For the first time in history. Geneticists study the DNA of Adam Lanza, who murdered 20 children and six adults in Newtown “Sandy Hook School” on December 14, after killing his own mother, and seek to explain their unexpected mutations boot violence.
It is the first time that law enforcement request this type of research, to analyze in-depth the genes of a murderer. The goal, they explained, is to find abnormalities or mutations somehow explain the escalation of violence that caused of this 20-year-old.
Wayne Carver, who led the forensic team in Connecticut asked to help in this task geneticists at the University of Connecticut, confirmed spokesman university, Tom Green.
The reasons why Lanza took up weapon arms that his mother possessed. He sot her four times in the head and drove to the school to shoot at close range are still under mystery.
Lanza destroyed the hard drive from his computer, apparently before starting the bloodbath, leaving blinded the investigators who hoped to find answers in the habits of the young.
Geneticists are not directly related to this shift of research said they will look mutations or abnormalities in DNA, the genetic material of Lanza, which could increase or behaviors ultraviolent shoot.
For this, not only need to analyze a DNA sample, which can be found in a small drop of blood or a hair-but the complete genome of Lanza, all genes, to find traces that may explain the aggressive act.
As explained Arthur Beaudet, professor at Baylor College of Medicine, it is okay to do this type of analysis because “it is known that mutations associated with mental illness, and some of them may increase violent behavior.”
“I do not think that these mutations explain the behavior of all mass murderers, but some of these genetic abnormalities can cause schizophrenia rates that result in violent behavior,” added the expert.
The study of genes to explain criminal acts is controversial because, says Beaudet, they may tend to stigmatize the mentally ill person, whether or not violent tendencies.
Other experts, like Heidi Tissenbaum, a geneticist at the University of Massachusetts, said that beyond the findings emerging from this research, the answers to this slaughter couldn’t be found only in genetic alterations.
And remarked that it would take thousands of DNA tests on thousands of people to look for a pattern of aggressive behavior that is in the genetic changes.
Police have so far failed to find a motive for Lanza going on the deadly rampage.
Although known to be shy and social inept Lanza had not shown any violent streak although he was known to spend hours in the basement of his home playing violent video games.
His mental condition may also have been affected by his 52-year–old mum who was a ‘prepper’ and had stockpiled food and guns in readiness for a disaster.
UConn’s department of genetics is working hand-in-hand with CT’s Chief Medical Examiner during the study — though a rep for the medical examiner’s office admits … they’re not really sure what they’re looking for.
Results are expected to take several weeks.