Newtown gunman called UO radio station a year before shooting

Newtown gunman called UO radio station a year before shooting »Play Video
FILE - This undated identification file photo provided Wednesday, April 3, 2013, by Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., shows former student Adam Lanza. Lanza, who carried out the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, apparently called a radio station a year earlier to discuss the 2009 mauling of a Connecticut woman by a chimpanzee. (AP Photo/Western Connecticut State University, File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The man who carried out the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre apparently called a radio station a year earlier to discuss the 2009 mauling of a Connecticut woman by a chimpanzee.
   
The caller believed to be Adam Lanza speaks softly on a show on the University of Oregon's campus radio station and blames "civilization" for the animal's attack. | (Click the "Listen" button to the left to hear the call.)
   
It would be the first known public recording of Lanza's voice. The 20-year-old man killed 20 children and six adults at the school in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012. He also shot to death his mother inside their home before driving to the school and took his own life as police arrived.

KATU spoke with Anarchy Radio host, John Zerzan, about the 2011 phone call.

"It’s shocking, it’s chilling to realize we were talking to that individual," Zerzan said. "He knew what he wanted to say, and he was fairly soft spoken. There wasn’t anything remarkable about it I don’t think."

A person with the username "Smiggles" describes making the call afterward in a Web posting. State police documents refer to instant messages from "Smiggles" as presumably being from the Sandy Hook gunman.
   
A former classmate, Kyle Kromberg, told the New York Daily News that he recognized the voice as Lanza's.
   
State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III said he didn't know whether the caller was Lanza but that it was a possibility.
   
The caller believed to be Lanza brought up a 2009 attack in Stamford, when Charla Nash was blinded, lost both hands and underwent a face transplant after being mauled by a domesticated chimpanzee named Travis.
   
"Look what civilization did to him," said the caller, who identified himself as Greg. "It had the same exact effect on him as it has on humans. He was profoundly sick in every sense of the term and he had to resort to these surrogate activities like watching baseball and looking at pictures on the computer screen and taking Xanax."
   
The caller said Travis appeared to be desperate to change his environment, "and the best reason I can think of for why he would want that, looking at his entire life, would be that some little thing he experienced was the last straw and he was overwhelmed by the life that he had."
   
He compared the attack to other random acts of violence.
   
"I just don't think it would be such a stretch," the caller said, "to say that he very well could have been a teenage mall shooter or something like that."
   
Zerzan said that what stood out the most was the caller's discussion of the parallels between what led the chimp to act out and what causes snipers or gunmen to act.
   
"These shootings are now daily affairs," he said. "Nobody is asking why. What is this telling us about the evolution of mass society in the techno age?"
   
Prosecutors issued a summary of the investigation last year that portrayed Lanza as obsessed with mass murders and afflicted with mental problems but they said Lanza's motives for the massacre may never be known.

KATU spoke with Portland forensic psychologist Frank Colistro, who said it's common for mass murderers to fixate on an idea and want to talk about it.

"Once they start on that violent pathway, any little thing they see that fits into that fantasy, they’re going to gravitate to," Colistro said. "They think about it, they think about it, they think about it, and every time they think about it, it’s another step in that direction."
   
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KATU's Erica Nochlin contributed from Portland, Ore. Associated Press writer Jeff Barnard contributed from Grants Pass, Ore.

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