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Family of victim meet killer’s dad — 9 Comments

  1. The more I think about this story, the more I realize that I want to comfort those in this world like Adam Lanza’a father, as well as the families of their victims.
    I don’t know the inner workings of the Lanza family, except what I have read in the papers and surmised from my own situation as the parent of a killer without remorse, a psychopath.
    I know Adam don’t “fit in” at regular schools and his mother had apparently tried her best to educate him and “mainstream” him and was in the process, apparently of making a change in residence and maybe place him in a school where he could succeed at mainstreaming. Did that upcoming change stress Adam enough that he killed her and went on a rage-filled killing?
    I know his parents were divorced and I read that his father and brother were estranged from Adam. Possibly had not had contact with him in months or years. Did Adam’s problems contribute to or cause the parents to divorce? As a Registered Nurse Practitioner working with families who have “special needs” children, be it retardation, paralysis, head injuries, I have seen families ultimately broken by the child’s necessary care. Maybe those families were on the brink of dissolution at the time the child’s needs became paramount in the family dynamics, and that was the “final straw” that caused the divorce.
    Adam’s mother apparently did everything she could figure out to help her son, but she was not successful in her efforts, and paid for her efforts by being Adam’s first victim. I can relate to Adam’s mother as I know that I did everything in my power to stop Patrick’s descent into crime and violence. I was not successful in stopping it, or in keeping him from not only being a criminal, but in becoming a murderer.
    I realize that my family is “full of” people who are high in psychopathic traits and that though neither I nor my son’s father are psychopaths, the DNA was there and when puberty hit and the hormones raged, the normal amount of rebellious behavior in a teenager became over the top.
    My mother’s brother was a violent misogynist and alcoholic who beat almost every woman in the family as well as terrorized his children. At age seven he started his violence by trying to smother his newborn sister. My grandmother, a sweet lady overly endowed with empathy, and having been raised and socialized in a family in which Daddy was an abusive alcoholic and it was the duty of the females to protect the family from the community knowing about the family dynamics, she kept secret from my Grandfather her son’s violence. Her “reason” was “if his daddy knew he would whip him and he might run away from home.” She tried to protect her daughter by keeping her close, but the smothering continued until her daughter was seven and her son 14, at which time my Grandfather found out and did whip my uncle and the smothering stopped.
    The violence against women that were afraid of him continued for his lifetime, however. He never tried to physically accost me however, because he knew I would fight back. As far as I know he never attacked any men, but was a coward at heart.
    My biological father met all the criteria of the Psychopath Check List, Revised devised by Dr. Robert Hare, including violent criminal activity. However, he managed to become very very wealthy and famous and to skirt the law in many many ways, including getting away with two murders I know about personally.
    Going back in the genealogy on both sides, there are many people who were high in psychopathic traits even though they were mainstream members of society. My grandmother was high in traits and her father was as well, and was a bigamist even though he was a Methodist minister.
    I know that “DNA is NOT DESTINY” but I also know that it plays a big part in psychopathy and violence, high risk taking and poor relationships. The studies of identical twins raised apart shows that there is an 80% chance that if one twin is a psychopath, the other will be even though they are raised in different environments from birth. Yet I raised another son that though he is ADHD, and many psychopaths are also ADHD, is not without conscience, while Patrick is not ADHD, yet is a psychopath.
    I don’t know what Adam Lanza’s problems were, or why he didn’t fit into society. Some have suggested Aspergers or somewhere on the autism spectrum, but I doubt that as while those with some level of autism may have diminished empathy, they do not generally hurt others on purpose.
    Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen’s studies of those with various levels of autism wrote a very interesting book about the “bell curve” of empathy, and differentiated between the psychopath’s lack of empathy, but seeming to enjoy hurting others, where the autistic person, maybe totally devoid of empathy, would never purposely hurt another.
    Whatever Adam Lanza’s problems were, we will never know for sure, they were catastrophic for both his victim’s families and for his own family, just as Patrick’s psychopathy was catastrophic for both Jessica’s family and for our family. I wish Jessica’s family had reached out to me, even to “blame” me for Patrick’s evil, but I can at least be somewhat comforted that he did not kill more, and that it wasn’t on the national news with the National Enquirer and CNN standing on my door step. I can’t even imagine that for Peter Lanza.

  2. Joyce, I cannot imagine the grief that a parent experiences when their child is murdered. I also cannot imagine the grief that the parent of the perpetrator experiences – the isolation, rejection, and shame. I just can’t.

    I don’t know if I would have the ability to reach out to a victim’s family, or not. My first response would probably be to attempt it, though I would likely be hampered by shame and fear. I would most likely feel compelled to apologize for my offspring’s actions and just hold on to the hope that the victim’s family realized that I was not responsible for my child’s actions. I don’t know. I have no frame of reference for his other than apologizing to my son’s first wife for what she suffered at his hands.

    I agree that DNA does not necessarily mean that someone born into a ppath or spath family will, without doubt, turn out ppath or spath, themselves. But, what I noted with my eldest was that he watched, absorbed, and processed the dynamics of our family as being “normal” and appropriate. It is my understanding that he has expressed remorse and identified (to his younger brother) things that he did and that he’s made efforts to control his behaviors, but I can’t take that as Gospel.

    SO, having typed that, I can only convey my sincere support to you, and to those parents who tried to do everything within their power to get help for their disordered children. I can empathize with that effort, because I did as much as I was able while my son was still a minor, and there were MANY instances when there was simply no concern from agencies, counselors, program staff, etc. It was more a matter of warehousing my son until he was out of the Juvenile System…..UGH…..

  3. Dear Truthspeak,
    Your son may not have killed his wife, but he did wound her, and you did your best to comfort her and to help her in her own grieving process, and believe me, the end of a relationship with any person who is disordered is a painful process complete with grief. The extent of the damage is the only difference, the point is that our children deliberately hurt someone else. I’m glad that my son didn’t kill 26 people instead of one, but it is just a matter of degree, not of the lack of remorse or the extent of his rage.
    While science has shown that DNA is not destiny, none the less, just as with a person who has the DNA for alcoholism has more “temptation” to over drink than someone without that “Alcoholic DNA,” the person who has the mix of genes which give them the tendencies to lack empathy and to therefore be devoid of conscience, be more egocentric, and crave the adrenaline rush of high risk behaviors is more likely to be high in traits associated with anti-social behavior on some level.
    What is your son’s relationship with the rest of your or his family? My son “expresses remorse” eloquently as well, and the letter of remorse he wrote to the parole board was a wonder fiction that would bring tears to your eyes but his behavior has not changed.

  4. More information about the meeting of the parents.

    “‘We definitely expressed our condolences for one another and we felt he was very receptive,’ Mr Parker said. ‘I got the impression he was very grateful for the chance to speak to somebody.’

    “They added that, while they are not angry at Mr Lanza, they do hold him partly accountable for the horror their son inflicted on December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    ‘We don’t hold him solely responsible,’ Mrs Parker said. ‘I feel like he’s made mistakes. I don’t feel he should be responsible for what happened that day. It was not ultimately his decision to do [it].’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297459/Parents-Alissa-Robbie-Parker-Newtown-shooting-victim-meeting-killer-Adam-Lanzas-father.html#ixzz2OHw1ptNG
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    NOT SOLELY responsible? What does that mean?

    While I understand that these people are in the early stages of grieving over the loss of their child, to blame the father of an adult son even partly for that adult son’s behavior (even a young adult) is what society does, but doesn’t make it “right” at least in most cases.
    No parent is perfect, and no child is perfect, and those of us who have done our best with trying to raise children who, for whatever reason, failed to become socially acceptable adults, to be blamed for the behavior over which we had no control smarts.
    Peter Lanza, I do not believe, should “share” in the guilt for any of Adam’s murders. There was nothing he could have done to have prevented what his son did. He had no advance knowledge of what his son intended to do.
    I had sincerely hoped that this meeting between these grief stricken parents of the little girl would not place even partial blame on Peter Lanza and would give peace and healing to both parties without unfairly condemning Peter Lanza who also lost the mother of his children and his son as well. To say nothing of having to bear the public condemnation for what Adam did. I am very disappointed in this report. I had hoped for much more.

    • Joyce, this is one of the reasons that I believe parents of the offenders are so reluctant to reach out to the families of victims. SOMEONE has to be blamed, and the dead cannot experience shame, anymore, so people immediately hold the living relatives responsible. It’s part of the Human Condition to desire a scapegoat, I think, and I have no doubt that Peter Lanza wakes up every morning wishing he were someone else.

      Sure, it’s a wish that someone could have done something to prevent Adam’s rampage! But, in all sincerity, what COULD have been done? Since he wasn’t living with his father and was apparently estranged from him and his brother, how can Peter even be conceivably held “responsible” for another adult’s choices?

      But, this is what people do. They want (need?) someone to take the blame. Since Adam and his mother have been buried, Peter is the only one left to take out after.

      Very, very, very sad. I cannot imagine that anyone would want to trade places with Peter Lanza for anything….

      • Well, I can tell you from experience of being the parent of a person who murdered ONE person that I would have traded places with the mother of my son’s victim, and put my son in the ground and her daughter in jail. Peter doesn’t even have that option, he lost his son too.
        Throughout these 20+ years since Patrick gunned down Jessica I’ve wanted to comfort her family, not to take responsibility for what Patrick did, but because I feel such empathy and compassion for them. I’ve never contacted them though because I was afraid that it might have hurt them more. Until recently when I Googled Jessica’s name and up came an article about her life, death, and my son’s trial, written by her dad’s sister. I had not known even if the family was protesting Patrick’s parole. I posted a small reply to the article, but there hasn’t been a lot of activity on the account in about three years so I don’t know if or when the family might see it. It was tough reading about the family’s grief and anxiety between the time she went missing and when they found her body nearly two weeks later. She died December 20th and was not found til about New Year’s. I helped plan the funeral for a 21 year old neighbor girl killed in a wreck and we buried her on Christmas eve and every Christmas I think about her, so I imagine Jessica’s family remembers that Christmas with her missing with a vivid recall as each succeeding holiday season rolls around.
        I pray for peace for Peter Lanza and his other son, and I don’t doubt his heart is as heavy as the family of every child or adult who died that day.

  5. Joyce, I’m a survivor of several sociopaths that purposely destroyed my life, as I knew it. With the help of Jesus’ truth, I rebuilt my life to a new reality. I’ve noticed several patterns with the anti-social personalities. The first is obvious, the LIP SERVICE that they give everyone and anyone in their lives so they can continue using everyone for their selfish wants/desires/needs. The name of their game is “what’s in it for me”. This lip service mechanism becomes refined as they age. They use lies and manipulations from childhood throughout their lives. Perfecting their techniques for each encounter. It’s the ultimate win/lose mentality. They are going to win and their opponent will lose … and everyone/anyone is an opponent. With that mindset, how does the average loving person expect these monsters to change? Even if they worked with the best counselors in the world, they’d give these professionals lip service as well. With this said, the average loving person refines themselves to be the best that God wants us to be, ridding ourselves of sins, and replacing the errors of our ways with the qualities of Jesus. Yes, we fall short, but, at least we strive for the qualities of Jesus. Whereas, the anti-social personalities focus on Satan’s lies to benefit them through this world. Satan’s downfall was the sin of pride and everything he did was through lying and manipulation. Sound familiar?

  6. welcome,

    Welcome, Wini, glad you have found your way here to FamilyArrested. While I am a Christian as well and do my best (not always succeeding) in being what the name implies (Christ-like) it is as Jesus said that many false prophets and “wolves” would come into the church to destroy the flocks.

    Look at the Catholic priests who were pedophiles and the administrators who covered up for them for who knows how long? But there are other “ministers” who use and abuse the flock for their own purposes. Look at Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker and all the rich “ministers” who amass fortunes pretending to be shepherds.

    In private life there are also many false “wolves” in the flock using religion as a mask to cover their true intentions. In my former congregation of 50 or so people, our minister was arrested in an internet scheme where he was trying to solicit sex from what he thought was a 14 year old girl. Fortunately, it was a 40 year old deputy sheriff.

    I went to the court hearing. NOT ONE of the other members were there because they wanted to “hush up” the story…but in a small community like this that RICH gossip so there was NO hushing it up.

    We must be vigilant of our own actions and use the “do right” rule but as Jesus and the Apostle Paul both said, if thy brother offend thee, go to him privately, if that doesn’t work, take witnesses, and if that doesn’t work, take it to the church and if that doesn’t work, treat them as a heathen and don’t even eat with them. To me that sounds like NO CONTACT. No contact is difficult if this person is a member of your family and you love them. It was extremely painful and difficult for me with my son Patrick, but by practicing what Jesus recommended to this kind of offender, I have saved myself a tremendous amount of pain and suffering for myself.

    The Bible is a wonderful guide on how to live life to its fullest and how to treat our fellow men, even offenders. Unfortunately many people TWIST the teachings to fit their own agendas or use it to cover up their own iniquity.

    Again, welcome Win!i


    • Thank you Joyce for your kind welcome.

      As you know, Church is community with like minded souls. Jesus told us to read the Bible so we can sharpen our knowledge of His truth. With that said, do most people today open their Bibles and read His truth? If not, that’s why deceivers get away with their manipulations and lies. Some good scriptures to remember:

      Matthew 7:13-29 [Jesus speaking]
      Matthew 23:29-36
      Mark 7:5-23

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