his veins in the mornings… nausea all the time – throwing up a fair bit, sometimes all day it seems, and lots of insomnia. Oh, and about the worst of it, is that his heart will race like crazy for a few hours most mornings and sometimes at night. Has had maybe two good days out of just over two weeks. How long is this going to last? My heart is breaking for him, he feels so bad all the time. He immigrated, so obviously no longer has the same doctor and is nervous to find a new one. He was planning to come off this stuff anyway, but knew it would have been better to do it in stages instead of cold turkey.

Of course, we have to remember that this is just the experience of one person on one particular dose of one particular drug. It can’t be assumed that all other drugs, dosages and users would have similar reactions. That being said, you’ll have a very hard time finding a doctor who would recommend suddenly stopping antidepressants or anti-psych meds. There’s also no way that Connecticut addiction recovery centers and other drug treatment facilities in the state would recommend something like that.

Adam Lanza Toxicology Report

The Courant article goes on to tell us that the State’s Attorney expects a final report on the Sandy Hook shooting to be released by the end of June. Then, just when I think I can no longer be surprised by innacurate reporting, I read this: Adam Lanza shot his mother four times in the head with a .22 rifle.

While that version of events had been peddled as truth in the days and weeks after the shootings, the official release of the sealed warrants showed us that Nancy had only been shot once in the head.

Connecticut State Police Emergency Services Unit gained entry into the house and located a deceased middle-aged, white female lying in a supine position on a bed in the 2nd floor, master bedroom. The white female had sustained an apparent gunshot wound to her forehead.

An apparent gunshot wound. One.

And finally, mercifully we come to the end of the Courant article. But even then they can’t seem to come up with a cohesive narrative.

He then backtracked into the classroom of Victoria Soto and killed her, a teacher’s aide and five students. Six others students escaped her classroom when Lanza’s gun either jammed or he had difficulty reloading it, dropping live bullets on the floor. Five students survived after Soto hid them in a closet.

Take note of the number of children that escaped. 6. While that number has been the one that has prevailed for most of the last 3+ months, we have recently heard of many more children escaping. The first new number I heard was from a woman attending the Gun Violence hearings in Newtown. At that hearing she said: My daughter was a student in Victoria Soto’s first grade class. She survived. She and 8 other children ran from that room directly past him but not before witnessing her friends and her teacher slaughtered in front of her.

soto class

During his appearance on 60 Minutes with other Sandy Hook family members, Bill Sherlach said this: Well, I mean, there was one instance where it wasn’t two seconds (to reload). And it allowed 11 kids to get out of the classroom.

60 Minutes Sandy Hook: Gun Control

Sherlach’s comments are clearly referring to the time children had to escape when Lanza’s gun either jammed or was mishandled. They do not appear to be referring to the total number of children that are reported to have survived from Soto’s class. We are further led to suspect a higher number of escapees in this article from the CT Post.

Members of the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation announced Tuesday that $4 million would be released to 40 families — including the families of the 26 killed at the school, the 12 students who escaped the classrooms where the shooting occurred and the two injured, as well as to first responders and teachers.

I will admit that the above number may be referring to the 12 kids total that are reported to have survived from the 2 classrooms but use of the term “escaped” makes it less clear, especially in terms of Bill Sherlach’s comments.

Then we have this statement from a NewsTimes article,

That group includes relatives of the 26 people killed at the school, 12 students who fled the classrooms where the shooting took place and two injured educators.

Is it 6? 9? 11? 12? It seems to depend who’s speaking and on which day.

Needless to say when the actual toxicology report is made public we will do our best to post the details. Until then we will have to be satisfied with this latest effort from the Hartford Courant.


Any surprises in Sandy Hook Shooter:Adam Lanza Toxicology Report or do the details line up with what you already suspected? We enjoy hearing from our readers.

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About the Author

Is just a guy...sick of the lies. A guy who is sick of the constant manipulating, spinning, massaging, altering, sensationalizing and outright bastardizing of the news. There's a reason they're called the "public" airwaves. They belong to us...and it's time we took them back.

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