The newspaper identified the caller as Lanza, based on Internet postings and confirmation by two of the late shooter’s friends. CNN cannot confirm that the voice is Lanza’s, but if it is his, it could provide previously unknown insight into the mind of the 20-year-old, who killed 26 people at the Newtown, Connecticut, school before killing himself as police closed in.
The 2011 call to Oregon radio show “AnarchyRadio” focuses on the story of Travis, a chimpanzee shot to death by police after he mauled a friend of his owner’s at the Stamford, Connecticut, home where he lived.
In the nearly seven-minute segment, the caller — who identifies himself as “Greg” and speaks in a low, clipped monotone — laments perceptions of the primate after his attack on his owner’s friend, saying it was not “simply because he was a senselessly violent, impulsive chimp.”
“Immediately before his attack, he had desperately been wanting his owner to drive him somewhere, and the best reason I can think of for why he would want that, looking at his entire life, is some little thing he experienced was the last straw, and he was overwhelmed by the life he had and he wanted to get out of it by changing his environment,” the caller said. “And the best way he knew how to deal with that was by getting his owner to drive him somewhere else.”
“And so when his owner’s friend arrived, he knew that she was trying to coax him back into his life of domestication, and he couldn’t handle that, so he attacked her and anyone else who approached him,” the caller says.
“And dismissing his attack as simply being the senseless violence and impulsiveness of a chimp, instead of a human, is wishful thinking at best,” he says.
“His attacks can be parallel to the attacks, the random acts of violence, that you see on your show every week, committed by humans which the mainstream also has no explanation for,” the caller said. “An actual human, I don’t think it would be such a stretch. He very well could be a teenage mall shooter or something like that. …”
The show’s host, John Zerzan, said he remembers the call.
“The voice was kind of odd … sort of robotic … and maybe he was trying to disguise his voice or something. I don’t know,” Zerzan said.
Criminologist Casey Jordan, a professor of justice and law administration at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, said the parallels to Lanza’s later violence are clear.
“I think the subtext of what he is saying is that violence is innate and instinctual to humans and really should not be punished because it is their natural basis. That’s the message he’s trying to get across, and the parallel to himself is obvious,” she said. “He feels possessed by this need this compulsion to commit violence.”