Police have not yet named a suspect in the mass shooting near the UC Santa Barbara campus that left seven people dead Friday night, but they have said they are studying a video posted to YouTube for connections to the incident. In it, a man identifying himself as Eliot Rodger sits in a car with palm trees in the background, calmly declaring his intention of murdering women as revenge for his romantic frustrations.
Someone with the username EliotRodger was a regular poster on an online message board called PUAhate, on which men who have been unlucky with women commiserate, criticise one another, excoriate the opposite sex, and denounce PUA’s, or pick-up artists — dating gurus whom they accuse of preying on desperate men like themselves for financial gain.
Many of the posters identify themselves as “incels,” short for involuntary celibates, and some of the posts fantasize about violence toward women.
At this point, Rodger has not been declared a suspect in the shooting. But the PUAhate community has responded to the incident. Late last night, a forum member posted the video and wrote that “Eliot Rodger, a member of this forum, just shot two girls near Santa Barbara (Isla Vista).”
The responses to the post are notable for the same tone of self-loathing and seething frustration displayed by the man in the video. “He sounds like an [expletive],” reads the first reply.
Another chimes in, “He sounds aspie as [expletive],” a reference to Asperger’s syndrome. Several others criticise the man’s “villain laugh.”
An example of the sort of intense criticism of one another’s appearance that is common on the site comes from a member named Colez, who writes:
He’s not “ugly” in layman’s terms, but he has no sex appeal. Short lower third and gay midface, with zero brow ridge. … We must dig deeper.
He should have gotten a hair-cut, aqcuired neck tattoos and gone over the top with the sociopathic act, that would have gotten him hotties. Unfortunately, like most on this site, he’s too aspie to realise it. Lock him up and throw away the key.
Another user claimed that Rodger was the son of Peter Rodger, a documentary filmmaker and a second unit director on the “Hunger Games,” according to IMDB. The post included a picture of a young man resembling Eliot Rodger at a red carpet event.
Colez later followed up: “Nothing will come of this, you sensationalist losers. Certainly not national coverage.”
But another member, manic786, disagreed.