the isla vista mas­sacre

Sex- starved El­liot Rodger was tired of be­ing over­looked by the beau­ti­ful Cal­i­for­nia women he craved. So he plot­ted a mas­sacre that would make “ev­ery­one” pay for his life­time of lone­li­ness

Real Crime - - Contents - Words Tanita Matthews

Nar­cis­sis­tic loner El­liot Rodger creeped the girls out. They weren’t in­ter­ested in him, so he de­cided he would ‘ pun­ish’ them

he be­gan to con­sider ‘ the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing to carry out a vi­o­lent act of re­venge as the fi­nal so­lu­tion to deal­ing with the in­jus­tices I’ve had to face’

For 22- year- old El­liot Rodger, life as a young adult had been a treach­er­ous and dis­ap­point­ing jour­ney. He was a vir­gin, had never been kissed and was des­per­ate to have a “pretty blonde girl” on his arm to en­joy life with. Grow­ing up, he had been a happy child liv­ing in Eng­land, later mov­ing to Los An­ge­les with his mother Chin and film­maker father Peter Rodger. The cou­ple di­vorced when El­liot Rodger was a child but he still lived a priv­i­leged life. How­ever, the one thing he wanted more than any­thing, which was al­ways out of reach, was the af­fec­tions of a woman. In 2011 his par­ents, con­cerned about his men­tal state, sent him to Isla Vista’s Santa Bar­bara City Col­lege – a new school and cam­pus where he could fo­cus on bet­ter­ing him­self and en­joy­ing col­lege life.

Since dis­cov­er­ing that his teenage friends and peers had be­come sex­u­ally ac­tive, Rodger ob­sessed over the fact that he was still a “kiss­less vir­gin”. His ha­tred for hu­man­ity ap­par­ently re­sulted from a com­bi­na­tion of the re­jec­tion he had suf­fered from women ( who re­fused to see him as a “per­fect gen­tle­man” and a po­ten­tial lover) and the “ob­nox­ious brutes” they “gave their af­fec­tion and sex and love” to in­stead of him. His anger boiled over in 2012 when he be­gan to carry out a spate of petty at­tacks on strangers who he deemed to be flaunt­ing their he­do­nis­tic plea­sure in his face. An­gry at the world for his lone­li­ness, he be­gan to con­sider “the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing to carry out a vi­o­lent act of re­venge as the fi­nal so­lu­tion to deal­ing with the in­jus­tices I’ve had to face at the hands of women and so­ci­ety”.

By the end of 2012 Rodger’s plans to pun­ish hu­man­ity had be­gun. He bought his first gun and pur­chased other weapons over the com­ing months that would form part of his mur­der­ous act. He be­gan doc­u­ment­ing his dark thoughts on how he would ex­act his re­venge, writ­ing a 137- page ‘ man­i­festo’ and vlog­ging his frus­tra­tions on YouTube. A com­mon cold thwarted his ini­tial plans to carry out the at­tack on 26 April 2014 and he in­stead set­tled on the fi­nal week­end be­fore spring break for his “Day of Ret­ri­bu­tion”.

Con­cerned when she came across her son’s angst- rid­den videos, Rodger’s mother ini­ti­ated a wel­fare check on her son on 30 April 2014. Of­fi­cers called round to Rodger to en­quire about his vlog, but he coyly de­flected con­cerns and promised to re­move the videos. Un­aware that they were stand­ing within me­tres of the weapons Rodger in­tended to use in his planned at­tack, as well as the so- called ‘ man­i­festo’ de­tail­ing every stage of his plan, the po­lice left.

Rodger waged a bloody war on the streets of Isla Vista, killing and in­jur­ing more than a dozen young and in­no­cent men and women

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