“My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger” is the title of a 137-page manifesto written by the 22-year-old who planned and carried out a shooting rampage near the University of California in Santa Barbara on May 23. Rodger killed six people and then killed himself.
In the introduction of his manifesto he wrote: “All of my suffering on this world has been at the hands of humanity, particularly women. It has made me realize just how brutal and twisted humanity is as a species. All I ever wanted was to fit in and live a happy life amongst humanity, but I was cast out and rejected, forced to endure an existence of loneliness and insignificance, all because the females of the human species were incapable of seeing the value in me.”
His lengthy self-pitying diatribe makes it clear that people stayed away from him because he was a deeply disturbed narcissistic sociopath. He claims to have a “superior memory” at the beginning of what he calls his “magnificent story.”
When I read his whining about females I couldn’t help but remember a time when I was seated on a park bench in Greenwich Village. I had just broken up with my umpteenth boyfriend and was lonely and felt invisible. I saw a good-looking man walking toward me. He came and sat down right next to me. I had a glimmer of hope. Then he turned toward me with a hateful look in his eye and said, “Women like you never go out with me.” It frightened me, and I left the park.
I do agree with Rodger on one thing — humanity can be a brutal and twisted species. Rodger himself is a perfect example of that. Here was a guy with a history of mental problems who was able to buy guns, use them for a killing spree, and repeatedly express his deep-seated loathing of women. I’m familiar with misogyny and have my own stories to tell, and don’t get me started on men like Todd Akin who talk about “legitimate rape” and the magical powers we women have of preventing pregnancy from a rape by “shutting that whole thing down.” Elliot Rodger’s killing spree lit up Twitter with rageful tweets about misogyny from women who all have their own stories. The hashtag is #YesAllWomen.
It’s hard to know where to begin with this dreadful tale, but let’s start with gun control. In December 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., then went home and shot his mother and himself. There was an appropriate outcry for tougher gun control, but it came up against a lot of resistance from the National Rifle Association and its supporters. Just three days after Sandy Hook, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said, “These politicians who start to immediately push their [gun control] agenda are a disgrace.” What was his defense for guns? “Not a single gun was used at the Oklahoma bombing.” WTF?
As for killing sprees increasing among young people, where are the parents, teachers or neighbors when these kids are becoming unglued? In less than five minutes I knew that guy in the park was a dangerous whacko. When angry kids start saying really weird shit, why is nobody getting involved? Over and over we hear about the warning signs. Rodger joined online forums and apparently gave his parents the link where they could’ve seen his angry rants.
In 2012, Rodger verbally attacked a roommate for having a girl over. He yelled at the guy for having an “ugly whore” in his room. Later that year, Roger bought his first gun, a Glock 34 semiautomatic pistol from Goleta Valley Gun & Supply. He practiced at the shooting range. In spring 2013, he bought his second gun, a Sig Sauer P226, which he saved up for with his allowance.
In July 2013, Rodger got drunk and tried to get noticed at a student party. When he felt ignored, he climbed atop a 10-foot ledge and pretended he was shooting at the students. Soon after he tried to push women off the ledge because he said he wanted to punish them for talking to “obnoxious boys” instead of him. Some of the guys pushed Rodger back. He fell and broke his ankle. The cops came, but charges were dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Rodger started uploading videos to YouTube, including one titled “Why do girls hate me so much?” On BodyBuilding.com and PUAHater, comments about the videos are made comparing Rodger to Patrick Bateman from the movie “American Psycho.”
Someone finally reported the disturbing videos, and police visited Rodger to check on his mental state. Police said it was Rodger’s mother who called, but his mother said she’d called a health agency, not the police. The police asked Rodger a few questions, then left. Rodger wrote, “If they had demanded to search my room that would have ended everything.” Rodger was referring to the fact that in his room he kept weapons and writings about his planned shooting spree. He was planning to kill his stepmother and brother. He didn’t want to kill his father, though.
The names of the six victims Rodger killed on May 23 were released after their loved ones had been notified. Rodger first killed three men at his home in Isla Vista: Cheng Yuan Hong, 20; George Chen, 19; and Weihan Wang, 20. Rodger had a history of angry posts about killing Asians and African Americans for getting white girls. After that, Rodgers went to the Alpha Phi sorority house near the college campus. The two victims he killed there were Katie Cooper, 22, and Veronika Weiss, 19.
Then Rodger drove around town and stopped at a deli, where he shot and killed another UCSB student named Christopher Michael-Martinez, 20. Rodger then got back in his car, drove down the wrong side of the street and shot at two people on the sidewalk. He then exchanged gunfire with a sheriff’s deputy who was on foot. Rodger sped up his car, hit two bicyclists and then crashed into a parked car. When police ran up to his vehicle, Rodgers was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Inside the car were three handguns legally purchased and 400 rounds of unused ammunition.
One of the videos Rodger posted was titled “Retribution” and he said, “On the day of retribution I am going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you.”
Thirteen others were wounded and treated for gunshot wounds and other injuries at the local hospital.
I’ll leave you with a chilling quote from Rodger’s manifesto: “All of those beautiful girls I’ve desired so much in my life, but can never have because they despise and loathe me, I will destroy. All of those popular people who live hedonistic lives of pleasure, I will destroy, because they never accepted me as one of them. I will kill them all and make them suffer, just as they have made me suffer. It is only fair.”
Watch Elliot Rodger’s “Retribution” video:
Dorri Olds is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.