Adam Lanza's hard drive may still hold clues, despite "destruction"

Adam Lanza's hard drive may still be recoverable. Data forensically retrieved from the damaged platters may be able to shed light on the Connecticut youth's tragic motivations. However, ill-informed speculation has implied links to Lanza's diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome and his playing of violent video-games.

Adam Lanza

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder if the mainstream media will ever understand geeks.

Lucas Mearian reports:

Although police have refused to publicly confirm that they're using forensics technology to retrieve information from [it] police officials [found] a drive, broken into pieces. ... Little is known about Lanza's personal life.

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Many of the devices for reading damaged drives come from Soviet-era Russia...to recover top secret information from electronic media that had been intentionally damaged.  MORE

Susan Candiotti and Dana Ford add:

Investigators have so far been unable to retrieve data from a computer taken from the home of the gunman. ...the FBI is assisting Connecticut State Police in trying to retrieve data from the computer.

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the chief medical examiner, said he was told that Adam Lanza had Asperger's...officials are working to determine whether that diagnosis was correct. ... A former director of security for Newtown Public Schools...said Adam Lanza had Asperger's syndrome, based on documents and conversations with Lanza's mother [but] he never thought Lanza was a threat [nor] capable of such violence. ... Asperger's [is] a higher-functioning form of autism. Both are developmental disorders, not mental illnesses. Many experts say...Asperger's [can't] be blamed for the rampage.  MORE

Josh Voorhees paints a picture:

Forensic experts don't yet know whether they'll be able to recover the lost files [but] from the sounds of it they are cautiously optimistic. ...authorities hope that the hard drive...will provide crucial details into Lanza's life and mental state.  MORE

And Patrick Frye opines on that optimism:

I question whether early media reports that the hard drive data is unrecoverable are accurate. Adam Lanza...apparently wanted to erase any trace of how he made his plans or who he had been conversing with. ... As long as the hard drive platters are mostly intact the electromagnetically recorded data should be recoverable.

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I’ve also seen some people on the internet claim they are suspicious. ... Their ideas tie into conspiracies related to Adam Lanza’s father who is tied to the LIBOR scandal...that the emerging picture of the young man’s beliefs and motivations do not fit into the spin the media wishes to give this story.  MORE

Predictably, the mainstream media have also been blaming violent video games. John Herrman wants to talk about that:

This fact has been reported, re-reported, and rehashed...in an insinuating way. ... I remember the misinformed coverage...after Columbine, and I've had heated email exchanges with...Jack Thompson, who once led the closest thing this country has ever had to a cohesive anti-game lobby.

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Our understanding of the relationship between media and violence has become more nuanced. [Research] describes a *lack* of proven link between gaming and murder. .  MORE
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