For Nancy — described by a friend as a “live free or die” New Hampshire native who “came from a culture of guns” — target practice was a wholesome family activity and one of the few ways she felt able to bond with her son. Yet Lysiak also establishes that in 2012 Nancy Lanza was both very concerned about Adam’s mental state and had more or less given up on drawing him out of his shell, although she did hope that a planned move out of state might change that. Furthermore, Nancy was worried enough to venture into the forbidden sanctum of her son’s room, where she discovered many disturbing drawings, “gruesome depictions of death, images of mutilated corpses,” including a “grassy field lined with the corpses of young children.” Was she also aware of the “massive spreadsheet, seven feet long and four feet wide,” ranking “the top five hundred mass murderers in world history”? That would seem like a hard thing either to miss or to shrug off.
According to a friend in whom Nancy Lanza confided after finding the pictures, she hesitated to confront her son because “she feared he might further shut her out” and “he would be lost forever.” Adam Lanza was also, by that point, heavily armed, and if his mother worried that any disturbance might provoke a violent reaction, she was probably right. Yet a resistance to seeking help — or, perhaps, a contentious temperament that caused her to find fault with much of the help offered — had left this self-reliant Yankee with the perception that she had few options.