He was the last person to die at Sandy Hook Elementary School and like Joseph of Aramathea claimed the body of Christ in secret, the body of the man that killed 26 people was claimed by his father last week, according to a spokesperson for the family. Adam Lanza's father, Peter, of Stamford, Connecticut, claimed his son's body Thursday and there were "private arrangements" over the weekend, according to the family spokesman. He did not elaborate on what those arrangements were.
The body of 20-year old Adam Lanza was claimed by his father but the public may never know what actually happened to the remains of his son and like the families of other mass killers, his father now has to walk a tightrope and balance the mourning of his son's passing while taking into consideration the victims, as well as the risk of a public gravesite could be desecrated or destroyed. Peter Lanza now has to live in two worlds, the world where his ex-wife and son are dead and the world of the 26 people that his son killed.
Kingston, New Hampshire Police Chief Donald Briggs told the Associated Press, the Boston Globe and USA Today, "I know it's very sensitive for the family. They have many, many concerns and it's a very sad time for them." For some, it would be just fine if there were no public reminders of Lanza.
Briggs assisted the family with funeral services for Lanza's mother, who he killed first before going on his shooting spree.
Some people have expressed interest in what made Lanza do what he did. Robin Houser, who worked at at center that coordinated volunteers in Newton said that left up to him, he would have "donated his body to science and let them see what made him tick inside. And then have them take care of it."
Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy, inside their Newtown home on December 14 before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School, shooting his way in and gunning down 20 first-graders and six school employees. He committed suicide as police arrived. The massacre claimed more lives that any school shooting in U.S. history, except for the 2007 Virginia Tech rampage that left 33 people dead.
A private service was held earlier this month at an undisclosed location in New Hampshire for Nancy Lanza, who was divorced from Peter Lanza. Briggs said a public memorial service is also planned for her sometime in the spring.
Authorities have not offered a motive for the killings and Connecticut State police say they have been exploring all aspects of Adam Lanza's life including his education, family history and medical treatment for clues. Authorities have said it could take months to produce a final report on their investigation.
The state's chief medical examiner has sought help from the University of Connecticut genetics department to study Lanza's DNA and determine if there is any identifiable disease associated with his behavior.
Concern about gravesite vandalism has weighed on the families of other notorious killers, including one of the gunmen in the 1999 Columbine High School attack in Colorado. Dylan Klebold's family had him cremated, according to the Reverend Don Marxhausen, who presided over his funeral.
"He couldn't publicly go in a cemetery," Marxhausen told the Associated Press. "There is that issue of people who would desecrate."
Marxhausen said a policeman escorted him to the funeral, and others took circuitous routes to avoid being followed by the media. Marxhausen's role at the funeral sparked an outcry and he later lost his position as pastor at the St. Philip Lutheran Church in Littleton, Colorado but he said he does not regret his role. "Christ always goes where it's darkest. You do your job," he said.
The family of the other Columbine shooter, Eric Harris, has never publicly revealed his final resting place.
According to professor James Fox, who teaches criminology at Northeastern University in Boston, said it is not unusual for notorious criminals to be buried in undisclosed locations to keep away the media, protesters and potential vandals. He said there could be an increased risk of a gravesite becoming a target in Lanza's case because he took his own life and was not punished. Fox told the Boston Globe that "there is the potential for people to express anger, hostility, rage at the symbol of a person's grave if it were known."
Sandy Hook Elementary School students return to school this week in a new setting. The school that they knew and loved is still a crime scene and there are too many memories of what happened. The last of the funerals took place this week. There are going to be more questions than answers by not only the children that survived and saw their friends and teachers injured or killed but the adults that ask, "What could we have done to prevent this?" This is a touchy subject that needs to be dealt with. It's not going to go away anytime soon in our lives. The damage has been done. 26 people are dead. Their lives cut short for no other reason than that they were were they were supposed to be.
20 children that will never see a prom dress or tux, will never graduate from high school or college, never get married or have their own children are dead. 6 adults that were there not just to teach and guide them but be their protectors are dead as well. Then we have the man that acted cowardly by shooting his way through the school with no real motive other than to cause chaos cheated the justice system by taking his own life. We're not sure if he was Roman Catholic but if Lanza was, then that means that he could not have a funeral mass or be buried in consecrated ground.
Anthony Lanza caused chaos on a December day in Newton, Connecticut on a Friday where students and teachers were getting ready for a Christmas holiday that became hollow with the absence of the ones that he killed. We don't know where he is buried and for some, that's fine with them. For some, there is the concern that his alleged grave would be a shrine, while for others, including the family members of the victims, it would be a target. It would be best for all that he be laid to rest in an undisclosed location and left there. If EVER there was a time for meaningful dialouge about gun control, this is NOW the time to do it.
We wish to hear his name no more.