Thanks to a seven-​​minute YouTube video and a 141-​​page auto­bi­o­graph­ical tale of a trou­bled life, we have a fairly clear idea of why 22-​​year-​​old Elliot Rodger took to the streets of an ordi­narily tran­quil ocean­side com­mu­nity in Southern Cal­i­fornia with enough guns and ammo to carry out a blood­bath. Even before the names of the six vic­tims killed and the 13 others wounded during Friday night’s ram­page in Santa Bar­bara were pub­licly released, we had the ben­efit of the gunman’s own words to help us make some sense of what seems to be such a sense­less act of violence.

The chilling video that Rodger recorded while seated behind the wheel of his BMW, the same vehicle later used to facil­i­tate his ram­page, spoke vol­umes about how calm and col­lected this dis­turbed young man remained in antic­i­pa­tion of his planned assault. Even more telling was the lengthy and chrono­log­i­cally sec­tioned man­u­script in which Rodger recounted the details of his unhappy youth and frus­trating adolescence.

Why would this young man devote so much time and energy to reporting on his pitiful exis­tence? Why would he then pub­licly dis­tribute a doc­u­ment that hardly por­trays him in a pos­i­tive light?

Read the article at USA Today →