Elliot Rodger: Victim, or Criminal?
Essay by: Andrew David
The night of May 23rd, 2014 is one that nobody in Isla Vista, California would ever forget. It was the night that 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a deadly shooting and stabbing spree throughout
Isla Vista that killed six college students, and wounded thirteen others.
Rodger began his attack shortly after 9:20PM when he brutally stabbed his two roommates and a friend to death inside his apartment. He then took three handguns (Glock 19, and two Sig Sauer pistols) that he legally purchased, and over four hundred rounds of ammunition, to his car, where he continued to carry out his rampage from inside his BMW vehicle.
Rodger first stopped at a popular sorority house that he had been targeting, and he shot at three college girls, killing 22-year-old Katherine Cooper, and 19-year-old Veronika Weiss. A third girl, Bailey Maples, was also shot and wounded outside the sorority house.
Rodger than continued to drive down the streets of Isla Vista, shooting at anyone he saw. At one point during his spree, he struck fellow college student Nick Pasichuke with his BMW, and severely injured him intentionally.
Rodger than stopped at a local deli, and opened fire through the windows, killing 20-year-old Christopher Martinez, and wounding several others. Rodger had a brief gunfight with police before he crashed his BMW, and fatally shot himself in the head.
Within eight minutes of the first shots fired, Rodger, and six others were dead, and thirteen others were wounded in over nine areas across Isla Vista.
People ask now, who was Elliot Rodger? And what possessed him to carry out such a horrific crime?
Now I know what all of you are thinking, what kind if sick and twisted SOB was Elliot Rodger? I cannot blame you, everyone thinks that about people who carry out such a crime. Hell, even I sometimes think, "what in the Hell is wrong with these MONSTERS? As I read more and more on this tragic incident, I started to believe that maybe Rodger wasn't just a criminal.
What if he was a victim, himself, too?
Sadly, we do not really get to find out why people decide to shoot up and kill other people, because they usually commit suicide before they can be questioned about it. Rodger DID kill himself after his attack, but luckily for us, he left us MANY reasons in a few different ways.
Rodger began to upload videos on YouTube, ranting about how awful and dreadful his life had been, because girls had never been attracted to him.
When I watched these videos, I couldn't help but wonder, why was he so miserable? For God's sake, his father, Peter Rodger was an assistant director for the 2012 film, The Hunger Games. He posted a picture online of him on the red carpet at the films premiere back in 2012. Why was he so unhappy? Why were girls so in attracted to him? I just didn't understand any of it.
"Eight years," Rodger ranted in one of his videos that he uploaded to YouTube, "eight years you have taken away from me. Eight years that I will NEVER get back, and it is all because of you." He pointed at the camera after saying the last part. Eight years from what? We will never know.
Rodger also ranted on about how he hated women from being so cruel to him, and depriving him from love, lust, and sex. "I am twenty-two years old, and I am STILL a virgin. I've never even kissed a girl," he said.
Now I know that I am a man, and maybe there is something that I am missing because I am attracted to girls, and not to boys, but it seemed to me that Rodger was not an UNattractive person. He seemed like a nice kid, so I, myself couldn't understand why Rodgers would be so negative about life and humanity.
He should've been one of the most happiest boys on Earth! It made no sense to me.
According to Rodger's YouTube rants, he was a lonely disturbed individual who wanted to have a beautiful woman sitting in the shotgun seat of his car, watching the sunset with him.
"I do enjoy the sunsets," Rodger claimed in one of his videos, "they are beautiful, but as I sat there and watched it, I couldn't help but think that there was another man watching the sunset with a beautiful girl next to him. That's what I want."
As I was watching these videos, I couldn't help but feel sympathy for Rodger. Go ahead, call me an asshole, give me the finger, but Goddammit, I did, you know why? Because I am sixteen, and I am also UNattractive to girls. That doesn't mean I'm going to go shoot and kill every single person I see, I would never do that, but I could kind or RELATE to Rodgers feelings. Not his feelings to shoot up Isla Vista, but his feelings about loneliness.
A few weeks before the massacre, Rodger uploaded his final video to YouTube, entitled: Elliot Rodger's Retribution, which you can watch here: http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=ipad&p=elliot+rodgers+retribution+video.
That video was the most disturbing of them all, to me.
"Hi, Elliot Rodger here," he said in the beginning of the video, "well, is is my last video. It's all come to this. Tomorrow, is the Day Of Retribution."
Once I heard that, I got a weird feeling in my stomach, and an urge to know why Rodger uploaded the video in the first place. Didn't he know that the police could have found it? Apparently, he didn't care because he said his day was tomorrow.
In that final video, Rodger ranted on about how he hated women for treating him the way they did. He also said that he was going to punish them for their crime, because he believed that it wasn't fair.
"I watch you throw yourselves at obnoxious men, but never to me, and I will punish you for it."
Rodger then went on and started saying that on the Day Of Retribution, he claimed that he was going to go to the hottest sorority house in USCP, and slaughter every single women that he saw, he then went on, saying, "I will take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you."
By that time, I had lost a good chunk of the sympathy that I had for Rodger. In his earlier videos, he pretty much said that his life sucked because girls were not attracted to him, and I could relate to it, but once I watched this final video, and I heard him say that he would take great pleasure in killing girls, a lot of my sympathy for him just flew out of the window.
He then went on to say that after he shot up the sorority house, he would then go down the streets of Isla Vista, and kill everyone that he saw.
When I finished watching that, I started to think of Rodger as a sociopath, but after I heard more about him, I learned that Rodger was just a confused, disturbed child in need of psychiatric treatment.
He needed help, and no one gave it to him. In my opinion, if someone had ACTUALLY helped him instead of these bullshit therapists who only want money, then the incident would never have occurred.
But what do I know, I'm only sixteen.
About ten minutes before Rodger started his shooting rampage, he sent a 141 page manifesto to his mother, his therapist, and a few others at around 9:17PM.
The manifesto contained a fully detailed autobiography on Rodger from the time he was born, up to his Day Of Retribution, it also contained a very descriptive plan that was his Day Of Retribution. You can read the manifesto here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/25/us/shooting-document.html
I didn't read his entire manifesto, but I probably read nearly 85% of it. In it, he wrote that a couple of days before his Day Of Retribution, he was going to lure young college girls to his apartment, where he would torture them by dumping boiling hot water on them, while they were alive, slit their throats, and strip the skin right off of their body. He would then cut their heads off and place them in a bag.
He also wrote that he would also have to kill his roommates so he could have the apartment to himself as his "personal killing and torture chamber."
By the time that I had reached this part in his manifesto, my mind was lost, I thought
"what the Hell is wrong with this kid?"
He wrote that he would sneak into the sorority house that he had targeted, and that he would kill every person inside using his guns, and he claimed that he would take to the streets of Isla Vista, and kill everyone he saw.
He then wrote that he would end the night by swallowing some pills, and he would en kill himself by shooting himself in the head with two of his pistols at the same time, he then wrote that if the gunshots didn't kill him, then the pills would.
What a thought out plan just for a 22-year-old, wouldn't you think? As I read this part of his plan, I just wanted to cry. I honestly did, not for Rodger, but for me. What kind of person plans this all out? He had it down to the very last detail of what he was going to do to Isla Vista, and at that time, I pretty much gave up all my sympathy for Rodger.
That is, until I read a little chunk on page 128 of his manifesto. He wrote that he was going to have to kill his family, but he didn't want to kill his father because he used to have nightmares as a kid about his father being killed, and he would wake up in his mothers arms. He wrote that he couldn't kill his father.
That little part in his rant just made me feel better about having sympathy for Rodger, he wasn't a psychopath who wanted to kill, he was just a lonely and disturbed child who needed MAJOR help. He couldn't kill his father, if he was a psychopath, he would've had no problem wanting to kill his dad. That, to me, doesn't make him a monster.
I'm not saying that Rodger should have done what he did because he should NEVER of done what he did. He killed six innocent people because of his own anger, and that wasn't okay, no matter what, and he will most likely burn in the Lake of Fire for his sins.
I am not a parent, I am only sixteen, and maybe if I had lost a child in this terrible tragedy, I probably would've seen this situation differently. My heart and prayers will be with the victims' families, and I hope that God will help them cope with the loss of their child.
I guess the main point of this message is that even though what Rodger did was EXTREMELY wrong, do not judge somebody unless you've walked in their shoes. For all we know, something terrible might've happened to him, and we didn't know.
© Copyright 2017 Andrew David. All rights reserved.