Police have identified the Isla Vista shooter as 22-year-old Elliot Rodger. Rodger’s family confirmed the identification and said he had Asperger’s syndrome and struggled socially, but was receiving psychiatric help.
Rodger often turned to the Internet, both to vent and to search for answers. Like many young men, he was frustrated not only at his own failure to seduce women, but also at the culture of his peers. He justified his frustrations by rationalizing his failures as a function of the culture around him. He deplored the “hedonistic pleasure” of the college students he hated so much, called the women who wouldn’t sleep with him sluts and said sex is something he deserves.
Rodger frequented online forums generally identified as “Men’s Rights” forums, where he complained about his sexual frustrations and expressed misogynistic views. Based on his YouTube account and forum activity, women and his self-image took up most of the young man’s time.
In three months, Rodger uploaded 21videos to YouTube. In most of them, Rodger vents his frustrations about women and his loneliness.
While his first videos were largely harmless (to anyone but himself), by his last video, titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution,” we see him turn to violence without much thought about anything but his own vindications. His narcissism became such a dominating part of his personality that he felt morally justified to murder.
“College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure," Rodger says to the camera. "But in those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness. It’s not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it."
He continues, "You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male."
He was also subscribed to a number of a dating advice accounts, some of which don’t shy away from misogynistic tactics to pick up women.
He was a member at PUAHate (Pickup Artist Hate) that’s tagline is “revealing the scams, deception, and misleading marketing techniques used by dating gurus and the seduction community to deceive men and profit from them,” suggesting he spent enough time with pickup artists that he became jaded. PUAHate has gone down since the shooting, but can be accessed via the Wayback Machine, an Internet archiver.
He had an account on Bodybuilding.com’s forum, but the site deleted it after his name came up as a suspect in the shooting. One archived thread he started sums up Rodger’s views well. He asks forum members if they get “”disturbed and offended” by seeing who he thinks to be an inferior man with an attractive woman. Forum members call him out for his misogyny, but Rodger’s views are unbreakable. It seems no matter what people said or how they tried to help him, Rodger was firmly planted in his beliefs.
How and where he sourced his twisted views on life will be debated, but at the end of the day, once he got into a cycle of justification and misogyny, no one was going to convince him otherwise.
A common theme in Rodger's videos are a complaint that his life has been a "living hell" since he hit puberty and began to pursue women. In this video, he talks about a desire to live the carefree life of a kid.
"When your a kid you dont have to worry about things like being attractive or how many girls like you. No one has unfair advantages. Then when you hit puberty and your life either becomes heaven on earth or a living hell. It all depends on how many girls like you or if girls like you at all. My life turned into a living hell. No girls like me and I hate them all for it."