Newtown Killer Refused to Say If He Was Male or Female: 'I Choose Not to Answer'

Terence P. Jeffrey | April 8, 2013 | 4:02pm EDT
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Adam Lanza in the photo taken for his ID at Western Connecticut State Universithy. (AP Photo/WCSU)

( - Adam Lanza, who murdered 20 first graders and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, refused to identify himself by a gender when registering at college, according to documents obtained by CBS News.

"I choose not to answer," Lanza said when asked his gender on a form for Western Connecticut State University.

President Barack Obama and others have pointed to Lanza's act of mass murder as an argument for more strictly controlling access to firearms in the United States.

"We got some intriguing new information and a strange new picture of Lanza today," anchor Scott Pelley said on the April 1 edition of CBS Evening News.

"His college records were delivered to us after we requested them under the Connecticut open records law," said Pelley. "Lanza enrolled in courses at Western Connecticut State University. When asked his gender he wrote, 'I choose not to answer.' When asked to describe himself, he wrote again 'I choose not to answer.'"

The news program then showed footage of Lanza's Wester Connecticut State student ID.

"This is the photo taken for Lanza`s student ID, a gaunt young man with a strange stare," said Pelley. "He had a 3.2-grade point average doing best in his math and computer courses. After killing those twenty-six people at the school, Lanza killed himself."

In the week that has passed since CBS News first reported that Lanza had refused to identify his gender, this particular fact has attracted almost no notice elsewhere in the U.S. media. A Lexis-Nexis search of all English language news--with the terms "Lanza" and "I choose not to answer"--brings up only four citations.

Two of those citations are transcripts of the April 1 edition of CBS Evening News. A third citation is for the April 2 edition of CBS Morning News, where the information about Lanza was reported again. The fourth citation is a story in the Daily Mail, a British paper that cited the CBS report on April 2.

A Google search of "Lanza" and "I choose not to answer" shows that the New York Daily News on April 2 mentioned that Lanza had declined to specify his gender to Western Connecticut and that USA Today also did so on April 5.

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