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Crime United States News

Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage 1719

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Here's some breaking news I saw MSNBC this morning that I haven't seen reported anywhere in the print media yet. NBC reporter Pete Williams reported on Chuck Todd's The Daily Rundown that (police) 'had been hopeful that they could extract some information from the computer at (Lanza's) home. He was very into computers. Before he left his mother's house on the morning that he shot his mother while she was sleeping, he damaged extensively his computer. He took the hard drive out, pulled the disk out, and did a lot of damage to it,' said Williams. 'It's not clear that (police) are going to be able to extract any information or not.' It has previously been reported that Lanza left no online footprint. Police had been eager to examine Lanza's computer in hopes of determining a motive in his killings or finding records of purchases of firearms and ammunition. 'If he visited certain websites, they are going to glean whatever information they can from that and see what it means,' said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly. 'Does he have friends he communicates with online? Was there a fight with somebody?'"
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Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage

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  • by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:56PM (#42316719) Homepage Journal

    Premeditated. This wasn't an impulsive act.

    • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:00PM (#42316771) Homepage Journal

      Premeditated. This wasn't an impulsive act.

      Full body kevlar (as reported by the media, anyway, though I have my doubts) isn't something people put on as an impulse, either.

      • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:04PM (#42316813) Homepage Journal

        Full body kevlar (as reported by the media, anyway, though I have my doubts) isn't something people put on as an impulse, either.

        Speak for yourself...

        Some of us like to think that S.W.A.T. is a fashion statement, especially if you accessorize.

        Talk about sexy on the catwalk..sporting kevlar and flashbangs!!!

      • by alienzed ( 732782 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:14PM (#42316947) Homepage
        I take it you don't live in New York...
      • Sez you (Score:5, Funny)

        by Safety Cap ( 253500 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:21PM (#42317045) Homepage Journal

        I was running late for work today and realized I forgot to do laundry over the weekend.

        The only thing left to do was put my full body kevlar on over my "Venom" costume.

        Fortunately, I work for a bunch of blind people.

    • by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:00PM (#42316779)

      I heard a psychologist on NPR last week saying that most massive shooting are long time premeditated actions. Almost no shooter just goes crazy take a gun and shoot everybody. They all spend weeks at it.

      • by YodasEvilTwin ( 2014446 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:10PM (#42316901) Homepage
        Yeah, you'd think you'd have to work up to that sort of thing. It's too complex an action for it to just come out of someone at random; it's the result of long-term turmoil and a damaged pysche.
      • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:16PM (#42316981) Homepage Journal
        Which is why mandatory waiting periods are pointless. The wait should be no longer than it takes to make the federally mandated background check-- which apparently somehow needs start taking people's mental health into account. He was only 20, so the known issues he had in school should have been flagged. I imagine the privacy laws in regards to minors may be an issue.
        • by Talderas ( 1212466 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:23PM (#42317079)

          He didn't purchase any of the guns he used so a background check wouldn't matter. The purchaser and owner of all the weapons was his mother.

  • Rookie (Score:5, Funny)

    by kc67 ( 2789711 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:56PM (#42316721)
    Should have used DBAN.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:59PM (#42316757)

    His behaviors match that of typical anonymous posters.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) * on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:00PM (#42316785)

    Over a hundred people die from firearms every day in America. Roughly about 1/3 accidents, 1/3 suicides, and 1/3 deliberate homicides. Dwelling on massacres like Sandy Hook is not really a good idea for many reasons. Most gun homicides are committed with handguns, by people with long records of violent crime, and are done more often than not in heated emotion. But these school massacres fit none of those patterns. They are usually done with rifles, by people that are "odd" and loners but without any record of violent crime, and they are usually meticulously planned. In many ways these make them the hardest violent acts to prevent. We should focus on preventing more on the everyday killings, many of which should be preventable, instead of focusing too much on the black swans where any plausible effort is unlikely to make much difference.

    We should try to learn from history: On January 17th, 1989 Patrick Purdy [] walked into a school yard in Stockton, California, and opened fire on the children playing there, killing five and wounding 29. In the months that followed, legislation was rushed through to outlaw rifles similar in appearance to the one he used. Back in those days, it was common for gun owners to support "common sense" gun control. But they watched gun control advocates, who often claimed that they wanted to restrict handguns and not hunting guns such as rifles and shotguns, use this tragedy to push through bans on rifles and only rifles, and do so on the basis of appearance (shape of the grip, bayonet stud, etc.) rather than functionality. The result had a negligible effect on crime, but resulted in a significant decline in support for gun control in America. There was also a strong political backlash. Many pro-gun-control politicians lost elections, and the urban-rural split between the two major political parties became more pronounced. I really hope that we do something more sensible this time.

    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:11PM (#42316915) Homepage Journal

      I really hope that we do something more sensible this time.

      So, what are you going to do?

      Unless you outright ban guns....or possibly legislate it so that only single shot weapons are legal, you're not going to change or do anything.

      Only law abiding people follow the laws...criminals, by definition, aren't going to abide by them.

      And banning guns tomorrow, totally...would not affect gun crime in the US for decades, there are just too many guns and ammo to be had out there. If you did this...again, only the law abiding would suffer at the hands of criminals which would still be fully and heavily armed.

      I'm sorry, shit happens. Crazy people are out there, and will pop up from time to time, and kill lots of people.

      Hell, wasn't there recently a killing spree at a grade school in German or somewhere else in Europe where the killing and damage done was with a knife?

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) * on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:46PM (#42317433)

        So, what are you going to do?

        Doing nothing would be more sensible than what we did in 1989 in California. Not only was it pointless (banning weapons based on appearance rather than functionality) but was probably downright counter-productive by outlawing thousands of existing guns and pushing them onto the black market.

        Right now there is a big push to "do something", and I hope we don't do something that stupid again. I am not an advocate of more gun control, but if we are going to "do something", than it should be aimed at cheap handguns that are used in killings everyday rather than a futile attempt to prevent the next Sandy Hook.

    • by dingDaShan ( 818817 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:13PM (#42316939)
      ++++ This is the most sensible thing that I've heard on the situation. Let's mourn the victims, but not let this be a cause to further erode freedom.
    • by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:22PM (#42317061)
      We focus plenty of resources on those everyday homicides. Those homicides are the reason we have security gaurds with guns at the entrances to Banks and not elementry schools. Spending more resources on that problem won't neccesarily change anything. At some point your just harrasing innocent people who fit profiles. It should also be noted that violent crime of that sort has been on a decline. Plus the 1/3 deliberate homicides include plenty of people involved in crimes. If your not sucidal, don't own a gun, and not involved in crime your not at much risk. At some level society doesn't care abuot those deaths.
    • by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:35PM (#42317249)

      Over a hundred people die from firearms every day

      [citation needed]

    • by DarkTempes ( 822722 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:46PM (#42317429)
      I agree a lot with your post except for that leading statistic.

      2009 Cause of death stats by the CDC:
      Accidental discharge of firearms: 554
      Intentional self-harm (suicide) by discharge of firearms: 18,735
      Assault (homicide) by discharge of firearms: 11,493
      Total: 30782

      That's 16% less than "over 100 a day" and nowhere near even third splits
      A less misleading and sensationalist introduction would be "about 31 people died a day from gun-related homicides."

      I honestly don't see guns involved in suicides as an issue as people that want to kill themselves are going to find ways to do it.
      The number we obviously need to work on is the 11.5k gun homicides, especially when you compare us to other countries.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:01PM (#42316789)

    This should be a reminder to all of us to be that friend he probably didn't have. I'd have killed myself in college if it weren't for a few online friends. Skearrit and Zenobia, that's you. It's WoW now instead of MUDs, but people are the same.

  • by Jaborandy ( 96182 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:27PM (#42317127)
    When I want to physically destroy my hard drives, I use bullets. Here's why it works:

    The surface of the platters is covered in magnetic data, but in order to read it you have to be able to pass a head over it. If you bend the platters, put a few jagged holes in them, and destroy the bearing center, there is no technology that can run a read head reliably over a data track. If the platters are bent, you can't install them in a new drive or mount new heads. You also can't flatten them to the original tolerances without destroying the magnetic surface coating.

    The biggest hand-waving magic people fear is the electon microscope techinques which have been shown to dig up even erased data by looking at the edges of the latest written data to see what was there before. While this is technically possible in ideal conditions, it requires that you can move the platter under the tip of the microscope with incredible precision. Without the platters in perfect physical shape, you'd risk destroying the electron microscope's fragile tip.

    Pistol rounds generally dent the platters pretty seriously. Rifle rounds generally punch through leaving jagged holes. A combination of both is a fun day at the range, makes great desk art, and securely pretects your drives from ever being decoded again.

    • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:59PM (#42317645)

      I don't think you actually do this, at least have not in some years. I in fact do tear drives apart and melt the exterior aluminum casting for ... casting (duh, nothings a better casting raw material than cast product.. trying to cast extruded alloys is usually an exercise in futility).

      Anyway I have the scar on my hand to prove that you don't do that kinda of stuff with modern glass platters, they are not safety glass they pretty much explode into shrapnel. Yes they do bend, in fact they bend pretty well before they shatter. Weird but true. I would hazard a guess that "most" drives bigger than 10 gigs are glass platter and very few below a gig are glass platter. Yes in the 90s they were all metal of various kinds, and made nice windchimes and targets.

      One interesting observation is for decades all you need to completely disassemble a hard drive is about 4 torx size screws, like T5, T20 and a couple others. Also the color of platters follows no obvious pattern over the decades due to different chemistry.

      But don't go telling kids now a days to smash up their platters, or there's gonna be sharper than razor glass shards everywhere and/or stitches.

  • *confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:33PM (#42317219)

    I am often confused, and more than just a little alarmed at the polarization that stories like this cause.

    On one side, there are the people that would rather live in an Aldus Huxley novel than suffer the slight against their perceptions of safety that allowing the general public access to firearms presents. (Seriously. If there are 100 shootings per day, out of 250 million persons in the USA, your chances of being so shot on any given day are 4 places to the right of the decimal point in terms of percentages-- (borrowed possibly false statistic from previous poster.) At that rate, you are more likely to die in an airline catastrophe. Contemplate that when you advocate stampeeding over peoples rights because kids were involved.)

    Then, on the other, you have the people that feel we are already deep inside an aldus huxley novel, and have a "freedom fighter" complex. (The types who wear the tinfoil, you know whom it is of which I speak.)

    Where are the people like me, who live in the middle? The people who deplore the senseless death, but who blame a faulted cultue that stigmatizes people with mental health issues, makes care for such insanely unaffordable, and tries to pretend the problem isn't serious? The ones who understand that guns are simply a tool, and the purpose they serve in the hands of the public is a preventative measure against corruption in high places, and nothing more?

    The solution to deaths like these is NOT "gun control".

    The solution to deaths like this is to get people the help they so desperately need, without any overtones of disparagment, or of belittling the people who need that help.

    Outlawing guns does NOT help the mentally ill get the help the need, before they snap and take others with them. It simply sweeps the issue under the rug, because outlawing the tool used for the killing is simply easier. Nevermind that any sense of security the measure brings is false, and endagers more innocent people. (If not a gun, then perhaps a bomb, or poison, or any number of other methods.)

    I am tired of these stories. I am tired of the shield rattling. I am tired of the "Ra Ra Rah!" And gung-ho idiocy of both sides.

    In cases like these, there are *ONLY* victims. There are no bad guys, unless you care to look in the mirror. Our blind complacency to the sufferings of others is what CAUSES this shit. Everything about this story is tradgedy. Stop looking for a fucking scapegoat.

    Seriously. It confuses the fuck out of my why it always must be so, that we all lose our minds over this, and dive headfirst from the frypan into the fire.

    We like to pretend that we have sharp minds.

    For FSM's sake, fucking use them.

  • Guns And Abortion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @06:31PM (#42318915)

    Right wingers believe that new laws will prevent people from getting abortions. Why don't they believe that new laws will prevent people from shooting guns at people?

  • Israel Civil Force (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bodhammer ( 559311 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @06:40PM (#42319023)
    I just read this entire thread and find it fascinating. There are some well thought out arguments on both sides. One thing I have not seen mentioned is the [] . This is a volunteer force, administered by the police. One of the areas they protect is schools and kindergartens. The volunteers are screened, get training, and provide a first line of defense until the troops show up. They have over 50,000 in the force out of a population of 7.7 million. If we had the same percentage in the USA we would have over 20 million people helping with security and crime.
    I'm interested in what this community thinks. Would/Could this work in the USA? Would you volunteer for 12 hours/month?

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"