Monday, March 10, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2747: Adam Lanza's Warning Sign - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Adam Lanza's (Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooter) father, Peter Lanza, was recently interviewed by Andrew Solomon of The New Yorker. The video below includes Mr. Solomon speaking about this interview. In it Mr. Lanza said, "It was crystal clear something was wrong. Social awkwardness, the uncomfortable anxiety, unable to sleep, stress, unable to concentrate, having a hard time learning, the awkward walk, reduced eye contact. You could see changes occurring."

There is no available video of Adam Lanza walking.

Reduced eye contact is a very notable nonverbal finding within the context of short time frames. Diminished eye contact over extended periods is commonly associated with disorders with significant lack of empathy. It is also associated with depression. Extended lack of eye contact however is NOT required for the diagnosis of any of these conditions.

A nonverbal pattern which has been essentially completely ignored by the medical community is the "White and Wide" opened eyelid configuration over long time periods. While there are certainly medical conditions which may cause this eyelid finding (most notably thyroid eye disease) - these are easily excluded in a thorough medical workup. After the medical causes are eliminated an association for sociopathic and psychopathic related behaviors should be vigorously pursued.

Every image of Adam Lanza over several years shows him with his eyes widely open

While this white and wide eyelid appearance does not indicate violence will occur (after medical causes have been ruled out), it is not a coincidence that many mass-murders shared this similarity with Adam Lanza. And although there are many other nonverbal warning signs, threat assessments should always evaluate for this body language.

Note also that all of the examples included here demonstrate the white and wide nonverbal as well as varieties of insincere smiles.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2629: Sandy Hook Audio Tapes - A Body Language Sign of Disbelief

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2640: Disgust at Denver area School Shooting - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2232:  Vicki Soto, a Hero, Body Language  and a Mother's Love & Affection -  Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2746: John Kerry and Hugh Robertson - Eye Rub, Mouth Covering - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2656: Threat Assessment during Robbery - Body Language of Perpetrator

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2500:  Ft. Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and Contempt  The Body Language of Threat Assessment 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2658: Misidentifying Emotional Expressions - Greece's Golden Dawn Party Arrests - Body Language and Threat Assessment 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2055:  Three Wise Monkeys - Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil - Body Language Interpretation vs. Traditional Symbolism

Ted Bundy

Marshall Applewhite

James Holmes