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 "Verified" Aug '18 post by Redditor talks about growing up with Adam Lanza

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PostSubject: "Verified" Aug '18 post by Redditor talks about growing up with Adam Lanza    "Verified" Aug '18 post by Redditor talks about growing up with Adam Lanza  Icon_minitimeFri Mar 22, 2019 5:28 am

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"We moved to Connecticut the summer before I entered 6th grade, so 2001 - into a beautiful new house in one of the most beautiful towns. A bit more rural than we were used to in New Jersey, but it was an adjustment.

My sister, is 2 years younger than me, so was going into 4th grade at the time (it's relevant). We came from a neighborhood where we were all super close and everyone knew one another - block parties every summer, kids running back and forth to one another's houses - we were sad to leave it.

Within the first few weeks, we met some of our neighbors, everyone was what we soon defined as very 'Connecticut' - it was all a bit surface and nobody had that New Jersey warmth that we'd be used to (judge NJ all you want, people are friendly!)

In particular, our neighbors directly across the street seemed a bit odd. The mom would come over to vent to my mom about her sons and husband (or ex husband, we couldn't really figure it out at the time) and my mom was a sweetheart and was welcoming and warm. The holidays came around and the neighbor boy across the street was in my sister's 4th grade class. My sister came back slightly alarmed with what had happened in class that day - the students were asked to make a Thanksgiving turkey out of a traced drawing of their hands - on each finger, they were to write things they were thankful for. The neighbor wrote things like "being a loser, hating myself, etc" very dark things for a 4th grader.

Fast forward to Christmas, and my mom hears that they have nowhere to go for the holidays, so she politely invites the mother and 2 sons to our annual Christmas Eve party. The boys were so strange. They listened to Japanese techno, with headphones on, and spoke to nobody. They headed straight to our basement to play video games - it was weird.

The younger one was always much stranger than the older one - and the neighbor mom would always open up to my mom and aunt (who works with special needs students) about how he would hurt himself, and how he needed to be put in special needs programs but that he could never quite be diagnosed. They thought he was on the spectrum at first, but that quickly proved to not be the case. We always assume she'd been confiding in them because my aunt was experienced with special needs kids and that she was looking for advice.

The Christmas Eve's stand out to me because they were at our home, in a very intimate setting, but we saw them on a daily basis. My sister and I would come home from school telling my mom about how weird the younger neighbor boy was, and that something was off. I will never forget her telling us "just be nice to him, you don't know what he is capable of" - that struck me as so odd at the time, but we listened. I don't know if his mother told my mom something that scared her and made her say it, or she just had a gut instinct.

Recently after that, and I can't quite remember if this were middle school or high school - I think I was in 9th grade and my sister and younger neighbor boy were in 7th, so we all rode the bus together. What my mom said, stuck out in my mind, so today I decided to be friendlier than usual. There was snow on the ground and younger neighbor boy was drawing something in it and muttering to himself "Coo Coo Me Ay Looku" (no idea how that should be spelled, but that's what he was saying on repeat and drawing in the snow - it stuck with me). I decided to greet him - "Hi Adam, good morning!" - no eye contact.

"I'll bomb you," he said, making no eye contact.

We let it slide. Came home and told my mom - she reiterated "just be nice. we don't know what he's capable of." Keep in mind, we were KIDS. We didn't know what to take seriously, and what not to. I wish we had done more.

Keep in mind, he wasn't someone who was bullied or made fun of - he was always 'off' in the sense that he could not hold eye contact or a conversation, or even a hello. Kids didn't make fun of him - he was a loner, but it seemed to be by choice. I didn't know why we were cautious/afraid around him other than the fact that he showed zero warmth, zero humanity. We knew he had special needs, so we never really second-guessed anything and just tried to be as polite as possible.

When the bus would drop us all off at our respective houses, he would run all the way up his driveway on the hill with his hands by his sides and then turn around and kind of make a hiss noise down at everyone making claws with his hands. It was always so odd, but again, we were kids, and there are always a couple of kids in school who are a little strange. We took it as just that.

They were invited to several Christmas Eve's so my memories kind of blend here. One year, the neighbor mom started screaming at my innocent grandmother for being a Yankees fan (she was a Red Sox fan). It was BEYOND strange because my g-ma is the cutest little lady of all time and was in no way trying to argue over sports. It was as though the woman clearly had a weird switch go off. She was always nice to me, but I'll be honest, we rolled our eyes every time my mom invited them. It was always such forced conversations with her and as a teenager, I wanted nothing to do with being cornered into another chat. I think she must've just been lonely.

The following year, and the final year they were invited to Christmas Eve, was when she got into it with my mom about having guns in the house. The boys only attended the first couple of Christmas Eve's so it was just the mom this time around. The topic of guns came up. The neighbor mom started telling my mom about how she has guns in the house and how she takes her younger boy to the shooting range all of the time. My mom said that she didn't agree with having guns in the house - wasn't trying to argue, but the neighbor mom got out of hand about it. Very defensive and ultimately, getting aggressive about how she grew up in New Hampshire and that's 'just the way of life' there.

The neighbor mom told us how brilliant the younger neighbor boy was, and that he had hacked into some of the government's highest levels of security and that the CIA showed up on his doorstep. (We have absolutely no idea if this story is true or not, but this is what she told us, so it became our ongoing joke when anything strange happened at our house). There were a few odd things throughout the years - our internet had clearly been messed with, lights would flicker in the house - and we would joke, that it was young neighbor boy each time.

It wasn't until December 14, 2012 that we knew just what he was capable of. I was out of college, working outside of Philadelphia, my sister still a student in college, and my youngest brother a student at the high school. The worst day of all of our lives. My dad heard the gunshots in the morning that killed the neighbor mom, Nancy Lanza. He assumed it had been a hunter in the area, maybe a little closer than usual. Until the FBI showed up and he had to evacuate the house as snipers lined our driveway. My mom was at the mall and we were all frantically calling one another as the news broke slowly throughout the day. At first, they had his identity wrong and said it was his brother, but we knew it had to have been him. Thank god for my mom making sure we were as nice as possible. Although I don't know that it would've stopped him. I wish we had done more at the time, I wish we KNEW to do more at the time. We didn't. We didn't want to assume the worst out of someone. I wish we had.

20 students, 6 teachers - killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School that day. The worst act of evil I have ever experienced so directly in my life and I hope will never fucking experience again. I'm thankful that we survived growing up across the street from him, but gutted for those who did not get so lucky. Kids. Little kids. In a place that should be the safest haven for them in their youth. I hate it so much. I know I will never see him again, but regardless, Adam Lanza, Let's Not Meet ever again."

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