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Psychologist: Lanza’s hatred of mother led to killing spree

Posted at 10:17 PM, Dec 14, 2012

Richmond, Va. (WTVR) - Friday morning in Newtown, Connecticut, police say 20 year-old Adam Lanza woke up, killed his mother, took her car and drove it to Sandy Hook Elementary. 

There he shot and killed the principal and other administrators, before shooting a classroom full of little children, and himself.

“He murdered 20 little children, and initially I was pressed to determine a reason for such a thing,” said Dr. Michael Banks, a psychologist who specializes in forensics and criminal behavior.

Banks believes Lanza's killing spree had much to do with Lanza's anger—and even hatred for his mother, a kindergarten teacher or volunteer at the school.

Police say Lanza shot his mother in the face. Banks says that's an indication of extreme rage.

"His intent was to disfigure his mother..I say that because if he simply wanted to kill his mother he just would have simply done that. There has to be some angst that he holds against the class, and what she did for a living. Children that she nurtured, perhaps not nurturing him. Giving up, or believing that she gave up time with him to spend time with the children… He must have harbored a deep seeded hatred for a long, long time prior to this particular act,” he says.

He believes the adults that were killed were just "in the way" of his target: the children.

CBS 6 asked Dr. Banks why would Lanza kill children?

“The fact that they were children were not as important as the object of his rage. If she [Lanza's mother]  had taught high school students or college students, he would have murdered them as well. They were simply an end to his means… I think this [massacre]  was his way to strike at his mother for something and to punish her, although she would never be around to experience the horror of what her son did,” Banks said.