Elliot Rodger horrified the Isla Vista beach community near the University of California, Santa Barbara this weekend with a violent murder spree that he proclaimed posthumously was fueled by lifelong rejection from females. According to CBS, the 22-year-old son of a Hollywood director who worked on “The Hunger Games” stabbed three men to death in his apartment, then gunned down two women outside a sorority, and killed a sixth person from the driver seat of his black BMW. He vowed to his victims that he would “take great pleasure in slaughtering all of [them]” in a disturbing video blog, warning “that he would slaughter those with a good life” — especially women who shunned him, authorities said. He then ended his own life behind the wheel of his car.
Rodger had also opened up about his intentions via a revealing personal proclamation, which he’d dispatched to local news outlets.
The almost one-hundred-and-fifty-page manifesto details his life from birth to mere days before he carried out his heinous acts. The meticulously-detailed document titled ‘My Twisted World’ thoroughly catalogs acquaintances, friends, and school mates, including first and last names, as well as familial, social, and educational milestones — divorces and new couplings, his parents’ careers, moves to new residences, birthdays, progress in school, and major purchases — each and every one of the mundane events painstakingly recorded.
The essay is of course punctuated with his innermost personal emotions and observations, itself a log of Rodger’s severe self-loathing. But like a chilling textbook psychopath, his lowest laments about his features, such as his height, are underscored by moments of unapologetic arrogance about his looks, wit, and charms, wherein he can’t fathom why women had never given him a chance. He stresses multiple times that not only did he die a virgin, but had also never been kissed. He’d joined several chauvinistic online forums, including men’s rights groups, and an “Anti Pickup Artist movement,” which encourage a man’s entitlement to sex and affection from women.
“All I ever wanted was to love women, and in turn to be loved by them back,” he wrote. “Their behavior towards me has only earned my hatred, and rightfully so! I am the true victim in all of this. I am the good guy. Humanity struck at me first by condemning me to experience so much suffering. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this. I didn’t start this war… I wasn’t the one who struck first. But I will finish it by striking back. I will punish everyone. And it will be beautiful. Finally, at long last, I can show the world my true worth.” He’d targeted the sorority symbolically to punish all of the beautiful woman who hadn’t chosen him.
He was an admittedly-seething, sexually-frustrated adult, but was also deeply troubled by intercourse from an early age. Recalling his first glimpses at pornography, which he called traumatizing, to his first awkward experiences with masturbation, he sounds shy and a bit backward, but fairly ordinary.
Yet, as he matured, he found himself filled with rage at the lust of young lovers he encountered throughout his life, even throwing a scalding cup of hot coffee on a pair of hormonal teens at Starbucks. He describes listening to his sister have sex through her bedroom door in their home and being enraged, as well as admitting to intense jealousy of his own handsome younger brother, whom Rodger intended to be a victim of his massacre, according to his manifesto.
In the more recent chapters of his story, he did note the lengths it seems his long-suffering family went through to address his mental illness, trying multiples methods to reach him and improve his social skills with different professionals — to no avail. His documentation includes the police visiting him mere days before due to concern over his YouTube videos and exchanges on the internet. Reports have said that the police found him to be “polite and kind,” and not a threat.
After the murders, Rodger was found with three guns and over four hundred rounds of ammunition, all legally purchased despite his lengthy battle with crippling mental illness. According to CNN, Rodger passed the necessary background check to acquire his weapons, but one victim’s family has immediately began speaking out in the wake of the tragedy. Richard Martinez, father of victim Christopher Martinez, said to reporters: “Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights, what about Chris’ right to live? When will this insanity stop?”
Thirty-three of these mass shootings have occurred since 2006, which Mother Jones has tallied on this updated map. “Seven of them took place in 2012, and another five occurred in 2013, including in Santa Monica, California, and at the Washington Navy Yard. The first five months of 2014 brought another bloodbath at Fort Hood, Texas, and mass killings in northern and southern California.”
“Why do things have to be this way?” Rodger’s maniacal manifesto asks. “I’m sure that is the question everyone will be asking after the Day of Retribution is over. They will all be asking why? Indeed, why? That is the question I’ve had for everyone throughout all my years of suffering. Why was I condemned to live a life of misery and worthlessness while other men were able to experience the pleasures of sex and love with women? Why do things have to be this way? I ask all of you.”