Photo: Contributed / Brookfield Police Department
On December 14th 2012 Adam Lanza attacked students and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut with an AR-15 rifle leaving 20 children and 6 adults dead.
There have been two recent news stories related to the Adam Lanza case.
One concerns the unethical behavior of Lanza’s former psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Fox.
The second story describes a court’s attempt to determine who is responsible for this tragedy.
Did Lanza’s Former Psychiatrist Hide Evidence?
On December 17, 2012 Connecticut police reached Dr. Fox to interview him about the Adam Lanza case. The psychiatrist had moved to New Zealand after things had gotten a bit hot for him in the Northeast.
Just six months earlier, the 59 year old psychiatrist had been accused of sexual assault of a female patient while practicing as a psychiatrist in Brookfield, Connecticut. The patient in question was 19 years old, and state records show that Fox prescribed her “three to four” psychiatric drugs and also gave her free samples. The girl’s mother stated her daughter “was turning into a zombie.”
Following this accusation, Dr. Fox voluntarily gave up his license to practice in New York and Connecticut and began working as a psychiatrist in New Zealand, almost 9,000 miles away from his former office.
During the phone call with the Connecticut police, Fox stated that the only records he had brought to New Zealand were billing records and that all of his medical records pertaining to clients he treated in the United States were “currently in storage in the United States.”
Twenty-four hours after that phone call, Dr. Fox contacted the Connecticut police, telling them that any medical records pertaining to Adam Lanza had been destroyed. Based on the investigative records, Fox last saw Lanza in 2007, which means Dr. Fox destroyed Lanza’s psychiatric records two years earlier than the law allows.
When Fox told law enforcement officials that he had retained his patient billing records, investigators failed to follow this important lead, since billing records offer a great deal of information about a patient’s treatment.
In New Zealand, Dr. Fox worked for the Waikato District Health Board (DHB).
A statement from the DHB said Dr. Fox was employed for 19 months before returning to the US.
During his time in New Zealand, he treated Nicky Stevens, the son of local politician Dave Macpherson. Nicky died while under psychiatric care.
Dr. Fox was de-registered by the New Zealand Medical Council in February 2014.
When Dr. Fox moved back to Maine he discovered his sexual abuse of patients in Connecticut had not been forgotten by the authorities. He was arrested at his home in Peaks Island, Maine on April 20th, 2016 by detectives and Homeland Security Agents and charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault.
What is Known About Adam Lanza’s Psychiatric Treatment?
Dr. Fox had prescribed the antidepressant Lexapro for Adam. Both Adam and his mother Nancy were reluctant to use the medication. Kathleen Koenig, a nurse specialist in psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center convinced them to try it.
Lanza’s mom described her son’s reaction to the drug:
“On the third morning he complained of dizziness. By that afternoon he was disoriented, his speech was disjointed, he couldn’t even figure out how to open his cereal box. He was sweating profusely . . . it was actually dripping off his hands. He said he couldn’t think. . . . He was practically vegetative. He did nothing but sit in his dark room staring at nothing.”
There is also a report of a second psychiatric drug prescribed to Lanza and a second adverse reaction.
Nurse Koenig told police in an interview that Adam was given Celexa, another SSRI antidepressant drug.
Immediately after prescribing a small dose of Celexa to Adam Lanza, Koenig received a phone call from Nancy Lanza who reported her son was “unable to raise his arm.”
However, the nurse didn’t feel that Nancy Lanza’s reports of her son’s reactions to the drug were real and felt Adam “had a biological disorder and needed medication.”
One serious side effect of the Celexa is “muscle rigidity.” Adam had complained that he could not lift his arm.
A side effect of Lexapro is “sweating increased.” Nancy Lanza had told Koenig that Adam had this exact reaction.
The concerned mom was labeled “non-compliant.”
It’s unclear the time sequence of when these drugs were given and Dr. Fox has done his best to hide the exact treatment he gave to Adam.
Given Dr. Fox’s unethical practices in hiding his sexual involvement with his female patient and his questionable work in New Zealand, it’s not unreasonable to suspect Dr. Fox might be hiding other matters. Some of his CVS Pharmacy records were also part of the investigation as they relate to the distribution of controlled substances. Questionable billing practices and improper retention of patient records were also examined. Perhaps something regarding Adam’s exact prescriptions and treatments is yet to be revealed.
Celexa comes with warnings that it can cause suicidal behavior, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation, aggression, hostility (predominantly aggression, oppositional behavior and anger) and/or related behavior.
Lexapro comes with warnings that it can increase suicidal thoughts or actions, hostility or aggressive behavior.
Changing dosages or suddenly stopping the medication can also create these behaviors.
AbleChild, a 501c3 non-profit organization, whose mission includes raising public awareness regarding the psychiatric labeling and drugging of children has been following the Adam Lanza case closely.
The group has filed a Freedom of Information Act in Connecticut asking to see the full mental health, toxicology and autopsy records of Adam Lanza.
AbleChild hopes these questions will be answered:
- Now that Fox has returned to the states, and clearly is under the watchful eye of law enforcement, will Sandy Hook investigators request Fox’s billing records for psychiatric “treatment” of Adam Lanza?
- Did Adam Lanza, while under the psychiatric care of Dr. Fox or while a patient at Yale Child Study Center, participate in a clinical trial? (In other words, was Lanza receiving experimental treatments?)
- Could Nancy Lanza’s notes, now being withheld by the state, provide additional information about the treatment Adam Lanza received while under Fox’s care that might expose further violations of FDA clinical trial record retention laws?
Who Is The Real Culprit?
On April 14, 2016 Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that a lawsuit can proceed against Bushmaster, the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle used by Adam Lanza in his attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The lawsuit was filed back in 2014 by the families of nine of the people who were killed.
Bushmaster argued it is protected by a 2005 federal law blocking lawsuits against gun makers when their products were used in the commission of crimes, but the judge declined to dismiss the lawsuit.
It’s interesting to note that the 114 page report “Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School” written by the Office of the Child Advocate for the State of Connecticut sums up the responsibility for the shooting by saying, “Finally, none of the findings in this report should be interpreted as exculpating (freeing from blame) or reducing Adam Lanza’s accountability for his actions…In the end only he, and he alone, bears responsibility for this monstrous act.”
Adam Lanza killed himself after committing the murders.
Putting all the blame on Lanza lets the true criminal off the hook. The psychiatrist who prescribed this troubled young man pharmaceuticals with known violent side effects is the real culprit in this tragedy.
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