California man Elliot Rodger left a path of destruction behind him in 2014 when he shot and stabbed a group of people before taking his own life. The murders dubbed him the ominous nickname, ‘Isla Vista killer.”
On May 24, 2014, Rodger was a 22-year-old college dropout when he stabbed three people to death inside his apartment home at the Capri Apartments at Isla Vista, close to the Santa Barbara Community College. Police indicated that Rodger may have killed the roommates on May 23, as it’s still not clear the exact time the victims died.
“I knew that when the Day of Retribution came, I would have to kill my housemates to get them out of the way,” Rodger wrote in a hate-filled journal prior to the killings.
Rodger followed up the stabbings by sending his writings to around 12 people, entitled, “My Twisted World.” The141-page manifesto described the world in Rodger’s eyes, beginning when he was born and ending with an “Epilogue” in which he detailed how his lack of girlfriends and friends angered him to the point of carrying out a killing spree.
“I do not know why you girls aren’t attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it.”
On Friday, May 24, 2014 at 9:27 p.m, Rodger carried out what authorities called the second part of his revenge. He drove a black BMW 328i his mother bought for him to the Alpha Phi sorority house at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
According to witnesses, Rodger opened fire on three girls standing outside when no one would open the sorority house door for him. Two of the girls, Veronica Weiss and Katie Cooper, died, while the third survived after lengthy medical treatment.
“I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up blonde slut I see inside there. All those girls I desired there so much, they would have all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance toward them—while they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes. I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you.”
Rodger then got back into his car and drove to the nearby IV deli. He walked into the deli and again, opened fire, injuring several while killing UCSB student, Christopher Michael-Martinez. Rodger exited the deli and quickly drove away until he spotted an outside area where, from the driver’s side of the BMW, “he fired multiple rounds at two people on the sidewalk,” as he drove the wrong way down a road, according to authorities.
Officers caught up with Rodger near Little Acorn Park. One of the deputies shot Rodger in the hip as he continued to speed away in his car, hitting a bicyclist along the way. The ordeal ended when Rodger crashed his car into numerous parked cars. He apparently lost control when he shot himself, taking his own life. By the time authorities reached him, Rodger was dead.
Police found three semiautomatic handguns inside Rodger’s car, as well as 41 loaded 10-round magazines.
Inside the Mind of Elliott Rodger
Prior to the killing spree, Rodger posted a 7-minute YouTube clip. It was the last of many previous videos in which he foreshadowed his upcoming plans. The video showed Rodger sitting in his BMW while complaining and sulking about his lonely life, lack of sex, lack of girlfriends, and rejection.
“Ever since I hit puberty, I’ve been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires, all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men, but never to me. I’m 22 years old and I’m still a virgin.”
According to Psychology Today, Rodger suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as noted by his indifference to the feelings of others and the way he referred to himself as a “supreme gentleman” and the “perfect guy.”
Further, he inflicted trauma in numerous people’s lives without any thought of the pain he caused to others, which, according to Berit Brogaard D.M.Sci., Ph.D, coorelates with narcissism.
Rodger was consumed with not having enough money, and in turn, blamed his parents for his demise. He was also confused as to why girls didn’t fawn over him for the material possessions he did have, such as his designer sunglasses and BMW. Psychology Today notes that preoccupation with material things is another classic sign of narcissism.
Rodger was the son of filmmaker and photographer, Peter Rodger. His mother, a research assistant for a film company, Li Chin, divorced Rodger’s father, and although it appeared her son came from wealth, Elliot often complained that his mother didn’t bother to marry a “wealthy” man after the divorce, which would have given him a more lavish lifestyle.
“If only my damnable mother had married into wealth instead of being selfish,” he wrote in his manifesto. “She dated wealthy men after her divorce, giving her son hope and prompting him to ‘pester’ her to marry one.”
“I will always resent my mother for refusing to do this. If not for her sake, she should have done it for mine. Joining a family of great wealth would have truly saved my life. I would have a high enough status to attract beautiful girlfriends and live above all of my enemies.”
According to his parent’s divorce documents, Rodger was also on the autism spectrum. At age seven, he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS). However, the president of the Autism Society of America, Scott Badesch, told CNN that there is “no such link” that connected AS to violent attacks Rodger carried out.
Li Chin tried in vain to get her son desperately-needed psychological help, even warning Santa Barbara police in April about her son, before the attacks occurred. Rodger, however, had learned how to “beat the system” and told the police what they needed to hear to leave him alone.
Following the killings, Rodger’s parents offered a passionate letter of condolence to the victims’ families. The family attorney, Alan Shifman, issued the statement publicly.
“We offer our deepest compassion and sympathy to the families involved in this terrible tragedy. We are experiencing the most inconceivable pain and our hearts go out to everyone involved.”
List of Victims
- George Chen, 19, Rodger’s roommate
- Katie Cooper, 22, University of California Santa Barbara senior, shot outside of the sorority house
- Veronika Weiss, 19, shot and killed alongside Cooper
- Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, Rodger’s roommate
- Christopher Michael-Martinez, 20, UCSB sophomore shot and killed inside IV deli mart
- Weihan Wang, 20, shot inside Rodger’s apartment while visiting the roommates
This Crime Stories’ episode — the second in our “evil genius” series — looks at the diary Roger left behind along with shocking videos he posted online detailing his plot. Nancy Grace’s experts include Southern California prosecutor Wendy Patrick, Los Angeles defense lawyer Troy Slaten, private investigator Vincent Hill, Los Angeles forensic psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman — known as the Terrorist Therapist and author of “Lions and Tigers and Terrorists, Oh My!” and Crime Stories co-host Alan Duke.
[Feature Photo: Elliot Rodger/YouTube Screenshot]