The 27th Victim: Nancy Lanza Is Subject Of 'Frontline' Documentary | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

The 27th Victim: Nancy Lanza Is Subject Of 'Frontline' Documentary

Play associated audio

The lives of the 26 people murdered by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December were eulogized and celebrated after the tragedy. But many discussions about Lanza's first victim, his mother, Nancy, were marked by both sympathy and suspicion, particularly as the news emerged that she had taken her son to shooting ranges.

An upcoming PBS Frontline documentary seeks a more nuanced view of Nancy Lanza, and by extension, her son Adam. The documentary, Raising Adam Lanza, provides details about Nancy Lanza and her son, the young man who has often been described as smart, aloof, and painfully awkward. (Frontline has posted its video preview here.)

"He was resistant to any type of touching. He had been diagnosed very early with something called Sensory Integration Disorder," The Hartford Courant's Alaine Griffin tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer in a Morning Edition interview. "And what that essentially did is... he wasn't able to guide touch and smell and sight. He wasn't able to, sort of, process things to do with his senses. And we learn that Nancy was very sad at the fact that he couldn't love her back."

Griffin and other reporters from The Courant collaborated with Frontline on the documentary. The newspaper will offer its own feature coverage, as well.

"Through the reporting we did," Griffin says, "we definitely learned more about Nancy and the efforts she went through to give Adam as normal a life as possible as he went from boy to man."

Two months after the shooting, Griffin says, the question of whether Nancy Lanza should be seen as a victim as blameless as any other remains complicated.

"I think the viewers of the Frontline documentary and the readers of The Courant story are going to have to sort of make that judgment on their own," she says.

Raising Adam Lanza will air on Frontline Tuesday, part of a week of PBS programming about the Newtown tragedy.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

What's A Writer Gotta Do To Get A Little Health Care Around Here?

When you're making plans to become a famous author, just remember that you're going to want health care — especially when 40 rolls around and your body is no longer made of rubber.
NPR

When Zero Doesn't Mean Zero: Trans Fats Linger In Food

One in 10 packaged foods still contains trans fats, according to a new study. The problematic oils give foods a rich taste and texture and extend shelf life, but have been linked to heart disease.
WAMU 88.5

Testimony Wraps In McDonnell Trial, Closing Arguments Expected Friday

Leaving the courthouse this afternoon, the former Virginia governor said he was confident in his legal team's defense: "We've got three of the best law firms in the country that are working on this case."
NPR

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans ranks Amazon's new batch of five series pilots, asking why none of them seem break the rules of TV quite enough to draw attention.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.