August 17, 2009

Why Did George Sodini Shoot Women?

Assuming his log was actually written by him, here is my best attempt at using it to answer the obvious questions.

Disclaimer: I never met him, didn't do an evaluation of him, etc.  Basing this entirely on the log.

My markup of Sodini's log here.

What was the basis of Sodini's rage?

What does Sodini talk about most in his log?  Not women, sex, or dating, but time.  Time wasted and the lack of a future.  He was realizing he had run out of time.

Not only did he not attain his life's goals; he was going backwards.  He had had sex and girlfriends in the past; now the years had slipped by, no more "hot hotties" for him.   He at least had attained a good job; but now there was a chance he'd be laid off.  Even if he wasn't, he realized that his skills as a .NET software developer were becoming obsolete.  He had found a church to be a part of; he was then kicked out of the church.  All the things in life that defined him were going, going...

The "how to pick up women" books and courses were a Hail Mary longshot.  Note that he didn't try these in his 20s or 30s.  This was a desperate last ditch attempt at achieving something long lasting.  On the videos, it's obvious he's hopeful, optimistic, even excited that this might work-- maybe he had a second chance at women?  It failed.

The only thing missing from this list would be being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

All the real things which had defined him were disappearing; all his attempts at making real the things he imagined could define him were being stymied.

At 48, George Sodini was watching himself disappear from the earth.

If he didn't hate women, why did he choose to shoot women?

The note showed obvious anger towards specific people, e.g. family, "Andy,"  pastor Rick Knapp.

Despite how much anger he had towards them, however, he never confronted them.  These individuals probably had no idea he even hated them.  He wasn't a confrontational person, he couldn't muster the "balls" (his word) to say something to them. Instead, he vented in private:
"That felt good," he wrote after the Andy tirade.  You wouldn't write that if you just yelled at Andy.   This is why he put their addresses in his log- the chance someone else would harass them.  (Note the anger so many have towards Rick Knapp and religion now-- they're taking Sodini's side, and they don't even know Knapp.)

In short, he was afraid of the people he hated, afraid in the way a 17 year old boy still fears his father, even though he might be stronger than him.

He was resentful of women, but despite media proclamations, there is nothing in the log indicating he hated women.  He repeatedly identified that his problem with women was himself, not them-- but he didn't know what exactly his problem was. Nor was he afraid of women-- he wasn't even particularly shy.  He liked meeting new people; he was about to chat up to a woman at the gym.  However, he didn't really see women as people, as individuals, only as tools for his own validation. 

His family, however, were real people.

Just to get the courage to kill people he wasn't afraid of, Sodini had to make practice runs; he even "chickened out" of the plan at one point.

George Sodini was likely too afraid to confront, let alone attack, people more powerful than him.  It's fairly typical of mass murderers to therefore choose a nameless proxy for his rage; in this case, the symbols of his wasted years.

In the end, this was the closest level of intimacy he was going to get with them.

Was Sodini a narcissist?

No.  Maybe.  He had narcissistic traits, but many other traits were very non-narcissistic.  It's hard to know-- but that's not the question you want answered.

This is the same problem with postulating any psychiatric diagnosis or label (e.g. autism or Asperger's.)  While possible, while it might explain his failure with women-- who knows?-- it does not explain why he killed people.  That's what you want to know. 

He seems to have been depressed; that might explain suicide, but not homicide.

So whether he was a narcissist or not is less important than asking why he killed people. 
I can say with confidence that if he was not psychotic, the violence was the result of narcissism, that specific part of him.  There are three characteristics of all narcissistic violence: 1. To the outside observer, it appears to be "first strike," unprovoked, or disproportionate to the situation.  To the perpetrator, it is the appropriate amount of response to a perceived attack on identity.  (Think 9-11, Columbine, etc.)   No one after a narcissistic rage says, "wow, I guess I went a little overboard."   There is no guilt. 2. It is a response to shame, to failure, to loss of identity.  Killing your wife's lover probably isn't narcissistic rage.  Killing your wife is.  3. Immersion, singlemindedness; obliviousness to outside factors.  Whether it takes three seconds or three hours, all you think about is the violence.  The violence is the only thing protecting your identity.

Anger is not a necessary part of rage; euphoria, elation, and even orgasm occur during narcissistic violence.

Did he have low self-esteem?

The core of all narcissism is low self esteem, specifically a misunderstanding of the potential of one's importance in the world, but in any case Sodini did not think he had low self-esteem.  The log doesn't say, "I'm a big ugly jerk."  It says: I look good, smell good, I have a good job, women like me.  Given that all the pieces were intact-- he couldn't understand why he couldn't succeed.   The reason was that the intact pieces were not put together correctly.   He doesn't tan because he thinks he's ugly, he does it because he thinks young women will like it.  But he's 48.  Tanning isn't going to make a 48 year old man look any better to young women than high heels on a 48 year old woman is going to entice a young man.  At that age, you're either attractive to them, or not.  Tiny details like that don't change the picture.  Worse, it looks bizarre to everyone else.  That's the part he didn't get, though he had a brief glimmer of it: "young women were brutal when I was younger, now they aren't as much, probably because they just see me just as another old man."

He didn't overcompensate by inflating his ego, either: "i'm ok at what I do... not at the top of the class, but I do a good job."  No mention of how awesome his biceps are; no disparaging the women as too stupid to realize how awesome his biceps were.  He's fairly realistic about himself.

Why didn't he just go to prostitutes, or take one of the "meet a bride trips" to Russia or Southeast Asia?

Prostitutes would have been a temporary physical thrill, but they wouldn't have provided what he needed: validation.  He knows prostitutes are in it for the money; likely he figured a "Russian Bride" would be faking it with him as well.  The point wasn't sex, it was finding someone to confirm he was worth it.  Also, these "outlets" aren't simply condemned by society, they're made fun of.  Disappearing is bad enough; being laughed into oblivion is much worse.

If he had had a date with the mystery woman in the html code-- or a date with any woman, could this all have been prevented?


Nothing is predetermined, of course, but history serves as a guide.

First, Sodini did have a date, at t least two confirmed, one a year earlier and another in May.

Second, what George was looking for was someone to love him in spite of himself; e.g. unconditional love that he felt he didn't get from his mother (don't you roll your eyes, he pretty much said it himself.)  If his mom didn't love him, how was he going to get anyone else to love him?  Answer: he'd have to convince them.  By definition, anyone he managed to get to love him could not actually love him- because he had to get her to love him.

Consider the "pick up women" books and courses.  He looked at dating as a strategy; he needed to learn the tricks.  But he has reasonably good self-insight, so what do you think he would think if the tricks worked?  If he succeeded in "getting" a girl, he'd immediately diminish her as inferior: "I had to trick her to get her."  He wrote:

He exudes confidence People believe bull shit if delivered WITH CONFIDENCE.  Get it??
He thinks the confidence is a trick, not something real.  And the words one says to get girls, ahead, etc, are bullshit.

Imagine after tanning for a month and lifting weights, he met a girl at the gym who fell in love with him.  Part of his thinking would be that had he not tanned and worked out, she wouldn't have liked him.  Sodini was 48.  How much longer could the tan and the muscles last?

Was he a pedophile?

Not exactly, though "regressed pedophile" might be technically accurate.  His focus on getting girls "20 years younger", or "finding it fun talking to young kids" is just looking for someone naive enough to believe his tricks.  He clearly had a sexual interest in fully developed women.  Of course, had he managed to convince a 16 year old to like him, he would have to declare to himself:  "she's so much more mature than her years."

Was he a religious nut?  Did he believe that he would go to Heaven regardless of what he did on Earth?

If we take him at his word, he did believe this.  However, why did he choose to believe this, yet simultaneously dismissing everything else in religion as crap?

He chose to believe it not merely because it justified his actions, but because it confirmed he, as an individual, had existed and was worth it.  If going to heaven depended on what he did in life-- well, he didn't do anything in life, so he'd be sunk.

But if God had selected him for salvation, then he existed, he was real, there was something about him other than his external life that made him worth saving.    His individuality alone is what got him into heaven.

Correct reasoning of the Christian logic would conclude that if knew he was saved-- his identity validated-- then he didn't need to kill anyone.  And if he did kill people, he did it from a selfish place that would imply he wasn't saved after all.  It's hard to believe that 13 years in hat church and their bible study, he didn't understand this.  He "picked and choosed" a religious doctrine that fit his life, instead of the other way around.

As Sodini insane?

Insanity is a legal term, not a clinical one, and thus must be discussed using relevant laws, i.e. Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania uses the M'Naughten test to determine insanity: 

1. Does the defendant suffer from a mental disease?  Who knows?  I can say I find no psychosis in his log; and I'm certain that had he gone to trial, there'd be dueling experts saying he did or did not.  I see aspects of depression, I don't see bipolar or OCD.

2. Did he know what he was doing, or that what he was doing was wrong? This seems incontrovertible.  He planned, changed his mind, conducted practice runs, etc.

In the interest of teaching and public discourse, I'll concoct an insanity defense that fits the available evidence:

An insanity defense would have to show that either this was not a rationally planned operation, or else that he was ill and deluded for over a year.  So a defense might be that Sodini's log was actually written all at once, on the day of the shooting (note the web address includes "20090804").  He gave no other hints to people, to internet forums, or even within his published google searches that he was thinking of shooting people.  He had bought guns, but it isn't even clear he ever fired them before that day.  He appears to have snapped suddenly, all at once, and invented a delusional backstory that made him want to shoot people.

He knew there was something wrong with him (he had googled Avoidant and Schizoid) and described himself as unable to find pleasure in things.

He was 5'10", 155 lbs- though videos and pictures seem to place him considerably heavier.    Did he take steroids?  Did he have a disease?  In his photo he is waring a red or pink bracelet.  Breast cancer, or AIDS?

At some point, the depression was acutely exacerbated by either the physical changes, sleep deprivation (google searches have him up at 3am and again at 5am) and then a self-reported return to drinking, possibly marijuana.


If you could say something to the future George Sodini's, what would you say?

Murder is wrong.  You know that, right?  You may think it is less wrong than what you've suffered so far, but it isn't.

Next, with respect to committing mass murder: it won't work.  Mass murder is the violent expression of being a pussy. The people killed are almost never the people who actually hurt you-- they are the nameless collateral damage of your fear of confrontation.  Every person who Sodini felt hurt him is still alive.  Every person he shot was nothing but polite to him, if they had any contact at all.  This is almost universally true about mass murderers.  In other words, the people who you think hurt you most got punished the least.  Is that what you wanted?

The problem is fear.  Even with a gun, Sodini was too scared to confront the people who most sacred and enraged him.  That's probably where you're at, too.  Meanwhile, the scary people get to say, "whew!"

In order to beat them you have to confront the people who are actually hurting you, when they hurt you.  When the bully comes around, stand up for yourself.  You may get beaten up-- you will get beaten up-- but you won't be a coward.  That's the part that counts.  Not only will you feel good about yourself, but you will eventually terrify the bullies.  There's nothing scarier than a guy who won't stay down.
Next, you should know that mass murder doesn't earn you a place in history, you aren't guaranteeing immortality.  The only reason you think it does is because like most Americans, your view of history is tens of years.  Do you know who Howard Unruh is?  Killed 13 people with a Luger.   But the crimes happened in 1949.

Worse, the internet is the new arbiter of memory.  A hundred years from now, a person is as likely to come across the name "George Sodini" as he is someone who posts a lot of pics to Flickr, which is to say, not that likely.

The quest for immortality, like insomnia, is mostly in those who fear they haven't accomplished anything.  "I need more time."  No, you need to do more with the time you were given.

Does media reporting of this cause more shootings to happen? 


How can the press effectively report without causing more of them?

There's not much, unfortunately.  The problem isn't the press, exactly; the problem is our changed relationship to the press as our defacto historians and thought police.  They tell us the facts, but frame them in the historical context they think most applicable. But since there is no other "media"-- most stories come from AP and Reuters, for example; and the type of people that go into journalism are of a certain mindset, etc-- they establish the parameters and the language of discussion.  It's fourth generation warfare, played out on TV.  We want to know about mass shooters because they have been telling us we want to know, and they produce the story in the way we want to hear it.

There are some things the press can do better: report the story straight, like a boring day on Wall Street.  No pictures of body bags, no sirens, no swat teams.  All that stuff will get out, but don't mainstream it because then those images become the point of the story, and thus the point of committing a crime like this.  These things will leak out on the internet, of course, but that's ok: no one is going to say, "I so want to do something that will be remembered only by crazy internet detectives on metafilter."  (Unless the perpetrator is a crazy internet detective on metafilter.)

Never, ever, show a picture of the killer on the news (unless it's a manhunt.)  The public will find a picture of him if they want to, but by the media displaying it for us, it tells us we need to know it; it tells potential murderers that if they commit a murder, their identity will be the most important part of the story.

In other words, they should report mass shooters the way they reported 9-11-- gross generalizations about "terrorists" and little focus on the backstories of the individual perpetrators (other than Atta, name one hijacker), and massive focus on emergency personnel and victims. Hell, they don't even celebrate it as an attack, they call it by its date.  That kind of coverage doesn't inspire copycats.  (It doesn't inspire very much of anything, actually.)

Will this happen again?

Yes.  This is the generation that wants it to happen again and again.  I defy anyone to tell me they overheard someone say the following sentence: "why would anyone want to shoot young women at a health club doing latin dance?  It's crazy, it just doesn't make sense!"   Anyone?

No, this is what you hear, everywhere: "I don't condone what Sodini did, but I can understand it..."  That feeling is societal.  It takes on different forms, sex, politics, etc, but the form is an illusion, the substance is "I'm not the person I thought I'd be; no sees me the way I want to be seen." 

It may not be a shooting rampage-- it could be a bombing, or a "politically motivated killing"-- but it's the same: "they" kept "me" down long enough... 

It's social justice, narcissism style: everyone deserves what they get, and gets what they deserve. 


Yeah I never pay attention ... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2009 6:48 PM | Posted by drugs are fun: | Reply

Yeah I never pay attention to the news anymore, it really does not matter to me at all. There is very little value from large sources like AP and Reuters.

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I believe that your extende... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2009 7:08 PM | Posted by Z. Constantine: | Reply

I believe that your extended explanation strongly benefits the interpretation you posted prior - thank you for putting the comments in context and answering the majority of the questions posed in comments.

Tangential question (though related) - at what point would you say that psychology necessarily overlaps sociology?

Are there other systemic problems with news/entertainment media influence which you have identified as relevant in individuals or society as a whole?

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Thank you for that. Clear a... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2009 9:00 PM | Posted by rontom: | Reply

Thank you for that. Clear and focused. I got swayed into the labelling of Sodini as suffering from NPD in the first post, but, there was more. There is always more and it was not correct for me to conclude that there wasn't.

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I happen to buy into the id... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2009 9:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I happen to buy into the idea that "narcissism" as Alone conceptualizes it has a lot of explanatory power in understanding this boring man's evil behavior.

Yet, I also cannot help but think about the massive isolation in the Caucasian America that enables and nurtures this narcissism. I know so many people who have no meaningfully strong connections with anyone except their immediate family members (and in some cases, not even with those). One can argue that narcissism is the reason behind this isolation not its result. But I still think there's something about the white culture that does not allow the kind of bonds that exist, say, in Hispanic communities to flourish. I wonder why?

Obviously, calling this a "White" phenomenon may be both misleading and slightly racist. There must be gradients of this trait within all communities (e.g. in Europe, Scandinavians are more isolating than Italians). With that in mind, I am still curious about the possibility that some sociocultural factor are at play within the Caucasian communities that foster weaker social ties. I mean, look at our precious blogger's screen name for God's sake! Any links to interesting articles will be appreciated.

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This isn't necessarily rela... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2009 9:06 PM | Posted by Anon: | Reply

This isn't necessarily related, but I'l ask anyway. I agree that the problem isn't that there is not enough time, and more about what you do with the time that you have, but where do you go from there? What I mean is, how do you even begin to motivate yourself? I feel like I'm regretting life as it's actually happening, which doesn't make any sense, but I'm too tired to do anything about it. And I'm half the age of some of the people you write about.

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Saw 2 errors but cant remem... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Posted by Andrew "Dman" Townsend: | Reply

Saw 2 errors but cant remember the other one - "no sees me the way I want to be seen." guessing it should be noone

A very good post.. I can identify with some of the things you have pointed out about him, which is cause for some musing =)

Keep up the good work.

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"No, you need to do more wi... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2009 10:30 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"No, you need to do more with the time you were given."

What did you want to do?


March 12, 2009 What Was The Matrix?

Hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability. It is the sound of your death. Good bye, Mr. Anderson.

Agent Smith has it figured right: Anderson's life was a pointless struggle. All the dreaming and all the expectation are doomed to end in failure, in death.

Faced with the absurdity and unintelligibility of life, but the inevitability of its end, there is only one answer that today's man-- the narcissist-- can give that makes his life meaningful, and he gives it:

My name is Neo.

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Very thought provoking anal... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2009 11:02 PM | Posted by Lupis Noctum: | Reply

Very thought provoking analysis of the situation. Nice to see someone write over fifty words about Sodini and not use some form of the word "mysogyny" at least thirty times...

I did think that your analysis downplayed the role religion had in this. In case you didn't know, Sodini's church of choice was a clutch of right wing gun nuts who apparently packed their weapons to church on a regular basis. While the pastor, Knapp, did start spinning the event almost immediately, a deacon in the church spilled the beans a few days later. According to their church, Sodini actually went to his "reward" regardless of his body count because he'd been "saved." Combine a doctrine that says one can do as one likes and still play with baby Jesus in the afterlife with gun obsession, you have the perfect medium in which to grow guys like Sodini.

Am I saying that religion is totally to blame for this incident? Certainly not. However, one would have to be either selectively blind or a fool to not note that it was a major contributing factor. If our boy could have avoided this church and the "get girls with the Powa of the Lawd" R. Don Steel mumbo jumbo, he might have been able to develop the social skills he so obviously craved.

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Did you come across Sodini'... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2009 11:42 PM | Posted by Vladimir Zhirinovsky: | Reply

Did you come across Sodini's Youtube videos?

Lots of repeated references to "the [hypothetical] woman". I was halfway expecting him to say something like "and the woman will go over here, between my stereo cabinet and CD rack" before the house video was over.

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You didn't answer the quest... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 4:26 AM | Posted by Dave Johnson: | Reply

You didn't answer the question in the title of your post. Why did Sodini kill (excuse me, "shoot")just women? Why not men? Why not a mix? Look forward to an answer.

The last post danced around this detail. Soldini not only shot women, he ONLY killed women. I find that significant for some strange reason.

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I just wanted to say I am i... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 5:01 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I just wanted to say I am impressed with your research on this case BTW.

I'm not convinced Sodini's act had anything to do with oppression, feeling powerless, a pussy's way of dealing with a lifetime of cowardace, so on. This seems so obvious as to be a given, but I believe these, like the "narcissistic traits" are yet another symptom. They are not primary. I said this before, I'll say it again. I don't think he was "autistic", but I do think he had biologically based impairments in social ability and skills comprehension. This contributed to if not caused his feelings of ineptitude, powerlessness, oppression. I also caused if not contributed to his "narcisstic traits", which I said before.

He probably lived his whole life performing social behaviors but not truly FEELING them. He learned how to "say the right thing", "smile at the right times", but he was still a weirdo, wasn't natural, and everyone knew it. That's why he was described as a nerd and awkward.
People with autistic traits don't really want to be entirely alone, they end up that way because they can't communicate normally . I think a great deal of the frustrated oppressed and eventually violent feelings Sodini had (focused on various groups and people) is the result of a lifetime of being intrinsically socially debilitated but trying so hard for so many years. That makes someone frustrated. And, the feelings of oppression come from being unable to express himself properly.

Why did he commit murder, where does the violence come from? Yea, autism has not much to do with violence and murder, even if related to motive. I say propensity for violence and aggression is probably an independentally occuring biologically driven personality trait. Sorta how some depressed people will never attempt suicide, others will make attempts that are definitely lethal even if equally depressed. Some people are capable of this sort of thing I guess, a tendency to violence. Were he less violent he probably woulda continued to blog and whine about his feelings of frustration, stuckness, oppression. Nothing would have changed about the factors leading to those feelings... only the outcome would be different.

I also want to respond to Susan's statements earlier. Yes, Sodini clearly understands others have mind states different from his own, he understands others know things he doesn't know, and he probably can interpret most non-verbal communication (although how well is in question, even many normal men are bad at this). No one is arguing he is AUTISTIC. However, many researchers are of the opinion autism is a "spectrum" disorder and "traits" thereof exist in people who won't be diagnosed as autistic. Or aspbergers even. It is one thing to logically know that person has a different mind, it is another thing to live and apply this logical knowledge in a natural way (without conscious attempt). Often times things we know with our logical conscious brain are different from that which our brain is capable of actually acting out. We KNOW eating junk food makes us fat, but some part of our brain continues to make us buckle down and eat pastries at night. A very mildly autistic individual can say all the right things about people, but yet he can't socialize normally no matter how much training or how many years go by... no matter how much he tries to imitate what is considered the proper social behavior, times to smile, appearance... he still comes across as a nice nerdy awkward guy.
This is where "autistic spectrum" comes in. Social behavior is mostly unconscious, not conscious. We take it for granted. Much like there is a specialized area of our brain that recognizes and saves human faces, through no conscious effort of our own, I'm sure there are similar specialized brain areas dealing with the ability to communicate and understand others/communication. I'm pretty sure this was FUBARed for Sodini.

I suppose what I'm saying is, Sodini was normal enough to live and function socially (albeit in a nerdy awkward way)... but I think internally Sodini had major deficits in social ability and processing social cues, responding properly with the right behavior, "getting it" in that way which is natural to normal people. People avoided him because he was weird, even though he did try in his own sort of way. This made him feel frustrated. He probably had a lot of difficulty expressing himself (including standing up and confrontation), for the same reasons as he did socializing properly - inability to express himself related to an inability to socialize naturally. This also made him feel both frustrated and oppressed.
He blamed external objects for these life-long feelings of social frustration and oppression. Combined with an independent biologically driven capacity for violent acts, and so it is.

The other explanation as I see it is that he has a psychotic disorder of some degree.

A crucial piece of this man's frustrated and oppressed feelings is a chronic misinterpretation of social reality. This must be explained. Narcissism, oppression, frustration, all seem secondary . Given his unnatural social mimicry (trying to do the right thing for social validation/acceptance and always coming off as weird anyway, or perhaps being oblivious to subtle cues of acceptance and being appreciated), his profession, his lack of overt confused thinking... autism (social-specific thinking problems) seems more likely than a psychotic illness (social as well as general thinking problems).

I mean, if he didn't shower, if he had sketchy employment, if he had some history of disorganized thinking at all then psychosis might be a good argument (well, extreme religiousity might count as evidence of psychosis but plenty of normal people are religious fanatics or have a history of it without being psychotics... the human brain is wired to be selectively illogical/disorganized when it comes to religion, without this indicating or resulting in psychosis).

Right, dead horse, beating you is fun.

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"The problem is fear."... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 8:32 AM | Posted by CC: | Reply

"The problem is fear."

The solution is being assertive anyway, even in the face of certain or probable defeat.

Like when you wrote in the analysis of the Atlantic writer who was trashing her marriage, "'passive-aggressive' --main strategy of men under 55."

Why "under 55." Why nowadays? I understand the men Clint Eastwood portrays in his movies --I just saw Gran Torino a few days ago, really existed. And they had no problem with confrontation, win, lose or draw. What's going on?

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I can't imagine hearing "I ... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 10:15 AM | Posted by Aaron Davies: | Reply

I can't imagine hearing "I don't condone what Sodini did, but I can understand it..." from anyone I know (let alone saying it). Possibly I hang out with a better crowd. OTOH, most of my friends say that all the time about 9/11, so maybe it's just that their morality isn't so atrophied as to permit random pointless killing sprees, only politically motivated ones.

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Dave:I thought he ... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 11:57 AM | Posted by R. Kevin Hill: | Reply


I thought he did answer the question. "[W]hat George was looking for was someone to love him in spite of himself; e.g. unconditional love that he felt he didn't get from his mother (don't you roll your eyes, he pretty much said it himself.) If his mom didn't love him, how was he going to get anyone else to love him? Answer: he'd have to convince them. By definition, anyone he managed to get to love him could not actually love him- because he had to get her to love him."

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George Sodini had been sear... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 3:56 PM | Posted by Rosiecee: | Reply

George Sodini had been searching for "social phobia" on his computer. Perhaps he went to his GP and asked for Paxil or one of the meds indicated for social anexity disorder. Or perhaps he saw an ad on TV for an SSRI, usually Paxil, for social phobia.

The Physicians Desk Reference states that SSRI antidepressants and all antidepressants can cause mania, psychosis, abnormal thinking, paranoia, hostility, etc. These side effects can also appear during withdrawal.

Go to where there are over 3,200 cases, with the full media article available, involving bizarre murders, suicides, school shootings [48 of these] and murder-suicides - all of which involve SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc, . The media article usually tells which SSRI antidepressant the perpetrator was taking or had been using.

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this is interesting but ult... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 5:20 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

this is interesting but ultimately not useful - all pure speculation. all of you are discussing what he wrote as fact - and you have no way of knowing what the actual facts are. if you think about this, this loser was looking for 15 minutes of fame and he wants to be mourned as the biggest victim in this tragedy. he is highly motivated to lie and exaggerate to make himself more sympathetic. if he is mentally ill he probably sees things completely differently than those who aren't and misinterprets facts and situations, and i have some doubts as to whether he is actually all that crazy - from what i see i think if he hadn't thankfully killed himself he'd be perfectly sane enough to stand trial. he sure seems to understand that he is doing bad things - why else turn off the lights? you can kill more people if you can see who you are aiming at. no one would be defending this jerk if he wrote his mom was caring and his brother was a great guy (he probably is - since when is being confident the definition of a bully? the brother is probably everything he wanted to be). everything he writes is suspect as far as i am concerned.

i am tired of the victim culture in this country. don't give this jerk any more of your time. if you really care, send money to those poor women and their grieving families. i don't hear much analyzing about how that 15 year old boy is going to go on without his mother.

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Anonymous said: "if you re... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 6:06 PM | Posted by Rosiecee: | Reply

Anonymous said: "if you really care, send money to those poor women and their grieving families."

If you really cared, you would want to find out what antidepressant George Sodini might have been taking so we could eventually end this crazy nightmare of all these SSRI shootings. It is a National Tragedy.

The Physicians Desk Reference states that SSRI antidepressants and all antidepressants can cause mania, psychosis, abnormal thinking, paranoia, hostility, etc. These side effects can also appear during withdrawal.

Go to where there are over 3,200 cases, with the full media article available, involving bizarre murders, suicides, school shootings [48 of these] and murder-suicides - all of which involve SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc, . The media article usually tells which SSRI antidepressant the perpetrator was taking or had been using

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I guess I just don't see th... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2009 8:59 PM | Posted, in reply to R. Kevin Hill's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I guess I just don't see the reply in what you say. I understand it, but I don't see it. It doesn't answer the question "why shoot women," which I continue to insist should read "why kill women?"

Are you saying he saw all women (and he liked them young) as proxies for his mother- forever unobtainable and therefore found it only natural to express his resentment by killing a bunch of them?

I read many comments portraying his view of women as window dressing, "hoez," trophies to show off, outward proof of his alpha male worthiness. "A man needs a woman for confidence." Even assuming he had these problems with unconditional love, why kill women? Why not kill "a bunch of young guys" who could get what he never could ....Maybe a bunch of "black dudes who have thier [sic] choice of best white hoez." And "Besides, dem young white hoez dig da bruthrs!" Lots of hostility there.

No, I think women were objectified, less than real. I think, in his mind, they were easier to victimize. And that's why George Soldini, screwed up as he was, searching for whatever he was searching for, specifically planned for and ended up killing only women.

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It is asinine to try and an... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2009 12:03 AM | Posted by Rosiecee: | Reply

It is asinine to try and analyze George Sodini's thoughts without first knowing what his toxicology report showed.

Why stare at his navel when there is no knowledge of how his neurotransmitters were functioning. He was probably having homicidal ideation from his SSRI for social phobia. About one out of 10 people have homicidal ideation on these drugs. It is interesting that there were only two school shootings [in one the fellow had a brain tumor - U. of Texas Tower shooting - and the other was a girl high on cocaine] before the introduction of Prozac in Dec. 1987. Now there is at least one school shooting a year and everyone of these perps was on an antidepressant, usually an SSRI antidepressant.

The field of psychiatry has actually run amok. Tragic.

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Excellent. Thank you.... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2009 1:09 AM | Posted by Jane: | Reply

Excellent. Thank you.

"Anger is not a necessary part of rage." It is in my dictionary. I've found that psychiatry tends to use common words to mean slightly different things. Could you define what you mean by "rage" in this context, please?

"I defy anyone to tell me they overheard someone say the following sentence: "why would anyone want to shoot young women at a health club doing latin dance? It's crazy, it just doesn't make sense!" Anyone?"

Not overheard, but certainly heard, from many people. Also: what the hell is wrong with people? And: society is so messed up; have you seen how this is being covered? I've heard no sympathy whatsoever for the shooter and a great deal of it for the victims. I've heard a lot of anger at the media coverage (I'm hearing a lot of generalized anger in the vein actually). And I've seen sorrow and confusion - and weariness.

Don't be so cynical.

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I'm real tired of the furio... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2009 3:45 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm real tired of the furious seasons-like med bashing on this thread. Look, we all agree certain aspects of psychiatry are out of control and comical if they weren't so angering ( PEDIATRIC BIPOLAR OMG?) but SSRIs are not worthless or evil drugs.

I know people who have gotten their life back because of SSRIs.

I'm also real tired of depressed people whining about feeling like crap when they stop taking their antidepressants. File that under "f'ing duh". Take one hypersensitive neurotic and/or anxious person with depression, add withdrawal from medicine that reduces those symptoms, add independently occurring withdrawal symptoms (so not only do you have a return of prior symptoms but you now have NEW symptoms too). End result? and and similar ridiculous drama queen antics that ought to make chris crocker proud.

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Did Sodini show any evidenc... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2009 8:58 AM | Posted by rurald: | Reply

Did Sodini show any evidence of a sense of humour? Unlike some of the commentators of this excellent blog I am certain "The Last Psychiatrist" can make others laugh. One characteristic of people with paranoid personality disorder is that one should never joke with them.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast) is not... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2009 9:52 AM | Posted by Rosiecee: | Reply is not about "meds bashing". It is a method to try and warn people that there is a serial killer on the loose.

To give an analogy: I am sure that Jack the Ripper was nice to his friends and relatives [he may have helped a lot of people] but, at times, he had this complusion to kill. So he needed a big sign on his forehead: "I am Jack the Ripper and you may be dead soon".

There it is.

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Here's an article for Alone... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2009 12:24 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Here's an article for Alone:

It's almost too easy.

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In the article for "alone" ... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2009 1:39 PM | Posted by Rosiecee: | Reply

In the article for "alone" sent by "anonymous", it states that this women is taking antidepressants.

So there you have it.

She was delusional - had false memory syndrome, etc.

The Physicians Desk Reference states that SSRIs can cause delusions, - also paranoia, mania, hypomania, abnormal thinking, psychosis, etc..

So who would believe this woman? She probably believes it, though.

SSRI Stories has close to 30 cases of "False Accusations" and "False Memory Syndrome" listed on their Website. Some of the reporters were diligent, too, in naming the actual antidepressant instead of just saying "med for depression". Most of those false acusations had to do with Prozac but, of course Prozac has been out the longest of the SSRIs so they would have more reports.

As for George Sodini - nary a report on his autopsy or toxicology report.

Same old - same old.

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I'm no psychiatrist, but pe... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2009 6:56 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm no psychiatrist, but permit me to chime in.

I feel a measure of empathy for this man, and I will add that I do not condone a shooting spree. Didn't the blog say this is the typical reaction?

But let me explain from my life's point of view. I am a pretty typical guy who gets along adequately, socially speaking. I have plenty of coworkers of various ages who I socialize with, some outside of work. I work in a predominantly male environment and have all my life.

I'm 36 years old and married for the second time. I have a child from each marriage. I have a mortgage and a car that is paid for. My job pays well enough to live comfortably and keep current on child support. My wife is eight years younger than me and most men would say she is attractive, even "very" attractive.

Yet I overcame a lot of social weakness in my youth, and a lacking social network while recovering from my divorce.

I am below average height and look very young for my age. Many people find I look early twentyish. It has become an advantage in SOME ways as I've aged, but when I was 21 it didn't help looking sixteen. And this is true of male friendships as well as sexual relationships with women.

I joined the military to do some growing up, gain some self esteem, and all around motivation. This definately helped move me into adulthood, I mean REAL adulthood. I gained more confidence and figured out what I wanted in life.

I met my ex wife and we stayed together six years. I still had issues, and I let myself be a doormat to her insanities. I had mixed feelings about ending the relationship, even though she was unfaithful. Same deep rooted feelings of not having direction or enough love from my social network. I had everything invested in my family.

So at 34, I'm getting out of my funk and finding I have a bunch of married, older friends, but no single, younger people ready to go out and socialize. I was hoping to meet a younger, attractive woman with as little "baggage" as possible.

It wasn't until I figured out that I needed to quit worrying about finding love and friendship and just work on finding enjoyment out of life that things changed for me. I got interested in a variety of hobbies and focused on my son. I placed my life's value on those things rather than women and dating. Pretty soon my coworkers were inviting me to outings and I was meeting women.

My life isn't perfect, and I'm still not the most outgoing person, but I genuinely enjoy being around people and taking time to build relationships.

I'm not sure what went wrong with this fellow, but I think it can all be summed up by saying he placed too much value on things he couldn't control, and didn't enjoy the things in life he could. He found no meaning in his life from the things many of us would envy...good job, savings, home. He couldn't branch out and try new things, take risks. With his savings and income, he could have purchased a boat, a motorcycle, a kayak or jetski. He could have spent his freetime having fun and meeting other people having fun. These are the times when people let their hair down and forge friendships. I think he was too rigid with his habits and tight with his cash. You can't take it with you.

I guess the lesson to be leaned is that people shouldn't place so much value on their sex life without first inventorying other places in their life where they need growth. If this man had done this, by his appearance (which IS important) and his youtube videos (a little strange but not totally out there), I KNOW there are women, even attractive ones, (closer to his age) who might have been attracted to him.

Oh yeah, I also think this was a midlife crisis gone awry, but from a man who really had no "forelife" and felt he had no hopes for a quality retirement lifestyle. I truly wish he's gotten it together earlier on.

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Although I am interested in... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2009 9:24 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Karen: | Reply

Although I am interested in discussions about the killer, I first acted to help the son of one of the victims. has set up a trust fund for him.

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"In the article for "alo... (Below threshold)

August 20, 2009 3:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Rosiecee's comment, by ATraveller: | Reply

"In the article for "alone" sent by "anonymous", it states that this women is taking antidepressants."

Actually, it states that "after the affair ended, Weinstein rebuilt her emotional life with her husband. He took medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and his mood improved, she wrote. She took antidepressants." I'm not sure I get why this late introduction of antidepressants would cause her to cook up such an elaborate elusion?

"She was delusional - had false memory syndrome, etc.
The Physicians Desk Reference states that SSRIs can cause delusions, - also paranoia, mania, hypomania, abnormal thinking, psychosis, etc.."

I don't have access to the Physicians Desk Reference, but I assume you do? I saw the listing on the site you listed, but that one just lumps them all together, with no indications of frequency. Sorry, but I'm a stickler for details! Still, I looked up Prozac (Fluoxetin) Side Effects (an impressive and frightening list in itself) and turned up Serotonin Syndrome, but I utterly failed to find any direct links from Prozac to school shooting, the stories on that side not-withstanding.

I'm sorry - I'm not big on medications, I think they have become an easy way out in a society to stressed out to think in long term solutions. But at the same time, to lump all the blame on one factor is just idiotic. And scare tactics like that site annoy me - it sounds professional, but there are no faces behind it, no balance in the evidence, and no accessible links to reference material that I can judge for myself.


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AHA! So Jack the Ripper was... (Below threshold)

August 20, 2009 9:02 AM | Posted, in reply to Rosiecee's comment, by commonreader: | Reply

AHA! So Jack the Ripper was taking Paxil?

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Rosiecee, with 28 million p... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 12:05 AM | Posted, in reply to Rosiecee's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Rosiecee, with 28 million prescriptions for antidepressants per year, how come we don't see this "serial killer" emerge more often? You are looking for a boogie man. Many people who are given these drugs are already damaged goods. I grant that mania occurs in bipolars given SSRIs and that overdose/withdrawal can cause mania. That does not lead people to murder. Wouldn't we see bipolar folk committing more murder? And re you homicidal ideation theory, go research OCD. Some of the kindest people have some of the most horrific ideation and visions and never act on them.

There are just killers among us, always have been, always will be. I looked at some of the links on your site. The stories I did glanced at, the meds came AFTER the emotional problems, not before.

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"Even if he wasn't, he real... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 10:33 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Even if he wasn't, he realized that his skills as a .NET software developer were becoming obsolete"

Ehhh. .NET is still in demand. The bigger issue is that he was still programming at 48. You generally either move on to management or some other function by then. Coding is for kids. He was probably worried, given the generous salary he made, that he'd be replaced by someone younger and cheaper.

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George was clearly emotiona... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 11:44 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

George was clearly emotionally immature. He seemed unhappy because he had to learn life the way we are supposed to learn it - BY EXPERIENCE. He seems to think that all the successful people out there have some handbook he didn't get, and wants a quick fix, follow the instructions and you'll build what is on the boxcover, guaranteed. He reminds me very much of my 3 year old, who goes into a house trashing rage when he is not allowed to eat candy for breakfast. Ever try reasoning or rationalizing with a 3 year old???? There is a reason why the Catholic church says that 7 is the age of reason - anything younger than that and they really are not reasonable, can't reason, etc. Just because George was 48 doesn't mean he was mature upstairs.

As for blaming his family, I would be hard pressed to find anyone who had an idyllic childhood. Read "Angela's Ashes", there's a truly horrible childhood and Frank McC. seems to have turned out fine - better than fine. There is something "wrong" in all our childhoods - and the definition of "unhappy" childhood is highly variable and incredibly subjective. My kids think I am a mean control freak because I won't buy them a Wii and they have to drink milk and brush their teeth and get enough sleep. I don't let them have a YouTube account. My other girlfriend's son complains because they don't have a pool and that all the kids at school have designer stuff. I read George's blog and it sure sounds like he is still living in that under 7 age. I bet he never thought for a moment that perhaps his controlling mother was so controlling of him because she could see he could not control himself...?

He was not mature and not rational. How the rational and the mature expect to find a good, satisfying reason for all this a lost cause. All of you scream meds out there, but I don't think there are any meds involved. That is the easy solution. There are no easy answers here.

One more thing - any of you with multiple kids out there will know that personality seems to be with a kid from birth. I don't mean he has autism or anything like this, but being withdrawn, shy, easily frustrated, aggressive, whatever, you often see this when they are babies. My guess is that he always had trouble dealing with things that came up that were unsatisfying to him, and he simply never figured out a way to deal properly with any of these issues. He never grew up.

Kudos to the guy who commented who figured out his life. As Harley Davidson's motto says "it's not the destination, it's the journey". George's attitude needed adjustment.

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Before the introduction of ... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 3:45 PM | Posted by Rosiecee: | Reply

Before the introduction of Prozac in Dec. 1987, there was only one big school shooting. This was Charles Whitman at the University of Texas in 1965 or 66. [the tower shooting].

Charles Whitman was found to have a brain tumor which could have caused psychosis. Physicians debated about this tumor in Life and Time Magazine for over a year. Most decided that the tumor was the cause of the rampage.

Charles Whitman did not kill himself like the mass shooters do today. No, he was killed by the police. The same was true of James Huberty, the McDonald's killer in 1984. He was killed by the police.

We have had 8 major school shootings since the early 1990's. These perpetrators were all on antidepressants. They all killed themselves.

If a person is emotionally unstable then why give them a drug [an antidepressant] that can cause mania & psychosis. This is counterproductive, to say the least. When antidepressants were first marketed, doctors were warned of the dangers of these drugs and they were careful to whom they gave these antidepressants but doctors today seem to have forgotten this.

I have here an article about the McDonald's killer. It shows that most murderers have some kind of brain damage from chemicals as did the McDonald's shooter. This is why I think it is asinine to try and speculate as to Sodini's motives when we don't have his toxicology report.

Here is the article on the McDonald's killer

On a very ordinary July day in 1984, James Oliver Huberty walked through the door of a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California, and into the pages of infamy. "Society had its chance. I'm going hunting. Hunting humans," the unemployed security guard announced as he methodically unpacked a 12-ga. pump shotgun, 9mm pistol and 9mm semiautomatic carbine. He killed 21 people before being shot to death by a police sharpshooter.
A radical new theory that helps to explain what made Huberty snap could trigger an equally radical change in the way we deal with violence. If it proves correct, it could lead to changes in law enforcement that take a bigger bite out of violent crime than putting a cop on every corner ever would.
After the massacre, the medical examiner's office ordered an exhaustive series of tests on Huberty's remains. What they found was startling. "He had the highest cadmium level we had ever seen in a human being," recalls William J. Walsh, president of the Pfeiffer Treatment Center of Naperville, Illinois, and an authority on the link between metal poisoning and behavior. "I remember getting a call from the assistant medical examiner who was working on the case. 'I have one question for you,' he said. 'If Huberty had this much cadmium in his body, why wasn't he dead?'"

Suspect metals

Cadmium kills by destroying the kidneys. As investigators looked more deeply into Huberty's background, they discovered that the metal had indeed nearly killed him, twice. On each occasion, emergency room teams had coaxed his failing kidneys back from the brink, Walsh reports.
There was no mystery about the source of the cadmium. Before coming to California, Huberty had worked as a welder. "During an exit interview his employer asked him why he was leaving. He said that the fumes were making him crazy," says Walsh. Strange as this tale may seem, it is a familiar story to Walsh. He had seen similar off-the-scale metal readings in scalp hair samples from the most notorious mass murderers and serial killers. The evidence has made Walsh a firm believer that the body's inability to manage several common metals can spell the difference between good and evil.
Since 1989, he and his staff at Pfeiffer, an outpatient treatment center, have been working with children, mostly young boys, who have displayed severe behavioral problems. "We're talking about kids who are terrors at age one and torturing the cat when they are two," he says. Chiefly by adjusting the children's diets, he says, the institute has been able to prevent troubled children from becoming ruined adults.
Walsh is not the only one to draw a line between certain metals and behavioral problems. Roger D. Masters, a professor of government at Dartmouth College, is also intrigued by the connection. Like Walsh, Masters does volunteer work with prisoners. But while Walsh­a chemical engineer by training­ looks inward at the imbalances of metals in individuals, Masters looks outward, toward the effects of metals on communities.

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Wow. This is the BEST expl... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 5:23 PM | Posted by T. AKA Ricky Raw: | Reply

Wow. This is the BEST explanation for Sodini I've read to date. Everything else has been so agenda-driven, either from a lefty viewpoint, a righty viewpoint, a profeminist viewpoint, a pro-pickup artist viewpoint, an antifeminist viewpoint...I pretty much gave up on finding a detached, rational and objective take and then bam! I stumbled on this by pure luck ( a link from another blog).

Great job.

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Rosiecee, you truly are an ... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 6:59 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Rosiecee, you truly are an idiot. Stop talking. Human violence and insanity long precedes antidepressants (which are often given to help resolve those tendencies, not cause them). There was only one shooting before antidepressants? LOL. When's the last time anyone was beheaded, or challenged to a dual at sundown? Those crimes have decreased a lot. Fashion changes, the shape and scope of violence changes. Violence is violence, though. Just because mass shootings are en vogue doesn't mean that particular expression of a violent outburst is caused by something other than the fact it has been popularized (and violent people who would otherwise have behaved violently in a culturally appropriate fashion).

Anon 11:44, I pretty much agree with you entirely (I'm the autism theory anon)... the only disagreement is that you seem to believe that he could have avoided this life if he had only "matured". I am pretty sure his deficits are hard coded, hard wired, and environment just allowed them to express. I also agree personality is almost entirely biologically driven.
If you think about it, it must have been biological flaw in Sodini... who "chooses" to never mature past the age of 7? That can't be chosen. Something was wrong with his brain to keep him in a very immature, undeveloped way of looking at others and the world. I think it's related to autism, but whatever it is, it's biologically real and brain based. Probably.

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Oh and I know the obvious a... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 7:02 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh and I know the obvious answer (well obvious for THIS blog) is going to be "narcissism", but IMO using "narcissism" to explain pathological thinking/behavior is like using "hardly moving and staring at a wall" to explain depression. WHY is he "narcissistic" is a better question.

Narcissistic personality disorder is like borderline personality disorder, except for males. It is a really handy way of blaming/moralizing people for behavior that is frowned upon. It's a shame we aren't more scientific.

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Anonymous - you are the idi... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 7:40 PM | Posted by Rosiecee: | Reply

Anonymous - you are the idiot. I said one SCHOOL shooting, not one shooting.

Of course there have always been murders, murder-suicides, etc. It is just that, since 28 million people are taking a drug which can exacerbate or even cause violence, then we are suddenly seeing many more murder-suicides. You are a total idiot if you hadn't noticed the increase in murder-suicides and the increase in school shootings. What planet do you live on?

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Since George Sodini was sea... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 8:14 PM | Posted by Rosiecee: | Reply

Since George Sodini was searching for "social phobia" on his computer,

I believe there is a strong possibility that he was taking an SSRI antidepressant like Paxil. Heck, one out of ten people are taking antidepressants and so someone who has social phobia would be desparate to try anything that would help. He joined clubs, etc., to try and learn to overcome his social anxieties. The possibility he was on an antidepressant for social phobia are probably about 50%.

at there are hundreds of cases of people who became psychotic on antidepressants they were given for social phobia and they then committed a murder.

Too bad the APA is not a more "scientific" organization. Then we would see demands for coroner's reports, toxicology tests, etc.

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I would have to agree with ... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2009 9:04 PM | Posted by Cyn: | Reply

I would have to agree with the person just above. This is the most thorough study of Sodini I'v come across. I have heard stories of mass murders before...and have never been quite as affected as I have with this one. George Sodini lived four blocks from my house, and the LA Fitness he shot up is only two blocks away. (re-opens tomorrow). Somehow I'v gotten sucked into this. I guess it was the blog. Initially, I hated him for what he did...there is just no explaining it. He had to be psycho. My heart bleeds for the families of those women, and the 15 year old boy who no longer has his mom. Additionally, he shot down a sense of security many of us here in Scott Township, Collier and Bridgeville have enjoyed for our entire lives.

Then as I read the blog...I started to relate a little bit. Actually a lot. I had some questions in my mind (which the "Last Psychiatrist" has addressed very well).

Right off the bat...I knew his problem with women had nothing to do with his looks, he's pretty decent lookin' (I'm female btw). He came off in the blog as very intelligent...whole complete rational he didn't seem really pcycho at all. He held a job for ten years, and got a promotion. He had a decent house, car and bank account. I figured the problem had to be his personality.

It had occurred to me that George had somewhat of a moral code. He blogged: "you can't drink and drive".....he appears to have never resorted to rape. Don't men who fit this profile...being frustruated with women...often turn to rape? I found it surprising (unless he just didn't mention it) that he didn't consider a prostitute. It made sense to me that if his mom dominated him as much as he claimed, then (gosh you have to be true to your mom right?) it would explain the love/hate response. I caught the part where he used the words "fear" and "helplessness"...which would explain the isolation. I agree that he had issues with ALL people...and knew how to play the game, but seeing clearly that he was basically still a child trapped in a mans body. A totally frightened, confused, misguided, troubled child. A child who never "learned" or "developed" the skills to overcome and conquer.

I thought it was interesting too....he couldn't have a shoot-em-up at work...because after all, they paid him for ten years so far! (validated at work I guess). Those women in the gym though...did nothing for poor George. I am definately not seeing a woman hater, but definately see a frustruated, angry...needy... man/child who was finally getting the upper hand over his mother/women he just couldn't relate to otherwise.

Finally, he blogs about how his practice papers can be published freely...and that he won't be embarrassed because he will be dead. Interesting he even thought about embarrassment...maybe it is having to face "embarrassment" that kept him from getting professional help...."at almost 50 one is expected to just know these things"???? He seems to have made some tiny baby step moves toward self help....but what? afraid or to embarrassed to go see a doctor??

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<a href="http://www.nytimes... (Below threshold) George Sodini was carrying ... (Below threshold)

August 22, 2009 11:22 AM | Posted by Observer28: | Reply

George Sodini was carrying out his Save-The-Last-Bullet-For-Yourself retirement plan.

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@CynWhile I comple... (Below threshold)

August 23, 2009 12:33 AM | Posted by kayleighkins: | Reply


While I completely understand this is your opinion, it really surprised me when you called his blog intelligent and rational. I absolutely did not get that all all. He seemed childlike, sporadic and obsessive--none of these really made me think "what a balanced and alert man".

More like, "what a pathetic, creepy, unrealistic, freak".

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Hello Last Psychiatrist,</p... (Below threshold)

August 23, 2009 1:45 PM | Posted by Michael J. Durkheimer: | Reply

Hello Last Psychiatrist,

I have been following your blog and I want to introduce you to I thought you might be interested in our site. is a new system designed to help people not just be happier but actually "do happier." offers an interactive experience rooted in the science of happiness. We provide online tools and exercises for people to make an immediate positive impact on their lives. Our methodologies are proven to help reduce stress and worry, and increase personal productivity. Improving one’s happiness is directly related to improving one’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

The site is currently in public beta and we plan to launch in September with some additional features and a new design for the site. If you are interested in a free 30-day membership to try the site and give me feedback, I would be happy to set up an account for you.

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Thanks for illustrating nar... (Below threshold)

August 23, 2009 6:00 PM | Posted, in reply to Michael J. Durkheimer's comment, by David Johnson: | Reply

Thanks for illustrating narcissism. Now I REALLY get it. And that makes me feel happy.

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kayleighkins...just wanted ... (Below threshold)

August 23, 2009 7:44 PM | Posted, in reply to kayleighkins's comment, by Cyn: | Reply

kayleighkins...just wanted to clarify....I guess I should have said reasonably intellilgent. I meant intelligent because he's a systems be an SA you have to be fairly intelligent...and rational....because he was effectively able to communicate his exact thoughts...and all...well it just showed me he was capable of reasoning. I certainly never said he was balanced or alert. Balanced he certainly was not....not at all.

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I know I may have to return... (Below threshold)

August 24, 2009 3:53 AM | Posted, in reply to David Johnson's comment, by ATraveller: | Reply

I know I may have to return my Human Hating Cynical Bastards membership Club card, but this seems legit enough.

I googled the name "Michael J. Durkheimer" +, fully expecting to come up with a flurry of comments made in a short span of time, with identical wording.

I found five, spread out over roughly a month, and while they essentially state the same ("Come see my site"), they are not entirely copy paste jobs, from what I could see.

Now I've not seen the site yet, and I fully expect it to be a rehash of all the stuff you already know, wrapped up in new shiny paper for only a small fraction of your money per month, or possibly your first born. But I can't blame a person for trying to generate interest, as long as it's tastefully done. If that's narcissism, then at least it's in the healthy end of the spectrum.

Although you might ask yourself why the commenter didn't just go to the contact information, and use the addys provided there? Ah, cynicism, welcome back!

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Again, is there any proof t... (Below threshold)

August 24, 2009 3:51 PM | Posted by Common Reader: | Reply

Again, is there any proof that the blog is real? Because it reads like something written quickly at one sitting, and it reads like fiction. If you feel like you're getting something out of reading it and reading the analysis, then you would probably enjoy literary criticism, because that's what you're engaging in. I enjoy literary criticism, but I don't confuse it with real life.

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I'm glad that someone has f... (Below threshold)

August 25, 2009 5:03 PM | Posted by Ba'alserrum: | Reply

I'm glad that someone has finally brought up the elephant in the room. SSRIs may play a small part in the rampage shootings that happen, but to me one big elephant in the room is the media.

I won't sugar coat this very much, but our media -- not just the news, but the movies, music, TV shows, and so on -- seem to tech that the right answer to your suffering is to make other people suffer. And movies of late seem to be as bloody as they can be made.

In the movie realm, I'd point to the difference between the 1978 version of Superman and the modern Batman stories. Superman never really took revenge. The closest he took was to drop Lex Luther off at police headquarters. He does this even AFTER Luther had tried to kill him with Kryptonite and drown him in a pool. Batman takes revenge. Joker and numerous villians die at the end. Batman has a lot of revenge in it, Superman is about saving people.

And in the media -- definately worse. I was horrified by the images chosen for the story on the VT killer. It basicly glorified the whole thing. He felt like no one was listening to him, so what do we do but put his mug on TV. He wanted his manifesto on TV -- he got that too. The victims were never named, their stories were never told, the Holocaust survivor shot protecting his class -- all relegated to back pages in favor of "understanding" Cho. We learned that Koreans place a lot of pressure on kids to get into the "right college". Basicly, Cho got everything he wanted and it sent a loud clear message to anyone in a similar state of mind -- take a lot of people with you, and you'll be famous. We'll feel sorry that we didn't help you in time. If you want people to know you and feel bad about what they've done to you, the media says shoot people then kill yourself. And then we wonder why people do just that.

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The healthy end of the spec... (Below threshold)

August 25, 2009 6:35 PM | Posted, in reply to ATraveller's comment, by David Johnson: | Reply

The healthy end of the spectrum? You see, I did visit the cookie cutter site. And I saw enough to qualify as narcissism because the point of his post here ... when talking about a multiple homicide ... was to pimp his site. His site.

That's narcissism, but I should have put it different terms as well: unsolicited, unrelated, unwanted SPAM.

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@CynYeah that make... (Below threshold)

August 25, 2009 11:55 PM | Posted by kayleighkins: | Reply


Yeah that makes way more since to me. I always find it really surprising that people can have intelligent, successful jobs, but at their core, act exactly the opposite. I think it has to do a lot with being in a different mind set at work then at home.


I agree that media coverage over killers, showing their faces and having the news anchors be obviously and sickeningly excited over the news break, shows a bad image. The way our news is covered in the country is disgusting to me. It's like watching caged monkeys cackle and roll in their own feces before commercial break.

My problem is that I don't think violent movies/video games/media cause violence, so much as attract people who already have a shining to it. For instance, if someone already loves gore, they have more outlets for loving gore. The media enforced it, certainly, but it didn't cause it, at least IMO. I have a really hard time feeling otherwise.

I believe our culture and our mainstream media is not really as intertwined as people suspect.

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AHA! So Jack the Ripper ... (Below threshold)

August 26, 2009 1:38 AM | Posted, in reply to commonreader's comment, by Jane: | Reply

AHA! So Jack the Ripper was taking Paxil?

No, Seroquel. Or perhaps a pesticide of some kind, mixed with laudanum. Similar.

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what's going on with you? h... (Below threshold)

August 26, 2009 6:48 AM | Posted by Trei: | Reply

what's going on with you? has someone else stolen your password and writing here while the real Alone is away on vacation?

He didn't back off because he was afraid of a confrontation with women. he didn't see it as a confruntation. weren't you listening? he saw it as exactly what it was. what we think it is. giving up. while making one last - sick - attempt to take back control (that's the thing he thinks he didn't have all his life).

it was the only 'penetration' possible for him - and those were the women that didn't notice him.

you say he doesn't notice he's a creap, yet says he looks nice, and doesn't know why women don't respond. I know this is too hard now, knowing what he was (blink) but homicide aside, he did look well groomed; and I'm sure lots of women would like a man who looked like him. what he didn't have was the aggressive attitude women looked for - even more so, the aggressive women he wanted (you know, those like his mother).

what you keep missing is the actual reality of his life - and he doesn't. he's has no trouble seeing how things are. yes - he has low selfesteem and no balls, but his grip on reality is firm - it's just that his reality sucks and he had no idea what to do about it. he's been pushed around so much (mom, brother) that he's lost when he must do things by himself.

what I see there is a load of pain - and yes, frustration. his "killing" is a plain old burst out. blow up.

I think you're all trying so hard to find illness cos there's something a lot scarier - he's a normal, neurotic guy. just like you and me. that's the problem. murder has become normal.

maybe it's because every media fantasy culminates in mass killings for which the hero gets praised; maybe it's because videogames, and porn, and religion and old values turning into jokes. maybe it's evolution.

I think that guy was average. the only thing wrong with him is that he killed people. and that we have no way of telling who's gonna do that next.

then again, he killed people that didn't notice his suffering....

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I don't think it directly c... (Below threshold)

August 26, 2009 6:02 PM | Posted, in reply to kayleighkins's comment, by ba'alserrum: | Reply

I don't think it directly causes attacks, he was already, for one reason or another in a weakened state of mind. He might have even been a bit depressed. But the thing is that Shooting/suicides only seem to happen in America. Depressed Japanese kids commit group suicide by going off into an enclosed place with other depressed kids and burning charcoal until they die of CO poisoning.

The media seems to be the difference between the two cultures. That's probably the only lagre difference I can come up with to explain why one set of depressed kids shoot up schools and so on, and others commit suicide without killing others at all. I don't thinkg SSRI use is much different between the two nations, I don't think the rate or severity of the depression these kids feel is that different, but something has to account for the way the tow cultures are handling these feelings.

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Hey, did YOU write the blog... (Below threshold)

August 27, 2009 3:42 AM | Posted by Common Reader: | Reply

Hey, did YOU write the blog?

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why kill the women? difficu... (Below threshold)

August 27, 2009 11:49 AM | Posted by MedsVsTherapy: | Reply

why kill the women? difficult to answer. almost by definition, this guy's problems might be complicated enough to defy a straightforward, full answer without a great deal of info. maybe even with.

But here is one idea: Judith Herman developed the idea of "complicated PTSD:" chapter 5 in her book, trauma and recovery, explains this concept in a nutshell. Her idea is, basically, that if you grow up with prolonged abuse, your personality develops in a manner to help you cope with the abuse.

She is psychodynamic about this idea to the extent that she believes that this developmental influence will remain, and have its influence throughout life.

my analogy is the bonsai tree. bonsai's, as tender young saplings, have their branches wrapped with wire in the desired shape. Once the branch has grown under that influence for long enough, the branch will not straighten out. Take the wire off after a few days and the branch will - this is analogous to the various problems we all face. Have the wire-wrap influence on for too long, and the growth that occurs solidifies. This is analogous to growing up under continued abuse. Actually, a better term instead of abuse might be terrorism: the constant potential for something terrible happening, requiring continual strategic vigilence and appropriate defensiveness. No tree grows up perfectly straight; they all have their twists and turns from such influences. But they generally grow up suffiicently, reasonably straight. Same for most of us humans.

Sodini grew up being belittled by at least one strongly influential person, dad, who should have been there to foster him along in the face of adverse events. Dad and brother should have helped, not hurt. Buffered, not battered. Sodini's personality was not allowed to develop optimally, and instead it had to develop in a way to protect him.

This explains the body-image preoccupation, and the intellectualization. He could never feel valued for himself, inherently. He had to build up some things to provide esteem.

This fits with the evidence that he continued to see these "young" women as superior, older, an unapproachable, compared to this insecure child with adult desire/need for human connection.

Sodini may have never matured in a normal manner to be able to handle adult interpersonal realtionships, including romantic, because his personality was formed under the abusive influence, and was not able to develop in areasonably normal manner.
He ended up being unable to relate well with others. Ny guess is that, along with the humiliation he received regularly throuugh his formative years, he also probably received messages that the woman on your arm provides the evidence that you are decent, normal, or respectable. This message was probably communicated to him in terms that he was not adequate for this, he was ugly, a wimp, etc.

Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery, Ch 5: I recommend it for some insight into the influence of abuse upon personality development.

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The media not the differenc... (Below threshold)

August 27, 2009 3:21 PM | Posted, in reply to ba'alserrum's comment, by kayleighkins: | Reply

The media not the difference between these two cultures, the cultures are. Sure, media is apart of a culture, but not the entirety of it. In Japan, there are strict rules about how you say what you mean to imply. In American, there are strict rules about how far you go with saying exactly what you mean to say.

It makes all the since in the world that a Japanese kid would rather die quietly then shoot up a school, and that an American kid would rather shoot up a school than die quietly. American kids hate being suppressed, which is what American schools do to kids they think are weird--they shut them up.

I don't pretend to know what if feels like to be a weird kid in a Japanese school, but the success of the story Death Note, about a depressed Japanese boy who kills people simply by writing their names in a notebook between classes, shows the differences, doesn't it? He doesn't need recognition.

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I feel you will see more of... (Below threshold)

August 28, 2009 9:01 PM | Posted by mortalez: | Reply

I feel you will see more of this and the cuel way inwhich women treat men in the country I wont be sheding many tears.

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I just read the whole Sodin... (Below threshold)

August 29, 2009 3:13 PM | Posted by Sak: | Reply

I just read the whole Sodini log with your comments and I want to tell you that you did an amazing job. I think that all your remarks are very true. I just feel it. And I am also glad that Sodini wrote this and I can read it now. I can relate to many things he wrote. I've felt impotent many times, too. And I'm now sure that I'm a narcissist, too. I will not forget Sodini and will read it again. I appreciate your honesty and impartiality and sobriety. I'm just thankful.

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Thank you for this. Really ... (Below threshold)

August 29, 2009 4:57 PM | Posted by LK: | Reply

Thank you for this. Really helped me understand better. Wish everyone would read it and stop making ill-informed comments. Might also help someone who is tempted to repeat Sodini's action. Many thanks. ;o)

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I really appreciate this di... (Below threshold)

August 31, 2009 12:51 AM | Posted by rossi: | Reply

I really appreciate this dialogue about an important issue. Fortuneately, there is little name calling here. There is room for many contributing factors: Brain function, personality disorders, emotional trauma, drug poisoning, medication etc. Probably all of them played their part.
I think our society is going to see a lot more of this behaviour in the future due to the style of parenting that is currently popular in our culture. Kids raising kids, kids spending hours on the computer every day, violence on tv and a society based on accumulating stuff rather than living with any kind of love and integrity. This is the cool generation that worships labels on their clothes, talks in 3 second sound bits on their telephones. They havent a clue about how to connect to themselves or anyone else. There are so many of them that it cant possibly be labelled psychiatrically. These kids all want to have the right look and the right emotions, the right words. Individuality has no place here. I think Nazi Germany was like this pre WW11. These kids are numbed out but when they have this exterior pierced look out!
Adults arent connecting with them really. Maybe in organized sports or somesuch pedestrian contact, but role models just arent there. Literally, they have left the building.
This murderer is like the canary in the coal mine. Autism, anti social behaviour, violent mood disorders are all TEARLESS. The child reaches a saturation point of frustration and shuts off. They appear numb and without conscience.
I work with disturbed children and see the results of the current "common sense approach" to raising children. IT is not effective to say the least. Now they are prescribing anti anxiety drugs for three year olds, for Petes sake. Who is around to hold the children while they cry their tears out? Who is funding this?


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I do agree, but that, to me... (Below threshold)

August 31, 2009 9:45 PM | Posted, in reply to rossi's comment, by Ba'alserrum: | Reply

I do agree, but that, to me is why you can't have both. Yes parents pretty much have a dump-the-kids-at-daycare thing going on. They're at best part-time parents. After work and on weekends is when they spend time with their kids. That isn't very much time, which again makes me take a good long look at the messages that kids get from outside of the family. That's where kids are being trained on how to be an American, how to be an adult, and what you're supposed to do when the chips are down.

It's not pretty, and the lack of countering influences means that whatever the kids are taught by other kids, and whatever they see on TV or hear in their music is what they'll do. Which means lie cheat and steal to get ahead, and if someone hurts you, hurt them worse. It's pretty much a recipet for the return of the law of the jungle, of humans acting like animals.

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i believe this is an as ye... (Below threshold)

August 31, 2009 11:46 PM | Posted by jcm: | Reply

i believe this is an as yet unidentified and unnamed psycological illness that i myself suffer i condone his actions?absolutely not, but i really wish the rest of the human race could experience the hopelessness with meeting women that he may seem like such a simple thing to a normal person, but to others, you may as well be telling them to fly like one listens, understands, or cares, most men arent going to come out and say"i cant get women" thats just not a manly thing to say.i challenge some genuis college educated psycoligist or psychiatrist out there to identify and name this problem,if you play your cards right,you WILL get rich.i am highly intoxicated right now as women have driven me to drinking once again so i will include my email address [email protected]

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Your problem is a lack of f... (Below threshold)

September 1, 2009 3:09 AM | Posted, in reply to jcm's comment, by Basil Valentine: | Reply

Your problem is a lack of functioning power process. I refer to the noted philosopher Theodore Kaczynski on this one. Essentially, you feel like no matter what efforts you put in, you can't achieve success with women. A lack of self-efficacy, and trust me this is both well identified and perhaps over-appelated. Rewards are not commensurate with action, so while you can't condone pulling into a fitness center and shooting up the place, you can certainly understand it. Because these women symbolize some failure to act on the world, they are targets for dislike and hate. OK, fair-- but you have to decide whether to act on those feelings or try to remove their source.

You'll find that "not having success with women" is a common problem, and, with the advent of Neil Strauss' The Game, something that a lot of people are dedicating enormous attention to with some success. So, before you start polishing the AR-15, please read a book first.

Second, you seem to be approaching dating and sex as if it were some magical life-validating process. It's not. It's an arrangement like any you make when you get a job or have friends; you like a person, are attracted to them, and they, you. What do you do when you don't like your friends? Find new friends.

Or maybe your striking out before wasn't just because you suck. Maybe you just caught a few bad breaks, a bona fide "it's not you, it's me". Either way, I had a friend once who really did suck, but after diligently hitting on every Y-chromosome deficient non-disabled passerby on campus and being mostly rejected, he could be guaranteed at least one would respond positively.

Or, on the topics of campus and Kaczynski, you could just say "fuck it", move to a shack in Montana and start mailing letterbombs. Then you'd be famous! And chicks dig fame.

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Your orig post made do more... (Below threshold)

September 5, 2009 7:38 PM | Posted by cc: | Reply

Your orig post made do more research. I have contacted his family via the atty for the estate. You who posted later give me reason now to continue foward. I found more about him from himself in some odd places and some people who knew him came foward in very small snippets. It allowed me to put more pieces together. He was as literal and linear thinker by his own admission as they get. He had been thrown out his church by a man his posted on his website more than his own father. Deacon Rickard first denied know him much despite the pics on Sodini's website cg. He keep trying to date even two weeks before hie did only to eb rejected. His tried to leave what would have been one of the single largest invidual donations to his alma mater. Even death he is rejected. He really did have a lonely path. He went to bars, happy hours and drank coke. That is how desperate he was. He did have a falling out with mom and sis. All about the same time he was thrown out from the church. He had lost any and all support he had. From what a brother in law had state he had no girlfriend or male friends that anyone had seen until he joined that church. Who demanded members carry or handle guns. THe way his church treated him reminded me of how the apostled turned on Jesus. I do not think this was lost him Sodini. His ex brother in law said he had been thrown out of the family. Can you imagine? How many others are like him out there. In some states knowing you have a child like this you can dragged into court for support. Maybe we have to force parents to take sensitivity classes?

I am glad to see there is some caring, intelligent life left on the net. If what we discuss can help save another soul, then it is worth it. I think he was rejected by women for 2 reasons, watch his vids and you can see how he acts immature on the remark on his speakser being like end tables, like a little kid and how proud he i of his new dining room table. More like that of an elementary school child or jr high kid would act, and he has two nightlights. I knew a man like this and he did for fear of being alone. He also notes about his boxes in the basement, that to me was like something a kid would say to his mom to justify his special toys. He is of my age range and our parents back then got some screwed up advices about kids being seen and not heart. He probably was told to be quiet and with his slight stuter, they have great therapy for that now, he became even more isolated.

He was reading sex advice on teens on a site at the library he volunteered at called He simply had little to no gray areas in his mind. It caused conflict. I think if he even had a women who had hugged him this year, he and 3 other innocent people would be here. I had a coworker who used to do this before it became illegal. Maybe we need to go back to small hugs? the human touch.

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TO Cyn, I could not have sa... (Below threshold)

September 5, 2009 7:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Cyn's comment, by cc: | Reply

TO Cyn, I could not have said it better. There are so many more people out there now than from his generation that are are the same way. So much so the Govt has launched the Natl Childrens Health Study. This hit me so hard and I never met him or let alone been to PA. I have a child with autism severe but have been the vicitm of a gun crime and felt his isolation as a result. He did try to the very end to make something work. When will his family speak. If ever. That to me speaks volumes of thier lack of anything good they could say.

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I am Sodini's age, male, ne... (Below threshold)

September 8, 2009 2:30 AM | Posted by itsallthesame: | Reply

I am Sodini's age, male, never married, and I must say that my life makes him look like a gigolo. He says he's had sex like 50 times, well I have had sex exactly twice, both times with hookers.
I'm not proud of using hookers, but there you have it.

I've had one "official" date in my life, though I've had other chances that I've blown. Chances at friendship/dating that is -- I'm not obsessed with finding a sex partner, though I'm not opposed to that either. (smile)

I'm not ugly, just short and a bit fat. But I can't blame my looks at all.

Then why no girlfriends, ever, in 5 decades of life?

I have social phobia that's squeezing the life out of me. I'm barely able to function, with medication and least I can work at my low-stress job. I consider myself sexually and socially immature, and don't see any way around it. I grew up in a typical household, until my mother flipped out on a manic trip when I was 13. I became the focus of her ire (my other brothers were spared). Also, there was no discussion of sex: my mother did not allow it to be spoken of, and for years I experienced her fury at my frequent masterbating, though it was never directly addressed. I do believe she was abused sexually by her father, but somehow became a wife.
I suffered years of verbal abuse from her. My father was no help: she's your mother, he'd say. I was not allowed to express my anger. A few times I was so angry I felt I would explode, but what could I do? I literally was tearing my hair off. My father lost his mother when he was a teen. He worshipped his wife, my mother. It's all connected.
She went into the psych hospital three times over the years. I would later match that myself.
So for me women were trouble, were frightening, were rejecting. I still believe one day I will overcome this crap, but who knows how much time is left me?
Things got so bad for me that I was once hospitalized and diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia. What a laugh. Well I'm not schizo, back then I was hugely stressed and "paranoid" in a lower-case "p" kind of way.

Well, enough of my history. But in relation to Sodini: for one thing, he had a good job. My job pays the rent. Working class is my domain.
So why don't I go to the nearest gym and shoot up a women's yoga class, or something?

Well I have some morals. I would sooner kill myself than kill an innocent person. I believe I have no right on earth to kill another human being, unless in dire self-defence. I don't blame the world day in and day out, like he seemed to do. A lot of my problems I'm responsible for. Plus I have a sense of humor. I'm a bit of a clown, actually, but it gets me through the day. Also I believe in the afterlife, though I'm not religious. If I don't find love and validation in this life, it's always there for me on the everlasting spiritual plane.
It's kind of scary knowing that this murderer had so much more going for him than I do. I probably scare people, too. You have to watch out for the loners, it seems. Nobody trusts them.

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"I don't condone what Sodin... (Below threshold)

September 9, 2009 4:01 PM | Posted by mpetrie98: | Reply

"I don't condone what Sodini did, but I can understand it..."

That is indeed not the proper way to put it. This is more like it: "I can understand why Sodini did what he did, but he's still a self-absorbed, cowardly motherfucker for doing it. He shot innocent women. If we all have to live with pain in our lives, then so should he! Fuck him!"

And there you have it: understanding AND condemnation in one sentence.

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To man Sodinis age, thanks ... (Below threshold)

September 10, 2009 9:45 PM | Posted by cc: | Reply

To man Sodinis age, thanks for that. People now have a hard time understanding how our genration was raised. We couild not be good enough, smart enough as most of our parents were working class and most never graduated from high school and were came about when govt opps they never had were handed to us and they drove US NOTS!!! I escape from my home in my teens and realized when I was in college that I could not please my mom, I am a women and I finall had to tell her off to get her to back off or I may have gone nuts too. O think Sodinis mom was abused somehow as well. He basically makes his dad out to be weak. If you are raised half religious and then go overlty as he did, and cannot find your base ethics and stick to them no matter what, you can go nuts as this guy did. In the end he read the book from the guy who started his nutthy church. They teach a women for every man basically.

BTW he was not ulgy., Most women think he was not avg not ugly but very handsome and good looking. Maybe people thought he was a closet gay.

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None of you actually know t... (Below threshold)

September 23, 2009 12:51 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

None of you actually know the Sodinis and the commentary really bothers me because I do know all of them. You all have it wrong.

George's problem was NOT his family life growing up, which featured the usual day to day, garden variety issues, such as unhappy marriage, and tight money situation. They are very ordinary. There was no abuse, physical or verbal. George's problem stemmed from his alcoholism at an early age. The alcoholism set him back many years, so when he did get his life cleaned up and back on track, he found himself well into his 30s, about 10-15 years older than most people at that same life stage, and he struggled at playing catch up with his peers.

The alcoholism destroyed his self-esteem, and he heard insults and criticism and abuse where none existed. No person with ordinary levels of self esteem would come to the same conclusions that George did. A suggestion or advice (for instance, what to do on a Saturday night) would be interpreted as a command, an order, an attempt to humiliate. None of what he writes makes any sense if you know the people he complains about. His view of them is completely distorted.

The family has been silent because they are dumbfounded by George's actions and by his revelations of his miserable life. They have nothing to say because there IS nothing for them to say, other than that they had no idea he was troubled at all. They are in shock. The comments purported from George's ex-inlaw are wrong - the commentary should state that the ex-in law was in fact the one the Sodinis threw out of the family, and that he has had no contact with them for a good 25 years so he knows nothing of the present situation.

The fact is, his family feared George would self-destruct when he was in his 20s and in the midst of his alcoholism, when he really was out of control, not 20 years LATER, after he had (at least on the surface) successfully overcome his problem and got on with his life. They had no reason to suspect anything was wrong. He went to university and got his degree, he had a good job, a house, a nice car, money in the bank, and he traveled as he pleased. He never spent his time hanging out with his family other than the usual holiday gatherings - he seemed busy. This was the picture he painted for them to see - he was busy living his life, and life was fine. They all knew they didn't have anything in common with George in terms of personality and interests, so none of them expected George to confide in them - if there was something to confide in.

The alcoholism is the key to the puzzle and George deliberately skips over this in his blog. He was a dry drunk. He likely minimized the alcoholism discussion because he didn't recognize what it did to him - he believed that he was now on the straight and narrow, following all the rules, doing things the right way, and everyone ELSE was out to destroy him, ruin him, isolate him. Everyone ELSE was not playing by the rules, behaving as they were supposed to. He was mad at them for not letting him play the game. I doubt he saw a doctor or was on meds - it is clear to me that he needed at the least the former, and likely the latter.

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So am I a narcissit to hope... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2009 2:41 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

So am I a narcissit to hope that there will be some outbreak of a super deadly virus that wipes out 80-90% of the human population (while I go live in the woods for a year or two)so that there will be more for me (and the rest of the people left who survived it) when it's all said and done...

and because I hope the societies and economic systems I hate so much will be abandoned as there will not be enough people left to keep them running? That way myself and whomever is left surviving could have a chance to live in a less controlled world, and enjoy more freedom to live life as they please?

If this happened I could just join up with other survivors and actually be able to lay claim to some land, start farming for ourselves, see what we can do about finding a way to scavange or learn to make the more essential medical treatments such as antibiotics, painkillers, etc.
I wouldn't, nor would they, have to worry about some big government coming in and trying to controle every little detail of thier lives. So long as you could defend yourself and your space against marauders, you could live in a band of 100 or so people, and it would be a truely great experience to be able to live a life where if there were rules made, they would be made by people you could actually talk to face to face.

I honestly think with the way things are going in our world, that if something horrible doesn't happen we're going to end up in a 1984 scenerio, with the richest and most powerful controlling the media, and most other institutions, and using them to control the way we see the world, ourselves and each other, and so basicaly controlling our behavior - and of course this would be done simply for thier own entertainment as well as to prove to themselves that they know best and without them running the show humanity would be much worse off.

I don't want to live in a world (though it might not happen in my lifetime, I don't see how it could not happen at some point with the power of technology we have today, and with the real wealth of the world accumulating in fewer and fewer hands), nor do I want anyone else to have to live in a world where we're all implanted with microchips that report our every action to some central governing authority... ick!

I really would rather see most of the human population die off (even if that means I would have to die myself) due to some natural disaster, and have left only enough people to keep the species alive, but not enough to return to utilizing technology to the degree we are today, and keeping the insitutions that run our world today functioning.

It'd give the species a second chance I think. To go from living a completely controlled life (yet being told we are free HA!) where most of the population is kept poor or in debt and not allowed to even actually OWN thier own home (yeah how many people do you know that have homes 100% paid off that aren't in thier 80's?), to being in a world where there was no "system" in place to keep people enslaved by debt and unable to own thier own property or business, where survivors can band together to go find land they can use, and find excesses left over they can use to re-create the technologies that are really needed (such as keeping the teaching of medicine and chemistry alive so we still have doctors and people who can create new medications (well new -old medications) once the existing supply has gone bad our run out.
And live truely FREE lives.

I don't think us humans, even if we were able to repopulate the world very quickly, to the point where it could support (or "needed" in order to maintain order) the systems and institutions we have now, would choose to recreate many of the institutions we have now. Hopefuly that chance for some many generations to go from living the type of lives that are available to most of us now, to living lives where we could be truely free, would teach us lessons that would be handed down, about not using debt to control people, forget about the "trickle down" economics theory, being more giving so people could have more freedom to be thier own boss, grow thier own livings instead of everyone having to work for someone else and some huge corporation... and it would hopefuly re-teach people just how wonderful it feels to be truely free to live how you wish, without STUPID laws controlling everything you do (not that there should be no laws, but come on people there are some really stupid ones we all have to abide by)- so any government that was created after such a "catastrophie" would allow people more freedom to live thier lives the way they wish in so long as they are not hurting anyone by doing it. ( not JUST giving this freedom to large corporations -even if they ARE hurting people)

Well I gotta go to work. But I wanted to ask, do you think I am a narcissist for wishing for something like this to happen because I do not like the world the way it is?

It's not like I would kill someone to achieve this end, and I am even willing to die myself if it means this opportunity could happen for human kind. Not the same thing as going around being a murderer, but maybe because instead of wishing that the institutions themselves that I hate would fail and just the rich rulling class would die, I'd rather see 80-90% of the human population go out from some natural disaster, because I think this would be more effective in the long term to cause real changes... is that messed up of me to not care about so many people, and not care if so many people die? I don't know any of them, it sucks to suffer and be ill, I would feel bad for what all those people would have to go thru, but in the end I think it would make the world a much better place (and possible save us from killing ourselves off completely and destroying the planets ecosystems) for all the generations of humans to follow.

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This is what happens in a p... (Below threshold)

September 27, 2009 7:58 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This is what happens in a post feminist world.

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He didn't say it in his lit... (Below threshold)

October 19, 2009 2:18 PM | Posted by Emp: | Reply

He didn't say it in his little log but I think the rejection he got from women did ultimately make him hate them.

And furthermore and related, both the reason for the rejection and the reason he killed them is because he was only thinking about himself. He wanted to please them solely for what they would give him in return. He didn't think in terms of what they wanted. He didn't think in terms of their happiness or it seems he didn't really think in terms of them as being actual live human beings at all for that matter. It was simply all about him. About not being validated. And about trying to figure out the magical formula to be liked by one of them, never understanding the way is to actually understand the person and actually give a damm about them personally. Not your tan or your pickup lines.

I think he was ultimately just self centered. Unable to care about other people, unable to see their point of view. For that matter I think in trying to get a girlfriend I don't think he even took into account what he actually liked in a women. It was simply about making them like him without again really even noticing who the actual person was in front of him at all.

I do feel sorry for the guy. I think he could have been helped. I think he could have totally changed. I think he was very open to possibility that he was doing things wrong. He just never found the wisdom he needed.

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Sodini was not a narcissist... (Below threshold)

February 27, 2010 7:41 PM | Posted by Temporary Person: | Reply

Sodini was not a narcissist. He states several times that he is good looking and dresses well, but the very next thing he writes is that is there is something fundamentally wrong with him. A narcissist would blame other people.

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If Sodini's rampage were en... (Below threshold)

March 17, 2010 1:42 PM | Posted by Rookh Kshatriya: | Reply

If Sodini's rampage were entirely psychological in origin, why are these events overwhelmingly an Anglo-Saxon, specifically American phenomenon? The answer has to be that they are not psychological events, but social ones.

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September 23, 2009 12:51 PM... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2010 8:37 PM | Posted by ddd: | Reply

September 23, 2009 12:51 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

To the person that wrote that. Thank you. I did not write clearly in a post above myself. Sodini was from my generation. We were taught to not air our issues or confide in our parents. It was the generation of not speaking to anyone about how we felt or thought. We all have our family skeletons. I read up on the Sodinis and they seem an avg family. But I also spoke via email to people who knew him from high school, school and his street. They painted a pic of a closed off polite but oddly distant person. He had been bullied and that stays with you for life unless you get out of your sytem. He drank. He did stupid tings. He wrote it about in other places on the net. He was self medicating. IF his family did not get that that is even sadder. He had some other psych issue that gnawed at him. Did his family even see what he posted online?
He would start and stop trying to get himself dx and help but he could not take the extra step. I am divorcing a man like him because of it. Love was not enough to get him to get help.
I suspect Geo family had no clue and how deep his psych issues went. There are many men who followed his blog then the lawyers too them down. He still has a following but his blog and the sad deaths of his victims have opened some eyes. which is good.
So their deaths were not in vain.
It opened a dark door into a man would would go nuts and kill.
If the Sodinis ever read this, i know the court battles looks over his assets still. sad, but your sons actions have helped some men who wanted to kill or die think twice.

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To Anonymous from Sept 23 w... (Below threshold)

May 1, 2010 9:51 AM | Posted by Cyn: | Reply

To Anonymous from Sept 23 who knows the Sodini Family:

Very glad you spoke up to voice your thoughts. Your views are interesting and considerable. None of us have the right to judge, and none of us knew George or his one can only go by what we see in the blog. Surprising this thread is still going on eight months after the fact. I just have one comment.

There is no doubt that if his alcoholism was as bad as you say...that it played a role in what George ultimately became. I think every family has one....and alcoholic. Don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that alcohol and drugs DO stunt growth...but I believe it is a symptom of George's problem....not a diagnosis unto itself.

George never said in the blog that the family was "abusive"...he listed what he thought were "wrongs"...but never used the word "abusive"......You state that he gave the impression that all was "okay"....but still....if George had any value to his family...I still think they should have been a active part of his life.....they SHOULD have known there was something wrong. While I understand George himself may have isolated....making it difficult....I also understand how caught up in our own lives we can get....failing to care or even recognize that there are other people who are hurting just as bad. That doesn't make his family "bad" does actually make then more "normal" than one would like to admit.....but it does speak volumes about our society, our culture, and the times we live in.

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Really good analysis, best ... (Below threshold)

July 16, 2010 5:03 AM | Posted by Furry: | Reply

Really good analysis, best so far, thanks.

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WOW!! Here it is a year la... (Below threshold)

July 17, 2010 5:45 AM | Posted by Anotherloner: | Reply

WOW!! Here it is a year later and I keep thinking about this guy. Probably, because, I thought I was just like him! Yeah, I'm a WASP, loner,40 years old, never married, no kids etc., etc. Yes, there ARE more of us out there! But, the difference is that after reading all these comments, I don't feel so inclined to waste friendly civilians. I really did think I was unique in the fact that I did not condone what he did---but I understand part of it. Guess, I'm not so alone and not as unique as I thought! I want to thank each and every one of the people who have commented. I'm too selfish to take anybody else's life and I doubt I could take my own but, this has sure shown a light on why I may feel I understand his frustration with females. You know, when you're a kid, and people say "My, you're going to be handsome etc., you're going to get all the girls... etc, etc." But, when that does not happen, you wonder why? I'm the last living member of a family that's been here 200 years. I REALLY am a dying breed (Oh, I live in an area where it's roughly 75% Hispanic--nothing against them but, they don't tend to mate with the gringos too much.) So, to the people who think this might be a "Wasp" type of issue---You may be right--and this may happen again (I hope not.) To those who will analyze this--go ahead, I'm sure I have some issues. To the 50 year old guy---NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!! Your stock is only going higher, you are getting wiser( women like this, I think) and EVERY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY!!!

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Its been just days short of... (Below threshold)

July 31, 2010 4:40 AM | Posted by BMT: | Reply

Its been just days short of one year that that George came to his breaking point with life. You people don't know George! You don't live with chronic loneliness. Your psychobabble doesn't say shit its a bunch of crook.
Only people like George and I, know what it's like to see none of your life dreams attained by your late 40's for the most part. We know the heartaches day after day of feeling invisble or unappreciated in this society. Of struggling with our depression to put on a pleasant face and go out into society each day and try to have a small slice of success and to fear even the loss of that must have echoed in his mind unforgiving.

George shootings/killimgs/suscide was not about haterid of women at all. It was his last cry to be noticed, to leave a mark on society and to end his agony and disappointment with life and society.

I mourn for George. I will remember you, George Sodini. May my breaking point not come.

From A Female that understood

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Can't get him out of my min... (Below threshold)

July 31, 2010 4:51 AM | Posted, in reply to Anotherloner's comment, by BMT: | Reply

Can't get him out of my mind either and I'm a black female in my 40's never married and no kids. And I totally relate to those growing up comments that never manifest that you spoke of.

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Most people have no idea ho... (Below threshold)

July 20, 2011 11:20 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Most people have no idea how it feels to be socially invisible. If I could build a military aircraft as invisible as I get in social situations, it would be utterly undetectable by the opponent. It's like a cloaking system with no off switch. That is, unless you do something really unusual. This with the social stealth enables these killers as they maneuver into position like an invisible operative and open fire and the hapless victims don't know until they do open fire when it's too late. THEN they get noticed.

There are lots of socially invisible people but only a small handful kill. The rest just pass away into the eternal night.

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The author makes the point ... (Below threshold)

August 24, 2011 4:28 AM | Posted by Ferno: | Reply

The author makes the point that Sodini's peak reproductive years ended in the 80s - he was just supposed to fade away, but he didn't.
Now we have a whole generation of male losers ("incels" or "involuntary celibates", google it) who feel they've been locked out of the social game, due to girls becoming increasingly picky and unaccepting of anyone but the good-looking guys, who in turn dominate the social arena through image-centric technologies (facebook, online dating).
These young men will end their "peak" years in this decade, many as virgins, and there's no reason to think the trend will reverse in subsequent generation. Although the vast majority of these losers are nonviolent, one can assume that a certain number will go the route Sodini did, exacting revenge on the society that deemed them expendable.

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"Next, with respect to comm... (Below threshold)

August 24, 2011 2:00 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Next, with respect to committing mass murder: it won't work. Mass murder is the violent expression of being a pussy. The people killed are almost never the people who actually hurt you-- they are the nameless collateral damage of your fear of confrontation. Every person who Sodini felt hurt him is still alive. Every person he shot was nothing but polite to him, if they had any contact at all. This is almost universally true about mass murderers. In other words, the people who you think hurt you most got punished the least. Is that what you wanted?"

reminds me of brevik. He was humiliated by minority gangs at several points in his life, yet he decided to kill young communists. He never had the courage to confront the thugs who robbed or assaulted him.

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It took me awhile to get ar... (Below threshold)

September 15, 2011 10:57 PM | Posted, in reply to Ferno's comment, by Brenda: | Reply

It took me awhile to get around to it but I Googled Incels. And there was not one article that supported your theory that this occurs because of the internet/online dating. I admit there is some truth to what you say but I also that the online dating experience does the same thing to women who are not preceived as prettist and therefore are not desirable by men. There was a blog I read that said there is no such thing as incels because we have choices. I tend to agree with that writer that often a man upholds high standards based on the mental perception of a woman worthy of him. his sex and/or money and thus choose not to pursue available options that fall outside his personal standards. And I actually know a lot of men like this. I also read/use the personal ads and see it there. They only want their dream woman, though in reality they have nothing to offer her! They can be 50+lbs obese, be bald, have bad skin/teeth/breath, awful hygene, low paying jobs that they can barely hang onto a low rent apartment. But they want and hold out for a single woman w/o child, that is a super model in appearance and has a wonderful well paying job. There also the men who are to cheap to pay the price of courtship & dating and those who expect all sex to be freely given w/o strings attached or a payment up front. These are choices men in todays society are foolishly making at a cost to their own sexual lifestyle or lack of.

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I find it funny that pysch... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 10:19 PM | Posted by The hermit: | Reply

I find it funny that pyschology throws around the charge of narcississim so easily. when pressed, they reveal the true axiom of psychology ; all organism seek their own pleasure( hedonism)

What is the opposite of narcississim? altruism? is that how evolution works or capitalism? so to be healthy one has to forsake their own desire? has liberal BS infected a once great profession?

Ill just end the discussion right now. Sodini did not hate anyone, he did not have the tools to cut throught he delusion of female choice( i.e women are never satisfied and generally sexually frigid) he wanted to have one moment to break through ( ex -stasis)
to feel everything and think of nothing. You robots cannot understand this. What sodini achieved was greater than any sex he could have and a closeness with the kosmos, that you robot think you are getting reading chicken soup for the drone soul.

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Women who aren't considered... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2012 2:03 PM | Posted, in reply to Ferno's comment, by dand: | Reply

Women who aren't considered pretty and/or no longer in their peak productive years have long had to deal with being considered invisible and disposable by men. If every woman like this went the route Sodini did, "exacting revenge on the society that deemed them expendable" - there would be no men left.

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This post is literally the ... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2012 7:00 PM | Posted by [email protected]: | Reply

This post is literally the most disturbing thing I have ever read in my life. After reading the notes Sodini took himself, especially. To me, it just seems like willful malignant self-pity that made him do this. Although I have to say---sorry, this is not brilliant insight or anything, but I feel compelled to say it anyway---Google brought up pictures, 5 of them, automatically when I was reading this post (I would normally never want to see otherwise), and, well, the guy looked to me like a dangerous creep, a criminal. I don't quite know why, can't analyze it, but he looked "off" in a bad way, and if I ever met him I am sure I would avoid him instinctively. If anyone has any insight why this is, I would love to hear about it. Also, I don't believe a mere medication problem would precipitate this (I'm responding to the posts about SSRIs); I am unsure of the reasoning people are using to emphasize this point, but seriously, this guy actively sought to immerse himself in his own pity party for a good long time...and then to make others pay for it, which is illogical, since he was so willful about constructing and maintaining his own bullshit reality. That seems so much more apparent than some scapegoating med theory. Plus, he wasn't stupid apparently; I'm sure he could have found help if he applied himself, for a medication problem or for other reasons. It honestly sounds to me like, for some weird emotional (illogical) need, he put the pieces together to try to construct a justification. Evil.

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Hermit, you worry me. But m... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2012 7:11 PM | Posted, in reply to The hermit's comment, by [email protected]: | Reply

Hermit, you worry me. But more importantly, I think you should stop thinking in dualities, in opposites, and in 'this' and 'otherness'.... Also, I hope you go back and read what you write once in a while, for insight.... Maybe for an experiment, try to think occasionally in terms outside of 'me' and 'them.'

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George was my cousin. The b... (Below threshold)

April 18, 2012 5:54 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

George was my cousin. The blog just confirmed what I thoguht all along growing up - George was jealous of his brother Mike. Mike never had a problem with girls - young, old, they all love him - and he is just so friendly and charming (and goodlooking)it would be hard for someone as insecure as George to NOT be jealous.

George's real problem was his drinking. None of us knew about it until his mom told us, and we were shocked to learn he had been drinking since he was about 12 or 13 years old. But then again, he was always kind of sneaky and secretive, so while we were surprised, we weren't that surprised he had been up to something. He lost a good 15 years or more to alcohol, so it's no wonder he always felt he was behind eveyrone else in life, since he was.

George didn't like family events - he came to them, but he never said much, didn't socialize much with any of us. He never said anything about his own life - he would rather talk about something totally neutral, like the weather. I always found it strange that he'd show up at Christmas with no gift for his mom, and Mike would hastily write George's name in HIS birthday card, and then tell his mom that the gift (usually a really nice gift) was from BOTH of them. I bet Jean never knew that George never ever spent a dime on any of those gifts, it was all Mike trying to save face for his brother. He'd even show up with no gift for his mom on HER BIRTHDAY, and Mike would bail him out every time and never be resentful or anything. Same for graduation parties, etc. Mike was always bailing George out and George was perfectly happy to stand there with Mike and nod and pretend he was giving such a great gift to the person. This is typical Mike - trying to protect his brother.

THe only time we ever saw George was on holidays, otherwise he was MIA and that was okay, but a little odd for Pittsburgh, where we spend lots of time socializing with our relatives. He never had much to say to any of us, I just thought he was bored with us and was just showing up because of family obligations to show up. He never stayed long, as if he had somewhere more interesting to go to later and was just showing his face to be polite. I never knew he was lonely. As I kid, I could see him idolizing his tall, handsome older brother, and feeling some jealousy in his teen years, but I really thought George was past that childish sibling rivalry stuff, and he seemed quietly content with his life and himself. We always thought he was goign to die in his 20s - dying 20 years LATER and in the way he chose to was truly stunning, a total shock to all of us.

To the person who said that family shoudl have known what was wrong, shoudl have been keeping tabs - I ask you: does any one of us have any right to FORCE our help onto another family member who appears to be perfectly normal and functioning? I don't think any of us had any right to force George to get help - and since none of us knew there was a problem in the first place, I find it amazing that there is this insinuation taht we are to blame for not catching this problem in teh first place. Jean is the one who is most in agony: she was the only one that believed she coudl save George during his alcoholism and worked tirelessly to get him together for over 10 years. I cannot believe that he would say such horrible things about his mom, it is almost like a little kid ranting about how mean his parents are because he didn't get to eat his entire cookie before dinner.

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I'm sorry for whoever made ... (Below threshold)

April 18, 2012 7:31 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm sorry for whoever made that comment. I reread the posts and it looks like everybody used the Sodini story as an opportunity to express their own causes.

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My money is on George's bro... (Below threshold)

April 18, 2012 11:17 PM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

My money is on George's brother Mike and/or George's mother being physically, emotionally or sexually abusive toward him when he was young.

People who simply dismiss him as "sick" are far more existentially sick than George was. Why? Their lack of empathy. Their desire to ignore that the killing urge is within all humans. Their fear regarding trying to put themselves in George's place, trying to imagine what kinds of life events lead a man to such a sad end that includes destroying others as well as self.

Sure, TLA trots out the usual narcissism. I've read Lasch too; I get the cultural blaming. Lasch was correct about that; TLA is correct about it too. Though I'm not sure the readers of this blog are making the leap from the personal narcissism to the reasons why the narcissism arises -- the cultural factors.

George's hateful remarks about his brother Mike make me think Mike raped him, or severely beat him, or teased him in ways that were far crueler than any brother should endure -- ways that probably really emphasized George's deficiencies compared to Mike.

George's hateful remarks about his mother make me think she not only denied him emotional support, but affirmatively abused him with verbal cruelty and possibly sexual belittling or sexual teasing.

The fact that George killed woman doesn't mean he was simply misogynist, nor that he is a vector of "the patriarchy," nor that he was simply "sick" and we can dismiss it at that.

If we would like to have a healthier human society, we should try to understand George. Not write him off as "sick" or anomalous.

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The fact that George killed... (Below threshold)

April 18, 2012 11:51 PM | Posted, in reply to Gral's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The fact that George killed woman doesn't mean he was simply misogynist, nor that he is a vector of "the patriarchy," nor that he was simply "sick" and we can dismiss it at that.

The fact that he killed women doesn't make him not 'simply' misogynistic, either.

As far as understanding him, the above post tries to do just that.

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What is the "simple misogyn... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 1:30 AM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

What is the "simple misogyny" you imagine in George, then, Anonymous? Describe it for us. What did it look like? What were the thoughts and feelings it produced in George? What caused them? And why did he not act on this "simple misogyny" earlier in his life?

Nothing seems "simple" about George. "Simple misogyny" is the kind of accusation I'd expect from lazy, college-freshman "feminism."

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You're a piece of shit.... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 10:24 AM | Posted, in reply to Gral's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You're a piece of shit.

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That's brilliant, mature, h... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 10:46 AM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

That's brilliant, mature, holistic and wise.

So either everyone agrees with your juvenile pseudo-feminism, or they're a piece of shit?

I guess that's what you imagine George to have been huh?

I guess the fact that he killed women makes HIM a piece of shit in your eyes and so... if he'd killed men, then, what would be your picture of his psychological and emotional landscape? Would that bore you because you couldn't accuse him of misogyny and therefore couldn't play the only note in your musical repertoire?

Clearly you take this field very seriously and consider yourself quite the scholar. It shows.

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PS to 10:24 AM Anonymous:</... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 11:02 AM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

PS to 10:24 AM Anonymous:

Was Michael Rooker a "piece of shit" for daring to play Henry Lee Lucas in this movie?

Is everyone who works on the psychological and emotional origins of malicious and destructive behavior a "piece of shit" for trying to understand them?

You suggest TLA's post tried to understand George. Are you you saying that TLA's post is the ONLY way to understand George and that TLA is incomparable and 100% correct, beyond doubt?

Or is it possible that since nobody here knows George's home life details -- not even the "cousin" above, who wasn't George and therefore doesn't really know what George endured -- the field is much more open for speculation on what drove George to his chosen end?

"Cousin" says it's as simple as alcoholism. That's like seeing a pond covered in duckweed and thinking you can walk across it because it's got a green herbal carpet.

What caused George to become an alcoholic?

I guess you'd say it's his "misogyny."


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You are making really wild ... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 11:36 AM | Posted, in reply to Gral's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You are making really wild guesses that are just not based on any fact. There is no evidence of any sexual abuse whatsoever. I'd think he'd say somethign about that if there was - because he clearly wants readers to be sympathetic to him, to feel sorry for him as the victim, and being a sexual abuse victim is the pinnacle of victimhood, isn't it?

I think that is why he makes sure that he says his family is extra horrible to him, because he wants us to feel really sorry for him. Fact is, all we have is waht this guy says - and what he says doesn't mean that any of it is TRUE. He is clearly trying to settle scores, and he isn't exactly good at accurately sizing up situations. THat hot babe the neighbor was supposed to be screwing turned out to be the stepdaughter! George lived across the street - you'd think he could get that right! And didn't he see the stepMOTHER? I also read somewhere that the real Mike doesn't fit the description of hiim being twice the size of the average guy, or anything at all and that you'd never pick him out of a lineup based on George's description. He's the last guy you'd suspect was this horrible "big bully" that made George so scared.

I think the cousin is right - if the guy is secretive, and he's 12 or so, and his parents are busy working and his brother and sister are already off to college, he was probably home alone alot and got into serious trouble swiping booze. Seems kind of young to be boozing away, but if nobody's watching him closely and he's secretive, I can see his parents not figuring it out until he was some raging falling down drunk. Seems odd that you wouldn't pour your heart out about how you lost 20 years of your life to booze - he doesn't want any of us to think booze was the problem, becasue if you're a boozer, we'd just point to that and none of us would even be thinking about this guy three years later. Maybe he feels that being an alcoholic was HIS fault - and we know that his problem is really everyone else's fault - mom, dad, brother, boss, women, etc. I think the earlier comment was right - the guy was a dry drunk and just didn't find something else to substitute for drinking. He sounds like a whining, entitlement type who is upset that he isn't getting his fair share. The cousin's comment is interesting - his mom actually helped him through the boozing phase, why wasn't he grateful to her for saving his life? If he had put in there that his mom had nursed him back to health, it would sure be a lot harder for all of us to call her some monster, forget about accuse her of being some sexual abuser. Hate to say it, but my guess is that the entire family wishes that the mother had just let the guy die - she sure was proven wrong that he could be a normal functioning human being! Maybe he's mad at her because she did save him - and thus set him up for the rest of his miserable life.

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TLA didn't have anything bu... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 11:46 AM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

TLA didn't have anything but wild guesses to go on and you praise (no, WORSHIP) TLA's assessment. But suddenly you can turn the "wild guesses" against me? How exactly does that sort of inconsistency show you to be smart, holistic, wise?

You are making even wilder guesses based on even less, but please don't let that sort of glaring hypocrisy stop you.

You can't admit you don't know the landscape, so you fabricate a simple explanation: "Misogynist! Case closed!"

Let's assume for a moment you're correct. What exactly do you imagine are the origins of George's supposed misogyny?

I'd like to read about that.

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Here's where you fail, Anon... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 11:51 AM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

Here's where you fail, Anonymous:

"There is no evidence of any sexual abuse whatsoever."

According to whom?

George was middle-aged when he died. The condition of his body at that time would not demonstrate what sexual abuse he may have endured as a child. His testimony would be the only type of evidence that might have clarified whether he endured such abuse.

If Mike and Mom abused him, you think they'd admit it upon questioning? If you think that, you really are very naive about human beings, and how they react in legal process.

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You're right - George is a ... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 11:53 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You're right - George is a foil for everyone's own personal grievances. i think this entire thing is just being exploited so that people can use it to highlight their own problems.

The ones that really scare me are the ones who feel sympathy and say they understand him, they're going through the same stuff. GO TO A DOCTOR!!!!! LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE!!!!!

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You're right... we shouldn'... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 12:08 PM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

You're right... we shouldn't ever try to understand the origins of behavior like George's. We should just create a checklist of spooky behaviors, find people, assess them against the checklist, and if they qualify -- exterminate them.

You seem awfully like you (wrongly) imagine George to have been. You wouldn't be projecting, would you?

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You are putting way too muc... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 12:22 PM | Posted, in reply to Gral's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You are putting way too much faith in what he says.

"Abuse" to George may very well not be "abuse" to anyone else. I've had serious depression before - and I can tell you, depression seriously messes with your head. I had no idea that what I "saw" was actually not exactly what everyone else "saw". I "saw" people out to get me, people who were cruel to me, people who were laughing at me - and it wasn't any of that. I didn't even know I was depressed until much later - when I was out of the depression. When I was depressed, I blamed everyone else around me for my problems - I was failing at school, I was failing in my relationships, and I just never felt happy and I didn't understand what was wrong. Now I know that my toxic personality oozed "Stay away from me! I'm a psycho!" back then. None of my friends knew I was depressed - they just said I became kind of hostile and I stayed away, which is true, I did stay away because they annoyed me. I got better without any therapy or drugs but it took years. ANYWAY, this is why I really wonder about anything George says. Loneliness and depression often go hand in hand. He sounded depressed to me.

I don't think George started drinking for any reason other than that it was a thrill at first. A kid doesn't drink because he has problems he is running away from. He just drinks because it's a thrill. Nobody sets out to be an alcoholic. And if you tell kids it's dangerous, etc. they'll want to do it even more. How many addicts thought "I won't get addicted?" when they started?

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I haven't put any "faith" i... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 12:38 PM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

I haven't put any "faith" into what George said. I did like TLA did and read the log entry. I read it through then paid attention to TLA's strange mark-ups in TLA's self-shorthand. The mark-ups show TLA's initial biases, what he was expecting to find. They don't indicate anything holistic or detached.

What I did was read how George described Mike and Mom. I contrasted it to the other writing in the log entry. I noted how he described one fellow church-goer. I noted what he seemed to get out of his church involvement. I didn't really agree with TLA's strange forward-looking vs static thought dichotomy, I found it artificial and full of projection.

I suppose if you wanted to know why this particular TLA entry interests me so much you could ask me, rather than projecting things onto my comments. You could learn that I spent several years working with troubled kids, kids with emotional - psychological - behavioral problems, most of whom had been badly abused in different ways in their youth. None of their families understood them. None of their families could honestly see how the abuses they suffered had changed them. From this experience I drew some thoughts and gained some minor insights into people's childhood experiences and how they affect them. I've also read quite a bit about human psychology, though I don't possess an MD or PhD. My formal training is in a different field -- one that relates directly to this particular entry.

Of course you can and should ignore all that if it makes you question your assumptions about me or George. I wouldn't want you to be uncomfortable and have to doubt yourself or your assumptions. Better to just call George a "misogynist" and then go about your life blaming "misogynists" for everything you don't like.

Maybe you can get into a position of social power where you can implement a Minority Report-styled "preventive" police force that goes around trapping and exterminating people based on your frightened projections. That would be sweet!

(for you)

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This is one of those "if a ... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 12:39 PM | Posted, in reply to Gral's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

This is one of those "if a tree falls in the forest, does anyone know" types of things. Unless there is some record somewhere, you cannot say that he was abused. NONE of us know. all we have is what he says - and just because he said it, doesn't mean it is true. It's only evidence of what he has said. Period. He clearly wants people to like him, he wants to be remembered, why not doctor up your life to make you look more sympathetic?

I feel sorry for his mom and brother because they'll never be able to clear their names. If they didn't do anything to him and say they didn't, some people will believe them and some will continue like you to believe they are liars. I think that is why nobody has come forward. I also tend to think that nobody has come forward because they probably don't have any real evidence to point to - just more theories.

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PS:If 12:22 PM Ano... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 12:50 PM | Posted by Gral: | Reply


If 12:22 PM Anonymous is the "cousin," and not the other Anonymous who was simply saying "misogynist, that's all!" then I have additional thoughts.

You make a big deal of the alcoholism part, and try to explain alcoholics as just "looking for a thrill" and then simply getting stuck on the Bus of Alcoholism.

That shows me you know very very little about addictions -- why they begin, and why people can't shake them.

Family members and friends of addicts like to blame the substance and the addict's supposed weakness (the inability to quit). That's because it's much easier than examining what environmental forces trigger the addiction and prevent the addict from breaking the enslavement of the substance(s) (or activities) to which he/she is addicted.

If George was an alcoholic and a "dry drunk," those two status points don't explain the whole situation. They are the symptoms, not the causes. What you've done can be summarized with this analogy:

You see a person bleeding from the nose and ears. You see them keel over and die. You then conclude they died from bleeding too much.

You don't even stop to ponder what caused the bleeding.

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12:39 PM -- Which ... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 12:52 PM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

12:39 PM --

Which are you? George's mother? Or George's brother?

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I don't know if I'd call ge... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 12:52 PM | Posted, in reply to Gral's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't know if I'd call george a misogynist. I think he likes women, I just don't think he knows how to interact with them. What I noticed about his blog is that he sure seems to be blaming everyone else around him - and sure, people do bad things to other people all the time, but there comes a point where it just might be YOU that is the problem in your life, not everyone else. He takes the easy way out - blaming everyone around him as a reason for why he is such a loser. It's sad because he doesn't seem like an idiot, just someone who really needed help and didn't know where to get that help.

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The idea that he's "blaming... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 1:14 PM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

The idea that he's "blaming" others is projection. One could easily see different layers of thought/feeling under the writing. Calling it "blaming" means you understand how George communicated with others and how he wrote log entries. I don't think any of us here, including TLA, has the qualifications or experience to know with certainty what George's entries mean with any kind of concreteness. All we can do is wonder what they suggest. I've known people whose writing was ineffective at conveying what they thought or felt, sometimes even contradicting what they thought or felt.

It's fun to imagine we can inhabit George's mind at the time he wrote those things. But our accuracy would depend on knowing George a lot better, including knowing his most private thoughts and behaviors -- things the "cousin" wouldn't know a damned thing about because the "cousin" is not and was not George himself.

What I get out of George's log entry is that he felt trapped by circumstance and somewhat envious of people he seems to believe have more freedom and agency than he does. Maybe that's what TLA's shorthand of static vs forward-looking is supposed to be getting at?

Comments in this thread that say "when you're depressed you blame everyone else" seem to have it wrong. It's not exactly blaming everyone else, but rather, the blame is an expression of a more vague feeling that I tend to describe as a lack of agency. Shrinkers and PhD psychologists tend to call this area "self-efficacy" but I don't know any fellow human who describes his or her mental state, feelings, thoughts along the lines of "self-efficacy."

An academically rooted analysis tends to fall short here, in other words.

In my humble opinion. As a curious person who is mystified by the manifestations of anguish, that is.

And I don't have much patience for those people who want to dismiss it all on the foundation of "misogyny" or "alcoholism." In my view, such people are part of the landscape that creates the anguish for people like George.

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I do think he is just a mis... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 1:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Gral's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I do think he is just a misogynist. And I think you are excusing him for his behavior. Nobody kills women like that because they like women, and these women didn't do anything to him personally to make him want to kill them. They just WERE WOMEN.

We are all projecting. None of us know what the real reason for any of this is.

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I'm not "excusing" anything... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 1:53 PM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

I'm not "excusing" anything!

You're just a narrow-minded "feminist" who sees misogyny everywhere, as an explanation for what's wrong with the world. Blame the patriarchy, blame misogyny, blame anything but what matters: the moments of interaction each of us has with fellow humans, the summation of all those things, how they affect our psyche and self-image, how they affect our thinking.

Nothing in this world is reducible to "it's misogyny!" or "the patriarchy is at fault!" unless you are a manichaean thinker attached to binaries in every way.

Binaries are the foundation of computer programming, not human living.

Why would I want to "excuse" George? What would that gain me? What do you imagine motivates someone to "excuse" George?

That would be a hell of a read, to review your thoughts on that. Revealing, I think it would be.

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We should just create a che... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 5:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Gral's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

We should just create a checklist of spooky behaviors, find people, assess them against the checklist, and if they qualify -- exterminate them.

We do it already. It's called the criminal justice system.

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See one of the abocve posts... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 7:37 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

See one of the abocve posts about how good everyone was to George and how he could still only think of himself:

George was just a weakling. He could never make it so he used every excuse not to even try. He was so weak, he even fooled himself just so he could blame it on women. It wasn't women, it was because he wasn't man enough to face reality and do the right thing, like buy his mom presents on valentine's day. I bet to get off he had to pretend he was someone else, like his brother.

I bet no matter how much he got out of life, it would never be enough, because he still fantasized himself a victim. He still wanted Mommy's attention and he was going to stay a child in the hopes he'd finally get it. It was all her fault. In someone like George, it wouldn't take a lot to activate him, anything could justify his sick fantasy, even something so benign as his mother nursing his brother through an illness, and not catering to her other son's every need. No presents on Mother's day for you, Mom.

The women are a red herring. It was him. He couldn't grow up and make the most of things as they are, like real men do. I bet he never took care of anyone, never nurtured anyone, not even a child, let alone a woman. He willfully created an action, a fantasy- I bet he fantasized about it for a long time, until it stopped working anymore-to express something. It was an act of murder and suicide, but he didn't realize that to a sane person, it's just a senseless, weak, stupid act that only reflects on his failures as a human being. Poor idiot- I don't think he really bought it himself--I bet he hoped the world might, but we don't. And he is clearly not psychotic, he is making choices. This is a willfull act. He is at fault.

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"We do it already. It's cal... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 8:43 PM | Posted by Gral: | Reply

"We do it already. It's called the criminal justice system."

Not a lawyer, are you?

If there's anyplace where we "do it already" it's Noble Saintly President Obama declaring the right to do it.

Outside that, we still have process. I was talking about the absence of process, and an anticipatory "preventive" system where there's no process, just a central system that crawls up your arse, finds something to compare to the checklist, finds it, and then extinguishes you.

Our present system doesn't do that routinely, though I'd agree we've seen more instances of it lately with SWAT teams killing or injuring innocents who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But overstatement for snark? I didn't realize this was an outpost of readers.


7:37 PM Anonymous, you're funny. I bet you yell at the TV when watching shows too, claiming so-and-so "GUILTY! It's a willful act!" and feeling triumphant in the process. Bully for you!

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I woke up 2 minutes ago and... (Below threshold)

April 20, 2012 6:45 AM | Posted, in reply to Gral's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I woke up 2 minutes ago and thought: a feminist would have called him a misogynist thus potentially deepening someone else's sense of feeling judged and estranged from other people? Or thus making it okay for other people to continue their habit of preaching tolerance and even compassion while practicing the opposite? (People chronically misunderstand compassion anyway, reducing it to false sympathy that makes the giver, not the recipient, feel good and puts social pressure on the recipient to fake all-better-now), Or of refusing to take any personal responsibility for prevailing social conditions by (further) dehumanizing people? Or by offering up a 'reason' for his behavior 'misogyny' that makes him easy to dismiss instead of think about, thus encouraging ... lack of empathy and also lack of quality thought?
I'm not rereading the damn post.
I was somewhat pleased with what I said (yes, that was me) about his mom because it somewhat parsed, might condemn an action I find abhorrent and discourage it-although I worry I might have a habit of shaming people, I'm not sure, it's so instinctual- I don't have to try, I just react-, was halfway written well and snarly, and leaned heavily towards my love of Criminal Minds, which I once realized I love in large part because the good vs bad is very simple AND the good guys mostly always win in the end.
It is true I meet people a lot who talk about how they are losing faith in humanity. Estrangement.

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There's a famous Dostoyevsk... (Below threshold)

April 20, 2012 6:52 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

There's a famous Dostoyevski quotation about the degree of (compassion?) is to be measured in part by it's treatment of the lowest members of that society?
Criminals, the mentally, etc. Definitely the poor mentally ill in this country get treated like shit, medicare beds sometimes 4 to a room in some nursing homes---anybody out there have any realistic idea what medicare covers versus the huge deductibles people pay? I do--- it's insane- if you want to not starve and you have high medical bills and are elderly, well, too bad. Don't even talk about it if you're mentally ill and need therapy four times a month-that alone is $100.00 minimum out of your pocket. Oh- I feel a rant coming on. Couples on medicare don't get their own room either---I think it may be a right, actually--but they don't get it.

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Well, what about women who ... (Below threshold)

April 20, 2012 7:18 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well, what about women who write to bigtime criminals and marry them? Like some girl recently married one of the Menendez brothers. I think. I'm guessing she's not a highly individuated person and she is living by proxy. That's the kind and gentle guess. Identity problems? I picture her with some hysteria and pink fluffy bunny slippers at the hospital. I don't know why. I just do. Making the dangerous and strange and hurtful into something benign and manageable. "He just needs love!" (And I am special because I understand).

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The goal is to raise people... (Below threshold)

April 20, 2012 9:23 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The goal is to raise people who respond to things intuitively based on whether builds on their strengths. Skipping over what would be damaging ("Sodini is a misogynist=not good for women=not good for me," which is certainly true enough, no matter how one labels Sodini.
It is certainly true that if women or myself invest in developing a sense of victimization and entitlement in adults, (which is already happening- didn't Naomi Wolf write a horrible book on men? And why can't men write their own books- how do men feel about Naomi Wolf speaking for them? And various other trends, some of them possibly fostered by the women's movement) civilization could collapse. I'm not kidding. And then of course, you wind up with people with a grandiose sense of self pity, which is kind of ironic.

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When talking about utility,... (Below threshold)

April 20, 2012 2:09 PM | Posted by Yankee: | Reply

When talking about utility, shouldn't we ask about the usefulness according to what goal? Mastery of art and literature does seem more useful in a broader social context.

Science is useful, but not important(?)

No-one objected to the notion that biology contain little valuable information. In the same manner of thought one might ask how intimate knowledge of math would lead to an elevated understanding of man. At a minimum it's not obvious why it would.

Let me share a geek, for the taste of it. It's commonly believed that reality consist exclusively of matter/energy. Natural science could said to be a description for how matter interacts e.g how graviton attraction between two bodies increases as distance decreases. Isn't the relationship which govern the bodies as real as the bodies themselves? I'm not saying our description is flawless, but that there _exist_ a rule which govern the bodies behavior and this rule is _abstract_. Waking up to planet earth I'm unsure about the importance of these thoughts, probably little or none.

Of course yes thank you shared facts and terminology yes. And perhaps I should shy away from debates without the desired qualities. It's great to have opinions tested, but....if it become overly about #winning. I don't know.

That male willingness to dive into it also shows in leadership. Males overestimate themselves and radiate more confidence and control and while reality do teach them something else, they're not faking it. It's not always a great thing, but it can be.

When it comes to feminism. I don't know. Depends on what we're talking about. What commonly perceived as feminism and girl power here is basing everyday life on that my little girl is to be leaved in the hands of strangers. I grew up on a farm were you would need an rifle to hit your neighbor. It was boring and I had no friends growing up, just a bunch of animals. Many of the comments provoke thoughts and even when they are wrong, they are right. It's intimidating but I'm smiling.

Animals. I've often wondered what's the difference, or more interesting what's overlapping. In a prior life I was a decent dog trainer and know how effective communication can be despite dogs being without language.

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I was not clear if this was... (Below threshold)

April 21, 2012 12:45 AM | Posted, in reply to Yankee's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I was not clear if this was a commentary or some questions.

Did I say biology was useful but not important? Oh God. I’ve got this hothead thing going on right now. I possibly might have just been reacting and like, "Oh, God. That." about it.
Well, biology is useful---microbiology is beautiful, and everybody in the whole world needs to grasp that biology is unbelievably complex--- but when I think of biological differences between men and women specifically hormones, I think of a doctor who wants to sell a book…and that’s the best-case scenario. I think it raises my blood pressure because I imagine it inspiring all kinds of stupid debate and then later a book will come out that emphasizes something different, like we’re more similar than different, and then that will be a thing, inspiring stupid debate. Of course nobody reads both books. How out of touch are we to get so into this? And about gender?! TIP: Why use a book- experience for yourself people. Kiss the joy…

This over-reliance on outside sources and consensus building on everything irks me. I am interested in what happens when people have to rely on whatever knowledge of things they’ve acquired within themselves and their experience. By knowledge I mean, intuitive, sensorial, informational, etc. And I am interested in how people function within raw experience for which there is no ready-made solution .Joseph Campbell describes this as a dangerous place to be, but I’m inclined to think of it as necessary for a person to really be a grown-up.

Whew! That was a lot.

I just got done text messaging a 13 year old female friend, I asked her, "What does feminism or the women's movement mean to you?" And she said, "Isn't it like girl stuff?" There we go- the definitive answer. Hard to argue with.

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The remark about sexual abu... (Below threshold)

April 22, 2012 3:43 AM | Posted, in reply to Yankee's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The remark about sexual abuse from the mom and brother was especially low. I ignore certain things. It's a bad stunt when you consider I have reality issues anyway. So thanks.

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Very well-written and -argu... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 10:17 PM | Posted by J: | Reply

Very well-written and -argued piece. It's cool, judicious in its inventory of the motives for these events, and would, in my opinion, have completed defused the Viginia Tech, Tuscon, and LA Fitness shooters had they read it. There's no other way to get through to someone in their mindstate than to adopt a clinical detachment and patiently make an inventory of the reasons why their best-laid plans to go out in a murderous rearguard action will fall short of their grandiose objectives. Moreover, you basically dissected the rationale of the average shooter and laid it bare for the public to review on a silver platter. I couldn't agree more on the point regarding how these stories SHOULD be reported, vis-a-vis the media's unrelenting passion for maximizing their impact at the expense of future victims. One wonders whether Oliver Stone's lambasting of the media's role in these crimes' reporting in his black comedy "Natural Born Killers" ever entered their consciousness.
And as you said, the media is in its element when reporting these incidents, laying the red carpet out for 3-4 talking heads, the obligatory junk food TV psychiatrist (Dr. Drew/Phil), and 2-3 images of the killer they constantly recycle in the course of the story, subliminally burning the image of the killers in the mind of the viewer while paradoxically anonymizing their victims. Worst of all, we still call them nutjobs. They're not. They weren't before or during the shooting. They were simply single, generally white men between 20 and 50 who snapped because they found themselves alone in the world in our text-message society. Did people see it in them before it happened? Sure. Did they care? Nope. Too little caring. Too late.

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From everything I have read... (Below threshold)

July 5, 2012 4:13 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Jacqueline S. Homan: | Reply

From everything I have read about George Sodini, the fact that he was too stingy and selfish to part with any of his money (and the guy had plenty of it, more than 80% of the rest of Americans ever got the chance to make) to buy his own mom a birthday or Christmas present affirms for me that the fault with what happened in George Sodini's wasted life was his own making. Not his mother's. Blaming the mother is the oldest con job in patriarchal societies of male impunity such as ours in which those with the most advantages, the most unearned privileges, and the most unfairly acquired benefits happen to be upper-middle class males who lash out like spoiled brats when the larger society does not bow down to them and give them everything they feel entitled to.

In a patriarchal capitalistic society, women as the sex class are oppressed, exploited, discriminated against, and dumped on by men as the patriarchy class.

It is the norm for privileged white males like George Sodini to feel entitled to pussy and then get resentful when they don't get what they want, but refuse to not be selfish pricks so that women WILL want to be with them. What George Sodini did was a case of the micro mirroring the macro.

In this society where women who are poor, who are fat, who have the misfortune to have lost out on the looks lottery, face a 41% chance of being poor their whole lives because of the "body fascism" that relegates poor women to the social scrap heap, it is NOT the George Sodinis of the country who are the victims. Poor women and those who don't/can't look like a 17 yr old Barbie Doll are punished for being unable to conform to these unreasonable standards — denied everything from bare minimal social acceptance to chances for good jobs to a chance for love and commitment. It's cruel.

George Sodini HAD a girlfriend. He abandoned her when she was four months pregnant with his kid back in 1991, and he never paid her a dime in child support. He was selfish. He felt that the supermodels under age 25 of the world owed him pussy with no strings attached, no matter what his orgasm might cost them — physically, economically, and socially due to unwanted pregnancy, which ruins their bodies and risks their health, wellbeing, and lives instead of the male co-conceiver's.

If anybody deserves all the attention, support, and public sympathy it's the women whom he shot up in that gym, the woman he DID have whom he selfishly impregnated and then abandoned to poverty, and his mother for having to put up with a selfish ingrate like that for a son when he had everything while so many (mostly WOMEN) get nothing — except shit and shoved in it. Patriarchy, male privileged buttressed by institutionalized misogyny and sexism, is what produces men like George Sodini. Time to place blame where it rightfully belongs — which is NOT on the shoulders of those who are the least empowered, enriched, and enfranchised: WOMEN.

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Big hips?... (Below threshold)

July 8, 2012 2:57 PM | Posted, in reply to Jacqueline S. Homan's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Big hips?

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Türkiye'nin haber ve güncel... (Below threshold)

July 12, 2012 8:02 AM | Posted by Haberler: | Reply

Türkiye'nin haber ve güncel haberler sitesi. Son Dakika Haberleri ve Yerel Haber Sitesi


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Complete and utter cunt bul... (Below threshold)

August 8, 2012 2:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Brenda's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Complete and utter cunt bullshit.

Lots of men are not obese, do not smell, are well kempt, intelligent and still do not have the intrinsic chemistry to attract women. The vast majority of incels do not demand a supermodel and indeed are attracted to women who would be defined as somewhat plain or not classically attractive. These women also reject incels. As an incel, I'm habitually mocked by my sexually successful friends when I comment that I find a given woman pretty, attractive, cute etc. Usually, I hear: What? She's a fucking ugly, nasty looking bitch.

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Mother of god, man! Maybe y... (Below threshold)

August 10, 2012 12:59 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by dan: | Reply

Mother of god, man! Maybe you're alone because you're so angry? I know, the chicken or the egg, but I don't think your problem is the women who won't sleep with you.

Try never using the word "cunt" again. Even better, try therapy...

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Allow me to make a few sugg... (Below threshold)

August 11, 2012 10:37 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by TG: | Reply

Allow me to make a few suggestions:

1)Get better friends. They are not your friend if they insult the type of women you like.
2)Avoid the use of the word "cunt."
3)Your reply oozes hatred, anger, frustration. That is repulsive to any woman. Work on your inner self (counseling) is a very good start.

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please don't act like georg... (Below threshold)

August 13, 2012 12:56 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Incelsince2008: | Reply

please don't act like george sodoni, EVER!

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I've been thinking about Ge... (Below threshold)

September 16, 2012 11:20 PM | Posted by Texas: | Reply

I've been thinking about George lately. I thought about him a lot when the tragedy occurred. Let me suggest to anyone out there who may feel lonely: please think about taking up karaoke. That was the first thought I had when I heard about George and the tragic loss of life. I thought: what if George got into karaoke? I know it sounds weird, that karaoke could help in some possible way. I'm a karaoke deejay, these past 6 years. I'm not lonely at all. But I'm single and compared to people my age, I'm very undersexed. Now that I'm getting older (I'm in my late 30s) most of my friends are married with children, and I find myself more alone these days--my friends all have their own new families to spend time with. But I'm very happy to be by myself and I can handle it. And I think karaoke has a lot to do with me accepting being "alone". I came across being a karaoke deejay by chance (and yes, I do have a professional 9-5 government job during the day; I'm a karaoke deejay at night & on the weekends). With karaoke, standing in front of people and singing (especially if you can't sing) really helps reduce stress. Please try it. Belting out a song, good or bad, calms you down. I cannot count how many times I've had a stressful day and went out to karaoke that night to sing and after singing my first song (I can't sing) I always feel 100% better and have pretty much forgotten my problems. Singing in a room full of strangers somehow makes me feel heard, especially when I can't sing. Try singing new songs, too; as in songs you haven't sung before. Now, as a karaoke deejay, I've met so many people and I feel this would've benefited George immensely. I love how when I first walk into a room all the pretty girls would roll their eyes at me like "Who's this loser?" But I've been a karaoke deejay for 6 years so I know how to rock a crowd and mid-way through the night those same girls who wouldn't give me the time of day if they saw me on the street are now smiling at me and winking or coming up to hug me, etc. They're snapping their fingers to the music I play in-between karaoke singers, they're dancing too, etc. George probably would've been awkward at karaoke singing at first and very dry as a karaoke deejay at first. But with some time, I know he would've improved and this would've given him so much confidence as well as something to do with his nights and weekends. Imagine with me if George tried to sing rapper Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" which a lot of karaoke books have the track. He would've been awful at first and folks would've laughed at him. But if he kept trying (this would give him something to focus on--a goal) and ventured out to different karaoke nights, he would've gotten better. Now imagine if he comes to a karaoke spot and does a decent "Gin and Juice" rap rendition. You know the room would appreciate it. Folks would buy him shots, girls would give him a hi-five and George would've felt alive. He would've felt accomplished in something. He could've felt liked. I work a new gig tomorrow, Monday. I have 3 gigs right now that I do weekly and I remember my first night for each of those 3 gigs. Nobody gave me a chance as a karaoke deejay when I first walked in the room. People scoffed at me. But though nightly practice I can rock a room like a baddass and now I do weddings and private parties and Halloween parties and New Years Eve events--not just karaoke, deejaying private parties. I implore anyone out there who feels lonely to give karaoke a try--singing and hosting. I started out as a karaoke singer (though I cannot sing). And to this day, nothing personally boosts my confidence more than when I finish singing a karaoke song. Even if nobody claps. I think singing in front of a room full of strangers would be just the opposite thing that George needed. He'd rather be silent and bland in a room full of people. Imagine if he had to open his mouth with a song? I could see him (with practice and a lot of guidance) being a decent karaoke deejay. Music is so universal and brings folks together.

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Oh please Jacqueline!... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2012 12:23 AM | Posted, in reply to Jacqueline S. Homan's comment, by N: | Reply

Oh please Jacqueline!

The same old song and dance?

The "woman" as eternal victim?

Sounds like YOU have quite a bit of PERSONAL anger to work through, just PLEASE keep it internal, OK?

One thought though?

Men OWE women nothing simply for being women.

Perhaps just make that your daily mantra, hopefully it will help you.

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that is not liberal bs my f... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2012 5:08 AM | Posted, in reply to The hermit's comment, by Furda Illi Andinn: | Reply

that is not liberal bs my friend that is all conservative talking.

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"This Looser"? F*ck you. An... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2012 5:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"This Looser"? F*ck you. And the psychologist.
You are both no better him.
You like it when things like this happen so you can then condemn the person who did it and thus feel better about yourself.
You both are just as evil as he is.

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"This Looser"? **** you. An... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2012 5:21 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Furda Illi Andinn: | Reply

"This Looser"? **** you. And the psychologist.
You are both no better him.
You like it when things like this happen so you can then condemn the person who did it and thus feel better about yourself.
You both are just as evil as he is.

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"No, this is what you hear,... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2012 12:39 PM | Posted by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

"No, this is what you hear, everywhere: "I don't condone what Sodini did, but I can understand it..." That feeling is societal. It takes on different forms, sex, politics, etc, but the form is an illusion, the substance is "I'm not the person I thought I'd be; no sees me the way I want to be seen." "

Ugh... which just confirms that society hates me and wants me dead.


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Let's factor in that Sodini... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2012 5:15 PM | Posted by Vanonymously: | Reply

Let's factor in that Sodini had narcissistic traits, that he's the man and people around him merely serve as supporting actors in his movie..

At reading his log, it strike me is how his description of the supporting actors differ based on gender. The passages describing women are more "simplistic" and his description of women taste like he's describing things. My immediate association is porn.

It might be that Sodini primary saw people as tools for validation, but I'm guessing that he saw women as more versatile tools: sex. Paradoxically he also expresses that he lack intimacy and as TLP point out in his markup, he equate male friendships and female companionship.

I don't know. While people are knowingly doing something wrong, we also make up an justification for it. No-one think for themselves - " I'm doing this evil thing without any particular and I'm proud of it."

Perhaps lack of response in his attempts to establish emotional intimacy with a woman was his biggest defeat in life. Isn't some form of hostility a common response to rejection? So, as he decided to leave life he also decided to strike back at those who hurt him most. The specifics of those people he murdered didn't matter as they were all the same stuff: women.

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Yep all this confirms to me... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2012 5:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Vanonymously's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Yep all this confirms to me is that society doesn't think women are people so why should he?

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My first thought was that S... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2012 5:35 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Vanonymous: | Reply

My first thought was that Sodini didn't view people as being fully human like himself, you know with emotions - and that this applied more to women than to men.

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I can recall hearing about ... (Below threshold)

December 6, 2012 6:22 AM | Posted by Tobias: | Reply

I can recall hearing about this incident back when it first happened in early august of '09 ,and the media outlets who reported it put more emphasis on his alleged hatred of women as well as his supposed racism(witch sound very sarcastic if one reads his journals and writings).I came a cross a section on his journal where he angrily denounces the early sexual activities of teen age girls and how they are having more sex than him in his lifetime.To me,that seems to be one of the last straws for him.If only someone would have simply talked to him,one could wonder...

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If only he could have held ... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2013 3:06 PM | Posted by Runningball: | Reply

If only he could have held out a few years longer. No matter how odd you may be there is always someone right for you. He was a guy who got a girl pregnant and then dumped her and the kid when they became too much of a burden. There is a 20 something female available who got pregnant then dumped her kid (only allegedly) when she became too much of a burden. Oh I forgot, she drowned in the pool. She will probably never be able to get a job, so she would have been attracted to him as creepy as he may have been.

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There are solutions to men ... (Below threshold)

April 9, 2014 2:08 PM | Posted by SixxOneOne: | Reply

There are solutions to men like Sodini but none of them cheap. There are groups that teach men social skills and how to pick up on women... if... and only if... you can afford it. There are also DIY programs like Double Your Dating, however they are only an adjunct to an already functioning social life. If you're a guy whose been lifelong reclusive and have no social skills or abilities with women then training camps like Real Social dynamics or Love Systems are the way to go. Personally I would rather climb the financial ladder and be able to hire these groups than kill a bunch of innocent people that had nothing to do with my personal problems. Money doesn't solve your social problems, it provides entrance to the fun park. Just like college, all the academic ability in the world won't help you if you flunk tuition.

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This post really resonates ... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2014 10:42 AM | Posted by Matty: | Reply

This post really resonates in light of the Elliot Rodger incident.

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I was fully expectant that ... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2014 6:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Matty's comment, by Chinchilla: | Reply

I was fully expectant that TLP would write an article about E Rodger, but it seems he already has.

Want to give you full credit Matty, saw you commented on this, re-read it and it is basically the same thing. Except Rodger was younger, and probably 20 other details I wont pick up on because my brain is small.

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Agreed, especially the part... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2014 8:40 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Agreed, especially the part about prostitutes. Elliot's Dad had the money and connections to set something up but he would've been just as pathetic afterwards.

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This is not the same case a... (Below threshold)

June 4, 2014 10:32 AM | Posted by R: | Reply

This is not the same case as Elliot Rodger at all.

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And to add: Were one of Sod... (Below threshold)

June 4, 2014 8:01 PM | Posted, in reply to R's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

And to add: Were one of Sodini's victim's family members participating in a tearless (yes, look closer) press conference within 24 hours of her being shot to accuse the NRA of indirect involvement or something similar?


The media are portraying the Rogers case as exemplified by the ineffectiveness of the Police (domestic incident with roommates the year prior) and mental health professionals. What do you think that would leave the task of labeling a perceived threat to the realm of? For something feared that can rarely, if ever, be forecast ahead of time?

Something (legislation) is up for vote soon. Read the fine print in full, or truly bleaker days are ahead for most of us.

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There are anti-androgen med... (Below threshold)

November 19, 2014 1:25 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

There are anti-androgen medications that reduce a man's libido. After taking one of them, I could take a rejection without it doing horrible things to my self-esteem.

Did George Sodini know that there is any such thing available?

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