In his outstanding book, “Columbine,” journalist Dave Cullen showed “how legends become truths through continual citation.” A similar dynamic appears to be at work in the wake of Elliot Rodger’s brutal murder of six people Friday night in Isla Vista, Calif.
Myth: Rodger’s killing spree was motivated exclusively by his desire to harm women.
Related myth: All six of the people killed by Rodger were female.
Fact: Rodger was an ultra-misogynist, but he also detested men, including his roommates and even his younger brother. Four of the six people he killed were male:
- three yet-to-be-named men stabbed to death in Rodger’s apartment,
- two sorority sisters (Veronika Weiss and Katie Cooper) shot and killed, and
- one male clerk (Christopher Michael-Martinez) shot and killed at deli.
Some say Rodger hated men only insofar as they presented competition for affection from women:
That theory, however, doesn’t explain Rodger’s utter contempt for his “geeky” male roommates, who likely were among those murdered in Rodger’s apartment.
* * *
Myth: Rodger used a gun to kill all of his victims.
Fact: Rodger stabbed to death half of his six murder victims.
* * *
Myth: Rodger was politically conservative.
Fact: Rodger subscribed to The Young Turks, a liberal YouTube channel. Imagine the outcry from the Left if Rodger had been a fan of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck.
Curiously, some Twitter users are claiming that Rodger was white:
Rodger was in fact half white, half Chinese descent.