Rodger's Parents Knew He Was Mentally Ill by Age 8
'He was as withdrawn as any person I ever met': family friend
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 2, 2014 9:13 AM CDT
This file image from video posted on YouTube shows Elliot Rodger.   (AP Photo/YouTube, File)

(Newser) – For the parents of Elliot Rodger, their son's mental health was always a concern, those close to them tell the New York Times. As his parents were divorcing when he was approaching age 8, his mother, Li Chin, sought additional child support for her "high-functioning autistic" son, while a doctor allied with his father, Peter Rodger, called for psychiatric treatment for possible "depression or anxiety." The mother of one of Rodger's childhood acquaintances showed little surprise at the massacre he perpetrated: "If I could have picked anyone who would have done this, it would have been Elliot," she says.

"He was as withdrawn as any person I ever met in my life," adds a family friend. Rodger went to three different high schools; at the first two, he reported being bullied. At the second, he was paralyzed by an anxiety attack in the hall and seems never to have gone back. The final school had just 100 students, and some sought to protect Rodger; a staffer called him "our Elliot" upon learning of the shooting spree, the Times reports. In college, he withdrew increasingly into an online world. About a year ago, after he said he'd tried to push a woman off a ledge at a party, a neighbor spoke to him. "He started saying: 'I’m going to kill them. I’m going to kill them. I’m going to kill myself.'" Click for the full piece.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Elliot Rodger's Parents Knew He Was Mentally Ill by Age 8 is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 145 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Jun 2, 2014 7:29 PM CDT
The best option for these kids in this state of mind is online high school. This is especially true for Aspbergers kids. Then they can find social opportunities through support groups. When I ran a rec facility, and left after the 30th year there, we were very close to having to hire a PhD level staff counselor. There was this absolutely horrible dad who came with his two sons. OMG it was a an absolute horrific case of "My kids this ,my kids that." If his kids didn't feel like the facility's staff game him their due attention, he would throw a walleye fit. He shows up at the lake and demands his kids get to do grade 1 water sports when neither of his kids got a grade 1 swim rating. One of his sons was an Autism kid and the other just had attitude issues. He kept telling our staff they didn't know what they were doing. He came to me and said, "Look, I have two PhD's and I can run this place better than any of you all." I look at him and say, "Here's a volunteer application, you are welcome to help out any way you wish." He says, "NO, I said I 'could' run it better, I didn't say I wanted to run this dump." So after he complained every day he was there and went back and wrote a scathing letter to our parent organization, I thought I would never hear or see him again. Wrong for me. I was watching the 10PM local news and both of his sons had been arrested for first degree murder. Seems that a girl had turned one of the brothers down for a date and they both schemed to have her drive out and meet them whereas they shot her a hundred times and then buried her body in the woods. Both of them were indicted, found guilty, and sent to prison on a life sentence each. As our staff discussed what this dad did wrong we came up with the conclusion that your kids get exactly what you put into them. IF you put 15 years of raw $hit into your kids, then you will get raw $hit out of them in their lives. In the end of it all, I totally and completely as a whole blame that dad for that girl losing her life.
Jun 2, 2014 4:55 PM CDT
Color me not-surprised. Laws against murder failed to prevent the murders, and the system failed to put the nutter safely away, or at least to deny his "right", crazy as he was, to legally arm himself.
Jun 2, 2014 3:58 PM CDT
Perfectly fine parents can have mentally ill children - my parents were wonderful and my brother is mentally ill. We SO need to address the issues of mental illness.