Sunday, December 16, 2012

Updated:Newtown Victims Pictures, Profiles and Possible Clues That Should Have Been Caught

 20 Children and Six Teachers Killed at Sandy Hook-Newton,CT
As more information and pictures come out about the identities of Friday's massacre, we are left with pieces of the lives of such beautiful children and courageous is so sad to see so many beautiful families torn apart by this horrific shooting. According to reports, parents who had not already been united with their children at the nearby fire station on Friday were told to assume the worst. One witness told WCBS: 'Police just told us everyone presumed missing is in the school and they are dead.'

Below are the names of all of 26 victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  All of the children were between the ages 6 and 7. According to medical examiner reports there were 20 in first grade, including a first grade teacher killed, originally it was thought a Kindergarten class was involved. 

There were a total of six adults killed in the school ranging in age between 27 and 56, including the principal and school psychologist.  The mother of the shooter, Adam Lanza, was later found in her home with four gunshots wound to her face&head, leaving her dead and horribly disfigured as she lie in bed in her pajamas, possibly asleep when she was killed.  In total there were 27 victims, plus the shooter leaving a total of 28 dead, making this one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history.

I have included profiles of the mother, Nancy Lanza, a profile of Adam Lanza, his father Peter Lanza and his brother Ryan Lanza which I have gathered from various sources. 
Below is the information currently known and provided on each family member and victim:

The victims:

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Rachel Davino, 29
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
School principal
Nancy Lanza, 52
Mother of gunman
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
School psychologist
Victoria Soto, 27
Source: Connecticut State Police

School staff members 

Rachel Davino, 29 
Rachel D’Avino’s best friend and would-have-been fiancĂ© Anthony J. Cerritelli was planning to propose to her on Christmas Eve, as he had recently asked her parents for permission to marry her, according to her obituary on the website of Munson-Lovetere Funeral Homes. D’Avino was working toward her doctorate degree from the University of St. Joseph of Hartford, Conn. “Her presence and tremendous smile brightened any room she entered,” reads her obituary. She loved karate, cooking, animals, baking and photography but her foremost passion was her work in behavioral therapy with children with autism.
Dawn Hochsprung, 47

The Sandy Hook Elementary School principal since 2010, Hochsprung’s friends and colleagues said she was the perfect person to lead the school. She loved her students, tweeted enthusiastically about the day-to-day activities about the school. Hochsprung is being credited with saving several lives by running toward the sound of gunshots and trying to stop the shooter.  “Literally staring down the barrel of a gun, she goes to the responsibility of protecting her children,” said James Schlegel, who was in a doctorate program with Hochsprung.
 The funeral for Dawn was 12/19/2012
Anne Marie Murphy, 52 
A happy soul. A good mother, wife and daughter. Artistic, fun-loving, witty and hardworking. Remembering their daughter, Anne Marie Murphy, her parents had no shortage of adjectives to offer Newsday. When news of the shooting broke, Hugh and Alice McGowan  waited for word of their daughter as hour by hour ticked by. And then it came. Authorities told the couple their daughter was a hero who helped shield some of her students from the rain of bullets. As the grim news arrived, the victim’s mother reached for her rosary. “You don’t expect your daughter to be murdered,” her father told the newspaper. “It happens on TV. It happens elsewhere.” 
The funeral for Anne Marie was today, 12/20/12 
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Lauren, after years of working as a substitute teacher, — while working other jobs to earn a living — landed a permanent substitute teaching job at Sandy Hook Elementary School in October. She was having the “best year of her life,” said her mother Teresa Rousseau, a News-Times copy editor. Lauren grew up in Danbury, attending local schools before going to the University of Connecticut, then getting her master’s degree in teaching from the University of Bridgeport.
A memorial service for Lauren was held today, 12/20/12 
Mary Sherlach, 56 
The school psychologist since 1994, Sherlach was in a meeting with principal Dawn Hochsprung when she heard the gunshots. Dawn and Mary ran toward the shooting. “They didn’t think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on,” said Diane Day, a therapist at the school, according to the Wall Street Journal. “If there ever was a person who, by qualifications and personality, was made to work with children, to be a school psychologist, it was Mary,”  said John Reed, former Newtown school superintendent.
Mrs Sherlach was preparing for her retirement after 18 years at Sandy Hook School.
Married for 31 years, with two daughters, aged 25 and 28, she loved her job and was dedicated to the education of young children.
Her son-in-law, Eric Schwartz, said that she had planned to leave work early on Friday but never got the chance. She had died, he added, doing what she loved.
He said: "Mary felt like she was doing God's work, working with the children."
Victoria Soto, 27 
Vicki Leigh Soto
A first-grade teacher, Soto is being praised as a hero for ushering her students into hiding, while putting herself in the line of fire. Soto graduated from Stratford High School and Eastern Conn. State University. A colleague said she was a wonderful teacher who “loved her kids.” She had always wanted to be a teacher, it was her one goal. "She put those children first. That's all she ever talked about," said her friend Andrea Crowell.
Described by pupils as "really nice and funny", they fondly recalled how Miss Soto had a habit of chewing gum in class.
Funeral services for Victoria Soto are today, 12/19/12. 


Charlotte Bacon, 6 
 When she went to school on Friday, Charlotte had begged her mother to wear a new pink dress and boots that were supposed to be for Christmas.
Charlotte BaconIt was the first and last time she would wear the outfit.
Her parents, JoAnn and Joel, had lived in Newton for around five years with Charlotte and her older brother, Guy, who also attended Sandy Hook but was not injured in the shooting.
Charlotte's uncle said that she could "light up the room for anyone."
The funeral for Charolette is today 12/19/12.
Daniel Barden, 7 
Daniel BardenThe son of Jacqueline and Mark Barden, Daniel loved swimming and soccer, according to the Wall Street Journal. He was a “sweet boy,”  Karin LaBanca told the WSJ. LaBanca’s daughter was friends with Daniel. Daniel was a budding athlete who was on the swim team and enjoyed playing soccer.
According to Daniel Barden’s family, he “embodied everything that is wholesome and innocent in the world,” CNN reports. He loved adventure and pursued happiness fearlessly. He enjoyed soccer, swimming and music — even forming a band with his siblings. Daniel was “always smiling, unfailingly polite, incredibly affectionate, fair and so thoughtful toward others, imaginative in play, both intelligent and articulate in conversation: in all, a constant source of laughter and joy,” his parents said in a statement.
Funeral services for Daniel Barden are today, 12/19/12. 
Olivia Engel, 6 
The images of Olivia Engel will live far beyond her short lifetime. There she is, visiting with Santa Claus, or feasting on a slice of birthday cake. There’s the one of her swinging a pink baseball bat, and another posing on a boat. In some, she models a pretty white dress, in others she makes a silly face. Dan Merton, a longtime friend of the girl’s family, says he could never forget the child, and he has much to say when he thinks of her. “She loved attention,” he said. “She had perfect manners, perfect table manners. She was the teacher’s pet, the line leader.”  
Source: WAPost: In nearly every photograph posted on Facebook of Olivia Rose Engel, the 6-year-old girl is smiling. In one photo, she is wearing a ladybug costume, her cheeks flushed and scrunched up in a grin. In another, she is standing in front of a Christmas tree, stopping mid-decoration to pose for the camera. In yet another, she is dressed in white, light streaming through a window behind her.
“Beautiful little angel,” commented a Facebook friend.
Olivia Engel, whose favorite colors were purple and pink, would say grace for the family before dinner every night, reports the New Haven Register. Engel did well in reading and math at school, and she also took classes in art, swimming, ballet and hip-hop. Her favorite toy was a stuffed lamb. “I cannot stop thinking about her beautiful smile, her sweet voice and her infectious laugh,” wrote Julie Guastello Pokrinchak on a Facebook page set up by her family.
Olivia was one of 20 children and six adults who were killed in Friday’s shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. She is survived by her parents, Brian and Shannon Engel, and a little brother. According to family friends, Olivia’s parents were inundated with phone calls, e-mails and text messages following her death. To help relieve the burden, friends set up a Facebook page in Olivia’s memory, where the family could post updates and friends could share memories and photos.
Additionally, they set up a fund so people could make donations to the Engel family. “The purpose of these first donations is to help the family get through the next few weeks a little easier,” John Engel, a cousin of Olivia’s father, wrote on the Facebook page. “To those of us who want to organize fundraisers and keep up the support, YES we will be meeting this week with experts to explore how we can make a more permanent impact both for this family and for the larger community.”
On Saturday evening, Olivia’s family attended Mass at St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown. Parishioners packed the church, where a Nativity concert was held, according to wire reports.
“[Olivia] was supposed to be an angel in the play,” said the Rev. Robert Weiss, according to a Reuters report. “Now she’s an angel in heaven.”
A family friend is trying to organize a vigil for Olivia on Sunday, according to the Facebook page.
According to the Facebook Page Friends of the Engel Family FundOlivia's wake is being held this Thursday from 4 - 7 p.m. at Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main Street, Newtown. (203) 426-2751
Her funeral Mass will take place on Friday at 1 p.m. at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church at 46 Church Hill Road Newtown, CT 06470 (203) 426-1014 
Josephine Gay, 7  
 Josephine Gay
Josephine had celebrated her seventh birthday just three days before she was gunned down by Adam Lanza. 
She loved the color purple, and to honor her memory, residents in a new subdivision near Sandy Hook Elementary School hung purple balloons on mailboxes and gates, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6 
A year ago, 6-year-old Ana Marquez-Greene was reveling in holiday celebrations with her extended family on her first trip to Puerto Rico. This year will be heartbreakingly different. The girl’s grandmother, Elba Marquez,  said the child’s family moved to Connecticut just two months ago, drawn from Canada, in part, by Sandy Hook’s pristine reputation. The grandmother’s brother, Jorge Marquez,  is mayor of a Puerto Rican town and said the child’s 9-year-old brother was also at the school, but escaped safely. Jorge Marquez confirmed the girl’s father is saxophonist Jimmy Greene,  who wrote on Facebook that he was trying to “work through this nightmare.”
 Dylan Hockley, 6

Dylan Hockley smiles online in a series of family photos. He's Shrek, his mom writes. Or he's "Super Dylan" — posed in a Superman outfit. In other images, he poses with his brother, Jake.
Dylan, 6, was one of the pupils at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., slain Friday in the second-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.Dylan had lived across Yogananda Street from where the violence began. His neighbor, Nancy Lanza, was the mother of the suspected shooter — and apparently the first person killed Friday. Source: WAPost 
Twitpic:Dylan Pictured With His Family
Sky News says, Dylan was born in Hampshire but had been living in Newtown since 2011 with his mother Nicole, father Ian and older brother, Jake. The family lives in a house opposite the home in which Adam Lanza, the killer, lived with his mother Nancy.Mrs Hockley, an American, had recently told the local newspaper that she was happy with life in the community and said: "Newtown is a wonderful place to live."
Family friend, Theresa Moretti, said: "Dylan was a lovely boy. He had dimples and blue eyes and a mischievous grin." 
Madeline F. Hsu, 6 
Madeleine F. Hsu was 6.Dr. Matthew Velsmid was at Madeleine's house on Saturday, tending to her stricken family. He said the family did not want to comment.
Velsmid said that after hearing of the shooting, he went to the triage area to provide medical assistance but there were no injuries to treat."We were waiting for casualties to come out, and there was nothing. There was no need, unfortunately," he said. "This is the darkest thing I've ever walked into, by far."Velsmid's daughter, who attends another school, lost three of her friends.
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6 
 Catherine Hubbard
Catherine's parents, Jennifer and Matthew, released a statement and a picture of their daughter.In it they said: "We are greatly saddened by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Catherine Violet and our thoughts and prayers are with the other families who have been affected by this tragedy.
"We ask that you continue to pray for us and the other families who have experienced loss in this tragedy."
Funeral services for Catherine were today, 12/20/12 
Chase Kowalski, 7 
Chase Kowalski was always outside, playing in the backyard, riding his bicycle. Just last week, he was visiting neighbor Kevin Grimes, telling him about completing — and winning — his first mini-triathlon. “You couldn’t think of a better child,” Grimes said. Grimes’ own five children all attended Sandy Hook, too. Cars lined up outside the Kowalski’s ranch home Saturday, and a state trooper’s car idled in the driveway. Grimes spoke of the boy only in the present tense.Chase was looking forward to Christmas, he told a neighbour he was hoping to get his two front teeth back.
The first-grade student, who has two older sisters, loved being outside and playing on a slide or in the family’s swimming pool.
Jesse Lewis, 6 
Jesse Lewis may have been only 6 years old, but he seemed much older. A neighbor who lives next door to Jesse and his mom, Scarlet, said he was “older than his years” and was well-versed and smart. Jesse “was always playing in the back yard with the horses,” said the neighbor, who asked to not be named. Jesse was supposed to be making gingerbread houses and his father Neil Heslin had been planning to go to Sandy Hook School to watch.
Mr Heslin told The New York Post that his son, who was in Victoria Soto's class, was happy when he dropped him off at the school gates. "That was the last I saw of him", he said.
Funeral services for Jesse were today, 12/20/12 
James Mattioli, 6
James Mattioli’s family fondly remembers a 6-year-old with a personality as bold as his Mohawk hairstyle. James loved the outdoors — “I need to go outside, Mom. I need fresh air,” he would often say, according to WKTV. His favorite activities were swimming “like a fish,” riding his bike, playing iPad games, wearing an Angry Birds T-shirt and singing so often that he once asked when he would get a chance to sing onstage. He was a chatty, hungry (for food and for life), playful child who fiercely loved his older sister. He wanted to do everything she could, his parents said in an obituary. “They were the best of friends, going to school together, playing games together and making endless drawings and crafts together.” The boy, whose family called “J,” will be incredibly missed, they continued.
James is the son of Cindy Mattioli from the upstate New York town of Sherrill.The mayor, William Vineall said: "Everybody will be there for them, and our thoughts and prayers are there for them." 
The funeral for James was held today, 12/18/2012.
Grace McDonnell, 7

Chris, Lynn and Jack McDonnell, the parents and older brother of Grace McDonnell, sent in a short statement to The Post: "We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from so many people. Our daughter Grace was the love and light of our family. Words cannot adequately express our sense of loss."
The Werdens live across the street from the home of 7-year-old Grace McDonnell, who was shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. The two families shared a school bus stop. On many mornings, the Werdens saw Grace's father, Christopher McDonnell, a competitive runner, out for jog."It's heartbreaking, just heartbreaking," said Todd Werden.  "It's just unfathomable."Werden described Grace as "a real cute little blonde girl with blue eyes — a real little doll."The McDonnell family residence was still brightly decorated for the holidays."Last night it was all ablaze with Christmas lights," Werden said.The Werdens also live close to the home of Adam Lanza, 20, the alleged shooter. His mother, Nancy Lanza, was reportedly found slain inside their home on Yogananda Street."If he was pissed at his family, why did he feel like he needed to go to the school and kill all those kids?" Werden said. "I can't understand it. Nobody will be able to understand it."
Described by her babysitter as a "beautiful, sweet girl", Grace lived so close to her killer Adam Lanza's house the family can nearly see it from their windows. Neighbours say Grace, whose mother Lynn, 45, is a housewife, and father Christopher, 49, is a business executive, was "utterly adorable".
She has an 11-year-old brother, Jack.
Grace McDonnell was a “girly girl” who loved wearing pink and playing dress-up in jewelry, explained her grandmother Mary Ann McDonnell. The 7-year-old adored her pet dog named Puddin’ and enjoyed art projects, soccer and gymnastics. “A little baby like that — I just hope she didn’t suffer,” said her grandmother.
Funeral services for Grace were today, 12/20/12 
Emilie Parker, 6 
Emilie Alice Parker
Robbie Parker said his daughter “would be one of the first ones offering sympathy and giving support to those affected by this — not because of anything my wife or I have done, but because of her wonderful, God-given gifts.” His daughter, “beautiful, blond, always smiling, with bright blue eyes,” had kind words for about everyone, Parker said.
“As the deep pain begins to settle into our hears, we find comfort in the incredible person that Emilie was and how many lives she was able to touch in her short time here on earth,” said Parker.   
Emilie was studying Portuguese with her father, Robert, before school on the morning she died. He had left after hearing her say "good morning" in the language.
He said: "She was beautiful. She was blond. She was always smiling" and that "I'm so blessed to be her dad".
He said he would now struggle to explain to her two siblings, aged three and four, what had happened. Emilie Parker's friends set up a friends and donation page on facebook at Emilie Parker Fund
Jack Pinto, 6
Six-year-old Jack Pinto was known for his love of all things sports — especially his favorite football player, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants — so much so that Jack’s parents buried him in his No. 80 Giants jersey. When the star receiver learned that Jack had idolized him, he paid a tribute to the young victim by inscribing “R.I.P. Jack Pinto” and “Jack Pinto, My Hero” on his cleats for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. On his glove, he wrote, “Jack Pinto. This one is 4 U!” Cruz plans to visit Newtown, Conn., next week to present the Pinto family with the game-day gear that comprised the touching tribute to their son.
Jack was buried on 12/17/2012 

Noah Pozner, 6
Noah wanted to be a doctor, a soldier, or a taco factory manager.

From mother, Veronique Pozner:The sky is crying, and the flags are at half-mast. It is a sad, sad day. But it is also your day, Noah, my little man. I will miss your forceful and purposeful little steps stomping through our house. I will miss your perpetual smile, the twinkle in your dark blue eyes, framed by eyelashes that would be the envy of any lady in this room.
Most of all, I will miss your visions of your future. You wanted to be a doctor, a soldier, a taco factory manager. It was your favorite food, and no doubt you wanted to ensure that the world kept producing tacos.
You were a little boy whose life force had all the gravitational pull of a celestial body. You were light and love, mischief and pranks. You adored your family with every fiber of your 6-year-old being. We are all of us elevated in our humanity by having known you. A little maverick, who didn't always want to do his schoolwork or clean up his toys, when practicing his ninja moves or Super Mario on the Wii seemed far more important.
Noah, you will not pass through this way again. I can only believe that you were planted on Earth to bloom in heaven. Take flight, my boy. Soar. You now have the wings you always wanted. Go to that peaceful valley that we will all one day come to know. I will join you someday. Not today. I still have lots of mommy love to give to Danielle, Michael, Sophia and Arielle.
Until then, your melody will linger in our hearts forever. Momma loves you, little man.
From uncle, Alexis Haller, of Woodinville, Wash.:On Friday, Dec. 14, we tragically lost a most beloved member of our family. Noah was a 6-year-old little boy, and he was so dear to all of our hearts.
Words cannot express the unfathomable loss we feel.
Noah was a wonderful son and a loving brother. He was kind, caring, smart, funny, and sometimes even a little mischievous. He liked to tell his sisters that he worked in a taco factory; when they asked him how he got to work, he would give them a funny look as if to say he knew something that they didn't.
Noah was a little kid. He loved animals, video games and Mario Brothers. He was already a very good reader, and had just bought a Ninjago book at a book fair that he was really excited about reading. He was also very excited about going to a birthday party he had been invited to. It was to take place on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Noah loved his family dearly, especially his mom, his dad, his big sisters Danielle and Sophia, his big brother Michael, and his dear twin Arielle. He called Arielle his best friend, and she was — and always had been.
If Noah had not been taken from us, he would have become a great man. He would been a wonderful husband and a loving father. He would have been a backbone of our family for years to come. His loss, and our loss, are deep indeed.
It is unspeakably tragic that none of us can bring Noah back. We would go to the ends of the Earth to do so, but none of us can.
What we can do is carry Noah within us, always. We can remember the joy he brought to us. We can hold his memory close to our hearts. We can treasure him forever. And all of us, including the family, the community, the country and the world, can honor Noah by loving each other and taking care of each other. That's what Noah would have wanted.
Noah's funeral was on 12/17/12 
Update: According to reports on Fox News, Noah's funeral is scheduled for tomorrow, 12/17/12, making him the first to be laid to rest of all the victims.
Noah Pozner attended Sandy Hook school with his twin sister. He was killed, she survived the attack, as did his older sister.Their mother, a nurse at the local hospital, completely broke down when she learned the news of her son's death.
Rabbi Shaul Praver, of Congregation Adath Israel, told MSNBC: "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and his little body could not endure so many bullets like that." 
The way Noah Pozner's parents saw it, no schools in New York could compare with those in Newtown, a relative told Newsday. So they moved their family - Noah, his twin sister and his 8-year-old sister.
"At this stage, two out of three survived. ... That's sad," said Noah's uncle Arthur Pozner, of New York City's Brooklyn borough. "The reason they moved to that area is because they did not consider any school in New York state on the same level. That's one of the reasons they moved, for safety and education."
Noah's siblings were also students there but were not hurt. Noah's uncle recalled him as "extremely mature."
"When I was his age, I was not like him," Pozner told the newspaper. "Very well brought up. Extremely bright. Extremely bright." Source: ABC7
Jessica Rekos, 6 
CNN reports that Jessica Rekos loved everything about horses — from horse movies and books to drawing and writing stories about them. This year she reportedly asked Santa for a new cowgirl hat and boots; her family had also promised that she could get her own horse when she turned 10. “We called her our little CEO for the way she carefully thought out and planned everything,” said her family in a statement. “We cannot imagine our life without her.”
Funeral services for Jessica took place today on 12/18/2012.Jessica Rekos
Caroline Previdi, 6
 Caroline Previdi
Six-year-old Caroline Previdi loved to share smiles and laughter with friends and family — a trait that earned her the nickname “Silly Caroline,” the Wall Street Journal reports. A year ago, she was breaking open her piggy bank to put her money toward buying gifts for less fortunate children, according to People. Caroline’s older brother also attended Sandy Hook, but he safely escaped the rampage. Her grandfather described her as a “bouncy kid” who enjoyed drawing and playing soccer. Funeral services for Caroline are today 12/19/12.
Avielle Richman, 6 
Six-year-old Avielle Richman had moved to Newtown, Conn., from Southern California a few years ago, LA Weekly reports. Her parents maintained a blog, called Avielle’s Adventures, where they posted about the young girl’s activities and milestones. An Oct. 19 post reads, “Today is Avielle’s sixth birthday. I know that every parent says this, but holy cow I can’t believe how fast time flies!” In June, they posted a picture of Avielle’s kindergarten diploma and began documenting Avielle’s foray into horseback riding.
Alison Wyatt, 6 
Source: AP/Family Photo via Benjamin Wyatt
Allison Wyatt. Wyatt, 6,
Allison Wyatt’s family has remained, understandably, reticent since the 6-year-old’s untimely death on Friday. Allison has an obituary page set up on with only a brief sentence saying she was killed, but many have offered condolences to a child they never knew. Those that did know her remember her as a quiet and loving little girl.“She was a very shy girl, she was quiet and kept to herself, but she would smile at things. If a kid did something funny, she’d be laughing,” day-care teacher Kate Capellaro of All for Kids in Ridgefield, Conn., told the Press-Telegram. Capellaro said Allison, who went to the center occasionally, the last time being over the summer, was well behaved, but sometimes cried when her mother left. The Wyatts’ next-door 
neighbor described Allison to the Connecticut Post as a “very nice person” who enjoyed gardening with her mother and was always outside in the summer.
Funeral services for Allison were today, 12/20/12 
Benjamin Wheeler, 6 
 Fate has a cruel sense of irony, a fact all too evident in 6-year-old Benjamin’s case. His parents moved him and his 9-year-old brother Nate to Newtown, Conn., from New York City in April 2011 so they could grow up in a quiet community. His father David works in the film-and-television industry, and mother is a music teacher and performer, but they believed the move was the right choice for their spirited, closely bonded sons. “Music can happen anywhere,” his mother Francine Wheeler told the Newtown Bee in an interview. “We knew we wanted a piece of lawn, somewhere quiet, somewhere with good schools.” Ben thrived in his suburban settings, following his dad around the yard, helping him with chores by handing him tools, playing soccer, listening to the Beatles, participating as a Tiger Cub Scout, taking swimming lessons and performing in a piano recital, all with the highest octane of energy.
His parents described him in a statement as an “irrepressibly bright and spirited boy whose love of fun and excitement at the wonders of life and the world could rarely be contained,” and went on to say that “his rush to experience life was headlong, creative and immediate.”
“There’s always some brave individual who goes up to the dance floor to get everybody involved,” said Rabbi Shaul Praver of Newtown’s Adath Israel synagogue. “That was Ben Wheeler.” This year, Ben had attended the temple’s Hanukkah celebration with his parents. “Just delightful people,” Praver added.
Funeral services for Benjamin were today, 12/20/12 
The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
Source: Connecticut Media and SkyNews

The Lanza Family

The Mother of Adam Lanza Found In Her Home Shot in The Face

The Washington Post provides the following:

An undated photo provided by a family 

members to ABC News reportedly 
shows a smiling Nancy Lanza, the 
mother of Adam Lanza, the suspected 
gunman in the shootings in Newtown, 
There have been conflicting reports 
about whether Nancy Lanza was a  teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. 
Contrary to earlier reports, The Washington Post does not believe 
Lanza was a teacher there. 
Dan Holmes, a landscaper who worked on Lanza’s home, said about 
year ago she brought out an antique rifle in a case to show him. 
“Guns were her hobby,” Holmes said. “She told me she liked the single 
mindedness of shooting.” 
He said he never met her sons, but said she told him she took her 
youngest, Adam, to a gun range. 
Friends reported yesterday that Nancy sought to bond with her son and thought taking him target shooting was one way to do so. Another friend of Nancy said she was not a 'survivalist' as some reports said, that guns were not her only hobby and primary interest. 
Authorities say Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot his mother in their home [four times in the head, while she was in bed, found in her pajamas, possibly asleep]and 26 others at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
Nancy Lanza, Holmes said, seemed like “a normal everyday lady.” 
Holmes said that while she collected old guns, he had no idea she might 
have the type of weapons used in the school shooting. 
“That was a shock,” he said. 
Holmes said Nancy Lanza never invited him inside and would even pay 
him in the yard. 
She liked good draft beers and was a regular at a local bar called My 
Place, he said. 
According to the Daily Mail, Mrs Lanza appeared to live in comfort with Adam. There was also suggestions that she was unable to work."She needed to be home with Adam," one family insider said. The mother of the loner who massacred 26 pupils and staff at a US primary school may have played a major part in his catastrophic mental breakdown, it emerged last night.
Friends and family portrayed Adam Lanza’s mother Nancy as a paranoid ‘survivalist’ who believed the world was on the verge of violent, economic collapse.
She is reported to have been struggling to hold herself together and had been stockpiling food, water and guns in the large home she shared with her 20-year-old son in Connecticut.
Mrs Lanza, 52, was a ‘prepper’ – so called because they are preparing for a breakdown in civilised society – who apparently became obsessed with guns and taught Adam and his older brother, Ryan, how to shoot, even taking them to local ranges. Source: Daily Mail
Gun lover: Nancy Lanza had reportedly become 'obsessed' with guns and taught Adam how to shootSources close to the investigation also revealed last night that Nancy had recently stopped hosting monthly get-togethers for neighbors in order to look after her increasingly troubled son.
The 50-year-old is thought to have worked as a supply teacher at the elementary school where the shootings took place.Last night it also emerged Nancy was a member of the Doomsday Preppers movement, which believes people should prepare for end of the world. Her former sister-in-law Marsha said she had turned her home ‘into a fortress’. She added: ‘Nancy had a survivalist philosophy which is why she was stockpiling guns. She had them for defense. ‘She was stockpiling food. She grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. She was skilled with guns. We talked about preppers and preparing for the economy collapsing.’ Source: Daily Mail

Nancy Lanza's ex-sister-in-law, Marsha Lanza was interviewed by WLS reporter Evelyn Holmes and described Nancy as an "awesome ... giving person."
Marsha currently lives in Crystal Lake, a suburb of Chicago. She told Holmes that Nancy pulled her son, Adam Lanza, out of Newtown schools and chose to home school him.Marsha currently lives in Crystal Lake, a suburb of Chicago. She told Holmes that Nancy pulled her son, Adam Lanza, out of Newtown schools and chose to home school him.
"She mentioned she wound up home-schooling him because she battled with the school district," explained Marsha Lanza.
It is not clear at what age he was pulled out of school, but various media reports indicate it may have been around 10th grade.
Nancy Lanza's brother gave a statement through police expressing the 
family's "heartfelt sorrow for the incomprehensible and profound loss of 
innocence." Source: WAPost
Funeral services were held today for Nancy Lanza in a private ceremony on 12/20/12. 
 The Madman:Adam Lanza
Adam Lanza, a troubled 20-year-old loner with a history of autistic behavior, is the monster behind a horrific shooting at a Connecticut elementary school
Update: 12/18/12 5:14pm MST Fox News reports Adam may have been upset over time his mother was spending tutoring at the elementary school and that she was talking about committing him for mental help and a psychiatric evaluation. Earlier reports had said they thought she worked there as a teacher, or substitute teacher or an aide, now they are saying she tutored students in the class he shot??
Update: 12/18/2012 NY Daily News reports Adam destroyed his hard drive before the shooting.
ABC News reported Monday that Lanza possibly used a hammer or screwdriver to destroy the computer in a calculated effort.
“The hard drives are relatively durable, but if the platters are broken, it would  be impossible to recover information,” Abrahimi said.Lanza could have also known how to overwrite the data on the computer, essentially making it irretrievable.
The Daily Mail also provides this profile of the shooter: 
Adam Lanza, a troubled 20-year-old loner with a history of autistic behavior, is the monster behind a horrific shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
Adam Lanza shot his mother, Nancy, at the upscale suburban home they shared together. He then then took three of her guns and drove her black Honda Civic to Sandy Hook Elementary School around 9.30am, where he killed 20 young children and six adults before shooting himself in the head. 
He used two semi-automatic pistols, a Glock and Sig Sauer, and reportedly wiped out an entire classroom of young children, then shot several in a second class before taking his own life with a self inflicted gunshot to the head as he heard law enforcement arriving on the scene. Witnesses say Lanza was going from room to room shooting people, after first killing the principal Dawn Hochsprung and the school psychologist Mary Sherlach execution-style when they confronted him in the hallway. 
Adam Lanza pictured during his secondary school days. 
His mother taught him how to shoot
Lanza's aunt, Marsha Lanza, said her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it.The Crystal Lake, Illinois resident told the Associated Press she was close with Adam Lanza's mother and sent her a Facebook message Friday morning asking how she was doing. Nancy Lanza never responded.Marsha Lanza described Nancy Lanza as a good mother and kind-hearted. If her son had needed counseling, 'Nancy wasn't one to deny reality,' she said.Marsha Lanza said her husband saw Adam as recently as June and recalled nothing out of the ordinary about him.However, another relative to the family said that Adam Lanza was ‘obviously not well,’ adding that he often seemed troubled. They described Nancy as being rigid and at times, overbearing. His school years came to an abrupt end when his mother had a dispute with local education officials and ended up having her son home-schooled.
The Lanzas moved to Sandy Hook in around 1998 but Mrs Lanza and her husband divorced ten years later amid rumours that their difficult younger son had put a heavy strain on their marriage.
Source: Daily Mail
ABC News reports, the divorce mediator saying that Adam's mother didn't like leaving him alone.  There was no mention of any lingering mental health or medical issues for Adam Lanza, nothing that could even hint at the horror he would unleash three years later.   
However, according to one source, speaking to Megyn Kelly on Fox News, said he may have been taking an anti-psychotic called Fanapt, which is normally used to treat schizophrenia. NYMag reports Adam's uncle said he was taking an anti-psychotic drug called Fanapt. 
[Update: 12/19/12:Democrat Underground reports the person posing as his Uncle is a disturbed individual who makes unfounded claims&files scrupulous lawsuits often]Hopefully, the police and medical examiner can verify this information by a toxicology test and medical records. 
The Atlantic points out that several diagnoses have been bandied about in the press, including autism, Asperger's, and "personality disorder." Adam Lanza's mother had been increasingly concerned over her son's well-being in the weeks before the tragedy, telling a friend just a week before that he was "getting worse", ‘he was burning himself with a lighter’ and that "she was losing him," the New York Daily News reported. That report makes no mention of Asperger's syndrome.
In working through the terms of their divorce, the couple spent considerable time talking about how to provide for Adam Lanza's well-being, said Paula Levy, a mediator who worked with the couple.During their meetings, the couple mentioned that Adam Lanza had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, an autism-like disorder, Levy said. But the Lanzas were in complete agreement on how to address Adam's needs and said little about the details of his condition, Levy said. 
"The only two things I remember them saying is that she really didn't like to leave him alone and I know they went out of their way to accommodate him," said Levy, who recalled Nancy and Peter Lanza as very respectful of each other and equally concerned about their son's needs.
Former classmate Olivia DeVivo said she remembered Lanza talking about ‘blowing things up’, but added: ‘I put that down to the usual talk of boys. I think he went so unnoticed people didn’t stop to think, “There’s something going on here – maybe he needs some kind of help?”
‘No one is surprised. He always seemed like he was someone who was capable of that because he didn’t really connect with our high school, with our town.’Another former school friend, Jamie Crespo, 19, said: ‘He used to hang with the freaks, guys who dressed in trench coats.’ Other students remember him walking through school dressed in black, carrying a black briefcase.Newtown High School's 2010 class president Ben Federman is like the rest of his classmates - he can barely remember Adam Lanza.Mr Federman, who was home from attending college at Vanderbilt University, told MailOnline that he had heard from many graduates from the class of 2010 and none of them can think of a single friend Lanza had.'The only time I ever saw him was in the hallway and he never seemed to engage anyone. He was just focused on walking from one class to another,' Mr Federman said.His only memory of the 20--year-old Lanza was the bizarre way he dressed - always in button-down shirts that were too big for him. He also usually had pens in his shirt pocket and usually carried a black leather briefcase.
Richard Novia, the school district's head of security until 2008, who also served as adviser for the school technology club, said Lanza clearly 'had some disabilities.
'If that boy would've burned himself, he would not have known it or felt it physically," Novia told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "It was my job to pay close attention to that.'Mr Novia described Lanza as 'a very scared young boy, who was very nervous around people he could trust or he refused to speak with,' Novia said.'Somewhere along in the last four years, there were significant changes that led to what has happened,' Novia said. 'I could never have foreseen him doing that.'Yesterday reports claimed he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism where sufferers experience difficulties with communication and social skills, which can lead to isolation and emotional problems. Adam Lanza was a ‘ticking time bomb’ who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome and was painfully shy and awkward, former classmates said yesterday.
According to the UK Telegraphthose on the autistic spectrum have a more limited emotional range and can miss social cues, making it more difficult for them to communicate and feel empathy with others. Difficulties communicating can cause frustration, which can spill over into aggression.Several studies have found that violence and criminal behaviour are no more common in those diagnosed with autism than they are in the general population.
Asperger's syndrome is a type of autism which is more commonly diagnosed in those with higher than average intelligence.
And Lanza was said by classmates to be fiercely intelligent.
Studies have suggested that 50 per cent of the prison population meet the criteria for the diagnosis. Those with such disorders are more likely to embark on impulsive, risk-seeking behaviour, in an attempt to escape feeling empty or emotionally void. In such cases, they are likely to have little regard for the consequences of their actions, and are unlikely to experience fear.
Adam Lanza had few friends and, as a child, went to great trouble not to mix with his fellow students at his state school. A Newtown resident also suggested he was home-schooled for some time.
 The Daily Mail also reports the following: 
Last night, a troubling portrait began to emerge of the ‘Goth’ loner, who dressed all in black and was obsessed with video games.
Others say Lanza used to be a mild-mannered student in high school, making the honor roll, and living with his mother, Nancy Lanza

Neighbor Justin Germak, 17, said he knew Lanza ‘had a condition’. ‘You definitely noticed it. He was needy. He struggled to be social.’'Everyone just assumed he was a smart kid and that’s why he didn’t like talking to people all the time,' Peter Lalli, 20, who graduated with Lanza in 2010, told the New York Daily News. 'He hung out with the smart crowd.'Another former classmate said Adam has been 'a weird kid since we were five years old.'Tim Dalton wrote on Twitter: 'As horrible as this was, I can't say I am surprised...'Family friends said Lanza’s  problems started to escalate when his parents divorced in 2008 after 18 years together.
One of Lanza’s former classmates spoke of his ‘noticeable decline’ after his parents’ divorce. ‘He was a loner at school and hyper intelligent,’ he said. ‘But in recent years he disappeared off the radar.
‘The word is that he was badly affected when his parents split and that might be what pushed him over the edge. ‘He was always weird but the divorce affected him. He was arguing with his mother. He was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.’ 
"The kids seemed really depressed" by the break-up, said Ryan Kraft, 25, who stayed with Adam when Mrs Lanza went out.
"He would have tantrums," Mr Kraft said. "They were much more than the average kid [had]."
Source: Daily Mail 
  "His mom, Nancy, had always instructed me to keep an eye on him at all times and never turn my back or even go to the bathroom or anything like that, which I found odd, but I really didn't ask," Kraft told KABC. "It wasn't any of my business, but looking back at it now, I guess maybe there was something else going on."
NYT:Adam Lanza, 20, had grown up in Newtown and had an uncle who had been a police officer in New Hampshire. The uncle, James M. Champion, issued a statement expressing “heartfelt sorrow,” adding that the family was struggling “to comprehend the tremendous loss we all share.”
WSJ: Details emerged Sunday about suspected Newtown school shooter Adam Lanza‘s time at a local university here, a few miles from Sandy Hook. [While reports from former classmates have said he was very intelligent and compared him to a genius his grades in college do not appear above average, some thought he graduated high school early, but perhaps that was because his mother pulled him out of school early to home school him, it is not clear if he graduated or not.]
In summer 2008, when he was 16 years old, Adam Lanza took two computer science classes at Western Connecticut State University and got an A in visual basic and an A-minus in website production, university spokesman Paul Steinmetz said.
In the fall, he took “Philosophy 101: Introduction to Ethical Theory” and received a C.
Mr. Steinmetz said the school had no record of any disciplinary issues with Mr. Lanza, who studied as a part-time student and wasn’t pursuing a degree. His final grade point average was 3.26.
 Mr. Lanza also dropped out of an introductory German course in spring 2009. Renate Ludanyi, his professor, didn’t remember him, but after checking her records said he had gotten a “D” on one test. One of his classmates in that course, Dot Stasny, remembers Mr. Lanza sitting alone in the back of the classroom.
“We tried to say ‘Hi’ to him every so often, and he just seemed nervous,” Ms. Stasny said. “He didn’t have anybody to connect with because we were all older.”
The Father 
Nancy Lanza was divorced from Peter Lanza who lives in Stamford, Connecticut
Father: Peter, a wealthy executive for General Electric, who is believed to earn $1million a year, moved out of the family home in 2006, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’

Nancy Lanza was divorced from Peter Lanza who lives in Stamford, Connecticut.
His father, Peter Lanza, had divorced Nancy in 2008 because of ‘irreconcilable differences,’ and now lives in Stamford, Connecticut. 
A reporter for the Stamford Advocate broke the news to him that his son had allegedly shot and killed 26 people, including his ex-wife.
The gunman's father Peter Lanza, declined to comment after police performed a welfare check on him.
Neighbors said he recently remarried.
Mr Lanza learned of the tragic and senseless massacre by reporters who had flocked to his home.
He arrived shortly after police left and asked what the problem was.
The Stamford Advocate said his expression shifted from patient to surprise to horror.
His father Peter, a wealthy executive for General Electric, who is believed to earn $1 million a year, moved out of the family home in 2006, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’.
The 52-year-old married librarian Shelley Cudiner last year, and the couple moved 40 miles away to Stamford, Connecticut..
Mr Lanza's lawyer Gary Oberst said: "He was very upset that he was getting divorced, but he didn't want to take it out on anybody."He did more than he had to with the divorce. When he came in to consult with me, I said 'This is what your obligation is.' And he said: 'That's not enough. I want to do more.'"
However, he continued to provide well for Nancy and their younger son, giving her the family home as well as nearly $325,000 a year. 
He works as the vice president of taxes for GE Energy Financial Services, and lives with his new wife on a sprawling street glittered with multimillion-dollar homes. The couple apparently married in 2011.
Lanza and his mother, Nancy, lived in a well-to-do part of Newtown, a prosperous community of 27,000 people about 60 miles northeast of New York City. Neighbors said that the mother always took great pride in her Colonial-style house, and always kept her home tidy.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom house is estimated to be worth around $537,000, and is situated on 2.19 acres of land.
He graduated high school in 2010, but was not pictured in the school yearbook. Rather, a block reading ‘camera shy’ is the entire imprint he left.
A grandmother of the suspect - who is also the mother of Nancy Lanza - was too distraught to speak when reached by phone at her home in Brooksville, Florida.
'I just don't know, and I can't make a comment right now,' Dorothy Hanson, 78, said in a shaky voice as she started to cry. She said she hadn't heard anything official about her daughter and grandsons. She declined to comment further and hung up.Source: Daily Mail
Peter Lanza, the father of 20-year old Adam Lanza who murdered 27 people in Newtown, Connecticut, yesterday, has issued a statement: "Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured. Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired." Source: Business Insider
The Older Brother- Ryan Lanza
Adam's brother Ryan, 24, an accountant at Ernst and Young, said Adam had a personality disorder,and was originally thought to have been the shooter, and later questioned by police after he was arrested at his home in Hoboken, New Jersey. 
"My brother has always been a nerd," Ryan said, according to Gloria Milas, whose son was a club member along with Adam Lanza.
Lanza's brother Ryan reportedly told police that his sibling had autism or Asperger's syndrome, and a personality disorder. He gave no details, but anti-social disorder - also known as sociopathy - is the type most closely linked with violence and criminal behaviour. Unlike Adam, Ryan went on to college; and followed his father into finance. He was living with friends in an attractive red-brick property in New Jersey. 
Ryan also said that he had not seen his brother Adam since 2010. Source: Daily Mail

Ways to help the families:

The Sandy Hook School Support Fund was established by United Way at or call 203.792.5330 x239 for more information. 
The Newtown Memorial Fund is located on Facebook and at Ryan Kraft’s fundraiser at generated $49,403 in donations to date and, as with the previous charity, more donations are welcomed. accepting donations for teacher Anna Marie Murphy's four children and scholarship program for charity.
Emilie Parker Fund on Facebook

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