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  • 25 May 2014, 18:53

Elliot Rodger: Did Police Miss Their Chance?

Police have admitted Elliot Rodger was "severely mentally disturbed" - so were opportunities missed to stop his killing spree?

Santa Barbara sheriff Bill Brown told reporters they had encountered Rodger three times - the most significant on April 30 when a family member asked police to check on him.

"(Police) found him to be polite and courteous. He downplayed the concerns for his welfare and the deputies cleared the call," said Sheriff Brown.

"They determined he did not meet the criteria for an involuntary mental health hold. He appeared timid and shy."

In his rambling online 'manifesto', Rodger describes his relief that his plans for murder had not been discovered.

"I had the striking and devastating fear that someone had somehow discovered what I was planning to do, and reported me for it," wrote the 22-year-old. He said his plans for a "Day of Retribution" began last summer when he got into a fight at a party.

"If that was the case, the police would have searched my room, found all of my guns and weapons, along with my writings about what I plan to do with them. I would have been thrown in jail, denied of the chance to exact revenge on my enemies."

In pictures posted on social networking websites, Rodger appeared to be a privileged young man who enjoyed the trappings of his Hollywood filmmaker father's success.

In reality, he was documenting his inner torment and making painstaking preparations for the killing spree that left six innocent people dead in knife and gun attacks.

Rodger described taking down his YouTube videos to head off suspicions over his mental health.

Police told reporters the killer said he was having social problems and would not be returning to school for the next year.

"The deputies discussed options available to him in terms of support offered", said Sheriff Brown, who added such call-outs were a routine part of the job.

He had two previous encounters with police.  

On July 21 last year, Rodger spoke to police in hospital, where he was being treated for injuries he claimed to have suffered in an assault. Officers later found Rodger might have actually been the aggressor in the incident, and the case was dropped.

On January 15, 2014 Rodger contacted police to accuse a roommate of stealing $22 (£13) worth of candles from him.

Rodger is reported to have made a citizen's arrest on the roommate, who was questioned by police and released.

The Rodgers' family lawyer, Alan Shifman, said Elliot had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome - a form of autism - at a young age. He had also long been bullied and had multiple therapists, the attorney added.

The killer's online post - which runs to more than 140 pages - reveals the extent of his mental illness. Police have described it as a "combination of an autobiography and diary".

He repeatedly describes his hatred of women and his frustration at being ignored and remaining a virgin while girls around him choose "obnoxious" men, or men he considers racially inferior.

"Women are sexually attracted to the wrong type of man," he writes.

"Obnoxious, tough jock-type men. They should be going for intelligent gentlemen such as myself ... This is a major flaw in the foundation of humanity."

Warped by envy, he even wrote of plans to kill his younger brother.

"I will not allow the boy to surpass me at everything, to live the life I've always wanted," Rodger writes. "It will be a hard thing to do because I've really bonded with my little brother in the past year, and he respected and looked up to me.

"But I would have to do it. If I can't have a pleasurable life, then either will he!"

The final section of his post is entitled: 'Part 6: Santa Barbara: Endgame Age 19-22'.

He sets out his plans to "silently kill as many people as I can by luring them into my apartment through some sort of trickery".

Rodger also talks of beheading and torturing his victims, as well as killing all the members of the Alpha Phi sorority.

"I will punish all females for the crime of depriving me of sex," he writes.

Peter Langman, author of Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, told Sky News that Rodger exhibited many of the classic traits of a psychopath.

"What you see in his video and also his writings is a very narcissistic sense of himself in which he feels entitled to love and sex," the psychologist said.

"And he twists things around so he blames his victims for forcing him to kill them as if he's the innocent party and his victims are guilty, and that's a very psychopathic attitude.

"He also ranted about being godlike, so you have the inferiority complex but also the attempt to elevate himself to a godlike status."

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