California resident Ryan Kraft told KCAL-TV in Los Angeles that when he was a teenager he lived a few doors down from the Lanza family and used to babysit Adam Lanza, then nine or 10 years old. He said the boy "struck me as an introverted kid."
"His mom Nancy had always instructed me to keep an eye on him at all times, never turn my back or even go to the bathroom or anything like that. Which I found odd but I really didn't ask; it wasn't any of my business," said Kraft, who lives in Hermosa Beach. "But looking back at it now, I guess there was something else going on."
At Newtown High School, Adam Lanza was often having crises that only his mother could defuse.
"He would have an episode, and she'd have to return or come to the high school and deal with it," said Richard Novia, the school district's head of security until 2008, who got to know the family because both Lanza sons joined the school technology club he chartered.
Russell Hanoman said Adam Lanza was "clearly a troubled child."
Hanoman said Nancy Lanza told him she introduced guns to Adam as a way to teach him responsibility.
"Guns require a lot of respect, and she really tried to instill that responsibility within him, and he took to it. He loved being careful with them. He made it a source of pride," he said.
Novia said Adam Lanza would sometimes withdraw completely "from whatever he was supposed to be doing," whether it was sitting in class or reading a book.
Adam Lanza "could take flight, which I think was the big issue, and it wasn't a rebellious or defiant thing," Novia said. "It was withdrawal."
The young man who killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school Friday suffered from a condition where he could literally feel no pain, according to a faculty member at his old high school.
Richard Novia, the advisor for the tech club at Newton High, said that if Adam Lanza cut or hurt himself, "he would not know it or feel it."
Novia's words are the latest from a series of former acquaintances of Lanza's to paint him as bright but obviously troubled.
"Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were five years old," wrote a neighbor and former classmate Timothy Dalton on Twitter. "As horrible as this was, I can't say I am surprised."
"[Adam] was not connected with the other kids," said family friend Barbara Frey. A relative told ABC News that Adam was "obviously not well."
Mark Tambascio, another family friend, said he believed Lanza's mother, Nancy, had become increasingly concerned in the last few months about Lanza's emotional and behavioral issues. Lanza's parents divorced three years ago and his mother was left to deal Lanza alone.
"It was getting a little harder for her as time went on," he said.
Kyle Kromberg, another former classmate, said that Lanza could not keep eye contact with anyone.
"He hated looking at your eyes for more than a couple seconds," Kromberg said. "He'd always look down at his papers or whatever he was doing."
Howdy, Don. I'm back from vacation. Do you happen to know if Lanza ever attended the school where he went on his rampage?
Early on there were reports that his mom worked there, but those turned out to be incorrect, so I'm still wondering why he chose that school. Could it be as coldly evil as just being the nearest grade school to his house?