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Andrew Solomon: The Father of the Sandy Hook Killer Searches for Answers : The New Yorker

March 12, 2014

Andrew Solomon the British author of a powerful memoir of depression The Noonday Demon moved to New York and went on to write an acclaimed book about challenging children called Far from the Tree. For the latter book he interviewed amongst others the parents of the Columbine School shooter Dylan Klebold. He has now interviewed Peter Lanka the father of Adam Lanza, the shooter at Sandy Hook primary school for The New Yorker Magazine.

In Peter Lanza’s new house, on a secluded private road in Fairfield County, Connecticut, is an attic room overflowing with shipping crates of what he calls “the stuff.” Since the day in December, 2012, when his son Adam killed his own mother, himself, and twenty-six people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, strangers from across the world have sent thousands upon thousands of letters and other keepsakes: prayer shawls, Bibles, Teddy bears, homemade toys; stories with titles such as “My First Christmas in Heaven”; crosses, including one made by prison inmates. People sent candy, too, and when I visited Peter, last fall, he showed me a bag of year-old caramels. He had not wanted to throw away anything that people sent. But he said, “I was wary about eating anything,” and he didn’t let Shelley Lanza—his second wife—eat any of the candy, either. There was no way to be sure it wasn’t poisoned. Downstairs, in Peter’s home office, I spotted a box of family photographs. He used to display them, he told me, but now he couldn’t look at Adam, and it seemed strange to put up photos of his older son, Ryan, without Adam’s. “I’m not dealing with it,” he said. Later, he added, “You can’t mourn for the little boy he once was. You can’t fool yourself.”

http://m.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/17/140317fa_fact_solomon?currentPage=all

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