Elliot Rodger seemed to have it all. A nice car. A Hollywood director father married to an actress. A life growing up in a family of famous achievers in the entertainment capital of the world.
Now, Hollywood director Peter Rodger and his family say they warned police about disturbing videos weeks before a shooting rampage that they believe their son, Elliot Rodger, committed near a Santa Barbara university Friday night, according to family lawyer Alan Shifman. Seven people died, including the attacker.
The shootings ended with Elliot Rodger, 22, dead in his BMW in Isla Vista, Calif. — hours after a disturbing video titled "Elliot Rodger's retribution" was posted, a manifesto authorities said was a clear sign of "premeditated mass murder."
Rodger, who was born in London before moving to the U.S. at age 5, was photographed two years ago on the red carpet for The Hunger Games premiere, accompanied by his father Peter, who was an assistant director on the film.
Rodger grew up surrounded by Hollywood glitz and a family of overachievers. His step-mother, actress Soumaya Akaaboune, appeared in Green Zone with Matt Damon and stars in a French language version of The Real Housewives reality-television show.
Next SlidHis late grandfather, William Rodger, was a renowned British war photographer who was the first to capture on film the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. He later helped found the Magnum picture agency.
The young Rodger is a Santa Barbara City College Student and Isla Vista resident, according to his Facebook page and a Web diary titled "Elliot Rodger's Official Blog."
A Facebook page under his name illustrated a taste for the expensive things in life. Several pictures showed him driving his BMW, and he listed luxury clothes and vehicle manufacturers such as Prada, Gucci, Bentley and Aston Martin as his "likes."
Most of the Facebook posts from the past year show photos of the same young man in the video, including a photo of him behind the wheel of a late-model black BMW coupe, and a few sunsets. The license plate on the BMW in one of Rodger's Facebook photos matches the tag on a car photographed at the crime scene with a body lying near it.
The rambling YouTube video posted Friday includes chilling speech.
"For the last eight years of my life, since I hit puberty, I've been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires, all because girls have never been attracted to me," the young man says in the video, shot inside a car.
"Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men, never to me.
"I'm 22 years old and still a virgin, never even kissed a girl. And through college, 2½ years, more than that actually, I'm still a virgin. It has been very torturous.
"I will have my revenge against humanity. I will punish all of you for it.
"Yes ... After I have annihilated every single girl in the sorority house I will take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there. All those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasure."
Online writings in his name also reveal deep-seated anger, including some on an online message board called PUAhate (for self-styled haters of "pick-up artists").
Many blog posts in a Web diary titled "Elliot Rodger's Official Blog," discuss his frustrations with life.
"Being lonely in a beautiful place like Santa Barbara is truly a horrible experience," he wrote. "As I've said many times, a beautiful environment can be the darkest hell if you have to experience it all alone, especially while having to watch other men walking around with their girlfriends. I wish girls were attracted to me. I don't know why they aren't."
"I consider myself a sophisticated, polite gentleman, unlike most boys my age," he said, listing his likes as hiking, exercise, watching sunsets, travel, cars and fashion.