Official: No plans to fight release of shooter’s writings

October 30, 2018 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Disturbing writings of the Newtown school shooter moved closer to public release Tuesday after Connecticut officials said they had no plans to appeal a court ruling ordering disclosure of the materials.

Adam Lanza’s journals and other belongings were seized from his Newtown home after he killed 20 first-graders, six educators and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. The items included stories he wrote about hurting children and a spreadsheet ranking mass murders.

Connecticut State Police released descriptions of the materials but rejected media requests to view the original documents, leading to a court fight involving The Hartford Courant newspaper and the state’s Freedom of Information Commission. The state Supreme Court ruled last week Lanza’s belongings were not exempt from open records laws and must be released.

Mental health experts have said Lanza’s writings may help shed light on his motives, which remain a mystery. A report by the Connecticut child advocate said Lanza’s severe and deteriorating mental health problems, his preoccupation with violence and access to his mother’s legal weapons “proved a recipe for mass murder.” Lanza, 20, killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, before going to the school.

It remained unclear Tuesday when state police will release the materials. The case must briefly return to a lower court so a judge can issue a formal order to disclose the items.

“We are aware of the decision and are working to obtain the items for their release,” state police said. “This may still take some time as the case has been remanded to Superior Court for action, which we anticipate is a directive for us to release the questioned documents.”

The state attorney general’s office, which represented state police in the court case, had options of asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling or possibly appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Because the state Supreme Court is the court of last resort with respect to the issues in this case — the proper construction and application of Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act — no appeal is anticipated,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement Tuesday.

Among the disputed documents is a spreadsheet ranking mass murders by name and number of people killed as well as a notebook titled “The Big Book of Granny.” The notebook contains a story that Lanza wrote in the fifth grade about a woman who uses her “rifle cane” to kill people.