Not long before Friday night’s Isla Vista mass killing, 22 year-old Elliot Rodger apparently sent a 106,000-word biography called “My Twisted World” to a Santa Barbara TV station. Here, apparently, is the document. It makes for very creepy reading. Sad, curious, at times horrifying. A tolerable writer, Rodger relates his story in relatively clear terms. I’ve never read an explanation of a mass killing quite as personal or elaborate as this one.
Rodger was very much a child of the entertainment industry and no stranger to occasional privelege. Hotshot industry dad (documentarian, second-unit director, photographer) and an actress stepmom. Even his shrink, Dr. Charles Sophy, is an author who’s appeared several times on the tube.
Rodger was obviously deranged and a bit of an emotional primitive but a serious-minded, reasonably intelligent sort who connected with a few guys but no women his own age. His only significant female relationships were with his birth mom (named Chin, of Chinese descent, born in Malaysia, moved to England and became a nurse on films sets, allegedly meeting Steven Spielberg and going out with George Lucas for a short time) and adopted mom Soumaya Akaaboune, an actress who landed roles in Green Zone, Playing for Keeps and Lovelace.
Elliot’s hostility toward young women was very pronounced. Was he gay? It doesn’t seem that way, but his social skills were so dorky and undeveloped that one of his parents hired a couple of young people (I think he called them counselors) to hang with him and try to help him develop such skills.
Elliot makes it clear that he conveyed warnings to his family and friends that all was not well within his head. Those YouTube videos in which he vented his anger at not getting laid and what a cruel and unfair world it is were apparently posted some weeks ago. They alarmed his stepmom, a Los Angeles resident, and led to her asking Isla Vista social services to pay him a visit and see if everything was okay. The cops dropped by and asked him if he had any suicidal thoughts, etc.
Here’s the website of Peter Rodger, the killer’s father. In addition to being an above-average photographer and having served as second-unit director on The Hunger Games, the elder Rodgers directed a 2009 doc called Oh My God! which featured Hugh Jackman, among others. Here’s a CNN interview with Rodgers about the doc. Here’s a trailer for the doc:
Here are excerpts from Elliot Rodger’s manifesto: