In what is quickly becoming tradition for mass-murdering maniacs, Roseburg shooter Chris Harper-Mercer evidently ranted about not having a girlfriend in writings left at the scene, the Associated Press reports.
The AP says they spoke to an anonymous law enforcement official, who said Harper-Mercer complained both about not having a girlfriend and about others thinking he was “crazy:”
Harper-Mercer complained in the writings about not having a girlfriend, and he seemed to feel like he was very rational while others around him were not, the official said.
He wrote something to the effect of: “Other people think I’m crazy, but I’m not. I’m the sane one,” the official said. The writings recovered at the shooting scene were a couple of pages long.
Santa Barbara mass murderer Elliot Rodger was infamously part of a failed pickup artist forum, and complained at length that bitches didn’t want to sleep with him, for some reason. Some of Rodgers’ fellow PUAHate friends said they, too, could see themselves carrying out mass murder because women are just so mean. In 2014, University of Washington student Keshav Bhide was arrested after promising on YouTube to be “the next Elliot Rodger” and slaughter women. Rusty Houser, who killed two women at a screening of Trainwreck, had a history of domestic violence and had complained about the “growing power of women.” Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho was accused of stalking by two women, although neither ultimately pressed charges.
Even when mass murderers don’t make the link between their actions and romantic failures, media reports are frequently willing to do it for them. The Daily Mail suggested that Jared Lee Loughner, who killed six people while trying to assassinate Rep. Gabby Giffords, began his “descent into madness” after his high school girlfriend broke up with him, six years before the shooting. (The ex told the Los Angeles Times that their breakup was pretty obviously not to blame for any of his subsequent personal difficulties or his killing innocent people.)
The Mail also stated that Aurora theater shooter James Holmes may have broken up with his girlfriend before his own rampage, suggesting it could represent “a motive for his murderous actions.” An ex of his testified at trial that they last saw each other two months before the shooting, and that they had a casual relationship. She was, however, concerned by Gchat messages he sent her about his philosophy of “doing evil” and taking the lives of others to “add to your own value.”
There’s currently a burgeoning and very self-righteous movement that claims that the media “encourages mass shootings” by writing about the shooters or exploring their motives. But when those motives frequently include violent misogyny sometimes tied to untreated mental illness, how long are we supposed to turn a blind eye? (As Mother Jones points out, though, “Decades of research have shown that the link between mental disorders and violent behavior is small and not useful for predicting violent acts.”) When will we take what we’ve learned from the 248 mass shootings that have occurred this year alone and learn how to stop them before they decimate more lives?
Faculty members at Umpque Community College cry and embrace after being allowed to return to campus, Monday, October 5, 2015. Photo via AP Images