Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Elliot Rodger: Isolated Son Worried Parents — #IslaVistaShooting #UCSB

At the Wall Street Journal, "Late-Night Phone Calls, Online Posts Raised Concern Before California Rampage":
LOS ANGELES—To keep her shy son Elliot from being lonely, Chin Rodger steadfastly arranged play dates for the fifth-grader, even as other children his age made plans of their own, classmates and parents said. When Elliot grew more frustrated and isolated as he got older, his parents nursed him through bouts of tearful anguish during late-night phone calls, according to the son's writings.

The parents also arranged for counseling, according to investigators and family friends, and the son's writings. Recently, his mother bought him a black BMW BMW.XE +1.55% to help boost his confidence, a family friend said.

Chin and Peter Rodger, a British commercials director who also worked in film, divorced years ago but remained close to their 22-year-old son and fretted over the young man, including reaching out for help last month after seeing some of his disturbing online posts, according to investigators and family friends.  Even as generous and obliging parents aware of their son's suffering, they had no idea that Mr. Rodger was amassing weapons and laying out a plan to kill, said a family friend in an interview.

Investigators say Elliot Rodger killed six University of California, Santa Barbara, students in a spasm of violence Friday night that shattered the college town of Isla Vista, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Mr. Rodger allegedly stabbed to death three men in his apartment—including two who were his roommates. The three were identified as Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, and George Chen, 19, both from San Jose, Calif., and 20-year-old Weihan Wang of Fremont, Calif....

Elliot's social isolation started from a young age, family friends said, noting that as a boy his mother, who is from Malaysia, took an active role in planning his social life. "She was trying to make sure that her son had friends," said Marianne Bordier, a teacher at Mr. Rodger's elementary school and parent of one of his classmates.

He took solace in playing online video games such as "World of Warcraft" at a local cybercafe and on computers and game consoles that his parents bought him, according to his writings and family friends.

In middle school and high school, he saw himself as suffering because he couldn't get the attention he desired from girls, Mr. Rodger wrote. The family knew he was frustrated with his lack of attention from women, but not that he harbored deeply misogynistic ideas that were laid bare in a 141-page document that Mr. Rodger sent to about 20 people just before he allegedly carried out the murders, according to Mr. Astaire.

"He wasn't aggressive," Mr. Astaire said. "He was more of a sensitive child. There was frustration more than aggression."

When high school and enrollment at a community college near his parents' homes in the suburbs of Los Angeles went poorly, his parents decided he should move to Santa Barbara to start a new life at a local community college, Mr. Rodger wrote. But he dropped out of classes at Santa Barbara City College after he didn't get the attention he sought from women, he wrote.

Santa Barbara City College officials said he attended classes on and off, and was no longer attending by the time of the shootings. School officials there said they have no record of disciplinary problems with him.

According to Mr. Rodger's circulated document, his parents last year took him to a psychiatrist, who prescribed Risperidone, an antipsychotic commonly used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. But Mr. Rodger believed it was "the absolute wrong thing for me to take," and refused to take it, he wrote.
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