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PBS Attempting to Make Sense of Serial Killers in New Programs

Adam Lanza, circa 2005. Source: New York Times.

Since the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School, understanding has been sought about why these events occur. In efforts to educate and spread understanding, PBS is releasing multiple programs around gun laws and the psychological aspects of a mass murderer.

These programs are all under the series title of “After Newtown,” and include “Raising Adam Lanza,” a deeper look into Lanza’s first victim, his mother, who was also an elementary school teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Yet, while these specials attempted to shed light and understanding on the horrifying idea of a mass murder, viewers are left without answers but with more information on these murderers than they ever wanted to know.

Two new documentaries included in the new programs are “Guns in America” and “The Path to Violence” – the first focusing on the actual history of guns, gun rights and gun control in America, and the other more so on the psychological aspects of one who is a mass murderer, and the potential brain chemistry.

The more mind-oriented special, “Raising Adam Lanza,” the relationship between Lanza and his mother is more further explored because of new sources used for the program.

“The Path to Violence” could be argued as the most solution-oriented program of them all – it discusses thwarted attempts at mass murders in schools, and the threat assessments that schools to do in order to be safer and more prepared for such a devastating occurrence.

Many reviews claim that the reason why the documentaries are arising is because of the willingness of politicians to speak about gun control laws, and their aversion to discussing the mental health system. While one seems easy enough to fix – a few laws is all that is needed, theoretically – the other takes time, discussion, money, and involvement of both the old and young.

The series “After Newtown” was based on the real events and mass murdering of 20 children and 6 women at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, by Adam Lanza, who then took his own life. The horrifying event has sparked passionate debate across America, between those who believe gun laws should be much stricter, and those who believe that if not for gun rights, there would be no way to protect ourselves from those who misuse guns.



3 Responses to “PBS Attempting to Make Sense of Serial Killers in New Programs”

  1. Kate Stringer

    I like the point you make that the media tries to figure out the hard questions that the politicians can’t. When we can’t figure out why, we can only guess, which is what the media seems to be doing.

  2. Kyle Cape-Lindelin

    Very well researched Julia, pretty sad and awful all around, I for one am kind of disturbed by the constant press and shows being covered by the media in events like this, and most of it all is just speculation. You make some really good points though. And that pic is creepy as f***…I need to go take a shower after that

  3. Ariana Villegas

    I won’t lie Julia, this was a hard story to read. I can’t even imagine what those PBS programs are like. I agree that this was very well researched and really informative. Even though I don’t like reading about things like this, I will most definitely have to check those programs out.


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