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May 29th, 2014
08:47 PM ET

Why do some privileged and troubled young men kill?

"Shy, timid and polite."

That's how Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department officials describe Elliot Rodger when they made a welfare check on him.

He's the 22-year-old who murdered six people nearly a week ago.

When they questioned him about the disturbing videos his parents had found, Rodgers told them he was having trouble fitting in socially and the videos were merely a way of expressing himself.

A family friend tells CNN his parents tried to get him help - and it was a never-ending battle.

"As soon as you met him he was unbearably reserved, self-contained. He seemed to merge into the walls," the friend said. "I know that he was in therapy, I knew that he was meeting experts, just to get better, really, but he was so distant."

It's a story heard before: young middle-class men, in need of help, committing mass murder.

Why is that?

Ted Rowlands has this OutFront Investigation.


Filed under: California mass killing • Justice • Mental Health
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. dustinmalloryjackson

    When certain parts of the brain are removed, the specific activities and functions associated with that part of the brain are removed as well. That shows that human behavior and functions rely upon the brain. But, the brain relies on health to function properly. If the brain is dysfunctional, the behavior and functions of the person will be dysfunctional as well. This means that a person can only function and behave well if the brain has developed in a way that supports the behavior and function. People like this are not the cause of any problem, they are the result of one and until people acknowledge this truth, understand it, and treat it, it will continue.

    May 31, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  2. Fel

    The problem with Elliot is he had a form of high function autism. All those who knew label him shy. He was a young man who had young man's urges. The family I am guessing did not inform the school. Did the school have disability services? When I first encountered Autism, it was when I heard my nephew has it. Elliot was able to speak his thought on video, but to other he was often label shy and timid. Asberger (I know it not spelt correctly) syndrome which is what he had been diagnosed with has the common trait of poor social interaction. I think I would be best to realize this kids grow up and di develop typical teenage interests. If he had aa hired companion that helped to guide him into social interaction it might have helped him be less lonely. In his video he talks about all he had and he expressed that in his mind he was above most people. He talks of his car, his sunglasses and their worth. Worth does always cause attraction. One girl said that he has helped her find her way to her classes and that he was nice and polite. The second area that fail is when his mom called the police and reported the video she had seen. I bet no one cop took a look at the video b4 they went to do their check on him. If they had seen what his mom saw, which was still up on the YouTube site they would have had a better idea. He stated in another video that after the police came he took down the videos. No one can predict when crazy will pop up and rich people just like poor people want the best for their children so that reason might have prompt his parents not to broadcast their son's condition. He appeared almost normal, he practice manners though shy and timid. So why tell others that he wasn't? The silence about his condition trapped him and left him develop those hurtful fatal actions. Autistic children do not recognize facial expression and have a hard time reaching out to others. That is why he made so many videos. Do you know one of the treatment for his condition is antipsychotic medication? This is a sad occurrence and a wake up call that treatment plans must include guidance in social interaction. When left to their own thought they cannot see that the problems they less to do with others and more with their own behavior. He kept saying he was amazing. It sounded as if he had heard someone tell him he was many times. Maybe telling him he was amazing was something that was meant to bolster him and was like verbal gold star on something he accomplished, I dont know.I think the treatment plan he was doing was lacking. After all a dr see a patient for 30 or 45 min. That is not enough time . I wonder if the dr knew he liked using his video camera to express himself? Did the dr even see his video? Did they address the feeling he spoke of? These things will never be known because patient confidentiality violation. The way I see it is because they come from families that is more privileged their conditions are hidden and the treatment they get does not adjust to deal with the urges that develop as they mature. Sometimes its easier to give things and send them off. Here a pill it will help. Pills have reactions.what medication were they on before they went and did what they done? Im curious.
    I have no idea about the family ways and these are just my observation and conclusions based on what I'd read read and the video I seen. Even his high school English teacher said on tv that he has shy and did not speak in class. This is the first driveby in Isla vista so many lives affected by this

    May 31, 2014 at 8:23 am | Reply

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