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CONN. SCHOOL SHOOTINGS Gunman’s mom kept trials of home life hidden



Published: Mon, December 17, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

NEWTOWN, Conn.

At the bar, everybody knew her name.

Nancy Lanza was the one who, if she heard you were short on cash, regularly offered to pick up the tab at My Place.

Two or three nights a week, Lanza — the mother of the gunman in Connecticut’s horrific school massacre — came in for carryout salads, but stayed for Chardonnay and good humor. The divorced mother of two — still smooth-skinned and ash blonde at 52 — didn’t have to work, but was always glad to share talk of her beloved Red Sox, gardening and a growing enthusiasm for target shooting.

But while Lanza spoke proudly about her sons and brought them in for breakfast when they were younger, friends say she held one card very close: home life, especially its trials and setbacks, was off limits.

Now, the secrets Lanza kept are at the center of the questions that envelop this New England town, grieving over the slaughter unleashed by her 20-year-old son Adam, who investigators say killed his mother Friday with her own gun before murdering 26 children and teachers at a nearby school.

“Her family life was her family life. She kept it private, when we were together. That was her own thing,” said Louise Tambascio, who runs the pizzeria and bar and became a shopping and dining companion of Nancy Lanza’s.

Friends had met Lanza’s younger son, who stared down at the floor and didn’t speak when she brought him in. They knew he’d switched schools more than once and that she’d tried home schooling him.

But while she occasionally expressed concern about his future during evenings at the bar, she never complained about anything.

“I heard her as a parent. I always said that I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes. But I thought, ‘Wow. She holds it well,’” said Tambascio’s son, John.

Despite those challenges, the trappings of Lanza’s life in Newtown were comfortable. When she and then-husband Peter Lanza moved to the central Connecticut community in 1998 from southern New Hampshire, they bought a brand new 3,100-square-foot colonial set on more than two acres in the Bennett’s Farm neighborhood.

Nancy Lanza had previously worked as a stock broker at John Hancock in Boston and her husband was a successful executive.

When the couple divorced in 2009, he left their spacious home to Nancy Lanza and told her she’d never have to work another day in her life, said Marsha Lanza of Crystal Lake, Ill., the purported gunman’s aunt. The split-up was not acrimonious and Adam spent time with both his mother and father, she said.

Those who knew Nancy Lanza recall her as very generous, often giving money to those she met and doing volunteer work.

Lanza began telling friends that she’d bought guns and had taken up target shooting, John Tambascio said.

All three of the guns that Adam Lanza carried into Sandy Hook Elementary were owned and registered by his mother — a pair of handguns and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, his primary weapon.

Investigators said Sunday that Nancy Lanza visited shooting ranges several times and that her son also visited an area range.

Marsha Lanza told the Chicago Sun-Times that Nancy Lanza wanted guns for protection. “She prepared for the worst,” Marsha Lanza told the newspaper. “I didn’t know that they [the guns] would be used on her.”


Comments

1Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

How many people like this woman do you meet in your daily life? The conspiracy-theorists. The survivalists. The gun-nuts. Anti-government zealots. I would love to post the names and addresses of all that I am aware of on a website. It wouldn't be a small number. Our country is up to it's ears in these lunatics spouting their craziness and living it out among us. All of them ticking time-bombs. When presented with the right set of circumstances, their absurd views of society and reality can release their paranoia on innocents. It doesn't come down to gun-control; it comes down to lunatic control. We wrongly rounded up law-abiding Japanese during war-time. We need to round-up these nuts because they are waging war on society. Treat them like Al-Qaeda or the Taliban in our midst.
Here's what we do. Anyone who has an assault weapon or more than two hunting rifles and 2 handguns has to report each and every one of those weapons to authorities. There are gun "aficionados" and then there are the paranoid nuts. Since we can't differentiate between the two, unless you give up the restricted weapons you and your weapons get relocated to Texas or Alaska. In Texas pre-fab housing units will be set up at 25 foot intervals all along the border with Mexico. All of the "gun-nuts" who fantasize about being Navy Seals or Dirty Harry can patrol the border and get in real fire-fights with members of the Mexican Drug Cartel. That should fulfill their gun fantasies and their animus toward immigrants.
Those sent to Alaska will be welcomed by Tod and Sarah Palin to the great Northern Gun Paradise. Guns will be allowed everywhere, in schools, churches, fast-food joints, government buildings, car dealerships, drugstores, bars, etc. All the gun-nuts can have at it against each other; to the last man and woman.
We can't control guns, but we can round up those who have too many guns and too much ammunition. Also keep in mind that these nuts don't restrict themselves to guns as the bombing in Oklahoma City can attest. Well they can exercise their right to have armories in every home against each other and away from rational individuals.

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2Photoman(1004 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

By gosh, that sure looks like a valid approach.

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3silentgrandpa(22 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Rockyroad, terrorist just love people like you. They are just waiting for all of the guns to be taken away from us so they can do their terrorism in this country. They are not afraid of the police or army guns but of the guns of the private citizens.

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4excel(282 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Nancy Lanza was far from being a saint! She gave birth to and raised a monster. Adam Lanza was very hateful and unleased his hate not only on his mother but on society also. She provided the tools for him to do so. The song that he heard in his head before taking his own life was,"THEY"RE COMING TO TAKE ME AWAY!" He surely didn't like control. Did he feel that his mother and society were controlling him?

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5Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Silent Grandpa you are the poster-child for the type of folks who are so paranoid they need to be armed to the teeth. That type of behavior indicates that you and those who look at the world like you do in such a paranoid, irrational, manner are the very ones who are not responsible enough to be equipped with a personal arsenal. You are the very ones who fantasize about all sorts of imagined threats and conspiracies and you are the ones who need to be rounded up and kept away from society. Guns and paranoia result in what has been occurring all too frequently. You and your brethren are the terrorist we need to be concerned with.

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