Law enforcement sources investigating the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., along with an investigation by the Hartford (Conn.) Courant showed a far different picture of Lanza -- at least in his online interactions -- than the popular understanding of a teenager who shunned nearly all forms of human interaction.
In posts on several message boards for gun enthusiasts, an alias authorities suspect was Lanza eschews the normal message board jargon and abbreviations for well composed full sentences that demonstrate not only an intelligent writer but one highly informed on the topic of guns.
Lanza would have been 17 at the time of the posts but he interacts as an equal with individuals who identify themselves as much older, seasoned gun owners. he engages in back-and-forth dialogue about gun regulations and asks for advice on how to obtain and modify certain models banned in Connecticut but available for sale in other states.
On the user-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia, Lanza foreshadows his ultimate interest in mass killings by editing several pages dedicated to events similar to the Sandy hook shooting where he is suspected of killing 20 children and six adults before taking his own life as police closed in.
While Wikipedia wold not confirm Lanza's identity, a user the Hartford Courant said Lanza spent time meticulously editing mass shooting entries, often to include the precise weapons the shooters used.
He seemed particularly interested in a 1988 mass shooting at ESL Inc., a high-technology software manufacturing company in Sunnyvale, Calif. The gunman at ESL, Richard Farley, killed seven people and wounded four others.
That incident bears some striking similarities to the Sandy Hook incident. Both Lanza and Farley are suspected of shooting their way through glass doors to gain access to the building despite security in place. Both carried thousands of rounds of ammunition in vests and shot people at random as they came across them in the building, the Courant said.