NEWTOWN, Conn.—There are, in essence, two possible routes you can take from Adam Lanza's house, a two-story, pale yellow colonial nestled in an affluent hillside development here, to Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The shortest—a scenic, five-mile, 10-minute drive—takes you past rolling hills, tree-dotted farmland, rivers and ponds; past clapboard houses tucked in the woods; past streets with names like Lone Oak Meadows and Johnny Appleseed Drive; past Zoar Cemetery, where 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who was among the 20 children and six adults gunned down by Lanza at the school, is buried; past the Misty Vale Deli & General Store, one of at least three general stores in Newtown; past Newtown High School, where Lanza was briefly a student and where President Barack Obama delivered an emotional speech two days after the shootings; past Newtown Youth & Family Services, which has provided emergency counseling for families, community members and staff affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy.
There are just three stoplights along this route, which funnels through "downtown" Sandy Hook and takes a right at the center of town (where the Christmas tree that served as a makeshift memorial in the wake of the massacre stands); goes past the Children's Adventure Center, where therapy golden retrievers were stationed in the days following the massacre; takes another right at the Sandy Hook volunteer firehouse, where parents of Sandy Hook survivors were reunited with their children in the immediate aftermath of the shootings; and then reaches the school.
[Slideshow: Images from Newtown]
The other—a 5.2 mile, 15-minute drive—takes you from Lanza's home on Yogananda Street past more large colonial homes with well-manicured lawns; along narrow, tree-lined roads and steep hills, several switchbacks and a one-lane bridge; past Treadwell Park, which served as the global media headquarters for the hundreds of reporters, television trucks and TV crews that descended on Newtown in the wake of the school shootings; and then takes a left onto Riverside Road and another at the firehouse on the corner of Dickenson Drive and then comes to Sandy Hook School. There are no stoplights.
It's unclear which one Lanza took on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, after he shot his 52-year-old mother, Nancy, in the head with a .22 caliber rifle in the second-floor master bedroom in the home he shared with her, got in his black 2010 Honda Civic with a Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle, two handguns and a 12-gauge shotgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition and headed toward the school that a witness interviewed by the FBI described as Lanza's "life."
We may never know.