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.

https://twitter.com/MonicaFoster/status/470496974542602240

https://twitter.com/marinapuke/status/470464874410037248

https://twitter.com/Kayyydoll/status/470334315016884224

https://twitter.com/arialeaaa/status/470331709737562112

https://twitter.com/tierneymichele/status/470424576498102272

https://twitter.com/firelorde_/status/470412802042380288

https://twitter.com/lilbritnuggs/status/470245793861881856

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.

https://twitter.com/jmags_/status/470440695078326272

https://twitter.com/elsie4b/status/470421478681636865

https://twitter.com/midlifecriSOS/status/470419741237338112

https://twitter.com/s_arahmoore/status/470414257340026880

https://twitter.com/MitchyRounds/status/470252098831933442

https://twitter.com/patriciaah_1/status/470276376977612800

Fact: Rodger stabbed to death half of his six murder victims.

https://twitter.com/jrsalzman/status/470409362910216192

* * *

Myth: Rodger was politically conservative.

https://twitter.com/BRios82/status/470464121972854784

https://twitter.com/Charchita/status/470217746555228160

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.

[Update]

Curiously, some Twitter users are claiming that Rodger was white:

https://twitter.com/mashrodionova/status/470517984113737728

https://twitter.com/endless__sea/status/470448835463217152

Rodger was in fact half white, half Chinese descent.