In May 2014, Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old student killed six people, left more than a dozen injured and then killed himself near University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
Nearly four years later, it has been found Rodger committed the first in what later turned out to be a troubling series of "alt-right" killings.
In a new report, Southern Poverty Law Center states the suspect had a history of searching for and posting racist and misogynistic content online. In fact, he had a special interest "in some of the practices and techniques of the Third Reich." He had even looked for terms like "If you were Adolf Hitler" and "Nazi curbstomp."
The new details confirm earlier findings about Rodger that emerged at the time, immediately after the shooting. Before committing the massacre, he left behind what he declared was a "manifesto," in which he gave details of his troubled life and rationalized his crime.
The one thing that stood out in the disturbing tell-all was his hatred for women. Rodger wanted to “wage a war against all women and the men they are attracted to [and] slaughter them like the animals they are.”
That year, SPLC also found Rodger was a member of PuaHate, a site for failed pickup artists, where he posted "rants against interracial dating and black, Asian and Indian men."
Although the shooter was widely reported, at the time, as "a young, mentally disturbed white loner," Rodger was biracial. His father is Peter Rodger, a British-born filmmaker, best known for assistant directing The Hunger Games, and his mother, Lichin “Chin” Rodger, is of Chinese ethnicity who was born in Malaysia.
Nevertheless, much of the focus in the media remained on Rodger's hatred for women and feminism, in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.
SPLC lists Rodger as the first of 13 murder suspects who, in total, left 43 people dead and over 60 injured since 2014. All of them were found to be participants of the "far-right ecosystem that defines the alt-right."
Other alleged "alt-right killers" mentioned in the report, include Dylann Roof, who killed nine people, all African Americans, at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015, Chris Harper-Mercer, a 26-year-old student, who fatally shot an assistant professor and eight students in a classroom at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon in October, 2015, 35, Jeremy Christian, accused of fatally stabbing two men aboard a Portland MAX train who tried to intervene as he yelled anti-Muslim slurs at a pair of teenage girls last May and James Fields, who allegedly rammed his vehicle into a crowd, killing 32-year-old woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August, among others.
The SPLC findings come just days after the Anti-Defamation League published a report, according to which right-wing extremists, a category that includes white supremacists and their ilk; members of the “alt-right” and “alt-lite” movements as well as anti-government militia, killed more Americans than any other extremist group in 2017 alone.
Thumbnail Credits : Reuters