The mind of a potential mass killer

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, a young man who at one point harbored similar thoughts sent an essay to The Daily Beast. I just found it, and even though the three-part essay is six months old, I believe Lovefraud readers will find it interesting and relevant.

This anonymous young man eloquently explains why, as a teenager, he was filled with rage, and how he was able to turn his life around. The key reason is that his mother did not give up.

I was Adam Lanza, on


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3 Comments on "The mind of a potential mass killer"

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This is a really compelling story. Thanks for posting it.

Thanks Donna!
I appreciated being able to read this young man’s story—
without the terrible ending!

It’s sad that people aren’t valued and recognized for their own personalities and talents!Even within one family each child will be different which can prove difficult especially for the mother,as primary caregiver.

I agree with what he says about the media’s responsibility in these crimes being committed!The more it’s reported on;the more glorious it seems,the better chance there is of a copycat crime!
Not only are innocent people being murdered…but the cries of the troubled are falling on deaf ears!So they either commit suicide or else a jury puts them away.

He also made a point I’d already considered.I’d read of how guns would be kept from “troubled” people.I wondered just what they meant by that statement!There are plenty of “troubled” people (such as sociopaths)who are convincing actors/actresses who don’t have police records!

I really appreciate this article, not only for making me think about my own life, but also for helping me understand and have compassion for someone like Adam Lanza – and maybe how to recognize the signs. After all, this is what we always ask after a mass shooting – how can we recognize the signs?

This man’s story is to some extent relatable for me. Though I never harbored fantasies of mass murder, I was an extremely gifted child who grew up very lonely and isolated with few friends. This was exacerbated by the fact of my parents’ abuse and our family moving every few years. If not for the weak connections I had with a few friends and step-relatives, I may have gone the way of Adam Lanza too. It changed for me when I got to college and made many friends, some of whom were also strange like me albeit it in different ways. Prior to that, my fantasies ran more toward suicide than going out in a blaze of glory by shooting a bunch of people. I never saw myself living to be 30. In my 20’s though and well into my 30’s I had a recurring dream of an “ax murderer” who was constantly after me. He was very much like Jason in Friday the 13th and Michael in Halloween – deeply troubled and feeling completely unworthy, bereft of love, friendship, and attention. Unbeknownst to me during the time those dreams were taking place, the ax murderer was actually my shadow side – the deep fear of being unlovable and completely isolated, constructing and hiding behind many defenses, limited only by my very creative mind and all the games it could devise. I met a therapist during that time who recognized my high IQ and noted my severe depression. “Genius is pain” he told me. And he would have known. He was also extremely intellectually gifted and had his own stories to tell. I had never made the connection that my intelligence could have something to do with the severe depression and isolation I experienced.

Now, years later, I have many friends, but I still sometimes fight against the urge to become isolated. Sometimes I still feel “different” because I don’t find many (if any) people who see the world like I do. I think the combination of being gifted and growing up in an abusive family is lethal without any channels for finding support. Looking back, I see my charming personality and affability as my saviors in life. They prevented me from becoming too isolated to find my way back. Even now, when I’m out of sorts, I can always count on going to work and talking with my female co-workers about what we’re wearing and our recent shopping sprees. These sorts of things help keep me grounded.

I also appreciated this man’s story because it depicts very clearly that not all mass murderers are sociopaths, in spite of the lack of empathy needed to commit such a horrible crime. I believe there are many people who do bad things – very bad things – who are not sociopaths. I sometimes think…there but for the grace of God go I. We cannot really imagine what goes on in people’s minds, especially if we label everyone as bad or evil based on our experiences with someone who is a true sociopath.

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