An undated photo of murder suspect Elliot Rodger is seen at a press conference by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff in Goleta, California May 24, 2014.  Rodger, 22, went on a rampage in Isla Vista near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus, stabbed three people to death at his apartment before shooting to death three more in a terrorizing crime spree through the neighborhood. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The Sad Heroification of Elliot Rodger

A disturbing, woman-hating surge in web traffic lionizes the Santa Barbara mass killer

Since the tragic shooting that took place near the University of California at Santa Barbara on Friday night, Elliot Rodger’s self-made videos have gone viral online and sparked intense debate. Some despise him for what he’s done, while others almost pity him for his loneliness and mental instability.

But a third, more worrisome opinion has surfaced in recent days as well—one that glorifies the gunman, his life and his racist, misogynistic views.

In his videos, Rodger repeatedly complains about the world being an unfair place. He calls himself “magnificent,” and cannot fathom why women are not attracted to him despite his good looks, expensive clothing and $300 Armani sunglasses. His videos are a disturbing, narcissistic display of extreme loneliness.

“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 says in his final video. “I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy.”

“I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see,” he continues. “I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you.”

Rodgers killed six innocent people and wounded many more in the premeditated and thought-out rampage he executed after creating the video. And now, to many, he’s a hero.

Among the Facebook groups created were Elliot Rodger, Alone & Rejected RIP, and RIP Elliot Rodger—A Beautiful and Misunderstood Soul, Elliot Rodger is an American Hero, and a ‘joke’ page hoping to get Elliot Rodger’s ghost laid. These have since been deleted, to be replaced by Elliot Rodger Is Awesome, Rest In Peace Elliot Rodger and R.I.P Elliot Rodger.

His misogynistic male fans took to social media quickly to express their agreement with his beliefs, and to blame women for his suffering.

In other discussions, women express a lack of understanding as to why such an attractive man didn’t get any of the attention he so desperately craved.

He’s certainly getting posthumous attention now. His retribution video has been viewed over 1 million times since Sunday.

Though the number of sympathizers appears relatively small, his supporters are certainly out there and vocal. Their comments are disconcerting, and the chilling phenomenon of copycats does raise questions.

According to The Huffington Post, 2013 alone saw 27 shootings on or near college campuses.

Or Schwartz contributed reporting to this article.


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  • Okay, the guy was good looking and wore nice clothes. But he is the kind of guy who would kill a bunch of strangers because he felt ignored. People pick up on that sort of thing and stay away from it. Don’t blame the women for avoiding a creep, no matter how good looking a creep.

  • He was not a hero. But he was right that too many good women waste their time with creeps who abuse them. There is a sad trend too with women in the 16 to 25 year old category acting like they are 12 and becoming more and more self-absorbed and shallow. Of course this happens with guys too. Nobody deserved to die, and I’m sure the reason Rodger couldn’t get a date was because they saw the underlying creepiness, but some of things he said were true, and it is not misogynistic to say so.

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    • Isn’t the real issue here how we all treat each other? Not just how women treat men or men treat women but how we treat each other as human beings? We don’t see each other as living, emotional, sympathetic and compassionate beings anymore. I think technology and ignorance have compeletey disconnected our society. Women are out to be prettier than the other woman, men are out to be tougher and more macho than the next guy. It’s a ridiculous rat race that gets us nowhere as a species. 

  • This guy is all of 5’2″ and about 120lbs. That eliminates a good portion of the female population in America. I mean, even women that are only 4′ 11″ generally want a man that may appear capable of protecting them.  Now add to that his arrogance and delusional personna, and I’m so confused why he couldn’t get a date. 

  • It has since been revealed prior to inflicting the massacre, Elliot Rodger had leaked his manifesto to a variety of groups, from his parents, to fellow online members, with some even begging him to stop, and yet the question being asked why did he send the manifesto out prior to his killings? – Did he want to be stopped or was this letting those close to him know that he really was the ‘superior male’ he always insisted he was….?

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    • Probably the same reason some people considering suicide make a big deal about it – they want attention, and perhaps a little affection and to know that others care enough to stop them. He was autistic, and clearly mentally ill, but I think deep down he just wanted to feel loved. Some of the things he said about women are true, but certainly his murder spree was horrible and should never have happened. I feel sad for everyone who has been harmed, including Rodger’s family. Can you imagine living with the knowledge that your beloved, yet ill child, is responsible for numerous deaths? Hopefully this event will lead to better gun control laws. We need something to happen. This nonsense has gone on too long.


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