Elliot Rodger's rampage shows overkill, anger, expert says

A troubling portrait of Elliot Rodger emerges from investigation into deadly May rampage near UC Santa Barbara

A troubling portrait of Elliot Rodger is painted in a nine-month investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. Rodger was responsible for the May 23 slayings that left six UC Santa Barbara students and Rodger dead. 

The report said Rodger became increasingly obsessed with violence in the two years before the slayings, even searching the Internet for Nazi figures including Adolf Hitler.

The Times asked an expert in mass killings about the findings.

"The idolization of Hitler and other Nazis doesn't mean he is a racist," said James Alan Fox, professor of criminology at Northeastern University. "Those who commit mass killings often admire the strong and powerful figures. That was true in Columbine. Mass murderers are often powerless people in their daily lives and tend to see powerful men they want to be like in history. And that seems to be the case with Elliot Rodger."

The long-awaited study portrays Rodger, 22, as lonely and troubled. Investigators said he appeared to have no friends at Santa Barbara City College, where he was a student, and seethed about women and his own virginity. It also cataloged in graphic detail his rampage, which included stabbing his roommates' friend 94 times.

Fox said the severity of stab wound against the roomate's friend suggests "overkill."

"Most mass murderers use guns but he used knives for his first victims. The stabbing aspect shows a tremendous amount of anger towards his victims." 

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